What Is the Major Contribution(S) That Cicero Made to the Rhetoric

What is the major contribution(s) that Cicero made to the study or

theory of rhetoric and teaching of composition?

Request for Question Clarification bypafalafa-ga

Can you give us a bit of context for your question, and a hint at the

sort of answer you're after?

Cicero — rightly or wrongly — is considered a great orator, but is

not considered an important contributor to the fields of philosophy or


Perhaps his most significant contribution was his influence on St.

Augustine, through a text that is, unfortunately, now lost to history.

Again, let us know a bit more about what you're after.


Clarification of Question byroye-ga

Thanks for the comments. The question comes from my friend's rhetoric

class. She use" The rhetorical tradition" ISBN 0-312-14839-9 for her

text book. On the page 283, it states Cicero's place in rhetoric. Her

major is Teaching English as a Second Language. What could Cicero make

contribution for teaching of composition is an assumption when she

could possibly use Cicero's study to teach english composition.

Find a website states the contribution he made for rhetoric


Request for Question Clarification bypafalafa-ga


There are a few concise overvies of De Oratore available:


…Of Cicero's rhetorical treatises De Oratore, "On the Orator," was

the most sophisticated treatment of rhetorical doctrines, surpassing

his youthful De Inventione, which was more consistent with the

rudimentary and systematic rhetoric, Rhetorica ad Herennium, that for

so long was attributed to him. All of these are vital texts in

establishing ancient Roman rhetorical doctrine, but De Oratore

problematized the issues at the base of rhetoric by embodying them in

dialogue form.


Historical Review: Issues in Rhetorical Invention

…In Cicero's mature discussion of rhetoric, De Oratore, Crassus and

Antonius (the two major discussants in the text) treated invention

more subtly. Although both of them downplayed their own reliance on

inventional strategies in favor of their natural abilities, in a number of

places the conversation revealed their knowledge of status and the topics.

Both showed familiarity with the three types of issues: conjecture

(fact), definition, and quality. Crassus referred to the commonplaces

for each type of discourse…and bemoaned the fact that philosophers

had usurped the common topics. Antonius compared the commonplaces

to letters in a word, immediately occurring to us and useful

only to the experienced person…, holding that if the commonplaces

were fixed in the memory and mind, nothing would escape

the orator (131). In his discussion of the topics, he mentioned a selection

of common topics such as definition, resemblance and difference,

cause and effect, greater and lesser…

…In De Oratore, Crassus and Antonius discussed the relative merits of

talent, art, imitation, and practice in the development of the ideal orator.

Crassus referred to rhetoric as an art of how men of skill have performed,

one that gives coherence to widely scattered practices…

He held that art is the offspring of eloquence and that it made talented

orators even better. Crassus agreed that there is a single art teachable

to all but that different users of the art must adapt it. He gave priority,

however, to natural ability, the talent to be swift in invention, copious

in exposition, and steadfast in recollection…


Are these the sort of links you're looking for?


Clarification of Question byroye-ga

She had read the paragraph before. Her professor mention that Cicero

made contribution to rhetoric can be separated for 5 parts and also

Cicero has a lot of influence to the composition. It has a lot of

articles mentioning about Cicero relating to rhetoric in internet, but

it's hard to summary the main ideas for his contribution to rhetoric

and composition. She gave up for this question and pick up more

familiar one. I am going to cancel this question and thanks for your

responses. I also find some links about Cicero relates rhetoric just

for references if you interesting about the question



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