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Enlightened Studies

The Enlightened Studies are the twelve core areas of academia in Japethe. Each of the subjects was originally revealed to humanity by Giavere, the Great Spirit of Arts and Sciences, through her Twelve Revelations. Giavere originally only revealed the three subjects of the Trivium, but over the centuries, she has made additional revelations, expanding the number to twelve and including the subjects of the Quadrivium and then the Quintrivium.

The Trivium

The three subjects of the Trivium are grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Mastery of these subject matters is considered essential for an enlightened mind, for these are the basic tools necessary to explore the other revelations. The clergy of Giavere feels so strongly that all believers of the Starkindler should be enlightened that they have founded schools to teach the Trivium throughout Saronne and its colonies, pouring vast resources into the project.

Students always begin their studies of the revelations with grammar. Grammar covers not only the basic skills of reading and writing, but includes the study of literature and other languages. Advanced grammar students also learn to manipulate the symbols that are letters to hide their meaning through cryptography. At its height is the field of speculative grammar which believes that language is the reflection of the underlying physical world. They search for the universal grammar that would apply to all languages, and if properly studied, would bring understanding of all existence.

Rhetoric is the communication of thought from one person to another. It can be used to instruct or persuade, either orally or through the written word. Students of rhetoric learn how to intelligently arrange facts to form a persuasive argument. Rhetoric also builds upon the foundation of grammar to form the arts of letter writing and formal document composition. Speculative rhetoric explores the possibility of communicating between individuals by means other than words. Some philosophers believe that certain sounds or images are so intrinsic that they communicate without words. If properly studied, these would enable people to communicate without knowing a common language or even communicate with animals.

Logic is the art of thinking and the mechanics of analysis. At its simplest level, logic is a method of reasoning by building truthful statements based on previously disclosed truths. Logic teaches syllogism, causality, definitions, figures of speech, and probable reasoning. It also teaches the fallacies, the errors in reasoning which undermine logic. Advanced studies include theoretical logic, which uses logic to prove or disprove theories for unknowns. It was the philosophers of theoretical logic who first logically proved that Corthis is round centuries before the world was circumnavigated.

The Quadrivium

The four subjects of the Quadrivium are Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry, and Music. These subjects represent the next stage of education beyond the Trivium, and mastery of these subjects is necessary for the study of the advanced subjects of the Quintrivium. Most students at the universities end their studies with the Quadrivium and only the sages move on to the Quintrivium.

Arithmetic is the pure study of mathematics, unencumbered by practical application. It is the foundation of the other three subjects of the Quadrivium and studied first. Arithmetic begins with basic computational mathematics but then blossoms into number theory and eventually number mysticism. Sages who focus on Arithmetic become increasingly difficult to understand as their grasp of numbers replaces their grasp of language.

Geometry is the study of mathematics applied to stationary magnitudes such as lines, shapes, and angles. Practical geometry covers surfaces, areas, and volume and is used by masons and architects for the construction of ever grander buildings. Theoretical geometry involves measuring distances that cannot be touched, such as the stars and the planets. Several hundred years ago using theoretical geometry, philosophers measured the circumference of Corthis by using a sundial, a well, and a shadow.

Music is the study of mathematics applied to time. Students analyze the ratios and intervals of sound through harmony and rhythm. Music is divided into three tiers. The first is the Harmony of Instruments, which covers the study of stringed, percussion, and wind instruments, as well as singing. The second tier is the Harmony of the Body, which studies the relationship of the humors in a body and is the foundation of medicine. The last is the Harmony of the World which studies the sounds emitted by the heavenly bodies as they orbit, which is sometimes called the Song of the Spheres.

Astronomy is the study of mathematics of through time and space. It is primarily concerned with the orbits of the planets and the fixed stars of the Celestial Sphere. Together with geometry, astronomy allows deep sea navigation through the use of an astrolabe to determine altitudes and time. Astronomy covers the passing of the years and is used to determine dates, which is why the days of the week are named after planets. Astronomy also includes the field of astrology and the casting of horoscopes.

The Quintrivium

The five subjects of the Quintrivium are physics, metaphysics, medicine, theology, and alchemy. The Quintrivium is the third and most recent stage of education and contains the most advanced and difficult subjects. To master the Quintrivium is to be a true philosopher.

Physics is the application of geometry to three dimensions as well as the study of mathematics in motion. It is sometimes called Natural Philosophy, as it is the study of the non-living components of the world. Physics has its practical application through engineering and architecture. Philosophers of physics have not been able to conquer the paradoxes of infinity, however, nor have they reached agreement on defining the smallest unit of time.

Metaphysics is the study of the nature of existence itself. At its core, metaphysics attempts to understand and classify all things in existence. Such a sweeping scope has given rise to a wide variety of subject areas within this Revelation, such as botany, zoology, and geography. The most advanced topics of metaphysics grapple with why things are as they are, discussing such topics as the origin of the universe or the purpose of existence. Other philosophers contend with the intricacies of the human mind or society in general.

Medicine is the application of metaphysics to the living body. Here, philosophers study the human body, the manner in which it works, what can disrupt its workings, and how such disruptions can be prevented and cured. For centuries, philosophers believed that health was maintained by balancing the Four Humors inside each person. Recently, more daring philosophers have challenged this long-held belief, claiming that organs and cells maintain the natural faculty of a body. The resulting schism between philosophers has resulting in numerous autopsies to prove or disprove the theory. Legally obtained cadavers have been exhausted in university towns, leading to the rise of Resurrectionists, who visit graveyards late at night to exhume the freshly buried.

Theology is the study of the Great Spirits and the questions of morality. Theology varies widely from country to country, depending upon the patron Great Spirit. Since Giavere was the origin of this revelation, theology in Saronne is the most developed. Theologians explore the nature of the Great Spirits and their servitor spirits and discuss matters of ethics, such as whether there are practical and ethical limits on the exploration of Giavere's gifts.

Alchemy is the twelfth and final revelation of Giavere. While alchemy is its common name, it is more accurately titled Experimental Philosophy as it explores the philosophical laws and theories that define the world of Corthis. The most basic alchemy concerns the manipulation of the elements that compose all the matter of the world. Advanced theoretical alchemy explores the fabric of reality to discover the secret laws that bind the universe.

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