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The Teacher in Ancient Rome

The Magister and His World

Lisa Maurice

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The Teacher in Ancient Rome: The Magister and His World by Lisa Maurice investigates a particular aspect of education in ancient Rome, namely the figure of the teacher. After identifying and defining the different kinds of teachers in the Roman education systems, Maurice illuminates their ways of life both as both professionals and members of society. This text surveys the physical environment in which teachers worked, as well as the methods, equipment, and techniques used in the classroom. Slavery, patronage, and the social and financial status of the various types of teachers are considered in depth. Maurice examines ideological issues surrounding teachers, discussing the idealized figure of the teacher and the frequent differences between this ideal and actual educators. Also explored are the challenges posed by the interaction of Greek and Roman culture—and later between paganism and Christianity—and how these social clashes affected those responsible for educating the youth of society. The Teacher in Ancient Rome is a comprehensive treatment of a figure instantly recognizable yet strikingly different from that of the modern teacher.

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Lexington Books
Pages: 268Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-7908-6 • Hardback • August 2013 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4985-5640-8 • Paperback • April 2017 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
978-0-7391-7909-3 • eBook • August 2013 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
Lisa Maurice is a lecturer in classics at Bar-Ilan University.
Chapter 1. The Terminology of Education: Magistri, Grammatici, Litteratores and More...
Chapter 2. The Teacher and His School: the Professional in His Work Environment
Chapter 3. Pedagogical Methods
Chapter 4. Teaching of Slaves and Slave-Teachers: Slavery in Education
Chapter 5. The Social Status of the Teacher
Chapter 6. Education and Ideology
Chapter 7. Afterword: Teachers Ancient and Modern: Some Brief Conclusions and Comparisons
Maurice has crafted a carefully researched and complete study: while scholars will appreciate the source material included, students will find the text readable. This text will be cited in the future as a definitive work on the teacher in ancient Rome.
William J. Dominik, University of Otago


Maurice provides the most thorough presentation of the ancient evidence for the role and practice of teachers in the Roman world. This is a valuable synthesis of the evidence, ably and clearly expounded. It will be of value to all interested in how the Romans educated children. Students of contemporary education will find much valuable comparative material.
W. Martin Bloomer, University of Notre Dame


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