When classical education attained its definitive form during the Hellenistic period in Greece around 300 BCE, it was founded on the language arts trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric and grounded in a “great works” literary canon with a broad liberal and moral basis. Its aim was to inculcate facilitas, the ability to speak extemporaneously and appropriately about any subject, before any audience, and on any occasion. This ability depended upon both creativity and judgment, faculties developed by means of a pedagogical method combining precepts, models, and practice in analysis, composition, and public speaking. When the Romans conquered the Greek world, they merely adopted this curriculum, but made it bilingual. This curriculum then remained the institutional model with only minor variations for nearly 2 millennia ...

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