Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory

Index to Book 4


The grandsons of the sister of Domitian committed to the tuition of Quintilian; a new motive for care in composing his work. He proceeds to speak of the exordium of a speech, the statement of facts the proof, the refutation of adverse allegations, and the peroration.

Chapter 1

Etymology of the word proem, § 1-3. An erroneous practice in the schools and in the forum, 4. Object of the proem or exordium, 5. How the good will and attention of the judge may be gained by allusion to different characters concerned in the cause, 6-19. Farther observations on the same subject, 20-27. Difference between the exordium and the conclusion, 28, 29. Matters connected with the characters and the cause to be considered, 30-32. Solicitude to be shown by the pleader; brevity to be promised; accurate division of matter to be made, 33-36. To conciliate the judge must be the pleader's constant object throughout his speech, 37-39. Five kinds of causes, 40-41. Some make two purposes of a proem, proposition and insinuation, the latter more easy for the advocate than for his client, 42-49. An unnecessary rule of the Apollodoreans, 50, 51. Points to be regarded in the exordium, 52-60. The speaker's memory must not fail him in it, 61. Its length must be proportioned to the cause, 62. Whether apostrophe, and other figures of speech, may be used in it, 63-71. Whether a formal exordium is always necessary, 72-75. Mode of transition to the statement of facts, 76-79.

Chapter 2

Of the statement of facts; some make too nice distinctions respecting it, § 1-3. A formal statement not always necessary, 4-8. Those are mistaken who suppose that a statement is never necessary on the part of an aroused person who denies the charge, 9-19. What the judge already knows may sometimes be stated, 20-23. The statement need not always immediately follow the exordium, 24-27. The practice of the schools injudiciously transferred to the forum, 28-30. The statements should be clear, brief, and credible, 31-35. Of clearness, 36-39. Of brevity, 40-47. Of credibility, 48-53. The statement of facts should prepare the judge for the proof of them, 54-60. Certain qualities have injudiciously been made peculiar to the statement, 61-65. A ridiculous direction that the statement should be omitted in a cause which is unfavourable to us, 66. Difficult points must be variously managed, according to the nature of the case, 67-74. In a conjectural cause we must make a statement, but with art and care, 75-81. We must sometimes divide our statement, and invert the order of occurrences, 82-87. Of fictitious statements, 88-93. Complexion of a statement, 94-100. How we must act if the facts be partly for us and partly against us, 101, 102. Apostrophe and other figures absurdly excluded from the statement, 103-115. The statement should be embellished with every grace of language, 116-124. Of authority in the pleader, 125-127. Of repetition, 128. Of the commencement and conclusion of the statement, 129-132.

Chapter 3

Of digressions or excursions immediately after the statement, § 1-3. Not always unreasonable, 4-8. Some preparation often necessary before proceeding to proof, 9-11. Digressions may be made in any part of a speech, but those in the middle should be short, 12-17.

Chapter 4

Of propositions preparatory to proof; not always necessary, § 1, 2. Sometimes very useful, 3, 4. Various kinds of propositions, and remarks on them, 5-9.

Chapter 5

Partition of our matter generally useful, § 1-3. When it should be omitted, 4-9. Examples from Cicero, 10-12. As to states of conjecture and quality, 13-17. Artifices that may be used, 18-21. Utility of partition, and the proper qualities of it, 22-28.

Lee Honeycutt (honeycuttlee@gmail.com) Last modified:5/4/2004