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This webpage reproduces a section of
Institutio Oratoria


published in Vol. I
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1920

The text is in the public domain.

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(Vol. I) Quintilian
Institutio Oratoria

Book I

Chapters 7‑12

p135 7 1 Having stated the rules which we must follow in speaking, I will now proceed to lay down the rules which must be observed when we write. Such rules are called orthography by the Greeks; let us style it the science of writing correctly. This science does not consist merely in the knowledge of the letters composing each syllable (such a study is beneath the dignity of a teacher of grammar), but, in my opinion, develops all its subtlety in connexion with doubtful points. 2 For instance, while it is absurd to place a circumflex over all long syllables since the quantity of most syllables is obvious from the very nature of the word which is written, it is all the same occasionally necessary, since the same letter involves a different meaning according as it is long or short. For example we determine whether malus is to mean an "apple tree" or a "bad man" by the use of the circumflex; 3 palus means a "stake," if the first syllable is long, a "marsh," if it be short; again when the same letter is short in the nominative and long in the ablative, we generally require the circumflex to make it clear which quantity to understand. 4 Similarly it has been held that we should observe distinctions such as the following: if the preposition ex is compounded with specto, there will be an s in the second syllable, while there will be no s if it is compounded with pecto. 5 Again the following distinction has frequently been observed: ad is spelt with a d when it is a preposition, but with a t when it is a conjunction, while cum is spelt quum when it denotes time, but cum when it denotes accompaniment. 6 Still more pedantic are the practices of making the fourth letter of quidquid a c to avoid the appearance of repeating a question, and of writing p137quotidie instead of cotidie to show that it stands for quot diebus. But such practices have disappeared into the limbo of absurdities.a

7 It is often debated whether in our spelling of prepositions we should be guided by their sound when compounded, or separate. For instance when I say optinuit, logic demands that the second letter should be a b, while to the ear the sound is rather that of p: 8 or again take the case of immunis: the letter n, which is required by strict adherence to fact, is forced by the sound of the m which follows to change into another m. 9 We must also note when analysing compound words, whether the middle consonant adheres to the preceding syllable or to that which follows. For example since the latter part of haruspex is from spectare, the s must be assigned to the third syllable. In abstemius on the other hand it will go with the first syllable since the word is derived from abstinentia temeti, "abstention from wine." 10 As for k my view is that it should not be used at all except in such words as may be indicated by the letter standing alone as an abbreviation.75 I mention the fact because some hold that k should be used whenever the next letter is an a, despite the existence of the letter c which maintains its force in conjunction with all the vowels.

11 Orthography, however, is also the servant of usage and therefore undergoes frequent change. I make no mention of the earliest times when our alphabet contained fewer letters76 and their shapes differed from those which we now use, while their values also were different. For instance in Greek the letter o was sometimes long and short, as it is with us, and again was sometimes used to express the syllable p139which is identical with its name.77 12 And in Latin ancient writers ended a number of words with d, as may be seen on the column adorned with the beaks of ships, which was set up in the forum in honour of Duilius.78 Sometimes again they gave words a final g, as we may still see in the shrine of the Sun, close to the temple of Quirinus, where we find the word uesperug, which we write uesperugo (evening star). 13 I have already spoken of the interchange of letters79 and need not repeat my remarks here: perhaps their pronunciation corresponded with their spelling. 14 For a long time the doubling of semi-vowels was avoided,80 while down to the time of Accius and beyond, long syllables were indicated by repetition of the vowel. 15 The practice of joining e and i as in the Greek diphthong ει lasted longer: it served to distinguish cases and numbers, for which we may compare the instructions of Lucilius:

The boys are come: why then, their names must end

With e and i to make them more than one;

and later —

If to a thief and liar (mendaci furique) you would give,

In e and i your thief must terminate.

16 But this addition of e is quite superfluous, since i can be long no less than short: it is also at times inconvenient. For in those words which end in i and have e as their last letter but one, we shall on this principle have to write e twice: I refer to words such as aurei or argentei and the like. 17 Now such a practice will be an actual hindrance to those who are learning to read. This difficulty occurs in Greek as p141well in connexion with the addition of an iota, which is employed not merely in the termination of the dative, but is sometimes found in the middle of words as in λῃστὴς, for the reason that the analysis applied by etymology shows the word to be a trisyllable81 and requires the addition of that letter. 18 The diphthong ae now written with an e, was pronounced in old days as ai; some wrote ai in all cases, as in Greek, others confined its use to the dative and genitive singular; whence it comes that Vergil,82 always a passionate lover of antiquity, inserted pictai uestis and aquai in his poems. 19 But in the plural they used e and wrote Syllae, Galbae. Lucilius has given instructions on this point also; his instructions occupy quite a number of verses, for which the incredulous may consult his ninth book. 20 Again in Cicero's days and a little later, it was the almost universal practice to write a double s, whenever that letter occurred between two long vowels or after a long vowel, as for example in caussae, cassus, diuissiones. That he and Vergil both used this spelling is shown by their own autograph manuscripts. 21 And yet at a slightly earlier date iussi which we write with a double s was spelt with only one. Further optimus maximus, which older writers spelt with a u, appear for the first time with an i (such at any rate is the tradition) in an inscription of Gaius Caesar.83 22 We now write here, but I still find in manuscript of the old comic poets phrases such as heri ad me uenit,84 and the same spelling is found in letters of Augustus written or corrected by his own hand. 23 Again did not Cato the censor spell dicam and faciam as dicem p143and faciem and observe the same practice in words of similar termination? This is clear from old manuscripts of his works and is recorded by Messala in his treatise on the letter s. 24 Sibe and quase are found in many books, but I cannot say whether the authors wished them to be spelt thus: I learn from Pedianus that Livy, whose precedent he himself adopted, used this spelling: to‑day we make these words end with an i. 25 What shall I say of uortices, uorsus and the like, which Scipio Africanus is said to have been the first to spell with an e? 26 My own teachers spelt seruus and ceruus with a uo, in order that the repetition of the vowel might not lead to the coalescence and confusion of the two sounds: to‑day however we write these words with a double u on the principle which I have already stated: neither spelling however exactly expresses the pronunciation. It was not without reason that Claudius introduced the Aeolic digamma to represent this sound.85 27 It is a distinct improvement that to‑day we spell cui as I have written it: when I was a boy it used to be spelt quoi, giving it a very full sound, merely to distinguish it from qui.

