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Roman teaching system was based on education of Greeks

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Livy Andronicus on the stage of the theater
Livy Andronicus on the stage of the theater

The Roman teaching system was largely based on the education of the Greeks. Hence, the teachers of Roman children were most often Greek slaves or liberators. An example of a Greek who achieved much in Roman education was Livius Andronicus (c. 284 – c. 204 BCE). In 272 BCE in Tarentum, he was taken prisoner and, along with other prisoners of war, was brought to Rome.

Liberated by his master, Lucius Livius Salinator, he founded a school for children of Roman nobles. He taught Greek and Latin there, reading classical Greek authors. For this school, he translated Homer’s Odyssey into Latin. It is the first known translation in European literature. To convey the heroic tone of Homer’s epic, he used an old Italian meter known as the Saturnian verse.

  • Gian Biagio Conte, Joseph B. Solodow, Latin Literature: A History, 1994

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