agri_sci saidLOL. We all know that only the upper class was educated. But they studied EVERYTHING....Now we get just enough to get us work and create capita
But I'm not sure how true that was. There may have been some classics requirements, but it's not clear how many engineers, lawyers, etc. (more practically oriented occupations) actually were well versed in philosophy, history, political theory, etc.
Certainly, those things seemed more valued (compared to, for example, the indignant ignorance displayed by some above -- the idea that knowing something they don't is somehow elitist and unnecessary) -- but that doesn't mean it was especially common.
Again, historical figures tended to show a strong degree of classical knowledge, but the more notable pundits today do the same. I think that's a bias that may skew our sense of history.
[Also, it's not true that only the "upper class" was educated. I'm talking 50-80 years ago. There was a huge amount of upward mobility in the US at the time.]