chapter
QUINTILIAN AND RHETORICAL TEACHING
Pages 10

THOUGH RHETORICAL theory occupies the greater part of the Institutio Oratoria, most modern readers find more interest in the educational side of the work. Quintilian’s originality lay largely in the fact that he was the first to interpret the art of oratory as including all that was necessary for the training of an orator from his earliest years. Others before him had ignored the preliminary stages; he first brought them within the sphere of rhetoric.1 In this he was reflecting the spirit of the age. Under the Empire the schoolmaster came into his own. Vespasian founded chairs of rhetoric supported by public funds.2 Pliny took a delight in finding tutors for his friends’ sons and founding a school in his native town, and looked back wistfully to schooldays as the happiest period of one’s life.3 The badtempered or scandalously immoral type of teacher, Orbilius or R e m m i u s Pa l a e m o n , g ave w a y t o t h e c o n s c i e n t i o u s educationalist.