CICERO’S EDUCATIONAL SPACE FROM INTERCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE: SEMANTICS AND SEMIOTICS

Abstract. The concept of learning space has been under close study in the past decades. While generally referring to a place where teaching and learning practices occur, it demonstrates different approaches to its understanding and interpretation. Modern education is a product of a millennial cultural tradition, changing ideas and ideals, values and ways to achieve them. Education is a part of a societal culture; it is the greatest value, a mirror and an extremely effective channel for translating societal and cultural values. This essay is aimed at revealing physical and value aspects of an educational space created and promoted by Marcus Tullius Cicero whose major goal was to raise educated, qualified and wise citizens of Rome. To achieve this, text and translation analyses of Cicero’s treatises “Divination”, “On Duties” and his selected letters to Atticus were conducted. The conception of the educational space as a physical and spiritual object provides an opportunity to look at Cicero’s heritage from cultural and pedagogical perspective. In organizing places for “scholarly leisure”, Cicero affirmed the necessity to organize a comfortable educational space in which there would be room for reasoning, discussion, doubt, a joint search for truth. The semiotics of such space reflects Cicero’s Hellenophillic views. And it is this semiotics that is reflected in the “European” perception of the ideal educational space. An analysis of the semantics of the key words used in Cicero’s treatise “On Duties” in the Latin, Russian and English translations of the treatise was conducted. The translations of the two key lexemes, “officium” and “honestum”, were analysed in terms of cultural connotations and translation accuracy. It was revealed that both English and Russian translations of these words tend to obscure their original semantics linked to the specifics of ancient Roman reality. The loss in meanings characteristic of translated texts was revealed. Thus, it is advisable to bear in mind the original cultural connotations of the key concepts in order to give an adequate evaluation of Cicero’s educational ideas.

Keywords: Cicero, educational space, cultural specifics, translation

Yana A. Volkova

Institute of Foreign Languages
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
Moscow, Russia
e-mail: y.a.v@list.ru
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1456-5881

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