THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF MODERN THEORISTS
The long sweep from the period of the second sophistic to the sixteenth century is not distinguished by great effort in the investigation of rhetorical theory. Far from being barren, however, it does afford the names of several men who figure with some prominence in our tradition. Since preaching was the "characteristic form of oratory" during much of the medieval period, it is natural that certain of the contributors to rhetoric should concern themselves with that phase of speech doctrine. Among these was St. Augustine ( fifth century) who, in his De Doctrina Christiana, applied sound Ciceronian doctrine to the theory of preaching. The school books of the middle period, especially in the separate treatments of the trivium and the quadrivium, also helped to keep the tradition of rhetoric intact.
Other figures of importance in medieval rhetoric include: Martianus Capella whose Marriage of Philology and Mercury (c. 430) contained a division of studies in which rhetoric figured rather prominently, with all of the five parts of the classical division receiving attention; Cassiodorus whose Institutiones (c. 570) helped to sustain the tradition of the seven arts, although rhetoric was not treated comprehensively; Isidore whose Etymologiae or Origines ( seventh century) contained summaries of all the seven arts; the Venerable Bede whose considerations of metre and rhythm had wide favor during the eighth century; and Alcuin whose Rhetoric of Alcuin and Charlemagne (c. 794) represented a fairly substantial restatement of Cicero De Inventione and Julius Victor Ars Rhetorica.
In some respects, St. Augustine's On Christian Doctrine resembles Quintilian Institutes of Oratory. Although it is neither as comprehensive nor as important to the development of rhetorical