Rhetoricians of the Roman Era Collection (12 vols.)
The Rhetoricians of the Roman Era collection encapsulates the social attitudes and education of the Roman world. The Institutio Oratoria draws from Quintilian’s own rich experiences to provide a comprehensive training program in 12 books. It offers advice on schooling and the structure of speeches, recommends devices that will engage listeners and appeal to their emotions, while counseling on memory, delivery, and gestures.
“Cicero is not the name of a man,” declared Quintilian, “but of eloquence itself.” Cicero is to Latin what Shakespeare is to English. He is almost entirely responsible for developing Latin, at the time a narrow, utilitarian tongue, into a language capable of communicating the exactness of science, the beauty of poetry, and the abstraction of philosophy. Indeed, his influence is so far-reaching that many linguists argue that all the literary movements until the nineteenth century were either a reaction against or a return to Cicero.
Born into an influential family and given a good education, he excelled at an early age. He travelled to Greece to learn from the Greek rhetoricians, adapting their style for Latin and making it a distinct part of his own delivery. He translated Greek philosophical concepts into Latin, creating neologisms that remain in use (e.g., humanitas, qualitas). His letters, when rediscovered by Petrarch in 1345, started the movement that became the Renaissance....