1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Rhetoric
RHETORIC (Gr. ῥητορικὴ τέχνη, the art of the orator), the art of using language in such a way as to produce a desired impression upon the hearer or reader. The object is strictly persuasion rather than intellectual approval or conviction; hence the term, with its adjective “rhetorical,” is commonly used for a speech or writing in which matter is subservient to form or display. So in grammar, a “rhetorical question” is one which is asked not for the purpose of obtaining an answer, but simply for dramatic effect. The power of eloquent speech is recognized in the earliest extant writings. Homer describes Achilles as a “speaker of words, as well as a doer of deeds”: Nestor, Menelaus and Odysseus are all orators as well as statesmen and soldiers. Again the brilliant eloquence of Pericles is the theme of Aristophanes and Eupolis. Naturally the influence wielded by the great orators led to an investigation of the characteristics of successful rhetoric, and especially from the time of Aristotle the technique of the art ranked among the recognized branches of learning.
A lost work of Aristotle is quoted by Diogenes Laěrtius (viii. 57) as saying that Empedocles “invented” (εὑρεῖν) rhetoric; Zeno, dialectic (i.e. logic, the art of making a logical argument, apart from the style). This is certainly not to be understood as meaning that Empedocles composed the first “art” of rhetoric. It is rather to be explained by Aristotle’s own remark, cited by Laěrtius from another lost treatise, that Empedocles was “a master of expression and skilled in the use of metaphor”—qualities which may have found scope in his political oratory, when, after the fall of Thrasydaeus in 472 B.C., he opposed the restoration of a tyranny at Agrigentum. The founder of rhetoric as an art was Corax of Syracuse (c. 466 B.C.). In 466 a democracy was established in Syracuse. One of the immediate consequences was a mass of litigation on claims to property, urged by democratic exiles who had been dispossessed by Thrasybulus, Hiero or Gelo. Such claims, going many years back, would often require that a complicated series of details should be stated and arranged. It would also, in many instances, lack documentary support, and rely chiefly on inferential reasoning. Hence the need of professional advice. The facts known as to the “art” of Corax perfectly agree with these conditions. He gave rules for arrangement, dividing the speech into five parts,—proem, narrative, arguments (ἀγῶνες), subsidiary remarks (παρέκβασις) and peroration. Next he illustrated the topic of general probability (εἰκός), showing its two-edged use: e.g., if a puny man is accused of assaulting a stronger, he can say, “Is it likely that I should have attacked him?” If vice versa, the strong man can argue, “Is it likely that I should have committed an assault where the presumption was sure to be against me?” This topic of εἰκός, in its manifold forms, was in fact the great weapon of the earliest Greek rhetoric. It was further developed by Tisias, the pupil of Corax, as we see from Plato’s Phaedrus, in an “art” of rhetoric which antiquity possessed, but of which we know little else. Aristotle gives the εἰκός a place among the topics of the fallacious enthymeme which he enumerates in Rhet. ii. 24, remarking that it was the very essence of the treatise of Corax; he points out the fallacy of omitting to distinguish between abstract and particular probability, quoting the verses of Agatho,—“Perhaps one might call this very thing a probability, that many improbable things will happen to men.” Gorgias (q.v.) of Leontini captivated the Athenians in 427 B.C. by his oratory (Diod. xii. 53), which, so far as we can judge, was characterized by florid antithesis, expressed in short jerky sentences. But he has no definite place in the development of rhetoric as a system. It is doubtful whether he left a written “art”; and his mode of teaching was based on learning prepared passages by heart, diction (λέξις), not invention or arrangement, being his great object.
The first extant Greek author who combined the theory with the practice of rhetoric is the Athenian Antiphon, the first of the Attic orators, and the earliest representative at Athens of a new profession created by the new art of rhetoric—that of the λογογράφος, the writer of forensic speeches for other men to speak in court. His speeches show the art of rhetoric in its transition from the technical to the practical stage, from the school to the law court and the assembly. The organic lines of the rhetorical pleader’s thought stand out in bold relief, and we are enabled to form a clear notion of the logographer’s method. We find a striking illustration of the fact that the topic of “probability” is the staple of this early forensic rhetoric. Viewed generally, the works of Antiphon are of great interest for the history of Attic prose, as marking how far it had then been influenced by a theory of style. The movement of Antiphon’s prose has a certain grave dignity, “impressing by its weight and grandeur,” as a Greek critic in the Augustan age says, “not charming by its life and flow.” Verbal antithesis is used, not in a diffuse or florid way, but with a certain sledge-hammer force, as sometimes in the speeches of Thucydides. The imagery, too, though bold, is not florid. The structure of the periods is still crude; and the general effect of the whole, though often powerful and impressive, is somewhat rigid.
