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Platonism, Paganism and Early Christianity

 

The Seven Liberal Arts

Painting by Alessandro Botticelli entitled Young Man Being Introduced to the Seven Liberal Arts (c.1484-1486) - a fresco, transferred to canvas, on display at the Louvre, Paris, France.

 

The Seven Liberal Arts were based upon the categories of study typically taught during the Classical Era of Greece and Rome. In the 5th century A.D., they became formally codified by the pagan writer Martianus Capella. In the Middle Ages, the arts were divided into the Trivium ("three roads") and the more important Quadrivium ("four roads").

The Trivium consisted of:

bulletGrammar
bulletRhetoric
bulletLogic

The Quadrivium involved mathematical subjects and consisted of:

bulletArithmetic -- Number in itself
bulletGeometry -- Number in space
bulletMusic, Harmonics, or Tuning Theory -- Number in time
bulletAstronomy or Cosmology -- Number in space and time

 

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