Over fifty years ago C.P. Snow published his influential Two Cultures in which he proclaimed that "the intellectual life of the whole of western society" was divided between the incompatible cultures of the humanities and the sciences. The history of rhetoric has long had a similar cultural divide between the rhetoric of men and of women. Scholarship of the last 30 years has brought women’s rhetoric, long invisible to historians of rhetoric, fully into focus. And while women’s contributions to rhetoric are now well recognized, it has also become apparent that men and women were often engaged in very different rhetorical enterprises. Men’s rhetoric is sometimes characterized as public, institutional, oratorical, and agonistic; whereas women’s rhetoric is private, intimate, conversational, and conciliatory. Indeed, it often appears that men’s and women’s rhetoric does indeed represent two cultures—two cultures which begin to intersect in the elocutionary movement of eighteenth-century Britain.
The number of elocutionary texts written by and for women is quite extraordinary. Dozens of works with titles like “Ladies’ Reader” and “Ladies’ Elocution” were published in English from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, while more traditional rhetorics remained predominantly the domain of men. Probably the first elocutionary text designed specifically for females is Mary Wollstonecraft’s The Female Reader (1789). This book, intended “for the improvement of young women,” is a collection of readings designed “to affect a young heart and improve an open understanding.” Wollstonecraft notes that although “female accomplishments are deemed of more consequence than they ever were…females are not educated to become public speakers or players.” Wollstonecraft continues that “if it be allowed to be a breach of modesty for a woman to obtrude her person or talents on the public when necessity does not justify or spur her on, yet to be able to read with propriety is certainly a very valuable attainment” (v). Thus Wollstonecraft, and others, recognized the importance of elocutionary education for women while remaining cognizant of the constraints females faced. The elocutionary movement, then, presents a cautious but significant convergence of rhetoric’s two cultures.
Adamidis, Vasileios (University of Exeter, Nikaia, Greece)
The Rhetorical Impact of Basanos in the Courts of Classical Athens
My presentation aims to explore the underlying rationale behind the use of challenges (or dares) in the courts of classical Athens. In particular, by examining the speeches surviving in the canon of the Attic orators (ca. 420-320 BCE), I aim to uncover the psychological causes and effects of the rhetorical manipulation of the forensic procedure of basanos (‘evidentiary torture’). Although the practical application of this procedure is questionable, its presence in the form of rhetorical challenge is widespread and calls for analysis.
Most Athenian trials were triggered by (hard to prove) factual disputes. Persuasive rhetoric formed the main way for a litigant to prove his case. In order to support his narrative, one could use the testimony of servants by resorting to basanos, whereby he issued a challenge offering his own or requesting his opponent’s slaves for interrogation. The procedural inflexibility of this institution usually gave rise to disagreement between the parties, providing rhetorical advantage to the initiator and a disadvantage to the refusing party.
My treatment of the issue touches the heart of the ‘evidentiary torture’ since it provides an exegesis of the significant impact of this institution to the minds of the jurors. I aim to explain how the Greek ideas of rational decision-making and explanation of human action formed the reasons behind the rhetorical tactics surrounding this procedure. The Greek ‘action-theory’ opposes the Cartesian model of the human mind which interprets human action as conscious acts of a person exercising autonomy of the will in every single instance of his life. By contrast, the Greek inferential reasoning interpreted human action as motivated by reasons and reasoning drawn from previous experience. Taking the form of a ‘means-end’ type of rational calculation, consistency between the ‘means’ used, the ‘end’ to be achieved and the ‘motive’ behind the action proved the honesty of a litigant’s rhetoric. Any discrepancy between these three pillars of human action could be severely damaging. Thus, a litigant stating his willingness to help the court to discover the truth (‘end’) in order to promote justice (‘motive’) should provide the ‘means’ by accepting the challenge of basanos.
