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Artes liberales
(276 words)

[German Version]

In contrast to the artes mechanicae, in the ancient world the artes liberales constituted the subjects in which a free man should be educated. The early attempts of Sophists to define them were elaborated by Plato; they were systematized by Varro in the 1st century bce. In Late Antiquity, the list of seven and its division into the trivium (linguistic disciplines: grammar, rhetoric, dialectic) and quadrivium (mathematical disciplines: arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) became canonical. While Augustine of Hippo organized the artes liberales around the int…

Cite this page
Rieger, Reinhold, “Artes liberales”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 July 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_01123>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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