Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/18/2014 (8 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 (8 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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Africa

From the infected could come life! Blood from recovered Ebola patients could hold key to stopping outbreak Watch

Image of A potential serum from the blood of infected and recovered Ebola patients could provide the key to halting the ongoing outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new tool in the fight against Ebola could come from those who have been infected with the disease and lived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The World Health Organization (WHO) says that serums made from blood of recovered Ebola patients may be available within ... continue reading


New documentary reveals King Tut had a club foot and other startling discoveries Watch

Image of More than 100 walking sticks were found inside his tomb. While historians originally thought they represented his power, it's now more likely that Tut used them to get around.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

King Tutankhamun, or as he is more commonly know, "King Tut" was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled over much of the civilized world until his untimely death at the age of 19 years of age. Researchers in a new British television documentary have conducted a ... continue reading


Programs help young women in Kenya flee prostitution Watch

Image of Poverty forces many young women in Kenya into lives of prostitution.

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The alcohol lining the 12-year-old Kenyan girl's stomach did nothing to quell her hunger pangs. NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - So when one of her mother's drunken customers, in the one-room drinking den that doubles as their home in Nairobi, offered her a ... continue reading


Algerian-Libyan border under lockdown due to deteriorating situation in Benghazi Watch

Image of Algeria has since taken serious measures to reinforce the country's security.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The deteriorating situation in Libya - in particular in the eastern city of Benghazi, has the Algerian people calling for more protection along the borders it shares with that nation. The Algerian government has decided to deploy important methods to enhance ... continue reading


Fierce fighting rages in Benghazi amid political instability Watch

Image of Analysts say the recent surge in violence in Libya could jeopardize dialogue initiated in late September by the United Nations, in order to stop the violence and institutional anarchy in the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fierce fighting between troops loyal to the retired general, Khalifa Haftar and those loyal to Ansar Charia continues to rage on in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. The city has been one of the most troubled areas of this North African oil rich country. The ... continue reading


Liberian bishop reminds world that the poor must not be forgotten during Ebola crisis Watch

Image of Alluding to Pope Francis's repeated emphasis on mercy and service to the poor, Bishop Borwah said that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga in Liberia says that the world that "it is the poor who are the Church's priority." Ebola, which has ravaged this West African nation is chiefly concentrated among those living in poverty. "Whole families are being ... continue reading


Nigerian ceasefire intended to free abducted schoolgirls broken with two attacks by Muslim Jihadists Watch

Image of he recent attacks have squelched hopes for an easing of the Northeast's violence although Nigerian officials are confident they can negotiate the release of schoolgirls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boko Haram militants are blamed in two separate attacks on Nigerian villages following a ceasefire intended to free 200 abducted schoolgirls. Suspected insurgents attacked the village of Abadam which led to the death of one person while the second assault on ... continue reading


Hopes for saving the species die with northern white rhino Watch

Image of Suni, the 34-year-old northern white Rhino who was key to potentially keep the species alive, has died of natural causes in Kenya.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another of the nearly extinct northern white rhino has died in Kenya, leaving just six of these animals in the entire world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rangers found the rhino, named Suni, on October 17 in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, located 150 miles north of ... continue reading


Algerian police engage in widespread protest Watch

Image of Police tried to push their way into the president's headquarters on Wednesday of last week to express that

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

While security becomes a serious issue in Algeria, especially with the size taken by the Islamic State, a wave of protests began last week by police officers, followed by an orderly march throughout the country is of great concern to citizens. It's the first ... continue reading


A despicable act! Islamists butcher 23 people in Democratic Republic of Congo Watch

Image of The U.N. is calling for renewed military action against insurgents and rebels in the eastern border provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the town of Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo, suspected Ugandan rebels are believed to have killed at least 23 people, in their second attack within two days. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attacks, and calls for assistance from the local ... 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, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2014 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... 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