chapter  2
41 Pages

Roman Writing Instruction as Described by Quintilian

ByJames J. Murphy

In writing are the roots, in writing are the foundations of eloquence. Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, Institutio oratoria , X.3.1

Every educational program has a cultural rationale behind it, even when instruction is on a one-to-one basis. The Masai warrior teaching his son how to use a spear to kill a lion is preparing him for life in the bush, just as a merchant might make sure that his son knows the rudiments of accounting to ensure that he can manage the money that is the heartline of his business. On the level of whole societies, however, it may be more diffi cult to identify the relation between the needs of a whole community and the specifi c instructional devices used to achieve those goals.