[1.51] By observing this and studiously re-reading all the above, it will be easy to write any person about any matter. And because all letters contain either complaint or consolation or petition, either of reward or of punishment, or correction1 or accusation2 or praise of some person or some matter,3 one should then say from which topics the arguments of all these are derived. Whoever should have fully understood that doctrine <of topics> would neither be distracted by error nor confounded by the blush of ignorance.
1 Correction is treated below, Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.63-65.
2> Accusation is contrasted with correction below, Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.62. Criminatio: De inv. 1.27, 1.104, 2.36, 2.84, 2.93, 2.339; Rhet. Her. 1.8.12, 1.4.6, 2.27.43. Cicero also uses this term in De orat. 2.231, Lael. 65 and in his speeches: Quinct. 33; Qu. Rosc. 37, 82; De lege agrari 3.3.; Muren. 58; Flacc. 27, 100; Sulla 40; Piso 76. The verb criminor appears often in his speeches.
3 For the topics of praise or blame, see below, Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.66-76.
© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
Scrineum © Universitą di Pavia 1999