Ancient literature in the teaching of the Ljubljana jesuits
Members of the Jesuit Order came to Ljubljana in 1597, founding a »gymnasium« and later expanding it with a semi-university. In contrast to certain other orders, they fostered the classics, as is evidenced by their teaching, scholarly research, and literary composition. The scholarly work of the Jesuits active in present-day Slovenia was mostly concentrated on ancient philosophy, as is shown in the second section of this paper. Their teaching, on the other hand, included both classroom lessons and more creative activities, such as the writing and staging of school plays. The Jesuit school system with its six gymnasium classes is described in the first section of the paper, and the school curriculum (based almost exclusively on the teaching of Latin literature) and methods in the third. The fourth section presents the documents relating to the final gymnasium examinations in ancient literature which took place in Ljubljana, with a survey of the contents of the questions. The fifth section outlines the characteristics of Jesuit school drama. The plays performed in Ljubljana are lost, but, judging by the preserved titles and synopses, ancient themes appear to have been relatively rare. Nevertheless, the paper succeeds in isolating seventeen works (discussed in the sixth section) which must have either utilised plots from ancient literature or drawn inspiration from ancient stock characters and rhetoric.
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