Antiphon represents what was afterwards named the “austere” or “rugged” style (αὐστηρὰ ἁρμονία), Lysias was the model of an artistic and versatile simplicity. But while Antiphon has a place in the history of rhetoric as an art, Lysias, with his. more attractive gifts, belongs only to the history of. oratory. Ancient writers quote an “art” of rhetoric by Isocrates, but its authenticity was questioned. It is certain, however, that Isocrates taught the art as such. He is said to have defined rhetoric “as the science of persuasion” (Sext. Empir. Adv. Mathem.ii. § 62, p. 301 seq.). Many of his particular precepts, both on arrangement and on diction, are cited, but they do not give a complete view of his method. The φιλοσοφία (“theory of culture”) which Isocrates expounds in his discourses Against the Sophists and on the Antidosis, was in fact rhetoric applied to politics. First came technical expositions: the pupil was introduced to all the artificial resources which prose composition employs (τὰς ἰδέας ἁπάσας αἷς ὁ λόγος τυγχάνει χρώμενος, Antid. § 183). The same term (ἰδέαι) is also used by Isocrates in a narrower sense, with reference to the “figures” of rhetoric, properly called σχήματα (Panath. § 2); sometimes, again, in a sense still more general, to the several branches or styles of literary composition (Antid. § II). When the technical elements of the subject had been learned, the pupil was required to apply abstract rules in actual composition, and his essay was revised by the master. Isocrates was unquestionably successful in forming speakers and writers. His school was famous during a period of some fifty years (390 to 340 B.C.). Among the statesmen whom it trained were Timotheus, Leodamas of Acharnae, Lycurgus and Hyperides; among the philosophers or rhetoricians were Speusippus, Plato’s successor in the Academy, and Isaeus; among the historians, Ephorus and Theopompus. Cicero and through him all subsequent oratory owed much to the ample prose of the Isocratean school.
In the person of Isocrates the art of rhetoric is thus thoroughly established, not merely as a technical method, but also as a practical discipline of life. If Plato’s mildly ironical reference in the Euthydemus to a critic “on the borderland between philosophy and statesmanship” was meant, as is probable, for Isocrates, at least there was a wide difference between the measure of acceptance accorded to the earlier Sophists, such as Protagoras, and the influence which the school of Isocrates exerted through the men whom it had trained. Rhetoric had won its place in education. It kept that place through varying fortunes to the fall of the Roman empire, and resumed it, for a while, at the revival of learning.
Plato in the Gorgias and the Phaedrus satirized the ordinary textbooks of rhetoric, and himself gave directions for standard of work; but the detailed study of the art begins with Aristotle. Aristotle’s Rhetoric belongs to the generation after Isocrates, having been composed (but see Aristotle) between 330 and 322 B.C. As controversial allusions sometimes hint it holds Isocrates for one of the foremost exponents of the subject. From a purely literary point of view Aristotle’s Rhetoric (with the partial exception of book iii.) is one of the driest works in the world. From the historical or scientific point of view it is one of the most interesting. If we would seize the true significance of the treatise it is better to compare rhetoric with grammar than with its obvious analogue, logic. A method of grammar was the conception of the Alexandrian age, which had lying before it the standard masterpieces of Greek literature, and deduced the “rules” of grammar from the actual practice of the best writers. Aristotle in the latter years of the 4th century B.C. held the same position relatively to the monuments of Greek oratory which the Alexandrian methodizers of grammar held relatively to Greek literature at large. Abundant material lay before him, illustrating how speakers had been able to persuade the reason or to move the feelings. He therefore sought thence to deduce rules and so construct a true art. Aristotle’s practical purpose was undoubtedly real. If we are to make persuasive speakers, he believed, this is the only sound way to set about it. But the enduring interest of his Rhetoric is mainly retrospective. It attracts us as a feat in analysis by an acute mind - a feat highly characteristic of that mind itself, and at the same time strikingly illustrative of the field over which the materials have been gathered.
