10 Facts on Education in the Ancient World

Roman mosaic of Plato’s academy, 1st century BCE from Pompeii, now at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico, Naples / Photo by Jebulon, Wikimedia Commons

Education has been around for several centuries. Since the dawn of mankind, education has evolved and developed as each generation passes. From parents having to teach their children and priests having to give them lessons, education has evolved to become an important sector of every nation. Today, formal learning is regarded as an important phase that every child should go through. These not only give people a chance to obtain certifications in various fields but also to gain insights into just how they can come up with the best decisions in life situations.

Education, as an important part of every nation in the world, has helped people deal with scenarios of obtaining key information and knowledge. Because of the evolution of formal learning, tools have also been created to help people when it comes to writing and understanding concepts. Some tools help deliver top resume reviews while others help scholars out with writing quality essays.

We all did not get the chance to experience how formal learning looked in the ancient world. In this article, we will be taking a look at the top facts about education in the ancient world based on written history.

Facts About Education in The Ancient World

If you are looking for a way to understand just how education was like in the past, the below facts should give you special insights into how things went down back then. Here are 10 facts that tell us how formal learning was back in the past.

  1. Egyptian culture and education were preserved by priests

Ancient Egypt was highly known for its harbouring of educated priests who taught others what they knew. According to statistics, both Egyptian culture and education were preserved by priests. This meant priests were responsible for the building up of children in terms of historical, religious, and basic social knowledge.

Although, the parents of children played huge roles in training their children educated. Priests were responsible for helping these children learn several basics of religion and society.

  1. Formal education was intended to train priests

Priests were trained to read and write. As an addition to this, they were educated about the ins and outs of politics, religion, and society. There are many facts that have been laid out concerning priests in the ancient world. One of many is that formal education was established to train priests.

  1. Ancient education only taught basic reading, writing, and religion

Before the creation of the several stages of education, people were made only to learn how to read and write. Religion was made an important aspect of formal learning and as children grew, they were taught how to read and write.

Although this was not practised by the whole world, several countries adopted other forms of education. However, advanced formal learning, which dealt with law, astrology, and many other fields we know today were not established.

Usually, when children were born, they were taught how to live in the world, mostly by their parents. Boys were taught the various techniques of farming, physical exercise and combat by their fathers while the girls were taught the various techniques on how to weave and cook by their mothers.

  1. Rome never had any law requiring citizens to acquire any minimum level of education

Unlike today, the ancient world did not require people to obtain some level of education before being qualified for any task. Rome was one of the many places that abided to this rule. Citizens of Rome were entitled to engage in jobs and to carry out special tasks without being hindered due to their level of formal learning.

Although this had several downsides, it was a great time for people who were capable of handling specific tasks to do them without being restricted because of their minimum level of education.

  1. Roman schools were simply an extension of a single room divided by a curtain

Looking at the schools which were established centuries ago, their layout and structure were nothing compared to what we have today. Classrooms were made by extending a single room. The classrooms were made by dividing this single room using a curtain.

Of course, this must have been a hard way for students to concentrate, but they were able to adapt even when they could hear teachers teaching other students in the same room.

Today, things are a lot different. And due to evolution, students are now being offered comfortable rooms to learn.

  1. Females were taught how to read but not how to write in ancient America

In the ancient world, females were given fewer opportunities to learn just as equally as boys. In ancient America, they were entitled to learn how to read. However, this was made the limit of their education as they were not taught how to write.

Boys were given a better opportunity to experience formal learning. Unlike girls, they were offered education on several aspects of life and also taught how to read and write.

  1. Greek girls were not taught the same subjects as boys

There are several facts which have been made concerning the history of education. One of many is the fact that Greek girls were not taught the same subjects as boys. This delivered different knowledge to both genders in the nation.

  1. In ancient Rome, girls were not taught advanced education after completing primary education

Historic stats showed that girls were not taught advanced education after completing their primary education in Ancient Rome.

Before girls were treated as equal as boys in Rome, they were restrictions on the level of education they could get. Looking at the history of Rome, girls were forced to quit studying after completing their primary education. This was due to the fact that girls had to be married at the age of twelve.

  1. The first schools in the thirteen colonies of ancient America opened in the 17th century

In America, schools were established in the 17th century. According to various historical facts about ancient America, the first set of schools in the thirteen colonies was opened in the 17th century. Several subjects that involved household and community were taught to both girls and boys.

Looking at America today, schools have gone from teaching general subjects and learning to read and write, to teaching specialized subjects and giving students a chance to work on unique projects and also apply the unique phases of education.

Among these colonies, the first colony to mandate formal learning was Massachusetts. It made it clear to other colonies that its main objective was to turn children into good Puritans.

  1. Early public schools in the United States focused on teaching the virtues of religion, community, and family

Before the establishment of unique subjects that taught science, technology, global laws, astrology, and biology, students in the United States were taught about the various virtues of family, community, and religion.

Ensuring the students knew all of these helped them grow up to figure out the best techniques they could use in running their household.


Education has been carried out in various ways across different countries in the world. Looking at life without formal learning, it is almost certain to see that society would never be the same the way it is for mankind.

The above are unique facts that show how education had been back in the past. Education has always been evolving. At this rate of evolution and growth, it will not be stopping any time soon.