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Diogenes Laertios quotes a statement of Aristotle that Empedokles was the inventor of Rhetoric, as Zenon of Dialectic1. The more cautious phrase of Sextus Empiricus2 (also from Aristotle), which Quintilian translates, is that Empedokles broke ground (“κεκινηκέναι”, aliqua movisse) in Rhetoric. Assuredly the poet and philosopher of Agrigentum created, at least, no rhetorical system. His oratory— which, after the fall of Thrasydaeos in 472, found political scope in resistance to a restoration of the tyranny—however brilliant, was practical only; and his analogy—so far as the wanderings of his later years and the union of care for studied expression with a doctrine give the semblance of such—is, at least, more with the Sophists of proper Greece than with the Sicilian Rhetors.

1 Diog. VIII. 57, ᾿Αριστοτέλης δ᾽ ἐν τῷ σοφιστῇ φησι πρῶτον Ἐμπεδοκλέα ῥητορικὴν εὑρεῖν, Ζήνωνα δὲ διαλεκτικήν. In his lost work περὶ ποιητῶν, Arist. (as quoted by Diog l.c.) said that Empedokles was δεινὸς περὶ τὴν φράσιν and μεταφορικός, as well as generally Ὁμηρικός. Twining notices (Vol. I. p. 249) the apparent discrepancy between this statement and that in the Poetics c. 1.—that Empedokles and Homer have οὐδὲν κοινὸν πλὴν τὸ μέτρον.

2 VII. 6: Quint. III. 1 § 8.

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