This chapter is devoted to the study of the Institutio oratoria as a complex space in which Quintilian, in addition to developing an education manual, a rhetorical treatise, and an essay on the orator’s moral duties and obligations, also includes theoretical reflections on literary criticism as well as analysis and assessments of specific literary works. In this sense, this chapter studies Quintilian as a literary critic. From a general and theoretical point of view, it reviews the relations established within the framework of the Institutio oratoria between literary criticism and poetarum enarratio, or exegesis of poetic texts, which should be practised by grammar students before continuing to the study of rhetoric. This review forces us to reconsider the question of the interdependence that exists between grammar and rhetoric as classical sciences of discourse. From an applicative and practical perspective, the chapter stresses the importance of Book 10 for a better knowledge of the literary critical analyses and evaluations that Quintilian makes of the most important works and authors of Greek and Roman literature, always in relation to its usefulness for the orator’s training through the exercise of reading and on the basis of the principle of imitation of literary models, which not only include poetic texts, but also historical, philosophical, and rhetorical texts. Finally, the chapter reviews the theory of Attic, Asianic, and Rhodian styles in Quintilian’s thinking and his defence of the one which, even defined by hybridization, best adapts itself to the pragmatic-communicative requirements of the rhetorical fact.
In today's world, the traditional means of the dissemination of knowledge have become replaced by advanced digital platforms. This, alongside the context of the global pandemic that has propelled the usage of technological tools in the classroom, has created a conducive environment for innovative pedagogy. In this paper, a case for the digitization of classical rhetorical texts for pedagogical purposes is presented. To do this, principles of digital rhetoric are brought up followed by various examples of how the digital has been embraced (in the context of the wider principles of digital rhetoric) already in the pedagogical sphere. Finally, a potential proposal for an extension of the present work was put forward. Digitization and technology widely are the norms of our day and age. In viewing these elements from a pedagogical perspective, what can be seen is that there is an enormous opportunity not only in teaching the students that will walk through our doors but in preserving the rhetorical tradition that intrigues and fascinates the larger community of scholarship.
The communication of scientific knowledge is traditionally oriented towards objective truth and facts, and builds on the authority of science. This article argues that, besides or even opposite to these aims, creating authenticity has become a major factor of successful science communication. Conveying a “personal touch,” or giving the audience a feeling of “being real,” are crucial promoters of credibility. Significant methods of gaining trust and sympathy on the level of textual as well as visual presentation are disclosed by exploring a bestselling popular scientific book, and with references to ancient rhetorical texts.
Given that medieval allegory constantly uses personification debate as a tool for analysing its characteristic polarizations and oppositions, the Excursus investigates what we call ‘personification’, and its relation to speech, debate literature, and allegory. It argues that personification is a fundamentally hybrid figure. It claims that the speakerly aspect of the trope, which Classical and medieval theorists often also called prosopopoeia (the ‘speaking figure’, a figure of rhetorical enlivenment), has been occluded by the post-medieval term ‘personification’, along with a post-medieval tendency to define the trope of this name almost exclusively in terms of the animation of abstractions or inanimate phenomena. The Excursus illustrates this claim with an analysis of Classical and medieval rhetorical texts, showing that even when personification is defined in substitutive terms, as the animation of some usually non-animate phenomenon, it is still strongly associated with speech and even dialogue. The Excursus then goes on to explore the widespread use of dialogue in Antiquity and the Middle Ages for many kinds of pedagogy, especially where accessibility was a desirable; it also notes the recurrence of the speaking personification/prosopopoeia in such contexts, with its further endowment of rhetorical energy and persuasiveness. The claim is that these contexts go a long way towards explaining the deeply embedded connection between personification, speech, debate and the work that these figures and structures do in medieval allegory.
The sublime plays an important role in recent publications on Greek and Latin literature. On the one hand, scholars try to make sense of ancient Greek theories of the sublime, both in Longinus’ On the Sublime and in other rhetorical texts. On the other hand, the sublime, in its ancient and modern manifestations presented by thinkers from Longinus to Burke, Kant and Lyotard, has proved to be a productive tool for interpreting the works of Latin poets like Lucretius, Lucan and Seneca. But what is the sublime? And how does the Greek rhetorical sublime in Longinus relate to the Roman literary sublime in Lucretius and other poets? This article reviews James I. Porter, The Sublime in Antiquity: it evaluates Porter’s innovative approach to the ancient sublime, and considers the ways in which it might change our understanding of an important, but somewhat enigmatic concept.
The paper pursues an investigation on an apocryphal text still underinvestigated by scholars: the Urbano, falsely attributed to Boccaccio. The first part focuses on its fortune in the Boccaccio’s canon, from the first edition of the Vocabolario della Crusca to the Boccaccio’s complete works edited in the Ottocento; furthermore, are pointed out its connections with the Libellus de Constantino Magno eiusque matre Helena, the main source of the plot, and with other genealogical medieval tales, such as the Libro imperiale and the Manfredo. The second part focuses on the manuscript tradition of the text, in order to demonstrate as its circulation in Quattrocento’s miscellaneous manuscripts of rhetorical texts in the vernacular, containing several texts by Boccaccio, has probably influenced the spurious attribution.