28 Again, what of words whose spelling is at variance with their pronunciation? For instance C is used as an abbreviation for Gaius, and when inverted stands for a woman, for as we know from the words of the marriage service women used to be called Gaiae, just as men were called Gaii.86 29 Gnaeus too in the abbreviation indicating the praenomen is spelt in a manner which does not agree with its pronunciation. We also find columna87 and consul spelt without an n, p145while Subura when indicated by three letters is spelt Suc.88 I could quote many other examples of this, but I fear that I have already said too much on so trivial a theme.

30 On all such subjects the teacher must use his own judgment; for in such matters it should be the supreme authority. For my own part, I think that, within the limits prescribed by usage, words should be spelt as they are pronounced. 31 For the use of letters is to preserve the sound of words and to deliver them to readers as a sacred trust: consequently they ought to represent the pronunciation which we are to use. 32 These are the most important points in connexion with writing and speaking correctly. I do not go so far as to deny to the teacher of literature all part in the two remaining departments of speaking and writing with elegance and significance, but I reserve these for a more important portion of this work, as I have still to deal with the duties of the teacher of rhetoric.

33 I am however haunted by the thought that some readers will regard what I have said as trivial details which are only likely to prove a hindrance to those who are intent upon a greater task; and I myself do not think that we should go so far as to lose our sleep of nights or quibble like fools over such minutiae; for such studies make mincemeat of the mind. 34 But it is only the superfluities of grammar that do any harm. I ask you, is Cicero a less great orator for having given this science his diligent attention or for having, as his letters show, demanded rigid correctness of speech from his son? Or was the vigour of Gaius Caesar's eloquence impaired by the publication of a treatise on Analogy? 35 Or the polish p147of Messale dimmed by the fact that he devoted whole books to the discussion not merely of single words, but of single letters? Such studies do no harm to those who but pass through them: it is only the pedantic stickler who suffers.

8 1 Reading remains for consideration. In this connexion there is much that can only be taught in actual practice, as for instance when the boy should take breath, at what point he should introduce a pause into a line, where the sense ends or begins, when the voice should be raised or lowered, and when he should increase or slacken speed, or speak with greater or less energy. 2 In this portion of my work I will give but one golden rule: to do all these things, he must understand what he reads. But above all his reading must be manly, combining dignity and charm; it must be different from the reading of prose, for poetry is song and poets claim to be singers. But this fact does not justify degenerating into sing-song or the effeminate modulations now in vogue: there is an excellent saying on this point attributed to Gaius Caesar while he was still a boy: "If you are singing, you sing badly: if you are reading, you sing." 3 Again I do not, like some teachers, wish character as revealed by speeches seem to be indicated as it is by the comic actor, though I think that there should be some modulation of the voice to distinguish such passages from those where the poet is speaking in person. 4 There are other points where there is much need of instruction: above all, unformed minds which are liable to be all the more deeply impressed by what they learn in their days of childish p149ignorance, must learn not merely what is eloquent; it is even more important that they should study what is morally excellent.

5 It is therefore an admirable practice which now prevails, to begin by reading Homer and Vergil, although the intelligence needs to be further developed for the full appreciation of their merits: but there is plenty of time for that since the boy will read them more than once. In the meantime let his mind be lifted by the sublimity of heroic verse, inspired by the greatness of its theme and imbued with the loftiest sentiments. 6 The reading of tragedy also is useful, and lyric poets will provide nourishment for the mind, provided not merely the authors be carefully selected, but also the passages from their works which are to be read. For the Greek lyric poets are often licentious and even in Horace there are passages which I should be unwilling to explain to a class. Elegiacs, however, more especially erotic elegy, and hendecasyllables, which are merely sections of Sotadean verse89 (concerning which latter I need give no admonitions), should be entirely banished, if possible; if not absolutely banished, they should be reserved for pupils of a less impressionable age. 7 As to comedy, whose contribution to eloquence may be of no small importance, since it is concerned with every kind of character and emotion, I will shortly point out in its due place90 what use can in my opinion be made of it in the education of boys. As soon as we have no fear of contaminating their morals, it should take its place among the subjects which it is specially desirable to read. I speak of Menander, though I would not exclude others. 8 For Latin authors will also be of some service. But the p151subjects selected for lectures to boys should be those which will enlarge the mind and provide the greatest nourishment to the intellect. Life is quite long enough for the subsequent study of those other subjects which are concerned with matters of interest solely to learned men. But even the old Latin poets may be of great value, in spite of the fact that their strength lies in their natural talent rather than in their art: above all they will contribute richness of vocabulary: for the vocabulary of the tragedians is full of dignity, while in that of the comedians there is a certain elegance and Attic grace. 9 They are, too, more careful about dramatic structure than the majority of moderns, who regard epigram as the sole merit of every kind of literary work. For purity at any rate and manliness, if I may say so, we must certainly go to these writers, since to‑day even our style of speaking is infected with all the faults of modern decadence. 10 Finally we may derive confidence from the practice of the greatest orators of drawing upon the early poets to support their arguments or adorn their eloquence. 11 For we find, more especially in the pages of Cicero, but frequently in Asinius and in other orators of that period, quotations from Ennius, Accius, Pacuvius, Lucilius, Terence, Caecilius and others, inserted not merely to show the speaker's learning, but to please his hearers as well, since the charms of poetry provide a pleasant relief from the severity of forensic eloquence. 12 Such quotations have the additional advantage of helping the speaker's case, for the orator makes use of the sentiments expressed by the poet as evidence in support of his own statements. But while my earlier remarks have special application to the education of boys, those which I have just made p153apply rather to persons of riper years; for the love of letters and the value of reading are not confined to one's schooldays, but end only with life.

