Don’t Spend the Whole Day in Study

Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 1.12:

“Therefore, since a teacher is unable and really ought not to take up the whole day, lest they turn away the learner’s mind with tedium, with what studies should we endow our free time? For, I would not have the student consumed in these arts: let them not dance or take up songs in musical modes, and let them not descend all the way to the most minute geometrical works. I do not make a comedian in pronunciation nor a dancer in movement. If I were to work through all of this, there was nevertheless plenty of time. The age suited to learning is long, and I am not speaking of slow intellects. Then why did excel in all of these things which I think should be learned by the future orator? He was not content with the studies which Athens was able to offer, and not content with the studies of the Pythagoreans, whom he had sailed to in Italy, he at last traveled even to the priests of Egypt, and learned their secret mysteries.”

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Ergo cum grammaticus totum diem occupare non possit, nec debeat ne discentis animum taedio avertat, quibus potius studiis haec temporum velut subsiciva donabimus? Nam nec ego consumi studentem in his artibus volo: nec moduletur aut musicis notis cantica excipiat, nec utique ad minutissima usque geometriae opera descendat; non comoedum in pronuntiando nec saltatorem in gestu facio. Quae si omnia exigerem, suppeditabat tamen tempus; longa est enim quae discit aetas, et ego non de tardis ingeniis loquor. Denique cur in his omnibus quae discenda oratori futuro puto eminuit Plato? Qui non contentus disciplinis quas praestare poterant Athenae, non Pythagoreorum, ad quos in Italiam navigaverat, Aegypti quoque sacerdotes adiit atque eorum arcana perdidicit.

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