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(Marcus Fabius Quintilianus) (kwĭntĭl`yən), c.A.D. 35–c.A.D. 95, Roman rhetorician, b. Calagurris (now Calahorra), Spain. He taught rhetoric at Rome (Pliny the Younger and possibly Tacitus were among his pupils) and, as a public teacher, was endowed with a salary by VespasianVespasian
(Titus Flavius Vespasianus) , A.D. 9–A.D. 79, Roman emperor (A.D. 69–A.D. 79), founder of the Flavian dynasty. The son of a poor family, he made his way in the army by sheer ability.
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, who also made him consul. His Institutio oratoria, a complete survey of rhetoric in 12 books, begins with a discussion of the education of the young and proceeds with the various principles of rhetoric. The last book deals with the life of the orator outside his profession, e.g., his morality and his deportment. The 10th book contains a list of great writers with brief but acute criticisms of their important works. Quintilian's style is among the most beautiful in his period; he succeeds in demonstrating what he sets out to inculcate—the necessity of good taste and moderation in rhetoric. He had great influence in antiquity and in the Renaissance. A number of declamations formerly assigned to him were falsely attributed.


See study by G. Kennedy (1970); M. Winterbottom ed., The Minor Declamations Ascribed to Quintilian (1984).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Marcus Fabius Quintilianus). Born circa 35 A.D. in Callagurris, now Calahorra, Spain; died approximately 96 A.D. in Rome. Rhetorician of ancient Rome.

Only Quintilian’s work Institutio oratoria, in 12 books, is preserved in its entirety; it is one of the most valuable sources on ancient rhetoric and pedagogy. As far as literary criticism is concerned, the tenth book is the most important; in it Quintilian gives a survey of Greek and Roman poetry and prose by genres.


Quintiliani Institutionis oratoriae libri 12. Edited by L. Radermacher. Leipzig, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Dvenadtsat’ knig ritoricheskikh nastavlenii. parts 1–2. Translated by A. Nikol’skii. St. Petersburg, 1834.


Kuznetsova, T. I. “Literaturnaia kritika Kvintiliana.” In Ocherki po istorii rimskoi literaturnoi kritiki. Moscow, 1963. Pages 156–90.
Kennedy, G. Quintilian. New York [1969].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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