Institutio Oratoria (95 C.E.)
Rhetoric Timeline
Primary Source Synopses

Quintilian was the celebrated orator and rhetorician from the first century who brought forward rhetorical theory from ancient Greece and from the heyday of Roman rhetoric in the prior century. This theory he compiled in his Institutio Oratoria, an exhaustive and pedagogically oriented treatement of rhetoric in twelve books. Many later rhetoricians, especially from the Renaissance, derived their rhetorical theory directly from this text.

Compact and detailed outlines follow below. The complete text online is now available (John Selby Watson translation, 1856), courtesy of Lee Honeycutt of Iowa State University.

Compact Outline:
Book I Elementary Education (Prior to Rhetoric)
Book II The Nature and Rudiments of Rhetoric
Book III Invention: Kinds of Oratory
Book IV Arrangement (The Parts of a Speech)
Book V Arrangement and Proofs
Book VI Arrangement, Pathos, Judgment
Book VII Arrangement, Laws, Reasoning
Book VIII Eloquence: Style, Words, Tropes
Book IX Eloquence: Figures of Thought and Speech
Book X Training Eloquence: Reading, Composition, Speaking
Book XI Kairos, Memory, and Delivery
Book XII The Character of an Orator: Duties, Studies, etc.

Detailed Outline:
Book One
1.1 Elementary Education
1.2 Public vs. Private Education
1.3 Capacity and Treatment of Students
1.4 Grammar
1.5 Purity of Language and Vices of Diction
1.6 Origin and Usage of Words
1.7 Spelling
1.8 Reading, Authors to be Read
1.9 Composition
1.10 Studies Adjunct to Rhetoric
1.11 Lessons from the Theatre: Delivery, Gesture, Recitation, Gymnastics
1.12 Studying Multiple Subjects Simultaneously


Book Two
2.1 Rhetoric vis-a-vis Grammar
2.2 Choice of Teacher; The Teacher - Pupil Relationship
2.3 Inferior Teachers
2.4 Progymnasmata (Elementary Rhetorical Exercises)
2.5 Rhetorical Analysis of Literary Authors
2.6 Declamation - Amount of Guidance for; Imitation
2.7 Declamation and Memorization
2.8 Customizing Methods to Pupil's Abilities
2.9 Students to Treat Teachers as Parents
2.10 Themes for Declamation to have Verisimilitude
2.11 Necessity of Rhetorical Instruction
2.12 Untrained Speakers - Pro and Con
2.13 Need for Adapting of Rules
2.14 "Rhetoric" and "Oratory" Considered
2.15 Definitions of Oratory
2.16 The Value of Oratory Attacked and Defended
2.17 The Art, Morality, and Truth of Oratory
2.18 Rhetoric as a Practical Art
2.19 Nature and Art
2.20 Is Rhetoric a Virtue?
2.21 The Subject of Rhetoric. Oratory vs. Philosophy; An Orator's Broad Knowledge.

Book Three
3.1 Greek and Roman Writers on Rhetoric
3.2 Origin of Oratory
3.3 Divisions and Order of the Art of Rhetoric
3.4 Views on the Number of Kinds of Oratory
3.5 Things vs. Words; Questions; Definitions of a Cause
3.6 Stasis Theory (The Status of a Case)
3.7 Panegyric
3.8 Deliberative Oratory
3.9 Forensic Oratory; Parts of a Forensic Speech
3.10 The Nature of the Cause
3.11 The Question, Mode of Defence, Point for Decision, Foundation of the Case, etc.

Book Four
4.1 Parts of a Speech: The Introduction (Exordium)
4.2 Parts of a Speech: The Statement of Facts (Narratio)
4.3 Digressions
4.4 Propositions Preparatory to Proof
4.5 Parts of a Speech: Partition (Partitio)

Book Five
5.1 Parts of a Speech: Artificial and Unartificial Proofs
5.2 Previous Decisions
5.3 Public Opinion
5.4 Evidence from Torture
5.5 Refutation of Documents
5.6 Taking Oaths: Pro and Con
5.7 Evidence: Documentary, Oral, Witnesses, Supernatural
5.8 Aritifical Proofs
5.9 Signs, Circumstantial Evidence, Prognostics
5.10 Arguments
5.11 Examples and Instances
5.12 Arguments, cont'd
5.13 Parts of a Speech: Refutation and Proof
5.14 Enthymeme, Epicheireme, and Syllogism

Book Six
6.1 Parts of a Speech: Conclusion (Peroration)
6.2 The Judge's Temperament; Pathos, Ethos
6.3 Wit and Humor
6.4 Altercatio or Debate
6.5 Judgment and Sagacity

Book Seven
7.1 Arrangement
7.2 Conjecture
7.3 Definition
7.4 Quality
7.5 Points of Law
7.6 Letter of the Law / Intention
7.7 Contradictory Laws
7.8 Syllogism
7.9 Ambiguity
7.10 Status of a Case; Limits of Rules

Book Eight
8.1 Style
8.2 Clarity (perspicuitas)
8.3 Ornament: Merits and Faults
8.4 Amplification and Diminution
8.5 The Value of General Reflections in Oratory
8.6 Tropes

Book Nine
9.1 Figures of Thought and Speech
9.2 Figures of Thought (Detail)
9.3 Figures of Speech (Detail)
9.4 Apt Use of Structure, Rhythm, Metrical Feet

Book Ten
10.1 Reading Curriculum
10.2 Imitation
10.3 Writing
10.4 Correction
10.5 Composition Exercises: Translation, Paraphrase, Theses, Commonplaces, Declamations
10.6 Thought and Premeditation
10.7 Extemporaneous Speaking

Book Eleven
11.1 Respecting kairos When Speaking
11.2 Memory
11.3 Delivery, Gesture, Dress

Book Twelve
12.1 The Great Orator as Good Man
12.2 Strengthening Character; Philosophical Study
12.3 The Study of Civil Law
12.4 Orator Prepared with Examples and Precedents
12.5 Firmness; Presence of Mind; Cultivating Natural Advantages
12.6 The Orator's Age
12.7 Causes to be Undertaken; Remuneration
12.8 Careful Study of the Case
12.9 Not Aiming for Applause; Restraining Invective; Preparation Through Writing and Extemporaneous Speaking
12.10 Styles of Oratory
12.11 Retirement from Speaking; Successful Training of an Orator

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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