The trivium comprised the three subjects taught first in medieval universities, before the quadrivium. The word is Latin, meaning "the three ways" or "the three roads," the beginning of the Liberal arts. It also serves as a root for the concept of triviality.
In medieval educational theory the trivium consisted of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. These were considered preparatory fields for the quadrivium, which was made up of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. In turn, the quadrivium was considered preparatory work for the serious study of philosophy and theology.
This schema is sometimes referred to as classical education, but it is more accurately a development of the 12th and 13th centuries rather than a direct descendant of the educational systems of antiquity.
- See also : Andreas Capellanus