From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Vandalism removed. — ciphergoth 11:43, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Hello all, I would like to introduce myself in preparation to make changes to this page. I have researched the concept of trivium and intend to add my own input to the "Description" section. I will be happy to hear any feedback that may arise in response to my edits, and do not object to further changes being made. Thank you! KAR166-RhetProc (talk) 21:05, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Link of Note #1[edit]

I am very tempted to remove the link of note [1], as the linked page is much more concerned to a certain view of education than to the subject of this article, and there is enough references in the further reading section. I can't see how the link to the page (which has a very particular conception on the subject of education) is useful to this article in question. SaintCahier 12:48, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Done. SaintCahier 05:45, 22 August 2007 (UTC)


i thought that dialectics was the analysis and comparision of two different viewpoints (see the page on dialectics) whereas logic is the study of the rules of inference and the rules themselves. perhaps i am nitpicking, sorry.

Is this the singular form?[edit]

Is this the singular form of the word "trivia" in English? 06:46, 30 April 2007 00:29, 21 January 2006

Apparently not - at least not in the sense of an inessential fact. However, trivia is the plural of trivium if you are talking about more than one of these colleges.

I checked, and they define trivium as "The lower division of the seven liberal arts in medieval schools, consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric."[1] does note that the word "trivia" is the plural of "trivia" (meaning more than one of those lower divisions)[2]. However it does not say that trivium is a singular of trivia in the sense of "Insignificant or inessential matters; trifles." Neither does Webster's online.[3]

So, that leads me to believe that Trivium is not a singular noun for an insignificant or inessential matter.Johntex\talk 04:23, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

This raises some interesting (to me) points. Some Latin words have different plurals in English with different meanings. Opera is the Latin plural for Opus, but I do not think many people use it in that way. Two plurals exist for antenna. The latin one if it's on a bug (biology) and antennas if it is on an electronic device. Technical editors of journals in biology or electronics would probably correct one to the other to fit their style sheet.

Media/medium seem to be used in different numbers.

Data is plural for datum, but is often used in English as a collective noun with a singular verb. Datum itself is seldom used except on maps. In that sense, it is used as a basis from which measurements are made. One map that shows both dry land and water may have two of them. In that case, I have heard cartographers say "two datums."

English borrows and makes use of words in different and wonderful ways.


Please take my post as light-hearted and do not read any crankiness into it =)

Addressing your thoughts, in no logical order: You need more friends who are better educated. Many of us will say "opera" when referring to two *ahem* opuses. We also use words like gymnasia, octopodes, datum, and antennae, and have been known to distinguish between alumni and alumnae. We may refer to Beethoven and all his opera just because it sounds so much neater than "his opuses". Some of us will fight to the death to keep "disinterested" distinct from "uninterested"; for this reason we'll check dictionaries to see if they got it right before we purchase them.

The earliest ancestors of what we call "opera" were originally presented in the form of a collection of songs with some recitative between the songs. Lots of opuses = opera. The common usage evolved into a singular noun. Your cartographer friends saying "two datums" do not well understand the language they are using, and don't seem to want to. Apparently they simply parrot the mistakes of those around them - the result of a dismal educational system that doesn't believe in imposing correct grammar and usage onto poor, tender, young innocents. I suspect if you told them that "The plural of datum is data" they'd tell you to get lost, so don't try.

The Trivium was, in early mediæval times, the beginning of education; students started learning grammar at around seven years of age (which is where we get the term "grammar school"). The other two subjects came soon after. By ten or twelve years of age the student would move on to the quadrivium, and would have finished that before entering university, where he would be studying philosophy and theology. I'm not sure where the OP got "it was taught in universities" but I'm pretty sure that's dead wrong. Charlemagne (early ninth century) wished to establish universal education, even for farm boys and yes, *gasp* even for girls, and ordered that the Trivium be taught to any kid who could get to the village magister to learn.

I checked for the etymology of "trivia" in and find only that the word apparently was a neologism from 1902, arising from "trivial" which goes back to the fifteenth century. Etymonline's fascination with three roads meeting (tri + via, or "three ways") seems not to grasp the meaning of the Trivium as the basis for rigorous training in clear thinking.

Oh, and if anyone wishes to counter that the only thinking that was ever done in the middle ages was to argue about angels dancing on the head of a pin, you don't understand the middle ages. That question was settled in ancient times, before the middle ages, and was simply one of the graduation exercises students might have had to argue (much like debating teams do today, they could be assigned to argue either side of an issue) before graduating.

Alcuin of York 06:50, 30 April 2007 (UTC)06:46, 30 April 2007

Metal or metal? Hmm...[edit]

The word 'Metal' in the 'Metal band Trivium' disambiguation linked to the smooth, shiny stuff that you use to make robots and cutlery. I changed the link to heavy metal music, which is the thing that it was (presumably) referring to. Pax out.

metalcore, they're not metal as they're closer to hardocre than metal, I"m editing this

Meaning of "grammar?"[edit]

Didn't the word "grammar" have a broader meaning in medieval universities? I remember a professor of mine once told my class it wasn't grammar as we know it in modern times... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:54, 6 February 2007 (UTC).

