All About Ancient Greek Education

History Of Ancient Greece


Education. 175 years after the Greeks developed the Phoenician alphabet in approximately 800 B.C., majority of males in the more educated Greek states could both read and write. The earliest records found to refer to some type of schooling pinpoint the year as 494 B.C. and the site as the Greek island of Chios and less than 10 years later art depicting school classes began to appear on vases.

Co-education did not exist at this time and schooling was seperate for both boys and girls (although education was more common for boys than girls). The schools are what we would classify today as private schools as no government funding existed at this time. Fees were generally so high that lower class families could only afford to send their children to school for 3 to 4 years for them to learn basic skills and then place them in the workforce. Schooling would usually start at around age 7 and for people who could afford it, could extend for as long as 10 years. Within schooling there were 3 types of educators, Grammatistes, Paidotribes and Kitharistes.

Grammatistes would teach reading, writing, arithmetic and literature (memorising verses of poetry and plays). Paidotribes were seen as a sporting coach specialising in wrestling and gymnastics and the Kitharistes would provide lessons in music (singing and playing the lyre).

After this schooling an Athenian male would then begin 2 years of compulsory military training at age 18. Other types of education included the use of tutors which served for higher education, leading the way for the Academy (university) which was originally established by Plato in 385 B.C. and then 50 years later when the Lyceum was founded by Aristotle. - Copyright 2006