Rhetoric and Education: An approach to the Roman school

Retórica y Educación: una aproximación a la escuela romana

Eduardo Fernández Fernández

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP80-3-2022-03

The training of proficient, educated and professional people was essential in Graeco-Roman antiquity. Rhetoric was used to deliver a speech correctly, make political decisions, defend a position, or accuse a certain person and to persuade a judge. These characteristics were developed in the school of rhetoric. This article describes the characteristics of education in Rome, its role within society, who received education and how, the changes it underwent during the course of history and, above all, the role of rhetoric in the schools of Ancient Rome. The objective of the work is to identify the influence of Roman education on Western culture and to reclaim the importance of rhetoric for contemporary education. It will consider three historical stages in which Roman education underwent changes. We will start with the description of the school day, the different types of teachers and the structure of education. Special emphasis is also placed on the role of rhetoric in education, the different declamatory exercises (controversies and suasories ), the role of rhetoric in creating participative citizens and finally, the reasons for the decline of rhetoric. Among the conclusions, we will verify how some of the teaching methods and educational models inherited from the Greeks and cultivated by the Romans, still retain some of their main characteristics in today’s society. For better and for worse, the virtues of education have been inherited, as have the problems, such as the matter of insufficient pay for teachers and limited access to higher education, difficulties which are yet to be resolved.

 


 

Please, cite this article as follows: Fernández Fernández, E. (2022). Retórica y Educación: una aproximación a la escuela romana | Rhetoric and Education: An approach to the Roman school. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 80 (283), 475-490. https://doi.org/10.22550/REP80-3-2022-03

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Eduardo Fernández Fernández is a graduate in Classical Philology (1994) and in Literary Theory and Comparative Lit- erature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2001). He is currently As- sistant Professor at the Department of Classical Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He has worked in teaching and research at baccalaureate level and at several universities, and he has spent periods of research in Oxford, Rome and Mexico. His lines of research are Latin rhetoric and poetics, humanistic Latin and the teaching of Latin.

 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1269-4949

 

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