Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/18/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Despite differences in technology and philosophy, the human element remains the same.

Archaeologists have made a particularly exciting discovery at a site in Egypt. The discovery features Greek writings on the walls of a school that reference Homer's "The Odyssey." The school site exists in the modern town of Amhedia (ancient Trimithis), about 200 miles west of the Nile.

Greek writing of the wall of a Roman school in Egypt reveals exhortations to students to work hard and to copy and learn their classical literature.

Greek writing of the wall of a Roman school in Egypt reveals exhortations to students to work hard and to copy and learn their classical literature.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/18/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: School, Egypt, Trimithis, walls, painting, writing, Odyssey, similarities, Hypatia, Alexandria


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An ancient school site in Egypt reveals a little about education in ancient Egypt during the time of the Roman Empire. The site is about 1,700 years old and dates to a time when the Romans ruled the region.

During the period of Roman rule, Egypt was a center of learning and advancement. Many great thinkers lived and worked there including the female scholar Hypatia as well as several early Church leaders. The Great Library of Alexandria was a repository of ancient knowledge and people from around the Roman world came to Egypt to learn.

The school itself was used for less than 20 years, according to archaeologists and was subsequently incorporated into a larger house. It's unclear, but either the students, or more likely, the owner of the house had painted on the walls images of the Classical gods.

In addition to the paintings, archaeologists have found writing on the walls of the house which they say proves learning took place there. Some of the writing suggests a lesson in literature, featuring Homer's "The Odyssey" took place there. The writing on the wall instructs students copy a passage from the story where Helen of Troy provides instructions for the administration of a drug that would cure grief and anger for the day and bring forgetfulness. Scholars speculate the drug might have been an opiate.

Other inscriptions painted on the walls exhort students to excellence and to work hard.

The school fell out of use within just 20 years, likely because the teacher died or moved on. Schools at that time were often transitory affairs, as opposed to long-standing, permanent features of a community.  They were usually associated with a single teacher. Education was a privilege of the wealthier citizens who could afford to pay for it.

What is most striking about the discovery is its parallel to the modern classroom. In schools today, artwork adorns walls, lessons are inscribed on chalkboards, whiteboards, or the most modern equivalent, the "smart board"-which is an electronic equivalent with added features. Despite the modern twist, inspirational posters and quotations which urge students to work hard and give their best are commonplace today. To see that teachers did the same for their students 1,700 years ago reveals that there isn't as much difference between the people of today and then as popularly thought.

Despite the great learning that took place in Egypt, the library of Alexandria was largely destroyed in 391 AD, upon decree from the Christian patriarch there. The library was closely associated with paganism and its influences and the Roman Emperor, Theodosius I outlawed paganism in that year in favor of Christianity.

Hypatia was killed during a riot in 415 AD, accused of pagan and satanic crimes, although these accusations are largely thought to be based on the writings who were more afraid of her influence with women and the learned class.

Although the early Church bears much responsibility for ending the practice of classical, pagan education as beautifully demonstrated by the discovery of the school from ancient Trimithis, the Church replaced this education with Christian institutions of learning which persisted for centuries in Egypt and continue to teach students around the world today.

Despite the differences and the difficult, and at times tragically violent transition, there remains many profound similarities between the world of education today and that of the ancient world. It is from these similarities that we understand that while the chalkboards may give way to iPads, the human element remains precisely the same.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Africa

NO IMPROVEMENT: Egypt falls far in protecting female population, report says Watch

Image of Egyptian authorities had failed to prevent, investigate and punish violence against women and girls, according to a new report.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Token legal reforms have failed to end widespread public, domestic and state violence against women and girls in Egypt, who face sexual abuse, mob attacks and torture in custody, a rights group report said on Wednesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Despite ... continue reading


'Tip of the iceberg' Boko Haram leader warns MORE DEATHS are coming in latest video Watch

Image of Leader of the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"This is just the beginning of killings," warns Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau in Boko Haram's latest rant video. Following Boko Haram's most deadliest massacre, killing 2,500 people in Baga, the terrorist group is after those who have shown pity on France and the ... continue reading


Criminal network roils in the Sahel: Arrests made by Algerian law enforcement Watch

Image of The investigations of the A.N.P. or People's National Army of Algeria have led to the arrest of criminals operating in the Sahel region.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The investigations of the A.N.P. or People's National Army of Algeria have led to the arrest of criminals operating in the Sahel region. Operating in the areas of Tamanrasset, Bordj Badji Mokhtar and Guezzam in the Sixth military Region, twelve smugglers - ... continue reading


Algerian army standing fast against tide of terrorism Watch

Image of Accomplished

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The Algerian army, confronted by the harsh realities as experienced in the Sahel and Nigeria, with large swathes of land under the iron fist of jihadists, remains steadfast in its stance against terrorism. The eradication of terrorist groups is essential in ... continue reading


More than a million Nigerians may have been forced to flee due to Boko Haram, U.N. says Watch

Image of The militants' attacks may force even more people to flee, both internally and to Cameroon, Niger and Chad, which could destabilize the region.

By Misha Hussain, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than one million people may have been forced to leave their homes in northern Nigeria by the five-year-old insurgency of Islamist sect Boko Haram, a United Nations agency said. DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The militants' attacks may force even more ... continue reading


BOKO HARAM MARCHES ONWARD: Attacks in Cameroon cause thousands to flee for their lives Watch

Image of Troops from Chad began to arrive on the same day, to support their fight against the militants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ten thousand Cameroonians have fled with their lives after incursions from the dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram along the border regions with Nigeria's Borno State. The Islamic militant group has massacred over 2,000 people in two northeastern towns over the ... continue reading


When will the West wake up? Nigerian Bishop says only Western powers can defeat Boko Haram and save Christians from genocide Watch

Image of Boko Haram has waged a war of terror in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, often targeting Christians and killing them or burning down their houses of worship.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, who leads a diocese in north-eastern Nigeria, says that the only way in which Boko Haram -an Islamist terrorist organization operating in northern Nigeria - can be defeated is by intervention from Western powers. LOS ... continue reading


BREAKTHROUGH? Peace talks in Mali could lead to end to terrorism in Sahel region Watch

Image of The Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra has reiterated his country's efforts to settle the conflict in the north of Mali in talks scheduled for next month.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The African nation of Algeria has been working with both Malian government officials and Tuareg rebels in order to end the roiling civil war in Mali. The Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra has reiterated his country's efforts to settle the ... continue reading


Niger declares war on Christianity! Boko Haram incites violence following Charlie Hebdo publication Watch

Image of Niger erupted in protests which resulted in 10 deaths, hundreds of injuries and burning of churches and other Christian institutions over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover of Charlie Hebdo.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the recent depiction of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad on the cover of French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Niger has erupted in violence that has left at least 10 people dead and 45 churches burnt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hotels, bars, a Christian ... continue reading


Is peace on the horizon? After several months of intense fear, warring parties in Libya declare ceasefire Watch

Image of Fajr Libya, or Dawn of Libya, a coalition of Islamist factions announced a cease-fire on all fronts late last week.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

There is a glimmer of hope in Libya. After several months of war and violence, that has almost brought the nations to its knees. Both the Fajr militia Libya and the Libyan army announced a ceasefire on Sunday ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - This North ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:14-20
14 After John had been arrested, Jesus went into ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:29-31
29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time has become ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 25th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Thomas
January 25: Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter