|New from www.woodenbooks.com
So that is the Quadrivium. But that is only four of the seven liberal arts. Maybe now we should turn our attention to the remaining three, the Trivium of grammar, logic and rhetoric. According to Hugh of Saint Victor, summarizing the tradition in the high Middle Ages, "Grammar is the knowledge of how to speak without error; dialectic is clear-sighted argument which separates the true from the false; rhetoric is the discipline of persuading to every suitable thing." The Quadrivium is about mathematical symbols and geometry (numbers and shapes), while the Trivium is about verbal symbols and the arts of language. The interest of educators in the Trivium and in the Classical Curriculum generally was fuelled by a famous essay of Dorothy Sayers called "The Lost Arts of Learning". (There is also a classic textbook on the subject by Sister Miriam Joseph). It is widely agreed that the skills of speaking, thinking, remembering, communicating and debating are endangered by a culture of instant electronic social networking, images and sound-bites. Yet if we cannot think for ourselves, what becomes of our freedom?