Cicero (106-43 B.C.) wrote De Inventione when he was still a young student, and it is marked by his intent to build a work of rhetoric out of what impressed him most in his years of education with the best Roman orators and the most famous Greek rhetoricians. While Cicero never completed the treatise, and he himself spoke of it in a later book as a work of his adolescence (De Oratore I, 5) (May and Wisse, 2001), in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance De Inventione was considered as a main work on rhetoric. According to Kennedy (1972, pp. 107-110), the treatise is dated between 91 and 88 B.C. and is thus close to the other anonymous treatise that also received widespread recognition as a main textbook on rhetoric, namely, Rhetorica ad Herennium (Caplan, 1954).
The idea of writing a treatise
Citation: Rubinelli, Sara. "De Inventione". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 May 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13353, accessed 09 December 2023.]