Criticism in Quintilian

Kerr, Robert Anthony (2002) Criticism in Quintilian. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus) is a work that follows in a tradition of writing on rhetoric, a tradition that dates back to the fifth century B.C. My thesis establishes Quintilian and his work within this tradition, and encourages the reader both to consider one aspect of the convention of technical instruction in rhetoric, namely criticism, and to reflect on the originality of criticism in Quintilian's work.

Accordingly, I have two main aims. Firstly, I intend to give full detail of examples of criticism in the Institutio Oratoria, and this will include identifying, where possible, people who are targeted by Quintilian for criticism. Thus, in detailing examples - which I do by paraphrase and translation - and assigning them to chapters in this thesis, I follow the structure that Quintilian provides for his work in the preface to his first book. Targets of criticism include groups, such as parents, pupils, teachers, philosophers, actors, dancers, and specific individuals.

My second aim is to assess the originality of Quintilian's criticism. Thus, I examine the works of predecessors, notably, but not exclusively, other writers on rhetoric, whose works are extant or partly extant. My feelings indicate that there is much criticism that can serve as precedent for criticism in the Institutio Oratoria. However, it is evident that Quintilian has not indulged in mere repetition. He has changed and adapted criticisms in a way that reflects his educational and forensic background. He also implies that many of these still relate to his own time. I have also found that much criticism lacks apparent precedent - apparent, because other works on rhetoric that precede the Institutio Oratoria and have not survived could feasibly have provided precedents for criticisms in Quintilian's work that appear novel - and I suggest that the underlying intention of this is to relate practice more closely to theory, and theory more closely to practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
Supervisor's Name: Green, Prof. Roger
Date of Award: 2002
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:2002-5575
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2014 13:31
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2014 13:32

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