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L’Homère de Quintilien : summus et primus auctor

Abstract : « Homer in Quintilian : summus et primus auctor » Studying mentions of the noun « Homer » in Institutio Oratoria leads to picture quite precisely what the epic greek poet represents for the latin rhetor – that is to say theorician and practitioner of eloquence, with his double career of avocate et teacher – Quintilian. It appears that Homer is above all a summus auctor, an exemplary figure which comes nearly automatically when the rhetor has to give an example of language or style ; it is an exceptional, an ideal figure too, not only because Homer sums up all aesthetic qualities but also because he is at the origin of all types of eloquence. Even if Quintilian sees some limits in this model, he considers Homer as a primus auctor, an auctor whom everyone must read first, who will give a standard by which other auctores will be judged. Whether Homer wanted to create models or not, he has been very early considered as a classic and a theorician as well : Quintilian, in his epics, finds excellent examples of morality and style, reads rules of speech composition and even sees some loci of epidictic rhetoric. Finally, Homer in Quintilian forms a coherent figure, which, maybe, tells us less about the epic poet than the rhetor himself, who inherits then tranmits a considerable scholar tradition.
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Pascale Paré-Rey. L’Homère de Quintilien : summus et primus auctor. Homère Rhétorique. Études de réception antique, Brepols, 2017, Collection Recherches sur les Rhétoriques Religieuses, ⟨10.1484/M.RRR-EB.5.115805⟩. ⟨halshs-01539949⟩



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