INTRODUCTION—— LIFE OF QUINTILIAN
MARCUS FABIUS QUINTILIANUS was, like Seneca, of Spanish origin, being born about 35 A.D. at Calagurris. His father was a rhetorician of some note who practiced with success at Rome. It is not surprising therefore to find that the young Quintilian was sent to Rome for his education. Among his teachers were the famous grammaticus Remmius Palaemon, and the no less distinguished rhetorician Domitius Afer. On completing his education he seems to have returned to his native land to teach rhetoric there, for we next hear of him as being brought to Rome in 68 A.D. by Galba, then governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. At Rome he met with great success as a teacher and was the first rhetorician to set up a genuine public school and to receive a salary from the State. He continued to teach for twenty years and had among his pupils the younger Pliny and the two sons of Domitilla, the sister of Domitian. He was also a successful pleader in the courts as we gather from more than one passage in his works. Late in life he married and had two sons. But both wife and children predeceased him. He died full of honour, the possessor of wide lands and consular rank. The date of his death is unknown, but it was before 100 A.D. He left behind him a treatise “On the causes of the decadence of Roman oratory ” (De causis corruptae eloquentiae), the present work, and a speech in defence of a certain Naevius Arpinianus, who was accused of murdering his wife. These are the only works known to have been actually published by him, though others of his speeches had been taken down in shorthand and circulated against his will, while an excess of zeal on the part of his pupils resulted in the unauthorized publication of two series of lecture notes. The present work alone survives. The declamations which have come down to us under his name are spurious. Of his character the Institution Oratorio gives us the pleasantest impression. Humane, kindly and of a deeply affectionate nature, gifted with a robust common sense and sound literary judgment, he may well have been the ideal schoolmaster. The fulsome references to Domitian are the only blemishes which mar this otherwise pleasing impression. And even here we must remember his great debt to the Flavian house and the genuine difficulty for a man in his position of avoiding the official style in speaking of the emperor. As a stylist, though he is often difficult owing to compression and the epigrammatic turn which he gives his phrases, he is never affected or extravagant. He is still under the influence of the sound traditions of the Ciceronian age, and his Latin is silver-gilt rather than silver. His Institutio Oratoria, despite the fact that much of it is highly technical, has still much that is of interest to-day, even for those who care little for the history of rhetoric. Notably in the first book his precepts as regards education have lasting value: they may not be strikingly original, but they are sound, humane and admirably put. In the more teclmical portions of his work he is unequal; the reader feels that he cares but little about the minute pedantries of rhetorical technique, and that he lacks method in his presentation of the varying views held by his predecessors. But once he is free of such minor details and touches on themes of real practical interest, he is a changed man. He is at times really eloquent, and always vigorous and sound, while throughout the whole work he keeps the same high ideal unswervingly before him. arcus Fabius Quintilian was born in Calagurris, Spain in 35 A.D. with a roman rhetorician as a father. He was therefore sent to Rome where he was educated in rhetoric. After his education was complete, he returned to Spain and became a rhetorician of worthy note there. He later returned to Rome and began to teach. He published three works, of which only his Institutio Oratoria survived.
His Life Quintilian was born in Calagurris, Spain in 35 A.D. to a roman rhetorician. His father took him to Rome to be educated in the art of rhetoric. While in Rome, Quintilian was educated by such rhetoricians as Remmius Palaemon, Domitius and Afer. After his education was complete, he returned to Spain to begin practice as a rhetorician. In 68 A.D. he was brought back to Rome and began to teach there. He became the first rhetorician to set up a truly public school, and to receive a state salary. He was also the only rhetorician to receive an imperial grant. As a teacher of rhetoric, Quintilian taught several people that were of some importance. These included the younger Pliney, the two sons of Domitilla, and the sister of Domitian. Quintilian taught rhetoric for twenty years before he retired at age 50. After finished with teaching, he was asked by several of his friends, mainly Trypho, to publish a book on rhetorical pedagogy. The book he wrote was Institutio Oritoria, and is the only work of his to survive to this day. He published only two other works, on being a speech in defense of a suspected murderer, and the other a treatise entitled "On the decadence of roman oratory."
His Ideals Quintilian lived in the time period following Cicero, and was therefore influenced by him. Many of Quintilian's ideals on rhetoric and rhetorical pedagogy are parallel to those of Cicero. These parallels were so close, that Quintilian was often called an imitator of Cicero. Cicero was also influenced by Isocrates, and therefore had ideals parallel to those of him, as did Quintilian. Quintilian believed that there was a level which a rhetorician could reach that he felt was perfect. He developed five main objectives that this rhetorician would have to follow to reach and maintain this level. These included protecting the innocent, defending the truth, deterring crime and criminal activities, inspiring the military, and in general, inspire the public. These ideals were what Quintilian felt every rhetorician should strive for to be a true rhetorician, a "good man skilled at speaking." Quintilian felt that teaching rhetoric had several steps that had to be followed in order. Included in these steps, is the progression from one form of communication to two. These methods are described in full detail in Quintilian's Intitutio de Oratoria. Institutio Oratoria
History The Institutio Oratoria is Quintilian's only surviving work. It is a collection of twelve books written on the education of rhetoricians from childhood to death. The work has a rich history both of its influence on others, and others' influence on it. After it was published by Quintilian, it circulated sparingly, with little interest. Its influence finally disappeared around 800 A.D. It then reappears in the twelfth century, and becomes a strong influence in the middle ages before disappearing again in the mid 1100's. Its influence on the education of this period was so strong, that it has been associated to the end of the medieval period. During this time the work was in several incomplete versions, resulting from changes made by many people over the span of centuries. The resulting versions discouraged people from reading the work, and gave Quintilian a marred reputation. During the Medieval period, the forms of Quintilian's work that were available were the textus mutilatus (the text with big gaps), excerpts in florigalia (choice excerpts), Pseudo-Quintilian declamations, and rarely a complete text. In 1416, the complete text was re-discovered by Poggio at the St. Gall monastery. When he found the text, he quickly copied it, and brought it home with him. About forty copies of his original copies are still extant. The work became a strong influence again, and the demand for the work also grew strong. Between 1470 and 1539 forty-three versions were produced.
Content The Institutio Oritoria was written on how a rhetorician should be educated. The first two books are devoted to discussing how children are started on the subject. Book three discusses the origin of the art, and its different branches, as well as the stasis theory. Book four describes the different parts of a speech, and book five discusses proofs and enthymemes. Book six studies the emotions involved with rhetoric, and book seven deals with arrangement. Books eight and nine concentrate on the various uses of style, and book ten describes reading and writing. Book eleven is written on memory and delivery, while the last book gives Quintilian's views on what a perfect rhetorician is, and what happens when a rhetorician retires.