Ancient Roman rhetoricians do not offer a systematic theory of vivid description in their rhetorical treatises, perhaps because it was treated at the early stages of a student's education and because it may be produced in various ways to achieve various purposes. After examining the references to vivid description scattered throughout ancient rhetorical treatises in discussions of style, amplification, narration, and proof, as well as Cicero's use of the technique in the "Verrine" orations, I suggest precepts which may have guided the means by and ends for which vivid descriptions are produced.
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