Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory

Index to Book 8


A plain and simple method of teaching to be preferred, § 1-5. Recapitulation of the precepts given in the preceding parts of the work, 6-12. Style and delivery require more ability and study than other parts of oratory, 13-15. Excellence in them attained by study and art, 16, 17. Yet a speaker may be too solicitous about his language, 18-26. Necessity of practice, 27-30. We must not always be striving for something greater and higher, 31-33.

Chapter 1

Style depends on the judicious choice of words, and the judicious combination of them. Necessity of studying to speak pure Latin.

Chapter 2

Propriety of words; words are proper in more than one sense, § 1-3. A word may not be exactly proper, is not always to be condemned as improper, 4-6. Some words may be proper, and yet have not oratorical merit, 7, 8. The excellence of significancy, 9-11. Concerning obscurity, 12, 13. Arises from the use of unusual words, or from faulty composition, 14-16. From circumlocution, 17, 18. From desire for brevity, 19-21. Perspicuity the chief excellence of language, 22-24.

Chapter 3

Of ornament of style; fondness for it in orators, § 1-4. It is however of service in gaining the attention of an audience, 5, 6. What sort of ornament should be studied; some faults border on excellences, 7-10. Ornament must be varied according to the nature of the subject, 11-14. Ornament from the choice of words, 15-18. Some words are used rather from necessity than because they are approved, 19, 20. Common words sometimes most effective, 21-23. Of the use of old words, 24-29. The moderns cautious in forming new words, 30-37. Unbecoming expressions to be avoided, 38, 39. The grace of a speaker's style depends partly on the language he uses, and partly on his mode of delivery, 40, 41. Suitableness of style, 42, 43. Various faults of style; τὸ κακέμφατον (cacemphaton), 44-47. Meanness, 48, 49. Dimunition, tautology, uniformity, verbosity, superfluity of polish, 50-55. Affectation, ungraceful arrangement of words or matter, inelegant use of figures, injudicious mixture of different styles, 56-60. Excellence of clear and vivid description, 61-70. To attain it nature must be studied and imitated, 71. Assisted by similes, 72. But care must be taken that the similes themselves be lucid, 73. Further observations on similes, 74-81. Representation, 82. Emphasis, 83-86. Various modes of adorning and giving effect to language, 87-90.

Chapter 4

Of amplification and diminution; things are exaggerated or extenuated by the terms applied to them, § 1, 2. Modes of augmentation, 3-9. By comparison, 10-14. By reasoning and inference, 15-25. By an accumulation of terms or particulars, 26, 27. Modes of extenuation are similar, 28. Hyperbole, 29.

Chapter 5

Of striking thoughts, § 1, 2. Of the modes of introducing them, 3-14. Various kinds and origins of them, 15-19. How they may be faulty, 20-24. Those are in error who study them too much, as well as those who utterly neglect them, 25-34. Transition to tropes, 35.

Chapter 6

Of tropes; much disputation about them, § 1-3. Metaphor, 4, 5. Three motives for the use of metaphor, 6-8. Four modes in which it is applied, 9-13. Objections to its frequent use; faults committed in regard to it, 14-18. Of synecdoche, 19-22. Metonymy, 23-28. Antonomasia, 29, 30. Onomatopoeia, 31-33. Catachresis, 34-36. Metalepsis, 37-39. Ἐπίθετον (Epitheton), 40-43. Allegory, 44-53. Irony, 54-56. Applications of allegory, 57, 58. Derision; circumlocution, 59-61. Hyperbaton, 62-67. Hyperbole, its excellences and faults, 68-76.

Lee Honeycutt (honeycuttlee@gmail.com) Last modified:2/15/06