What is rhetoric anyway? Quintilian settles on it as both a virtue and a skill. One without the other leaves us short.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book II, Chapter 15.
Having decided to use the term “rhetoric” Quintilian now works to define it. First, he says “the name and the art of which we are speaking can be conceded only to good men” (Quintilian II.15.1). Contrary to other definitions, he does not consider it to be merely the ability to persuade. Citing numerous authors he makes it clear that the power of persuasion is a common definition, but money, interest, and authority can persuade as well (Quintilian II.15.6).
Quintilian goes on to cite numerous examples of persuasion by non-verbal means. He further cites Aristotle, “who says that oratory is the power of finding out whatever can persuade in speaking” (Quintilian II.15.13). This is limited to invention, one part of oratory. Quintilian continues to list a number of orators and compare their definitions. Some consider oratory a science, some limit it in topics, some view it as a virtue or an art. Quintilian settles (Quintilian II.15.38) on oratory as the art of speaking well, but has earlier qualified his definition by speaking in terms of a virtue rather than merely a skill.
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