From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In ancient Greek, the word n. paedeia or paideia (παιδεία) [ to educate (see PAEDEUTICS n.) + - -IA suffix1] means child-rearing, education. It was a system of instruction in Classical Athens in which students were given a well-rounded cultural education. Subjects included rhetoric, grammar, mathematics, music, philosophy, geography, natural history, and gymnastics. Paedeia was the process of educating humans into their true form, the real and genuine human nature.
Since self-government was important to the Greeks, paideia, combined with ethos (habits), made a man good and made him capable as a citizen or a king. This education was not about learning a trade or an art—which the Greeks called banausos, and which were considered mechanical tasks unworthy of a learned citizen—but was about training for liberty (freedom) and nobility (the beautiful). Paideia is the cultural heritage that is continued through the generations.
The term paideia is probably best known to modern English-speakers through its use in the word encyclopedia, which is a combination of the Greek terms enkyklios, or "complete system/circle", and paideia.
Sayings and proverbs that defined Paideia
- "'Know thyself' and 'Nothing in Excess,' which were on everyone's lips." Words inscribed on the temple at Delphi.
- "Hard is the Good."