Stick to the locker room and the library.
This "quadrivial compass" represents the intersection of Astrology, Music, Number, and Geometry. What are these four symbols? The Seven Liberal Arts What are the "liberal arts"? Nowadays, we usually define a liberal-arts education in the negative -- "impractical", the opposite of technical or professional training; rarely leads to a job, usually due for a cutback next year.
It is a vague phrase used to lump together all the academic disciplines that we perceive as soft, subjective, in distinction from disciplines like law, business, the sciences, which are supposedly based on a hard, objective body of facts.
In these money-dominated days, in which a college degree is seen merely as a ticket to a higher-paying job, we increasingly forget that a "liberal arts" education has always been meant, not to train one to perform specialized labor -- which is merely "vocational" teaching -- but to liberate the mind.
The word comes from Latin liber, a "free man", one who is not a slave. Little wonder that, the more we become slaves to an omnipotent and all-pervading economic order, the less we remember the origin of the liberal arts as the curriculum of philosophers, priests, and magicians.
Originally the liberal arts were seven in number. These words mean, respectively, a three-way and a four-way crossroads, implying that these paths of knowledge are fundamentally interconnected -- and, by extension, that all other paths can be found to intersect here, as well. Grammar taught the craft of reading and writing; Logic, of careful reasoning; and Rhetoric, of effective communication.
Arithmetic taught the science of number; Geometry, of form; Music, of sound and of "harmony" in the most general sense of the word -- "number in motion", as it was often put ; Astronomy, of time of "form in motion".
Moreover, from the very beginning, whether openly acknowledged or carefully alluded to, each of the Quadrivial sciences was accompanied by its complementary metaphysical art. Each dealt not only with the outer structures, but also with the inner meanings of its discipline.
Thus, Arithmetic included Arithmology, the understanding that numbers were not merely quantities, but also qualities that "two", for instance, is also "duality, polarity" ; Geometry included what is nowadays called Geomancy, the understanding in, for example, the design of temples or cathedrals, or in the graphic arts that the spirit and the emotions can be affected in particular ways by particular forms; Astronomy included Astrology, the divination of the meanings of cycles of time; and Music included not only the study of "practical theory", of nomenclature and technique e.
History of the Quadrivium The choice of these particular disciplines was by no means arbitrary. By studying the links and intersections among these disciplines, one learns to recognize analogies, patterns, correspondencesthrough which the archetypal Ideas that underlie and unite the cosmos manifest themselves in the world of time and space.
Little wonder that, a thousand years after Pythagoras, as the Roman Empire was collapsing and the ancient libraries and academies were being burned and outlawed by religious fanatics, the seven liberal arts were the one essential seed of classical wisdom that was rescued and preserved by the monasteries through the so-called Dark Ages, to bloom in the Carolingian renaissance and yet again in the age of the cathedrals as the curriculum of the first universities.
The Quadrivium flourished uninterruptedly in the philosophy, art, and science of medieval Islam; in fact, as interconnected sacred canons of measurement, of spatial orientation and architectural and artistic proportion, of musical scales and modes, and of calendric cycles, the four arts the West knew as the Quadrivium were also the basis of priestly and shamanic education and practice in ancient Egypt, Babylon, India, China, Meso-america -- indeed, in practically every pre-modern culture one can examine.
In the ancient world, the liberal arts were were those subjects considered essential for a free person to know in order to take part in civic life. Civic life, at that time, consisted of public debates, defending one's self in court proceedings, serving on juries, and military service. The original liberal arts were grammar, logic, and rhetoric. This study examined the rhetoric of the promotional bulletins of twenty-eight liberal arts institutions to describe how these schools are marketing the concept of liberal arts education in today's. The marketing of the liberal arts: The rhetoric of antithesis. The Journal of Higher Education, 60(6): – [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar] ; Aléman and Salkever Aléman, A.M. and Salkever, K.
In the West, up through the Renaissance, the seven liberal arts retained an important role in education, and the influence of the Q. Composers wrote musical works that were based on arithmetical patterns or, in at least one instance, on the geometry of the cathedral at whose dedication the work was performed 1.
The proportions of cathedrals and palaces were in turn often borrowed from the "consonant" musical intervals.And we climb the steps of the seven liberal arts and sciences.
Likewise, education is a process of steps up a winding stair. First grade teaches us to read and write simple ideas. In the West, up through the Renaissance, the seven liberal arts retained an important role in education, and the influence of the Q.
deeply pervaded the visual arts, architecture, music, and philosophy. The marketing of the liberal arts: The rhetoric of antithesis. The Journal of Higher Education, 60(6): – [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar] ; Aléman and Salkever Aléman, A.M.
and Salkever, K. Consistent with the mission of Duquesne University, we will invite you into a conversation that will expand your horizons through the unity of liberal arts and professional education, . Having established his knowledge and experience with the intricacies of a liberal arts education, Ungar utilizes statistics, the structure of his essay, a likeable tone, and the audience’s feelings regarding the recent U.S.
economic recession to appeal to his audience. The trivium is the lower division of the seven liberal arts and comprises grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
The trivium is implicit in De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii ("On the Marriage of Philology and Mercury") by Martianus Capella, but the term was not used until the Carolingian Renaissance, when it was coined in imitation of the earlier quadrivium.