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German History in Documents and Images
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Educating Sons (1750)
This engraving shows sons of the propertied classes receiving instruction from private tutors. In pre-industrial Europe education for boys was widespread among the artisan classes, the bourgeoisie, the gentry, and the aristocracy from the fifteenth century onward. Among commoners, literacy was higher in Protestant countries, where individual study of the Holy Scripture was normative, than in Catholic countries – though the Catholic Counter-Reformation led to important educational gains. Copperplate engraving by an unknown artist published in the 1750 edition of Franz Philipp Florinus, Oeconomus prudens et legalis. Oder Der kluge und rechtsverständige Haus-Vater [Oeconomus prudens et legalis. Or the Generally Prudent and Judicious Housemaster].