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date: 28 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how the rhetoric of the Roman forum shaped humanist education in sixteenth-century England as demonstrated in the textbooks of Erasmus, Leonard Cox, Richard Rainolde, John Brinsley, and others. Through the influence of a small number of Roman rhetorical manuals widely read by these schoolmasters and their students, including the Ad Herennium, Cicero’s De inventione, and Quintilian’s Institutio oratoria, legal principles and procedures, such as status, circumstances, artificial and inartificial proofs, and topical argumentation, impact not only the full range of writing exercises derived from the progymnasmata, from the preliminary theme and epistle to the advanced declamation, but reading practices as well.

Keywords: Cicero, circumstances, Erasmus, forensic rhetoric, humanist education, progymnasmata, Quintilian, status, topical argumentation

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