chapter  3
37 Pages

Writing Instruction from Late Antiquity to the Twelfth Century

Since in school exercises nothing is more useful than to practice what should be accomplished in the art, his scholars wrote daily in prose and verse, and proved themselves in discussions.

John of Salisbury (1159) on Bernard of Chartres

The Social, Cultural, and Political Background

Quintilian described an educational program created for a small, homogeneous population of Latin-speaking males free to concentrate on a single purpose: becoming eloquent public speakers and political leaders who could guide the civic life of Rome and the cities of her empire. It was a brief moment of comparative tranquility before the illusory unity expressed by “Romania” yielded to the ethnic and linguistic patchwork of nations now known as Europe.