Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10009
Quintilian, Institutes Of Oratory, 2.1


nan The custom has prevailed and is daily growing commoner of sending boys to the schools of rhetoric much later than is reasonable: this is always the case as regards Latin rhetoric and occasionally applies to Greek as well. The reason for this is twofold: the rhetoricians, more especially our own, have abandoned certain of their duties and the teachers of literature have undertaken tasks which rightly belong to others., For the rhetorician considers that his duty is merely to declaim and give instruction in the theory and practice of declamation and confines his activities to deliberative and judicial themes, regarding all others as beneath the dignity of his profession; while the teacher of literature is not satisfied to take what is left him (and we owe him a debt of gratitude for this), but even presumes to handle declamations in character and deliberative themes, tasks which impose the very heaviest burden on the speaker., Consequently subjects which once formed the first stages of rhetoric have come to form the final stages of a literary education, and boys who are ripe for more advanced study are kept back in the inferior school and practise rhetoric under the direction of teachers of literature. Thus we get the absurd result that a boy is not regarded as fit to go on to the schools of declamation till he knows how to declaim., The two professions must each be assigned their proper sphere. Grammatice, which we translate as the science of letters, must learn to know its own limits, especially as it has encroached so far beyond the boundaries to which its unpretentious name should restrict it and to which its earlier professors actually confined themselves. Springing from a tiny fountain-head, it has gathered strength from the historians and critics and has swollen to the dimensions of a brimming river, since, not content with the theory of correct speech, no inconsiderable subject, it has usurped the study of practically all the highest departments of knowledge., On the other hand rhetoric, which derives its name from the power of eloquence, must not shirk its peculiar duties nor rejoice to see its own burdens shouldered by others. For the neglect of these is little less than a surrender of its birthright., I will of course admit that there may be a few professors of literature who have acquired sufficient knowledge to be able to teach rhetoric as well; but when they do so, they are performing the duties of the rhetorician, not their own., A further point into which we must enquire concerns the age at which a boy may be considered sufficiently advanced to profit by the instructions of the rhetorician. In this connexion we must consider not the boy's actual age, but the progress he has made in his studies. To put it briefly, I hold that the best answer to the question "When should a boy be sent to the school of rhetoric?" is this, "When he is fit.", But this question is really dependent on that previously raised. For if the duties of the teacher of literature are prolonged to include instruction in deliberative declamation, this will postpone the need for the rhetorician. On the other hand if the rhetorician does not refuse to undertake the first duties of his task, his instruction will be required from the moment the boy begins to compose narratives and his first attempts at passages of praise or denunciation., We know that the orators of earlier days improved their eloquence by declaiming themes and common-places and other forms of rhetorical exercises not involving particular circumstances or persons such as provide the material for real or imaginary causes. From this we can clearly see what a scandalous dereliction of duty it is for the schools of rhetoric to abandon this department of their work, which was not merely its first, but for a long time its sole task., What is there in those exercises of which I have just spoken that does not involve matters which are the special concern of rhetoric and further are typical of actual legal cases? Have we not to narrate facts in the law-courts? Indeed I am not sure that this is not the most important department of rhetoric in actual practice., Are not eulogy and denunciation frequently introduced in the course of the contests of the courts? Are not common-places frequently inserted in the very heart of lawsuits, whether, like those which we find in the works of Cicero, they are directed against vice, or, like those published by Quintus Hortensius, deal with questions of general interest such as "whether small points of argument should carry weight," or are employed to defend or impugn the credibility of witnesses?, These are the weapons which we should always have stored in our armour ready for immediate use as occasion may demand. The critic who denies that such matters concern an orator is one who will refuse to believe that a statue is being begun when its limbs are actually being cast. Some will think that I am in too great a hurry, but let no one accuse me of thinking that the pupil who has been entrusted to the rhetorician should forthwith be withdrawn from the teacher of literature., The latter will still have certain hours allotted him, and there is no reason to fear that a boy will be overloaded by receiving instruction from two different masters. It will not mean any increase of work, but merely the division among two masters of the studies which were previously indiscriminately combined under one: and the efficiency of either teacher will be increased. This method is still in vogue among the Greeks, but has been abandoned by us, not perhaps without some excuse, as there were others ready to step into the rhetorician's shoes.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

7 results
1. Nicocles, Fragments, 41, 40 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.6, 1.9, 1.11-1.16 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Musonius Rufus, Fragments, 3 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4. New Testament, Acts, 6.9, 9.1, 22.3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6.9. But some of those who were of the synagogue called "The Libertines," and of the Cyrenians, of the Alexandrians, and of those of Cilicia and Asia arose, disputing with Stephen. 9.1. But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 22.3. I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.
5. Ps.-Philo, Biblical Antiquities, 20.3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory, 2.3 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 95, 94 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
chreia Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
cynicism Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
epictetus Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
isocrates Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
jesus movement Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
musonius rufus Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
paul Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
philosophy Keener, First-Second Corinthians (2005) 30
precepts Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
proverb Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
quintililian Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
rhetoric, pauls use of' Keener, First-Second Corinthians (2005) 30
seneca Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
social setting/context Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78
teacher-student relationship Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (2009) 78