- Art Gallery -



PAEDAGO´GUS (παιδαγωγός), a slave, to whose care in an Athenian family the sons of the house were committed when they reached the age of six. His duty was rather to guard them from evil, both physical and moral, than to instruct them, though it is probable that before they went to school he gave some home instruction, as did the paedagogi at Rome: this is indicated by Plutarch, when he calls Phoenix the paedagogus of Achilles (de Educat. Puer. 7). His chief duty, however, was to accompany them to and from the school, the gymnasium, and out of doors generally: he was responsible for their safety and for their avoidance of bad company (see Plato, Lysis, p. 223; Aeschin. c. Timarch. § 10). It is probable that he sat with them in the schools; and though it is not certain, it is on the whole most likely that the seated figures with sticks in the Duris vase (shown on page 96) are paedagogi (see Blümner, Privatleben, p. 221). Usually they are represented as wearing a short-sleeved chiton, and a small rough himation, bearded, and holding a walking-stick with a crook. (See woodcut under FUNUS Vol. I. p. 886.) Further account of their duties is given under LUDUS LITTERARIUS p. 95. We gather from Plutarch (l.c.) that in most, or at least in many, households those slaves who were no use for anything else were employed as paedagogi; a carelessness of which he disapproves as much as Tacitus does of something similar at Rome (Dial. 29). This was, however, perhaps a bad fashion of later times. We should gather from Plato's manner of speaking about them that they were trustworthy; and it seems best to assume that, in the better age and in well-ordered houses, they were trusted servants (cf. Hdt. 8.75), who were sometimes retained when they grew old as faithful attendants on the ladies of the family. This view is given especially by Euripides, who (as Mr. Verrall remarks on Med. 49) assigns a [p. 2.308]more conspicuous and honourable part to slaves. (See the plays Medea, Phoenissae, Ion, and the Bacchides of Plautus, and notice especially the expressions in Ion, 853 ff.) Being slaves, they were of course foreigners, Thracian (Plato, Alcib. i. p. 122 B) or Asiatic, and therefore speaking Greek with a foreign accent (ὑποβαρβαρίζοντες, Plato, Lysis, l.c.).

At Rome the custom of having a paedagogus, instead of only a custos, was borrowed from Greece towards the end of the Republic, when it became common to teach children to speak Greek. For his duties, see LUDUS LITTERARIUS p. 97 b. An early instance of this custom is seen in the Greek Gorgias, who is called pedisequus puerorum (Auct. ad Herenn. 4.52, 65). Antonius has an attendant called παιδαγωγὸς in D. C. 46.5, and under the Empire the office was common in all houses which could afford it. The care of the paedagogus lasted till the toga virilis was assumed (Stat. Silv. 5.2, 68). The feminine paedagoga occurs in inscriptions (C. I. L. 6.6631, 9758; 8.1506), and was (like the Greek ancilla of Tac. Dial. 29) a teacher of Greek to the very young children, and perhaps an attendant upon the daughters afterwards.

A different meaning attached to the name in the further development of the slave household in imperial times. Young slaves, whether born in the house or purchased as boys, were trained up under slave instructors. Something of the same sort existed of course in earlier times; e. g. we hear of the elder Cato having the slave boys taught useful arts in order that they might be sold at a profit (Plut. Cat. 21): but the term paedagogus as applied to the teaching of slave boys belongs to a later time than Cato's, and denotes especially the trainer of the ornamental attendant boys, cupbearers at banquets, &c., in rich houses, under the Empire or shortly before: the earlier date may be deduced from Cic. pro Rosc. Am. 41, 120; pro Mil. 10, 28. Such page boys, who are sometimes called capillati (Mart. 3.58, 29), lived together in a page's room or hall called paedagogium, having over them paedagogi, subpaedagogi, and decani (see Spartian. Hadr. 2, and numerous inscriptions cited by Marquardt, Privatl. 158): hence they were called pueri paedagogiani (Amm. Marc. 26.6, 15; 29.3, 3). The name of the place in which they were taught was transferred to the boys themselves, and we often find slave boys of this class themselves called paedagogia (Senec. de Vit. beat. 17; Ep. 123; Plin. Nat. 17. H. N. 33.40; Dig. 33, 7, 12), whence it is easy to see the development of the mediaeval page (see Littré, s. v.). (Becker-Göll, Charikles, 2.46; Gallus, 2.80, 146; Marquardt, Privatl. 112.)

Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

Ancient Greece

Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire

Modern Greece

Science, Technology , Medicine , Warfare, , Biographies , Life , Cities/Places/Maps , Arts , Literature , Philosophy ,Olympics, Mythology , History , Images

Science, Technology, Arts, , Warfare , Literature, Biographies, Icons, History

Cities, Islands, Regions, Fauna/Flora ,Biographies , History , Warfare, Science/Technology, Literature, Music , Arts , Film/Actors , Sport , Fashion



Hellenica World