Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus)kwĭntĭlˈyən, 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 Vespasian, 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).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.