The Rhetoric is divided into three books. It deals in great detail with the minutiae of the rhetorical craft. Book i. discusses the nature and object of rhetoric. The means of persuasion (πίστεις) are classified into “inartificial” (ἄτεχνοι), i.e. the facts of the case external to the art, documents, laws, depositions, - and “artificial” (ἔντεχνοι), the latter subdivided into logical (the popular syllogism or “enthymeme,” the “example,” &c.), ethical, and emotional. Aristotle next deals with the “topics” (τόποι), i.e. the commonplaces of rhetoric, general or particular arguments which the rhetorician must have ready for immediate use. Rhetoric is then broadly divided into :- (1) deliberative (συμβουλευτική), concerned with exhortation or dissuasion, and with future time, its end (τέλος), being the advantage or detriment of the persons addressed; (2) forensic (δικανική), concerned with accusation and defence, and with time past, its standard being justice; (3) epideictic, the ornamental rhetoric of display, concerned with praise and blame, usually with the present time, its standard being honour and shame. Each of these kinds is discussed, and the book ends with a brief analysis of the “inartificial proofs.” In book ii. Aristotle returns to the “artificial” proofs—those which rhetoric itself provides. The “logical” proof having been discussed in book i., he turns to the “ethical.” He shows how the speaker may so indicate his own character and the goodness of his motive as to prepossess the audience in his favour, and proceeds to furnish materials to this end. The “emotional” proof is then discussed, and an analysis is given of the emotions on which the speaker may play. A consideration follows of the “universal commonplaces” (κοινοὶ τόποι) which are suitable to all subjects. The book ends with an appendix dealing with the “example” (παράδειγμα), , the general moral sentiments (γνῶμαι) and the enthymeme. In book iii. Aristotle considers expression (λέξις), including the art of delivery (ὑπόκρισις), and arrangement (τάξις). Composition, the use of prose rhythm, the periodic style (the “periodic” style, κατεστραμμένη, being contrasted with the “running” (εἰρομένη) are all analysed, and the types of style literary (γραφική) and oral (ἀγωνιστική) are differentiated. Under “arrangement” he concludes with the parts of a speech, proem, narrative, proofs and epilogue.
It is necessary briefly to consider Aristotle’s general view of rhetoric as set forth in book i. Rhetoric is properly an art. This is the proposition from which Aristotle sets out. It is so because when a speaker persuades, it is possible to find out why he succeeds in doing so. Rhetoric is, in fact, the popular branch of logic. Hitherto, Aristotle says, the essence of rhetoric has been neglected for the accidents. Writers on rhetoric have hitherto concerned themselves mainly with “the exciting of prejudice, of pity, of anger, and such-like emotions of the soul.” All this is very well, but “it has nothing to do with the matter in hand; it has regard a higher to the judge.” The true aim should be to prove your point, or seem to prove it.
Here we may interpolate a comment which has a general bearing on Aristotle’s Rhetoric. It is quite true that, if we start from the conception of rhetoric as a branch of logic, the phantom of logic in rhetoric claims precedence over appeals to passion. But Aristotle does not sufficiently regard the question—What, as a matter of experience, is most persuasive? Logic may be more persuasive with the more select hearers of rhetoric; but rhetoric is for the many, and with the many appeals to passion will sometimes, perhaps usually, be more effective than syllogism. No formulation of rhetoric can correspond with fact which does not leave it absolutely to the genius of the speaker whether reasoning (or its phantom) is to be what Aristotle calls it, the “body of proof” (σῶμα πίστεως), or whether the stress of persuading effort should not be rather addressed to the emotions of the hearers.
But we can entirely agree with Aristotle in his next remark, which is historical in its nature. The deliberative branch of rhetoric had hitherto been postponed, he observes, to the forensic. We have, in fact, already seen that the very origin of rhetoric in Hellas was forensic. The relative subordination of deliberative rhetoric, however unscientific, had thus been human. Aristotle’s next statement, that the master of logic will be the master of rhetoric, is a truism if we concede the essential primacy of the logical element in rhetoric. Otherwise it is a paradox; and it is not in accord with experience, which teaches that speakers incapable of showing even the ghost of an argument have sometimes been the most completely successful in carrying great audiences along with them. Aristotle never assumes that the hearers of his rhetorician are as οἱ χαρίεντες, the cultivated few; on the other hand, he is apt to assume tacitly—and here his individual bent comes out - that these hearers are not the great surging crowd, the ὄχλος, but a body of persons with a decided, though imperfectly developed, preference for sound logic.