13 In lecturing the teacher of literature must give attention to minor points as well: he will ask his class after analysing a verse to give him the parts of speech and the peculiar features of the feet which it contains: these latter should be so familiar with poetry as to make their presence desired even in the prose of oratory. He will point out what words are barbarous, what improperly used, and what are contrary to the laws of language. 14 He will not do this by way of censuring the poets for such peculiarities, for poets are usually the servants of their metres and are allowed such licence that faults are given other names when they occur in poetry: for we style them metaplasms,91 schematisms and schemata,92 as I have said, and make a virtue of necessity. Their aim will rather be to familiarise the pupil with the artifices of style and to stimulate his memory. 15 Further in the elementary stages of such instruction it will not be unprofitable to show the different meanings which may be given to each word. With regard to glossemata, that is to say words not in common use, the teacher must exercise no ordinary diligence, 16 while still greater care is required in teaching all the tropes93 which are employed for the adornment more especially of poetry, but of oratory as well, and in making his class acquainted with the two sorts of schemata or figures known as figures of speech and figures of thought.94 I shall however postpone p155discussion of tropes and figures till I come to deal with the various ornaments of style. 17 Above all he will impress upon their minds the value of proper arrangement, and of graceful treatment of the matter in hand: he will show what is appropriate to the various characters, what is praiseworthy in the thoughts or words, where copious diction is to be commended and where restraint.

18 In addition to this he will explain the various stories that occur: this must be done with care, but should not be encumbered with superfluous detail. For it is sufficient to set forth the version which is generally received or at any rate rests upon good authority. But to ferret out everything that has ever been said on the subject even by the most worthless of writers is a sign of tiresome pedantry or empty ostentation, and results in delaying and swamping the mind when it would be better employed on other themes. 19 The man who pores over every page even though it be wholly unworthy of reading, is capable of devoting his attention to the investigation of old wives' tales. And yet the commentaries of teachers of literature are full of such encumbrances to learning and strangely unfamiliar to their own authors. 20 It is, for instance, recorded that Didymus, who was unsurpassed for the number of books which he wrote, on one occasion objected to some story as being absurd, whereupon one of his own books was produced which contained the story in question. 21 Such abuses occur chiefly in connexion with fabulous stories and are sometimes carried to ludicrous or even scandalous extremes: for in such cases the more unscrupulous commentator has such full scope for invention, that he can tell lies p157to his heart's content about whole books and authors without fear of detection: for what never existed can obviously never be found, whereas if the subject is familiar the careful investigator will often detect the fraud. Consequently I shall count it a merit in a teacher of literature that there should be some things which he does not know.

9 1 I have now finished with two of the departments, with which teachers of literature profess to deal, namely the art of speaking correctly and the interpretation of authors; the former they call methodice, the latter historice. We must however add to their activities instruction in certain rudiments of oratory for the benefit of those who are not yet ripe for the schools of rhetoric. 2 Their pupils should learn to paraphrase Aesop's fables, the natural successors of the fairy stories of the nursery, in simple and restrained language and subsequently to set down this paraphrase in writing with the same simplicity of style: they should begin by analysing each verse, then give its meaning in different language, and finally proceed to a freer paraphrase in which they will be permitted now to abridge and now to embellish the original, so far as this may be done without losing the poet's meaning. 3 This is no easy task even for the expert instructor, and the pupil who handles it successfully will be capable of learning everything. He should also be set to write aphorisms, moral essays (chriae) and delineations of character (ethologiae),95 of which the teacher will first give the general scheme, since such themes will be drawn from their reading. In all of these exercises the general idea is the same, but the form differs: aphorisms are general propositions, while ethologiae p159are concerned with persons. 4 Of moral essays there are various forms: some are akin to aphorisms and commence with a simple statement "he said" or "he used to say": others give the answer to a question and begin "on being asked" or "in answer to this he replied," while a third and not dissimilar type begins, "when someone has said or done something." 5 Some hold that a moral essay may take some action as its text; take for example the statement "Crates on seeing an ill-educated boy, beat his paedagogus," or a very similar example which they do not venture actually to propose as a theme for a moral essay, but content themselves with saying that it is of the nature of such a theme, namely "Milo, having accustomed himself to carrying a calf every day, ended by carrying it when grown to a bull." All these instances are couched in the same grammatical form96 and deeds no less than sayings may be presented for treatment. 6 Short stories from the poets should in my opinion be handled not with a view to style but as a means of increasing knowledge. Other more serious and ambitious tasks have been also imposed on teachers of literature by the fact that Latin rhetoricians will have nothing to do with them: Greek rhetoricians have a better comprehension of the extent and nature of the tasks placed on their shoulders.

10 1 I have made my remarks on this stage of education as brief as possible, making no attempt to say everything, (for the theme is infinite), but confining myself to the most necessary points. I will now proceed briefly to discuss the remaining arts in which I think boys ought to be instructed before being handed over to the teacher of rhetoric: for it p161is by such studies that the course of education described by the Greeks as ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία or general educationc will be brought to its full completion.

2 For there are other subjects of education which must be studied simultaneously with literature. These being independent studies are capable of completion without a knowledge of oratory, while on the other hand they cannot by themselves produce an orator. The question has consequently been raised as to whether they are necessary for this purpose. 3 What, say some, has the knowledge of the way to describe an equilateral triangle on a given straight line got to do with pleading in the law-courts or speaking in the senate? Will an acquaintance with the names and intervals of the notes of the lyre help an orator to defend a criminal or direct the policy of his country? 4 They will perhaps produce a long list of orators who are most effective in the courts but have never sat under a geometrician and whose understanding of music is confined to the pleasure which their ears, like those of other men, derive from it. To such critics I reply, and Cicero frequently makes the same remark in his Orator, that I am not describing any orator who actually exists or has existed, but have in mind an ideal orator, perfect down to the smallest detail. 5 For when the philosophers describe the ideal sage who is to be consummate in all knowledge and a very god incarnate, as they say, they would have him receive instruction not merely in the knowledge of things human and divine, but would also lead him through a course of subjects, which in themselves are comparatively trivial, as for instance the elaborate subtleties of formal logic: not that acquaintance p163with the so called "horn"97 or "crocodile"98 problems can make a man wise, but because it is important that he should never trip even in the smallest trifles. 6 So too the teacher of geometry, music or other subjects which I would class with these, will not be able to create the perfect orator (who like the philosopher ought to be a wise man), but none the less these arts will assist in his perfection. I may draw a parallel from the use of antidotes and other remedies applied to the eyes or to wounds. We know that these are composed of ingredients which produce many and sometimes contrary effects, but mixed together they make a single compound resembling no one of its component parts, but deriving its peculiar properties from all: 7 so too dumb insects produce honey, whose taste is beyond the skill of man to imitate, from different kinds of flowers and juices. Shall we marvel then, if oratory, the highest gift of providence to man, needs the assistance of many arts, which, although they do not reveal or intrude themselves in actual speaking, supply hidden forces and make their silent presence felt? 8 "But" it will be urged "men have proved fluent without their aid." Granted, but I am in quest of an orator. "Their contribution is but small." Yes, but we shall never attain completeness, if minor details be lacking. And it will be agreed that though our ideal of perfection may dwell on a height that is hard to gain, it is our duty to teach all we know, that achievement may at least come somewhat nearer the goal. But why should our courage fail? The perfect orator is not contrary to the laws of nature, and it is cowardly to despair of anything that is within the bounds of possibility.

