chapter  3
ARS RHETORICA
Pages 15

IT IS now time to give an account of the Art of Rhetoric as it was taught in the schools and expounded in the textbooks when rhetoric became established at Rome. It had grown up in the course of centuries and there were variations between the versions taught in the different schools. But the main outlines remained much the same, and many of the details were handed down unchanged from generation to generation. To most persons today this system is of little interest. It appears as an attempt by professional teachers to construct an obscure and difficult science out of the obvious. And so perhaps, in part at any rate, it is. Yet some of the best intellects of Rome did not think so. A study which engaged the attention of Cicero and Quintilian and which trained many Roman statesmen and men of letters cannot be entirely neglected, however repellent or frivolous it may seem to those brought up in different disciplines and systems of thought.