elementary school in florence at the time of dante

Middle Ages: two children learn to play

the Com'era elementary school in Florence at the time of Dante?

What structure it had and what were its main characteristics?

First of all, let's say yes, even the Florentine children of the Middle Ages went to school, although high-ranking families, aristocrats and bourgeois, they preferred to have a tutor at home.

Dante student

A document dated 1277 concerning the Alighieri family, it helps us to better understand the school system of the time.

We know that before the 1300 there were four or five in Florence doctors (O teachers) boys.

Among them is a certain Roman, which appears to have been the Dante's first teacher.

Like all the kids of his time, the future author of the Divine Comedy he attended elementary school from six or seven to about eleven.

E’ here that the poet learned to read, write and count.

Elementary School in Florence at the time of Dante: essential traits. Timetables, teachers, calendar, books, notebooks and curiosities

But what else do we know about the elementary school in Florence in Dante's time?

L’school year it began around 29 September but we do not know how many hours the study morning was formed.

I locals used for this purpose were nothing more than a part of the homes of the masters themselves, who were sometimes assisted by a colleague.

If today schoolchildren go to class fully equipped with backpacks full of penne, erasers, pencils and books, the children of the Middle Ages needed much less to study.

They only had at their disposal wooden tablets sprinkled with wax on which they practiced writing letters and numbers; it was, practically, of notebooks era.

We must emphasize that there was one aspect of the school back then that, apparently, it has remained unchanged over the centuries: teachers were paid little.

We don't know how exactly, but to get an idea just say that they were exempt from paying taxes.

However, they consoled themselves (perhaps) with the title of to be, which they shared with notaries and doctors.

However, during holidays, they received gods presents, which often consisted of products of nature.

The education of girls

It goes without saying that the girls were separated from males and could have only female teachers.

Their elementary studies included the domestic arts, indispensable to prepare future women able to look after the house and family in the best way.

Fortunately for them, the program also included the study of music and of dance (photo: cirfim.unipd.it).