|1. Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory, 4.1.34-4.1.36, 4.1.38-4.1.40, 4.1.42, 4.1.44, 4.1.46, 4.1.49, 4.1.73-4.1.77 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • Exordium • Quintilian, on the exordium • exordium • exordium, primary exordium • exordium, purpose • exordium, subtypes
Found in books: Bua (2019), Roman Political Culture: Seven Studies of the Senate and City Councils of Italy from the First to the Sixth Century AD, 226, 227, 230; Martin and Whitlark (2018), Inventing Hebrews: Design and Purpose in Ancient Rhetoric, 194, 195, 196, 197, 214
4.1.34 \xa0We shall also find it a useful device for wakening the attention of our audience to create the impression that we shall not keep them long and intend to stick closely to the point. The mere fact of such attention undoubtedly makes the judge ready to receive instruction from us, but we shall contribute still more to this effect if we give a brief and lucid summary of the case which he has to try; in so doing we shall be following the method adopted by Homer and Virgil at the beginning of their poems. 4.1.35 \xa0For as regards the length of the exordium, it should propound rather than expound, and should not describe how each thing occurred, but simply indicate the points on which the orator proposes to speak. I\xa0do not think a better example of this can be found than the exordium to the pro\xa0Cluentio of Cicero. 4.1.36 \xa0"I\xa0have noted, judges, that the speech for the prosecution was divided into two parts: of these, the first seemed to rest and in the main to rely on the odium, now inveterate, arising from the trial before Junius, while the other appeared to touch, merely as a matter of form, and with a certain timidity and diffidence, on the question of the charge of poisoning, though it is to try this point that the present court has been constituted in accordance with the law." All this, however, is easier for the defender than the prosecutor, since the latter has merely to remind the judge, while the former has to instruct him.' "
4.1.38 \xa0Our opponent has spoken and perhaps convinced him we must alter his opinion, and this we cannot do unless we render him attentive to what we have to say and ready to be instructed. What are we to do then? I\xa0agree to the view that we should cut down, depreciate and deride some of our opponent's arguments with a view to lessening the attention shown him by the judge, as Cicero did in the pro\xa0Ligario." "4.1.39 \xa0For what was the purpose of Cicero's irony save that Caesar should be induced to regard the case as presenting only old familiar features and consequently to give it less attention? What was his purpose in the pro\xa0Caelio save to make the case seem far more trivial than had been anticipated? It is, however, obvious that of the rules which I\xa0have laid down, some will be applicable to one case and some to another." '4.1.40 \xa0The majority of writers consider that there are five kinds of causes, the honourable, the mean, the doubtful or ambiguous, the extraordinary and the obscure, or as they are called in Greek, á¼\x94Î½Î´Î¿Î¾Î¿Î½, á¼\x84Î´Î¿Î¾Î¿Î½, á¼\x80Î¼Ï\x86Î¯Î´Î¿Î¾Î¿Î½, Ï\x80Î±Ï\x81Î¬Î´Î¿Î¾Î¿Î½ and Î´Ï\x85Ï\x83Ï\x80Î±Ï\x81Î±ÎºÎ¿Î»Î¿Ï\x8dÎ¸Î·Ï\x84Î¿Î½. To these some would add a sixth, the scandalous, which some again include under the heading of the mean, others under the extraordinary.
4.1.42 \xa0Some therefore divide the exordium into two parts, the introduction and the insinuation, making the former contain a direct appeal to the good-will and attention of the judge. But as this is impossible in scandalous cases, they would have the orator on such occasions insinuate himself little by little into the minds of his judges, especially when the features of the case which meet the eye are discreditable, or because the subject is disgraceful or such as to meet with popular disapproval, or again if the outward circumstances of the case are such as to handicap it or excite odium (as for instance when a patron appears against a client or a father against a son), or pity (as when our opponent is an old or blind man or a child).
4.1.44 \xa0The line to be adopted will therefore depend on the individual nature of each case. As a general principle, however, I\xa0should advise the avoidance of points which tell against us and concentrate on those which are likely to be of service. If the case itself is weak, we may derive help from the character of our client; if his character is doubtful, we may find salvation in the nature of the case. If both are hopeless, we must look out for something that will damage our opponent. For though it is desirable to secure as much positive good-will as possible, the next best thing is to incur the minimum of actual dislike.
4.1.46 \xa0At times, like Cicero in his defence of Rabirius Postumus, he will pretend that he himself is strongly moved, in order to win the ear of the judge and to give the impression of one who is absolutely convinced of the truth of his cause, that so his statements may find all the readier credence whether he defends or denies the actions attributed to his client. Consequently it is of the first importance, wherever the alternative is open to us, to consider whether we are to adopt the character of a party to the suit or of an advocate. In the schools, of course, we have a free choice in the matter, but it is only on rare occasions that a man is capable of pleading his own case in the actual courts.
4.1.49 \xa0Again an opportune display of wit will often restore their flagging spirits and we may alleviate their boredom by the introduction of entertaining matter derived from any source that may be available. It will also be found advantageous to anticipate the objections that may be raised by our opponent, as Cicero does when he says "I\xa0know that some persons are surprised that one, who for such a\xa0number of years has defended so many and attacked none, should have come forward as the accuser of Verres," he then goes on to show that the accusation which he has undertaken is really a defence of the allies, an artifice known as Ï\x80Ï\x81Ï\x8cÎ»Î·Ï\x88Î¹Ï\x82 or anticipation.
4.1.73 \xa0On the other hand it is at times possible to give the force of an exordium to other portions of the speech. For instance we may ask the judges in the course of our statement of the facts or of our arguments to give us their best attention and good-will, a proceeding which Prodicus recommended as a means of wakening them when they begin to nod. A\xa0good example is the following: 4.1.74 \xa0"Gaius Varenus, he who was killed by the slaves of Ancharius â\x80\x94 I\xa0beg you, gentlemen, to give me your best attention at this point." Further if the case involves a\xa0number of different matters, each section must be prefaced with a short introduction, such as "Listen now to what follows," or "I\xa0now pass to my next point." 4.1.75 \xa0Even in the proof there are many passages which perform the same function as an exordium, such as the passage in the pro\xa0Cluentio where Cicero introduces an attack on the censors and in the pro\xa0Murena when he apologises to Servius. But the practice is too common to need illustration. 4.1.76 \xa0However on all occasions when we have employed the exordium, whether we intend to pass to the statement of facts or direct to the proof, our intention should be mentioned at the conclusion of the introduction, with the result that the transition to what follows will be smooth and easy. 4.1.77 \xa0There is indeed a pedantic and childish affectation in vogue in the schools of marking the transition by some epigram and seeking to win applause by this feat of legerdemain. Ovid is given to this form of affectation in his Metamorphoses, but there is some excuse for him owing to the fact that he is compelled to weld together subjects of the most diverse nature so as to form a continuous whole.'' None