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Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing

Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing

Translations from Books One, Two, and Ten of the "Institutio oratoria"

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Edited by James J. Murphy and Cleve Wiese


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
248 pages, 5.25 x 8

Landmarks in Rhetoric and Public Address


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About the Book

Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing, edited by James J. Murphy and Cleve Wiese, offers scholars and students insights into the pedagogies of Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (ca. 35–ca. 95 CE), one of Rome’s most famous teachers of rhetoric. Providing translations of three key sections from Quintilian’s important and influential Institutio oratoria (Education of the Orator), this volume outlines the systematic educational processes that Quintilian inherited from the Greeks, foregrounding his rationale for a rhetorical education on the interrelationship between reading, speaking, listening, and writing, and emphasizing the blending of moral purpose and artistic skill.
Translated here, Books One, Two, and Ten of the Institutio oratoria offer the essence of Quintilian’s holistic rhetorical educational plan that ranges from early interplay between written and spoken language to later honing of facilitas, the readiness to use language in any situation. Along with these translations, this new edition of Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing contains an expanded scholarly introduction with an enhanced theoretical and historical section, an expanded discussion of teaching methods, and a new analytic guide directing the reader to a closer examination of the translations themselves.
A contemporary approach to one of the most influential educational works in the history of Western culture, Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing provides access not only to translations of key sections of Quintilian’s educational program but also a robust contemporary framework for the training of humane and effective citizens through the teaching of speaking and writing.


James J. Murphy is a professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of many books on rhetoric, including A Short History of Writing Instruction and A Synoptic History of Classical Rhetoric.
Cleve Wiese is an assistant professor of English at Worcester State University in Worcester, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.


“This meticulously edited volume introduces students to oral and written rhetoric by providing the insights of one of the discipline’s most profound educators in a clear and incredibly relevant manner. Highly recommended!”—Richard Leo Enos, Piper Professor (State of Texas) and Lillian Radford Chair of Rhetoric and Composition, Texas Christian University