Glossary

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Liberal Arts

There were seven Liberal Arts which were the subjects of secular education in the Middle Ages and Renaissance but were codified in late Roman antiquity.

They were divided into the trivium - Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric - and the quadrivium - Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy and Music.

In art they are usually represented by female personifications, who carry attributes to aid recognition: Grammar has two pupils or, in the 17th century, waters a plant; Logic has a snake; Rhetoric a sword and book; Geometry a pair of compasses; Arithmetic a tablet with figures; Astronomy a globe; and Music plays a musical instrument.
 
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