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 ancients. 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 et Quintilien," 183S : Hummel, "Quintiliani Vita," 1843; "Nouvelle Biographie Generale."

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