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As far as the content of fictitious compositions is concerned, it should be as close to reality as possible and declamation should imitate the real speeches for which it serves as practice. Quintilian thinks there should not be any difference between the style of the real judiciary speech and the style of declamation. In declamation exercises one should introduce people names as well as think up more convoluted and longer controversies.

Moreover, one should not be afraid of using in them words taken from everyday life and jokes. In epideictic speeches, which are supposed to provide the audience with aesthetic pleasure, it is permissible to use more decorative figures and not only expose openly, but even show ostentatiously the entire art that remains hidden in judiciary speeches. Rhetorical declamation should be similar to the truth because it reflects the judiciary and advisory speeches.

There is a large group of speakers who pride themselves on speaking in an inspired and expressive way and claim that in fictitious cases there is no need for either proof or plan, but only for meeting the expectations of the audience by providing lofty phrases, bearing in mind that the more risky phrase, the better.

In chapter twelve Quintilian says that, according to the common opinion, the less educated in rhetoric a speaker is, the greater power he evidences in his speech. Divisio, i.

Institutio Oratoria Volume by Quintilian

Unrefined material makes a greater impression than the refined, while dispersed material seems to be more abundant than when it is structured. There exists as well a similarity between virtues and vices which makes us believe an imprecating man to be independent, a foolhardy one to be brave, a verbose one to be eloquent. A speaker who constantly seeks something unusual is capable of inventing an exalted grande speech, but it happens rarely and does not nullify all his errors. Another reason why uneducated people make an impression of having greater fluidity in their speech is that they say everything they have to say, while the educated people make careful and apt selection.

Why, they scream incessantly, bellow with their hand raised high, run to and fro, become breathless, gesticulate chaotically, shake their heads as if they took leave of their senses. This spectacle impresses the common crowd: the masses like it when the speaker claps his hands, stomps on the floor, smacks his thigh, chest or forehead. Yet the educated speaker knows how to restrain his style, vary and plan it, and his gestures will be suited to the words he speaks.

Rhetoric, as Quintilian emphasizes, would have been a very easy and unimportant art if it could be encapsulated in a simple and brief set of rules. Yet every element of rhetoric changes with the content of the cases, the times, the circumstances, the needs. This is why the essential virtue of a speaker is his critical ability which enables him to suit his conduct to the circumstances of the case.

The speaker, whatever he does, should always be guided by two factors: whether a given thing becomes him deceat and is useful expediat. It is advantageous to change certain elements in their established order, as we can see in sculptures and paintings. A figure shown in a rigidly straight pose has little beauty, but deviation from the norm and movement gives it an element of motion and feeling. This is why in the fine arts hands are not crafted according to one paradigm and face is presented in various ways.

A remarkably perfected example of a figure in motion is Discobolus by Myron. If someone disapproved of this masterpiece as inapt, he would have been a complete ignoramus about visual arts, in which a special praise is given to innovation and high degree of workmanship.

A similar impression of grace and joy is made by the figures of thought and words, for they change a simple thought and they have the virtue of being far from common meaning mutant enim aliquid a recto atque hanc prae se virtutem ferunt, quod a consuetudine vulgari recesserunt. In a picture it is good to present the whole face.

Rhetorical Figures

Yet Apelles painted only the profile of Antigonus in order to hide from view the other side of his face, disfigured by the loss of an eye. Similarly in the speech: some elements should be neither shown nor expressed in the way they deserve. The young people should not believe that they have acquired sufficient rhetorical knowledge by becoming familiar with only short circulating manuals and following religiously the opinions of theoreticians. For the art of speech, says Quintilian, is acquired by great effort, continuous study, varied exercise, multiple attempts, great common sense and extraordinary presence of mind.

Beginning with chapter fourteen, Quintilian contemplates the definition and nature of rhetoric. Rhetoric is a term borrowed from Greek and when translated into Latin some call it oratoria, others oratrix. The word oratoria is formed after elocutoria and oratrix after elocutrix, while the Greek noun h[ r[htorikh; te;cnh is equivalent to the Roman notion of eloquentia. Among the Greeks this word has double meaning: first, as an adjective appositum , so that we say ars rhetorica the same way we say navis piratica; second, as a noun, as in philosophia, amicitia.

Finally, even Cicero himself used Greek terms in his earlier theoretical works Therefore the lecture on rhetoric can be safely divided into three parts: on art ars , master artifex , work opus Art is what one can learn by intense study, that is a skill of speaking well bene dicendi scientia. A master is a person who became familiar with the art, i.

