Schools were conducted in the forum area of a town. Many children attended for five years to earn a basic education. Studentsused wax tablets to write on and an abacus to do their math. Discipline was very strict, and teachers had full authority to beat students if they were not paying attention.
Some went to a secondary school known as a grammaticus. There they learned history, geometry, and astronomy. Those who wanted to continue their education learned the art of rhetoric, or discussion, which they could use in political debates. Wealthy citizens would send their children to Athens, the pinnacle of education in the ancient world, for this last step in the their education. Athens had developed a strong reputation for education from the time of Socrates (ca. 470-399 B.C.).
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