Quintilian on the Duty of the Student of Rhetoric

The Young Cicero Reading, 1464 fresco, now at ...
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Nor is it sufficient to have read the poets only; every kind of writer must be carefully studied, not merely for subject matter, but for vocabulary. . . . Unless the foundations of oratory are well and truly laid by the teaching of literature, the superstructure will collapse. The study of literature is a necessity for boys and the delight of old age, the sweet companion of our privacy and the sole branch of study which has more solid substance than display.

It is important that we study, in fine detail, even the most sacred of texts. I’ll be arrogant for a moment. I find in students today the absolute refusal to question what they have in front of them. To exegete is to blaspheme. To seek to question a long standing Tradition, interpretation or hermeneutic is tantamount to questioning YHWH himself. I find these students completely lacking in intellectual integrity and their professed love of Christ. Yet, we must. Yes, I say even question God a time or two, in order to know how or why people believed what they did. To find out why believe or what we should believe – or if orthodoxy is even necessary. We must be circumspect to know that not everyone, perhaps not even a majority of like-minded individuals have believed the same way, not even parents and children.

Study to show yourself approved.

For background, Cicero, more, and to see where I am going

 

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One Reply to “Quintilian on the Duty of the Student of Rhetoric”

  1. At the Bible college i’m going to we are encouraged to question beliefs, and to form our own beliefs. Not to follow any man. To follow Jesus. Which suits me just fine.

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