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The Egyptian God Serapis
The Egyptian God Serapis

The school, "book-house" or "house of instruction," presided over by a scribe, was an institution of the Old Kingdom, which received all classes alike, and prepared them for the technical education of the special bureau. In the New Kingdom both branches were combined in departmental schools. Orthography, calligraphy, style, and the formulae of etiquette comprised the known curriculum; the rest was learned by practice.

Many corrected school exercises have survived containing various specimens of literature; tales, religious and magical texts, poems, codes of rules, or "instruction" of ancient sages for the proper regulation of daily life, and ex-parte statements of the unlovely condition of soldiers and laborers as contrasted with the beauty of the scribe's life, at once inciting to industry on the part of the pupil, and to profound respect for the teacher. These papyri are of great value in affording knowledge of orthography, language, and literature.

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