or Humanity Studies. Grammar, rhetoric, and poetry, with Greek and Latin (literæ humaniores); in contradistinction to divinity (literæ divinæ).
“The humanities ... is used to designate those studies which are
considered the most specially adapted for training ... true humanity in
every man.” —
Humber Chief of the Huns, defeated by Locrin, King of England, and drowned in the river Abus, ever since called the Humber. (Geoffrey of Monmouth: Chronicles.)
Their chieftain Humber named was aright Unto the mighty streame him to betake, Where he an end of battall and of life did make.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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