Ahn, Jaewon (Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea)
A Brief Observation on Tropus Theory in Xiguojifa 西國記法
In general, I would introduce how Matteo Ricci (1552-1610, 利馬竇 Limadou) used western art of memory for learning by heart Chinese characters. In this regard, Ricci wrote Xiguojifa 西國記法 (1595). This can be translated with The art of Memory in Western Countries. Xiguojifa 西國記法 was divided in six chapters, Yuanbenpian 原本篇, Mingyongpian 明用篇, Sheweipian 設位篇, Lixiangpian 立象篇, Dingshipian 定識篇, Guangzipian 廣資篇. Each chapter was analyzed according to the art of memory. The art itself in Xiguojifa 西國記法 basically came from the memory part of Rhetorica ad Herennium (Book III Ch. 28-40). According to my studies, however, the Vorlage for Xiguojifa 西國記法 was Cosma Rosellio’s Thesaurus artificiosae memoriae, concionatoribus, philosophis, medicis … bonarum litterarum amatoribus (Venetiis, 1579). In particular, however, I would concentrate on arguing some tropus-phenomena in Xiguojifa 西國記法. On this issue, it is noteworthy to see how and why Ricci used the western tropus theory for understanding and analyzing both Chinese characters and texts.
Albalá Pelegrín, Marta (Cal Poly, Pomona, CA, USA)
Gestures as a Transnational Language through Engravings and Woodcuts: Terence and Celestina
Rhetoric in the classical antiquity regarded gestures as a part of the delivery or actio that should be subordinated to the speech (Aristotle, Quintilian). However, 16th- and 17th-century authors such as Arias Montano in his biblical commentaries (1571), Giovanni Bonifacio in his L'arte de' Cenni (1616), or John Bulwer in The Chirologia and Chironomia (1644) conceived of them as a transnational language that would make possible a greater understanding among men. In the same light, the commissioned engravings of theatrical editions, such as the famous illustrations of the comedies of Terence (Strasburg: Johann Grüninger, 1496), were said to be able to unfold the plot of a play to an illiterate man, with no need to read it. Plots, therefore, aimed at relying on depicted gestures, postures, and clothing to tell the story of a comedy. Following the model of the editions of Terence, a pan European bestseller like La Celestina (Burgos, 1499) relied on its woodcuts to present the readers with different interpretations of the play. The woodcuts accompanying some of its early editions have been studied as belonging to the avant-garde of the printing press (Burgos: Fadrique de Basilea, 1499) or as a commercial model through the depiction of violence (Seville: Cromberger, 1535). Building upon this scholarship, my paper will explore how printers and illustrators codified the text through the specific gestures represented in the woodcuts of Spanish and Italian editions. In particular I will study how these gestures relate with the different readings in contemporary treatises such as Bonifacio or Bulwer, and what they are able to tell us about contemporary dramatic theories and the movements of the actors on the stage. These illustrations allow us to see how some early modern readers perceived the work and how they positioned themselves within contemporary debates on decorum, or on the art of oratory, especially in the case of those 16th-century editions in which a new set of woodcuts was created for the occasion.
Albrecht, Tim (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Germany)
“Die Wahrheit verträgt keine Schminke“. Parrhesia and the Prussian Reforms
In Le courage de la vérité, Michel Foucault elaborates an account of the rhetorical practice of parrhesia as an anti-rhetorical mode of fearless speech. In this paper, I analyze Karl August von Hardenberg’s Rigaer Denkschrift (1807) as an instance of “monarchic parrhesia”, the license that an adviser to the king may take. The military defeat at the hand of Napoleon in 1806 provided the opportunity for a sober analysis of Prussia’s political crisis, an analysis that initiated the contradictory process of political liberalization known as “Preußische Reformen” (1807-1819). Hardenberg goes to great rhetorical lengths to authorize his frankness towards the addressee of his discourse, King Frederick III. Throughout the memorandum, he polemicizes against flattery and calls for a politics of truth (“eine ehrliche, gerade, treue Politik ohne List und Trug”) both towards Napoleon and the Prussian people. Arguably, parrhesia is not only the form of Hardenberg’s discourse, but it is at the center of his conception of post-revolutionary politics.
