Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory

Index to Book 6


Quintilian laments that his son whose improvement, in conjunction with that of the sons of Marcellus and Caesar, he had had in view in the composition of this work, had been carried off by death, § 1, 2. He had previously lost, during the composition of another work, a younger son, as well as his wife, 3-6. Abilities of which his children gave indications, 7-9. His grief; he intreats indulgence if, in consequence of it, he pursues his work with less spirit, 10-16.

Chapter 1

Peroration of a speech; the objects of it; some think that it should consist wholly of recapitulation, § 1-8. Appeals to the feelings may be made by the accuser and the advocate alike, 9. What the exordium and the peroration have in common, and in what respects they differ, 10-14. The accuser excites the feelings either by showing the heinousness of the charge which he makes, or the pitiable condition of the party for whom he seeks redress, 15-20. What qualities excite feeling in favor of an accused person, 21, 22. Solicitation for pity may have great effect, but should not be long, 23-28. Modes of exciting pity, 29-36. How persons who are introduced to move pity at the conclusion of a speech, should behave themselves, 37-43. No orator must attempt to draw tears from the judges unless he be a man of great ability, 44, 45. It is the part of the peroration to dispel compassionate emotions, as well as to excite them, 46-49. Perorations sometimes of a very mild character, 50. Appeals to the feelings may be made in other parts of a speech as well as in the peroration, 51-65.

Chapter 2

Necessity of studying how to work on the minds of the judges, § 1, 2. This department of oratory requires great ability, 3-7. Of πάθος (pathos) and ἦθος (ēthos), 8-24. If we would move others, we must feel moved ourselves, 25-28. Of presenting images to the imagination of our hearers, 29-35. Pupils should be exercised in this in the schools, 36.

Chapter 3

Of the power of exciting laughter in an audience, § 1. There was little of it in Demosthenes; perhaps a superabundance of it in Cicero, 2-5. Causes of laughter not sufficiently explained, 6, 7. Is of great effect, 8-10. Depends far more on nature and favourable circumstances than on art, 11-13. No instructions given in exciting laughter, 14-16. Various names for jocularity or wit, 17-21. Depends partly on matter, partly on words; subjects of it, 22-24. Laughter may be excited by some act, or look, or gesture, 25-27. What is becoming to the orator, 28-32. What to be avoided by him, 33-35. Topics for jesting, and modes of it, 36-46. Ambiguity in words, 47-56. The best jests are taken from things, not from words; of similarity, 57-62. Of dissimilarity, 63-64. From all forms of argument arise occasions for jesting, 65, 66. Jests in the form of tropes and figures, 67-70. Of jocular refutation, 71-78. Of eluding a charge; of pretended confession, 79-81. Some kinds of jests are beneath an orator, 82, 83. Of deceiving expectation, 84-87. Of jocular imitation, 88. Of attributing thoughts to ourselves or others; and of irony, 89-92. The least offensive jokes are the best, 93-95. Quotations from poets, proverbs, and anecdotes, 96-98. Apparent absurdities, 99, 100. Domitius Marsus confounds politeness with humour, 101-107. His distinctions, 108-112.

Chapter 4

Remarks on altercation, , § 1-5. Too much neglected by some pleaders, 6, 7. Qualifications requisite for success in it; acuteness, knowledge of the case, good temper, attention to the main question, 8-13. Further observations, 14-16. We may dissemble our strength, in order to mislead our adversary, 17, 18. Disposition of the judge to be observed, 19, 20. The student should exercise himself in this department, 21. Order of proofs is important, 22.

Chapter 5

Of judgment and sagacity; their importance, § 1-6. Examples from Demosthenes, 7, 8. From Cicero, 9, 10. Conclusion of the book, 11.

Lee Honeycutt (honeycuttlee@gmail.com) Last modified:12/12/05