(redirected from rhetor)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


see oratoryoratory,
the art of swaying an audience by eloquent speech. In ancient Greece and Rome oratory was included under the term rhetoric, which meant the art of composing as well as delivering a speech.
..... Click the link for more information.



the study of oratory and prose in general. Rhetoric as an art originated in Greece in the fifth century B.C. and was reduced to a system in the third and second centuries B.C. Roman oratory dates from the first century B.C. The greatest theoreticians of ancient rhetoric were Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian.

Classic rhetoric was divided into five parts: invention, arrangement, verbal expression, memorization, and delivery. Invention is the systematization of the contents and proofs of a speech. Arrangement is the division of a speech into the introduction exposition, elaboration—proofs to support one’s own point of view and refutations of the arguments of one’s opponent—and conclusion. Verbal expression is the choice and combination of words, figures of speech, and rhetorical devices and—depending on the use of these elements—the choice of the simple, middle, or high style of speech.

Classical rhetoric, which was oriented primarily toward legal and ceremonial speeches, was studied in the Middle Ages mainly for the purpose of writing letters and sermons. During the Renaissance and the period of classicism, classical rhetoric was brought to bear on all types of prose. In Russia, the classical treatment of this “pervasive” rhetoric was given by M. V. Lomonosov in A Short Handbook on Eloquence (1748). Rhetoric was part of an education in the humanities until the 19th century, when its main component—verbal expression—merged with stylistics as part of the theory of literature and the remaining components lost their practical significance. The word “rhetoric” itself has taken on the offensive connotation of pompous and empty speech.


Cicero. Tri traktata ob oratorskom iskusstve. Moscow, 1972.
Antichnye teorii iazyka i stilia. Edited by O. Freidenberg. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Lausberg, H. Handbuch der literarischen Rhetorik, vols. 1-2. Munich, 1960.
Martin, J. Antike Rhetorik. Munich, 1974.


References in periodicals archive ?
Studying the rhetorical strategy would help to reveal ideological foundations and rhetorical inventions of the rhetors (i.
Since the main purpose of the rhetor, in the view of Perelman (1979), is to ensure "a meeting of minds" (p.
is not linguistically an attempt at territorial conquest; rhetors are free to be more nuanced, interlocutors freer to respond positively, or by at least acknowledging that the issue may look a certain way from the rhetor's perspective.
La tarea que desde hace ya algunos anos vienen realizando las diversas teorias criticas del derecho, (28) tiene en la obra del rhetor de Leontinos --acaso el primer operador juridico--el modelo a seguir.
7 Feminist pragmatic rhetors are responsible knowers who practice a willingness to believe others (until evidence proves otherwise), aim to keep conversations productive, acknowledge subjectivity matters in discourse, and recognize rhetors enter discourse with an openness to changing their own mind even as they seek to persuade others to entertain different beliefs.
Another way utopian rhetoric might be explained is by reference to the classical rhetorical concept of stasis--the stand a rhetor takes in order to form his or her perspective on an issue.
All writers and narrators must be rhetors who persuade their readers to participate, if only for a moment, in their dance.
For Augustine, a classically trained rhetor, the Old Testament had been a stumbling block, written in what he deemed a crude and clumsy style.
A rhetor could point to higher values to justify the act (Sykcs & Matza, 1957; Scott & Lyman, 1968; Sehonbach, 1980; Schlenker, 1980; Tedeschi & Reiss, 1981; Semin & Manstead, 1983).
In their picture, the effort at persuasion has the ironic result of snaring the rhetor in the process of interpellation.
The latter, encountered by Augustine in the Hortensius, would not only famously first summon the aspiring North African rhetor to the philosophic life but also lay the foundations of Augustine's lifelong commitment to the use of "wise speech made persuasive through rhetoric" (145).
Plato claims that rhetoric has neither an essence because its materials are not clear or very often borrowed from other arts nor a virtuous end because the rhetor cannot always be trusted to convey the truth to his audience.