This volume presents the original text and the first English translation of the largest surviving ancient collection of preliminary exercises used to teach young men how to compose their own prose, a crucial step toward public speaking and a career worthy of the educated elite. Graded in difficulty, the exercises range from simple fables and narratives to discussions of wise sayings, speeches of praise and blame, impersonations of figures from myth, descriptions of statues and paintings, and essays on general propositions (e.g., should one marry?). It provides a unique glimpse into the schoolrooms of the ancient Mediterranean from the Hellenistic period to the Byzantine Empire, vividly illustrating how ancient educators used myth, history, and popular ethics to shape their students characters as they sharpened their ability to think, write, and speak.
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Diogenes upon seeing a child misbehaving struck his pedagogue adding Why do you teach such things?
isocrates said that the root of education is bitter but that its fruits are sweet
Theophrastus upon being asked what love is said the passion of an idle soul
The Exercise in Maxim
a man who is a counselor should not sleep all night
The same maxim in a different way
There is need of money and without it none of our necessities can exist
The Exercises in Refutation and Confirmation
on Cepheus and Perseus
on the aloads and on Elate
The Exercise in anecdote
alexander upon being asked by someone where he kept his treasures pointed to his friends
The Exercise in Refutation
The Exercise in Common Topics
The Exercise in Encomium and invective
The Exercise in speech in Character
The Exercise in Description
The Exercise in Thesis
The Exercise in introduction of a Law
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