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Greek manuscript reveals Roman rules of behavior

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Greek manuscript
Greek manuscript | Photo: Zisterzienserstift Zwettl

A recently published translation of Greek manuscripts used by Greek-speaking students reveals what principles of social life were taught in ancient Rome.

The manuscript was compiled and translated into English by Professor Eleanor Dickey, and then published in the new book “Learning Latin the Ancient Way: Latin Textbooks in the Ancient World”. Thanks to this position, we can learn what children learned during Latin lessons between the 2nd and 6th century CE.

According to the Professor, the text was widespread in the ancient world, teaching children how to avoid the teacher’s wrath in case of being late or to negotiate a good price at the market. There were six different versions of the manuscript within the borders of the Roman state.

Here are five selected lessons from the book:

  1. How to behave in public baths?
  2. How to deal with a drunk relative?
  3. How to insult someone well?
  4. How do I avoid the teacher’s wrath when I’m late for class?
  5. How to haggle a good price at the market?

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