The study of rhetoric at Oxford enjoyed a privileged place within the classical curriculum. Yet historical treatments of both Oxford and rhetoric are silent on which texts students read, how reading lists evolved, and how the methods of teaching rhetoric responded to internal and external pressures. By using institutional records and personal papers, this essay pieces together which classical rhetoric texts students read, and how the authorities taught rhetoric during a time when curriculum reform efforts promoted both renewed emphasis on the classics and increased attention to the "new learning" of belletristic rhetoric.

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