Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/18/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Africa

South Sudan President reluctantly signs a peace treaty with rebels Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir reluctantly signs a peace deal with rebels. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Despite serious doubts, South Sudan President Kiir signed a peace treaty between the army and rebels led by Riek Machar.Mechar previously signed the treaty ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops in Kenya call for support against polio vaccine Watch

Image of Advocacy against polio vaccines are being promoted by Kenyan Catholic Bishops.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several Roman Catholic bishops in Kenya are urging citizens to boycott a mass polio campaign in their area. The bishops want to put a halt to the polio vaccination campaign, unless the safety of the vaccine has been confirmed with scientific testing. MUNINLUPA CITY, ... continue reading


Fifty people killed in Nigerian market bombing Watch

Image of Sources say the bombing has all the earmarks of the Boko Haram terrorist group. Sabon Gari, located in Borno State, is where the dreaded group is headquartered.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An explosive device detonated in a busy market in the Nigerian town of Sabon Gari killed at least 50 people and left many injured. The device went off in the early afternoon at the peak shopping period in Borno State. Sources say the bombing has all the ... continue reading


Archaeologist declares Queen Nefertiti's burial chamber has been finally discovered Watch

Image of Neferneferuaten Nefertiti, or Queen Nefertiti was the wife and

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

British archaeologist Dr. Nicholas Reeves at the University of Arizona has proclaimed that a "ghost" doorway found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, the boy-king of ancient Egypt, leads to the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Nigerian activist says President Bush, not Obama, did the most for Africans Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nigerian activist Emmanuel Obege isn't that impressed with U.S. President Barack Obama. "When you show up and you're saying to the people of Africa 'You need to legalize gay marriage'... I had a lot of Africans say, 'Well, when our presidents go to America we ... continue reading


Obianuju Ekeocha: Defending Human Dignity by Defunding Planned Parenthood Watch

Image of

By Obianuju Ekeocha

My country (Nigeria) has worked hard to eradicate completely through laws and societal codes, the dark elements within it that hurt and harmed men, women and children in the centuries past.Today my people bask in both the wonderful splendor of culture and the ... continue reading


Minnesota dentist accused of hunting famous African lion, Cecil, faces extreme backlash from the world Watch

Image of Walt Palmer pictured with previous hunting kill.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

PETA or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has stated that the dentist accused of killing the famous lion Cecil in Zimbabwe needs to be "extradited, charged and, preferably, hanged." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It has been revealed to the ... continue reading


Kenyan women beat starvation by 'sack farming' Watch

Image of The method has created employment and generated income for both rural and urban dwellers, and has proved to be a good way for farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change, he added.

By Caroline Wambui, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Central Kenya's Nturukuma region is not kind to farmers - its erratic rainfall, desert vegetation and drying riverbeds push most people into making a living through trade rather than agriculture. NTURUKUMA, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Jane Kairuthi ... continue reading


Two soldiers injured during a terrorist attack in Algeria Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Algeria continues to pay for its fight against terrorism. After a deadly attack perpetrated in the region of Ain Defla on July 17, against an army patrol, terrorist groups reappeared in the eastern region of Batna on July 27 with an attack against a military barrack. ... continue reading


Algeria holds international conference on stopping radicalization around the world Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Radicalization is a generic phenomenon that plagues all democratic societies. The radicalization of armed groups, that carry out attacks everywhere worldwide, challenges all governments at the highest level. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - This perspective was ... 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, First Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
1 About times and dates, brothers, there is no need ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2015 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... 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