What is the use of an art of rhetoric? It is fourfold, Aristotle replies. Rhetoric is useful, first of all, because truth and justice are naturally stronger than their opposites. When awards are not duly given, truth and justice must have been worsted by their own fault. This is worth correcting.Uses of rhetoric. Rhetoric is then (1) corrective. Next, it is (2) instructive, as a popular vehicle of persuasion for persons who could not be reached by the severer methods of strict logic. Then it is (3) suggestive. Logic and rhetoric are the two impartial arts; that is to say, it is a matter of indifference to them, as arts, whether the conclusion which they draw in any given case is affirmative or negative. Suppose that I am going to plead a cause, and have a sincere conviction that I am on the right side. The art of rhetoric will suggest to me what might be urged on the other side; and this will give me a stronger grasp of the whole situation. Lastly, rhetoric is (4) defensive. Mental effort is more distinctive of man than bodily effort; and “it would be absurd that, while incapacity for physical self-defence is a reproach, incapacity for mental defence should be no reproach.” Rhetoric, then, is corrective, instructive, suggestive, defensive. But what if it be urged that this art may be abused? The objection, Aristotle answers, applies to all good things, except virtue, and especially to the most useful things. Men may abuse strength, health, wealth, generalship.
The function of the medical art is not necessarily to cure, but to make such progress towards a cure as each case may admit. Similarly it would be inaccurate to say that the function of rhetoric was to persuade. Rather must rhetoric be defined as “the faculty of discerning in every case the available means of persuasion.” Suppose that among these means of persuasion is some process of reasoning which the rhetorician himself knows to be unsound. That belongs to the province of rhetoric all the same. In relation to logic, a man is called a “sophist” with regard to his moral purpose (προαίρεσις), i.e. if he knowingly used a fallacious syllogism. But rhetoric takes no account of the moral purpose. It takes account simply of the faculty (δύναμις)—the faculty of discovering any means of persuasion.
Aristotle’s Rhetoric is incomparably the most scientific work which exists on the subject. It may also be regarded as having determined the main lines on which the subject was treated by nearly all subsequent writers. The extant treatise on rhetoric (also by Aristotle?) entitled Ῥητορικὴ πρὸς Ἀλέξανδρον, formerly ascribed to Anaximenes of Lampsacus, was written at latest by 340 B.C. The introductory letter prefixed to it is probably a late forgery. Its relation towards Aristotle’s Rhetoric is discussed in the article on Aristotle.
During the three centuries from the age of Alexander to that of Augustus the fortunes of rhetoric were governed by the new conditions of Hellenism. Aristotle’s scientific method lived on in the Peripatetic school. Meanwhile the fashion of florid declamation or strained conceits prevailed in the rhetorical schools of Asia, where, amid mixed populations, the pure traditions of the best Greek taste had been dissociated from the use of the Greek language. The “Asianism” of style which thus came to be constrasted with “Atticism” found imitators at Rome, among whom must be reckoned the orator Hortensius (c. 95 B.C.). Hermagoras of Temnos in Aeolis (c. 100 B.C.) claims mention as having done much to revive a higher conception. Using both the practical rhetoric of the time before Aristotle and Aristotle’s philosophical rhetoric, he worked up the results of both in a new system, following the philosophers so far as to give the chief prominence to “invention.” He thus became the founder of a rhetoric which may be distinguished as the scholastic. Through the influence of his school, Hermagoras did for Roman eloquence very much what Isocrates had done for Athens. Above all, he counteracted the view of “Asianism,” that oratory is a mere knack founded on practice, and recalled attention to the study of it as an art.
Cicero’s rhetorical works are to some extent based on the technical system to which he had been introduced by Molon at Rhodes. But Cicero further made an independent use of the best among the earlier Greek writers, Isocrates, Aristotle and Theophrastus. Lastly, he could draw, at least in the later of his treatises, on a vast fund of reflection and experience. Indeed, the distinctive interest of his contributions to the theory of rhetoric consists in the fact that his theory can be compared with his practice. The result of such a comparison is certainly to suggest how much less he owed to his art than to his genius. Some consciousness of this is perhaps implied in the idea which pervades much of his writing on oratory, that the perfect orator is the perfect man. The same thought is present to Quintilian, in whose great work, De Institutione Oratoria, the scholastic rhetoric receives its most complete expression (c. A.D. 90). Quintilian treats oratory as the end to which the entire mental and moral development of the student is to be directed. Thus he devotes his first book to an early discipline which should precede the orator’s first studies, and his last book to a discipline of the whole man which lies beyond them. Some notion of his comprehensive method may be derived from the circumstance that he introduces a succinct estimate of the chief Greek and Roman authors, of every kind, from Homer to Seneca (bk. x. §§ 46-131). After Quintilian, the next important name is that of Hermogenes of Tarsus, who under Marcus Aurelius made a complete digest of the scholastic rhetoric from the time of Hermagoras of Temnos (110 B.C.). It is contained in five extant treatises, which are remarkable for clearness and acuteness, and still more remarkable as having been completed before the age of twenty-five. Hermogenes continued for nearly a century and a half to be one of the chief authorities in the schools. Longinus (c. A.D. 260) published an Art of Rhetoric which is still extant; and the more celebrated treatise On Sublimity (περὶ ὕψους), if not his work, is at least of the same period. In the later half of the 4th century Aphthonius (q.v.) composed the “exercises” (προγυμνάσματα) which superseded the work of Hermogenes. At the revival of letters the treatise of Aphthonius once more became a standard text-book. Much popularity was enjoyed also by the exercises of Aelius Theon (of uncertain date; see Theon). (See further the editions of the Rhetores Graeci by L. Spengel and by Ch. Walz.)
