Humanities and Liberal Arts are classifications of subjects within the curricula of senior school and first degree higher education. Humanities consists of languages, cultures and literatures, including those of classical antiquity, arts, history and philosophy. It does not include natural and social sciences, or professional and vocational training. The Liberal Arts originate in Greek and Roman education and were held to be seven: astronomy, mathematics, geometry and music; and rhetoric, grammar and dialectic. In the middle ages these grouping formed the quadrivium and trivium of university education. The first relate to understanding eternal truths regarding the order and harmony of the cosmos; the second to civic life and governance. The term ‘liberal arts’ expresses the idea that in acquiring these skills and the knowledge they bring one is freed from the slavery of ignorance, compulsion and servitude: one is made ‘free’. In the 19th century as science and technology were harnessed in the service of manufacture, and the development of pharmaceuticals, and professions became prominent there were debates in Europe and in North America about what should be the principal curricula in higher education. In the UK, figures such as Matthew Arnold, John Stuart Mill and John Henry Newman argued in favour of traditional Humanities/Liberal arts education, as did some such as Wilhelm von Humboldt, the common theme being that as well specialist knowledge and practical training, human beings need understanding of themselves, of their place in the world, of matters of value and meaning, and the capacity to discuss these intelligently with others. Far from being irrelevant humane and liberal learning were ever more necessary in an increasingly mechanised, industrialised, technological world. Germany, however, as it built itself a new state and major world power also produced advocates of the priority of science and technology and these ideas were taken up in the US which hitherto had been greatly influenced by the liberal arts tradition. This led by stages to a separation within American higher education between 4 year liberal arts colleges, and multi-faculty universities. Since the 1970s the debate about what should be the aim of higher education has intensified and spread.