The Decline of Classical Education (1945–1958)


  • Matej Hriberšek University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts



classical philology, Slovenia, classical education


After the end of World War II, the classical school system in Slovenia began its slow but persistent decline. The strongest pressure was put on the gymnasium, especially the classical gymnasium as the central institution of classical and humanist education. Classical education was not allowed, or perhaps not able, to carve itself a niche in the new political system. For all the attempts to preserve the teaching of the classical languages, for all the conferences and consultations dedicated to this problem, the situation deteriorated year by year. The efforts of those individuals who possessed sufficient courage or influence to give public support to classical education proved futile; each year saw a new reduction in the teaching of Latin and Greek. The campaign against the classical languages peaked in 1958 with the closure of classical gymnasia. Interestingly (and unaccountably), no other Yugoslav republic rejected the classical tradition as roundly as Slovenia . The textbooks produced in the first fifteen years after the war mostly derived from the pre-war tradition, although there emerged a handful of new ones as well.


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