From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects taught first: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The word is a Latin term meaning “the three ways” or “the three roads” forming the foundation of a medieval liberal arts education. This study was preparatory for the quadrivium. The trivium is implicit in the De nuptiis of Martianus Capella, although the term was not used until the Carolingian era when it was coined in imitation of the earlier quadrivium. It was later systematized in part by Petrus Ramus as an essential part of Ramism.