Definition of quadrivium in English:



  • A medieval university course involving the ‘mathematical arts’ of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.

    Compare with trivium
    • ‘The trivium and the quadrivium represented the available means of expression.’
    • ‘Arts students studied the trivium, parts of the quadrivium, and an increasingly large amount of Aristotle.’
    • ‘Pacioli's four mathematical disciplines are the antique and medieval quadrivium.’
    • ‘And yet our curricula still reflect the priorities of the 1893 Committee of Ten, if not the shadows of the medieval trivium and quadrivium.’
    • ‘He then progressed to the quadrivium, studying geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy.’


Latin, literally the place where four roads meet (in late Latin the four branches of mathematics), from quadri- four + via road.