Quintilian, The Orator's Education

LCL 127: 10-11

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Liber Nonus


1 Cum sit proximo libro de tropis dictum, sequitur pertinens ad figuras (quae schemata Graece vocantur) locus ipsa rei natura coniunctus superiori. Nam plerique has tropos esse 2 existimaverunt, quia, sive ex hoc duxerint nomen, quod sint formati quodam modo, sive ex eo, quod vertant orationem, unde et motus dicuntur, fatendum erit esse utrumque eorum etiam in figuris. Usus quoque est idem: nam et vim rebus adiciunt et gratiam praestant.

Nec desunt qui tropis figurarum nomen imponant, 3 quorum est Cartorius1 Proculus. Quin adeo similitudo manifesta est ut ea discernere non sit in promptu. Nam quo modo quaedam in his species plane distant, manente tamen generaliter illa societate, quod utraque res a derecta


Book 9.1

Book Nine

Chapter 1

The difference between Figures and Tropes

The last book having dealt with Tropes, there now follows the topic of Figures (schēmata as they are called in Greek), which is naturally connected with the preceding. Many in fact have held that Figures are Tropes; indeed, whether Tropes derive their name from being formed in a certain way1 or from their making changes in speech (hence their alternative name “Moves”),2 it has to be admitted that both these features are seen also in Figures. They have the same use too, for they both add force to the subject and provide charm.

There are some too who call Tropes Figures, among them Cartorius Proculus.3 Indeed, the resemblance is so patent that it is not an easy matter to make a distinction between them. On the one hand, some species of them are clearly different, while retaining their generic likeness,4 inasmuch as both involve a rhetorically effective departure

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.quintilian-orators_education.2002