A few words on the subject of language will fitly prelude a consideration of the training in the schools and colleges of Atlantis. During the first map period Toltec was the universal language, not only throughout the continent but in the western islands and that part of the eastern continent which recognized the emperor's rule. Remains of the Rmoahal and Tlavath speech survived it is true in out-of-the-way parts, just as the Celtic and Cymric speech survives to-day among us in Ireland and Wales. The Tlavatli tongue was the basis used by the Turanians, who introduced such modifications that an entirely different language was in time produced; while the Semites and Akkadians, adopting a Toltec ground-work, modified it in their respective ways, and so produced two divergent varieties. Thus in the later days of Poseidonis there were several entirely different languages--all however belonging to the agglutinative type--for it was not till Fifth Race days that the descendants of the Semites and Akkadians developed inflectional speech. All through the ages, however, the Toltec language fairly maintained its purity, and the same tongue that was spoken in Atlantis in the days of its splendour was used, with but slight alteration, thousands of years later in Mexico and Peru.
The schools and colleges of Atlantis in the great Toltec days, as well as in subsequent eras of culture, were all endowed by the State. Though every child was required to pass through the primary schools, the subsequent training differed very widely. The primary schools formed a sort of winnowing ground. Those who showed real aptitude for study were, along with the children of the dominant classes who naturally had greater abilities, drafted into the higher schools at about the age of twelve. Reading and writing, which were regarded as mere preliminaries, had already been taught them in the primary schools.
But reading and writing were not considered necessary for the great masses of the inhabitants who had to spend their lives in tilling the land, or in handicrafts, the practice of which was required by the community. The great majority of the children therefore were at once passed on to the technical schools best suited to their various abilities. Chief among these were the agricultural schools. Some branches of mechanics also formed part of the training, while in outlying districts and by the sea-side hunting and fishing were naturally included. And so the children all received the education or training which was most appropriate for them.
The children of superior abilities, who as we have seen had been taught to read and write, had a much more elaborate education. The properties of plants and their healing qualities formed an important branch of study. There were no recognized physicians in those days--every educated man knew more or less of medicine as well as of magnetic healing. Chemistry, mathematics and astronomy were also taught. The training in such studies finds its analogy among ourselves, but the object towards which the teachers' efforts were mainly directed, was the development of the pupil's psychic faculties and his instruction in the more hidden forces of nature. The occult properties of plants, metals, and precious stones, as well as the alchemical processes of transmutation, were included in this category. But as time went on it became more and more the personal power, which Bulwer Lytton calls vril, and the operation of which he has fairly accurately described in his Coming Race, that the colleges for the higher training of the youth of Atlantis were specially occupied in developing. The marked change which took place when the decadence of the race set in was, that instead of merit and aptitude being regarded as warrants for advancement to the higher grades of instruction, the dominant classes becoming more and more exclusive allowed none but their own children to graduate in the higher knowledge which gave so much power.