My new book is now available for pre-order! Science Education in the Early Roman Empire will hit the presses in October. But you can already order the print edition in advance on Amazon. Electronic editions will be available (probably before the end of the year). And an audio edition is contracted (I just don’t know yet when it will be completed).
The gorgeous cover art is thanks to Alex Gabriel.
This represents the first of two books that will be generated from my Columbia University dissertation in 2008. The official description says it all:
How much science were ancient Romans taught? What about math? What kind of math or science, and at which levels of education? How were scientists themselves educated? And what other avenues were there for the public, even the illiterate public, to learn scientific knowledge? How much science entered pop culture? Cities had public speeches and lectures, libraries, and teachers and professors in the sciences and the humanities, some even subsidized by the state. There even existed something equivalent to universities, and medical and engineering schools. What were they like? What did they teach? Who got to attend them? In the first treatment of this subject ever published, Dr. Richard Carrier answers all these questions and more, describing the entire education system of the early Roman Empire, with a unique emphasis on the quality and quantity of its science content. He also compares pagan attitudes toward their system of education with the very different attitudes of ancient Jews and Christians, finding stark contrasts between them that would set the stage for the coming dark ages.
My next book of this pair with be on The Scientist in the Early Roman Empire, and it will defer to this book on all questions regarding the education of scientists and the public dissemination of scientific knowledge. So the two will go together.
This one is relatively short, affordable, and interesting on many levels. It has relevance to combating Christian apologetics; to understanding ancient culture and civilization; to the history of science (as it compares medieval and modern periods on the same question); and the whole notion of education and what we think it’s for and whether and how we support it. I also discuss the roles of classism, sexism, and slavery in the equation. And more.