These three fundamental parts can be divided into smaller sections species. Rhetoric is defined in multiple ways, but the core of the discussion can be narrowed down to two basic things: the difference of the opinion pertains either to the properties of the thing or to the meaning comprehensio of the words.

Content Types

Among those who do not associate rhetorical skills with moral values some have called rhetoric a power vis , others a skill scientia , but not a virtue virtus , others, a practical proficiency usus , others again, an art ars , but not equal to ability and virtue, finally others, a certain depravation of art, called in Greek kakotecni;a. For this can be achieved even by a man devoid of morals. What Quintilian calls vis, others name as potestas or facultas.

Cicero21 reiterated in many passages that the task of a speaker is to speak in a persuasive way. The theoreticians who believed themselves to be more precise described rhetoric as the power of persuading others with words. Such a definition, says Quintilian, is unsatisfactory. For there are other people who persuade with words, for example prostitutes, sycophants, offenders. On the other hand, a speaker does not always aim to persuade. Not far from this definition is the one provided by Apollodorus who claims that the first and most important task of judiciary speech is to convince the judge and to have him made his judgement in accordance with what the speaker desires.

Others forbore the definition directed towards the aim eventus. This definition, according to Quintilian, contains an error as it takes into account only inventio, i.

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There is also a certain group of authors who admittedly believe rhetoric to be an art, but deny it can be named as a virtue. Among these there are Theodorus of Gadara and Cornelius Celsus. Finally, there are the authors who think rhetoric is neither a power, nor an ability, nor an art: Critolaus treated it as practical Cf. Russell, , p.


Cicero, De inv. Plato, Gorg. This point is emphasised to an even greater degree in Phaedrus30, with a statement that an art cannot be perfect if it lacks justice hanc artem consummari citra iustitiae quoque scientiam non posse. Quintilian recalls also some other definitions of rhetoric. The authors who believe the aim of rhetoric is integrity of thought and speech have good intentions. Quintilian does not lay claims to originality and concludes 26 Cf. Plato, Phaed.

Hence comes the clear description of the aim of rhetoric, called in Greek te;lov: for if it is knowledge of speaking well, then its greatest aim is to speak well Chapter sixteen revolves around the question whether rhetoric is useful.

Some people are in a habit of accusing it vehemently and for accusing speech they use themselves the impetus of speech. They claim that it is an ability which frees criminals from punishment and by its deceit sometimes has innocent people suffer punishment; that it not only gives rise to unrest and turbulence among the people, but also causes cruel wars; that it brings greatest benefit only when it fights against the truth in defence of a falsehood.

Comedy writers accused Socrates of teaching how to present a bad case as good, while Plato stated that Tisias and Gorgias promised similar benefits. To this they added examples from the lives of Greeks and Romans and they mentioned people who, using pernicious speech not only in private but also in public cases, caused strife in their countries or even led them to ruin.

This is the reason why rhetoric was banished in Lacedaemon and why it was weakened in Athens by forbidding it to stir emotions amongst the audience. It is an undeniable fact that the disgraceful peace treaty with Pyrrhus was prevented by the famous Appius Caecus due to the power of his speech. The divine oratory art of Cicero was admired by the people, thwarted the ambitions of Catiline and deserved propitiatory sacrifices that are usually accorded only to victorious generals. It is the speech which often gives courage to terrified soldiers and, in the face of many dangers convinces them that glory is more precious than life.

As an example can serve not only the Spartans and Athenians, but also the Romans among whom the speakers enjoyed the greatest honour dignitas. Quintilian is convinced that the founders of cities would have never achieved uniting the chaotic masses and creating a nation without the aid of learned words of rhetoric. The lawmakers, if deprived of the greatest power of speech, would have never made people obey the governance of laws.

If rhetoric is an ability to speak honestly and a speaker is primarily a noble man, then we have to admit openly that it is a useful art. The maker has gifted us with an extraordinary mind and he would surely wish that we partake in this mind, together with the immortal gods. Yet even the mind itself would give us aid and Cf. Dugan, , p.

LatinPerDiem Latin Lessons: Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 4

It is precisely the lack of speech which is so obvious in animals, more than the lack of mind and ability to think. Speech is the greatest gift that we have received from the immortal gods and there is nothing we consider more worthy of nourishing and effort, nor more distinguishing us from other people.

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