The passage is:
While the best sixteenth-century Renaissance scholars mastered the classics of ancient Roman literature in the original Latin and understood them in their original historical context, most of the scholarsí educated contemporaries knew the classics only from school lessons on selected Latin texts. These were chosen by Renaissance teachers after much deliberation, for works written by and for the sophisticated adults of pagan Rome were not always considered suitable for the Renaissance young: the central Roman classics refused (as classics often do) to teach appropriate morality and frequently suggested the opposite. Teachers accordingly made studentsí needs, not textual and historical accuracy, their supreme interest, chopping dangerous texts into short phrases, and using these to impart lessons extemporaneously on a variety of subjects, from syntax to science. Thus, I believe that a modern reader cannot know the associations that a line of ancient Roman poetry or prose had for any particular educated sixteenth-century reader.
And the question is:
The information in the passage suggests that which of the following would most likely result from a studentís having studied the Roman classics under a typical sixteenth-century teacher?
A) The student recalls a line of Roman poetry in conjunction with a point learned about grammar.
B) The student argues that a Roman poem about gluttony is not morally offensive when it is understood in its historical context.
C) The student is easily able to express thoughts in Latin.
D) The student has mastered large portions of the Roman classics.
E) The student has a sophisticated knowledge of Roman poetry but little knowledge of Roman prose.
The answer is given as A, but I have serious doubts over this. If the student would learn from a 16th-century teacher, wouldn't he learn the appropriate context instead of the grammar; doesn't the passage state that the contemporary teachers taught grammar instead of the context? As such modern-day readers do not know about the associations between the Roman poetry or prose and the appropriate historical context in which it was written because it refuses to provide concepts of morality?
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