However, among the suggestions for necessary liberalizations Hardenberg presents to the king, one demand is carefully avoided: an unconditional call for freedom of speech. Thus free speech is in fact at stake on three different levels in von Hardenberg’s discourse: in his licentia towards the king, in the politics of truth he advocates, and in his refusal to extend the priviledge of free speech to the people. Starting from this observation I argue that Hardenberg’s Denkschrift constitutes a complex rhetorical performance that engages multiple varied and contradictory concepts of free speech. These contradictions can be read as symptomatic for the broader tensions inherent to the reformer’s idea of a “Revolution von oben” and of the momentous failure to establish a culture of political discourse able to mediate the specific interests of monarchy, aristocracy, and the people. Ultimately, both Hardenberg’s speech towards the king and the form of his political advocacy (“Herstellung des Zusammenhangs der Nation mit der Staatsverwaltung”) reveal themselves to be that which Foucault described as the opposite of parrhesia, namely as “discourses of seduction”.
Alvino, Maria Consiglia (Università degli Studi di Napoli, Napoli, Italy)
Retorica ed ideologia imperiale nel Panegirico II di Giuliano a Costanzo (or. III Bidez)
Obiettivo del presente contributo è l’analisi del secondo panegirico di Giuliano a Costanzo con particolare riferimento al rapporto tra struttura retorica ed ideologia imperiale.
L’opera, datata al 358 e nota anche come Περὶ Βασιλείας, sinora indagata dalla critica prevalentemente per il suo interesse storico, si configura come un panegirico allotrio, che sotto la facies del discorso encomiastico cela un’ironica invettiva indirizzata all’imperatore Costanzo. Giuliano attinge ampiamente alla trattatistica filosofica sulla regalità di matrice ellenistica; nello stesso tempo il discorso rispetta la topica panegiristica relativa al logos basilikòs, riportando i più comuni topoi del genere.
Saranno esaminate, in particolare, la struttura retorica e logico-argomentativa dell’opera e la topica sulla regalità ed ideologia imperiale giulianea, nel suo rapporto con la prassi scolastica ed il neoplatonismo.
Aradra Sánchez, Rosa María (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain)
Ser orador: escenarios culturales de la retórica española (siglos XVIII y XIX)
Desde sus más tempranas formulaciones, los rétores clásicos reivindicaron la necesidad de completar los saberes específicos del arte de persuadir con otros conocimientos de disciplinas próximas. Platón, Aristóteles, Cicerón, Quintiliano…, todos ellos defendieron en diversa medida el conveniente dominio de la Filosofía, la Dialéctica, la Historia, el Derecho…
El devenir histórico de la retórica, lejos de aislar su campo de conocimiento, enfatizó precisamente esta interdisciplinariedad, desde el trivium medieval en el que la Retórica convivió con la Gramática a su cultivo humanista, siguiendo por el enciclopedismo ilustrado y la tendencia a la especialización de la centuria siguiente. Y más aún se puede decir de la retórica contemporánea, en la que la inter y pluridisciplinariedad parece convertirse en su seña de identidad. Basta pensar en las relaciones actuales entre Retórica, Psicología, Filosofía, Antropología, Semiótica, Publicidad, Periodismo, y otras disciplinas.
Desde estos presupuestos teóricos, el trabajo que presentamos tiene como objetivo profundizar en los requerimientos culturales de la retórica española de este periodo que recogen los tratados más significativos de la época. Para ello se analizan las aportaciones de algunos de los principales teóricos y oradores del XVIII (Mayans, Isla, Piquer, Capmany…) y del XIX (Urcullu, Foz, Gómez Hermosilla, Reus y Bahamonde, Coll y Vehí, Revilla, Campillo y Correa…).
Si bien estos autores mantuvieron muchos de los tópicos clásicos sobre la formación del orador y, por extensión, del hombre de letras, la coyuntura histórica y cultural fue perfilando unos contenidos y unas cualidades en detrimento de otras. Por ello el análisis de los condicionantes del orador, de sus conocimientos y capacidades, nos permitirá comprobar cómo se prolongan, se modifican o materializan los enfoques clásicos e ilustrados, y cómo se adaptan a los diversos escenarios culturales en los que se desenvuelven. Asimismo, podremos ver en qué medida también la preceptiva asume muchos de estos rasgos en la figura del escritor.
