Trivium - Encyclopedia




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TRIVIUM (Lat. for cross-road, i.e. where three roads meet, from tres, three, and via, road), in medieval educational systems, the curriculum which included grammar, rhetoric and logic. The trivium and the quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy) together made up what are known as the seven liberal arts (see EDUCATION: Schools). From the word in its original sense is derived the adjective "trivial" (postAug. Lat. trivialis), that which can be seen at the cross-roads, i.e. unimportant, commonplace. In botany and zoology the "trivial" name is the adjectival name which follows the genus name in a binominal system of nomenclature, as canina, perennis, in Rosa canina, Bellis perennis.

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