During the first four centuries of the empire the practice of the art was in greater vogue than ever before or since. First, there was a general dearth of the higher intellectual of interests: politics gave no scope to energy; philosophy was stagnant, and literature, as a rule, either arid or frivolous. Then the Greek schools had poured their rhetoricians into Rome, where the same tastes which revelled in coarse luxury welcomed tawdry declamation. The law-courts of the Roman provinces further created a continual demand for forensic speaking. The public teacher of rhetoric was called “sophist,” which was now an academic title, similar to “professor” or “doctor.” In the 4th century B.C. Isocrates had taken pride in the name of σοφιστής, which, indeed, had at no time wholly lost the good, or neutral, sense which originally belonged to it. The academic meaning which it acquired under the early empire lasted into the middle ages (see Du Cange, s.v., who quotes from Baldricus, “Egregius Doctor magnusque Sophista Geraldus”). While the word rhetor still denoted the faculty, the word sophistes denoted the office or rank to which the rhetor might hope to rise. So Lucian (“Teacher of Rhetoricians,” § 1) says: “You ask, young man, how you are to become a rhetor, and attain in your turn to the repute of that most impressive and illustrious title, sophist.” Lucian also satirizes the discussions of the nature of rhetoric in his parody the Parasite (cf. also his Bis Accusatus).
Vespasian (70–79 A.D.), according to Suetonius, was the first emperor who gave a public endowment to the teaching of rhetoric. Under Hadrian and the Antonines (A.D. 117–180) the public chairs of rhetoric became objects of the highest ambition. The complete constitution of the schools at Athens was due to Marcus Aurelius. The Philosophical school had four chairs (θρόνοι)—Platonic, Stoic, Peripatetic, Epicurean. The Rhetorical school had two chairs, one for “sophistic,” the other for “political” rhetoric. By “sophistic” was meant the academic teaching of rhetoric as an art, in distinction from its “political” application to the law-courts. The “sophistical” chair was superior to the “political” in dignity as in emolument, and its occupant was invested with a jurisdiction over the youth of Athens similar to that of the vice-chancellor in a modern university. The Antonines further encouraged rhetoric by granting immunities to its teachers. Three “sophists” in each of the smaller towns, and five in the larger, were exempted from taxation (Dig. xxvii. 1, 6, § 2). The wealthier sophists affected much personal splendour. Polemon (c. A.D. 130) and Adrian of Tyre (c. A.D. 170) are famous examples of extravagant display. The aim of the sophist was to impress the multitude. His whole stock-in-trade was style, and this was directed to astonishing by tours de force. The scholastic declamations were chiefly of two Declamations.classes. (1) The suasoriae were usually on historical or legendary subjects, in which some course of action was commended or censured (cf. Juv. Sat.). These suasoriae belonged to deliberative rhetoric (the βουλευτκὸν γένος, deliberativum genus). (2) The controversiae turned especially on legal issues, and represented the forensic rhetoric (δικανικὸν γένος, judiciale genus). But it was the general characteristic of this period that all subjects, though formally “deliberative” or “orensic,” were treated in the style and spirit of that third branch which Aristotle distinguished, the rhetoric of ἐπίδειξις or “display.” The oratory produced by the age of the academic sophists can be estimated from a large extant literature. It is shown under various aspects, and presumably at its best, by such writers as Dio Chrysostom at the end of the 1st century, Aelius Aristides (see Aristides, Aelius) in the 2nd, the chief rhetorician under the Antonines, Themistius, Himerius and Libanius in the 4th. Amid much which is tawdry or vapid, these writings occasionally present passages of true literary beauty, while they constantly offer matter of the highest interest to the student.
