Aetiologia is a forme of speech by which the Orator joineth reason or cause to a proposition uttered, Cicero: There be no wiles more privie then these which be hid in dissimulation of dutie, and in custome of acquaintance, for thou maist easilie by taking heede shun an open enemie: but this hid, inward and familiar evill, doth not onely appeare, but also opresse, before thou shalt be able to foresee and espie it. Cicero for Archia: Looke what wit or eloquence I have, Judges, Archia may justly challenge it to himselfe: for he was the first and principall, that caused mee to follow these manner of studies.
An example of the Prophet Amos, “thus saith the Lord: For three and foure wickednesses of Edom, I will not spare him, because he persecuted his brother with the sword, bare hatred very long, and so kept indignation alwaies by him.” Amos.1.
Another: “He brought me forth into a place of libertie, he brought me forth even because he had a favor unto me.” Psal.18.
Another: “So that they are not without excuse, because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankefull, & c.” Rom.1.
The use of this figure.
This figure is usuall in all good Authors, and is of great
strength in speech, for that the sentence said, hath alwaies
the reason joined unto it as an authenticke seale to an evidence: and it serveth to confirmation and confutation.
The speaker in the use of this figure ought to be sure that the
The reason or cause ought to be sufficient.
reason or cause which he joineth to the proposition be good & sufficient, lest he weaken that which he should confirme, and disgrace that which he should bewtifie.