September 08, 2014


Roman teacher and writer whose work on rhetoric Institutio oratoria is one of the most valuable contributions of the ancient world to educational theory.

Educated in Rome he practiced as an advocate in the law courts before returning to his native Spain c. 57.

In 68 returned to Rome and began to teach (he was the first teacher to receive a state salary) retiring after a 20-year career c. 88.

Toward the end of Domitian´s reign (81-96) he was entrusted with the education of the Emperor´s grandnephews (his heirs) and was raised to the rank of consul.

His death, probably after the assassination of Domitian in 96, was preceded by that of his young wife and his son.

Two collections of declamations, attributed to Quintilian, have survived, but a speech he is known to have published and a work on reasons for the decline of oratory have not.

The Instituto oratoria published shortly before his death was the fruit of a lifetime´s practical experience of teaching rhetoric.

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