Abstract This article is based on a general principle: the study of a fragmentary author should begin with a study of the sources. The particular subject is Cicero as a source for Theophrastus' rhetorical doctrine. The works On Invention, On the Orator and Orator are considered one after the other. The reliability of Cicero is tested by comparing what is said about Aristotle with what we read in the existing Rhetoric. Grounds for caution will be found. In the case of Theophrastus, we shall discover that Cicero does have value as a source, but his value should not be overstated. The reports are often quite general and sometimes they involve Ciceronian additions.
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