In the medieval system of academic studies, grammar, logic and rhetoric were the subjects of the trivium, or course followed during the four years of undergraduateship. Music, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy constituted the quadrivium, or course for the three years from the B.A. to the M.A. degree. These were the seven liberal arts. In the middle ages the chief authorities on rhetoric were the latest Latin epitomists, such as Martianus Capella (5th cent.), Cassiodorus (5th cent.) or Isidorus (7th cent.).
After the revival of learning the better Roman and Greek writers gradually returned into use. Some new treatises were also produced. Leonard Cox (d. 1549) wrote The Art or Craft of Rhetoryke, partly compiled, partly original, which was reprinted in Latin at Cracow. The Art of Rhetorique, by Thomas Wilson (1553), afterwards secretary of state, embodied rules chiefly from Aristotle, with help from Cicero and Quintilian. About the same time treatises on rhetoric were published in France by Tonquelin (1555) and Courcelles (1557). The general aim at this period was to revive and popularize the best teaching of the ancients on rhetoric. The subject was regularly taught at the universities, and was indeed important. At Cambridge in 1570 the study of rhetoric was based on Quintilian, Hermogenes and the speeches of Cicero viewed as works of art. An Oxford statute of 1588 shows that the same books were used there. In 1620 George Herbert was delivering lectures on rhetoric at Cambridge, where he held the office of public orator. The decay of rhetoric as a formal study at the universities set in during the 18th century. The function of the rhetoric lecturer passed over into that of correcting written themes; but his title remained long after his office had lost its primary meaning. If the theory of rhetoric fell into neglect, the practice, however, was encouraged by the public exercises (“acts” and “opponencies”) in the schools. The college prizes for “declamations” served the same purpose.
The fortunes of rhetoric in the modern world, as briefly sketched above, may suffice to suggest why few modern writers of ability have given their attention to the subject. Perhaps one of the most notable modern contributions to the art is the collection of commonplaces framed (in Latin) by Bacon, “o be so many spools from which the threads can be drawn out as occasion serves,” a truly curious work of that acute and fertile mind. He called them “Antitheta.” A specimen is sub joined:
|“Attachment to the state begins from the family.”||“He who marries, and has children, has given hostages to fortune.”|
|“Wife and children are a discipline in humanity. Bachelors are morose and austere.”||“The immortality of brutes is in their progeny; of men, in their fame, services, and institutions.”|
|“The only advantage of celibacy and childlessness is in case of exile.”||“Regard for the family too often overrides regard for the state.”|
This is quite in the spirit of Aristotle’s treatise. The popularity enjoyed by Blair’s Rhetoric in the latter part of the 18th and the earlier part of the 19th century was merited rather by the form than by the matter. Campbell’s Philosophy of Rhetoric, which found less wide acceptance than its predecessor, was superior to it in depth, though often marred by an imperfect comprehension of logic. But undoubtedly the best modern book on the subject is Whately’s Elements of Rhetoric. Starting from Aristotle’s view, that rhetoric is “an offshoot from logic,” Whately treats it as the art of “argumentative composition.” He considers it under four heads: (1) the address to the understanding (=Aristotle’s λογικὴ πίστις); (2) the address to the will, or persuasion (=Aristotle’s ἠθική and παθητικὴ πίστις); (3) style; (4) elocution, or delivery. But when it is thus urged that
“All a rhetorician's rules
But teach him how to name his tools,”
the assumption is tacitly made that an accurate nomenclature and classification of these tools must be devoid of practical use. The conditions of modern life, and especially the invention of printing, have to some extent diminished the importance which belonged in antiquity to the art of speaking, though modern democratic politics and forensic conditions still make it one which may be cultivated with advantage.
Among more modern works are J. Bascom, Philosophy of Rhetoric (New York, 1885); and numerous books on voice culture, gesture and elocution. For ancient rhetoric see Sir R. C. Jebb’s translation of Aristotle’s Rhetoric (ed. J. E. Sandys, 1909), and his Attic Orators (1876); also Spengel, Artium Scriptores (1828); Westermann, Gesch. der Beredtsamkeit (1833–35;) Cope, in the Cambridge Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology (1855–57); introductions to Cicero’s De Oratore (A. S. Wilkins) and Orator (J. E. Sandys); Volkmann, Die Rhetorik der Griechen und Römer in system. Übersicht (ed. 2, 1885). (R. C. J.; X.)
- See Jebb’s Attic Orators, ii. 445