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Printing presses in the Ottoman Empire

By | 2017-09-11T11:32:23+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

Ibrahim Mutafferika's illustration of American bison (1728 AD) One of the great new inventions of Renaissance Europe was the printing press with movable type. But one of the great disadvantages of the Ottoman Empire was that they didn't start using printing presses. They didn't publish books, pamphlets, or newspapers until much later - [...]

Heloise and Abelard – Middle Ages in Europe

By | 2017-09-05T02:42:54+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Heloise and Abelard The story of Peter Abelard and his wife Heloise is one of the saddest love stories of Western history. Abelard, who was born in 1079 AD, came to Paris as a young man and taught classes at the new Christian church school there. (This was just a few years after the Norman Conquest). Abelard [...]

Roman schools – education in ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T10:20:52+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A Roman teacher home-schooling, about 200 AD Most Roman kids did not go to school. Like their parents, they worked in the fields hoeing and weeding and plowing as soon as they were old enough. Their parents needed them to work, to get enough to eat. They did not learn to read or write or do math. Some rich boys, [...]

Roman high schools – education in ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T08:56:00+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A fragment of Homer's Iliad on papyrus Only the richest and smartest Roman boys went on from elementary school to high school. Girls generally couldn't go to high school, but sometimes they could be homeschooled. Most towns didn't have a high school, so in order to go to high school you had to leave home [...]

Mary Wollstonecraft – European philosophy

By | 2017-08-07T09:14:19+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Mary Wollstonecraft - European philosophy Mary Wollstonecraft was the most famous woman among the Enlightenment philosophers of the 1700s AD. Like Damaris Masham and Mary Astell in the 1600s, Wollstonecraft mainly argued that men should not prevent women from getting a good education. You think this is obvious? But Rousseau, just a few years earlier, had argued that men should [...]

Emilie du Chatelet – European philosophy

By | 2017-08-07T07:52:48+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Emilie du Chatelet, a French philosopher in the 1700s Emilie du Chatelet's rich father, who was interested in literature and science, hired tutors to homeschool her, instead of sending her to a convent school. She learned Latin, German, Greek, and Italian, as well as math and science. When du Chatelet was 18, she married [...]

Mary Astell – European philosophy

By | 2017-08-06T19:38:02+00:00 August 6th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Mary Astell Unlike the slightly older Masham, and most other Enlightenment philosophers, Mary Astell was not from a really rich family. She grew up in England. Like other girls in the 1600s AD, Astell never went to school, though her family spent most of their savings to send her younger brother to school. When her parents [...]

Medieval universities in Europe

By | 2017-08-04T09:21:20+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Medieval|

Medieval university With the fall of Rome, the universities of northern Europe closed too. The end of Mediterranean trade meant that nobody could afford to get an advanced education anymore. In Europe, there were only small schools run by the Catholic church. Or independent scholars gave public lectures and tutored private students. Or there [...]

Medieval Islamic women

By | 2017-07-26T23:13:36+00:00 July 26th, 2017|Islam, People|

Mohammed with his daughter Fatima (she's in the front) Mohammed loved and admired the women in his life. He tried to give women more rights than they had before in Arabia, or under Roman and Sassanian law. The Quran tried to make rules that would help women. In general women had more rights under Islam than they had had before. [...]