For all of this, it is necessary that the schoolmaster himself be a competent grammarian. For that which one has not learned himself, one has no desire to do and will not hold the boys to either. He shall speak to the pupils in Latin and constrain them to speak in Latin amongst themselves.
On Saturday of each week, the boys in this third group shall submit some Latin translations to the schoolmaster: letters, histories, or verse. The schoolmaster shall dictate some pleasant stories to the boys in German, which they are to translate into Latin during the following week. As, for example, [the Biblical narratives] of Joseph, Samson, David, and the prodigal son [Luke 15.11-32] and stories out of other books: Ulysses and Polyphemus; Hercules and Omphale; Cyrus; Cambyses and the executed judge, whose skin Cambyses had stretched on the judge’s bench; Midas, whose ears were transformed into donkey’s ears because he did not judge justly between Apollo and Pan; and other salutary compositions through which the boys practice the language, learn the stories, and observe many models of virtue. And the schoolmasters shall make every effort to assemble a store of such histories and poems for themselves.
When the boys have handed in their texts, the schoolmaster shall point out to them what is incorrect and shall correct the incorrect words and constructions.
Where there are enough boys, as in the cities, that one can make a fourth group out of those boys who are sure of their etymology and syntax, they shall recite the rules of dialectic during this period. The schoolmaster shall explain these [rules] with easy, useful examples. After this, they shall be introduced to elementary rhetoric.
One hour a week they shall recite the rules of Greek grammar. Item, the next day an hour should be spent on Phocylides (8), then Hesiod and Isocrates’ Ad demonicum.
From time to time, the schoolmaster shall write out an edifying proverb for the boys during these grammar lessons so that some words become familiar and well known to them, and they learn to form the letters properly at the same time. And the schoolmasters are to take care to write the letters correctly themselves [ . . . ]. For this language [Greek] is rich in all kinds of fine sayings. And it is good for young people often to hear and take notice of such sayings from earliest childhood, for they contain general principles for living well that later serve as reminders of virtue. It is wonderful how the things of which we speak may easily be derived from such sayings. They also help the boys to develop creativity in their writing and to formulate their material more precisely and elegantly.
Where there are German schools, the schoolmasters shall also be charged with the articles set out prior to the school ordinance above, provided that the necessary changes have been made.
[Note:] Wherever there are German or Latin schools, the local pastor is obliged to visit them at least once a month.
(8) The didactic poem in Greek bearing this name is now thought to be a Judeo-Hellenistic text.
Source of original German text: (A): Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe, 77/4277, fols. 224-51; reprinted in Bernd Roeck, ed., Gegenreformation und Dreißigjähriger Krieg 1555-1648. Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, Volume 4. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 1996, pp. 33-39 (B): Die evangelischen Kirchenordnungen des XVI. Jahrhunderts, edited by Emil Sehling, Vol. 14: Kurpflaz. Aalen: Scientia-Verlag, 1969, pp. 225-29; reprinted in Bernd Roeck, ed., Gegenreformation und Dreißigjähriger Krieg 1555-1648. Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, Volume 4. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 1996, pp. 39-47.
English translation: Heidi Eberhardt Bate