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Posts published in “Classical Trivium”

Aristotle is history's master of the art of Logic
Aristotle (384-322 BC) is history’s master of the art of Logic.

The Trivium is a name for the the language arts in the seven liberal arts.  The arts of the Trivium are Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric.

It is important to realize that these are not three levels of study or three stages of learning, but three separate arts to be studied and practiced.  In fact, they are the three arts on which all philosophical studies depend.

The First Art of the Trvium:  Grammar

Grammar is the art of speaking and writing rightly.  This art is divided into four parts:  Orthography, Etymology, Syntax and Prosody.  Orthography is the study of the letters and sounds of a language.  Etymology is the study of the words of a language, that is, the parts of speech.  Syntax is the study of sentence-making, how words are joined together to express judgments, questions, commands, wishes, and so on.  Prosody is the study of the rhetorical powers of a language, and include pronunciation, accent, meter and figures of speech.

The Second Art of the Trivium:  Logic

Logic, or rational philosophy, is the art by which our ideas are ordered according to the truth.  The art of logic is divided into six parts, each of which is taught in one of six books published by Aristotle in his “Organon“.  In the Categories, we study disconnected ideas that exist in the mind.  In “On Interpretation“, we study how ideas are joined together to form judgments (propositions).  In Prior Analytics, we study how propositions are joined to form arguments (syllogisms).  In Posterior Analytics, we study how demonstrative syllogisms are formed.  In the Topics, we study how dialectical syllogisms are formed.  In Sophistical Elenchi, we study how contentious or sophistical arguments are formed which are not true arguments but only appear to be so.  These studies combine to form the art and science of Logic.

The Third Art of the Trivium:  Rhetoric

Cicero (106-43 BC) is history's master of the art of Rhetoric.
Cicero (106-43 BC) is history’s master of the art of Rhetoric.

Rhetoric is the study of the means by which we may procure credibility in speaking.  We study the effects of arguments (logos), character (ethos) and emotion (pathos) on the human will and how they may be affected by a speaker.  The art of Rhetoric is learned through the study of Aristotle’s work “The Art of Rhetoric”, along with a number of books by the Roman philosophers Cicero and Quintilian.

Studying the Trivium

In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we make the study of the Trivium simple–not easy, but simple.  We provide self-paced, online courses on all of the authoritative works on Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric.  From the first lessons in Grammar through the final lessons in Rhetoric, all of the ancient Trivium can be learned in one place.

To get started in our free courses, please see visit the Academy Study Center.  For articles and videos on the Trivium, please use the links below.

If you have any questions about the Trivium, please contact us.

God bless your studies,

William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy


Writing, Reasoning & Rhetoric Live Class 2023-10-27

Scholastic Essay Outline: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pYJ9M33pO2nWuOyucjsHBAGmxWfAtSNJRA1_jCmkIU4/edit?usp=sharing Scholastic Essay Template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11VFGtUu4W-ny9I6klVXLEaFykxAblV01G-DtA5avj_A/edit?usp=sharing Mr. William C. Michael, OP, Headmaster Classical Liberal Arts Academy wcm@classicalliberalarts.com To join us for free classical…

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