One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A medieval university curriculum involving the “mathematical arts” of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.Compare with trivium
- ‘He then progressed to the quadrivium, studying geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy.’
- ‘Arts students studied the trivium, parts of the quadrivium, and an increasingly large amount of Aristotle.’
- ‘The trivium and the quadrivium represented the available means of expression.’
- ‘And yet our curricula still reflect the priorities of the 1893 Committee of Ten, if not the shadows of the medieval trivium and quadrivium.’
- ‘Pacioli's four mathematical disciplines are the antique and medieval quadrivium.’
Latin, literally ‘the place where four roads meet’ (in late Latin ‘the four branches of mathematics’), from quadri- ‘four’ + via ‘road’.
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