People - Ancient Rome: Quintilian
Born Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (ca. 35 – ca. 100), was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania.
Quintiliānus, Marcus Fabius in Harpers Dictionary
A celebrated Roman rhetorician, born about A.D. 35 at Calagurris in Spain. After he had received his training as an orator at Rome, he
returned home about A.D. 59, but again visited Rome in A.D. 68 in the suite of Galba. He there began to practise as an advocate, and
also gave instruction in rhetoric. In this latter capacity he achieved such fame that he was able to open a school of rhetoric in the
reign of Vespasian, and received a salary from the State. After twenty years' work he retired from his public duties in A.D. 90, and
after some time devoted himself to the education of the grandchildren of Domitilla, Domitian's sister, for which he was rewarded by
the emperor with the rank of consul. Though materially prosperous, his happiness was disturbed by the loss of his young wife and his
two sons. He died between A.D. 97 and 100.
Of his works on rhetoric, composed in his later years, we possess the one that is more important, that on the training of an orator
(De Institutione Oratoria) in twelve books. This he wrote in two years; but it was not until after repeated revision that he published
it, just before the death of Domitian in the year 96. He dedicated it to his friend, the orator Victorius Marcellus, that he might use
it for the education of his son Geta. This work gives a complete course of instruction in rhetoric, including all that is necessary
for training in practical elocution, from the preliminary education of boyhood and earliest youth to the time of appearance in public.
It describes a perfect orator, who, according to Quintilian, should be not only skilful in rhetoric, but also of good moral character,
and concludes with practical advice. Especially interesting is the first book, which gives the principles of training and instruction,
and the tenth book, for its criticisms on the Greek and Latin prose authors and poets recommended to the orator for special study.
Many of these criticisms, however, are not original. Quintilian's special model, and his main authority, is Cicero, whose classical
style, as opposed to the style of his own time exemplified in Seneca, he imitates successfully in his work. A collection of school
exercises (Declamationes) which bears his name is probably not by him, but by one of his pupils, though Ritter accepts many of them as
The most important MS. of the Institutiones is the Codex Ambrosianus of the eleventh century. Other complete MSS. are much later—of
the fifteenth century—and are full of interpolations. Early editions of Quintilian are those of Gibson (Oxford, 1693), Burmann
(Leyden, 1720), and Gesner (Göttingen, 1738). A great edition is that of Spalding, 4 vols. (Leipzig, 1798-1816), to which a fifth
volume was added by Zumpt (1829), and a sixth containing a lexicon and indices by Bonnell (1834). The chief edition is that of Halm
(Leipzig, 1868), revised by Meister (Prague, 1886). Book X. has been separately edited by Herzog (3d ed., Leipzig, 1833), Schneidewin
(Helmst., 1831); Bonnell and Meister (3d ed., Berlin, 1882); G. T. Krüger and G. Krüger (Leipzig, 1888), and J. E. B. Mayor (Pt. i.,
Camb., 1892). An excellent index is that in the Lemaire edition (Paris, 1821). There is a good German translation by Bossler and Baur,
revised by Meister (Prague, 1886); and an English version by Watson, with notes based on Spalding, and may be found in the Bohn
Classical Library. The Declamationes are edited by Ritter (1884).
Quintilian in Roman Biography
Quin-til'I-an, [Lat. Quintilia'nus or Quinctilia'.
nus ; Fr. Quintilien, kiN'te'leJ.N',] (Marcus Fabius,)
a celebrated Roman critic and teacher of rhetoric, was
born probably between 40 and 50 A.n. Jerome states
that he was a native of Calagurris, (Calanorra,) in the
northern part of Spain ; but some modern writers think
he was born in Rome. He obtained a high reputation
as a pleader, and was the first public instructor who
received from the imperial treasury a regular salary.
Among his pupils was the Younger Pliny. He taught
rhetoric for twenty years, and retired from that profession
in the reign of Domitian, who appointed him
preceptor of his grand-nephews. His chief work is a
treatise on the education of an orator,
" Institutio Oratoria,"
divided into twelve books. This is the most
complete and methodical treatise on rhetoric that has
come down to us from antiquity. An entire copy of it
was found by Poggio at Saint Gall in 1417. His style
is clear, elegant, and highly polished. His practical
ideas are good, but his criticisms are rather superficial.
He gives judicious precepts for students, and interesting
details of the education and classic studies of the
His merit consists in sound judgment, propriety,
and good taste, rather than in originality or elevation of
mind. He is supposed to have died about 118 a.d. He
wrote a work on the corruption or decadence of eloquence,
"De Causis Corruptee Eloquentiae," which is
not extant. His "Institutio" has been translated into
English by Guthrie (1756) and Patsall, (1774.)
See ROdiger, "De Quintiliano Paedagogo," 1S50; V. Otto,
"Quintilian und Rousseau," 1836; J. Janin, "Piine le Jeune
Quintilien," 183S : Hummel, "Quintiliani Vita," 1843;
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Quintilian in Wikipedia
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (ca. 35 – ca. 100) was a Roman
rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval
schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing. In English
translation, he is usually referred to as Quintilian, although
the alternate spellings of Quintillian and Quinctilian are
occasionally seen, the latter in older texts...
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