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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.
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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 ?
Noting the way in which Obama's embodiment of racial difference sets her apart from former First Ladies, they read Obama's Mom-in-Chief rhetoric as an intentional and strategic way of branding herself, which allows her access to traditional First Lady rhetoric while at the same time allowing her to disrupt historical narratives about black women and motherhood.
This includes attention to visual rhetorics and the aural dimensions of the rhetorical 'text' alongside the more traditional focus on the verbal.
This starting point leads Aune to see cultural rhetorics as "implicit" (p.
As the art of persuasion, rhetoric has always had a practical orientation, aimed at helping would-be rhetors find the best available means of persuasion in any particular case, but this pragmatism inevitably intertwines with theoretical speculation about the operations of language and thought.
This very useful chapter details the emergence of vernacular rhetorics and their dependence upon, and eventual difference from, Latin rhetorics.
I am going to ignore, for the purposes of this assignment, Plato's denigration of rhetoric as flattery or decorum, even though that is perhaps still the most common view of rhetoric.
Rhetoric has always borne its interests to the site of particular cases--artfully employing its means of persuasion to influence the judgments and actions of intended auditors.
The contents of the volume include three studies on Mesopotamian rhetoric, two on Egyptian rhetoric, three on Chinese rhetoric, one each on biblical rhetoric and "alternative Greek rhetoric" (from Rhodes), and two cross-cultural studies that deal with Near Eastern texts.
Defining Visual Rhetorics has 14 chapters, including one by each of the editors.
What is the status of rhetoric in the early modern period?
Edited by Andrea A Lunsford, this is a delightfully comprehensive collection that provides a varied survey of women's role in rhetoric from the middle ages to the 20th century.