Grammar as a liberal art in antiquity
The earliest references to Latin grammar in the first century BCE associated grammar with the study of virtue and the Liberal Arts. The view of the Liberal Arts as a complete form of education was cherished in Antiquity by Platonists in particular, and was characterized by unity of study as well as the idea of ascent from a lower, earthly level to higher, divine realities. These are also the characteristic features of the most complete Platonic theory of learning preserved from Antiquity – the one found in Augustine’s <i>De ordine</i>. It has been a matter of dispute to what extent this theory depends on Varro’s<i>Disciplinarum libri novem</i>. The present study has shown that the educational theory of Late Antiquity differed from that of the first century BCE at least in one important respect: the role of dialectic is much more prominent in Augustine’s <i>De ordine </i>than it is in the earlier works.