By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Salvete, Roman Home Schoolers

Bust of Marcus Aurelius (reign 161–180 CE).Image via Wikipedia

What is looking, as I begin to read, to be a well-written new biography of the famous Roman Emperor and Stoic Marcus Aurelius has a great quote that rings true in many situations today:

Many oligarchic Roman families, the Annius clan [the clan of Marcus, which originated in Spain, as did two other Roman emperors, the "Spanish emperors" Hadrian and Trajan], insisted that their children be educated at home rather than at school, and it is worth asking why. In the first place it was thought that schools were likely to corrupt the morals of the young, partly because they would come into contact with rougher, more depraved elements, and partly because there was little effective discipline in the public schools, with teachers either being martinets or pussycats, but seldom striking the right balance, and their charges being idle, ill-behaved, conceited or self-willed.

Frank McLynn,  Marcus Aurelius (2009),
beginning at Kindle location 540.

Of course, there are many fine public schools today where these problems do not exist. Yet, of course, there are also many today where these problems do exist.

Greco-Roman societies have a strange way of reminding us of our own societies, although we do have to be careful with facile comparisons after a gulf of so many centuries, customs, and habits. But Roman society especially seems to remind me of many things in American culture. We are very Roman in many aspects, good and bad, often without realizing it. I hope we can improve on the Roman historical outcome.