Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book 8 Introduction
As he introduces book eight, Quintilian observes that beginners benefit from brief and simple instructions in invention and arrangement (Quintilian VIII.Introduction.1). Good teachers will present the most important and accessible pieces of information first, then develop on that foundation (Quintilian VIII.Introduction.4). Quintilian then goes on with a brief summary of what he has already written about invention and arrangement, as well as the purposes of oratory. He then introduces “the art of elocution” (Quintilian VIII.Introduction.13). In elocution the speaker presents material in the most appropriate manner of speaking. This is necessary, otherwise arguments will never be heard (Quintilian VIII.Introduction.15). The study of eloquence is a work of a lifetime. It involves words, tone, and appearance (Quintilian VIII.Introduction.20). In elocution, Quintilian asserts that Cicero “was a harsh and unpolished orator” (Quintilian VIII.Introduction.26). He desires his students to speak with greater eloquence than Cicero. The ideas communicated must never be lost in words. Rather, the words are the servant of the orator’s ideas (Quintilian VIII.Introduction.28).