"Grammar", as used by Dorothy L. Sayers in her famous essay on The Trivium ("The Lost Tools of Learning" presented at Oxford, 1947), referred to the underlying structure which makes it possible to understand a subject as a whole. The underlying structure of mathematics is an understanding of arithmetic and numbers; the underlying structure of history is the time line; of geography it's the map. (These might be poor examples; I'm pulling them off the top of my head, where there are a lot of cobwebs as well.) Anyway, I believe Ms. Sayers's use of the word is pretty close to its original meaning. Alcuin of York 07:07, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I would like to point out that "rhetoric" also had a broader meaning than it does nowadays. We think of it as "speech-making", but in midieval times it also covered what we would consider literary style and composition. From the modern point of view, it is also odd that logic is combined with the verbal subjects of rhetoric and grammar. Nowadays it is a branch of mathematics and would be linked with the subjects of the quadrivium.CharlesTheBold (talk) 12:01, 9 July 2012 (UTC)


for some reason, linking to this page from the "Trivia" article leads to a page that reads "wilson smells like poo". But if you then click discussion and then article you find the full Trivium article. Its a weird sort of bug but I'm not sure how you'd fix that. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:02, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Move request[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: 2012 requested move uncontested. I guess I'll move this then as there are no objections this time around, although I get the feeling it might not last. DrKiernan (talk) 18:25, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Trivium (education)Trivium – This is an old RM that I came across which appears to have no been listed properly at WP:RM (or perhaps something happened to remove it before it was properly closed). In any case, Trivium already is a redirect to Trivium (education) and has been for some time. It seems this topic is primary, though despite my !vote below, I'd also be OK with a disambiguation page at the base name as second choice. olderwiser 10:34, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

From WP:RM:


  • Trivium_(education)Trivium — The trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) is a cornerstone philosophy of all western education and is what I was expecting to see when I came here; only to find that it'd been used for some unknown 'metal band' with NN history, I moved the metal band from 'Trivium' to 'Trivium_(Band)' with intent to make the above move but couldn't as 'trivium' was already in use. If someone could make the swap across it'd be appreciated. I need not stress that an academic philosophy as integral as trivium is of higher relevance to some band that has put out two self-published albums in their lifetime.  :P If not, maybe I should make a band named rhetoric! :P —Jachin 01:31, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Support move. This is the primary meaning of "trivium". Who uses the singular of trivia? but we should have a dab header for those who do. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:43, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
  • "The trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) is a cornerstone philosophy of all western education": I was never taught logic or rhetoric at my grammar school or any other school. And of the quadrivium which followed it, I was taught arithmetic from the beginning at infants school, not waiting for the trivium to finish. The trivium is likely important history, but only history. Anthony Appleyard 22:51, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Sounds to me like "Trivium" should be a disambiguation page. BTW, the original move should have been to "Trivium (band)", since band is not a proper nou and thus does not need capitalisation. Grutness...wha? 00:06, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support move as per PMAnderson --Philip Baird Shearer 10:47, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. olderwiser 16:55, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I believe that the most searched for 'Trivium' will be the band, therefore if any should be moved to that page it should be the band. However, I believe it is fine as it is. Asics talk Editor review! 16:02, 21 June 2007 (UTC)


I'd like to see Trivium (education) moved to Trivium. The page currently at Trivium can be moved to Trivium (Disambiguation). What do other people think? Fixer1234 (talk) 04:06, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Anyone want to object? Otherwise I will take care of the move. Fixer1234 (talk) 19:36, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Main Image [source][edit]

This image should be added. ("est" = "it is")
User000name (talk) 17:54, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Green tickY —User 000 name 05:44, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

§Description → quote[edit]

Logic is the art of thinking; grammar, the art of inventing symbols and combining them to express thought; and rhetoric, the art of communicating thought from one mind to another, the adaptation of language to circumstance. —p. 3


Logic is concerned with the thing-as-it-is-known.

Grammar is concerned with the thing-as-it-is-symbolized.

Rhetoric is concerned with the thing-as-it-is-communicated. —p. 9

Is it okay for the text in the quote to be rearranged?:

Grammar is the art of inventing symbols and combining them to express thought; logic is the art of thinking; and rhetoric is the art of communicating thought from one mind to another; the adaptation of language to circumstance.


Grammar is concerned with the thing as-it-is-symbolized, Logic is concerned with the thing as-it-is-known, and Rhetoric is concerned with the thing as-it-is-communicated. —pp. 3 & 9

 —User 000 name 00:00, 14 April 2015 (UTC)