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The quote is as such:

[56] quod Cicerō optimē videt ac testātur frequenter sē quod numerōsum sit quaerere, ut magis nōn ἀπάλαιστοι. quod esset īnscītum atque agreste, quam ἔνρυθμον, quod poēticum est, esse compositiōnem velit; sīcut etiam quōs palaestrītās esse nōlumus, tamen esse nōlumus eōs quī dīcuntur ἀπάλαιστοι.

I am interested in the latter part of the phrase, which I have translated to:

Just as we certainly do not wish some to be gymnasts, we still do not wish them to be those that are said [to be] ignorant of gymnastics.

The phrase ‘ignorant of gymnastics’ is my version of Butler’s translation. The problem I have, though, is that the dictionary entries I have access to explain ἀπάλαιστοι as such:

LSJ

ἀπάλαιστος [πα^], ον,
A.not to be thrown in wrestling, unconquerable, Pi.N. 4.94.

Slater

ἀπα?́λαιστος
1.unbeatable in wrestling, met. “οἷον αἰνέων κε Μελησίαν ἔριδα στρέφοι, ῥήματα πλέκων, ἀπάλαιστος ἐν λόγῳ ἕλκειν” not to be thrown in his speech, Bowra N. 4.94

This seems to be in direct contradiction to the interpretation by Butler. What is the explanation for this interpretation of the word (other than that it wouldn’t make sense the other way)? May it be that some Greek words had taken on their own meaning in the Roman discourse, and that Quintilian is using this word in that sense. I doubt this to be true, though; it doesn’t seem likely, given the high status of Greek amongst the Roman élite.

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    FYI, both the 2002 Loeb edition (Russel) and the 1970 OCT edition (Winterbottom) have: "sicut etiam quos palaestritas esse nolumus, tamen esse nolumus eos qui dicuntur apalaestroe." – Alex B. Jan 6 at 16:22
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    cf. ἀπάλαιστρος 'that has not exercised in the palaistra, untrained (in wrestling)' – Alex B. Jan 6 at 16:38
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    also: "Idque Cicero optime videt ac testatur frequenter se quod numerosum sit quaerere ut magis non arrhythmum, quod esset inscitum atque agreste, quam enrhythmum, quod poeticum est, esse compositionem velit" (Russell) – Alex B. Jan 6 at 16:44
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    @AlexB. Including the -r-? And yes, I would have expected it to mean something along those lines—the same as with arrhythmum—which is why I was surprised to find these definitions. – Canned Man Jan 6 at 17:10
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    yes, see e.g. Winterbottom 1970, p. 546 books.google.com.vc/… – Alex B. Jan 6 at 17:29
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As Alex B mentions in the comments, the Loeb version reads slightly differently:

Idque Cicero optime videt ac testatur frequenter se quod numerosum sit quaerere ut magis non arrhythmum, quod esset inscitum atque agreste, quam enrhythmum, quod poeticum est, esse compositionem velit: sicut etiam quos palaestritas esse nolumus, tamen esse nolumus eos qui dicuntur apalaestroe.

Notably, the word here is apalaestroe, presumably a transliteration of ἀπάλαιστροι, with a rho. And indeed, LSJ cites this passage in their definition:

ἀπάλαιστρος [πα^], ον,
A.not trained in the palaestra, unskilled in wrestling, AP12.222 (Strat.); opp. οἱ μετέχοντες τοῦ γυμνασίου, CIG 3086 (Teos).
2. generally, awkward, clumsy, Cic.Orat.68.229, Quint.Inst.9.4.56, Phld.Rh.1.8 S. (Sup.).
II. not customary in the palaestra, contrary to its rules, AP5.213 (Mel.).

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    Excellent work, the both of you. Thank you for taking the time in solving this conundrum for me! May I suggest adding a note in the second paragraph on the different tonality as well? – Canned Man Jan 6 at 21:06
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    @CannedMan Oh, that was just a mistake on my part. Final -oi sometimes counts as long for accent purposes, and sometimes as short, and I guessed wrong. (It counts as short here and I accented it as if it were long.) – Draconis Jan 6 at 21:10

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