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The humanities are grouped together in a set of academic disciplines or subjects set against the natural sciences as being the separate study of non-human but physical reality. The term is an Anglicisation of the degree course, founded in Oxford in the early sixteenth century and known as Litterae Humaniores. By this was meant the learning associated with human culture such as grammar, rhetoric, and particularly the poetry and prose of the Latin and Greek classics, grammar, rhetoric, logic (the trivium).

The degree courses of this title, at Oxford and at some of the ancient Scottish universities, continued to refer to the study of Latin and Greek classics. But by 1605, when Francis Bacon published his mammoth study of all the disciplines, The Advancement of ...

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