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Quintilian, Institutes Of Oratory, 4.1.44

nan The line to be adopted will therefore depend on the individual nature of each case. As a general principle, however, I should 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.

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

2 results
1. Cicero, On Invention, 1.23 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.23. Attentos autem faciemus, si demonstrabimus ea, quae dicturi erimus, magna, nova, incredibilia esse, aut ad omnes aut ad eos, qui audient, aut ad aliquos inlustres ho- mines aut ad deos inmortales aut ad summam rem pu- blicam pertinere; et si pollicebimur nos brevi nostram causam demonstraturos atque exponemus iudica- tionem aut iudicationes, si plures erunt. Dociles audi- tores faciemus, si aperte et breviter summam causae exponemus, hoc est, in quo consistat controversia. nam et, cum docilem velis facere, simul attentum facias oportet. nam is est maxime docilis, qui attentissime est paratus audire. Nunc insinuationes quemadmodum tractari con- veniat, deinceps dicendum videtur. insinuatione igitur utendum est, cum admirabile genus causae est, hoc est, ut ante diximus, cum animus auditoris infestus est. id autem tribus ex causis fit maxime: si aut inest in ipsa causa quaedam turpitudo aut ab iis, qui ante dixerunt, iam quiddam auditori persuasum videtur aut eo tempore locus dicendi datur, cum iam illi, quos audire oportet, defessi sunt audiendo. nam ex hac quoque re non minus quam ex primis duabus in oratore nonnumquam animus auditoris offenditur.
2. Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory, 4.1.34-4.1.36, 4.1.38-4.1.40, 4.1.42, 4.1.46, 4.1.49 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.1.34.  We 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.  For 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 do not think a better example of this can be found than the exordium to the pro Cluentio of Cicero. 4.1.36.  "I have 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.  Our 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 agree 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 Ligario. 4.1.39.  For 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 Caelio save to make the case seem far more trivial than had been anticipated? It is, however, obvious that of the rules which I have laid down, some will be applicable to one case and some to another. 4.1.40.  The 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, ἔνδοξον, ἄδοξον, ἀμφίδοξον, παράδοξον and δυσπαρακολούθητον. 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.  Some 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). 4.1.46.  At 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.  Again 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 know that some persons are surprised that one, who for such a number 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 πρόληψις or anticipation.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
cicero,exordia Bua (2019) 227
cicero,his oratory as art of illusion Bua (2019) 227
cicero,pro rabirio postumo Bua (2019) 227
defensibility of cause,genus humile Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
defensibility of cause,genus obscurum Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
defensibility of cause,genus turpe Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
exordium,primary exordium Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
exordium,purpose Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
exordium Bua (2019) 227; Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
favor,attentiveness Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
favor Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
goodwill,receptivity Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
goodwill Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
incidental narratio Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
principium Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196
quintilian,on the exordium Bua (2019) 227
rhetorical handbooks' Martin and Whitlark (2018) 196