How Was Education in Ancient Civilization?

Education has been an integral part of human civilization since time immemorial. Ancient civilizations, such as the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, have made significant contributions to the development of education. Let’s take a look at how education was in ancient civilizations.


Mesopotamia, located in present-day Iraq, was one of the earliest civilizations that developed a system of education. Education was primarily focused on religious teachings and vocational skills such as farming, pottery making, and metalworking. The wealthy class had access to private tutors who taught their children reading and writing using cuneiform scripts on clay tablets.


In Ancient Egypt, education was primarily reserved for the elite class or those who were destined for religious or administrative roles. The system of education consisted of two levels: primary and secondary.

Primary education involved learning reading, writing hieroglyphs and arithmetic by writing on papyrus scrolls with reed pens dipped in ink. Secondary education was more specialized and involved learning medicine, law, and engineering.


Ancient Greece is known for its contribution to modern education systems. Education in Greece was divided into three categories: elementary (for boys), physical (for boys), and music (for both boys and girls).

Elementary education included subjects such as reading, writing, arithmetic while physical education involved training in sports like wrestling and boxing. Music classes included dance lessons and instrument playing.


The Roman Empire adopted a practical approach to education that focused on imparting skills necessary for administration or military roles. Roman schools were divided into two types: elementary schools for reading and writing instruction while grammar schools were designed to provide advanced learning focusing on history, literature philosophy.


Education has evolved significantly over time from ancient civilization to modern times. The ancient education system may have been different from modern education, but it laid the foundation for the education system that we have today. The use of writing systems and the emphasis on practical skills such as farming, craftsmanship, and administration, are still relevant today and play a significant role in shaping our modern education system.