Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/285

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enough characterized as a fetich; and it is a fetich which has done and is doing much harm in the educational world. We believe it is losing its hold upon the minds of men very rapidly, and that we have great reason to congratulate ourselves upon this fact. Its final destruction need not, and we do not think it will, lead to the disappearance of Greek from our courses of liberal study, but it will deprive it of that peculiar position of predominance which it has held in Western education for the last three hundred years—a predominance which, however beneficial at some stages of our modern era, is now the source of far more injury than benefit.




The editor takes pleasure in announcing the commencement, in the July number of "The Popular Science Monthly," of a series of articles, by David A. Wells, on the economic disturbances commonly spoken of as "A Depression of Trade and Industry," which have prevailed to a greater or less extent throughout the whole civilized world since the years 1872-’73; and, in the opinion of not a few economists and investigators of repute, are yet very far from having come to an end. The subject, considered either historically, or in view of its bearing on industrial progress, the accumulation and distribution of wealth, and the relations of capital and labor in the future, is one of the highest interest, and has already engaged the attention of several national commissions on both sides of the Atlantic. It is almost unnecessary to state that the author brings to its discussion—which necessarily involves the phenomena of the so-called "over-production," the discontent of labor, the depression of prices, bimetalism, and the increasing tendency among nations to impose artificial restrictions on trade and commerce—the results of very thorough study, as well as world-wide reputation for determining and popularly presenting economic facts and conclusions. Mr. Wells is known as a trained observer, who looks at things with judicial fairness, and has formed the habit of arriving at his opinions independently of all prejudice, and of presenting them with candor and precision. It is, therefore, reasonable to anticipate that his conclusions will command, as they deserve, very general attention.



The Rise and Early Constitution of Universities, with a Survey of Mediæval Education. By S. S. Laurie, LL.D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 31 + 293. Price, $1.50.

The many teachers, parents, and others who are forced to decide between conflicting policies in higher education will be greatly helped toward an intelligent decision by a study of the methods which prevailed in the early universities. It is the aim of the third volume of the "International Education Series" to present a general survey of these methods. The author begins with a sketch of the schools whose character was determined by the union of Roman and Hellenic culture in the time of Augustus, and traces their decline after the Christianizing of the empire, and the rise of Christian schools in their stead. The influence of Christianity at first was to discourage the earlier culture, as tending to foster paganism, or, at best, as being a mere dissipation. All teaching in the Christian schools was with a view to pious uses, and the curriculum was generally restricted to arithmetic, reading the psalter, and music. These schools had reached quite a promising condition in the sixth century, but retrograded in the seventh and eighth, so that when Charlemagne became Emperor of the West the education of Europe was in a barbarous state. This monarch made the improvement and extension of the episcopal and monastery schools an important part of his policy. To his court at Aix he invited such