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Trivium & Quadrivium

medieval universities
medieval universities

The three elementary subjects of literary education up to the twelfth century — Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic. (See QUADRIVIUM.) N.B. Theology was introduced in the twelfth century.

In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects taught first, before the quadrivium.

The Trivium – Chaucer’s Education
The Trivium – Chaucer’s Education

The word is Latin, meaning “the three ways” or “the three roads”, the beginning of the liberal arts. It also serves as a root for the concept of triviality. At many medieval universities, such as Oxford, this would have been the principal undergraduate course.

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