As a designation for specific arguments providing clever explanations or excuses in mock-forensic speeches (controversiae), the technical metaphor color is mainly known from the work of Seneca the Elder. But while the many colores he cites lack their speech context, the Major Declamations ascribed to Quintilian give a unique opportunity to study the techniques of “colouring” within the framework of entire speeches. After a reconsideration of what we know about the origin and the exact meaning of color, this article demonstrates the dual function of colores as a means both of generating arguments and of creating stories, i.e. as a device that is rhetorical as well as literary.
- © 2009 by the International Society for the History of Rhetoric