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Old 11-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
The Oracles
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Default (04) The Magisterium

Classes Conducted in: Classical Asseryan. Occasionally High Edoleen.
Supported by: Mainly from the crown, House Solvitreo, and contributions from the local merchants.
Location: Tal Solarii, Southshores.
Subjects: grammar (linguistics, including the study of High Edolene and Classical Asseryan), logic (modes of reasoning), rhetoric (the art of discourse), natural philosophy (study of nature), medicine, mathematics, law, astronomy, history, geometry
Length of Study: 6 years for Affirmation (think bachelors), up to 12 for Magister (masters/doctorate)
Beginning age: 14+
Legal Protection: Students are under direct protection of Lord Solvitreo, and must be tried and sentenced before him or his representative rather than the designated civil justiciars of the city. This may make the lord or his representatives very cranky some mornings. Physical harm of a student is regarded as physical harm to a noble of the ruling house, regardless of the student's actual birth or parentage.

Origin: The magisterium was founded by scholars who fled the dangers of Old Asserya and were granted safe haven by House Solvitreo to teach as they had before- which has meant that The Faith is blocked from interference with school as by Asseryan tradition the Magisteria the empire established were not part of religious institutions. As such, music is not generally a study of the students though many do learn independently of their classes in the Magisterum.

Class Structure: Most magisters hold their classes in the gardens or rooms of the Magisterum, where they will either lecture to students or hold involved discussions and debates, as they chose. Students take notes on wax tablets and some will then copy them over to parchment if they are lucky enough to have the money, otherwise their study whether in groups or alone must involve a lot of memorization. Often a class will be centered around discourse of a single book or treatise but some are on broader subjects.

Levels of Education: When a student feels they have sufficient knowledge of a subject they present themselves to the head of that department - one of the 10 proctors- and undergo one hour of questioning on the subject. Achieving an Affirmation of Knowledge requires 10 successful tests in at least 9 of the subjects (for all scholars may have one weakness, and a student may sit for two tests in one subject, especially if he hopes to pursue it further), after which the student is called a Scholar and will be given an iron collar engraved with a star (a tradition from Old Asserya to symbolize a scholar must always be a slave to his studies).

Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric are seen as the basis of any education and students usually sit for these three Affirmations first, sometimes even before they continue on to the other courses (especially if they have trouble understanding or writing Classical Asseryan or High Edolene). Among students, those who have sat for all three are sometimes called "The Triviums." Triviums are, according to student legend, more likely to become High Magisters though it is not necessarily true.

To achieve the rank of Magister and "show their metal," an affirmed student must continue on and choose an area of study to focus on. At least three years after their Affirmation, they will sit before the three most senior magisters (including the Head Proctor) in that subject for three hours to be questioned. If they pass the test they will be finished with their education, the new collar will be made of the metal designated by their subject, and will have two stars. If they become a teacher in the Magisterium they will get a third star, the Head Proctors receive a fourth.

A further Asseryan tradition is that a Magister may have his stars tattooed upon his cheek so that none may take the sign of his learning from him- this has experienced some revival in the last century with the wars and uncertainty, but many prefer to simply have the collar which is far less painful.

Metals of the Collar:
  • grammar - tin
  • rhetoric - copper
  • logic - silver
  • natural philosophy - electrum (green gold- gold/silver alloy)
  • medicine - red gold (copper/gold alloy)
  • mathematics - brass (copper/zinc alloy)
  • law - pewter (tin/copper/silver/antimony alloy)
  • astronomy - black gold (gold/cobalt alloy heated to blacken it)
  • history - bronze (copper/tin alloy)
  • geometry - burgundy gold (gold/iron alloy)

Administrative Structure:
-Each subject area has a Head Proctor, who make up the Council of High Magisters. A ninth member is appointed by the King to break ties. This one is called the Archchancellor.
-Magisters of each area of study answer to the Proctor of that area. Proctors are the most senior magisters, though if there are two candidates of equal length of study the Archchancellor will choose which one takes the spot.
-The arch-chancellor wears a gold collar, which may have 4 stars if he was chosen from among the teachers, 5 if he was picked from among the proctors, or none if the king chose a non-scholar though an honorary star is usually granted. Arch-chancellors serve from the time of their appointment until their death, unless the king decides to appoint a new one.
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