Atwill, Janet (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA)
Rhetoric across Material Cultures: Empire and Dio Chrysostom’s Olympic Discourse
This paper argues that Dio’s Olympic Discourse attests to an important moment in the changing culture of empire in the Greek East, a movement away from local cult traditions of display and toward philosophical (Stoic) concepts of order that could rationalize imperial rule.
This argument might seem ill-conceived given the speech was delivered within sight of Pheidias’s statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Olympic games were contests not only among athletes but also the local identities they represented. But the speech is a curious interrogation of both Stoicism and Zeus’s “creator” Pheidias. Dio examines the sources of human knowledge of god (singular), questioning why poetry, law, and art are necessary if (according to Stoic doctrine) humans are innately capable of perceiving god and the divine order of nature. Dio also calls on Pheidias to justify the sources of his knowledge of god on which he based his image of Zeus. In different ways, each argument reinforces the significance of a higher order that rises above local cults in much the same way the emperor supersedes local powers and identities. Though with a markedly different audiences, the Olympic Discourse bears much in common with Dio’s Kingship Orations. The games, like a good king, bring all men together (1.41). A kingly nature, combined with the cultivation of an appropriate temperament and knowledge of the art of ruling, would make an emperor a son of Zeus (4.21-22).
This paper is part of a larger project that argues Greek sophists played in important role in interpreting and mediating material culture under empire, reminding Roman subjects of what they should praise and blame in their statues, monuments, and cities.
School Exercises in Rhetoric as a Weapon in the Religious Controversies in the 17th-century Europe
As H. Gray observed, the Renaissance humanists who were closely connected with the schools and teaching of eloquence applied the classical precepts of rhetoric to all form of literature. So no wonder that school exercises in the art of oratory inspired in 16th- and especially 17th-century religious polemics and confessional texts.
The most successful handbooks of rhetoric In the mid 16th century such as Reinhard Lorich’s scholia to Aphthonios’ Progymnasmata or De arte rhetorica by Cypriano Soarez contained examples most of all taken from the ideologically neutral antiquity. Although they continued to be widely used in the 17th century, already in 1591 Burchard Harbart introduced in his Methodica explicatio the pro-Lutheran and anti-Catholic topics, then especially the Thirty Years’ War did much to extend the range of school books involved in religious disputes. Classical eloquence was still the chief aim of Protestant and Jesuit teachers but both of them were also interested in the religious formation of their students, what has resulted in increasing the cultural differences between Lutherans and Calvinist on the one side and Catholics on the other. Good examples of this tendency are Progymnasmata Aphthoniana by Johann Micraelius of Szczecin (1656) as well as Palaestra Oratoria by the German Jesuit Jacob Masen (1659) and Candidatus rhetoricae (1659) and Novus candidatus rhetoricae (1667) by the French Jesuit François Antoine Pomey. All of them keep all or most of exercises of Aphthonius unchanged with relatively slight modifications of their theory but at the same time they introduce absolutely new exemplary elaborations: Micraelius starts a bitter anti-Catholic dispute (especially in the chapters dedicated to the narrative and refutation), when Masen defends the Roman catholic church position against Lutherans (in chapter on refutation) and Pomey ridicules Luther (in his ironical praise) and attacks Calvin (in chapter on amplification).
The goal of the paper is to examin the rhetorical exercises involved in religious propagation and polemics in historical and cultural perspective.
Baraz, Yelena (Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA)
Who Should Teach Rhetoric? Greek vs. Roman in the Late Roman Republic
The focus of this paper is the cultural and social expectations that surround the teaching of rhetoric in the Roman republic. While oratory could be described as one of the more thoroughly Romanized Greek cultural practices, rhetorical theory and, even more pointedly, the teaching of rhetoric continued to be seen as primarily Greek. The reasons for this are twofold: on the cultural side, the general Roman suspicion of excessive theorizing as foreign and effeminate; on the social end, the longstanding association of teaching not only with foreigners, but with slaves and freedmen.
