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WALZER, Arthur E.

Fall 2003, pages 25-42

Quintilian's "Vir Bonus" and the Stoic Wise Man

Abstract: Although scholars have acknowledged a Stoic influence on Quintilian, they have been reluctant to see Stoicism as providing the philosophical underpinnings of the Institutes. Against this scholarly hesitance, this essay argues that Stoic ideas are at the heart of Quintilian's educational program. Quintilian's ideal orator is the Stoic Wise Man with this difference: he is trained in Ciceronian eloquence. Furthermore, Quintilian's definition of oratory is based on the Stoic view of rhetoric as an essential science that enables the orator to meet the social responsibilities inherent in the Stoic ideal of the virtuous life.

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