p165 9 For myself I should be ready to accept the verdict of antiquity. Who is ignorant of the fact that music, of which I will speak first, was in ancient times the object not merely of intense study but of veneration: in fact Orpheus and Linus, to mention no others, were regarded as uniting the roles of musician, poet and philosopher. Both were of divine origin, while the former, because by the marvel of his music he soothed the savage breast, is recorded to have drawn after him not merely beasts of the wild, but rocks and trees. 10 So too Timagenes asserts that music is the oldest of the arts related to literature, a statement which is confirmed by the testimony of the greatest of poets in whose songs we read that the praise of heroes and of gods were sung to the music of the lyre at the feasts of kings. Does not Iopas, the Vergilian bard, sing

"The wandering moon and labours of the Sun"99

and the like? whereby the supreme poet manifests most clearly that music is united with the knowledge even of things divine. 11 If this be admitted, music will be a necessity even for an orator, since those fields of knowledge, which were annexed by philosophy on their abandonment by oratory, once were ours and without the knowledge of all such things there can be no perfect eloquence. 12 There can in any case be no doubt that some of those men whose wisdom is a household word have been earnest students of music: Pythagoras for instance and his followers popularised the belief, which they no doubt had received from earlier teachers, that the universe is constructed on the same principles which were afterwards imitated in p167the construction of the lyre, and not content merely with emphasising that concord of discordant elements which they style harmony attributed a sound to the motions of the celestial bodies.100 13 As for Plato, there are certain passages in his works, more especially in the Timaeus,101 which are quite unintelligible to those who have not studied the theory of music. But why speak only of the philosophers, whose master, Socrates, did not blush to receive instruction in playing the lyre even when far advanced in years? 14 It is recorded that the greatest generals played on the lyre and the pipe, and that the armies of Sparta were fired to martial ardour by the strains of music.b And what else is the function of the horns and trumpets attached to our legions? The louder the concert of their notes, the greater is the glorious supremacy of our arms over all the nations of the earth. 15 It was not therefore without reason that Plato regarded the knowledge of music as necessary to his ideal statesman or politician, as he calls him; while the leaders even of that school, which in other respects is the strictest and most severe of all schools of philosophy,102 held that the wise man might well devote some of his attention to such studies. Lycurgus himself, the founder of the stern laws of Sparta, approved of the training supplied by music. 16 Indeed nature itself seems to have given music as a boon to men to lighten the strain of labour: even the rower in the galleys is cheered to effort by song. Nor is this function of music confined to cases where the efforts of a number are given union by the sound of some sweet voice that sets the tune, but even solitary workers find solace at their toil in artless song. 17 So far I have attempted merely to sound the praises of the noblest p169of arts without bringing it into connexion with the education of an orator. I will therefore pass by the fact that the art of letters and that of music were once united: indeed Archytas and Euenus held that the former was subordinate to the latter, while we know that the same instructors were employed for the teaching of both from Sophron, a writer of farces, it is true, but so highly esteemed by Plato, that he is believed to have had Sophron's works under his pillow on his deathbed: 18 the same fact is proved by the case of Eupolis, who makes Prodamus teach both music and literature, and whose Maricas, who was none other than Hyperbolus in disguise, asserts that he knows nothing of music but letters. Aristophanes103 again in more than one of his plays shows that boys were trained in music from remote antiquity, while in the Hypobolimaeus of Menander an old man, when a father claims his son from him, gives an account of all expenses incurred on behalf of the boy's education and states that he has paid out large sums to musicians and geometricians. 19 From the importance thus given to music also originated the custom of taking a lyre round the company after dinner, and when on such an occasion Themistocles confessed that he could not play, his education was (to quote the words of Cicero) "regarded as imperfect."104 20 Even at the banquets of our own forefathers it was the custom to introduce the pipe and lyre, and even the hymn of the Salii has its tune. These practices were instituted by King Numa and clearly prove that not even those whom we regard as rude warriors, neglected the study of music, at least in so far as the resources of that age allowed. 21 Finally there was actually a proverb among the Greeks, p171that the uneducated were far from the company of the Muses and Graces. 22 But let us discuss the advantages which our future orator may reasonably expect to derive from the study of Music.

