Until the twentieth century, a fundamental component of Western education was a study of the trivium (from the Latin tri-viae, three ways), which is comprised of three liberal arts: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Taken together, these arts help us develop good intellectual habits with respect to reasoning and communication. In short, a study of the trivium is a study of the fundamentals of language itself.
Though many are either ignorant of the Trivium or consider it to be an outdated pedagogical approach, we at the Lyceum consider the Trivium to be the cornerstone of a truly “liberal” education. It is not exaggerative to suggest that, without a proper study of these arts, one cannot make a legitimate claim to be able to think and communicate well.
As such, the Lyceum Institute offers courses in grammar, logic, and rhetoric; each art is studied primarily in the context of the English language. Though these arts are presented in separate courses, key is our conviction that the arts of the Trivium have an integral connection and that they must be studied as a unified whole. Only in this manner can one gain an adequate command of each art and, in turn, not only an adequate command of language but the means to truly human flourishing.
A separate course for each art of the Trivium is offered annually. In these courses, participants do not merely learn the theoretical rules and principles of each art; they also develop a familiarity with the practice of each art through the completion of regular exercises, assignments, recitations, and exams.
Is there a fee to enroll in Trivium courses?
All three Trivium courses are included for all Lyceum members (i.e., those who have signed up for any of our membership plans). These courses form an integral part of our study and are strongly encouraged for all members.
What is the structure of Trivium courses?
All Trivium courses are twelve weeks long, with one or two weekly discussion sessions; each session focuses on an assigned reading and lecture. Discussion sessions are complemented by completion and review of weekly exercises/assignments and participation in weekly discussion threads.
Must I take the Trivium courses in order?
It is encouraged but not necessary to take the Trivium courses in order (i.e., first grammar, logic second, and rhetoric third). If you miss a course—or need a break—it will be offered again the following year (and the year after that… and the year after that…).
May I retake a Trivium course?
Participants may retake any Trivium course any number of times, either for remedial purposes or for further developing one’s proficiency in these arts. The flexibility of our program allows for members to revisit topics as many times as needed.
Will you offer more advanced Trivium Courses?
Yes. No one can perfectly master all three arts of the Trivium; all of us have room for improvement in these arts. As such, we are planning to offer more advanced courses (as well as advanced iterations of the current courses) in the future, including the orientation towards a “capstone” course which focuses on using these arts in a more unified manner.