Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory

Index to Book 2

Chapter 1

Boys are not put under the professor of rhetoric early enough; reasons why they should begin to receive instruction from him at an earlier age, § 1-3. The professions of the grammarian and teacher of rhetoric should be in some degree united, 4-13.

Chapter 2

Choice of teacher, § 1-4. How the teacher should conduct himself towards his pupils, 5-8. How the pupils should behave, 9-13. Some additional observations, 14, 15.

Chapter 3

A pupil should be put under an eminent teacher at first, not under an inferior one, § 1-3. Mistakes of parents as to this point, 3, 4. The best teacher can teach little things best, as well as great ones, 5-9. The pupils of eminent teachers will afford better examples to each other, 10-12.

Chapter 4

Elementary exercises, § 1. Narratives, or statements of facts 2-4. Exuberance in early compositions better than sterility, 4-8. A teacher should not be without imagination, or too much given to find fault with his pupil's attempts, 8-14. The pupil's compositions should be written with great care, 15-17. Exercises in confirmation and refutation, 18, 19. In commendation and censure of remarkable men, 20-21. Commonplaces, 22-23. Theses, 24, 25. Reasons, 26. Written preparations for pleadings, 27-32. Praise and censure of particular laws, 33-40. Declamations on fictitious subjects a later invention, 41, 42.

Chapter 5

Advantages of reading history and speeches, § 1-3. On what points in them the professor of rhetoric should lecture, 4-9. Faulty composition may sometimes be read, to exercise the pupil's judgment, 10-13. Usefulness of this exercise, 14-17. Best authors to be read at an early age, 18-20. The pupil should be cautious of imitating very ancient or very modern writers, 21-26.

Chapter 6

In composition, the pupil should have but moderate assistance, not too much or too little.

Chapter 7

Pupils should not always declaim their own compositions, but sometimes passages from eminent writers.

Chapter 8

Variety of talent and disposition in pupils requires variety of treatment, § 1-5. How far an inclination for any particular line of study should be encouraged and cultivated, 6-15.

Chapter 9

Pupils should regard their tutors as intellectual parents.

Chapter 10

Remarks on declamations, § 1, 2. Injudiciousnees in the choice of subjects has been an obstruction to improvement in eloquence, 3-5. On what sort of subjects pupils may be permitted to declaim, 6-8. What alterations should be made in the common practice, 9-15.

Chapter 11

Some think instruction in oratory unnecessary, § 1, 2. Boasts and practices of the ignorant, 3-5. Some study only parts of their speeches; want of connection in their matter, 6-7.

Chapter 12

Why the ignorant often seem to speak with more force than the learned, § 1-3. They attack and are less afraid of failure, 4, 5. But they cannot choose judiciously, or prove with effect, 6. Their thoughts sometimes striking, 7. Apparent disadvantages of learned polish, 8. Unlearned speakers often vigorous in delivery, 9, 10. Occasionally too much admired by teachers of oratory, 11, 12.

Chapter 13

Quintilian does not give rules from which there is no departure; pleaders must act according to the requisitions of their subjects, § 1-7. What an orator has chiefly to keep in view, and how far rules should be observed, 8-17.

Chapter 14

Of the term rhetoric or oratory, § 1-4. Heads under which Quintilian considers the art of oratory, 5.

Chapter 15

What rhetoric is, § 1, 2. To call it the power of persuading is to give an insufficient definition of it, 3-9. To call it the power of persuading by speech is not sufficient, 10, 11. Other definitions, 12-23. That of Gorgias in Plato; that of Plato or Socrates in the Phaedrus, 24-31. That of Cornelius Celsus, 32. Other definitions more approved by Quintilian, 33-37. Quintilian's own definition, 38.

Chapter 16

Oratory said by some to be a pernicious art, because it may be perverted to bad ends, § 1-4. We might say the same of other things that are allowed to be beneficial, 5, 6. Its excellences, 7-16. The abundant return that it makes for cultivation, 17-19.

Chapter 17

Oratory is manifestly an art, § 1-4. Yet some have denied that it is and said that its power is wholly from nature, 6-8. Examples from other arts, 9, 10. Every one that speaks is not an orator, 11-13. Opinion of Aristotle, 14. Other charges against oratory, that it has no peculiar subject or matter, and that it sometimes deceives, 15-18. Refutation of these charges, 19-21. Unfairly objected to it that it has no proper end, 22-26. Not pernicious because it sometimes misleads, 27-29. Another objection, that it may be exerted on either side of a question, and that it contradicts itself; answered, 30-36. Oratory is sometimes ignorant of the truth of what it asserts; but the same is the case with other arts and sciences, 36-40. Confirmation of its being an art, 41-43.

Chapter 18

Arts or sciences are of three kinds; rhetoric is a practical art or science, § 1, 2. Partakes of the nature of arts of other kinds, 3-5.

Chapter 19

Nature and art; nature contributes more to oratory, in students of moderate ability, than art; in those of greater talent, art is of more avail; an example.

Chapter 20

Whether rhetoric be a virtue, as some call it, § 1-4. Proofs of this according to the philosophers, 6-7. Other proofs, 8-10.

Chapter 21

Opinions as to the subject of rhetoric, § 1-4. That of Quintilian, which agrees with those of Plato and Cicero, 5, 6. Objections to it noticed, 7-11. No dispute between rhetoric and philosophy about their respective subjects, 12, 13. The orator not obliged to know everything, 14, 15. He will often speak better on arts than the artists themselves, 16-19. The opinion of Quintilian supported by those of other authors, 20-23.


Lee Honeycutt (honeycuttlee@gmail.com) Last modified:5/25/2004