Education in Medieval times wasn’t seen as an obligation like it is by most students today, but rather as a great privilege. Only a handful of people knew how to read and write, and most of them were monks living in secluded monasteries.
When most of Europe was living in squalor and had to deal like plagues, plunderers and famine, the Byzantine Empire was at its cultural height. Around 30% of its population was literate, a rate the rest of Europe was only able to reach around the 18th century. Antioch, Gaza, Nisibis, Caesarea, Syracuse and Rome were all renowned for their schools. The University of Alexandria was acclaimed for its studies in philosophy, medicine, law, geometry and astronomy. Beirut and Athens were known for their law schools, but none surpassed the University of Constantinople in fame and knowledge, which was founded in 425 AD by Emperor Theodosius II.
Learning was open to everyone, but it wasn’t free so the majority of the students were upper or middle class. Even women could study in the late centuries of the Empire. Because of the state’s centralized form of government learned people were in high demand, especially in the fields of law and administration. All state jobs across the Empire came with an exam and only the best would get them. Nothing we’ve talked about up to this point could have happened if the Byzantine state hadn’t considered the education of its citizens a top priority.
Thinking of launching your own empire from the comfort of your living room?
Read about the 10 greatest in history to inspire you. Or, for a different view of history, learn about how ancient Rome was a pervert’s paradise.
Please donate to help us keep publishing.
Poisonous Foods : Top 10 Toxic Foods We Love To Eat
Nutmeg is poisonous. It is a hallucinogenic drug that can cause death. Apple seeds, cherry stones, and the kernels inside the pits of apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums. All poisonous! Mold on corn, peanuts, barley, wheat, oats, and beans. Yep, poisonous. Tuna, mahi mahi, sardines, mackerel, and Swiss cheese, all might contain Scombrotoxin, a poison. Subtropical and tropical marine finfish, such as barracudas, groupers, mackerel, snappers, jacks, triggerfish, and many other species of warm-water fishes might have eaten toxins found in many dinoflagellate. Red kidney beans are toxic when raw. Rhubarb leaves can kill when eaten. Parts of Elderberry trees, besides the flowers, are poisonous. Castor beans are so deadly that just one can kill you. And your grandma made you eat castor oil, right?