Music has two modes of expression in the voice and in the body;105 for both voice and body require to be controlled by appropriate rules. Aristoxenus divides music, in so far as it concerns the voice, into rhythm and melody, the one consisting in measure, the latter in sound and song. Now I ask you whether it is not absolutely necessary for the orator to be acquainted with all these methods of expression which are concerned firstly with gesture, secondly with the arrangement of words and thirdly with the inflexions of the voice, of which a great variety are required in pleading. 23 Otherwise we must assume that structure and the euphonious combination of sounds are necessary only for poetry, lyric and otherwise, but superfluous in pleading, or that unlike music, oratory has no interest in the variation of arrangement and sound to suit the demands of the case. 24 But eloquence does vary both tone and rhythm, expressing sublime thoughts with elevation, pleasing thoughts with sweetness, and ordinary with gentle utterance, and in every expression of its art is in sympathy with the emotions of which it is the mouthpiece. 25 It is by the raising, lowering or inflexion of the voice that the orator stirs the emotions of his hearers, and the measure, if I may repeat the term, of voice or phrase differs according as we wish to rouse the indignation or the pity of the judge. For, as we know, different emotions are roused even by the various musical instruments, which are incapable of reproducing speech. 26 Further the p173motion of the body must be suitable and becoming, or as the Greeks call it eurythmic, and this can only be secured by the study of music. This is a most important department of eloquence, and will receive separate treatment in this work.106 27 To proceed, an orator will assuredly pay special attention to his voice, and what is so specially the concern of music as this? Here too I must not anticipate a later section of this work, and will content myself by citing the example of Gaius Gracchus, the leading orator of his age, who during his speeches had a musician standing behind him with a pitchpipe, or tonarion as the Greeks call it, whose duty was go give him the tones in which his voice was to be pitched.d 28 Such was the attention which he paid to this point even in the midst of his most turbulent speeches, when he was terrifying the patrician party and even when he had begun to fear their power. I should like for the benefit of the uninstructed, those "creatures of the heavier Muse," as the saying is, to remove all doubts as to the value of music. 29 They will at any rate admit that the poets should be read by our future orator. But can they be read without some knowledge of music? Or if any of my critics be so blind as to have some doubts about other forms of poetry, can the lyric poets at any rate be read without such knowledge? If there were anything novel in my insistence on the study of music, I should have to treat the matter at greater length. 30 But in view of the fact that the study of music has, from those remote times when Chiron taught Achilles down to our own day, continued to be studied by all except those who have a hatred for any regular course of study, it p175would be a mistake to seem to cast any doubt upon its value by showing an excessive zeal in its defence. 31 It will, however, I think be sufficiently clear from the examples I have already quoted, what I regard as the value and the sphere of music in the training of an orator. Still I think I ought to be more emphatic than I have been in stating that the music which I desire to see taught is not our modern music, which has been emasculated by the lascivious melodies of our effeminate stage and has to no small extent destroyed such manly vigour as we still possessed. No, I refer to the music of old which was employed to sing the praises of brave men and was sung by the brave themselves. I will have none of your psalteries and viols, that are unfit even for the use of a modest girl. Give me the knowledge of the principles of music, which have power to excite or assuage the emotions of mankind. 32 We are told that Pythagoras on one occasion, when some young men were led astray by their passions to commit an outrage on a respectable family, calmed them by ordering the piper to change her strain to a spondaic measure, while Chrysippus selects a special tune to be used by nurses to entice their little charges to sleep. 33 Further I may point out that among the fictitious themes employed in declamation is one, doing no little credit to its author's learning, in which it is supposed that a piper is accused of manslaughter because he had played a tune in the Phrygian mode as an accompaniment to a sacrifice, with the result that the person officiating went mad and flung himself over a precipice. If an orator is expected to declaim on such a theme as this, which cannot possibly be handled without some knowledge p177of music, how can my critics for all their prejudice fail to agree that music is a necessary element in the education of an orator?

34 As regards geometry,107 it is granted that portions of this science are of value for the instruction of children: for admittedly it exercises their minds, sharpens their wits and generates quickness of perception. But it is considered that the value of geometry resides in the process of learning, and not as with other sciences in the knowledge thus acquired. Such is the general opinion. 35 But it is not without good reason that some of the greatest men have devoted special attention to this science. Geometry has two divisions; one is concerned with numbers, the other with figures. Now knowledge of the former is a necessity not merely to the orator, but to any one who has had even an elementary education. Such knowledge is frequently required in actual cases, in which a speaker is regarded as deficient in education, I will not say if he hesitates in making a calculation, but even if he contradicts the calculation which he states in words by making an uncertain or inappropriate gesture with his fingers.108 36 Again linear geometry is frequently required in cases, as in lawsuits about boundaries and measurements. But geometry and oratory are related in a yet more important way than this. 37 In the first place logical development is one of the necessities of geometry. And is it not equally a necessity for oratory? Geometry arrives at its conclusions from definite premises, and by arguing from what is certain proves what was previously uncertain. Is not this just what we do in speaking? Again are not the problems of geometry almost entirely solved by the p179syllogistic method, a fact which makes the majority assert that geometry bears a closer resemblance to logic than to rhetoric? But even the orator will sometimes, though rarely, prove his point by formal logic. 38 For, if necessary, he will use the syllogism, and he will certainly make use of the enthymeme which is a rhetorical form of syllogism.109 Further the most absolute form of proof is that which is generally known as linear demonstration. And what is the aim of oratory if not proof? 39 Again oratory sometimes detects falsehoods closely resembling the truth by the use of geometrical methods. An example of this may be found in connexion with numbers in the so‑called pseudographs, a favourite amusement in our boyhood.110 But there are more important points to be considered. Who is there who would not accept the following proposition? "When the lines bounding two figures are equal in length, the areas contained within those lines are equal." 40 But this is false, for everything depends on the shape of the figure formed by these lines, and historians have been taken to task by geometricians for believing the time taken to circumnavigate an island to be a sufficient indication of its size. For the space enclosed is in proportion to the perfection of the figure. 41 Consequently if the bounding line to which we have referred form a circle, the most perfect of all plane figures, it will contain a larger space than if the same length of line took the form of a square, while a square contains a greater space than a triangle having the same total perimeter, and an equilateral triangle than a scalene triangle. 42 But there are other points which perhaps present greater p181difficulty. I will take an example which is easy even for those who have no knowledge of geometry. There is scarcely anyone who does not know that the Roman acre is 240 feet long and 120 feet broad, and its total perimeter and the area enclosed can easily be calculated. 43 But a square of 180 feet gives the same perimeter, yet contains a much larger area within its four sides. If the calculation prove irksome to any of my readers, he can learn the same truth by employing smaller numbers. Take a ten foot square: its perimeter is forty feet and it contains 100 square feet. But if the dimensions be fifteen feet by five, while the perimeter is the same, the area enclosed is less by a quarter. 44 On the other hand if we draw a parallelogram measuring nineteen feet by one, the number of square feet enclosed will be no greater than the number of linear feet making the actual length of the parallelogram, though the perimeter will be exactly as that of the figure which encloses an area of 100 square feet. Consequently the area enclosed by four lines will decrease in proportion as we depart from the form of a square. 45 It further follows that it is perfectly possible for the space enclosed to be less, though the perimeter be greater. This applies to plane figures only: for even one who is no mathematician can see that, when we have to consider hills or valleys, the extent of ground enclosed is greater than the sky over it. 46 But geometry soars still higher to the consideration of the system of the universe: for by its calculations it demonstrates the fixed and ordained courses of the stars, and thereby we acquire the knowledge that all things are ruled by order and destiny, a consideration which may at times be of value to an orator. 47 When p183Pericles dispelled the panic caused at Athens by the eclipse of the sun by explaining the causes of the phenomenon, or Sulpicius Galluse discoursed on the eclipse of the moon to the army of Lucius Paulus to prevent the soldiers being seized with terror at what they regarded as a portent sent by heaven, did not they discharge the function of an orator? 48 If Nicias had known this when he commanded in Sicily, he would not have shared the terror of his men nor lost the finest army that Athens ever placed in the field. Dion for instance when he came to Syracuse to overthrow the tyranny of Dionysius, was not frightened away by the occurrence of a similar phenomenon. However we are not concerned with the uses of geometry in war and need not dwell upon the fact that Archimedes singlehanded succeeded in appreciably prolonging the resistance of Syracuse when it was besieged. 49 It will suffice for our purpose that there are a number of problems which it is difficult to solve in any other way, which are as a rule solved by these linear demonstrations, such as the method of division, section to infinity,111 and the ratio of increase in velocity. From this we may conclude that, if as we shall show in the next book an orator has to speak on every kind of subject, he can under no circumstances dispense with a knowledge of geometry.

