Speeches of praise or blame don’t necessarily need much actual data. Sadly, truth can often take a vacation.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory.Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book III Chapter 7.
Along with other orators, Quintilian discusses the use of epideictic speeches, normally panegyric or other speeches praising someone (Quintilian III.7.1). These may be used at funerals, at trials, and in political situations (Quintilian III.7.2). It is always appropriate to have some sort of proof in these speeches, even if an audience is inclined to agree (Quintilian III.7.4). Quintilian illustrates the sort of proofs that would be appropriate for praising deities and humans. In cases of humans, we praise the person’s life, genius, or virtue (Quintilian III.7.15).
In cases of censure we use the same methods but use blameworthy examples (Quintilian III.7.19). All speeches of praise or blame should first be considered. The orator should be sufficiently aware of his audience to know if they would accept the orator’s arguments (Quintilian III.7.23).
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