The Criteria of Evaluating Cicero in Quintilian's Institutio oratoria


  • Stanisław Śnieżewski Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland



evaluation, rhetorical theory and practice, eloquence, figures of speech and thought, richness of vocabulary, charm, ethics


Criteria of Evaluating Cicero in Quintilian's Institutio oratoria

Quintilian tries to evaluate Cicero on various levels. Examples from the Arpinate’s opera are interspersed almost in the whole textbook of the orator from Calagurris. He highly estimates Cicero’s achievements both in rhetorical practice and theory and appreciates his usage of metaphor, allegory, hyperbole, irony, riddle. The Arpinate is the greatest embodiment of various virtues that are praised in other speakers. As concerns incisum, membrum, circumitus, Quintilian constantly quotes Cicero. The most beautiful kind of speech is the one where analogy, allegory and metaphor are gracefully entwined. Quintilian remains under Cicero’s spell. It is obvious that Quintilian would not have written Institutio oratoria if he did not use the examples contained in Cicero’s works. Poetry raised to its height due to Homer and Vergil, while rhetoric – due to Demosthenes and Cicero.


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How to Cite

Śnieżewski, S. “The Criteria of Evaluating Cicero in Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 18, Sept. 2015, pp. 413-36, doi:10.12797/CC.18.2015.18.24.