March 22, 2006

The Trivium

Chapter One (pdf) of a book titled The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric, by Sister Miriam Joseph. Originally published in the 1930s, an updated edition appeared in 2002, reformatted with extensive notes, references, and biographical information.

"Sister Miriam Joseph, the author, wrote the book from a strong academic perspective. Holding degrees from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana, University of Notre Dame, and Columbia University, Sister spent her life supporting her belief that women could be fine journalists and that more quality writers with a Christian and Catholic faith would help to address the ills of society. When she began teaching as an English professor at Saint Mary’s in 1931, she was assigned the courses on rhetoric, grammar, and composition. In 1935 after hearing Mortimer Adler speak, Sister Miriam Joseph was asked to "revive the united Trivium again in the freshman class." After studying closely with Mortimer Adler for several months, Sister returned to Saint Mary’s to begin putting together the text, The Trivium in College Composition and Reading, to be used in her class, a required course for all freshmen." (via

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