The opening of the last century of the republic saw the conflict over the attempt to teach rhetoric in Latin in the formalized setting of a school. The incident is still poorly understood given the paucity of evidence, but the importance of this clash is clear: it led to the banning of the practice in a censorial edict of 92 BCE. Yet, following this dramatic suppression, two rhetorical treatises in Latin were composed in the 80s BCE, the Rhetoric to Herennius and Cicero’s youthful On Invention. Meanwhile, the elite youth continued to seek rhetorical instruction in Greece from eminent teachers, such as Apollonius Molon. At the same time, the traditional educational model based on observation of seasoned practitioners at work remained important and was often held up as both superior and (because) indigenous.
In this paper I explore how the contradictory attitudes to receiving rhetorical instruction from Greek vs. Roman teachers find expression in late republican rhetorical texts and investigate the underlying prejudices. In addition to Cicero, on whose various texts (rhetorical, philosophical, and epistolary) one must rely in such an endeavor, I will discuss the Rhetoric to Herennius, whose unknown author explicitly pits his undertaking of writing a rhetorical manual against what is available from Greek teachers. Both here and in other texts, such as Cicero’s Topica, the identity of the potential student/reader as a Roman of the upper class plays crucial role in the argument for the necessity of instruction in the language and within the shared cultural and social space of the audience.
Bauer, Thomas (Universität Münster, Münster, Germany)
Arabic and Greek Rhetoric – a Failed Encounter?
Whereas Greek influence on Arabic medicine, philosophy and the sciences is more than obvious, it is much less so in the Arabic theory of rhetoric, a field that developed as early and as quickly as the others. It soon evolved into one of the most effective, elaborate theories of rhetoric ever and became one of the basic disciplines of the Islamic curriculum.
The impression that Greek knowledge did not play a decisive role in the development of Arabic rhetoric is mainly due to the fact that Aristotle’s Rhetoric was only translated into Arabic comparatively late and did not leave many marks in the mainstream of Arabic rhetoric theory, Ḥāzim al-Qarṭājannī (1211-1285) being the main exception.
Less conspicuous is the fact that, on the other hand, Aristotelian logic and even Greek sciences exerted a much more important influence. As early as in the first half of the 10th century, Qudāma ibn Jaʿfar tried to establish a theory of poetics and rhetoric that owed much of its inspiration to Aristotelian logic. Qudāma had the ambition to demonstrate that the aesthetic and rhetoric qualities of texts follow rules that can be established as exactly and comprehensively as the rules of grammar.
Qudāma’s approach turned out to be overambitious. Nevertheless, it predetermined the way Arabic rhetoric theory should take in the subsequent centuries. During a comparatively short time, Arabic rhetoric developed into a discipline of linguistics. As such, it became less a theory of persuasion but rather a fully developed, sophisticated linguistic theory of communication. Consequently, when Arabic scholars encountered Aristotle’s Rhetoric, their own theory had already developed to a degree that left little room to learn much from Aristotle.
Behzadi, Lale (University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany)
“What is Rhetoric?” Transcultural Approaches in Medieval Arabic Texts
In the first Islamic centuries, many authors have tried to describe and to establish a coherent system of the Arabic language. The twofold heritage—the Arabic Qur’an and pre-Islamic Arabic poetry—provided material for treatises in which linguistic features often merged with theological arguments. The holy text, revealed in Arabic, served as a role model with regard to grammar, lexis, and rhetoric. Likewise, the poetic tradition lived on not only as a rich inventory for linguistic examples but also as a demonstration for an intrinsic linguistic and rhetorical prowess. This proclaimed aptitude for languages in general and for the Arabic language in particular manifested itself in the idea of the superiority of Arabic culture and, as a point of culmination, of the superiority of Arabic rhetoric.
Nevertheless, our educated medieval authors have been well aware of the cultural interrelations and of their Classical, Persian, and Indian heritage, to name the most prominent traditions.
This paper will show how Arabic authors, first of all the famous scholar al-Jahiz (d. 868), tried to pinpoint this supremacy; at the same time they could and would not ignore rhetoric traditions in other, mostly neighboring, cultures. This does not only concern possible borrowings but rather the question how scholars dealt intellectually with the tension that evolved from two competing cultural concepts: to stress the singularity of Arabic rhetoric, and to acknowledge mechanisms that go beyond linguistic, cultural, and religious borders and possess universal characteristics.