11 1 The comic actor will also claim a certain amount of our attention, but only in so far as our future orator must be a master of the art of delivery. For I do not of course wish the boy, whom we are training to this end, to talk with the shrillness of a woman or in the tremulous accents of old age. 2 Nor for that matter must he ape the vices of the p185drunkard, or copy the cringing manners of a slave, or learn to express the emotions of love, avarice or fear. Such accomplishments are not necessary to an orator and corrupt the mind, especially while it is still pliable and unformed. 3 For repeated imitation passes into habit. Nor yet again must we adopt all the gestures and movements of the actor. Within certain limits the orator must be a master of both, but he must rigorously avoid staginess and all extravagance of facial expression, gesture and gait. For if an orator does command a certain art in such matters, its highest expression will be in the concealment of its existence.

4 What then is the duty of the teacher whom we have borrowed from the stage? In the first place he must correct all faults of pronunciation, and see that the utterance is distinct, and that each letter has its proper sound. There is an unfortunate tendency in the case of some letters to pronounce them either too thinly or too fully, while some we find too harsh and fail to pronounce sufficiently, substituting others whose sound is similar but somewhat duller. 5 For instance, lambda is substituted for rho, a letter which was always a stumbling-block to Demosthenes; our l and r have of course the same value.112 Similarly when c and g are not given their full value, they are softened into t and d. 6 Again our teacher must not tolerate the affected pronunciation of s113 with which we are painfully familiar, nor suffer words to be uttered from the depths of the throat or p187rolled out hollow-mouthed, or permit the natural sound of the voice to be over-laid with a fuller sound, a fault fatal to purity of speech; the Greeks give this peculiarity the name καταπεπλασμένον (plastered over), 7 a term applied to the tone produced by a pipe, when the stops which produce the treble notes are closed, and a bass note is produced through the main aperture only. 8 He will also see that final syllables are not clipped, that the quality of speech is continuously maintained, that when the voice is raised, the strain falls upon the lungs and not the mouth, and that gesture and voice are mutually appropriate. 9 He will also insist that the speaker faces his audience, that the lips are not distorted nor the jaws parted to a grin, that the face is not thrown back, nor the eyes fixed on the ground, nor the neck slanted to left or right. For there are a variety of faults of facial expression. 10 I have seen many, who raised their eyebrows whenever the voice was called upon for an effort, others who wore a perpetual frown, and yet others who could not keep their eyebrows level, but raised one towards the top of the head and depressed the other till it almost closed the eye. 11 These are details, but as I shall shortly show, they are of enormous importance, for nothing that is unbecoming can have a pleasing effect.

12 Our actor will also be required to show how a narrative should be delivered, and to indicate the authoritative tone that should be given to advice, the excitement which should mark the rise of anger, and the change of tone that is characteristic of pathos. The best method of so doing is to select special passages from comedy appropriate for the p189purpose, that is to say, resembling the speeches of a pleader. 13 These are not only most useful in training the delivery, but are admirably adapted to increase a speaker's eloquence. 14 These are the methods to be employed while the pupil is too young to take in more advanced instruction; but when the time has come for him to read speeches, and as soon as he begins to appreciate their merits, he should have a careful and efficient teacher at his side not merely to form his style of reading aloud, but to make him learn select passages by heart and declaim them standing in the manner which actual pleading would require: thus he will simultaneously train delivery, voice and memory.

15 I will not blame even those who give a certain amount of time to the teacher of gymnastics. I am not speaking of those, who spend part of their life in rubbing themselves with oil and part in wine-bibbing, and kill the mind by over-attention to the body: indeed, I would have such as these kept as far as possible from the boy whom we are training. 16 But we give the same name to those who form gesture and motion so that the arms may be extended in the proper manner, the management of the hands free from all trace of rusticity and inelegance, the attitude becoming, the movements of the feet appropriate and the motions of the head and eyes in keeping with the poise of the body. 17 No one will deny that such details form a part of the art of delivery, nor divorce delivery from oratory; and there can be no justification for disdaining to learn what has got to be done, especially as chironomy, which, as the name shows, is the law of gesture, originated in heroic times and met with the p191approval of the greatest Greeks, not excepting Socrates himself, while it was placed by Plato among the virtues of a citizen and included by Chrysippus in his instructions relative to the education of children. 18 We are told that the Spartans even regarded a certain form of dance as a useful element in military training. Nor again did the ancient Romans consider such a practice as disgraceful: this is clear from the fact that priestly and ritual dances have survived to the present day, while Cicero in the third book of his de Oratore114 quotes the words of Crassus, in which he lays down the principle that the orator "should learn to move his body in a bold and manly fashion derived not from actors or the stage, but from martial and even from gymnastic exercises." And such a method of training has persisted uncensured to our own time. 19 In my opinion, however, such training should not extend beyond the years of boyhood, and even boys should not devote too much time to it. For I do not wish the gestures of oratory to be modelled on those of the dance. But I do desire that such boyish exercises should continue to exert a certain influence, and that something of the grace which we acquired as learners should attend us in after life without our being conscious of the fact.

