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much joy he turned from the empty disputes of the schools of rhetoric to the serious questions of philosophy. Attempts "3 were made from time to time to banish the philosophers, and to restore the ancient ritual, but these efforts were in vain, and the study spread not only throughout Italy, but the provinces embraced it with enthusiasm.
In regard to the remuneration paid for instruction in philosophy in the time of the republic, we know nothing. Under the early empire our main source of information in regard to the course of study and methods of instruction in philosophy, as well as to other departments of study, come from Seneca," Nero's tutor, and other eminent men like Tacitus and the two Plinies ; but they tell us little or nothing of the salary paid a teacher of philosophy. There were professors of philosophy in Hadrian's Athenæum, but we know nothing of their salary. From the time of Hadrian to that of Antoninus Pius the interest in the study of philosophy increased, and it became more and more a matter of public concern that teachers of ability and reputation should be employed to give instruction. Antoninus Pius "15 established throughout the empire schools of philosophy, and fixed a regular salary for the professors. Marcus Aurelius, when he visited Athens in A. D. 176, founded eight professorships,-two for each of the four schools of philosophy, Platonic, Peripatetic, Stoic, and Epicurean, 116—with a regular salary of 10,000 drachma per year.
It is related of Alexander Severus 17 that he formed schools and established a fixed salary for teachers throughout the empire. As education assumed a more public character, it was natural that the government should prescribe some method of testing the ability of the teachers. The professors of philosophy at Athens were sometimes appointed by the emperors, sometimes by the city, and they were required to undergo a preliminary examination as to their moral character and their ability to lecture,-being required at first to lecture on trial.18 Sometimes the contest among the candidates waxed
Augustus restored the ancient ritual; Nero prosecuted philosophers; Vespasian banished them from Rome, and Domitian from Italy. Later emperors, particularly Hadrian and Antoninus, favored them, while Aurelius was himself a philosopher. Tacitus says of Agricola, “He succeeded in the most difficult exercise of self-command, he devoted him. self to the study of philosophy, and yet rescued from its influence the qualities of a man of action."
114 Epist. xii. 89: cf. Quintil. Inst. Orat. X. 1, 129.
115 Jul. Capit. v. Anton. Pii. c. 11: rhetoribus et philosophis per omnes provincias et honores et salaria detulit.
116 Dion. Cass. lxxi. 31, 3. 117 Lamprid. v. Alex. Sev. C. 44.
118 Julian prescribed in Cod. Theod. xiii. 3, 5: magistros studiorum doctoresque excellere oportet moribus primum, dein facundia ; sed quia singulis civitatibus adesse ipse non possum jubeo, quisque docere vult, non repente, nec temere prosiliat ad hoc munus, sed judicio ordinis probatus decretum curialium mereatur optimorum conspirante consensu.
so hot that the city official was unable to decide, and was compelled to leave, at last, the decision with the emperor.119 An order of Theodosius II. (A. D. 425) prescribes that, among other professorships established by the government in Constantinople, there should be one of philosophy. 120
As the empire declined in material prosperity, interest in learning decreased. The school-attendance fell off so much, even in the time of Alexander Severus,"
121 that he adopted various measures to encourage all, but particularly the poor to educate their children. In the general decline of culture the schools of philosophy suffered with the others. The study was still pursued with great zeal and enthusiasm, but its aim was entirely theoretical and visionary. It was evident that the limit of its usefulness had been reached, but none were willing to abandon it as shadowy and worthless. The study in the time of Seneca was precisely where it was in the time of Cicero. The very nature of the old philosophy,-constantly dwelling on what is the greatest good, — whether all things are fated, whether we can be certain that we are certain of anything, — might sharpen the intellect; but it could add little to the stock of human knowledge. In fact, the ancient philosophy was, as Macaulay says, “a treadmill, not a path. It was made up of revolving questions, of controversies which are always beginning again. The acuteness of intellect was of no avail. A pedestrian may show as much vigor on a treadmill as on a highway. But on the road his vigor will carry him forward, and on the treadmill he will not advance an inch. The minds of the ancient philosophers merely marked time,-they did not advance."
