Oratory fits into three different categories, suited for different purposes.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book III Chapter 4.
Quintilian asks if in fact there are three types of rhetoric or not. While most writers agree, some, especially in times recent to Quintilian, argue that there are more (Quintilian III.4.2). After all, if praise and blame are separate categories, there may be almost countless others (Quintilian II.4.3). Alternatively, there may only be “two kinds of oratory, on this consideration, that all the business of an orator lies in causes either judicial or extrajudicial” (Quintilian III.4.6). Quintilian next begins examining the divisions made by different teachers of rhetoric. Because there are various ways of classifying rhetoric but they all deal with the same discipline, Quintilian chooses to follow the majority opinion, making a threefold division (Quintilian III.4.11). The division, then, is epideictic, deliberative, and judicial (Quintilian III.4.14-15).
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