12 1 The question is not infrequently asked, as to whether, admitting that these things ought to be learned, it is possible for all of them to be taught and taken in simultaneously. There are some who say that this is impossible on the ground that the mind is confused and tired by application to so many studies of different tendencies: neither the intelligence nor the physique of our pupils, nor p193the time at our disposal are sufficient, they say, and even though older boys may be strong enough, it is a sin to put such a burden on the shoulders of childhood. 2 These critics show an insufficient appreciation of the capacities of the human mind, which is so swift and nimble and versatile, that it cannot be restricted to doing one thing only, but insists on devoting its attention to several different subjects not merely in one day, but actually at one and the same time. 3 Do not harpists simultaneously exert the memory and pay attention to the tone and inflexions of the voice, while the right hand runs over certain strings and the left plucks, stops or releases others, all these actions being performed at the same moment? 4 Again, do not we ourselves, when unexpectedly called upon to plead, speak while we are thinking what we are to say next, invention of argument, choice of words, rhythm, gesture, delivery, facial expression and movement all being required simultaneously? If all these things can be done with one effort in spite of their diversity, why should we not divide our hours among different branches of study? We must remember that variety serves to refresh and restore the mind, and that it is really considerably harder to work at one subject without intermission. Consequently we should give the pen a rest by turning to read, and relieve the tedium of reading by changes of subject. 5 However manifold our activities, in a certain sense we come fresh to each new subject. Who can maintain his attention, if he has to listen for a whole day to one teacher harping on the same subject, be it what it may? Change of studies is p195like change of foods: the stomach is refreshed by their variety and derives greater nourishment from variety of viands. 6 If my critics disagree, let them provide me with an alternative method. Are we first to deliver ourselves up to the sole service of the teacher of literature, and then similarly to the teacher of geometry, neglecting under the latter what was taught us by the former? And then are we to go on to the musician, forgetting all that we learned before? And when we study Latin literature, are we to do so to the exclusion of Greek? In fine, to have done with the matter once and for all, are we to do nothing except that which last comes to our hand? 7 On this principle, why not advise farmers not to cultivate corn,º vines, olives and orchard trees at the same time? or from devoting themselves simultaneously to pastures, cattle, gardens, bees and poultry? Why do we ourselves daily allot some of our time to the business of the courts, some to the demands of our friends, some to our domestic affairs, some to the exercise of the body, and some even to our pleasures? Any one of these occupations, if pursued without interruption, would fatigue us. So much easier is it to do many things than to do one thing for a long time continuously.

8 We need have no fear at any rate that boys will find their work too exhausting: there is no age more capable of enduring fatigue. The fact may be surprising, but it can be proved by experiment. For the mind is all the easier to teach before it is set. 9 This may be clearly proved by the fact that within two years after a child has begun to form words correctly, he can speak practically all without any pressure from outside. On the other hand how many years p197it takes for our newly-imported slaves to become familiar with the Latin language. Try to teach an adult to read and you will soon appreciate the force of the saying applied to those who do everything connected with their art with the utmost skill "he started young!" 10 Moreover boys stand the strain of work better than you gentlemen. Just as small children suffer less damage from their frequent falls, from their crawling on hands and knees and, a little later, from their incessant play and their running about from morn till eve, because they are so light in weight and have so little to carry, even so their minds are less susceptible of fatigue, because their activity calls for less effort and application to study demands no exertion of their own, since they are merely so much plastic material to be moulded by the teacher. 11 And further owing to the general pliability of childhood, they follow their instructors with greater simplicity and without attempting to measure their own progress: for as yet they do not even appreciate the nature of their work. Finally, as I have often noticed, the senses are less affected by mere hard work than they are by hard thinking.

12 Moreover there will never be more time for such studies, since at this age all progress is made through listening to the teacher. Later when the boy has to write by himself, or to produce and compose something out of his own head, he will neither have the time nor the inclination for the exercises which we have been discussing. 13 Since, then, the teacher of literature neither can nor ought to occupy the whole day, for fear of giving his pupil a distaste for work, what are the studies to which the spare time should preferably be devoted? 14 For I do not wish the student to wear p199himself out in such pursuits: I would not have him sing or learn to read music or dive deep into the minuter details of geometry, nor need he be a finished actor in his delivery or a dancer in his gesture: if I did demand all these accomplishments, there would yet be time for them; the period allotted to education is long, and I am not speaking of duller wits. 15 Why did Plato bear away the palm in all these branches of knowledge which in my opinion the future orator should learn? I answer, because he was not merely content with the teaching which Athens was able to provide or even with that of the Pythagoreans whom he visited in Italy, but even approached the priests of Egypt and made himself thoroughly acquainted with all their secret lore.

16 The plea of the difficulty of the subject is put forward merely to cloak our indolence, because we do not love the work that lies before us nor seek to win eloquence for our own because it is a noble art and the fairest thing in all the world, but gird up our loins for mercenary ends and for the winning of filthy lucre. 17 Without such accomplishments many may speak in the courts and make an income; but it is my prayer that every dealer in the vilest merchandise may be richer than they and that the public crier may find his voice a more lucrative possession. And I trust that there is not one even among my readers who would think of calculating the monetary value of such studies. 18 But he that has enough of the divine spark to conceive the ideal eloquence, he who, as the great tragic poet115 says, regards "oratory" as "the queen of all the world" and seeks not the transitory gains of advocacy, but those stable and lasting rewards which his own soul and knowledge and p201contemplation can give, he will easily persuade himself to spend his time not, like so many, in the theatre or in the Campus Martius, in dicing or in idle talk, to say naught of the hours that are wasted in sleep or long drawn banqueting, but in listening rather to the geometrician and the teacher of music. For by this he will win a richer harvest of delight than can ever be gathered from the pleasures of the ignorant, since among the many gifts of providence to man not the least is this that the highest pleasure is the child of virtue. 19 But the attractions of my theme have led me to say overmuch. Enough of those studies in which a boy must be instructed, while he is yet too young to proceed to greater things! My next book will start afresh and will pass to the consideration of the duties of the teacher of rhetoric.

The Translator's Notes:

75 K may stand for Kalendae, Kaeso, Karthago, Kalumnia, Kaput.

76 The original alphabet consisted of twenty-one letters, and was increased to twenty-three by the addition of y and z.

77 i.e. the interjection O!

78 The ablative originally terminated in d; e.g. pugnandod, marid, navaled, praedad, etc., on the base of the column of Duilius.

Thayer's Note: For the inscription in full, as well as further references and literature, see the article Columna Rostrata C. Duilii in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

79 I.IV.12‑17.

80 e.g. iusi was written for iussi.

81 The noun being formed from ληίζω. ΛΗΙΣΤΗΙ in the text is dative after in. The trisyllable to which Q. refers is the nominative.

82 Aen. IX.26 and vii.464.

83 Caligula, the first of the Caesars to adopt this title.

84 Ter. Phorm. 36.

85 cp. I.IV.8.