The barrenness of this ancient philosophy is not accounted for by the oft-repeated assertion that the ancient philosophers neglected the natural sciences. Seneca and Pliny wrote largely on natural philoso. phy. The great mistake was in the aim of the philosophical schools,– the mind was turned entirely from the practical, useful affairs of life to the most theoretical and visionary abstractions. The aim of philosophy was, as Seneca 122 says, “ to raise the mind above the sordid cares.' “In my time," continues Seneca, “ there have been inventions of this sort - transparent windows, tubes for diffusing warmth equally through all parts of a building, short-hand, which has been carried to such perfection that a writer can keep pace with the most rapid speaker. But the invention of such things is drudgery for the lowest slaves ; philosophy lies deeper; it is not her office to teach man how to use his hands. The object of her lessons is to form the
119 Lucian, Eunuchos. 120 Cod. Theod. xiv. 9, 3.
121 Ael. Lamprid. Alex. Sev. C. 44.
soul. We shall next be told that the first shoemaker was a philosopher.” “For our own part,” says Macaulay, “ if we are forced to make our choice between the first shoemaker and the author of the three books ‘On Anger,' we pronounce for the shoemaker. It may be worse to be angry than to be wet; but shoes have kept millions from being wet, and we doubt whether Seneca ever kept anybody from being angry. This unfruitful study of philosophy was naturally reflected in the schools. As it was not the aim to discover new truths, the habits of observation and investigation could not be cultivated. All effort was expended on the manner of teaching, Crowds were often attracted by the style or gestures of the lecturer. Philosophy became a mere drill in verbalism, while the real essence of things, whose study would have touched new springs of thought and interest, was never thought of. This wrangling, barren philosophy lingered on in many shapes, mingling with many creeds, long after men knew it had outlived its usefulness.
When we consider the low estimation in which the teacher was held, how inadequately his services were rewarded, is it surprising that he, in the general decline of things, fell into routine-work,—the mere conning of facts, maxims, and extracts from the text-books. Then, again, as the whole aim of education under the empire was to make wrangling, noisy speakers,-not workers,—the mind was drawn away from the virtue of things to the mere learning of words. The lack of all suitable provisions for the education of the toiling millions took away the only means of recruiting society. The people in the days of the republic had been honest farmers and tradesmen, struggling for their political rights; under the empire, brutalized by the public games, systematically corrupted by the government, and neg. lected by the literary world, they were sinking into greater poverty, and falling into miseries from which nothing but a new condition of society could save them.123 How little education was valued, Ammianus Marcellinus 124 is a constant witness : “Those few houses which were formerly celebrated for the serious cultivation of becoming studies, are now filled with the ridiculous amusements of torpid indolence, re-echoing with the sound of vocal music and the tinkle of flutes and lyres. Lastly, instead of a philosopher, you find a singer; instead of an orator, some teacher of ridiculous arts is summoned, and the libraries closed forever like so many graves; organs to be played by water-power are made, and lyres of so vast a size that they look like wagons, and futes and ponderous machines suited for exhibitions of actors.” It would be impossible to picture the misery, the superstition, the ignorance, and the degrading demoralization which, like a crust of ice gathering imperceptibly over the surface of a stream, were creeping over the Roman world. The people neglected on all sides become a motley multitude, without opinions or purposes, over whom a lethargy, a torpor, had spread that numbed every energy, and withered every noble instinct. It was time for a new order of things to arise that should reveal to education its true aim,—the enlightenment and elevation not of one class, but of all classes, the full fruition of which promises to be realized in our own day in the free public school, made good enough for the best, and free to all.
123 Am. Marcell. xiv. 6, 17 (end). 124 xiv. 6, 18.
MODERN LANGUAGES AND THE COLLEGE.
BY C. A. EGGERT, IOWA.
The question of the position of modern languages in our colleges has recently been discussed with a degree of earnestness that seems to indicate a general interest in the subject. Taking our colleges as they are, it is impossible to touch the question without discussing at the same time the merits of the ancient languages that now occupy so large a proportion of time as to make the regular college a very unfavorable place for the acquisition of a good knowledge of a language like the German, or even the French. Our best colleges require at least three years of preparatory study in Latin and Greek, and afford, in their four years' academical course, additional time and means for the study of these languages. Neither French nor German is, as a rule, required at all, and those who would learn something of these languages are limited to a few terms toward the end of their college course, and at a time when the acquisition of a fair pronunciation is exceedingly difficult. It is generally believed that a modern language requires for its acquisition much less time than an ancient; and this error, — for such it is, if we may believe such a
competent judge as Professor F. M. Mueller, of Oxford, - is at the bottom of much of the confusion that is apparent in the discussion of the subject, even by many of those who are friendly to the modern languages.
No one has more earnestly and more eloquently argued in favor of the study of modern languages than Mr. Charles Francis Adams, Jr., in his Harvard address; yet even he wishes to offset a thorough knowledge of two modern tongues against so much of Greek as is taught in the prescribed preparatory study of that language. This is preposterous.
If a thorough knowledge of a modern language is not acquired in much less time than it will take to learn an ancient language, it is clear that the college, as it now is, cannot be considered a proper place for studying the modern languages and their literatures. The question, then, is: “Shall these latter be neglected by those who seek the best culture the age can give?”
Among those who have publicly emphasized the importance of Greek studies, no one deserves more attention than Mr. Matthew Arnold. In a recent speech on the subject, Mr. Arnold assigned as