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Form: Marcus Fabius Quintilianus.
The celebrated Roman rhetorician, born about 35 A.D. at Calagurris in Spain. After he had received his training as an orator at Rome, he went home about 59 A.D., but returned again to Rome in 68 A.D. in the train of Galba. He there began to practise as an advocate, and also gave instruction in rhetoric. In this latter capacity he achieved such fame that he was able to open a school of rhetoric in the reign of Vespasian, and received payment from the State. After twenty years work be retired from his public duties in A.D. 90, and after some time devoted himself to the education of the grandchildren of Domitilla, Domitian's sister, for which he was rewarded by the emperor with the rank of consul. Though materially prosperous, his happiness was disturbed by the loss of his young wife and his two sons. [He died between 97 and 100 A.D.] Of his works on rhetoric, composeed in his later years, we possess the one that is most important, that on the training of an orator (De Institutione Oratoria) in twelve books. This he wrote in two years; but it was not until after repeated revision that he published it, just before the death of Domitian in 96. He dedicated it to his friend, the orator Victorius Marcellus, that he might use it for the education of his son Geta. This work gives a complete course of instruction in rhetoric, including all that is necessary for training in practical elocution, from the preliminary education of boyhood and earliest youth to the time of appearance in public. It describes a perfect orator, who, according to Quintilian, should be not only skilful in rhetoric, but also of good moral character, and concludes with practical advice. Especially interesting is the first book, which gives the principles of training and instruction, and the tenth book, for its criticisms on the Greek and Latin prose authors and poets recommended to the orator for special study. [Many of these criticisms, however, are not original.] Quintilian's special model, and his main authority, is Cicero, whose classical style, as opposed to the debased style of his own time, he imitates successfully in his work. A collection of school exercises (declamationes) which bears his name is probably not by him, but by one of his pupils. [The most recent editor, however (Constantine Ritter, 1884), regards the great bulk of them as genuine.]
Type: Standard
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