86 The bride used the formula ubi tu Gaius, ibi ego Gaia.

Thayer's Note: The abbreviation is very common in Latin inscriptions; this passage of Quintilian has determined how such inscriptions are traditionally read by modern epigraphers. For an interesting example, with photograph, see the Numerius Quinctius inscription in the Capitoline Museums.

87 columa is mentioned by the grammarian Pompeius as a barbarism in the fifth century. cp. dimin. columella. Consul is abbreviated cos.

88 The original name was Sucusa.

Thayer's Note: Possibly not quite that simple, although my personal feeling is that the matter has been made more complicated than it need be; at any rate, for further details and sources, see the article Sucusa in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

89 One form of Sotadean is

A macronA breveA macronA breveA macronA macronA breveA breveA macronA breveA macronA breveA macronA macron.

The Hendecasyllable runs

A macron and a breve, denoting a syllable that may be either short or longA macronA macronA breveA breveA macronA breveA macronA breveA macronA macron,

= the Sotadean minus the first three syllables. Both metres were frequently used for indecent lampoons. For Sotades see index.

90 sc. ch. xi.

91 The formation of cases of nouns and tenses of verbs from a non-existent nom. or pres.: or more generally any change in the forms of a word.

92 schematismus and schemata both seem to mean the same, sc. figures.

93 See Book VIII chap. vi.

94 See Book IX chaps. i and ii. A trope is an expression used in a sense which it cannot strictly bear. A figure is a form of speech differing from the ordinary method of expression; see IX.I.4.

95 The meaning of ethologia is doubtful, but probably means a simple character-sketch of some famous man.

96 The sense is not clear: it appears to refer to the stereotyped form in which the chria was couched.

97 You have what you have not lost: you have not lost horns: therefore you have horns.

98 A crocodile, having seized a woman's son, said that he would restore him, if she would tell him the truth. She replied, "You will not restore him." Was it the crocodile's duty to give him up?

99 Aen. I.742.

100 The music of the spheres: cp. the vision of Er in Plato (Rep. 10) and the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero. The sounds produced by the heavenly bodies correspond to the notes of the heptachord.

101 Tim. p47.

102 sc. the Stoics.

103 Knights, 188.

104 Tusc. Disp. I.II.4.

105 Music includes dancing.

106 Book XI chap. iii.

107 Geometry here includes all mathematics.

108 There was a separate symbol for each number, depending on the hand used and the position of the fingers. See Class. Review, 1911, p72.

Thayer's Note: For the following additional references and more recent work on the subject, I am indebted to Otfried Lieberknecht, Paul Pascal, and Carol Langner:

Karl August Wirth, "Fingerzahlen", in Reallexikon zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte, vol. VIII (München 1987), col. 1225 ff. (and especially 1233 f.), who lists the following classical loci: Plin. H. N. XXXIV.33; Macrob. Sat. I.IX; Cicero, de Fin.I.39 (which, however, has nothing to do with representing numbers); Sid. Apol., Epist. IX.9.14.

Martianus Capella, de nupt. VII.729; Bede, de temporum ratione (ed. Jones, CCSL 123B, p257 ff.)

"Putting Your Finger on It: Finger Symbols in the Ancient Marketplace" Burma P. Williams and Richard S. Williams, in the Journal of the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest, Vol. 25 No. 1 (abstract here).

E. M. Sanford, "De Loquela Digitorum," CJ 23 (1927‑28), pp588 ff.; further details in J. H. Turner, "Roman Elementary Mathematics," CJ 47 (1951), p106.

109 See V.XIV.1 for an example from the Pro Ligario. "The cause was then doubtful, as there were arguments on both sides. Now, however, we must regard that cause as the better, to which the gods have given their approval."

110 It is not known to what Quintilian refers.

111 Quintilian is perhaps referring to the measurement of the area of an irregular figure by dividing it into a number of small equal and regular figures the size of which was calculable.

Thayer's Note: O how I would love this to be a reference to calculus in Antiquity, as so strongly suggested by de sectione in infinitum! Yet, while I can't go along with Prof. Butler and take "infinite" to refer to a firmly finite assemblage of triangles such as surveyors use to calculate the areas of irregular plots of land, on the other hand I see no way that ancient mathematics could have come up with any of the calculus, especially in view of the horrific notational systems in use by both Greeks and Romans; and I know of no (other) evidence for an ancient calculus.

Yet for example there is more than a whiff of infinity to the whole area of Diophantine equations (Diophantus of Alexandria is uncertainly dated to about 150 years after Quintilian: for just how uncertainly, see the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica article) — I'll drop the idea, but it's a great pity Quintilian did not choose to expand or digress on this one.

112 The mis-spelling of flagro as fraglo exemplifies the confusion to which Quintilian refers. A similar, though correct, substitution is found is lavacrum for lavaclum, etc. See Lindsay, Lat. Langu., pp92 ff.

113 Quintilian perhaps alludes to the habit of prefixing i to initial st, sp, sc found in inscriptions of the later Empire. See Lindsay, op. cit. p102.

114 lix.220.

115 Pacuvius (Ribbeck, 177).

Thayer's Notes:

a quicquid (an example of assimilation, in fact, making it easier to pronounce) remained a common form for centuries, as did quotidie: it's fun to watch Isidore — about five hundred and forty years later — recommend it, on the very grounds that Quintilian chastises as pedantic and obsolete (Orig. V.30.18).

b A practice which has continued down to modern times. In America during the War between the States (1861‑1865) General Robert E. Lee is reported to have said "I don't believe we can have an army without music." (G. C. Underwood: History of the Twenty-Sixth North Carolina, in Douglas Freeman, Robert E. Lee, Vol. III, p267.)

c The Greek expression means literally a "circular", or what we would call a "well-rounded", education: in which nothing is loose, but everything connected to a view of the whole. Enkyklios paedeia is of course the origin of our word encyclopedia.

d If this seems a bit odd, there was a good reason for it; see Plutarch, T. Gracchus ii.4.

e Solar eclipse of Aug. 3, 431 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War, and lunar eclipse of Sep. 2, 172 B.C. on the eve of the battle of Pydna, respectively. (For the latter date, very frequently given in the English-speaking world as June 21, 168 B.C., see Plut. Aem. 17.7 and my note there.)

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