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γνωμολογία, ‘the subject, or art of maxim-making’, occurs again, Pl. Phaedr. 267 C, as part of the contents of Polus' rhetorical repertory1. As to (the art of) maxim-making, we shall best arrive at a clear understanding of the objects, times, and persons, to which and at which the employment of it is most appropriate in our speeches, when it has been first stated what a maxim is.

1 This may help to throw light on the disputed explanation of this word in the passage of Plato, see Dr Thompson's note ad loc. It is there translated “the style sententious.” γνωμολογία is here, at any rate, the science or study, the theory (λόγος), and (in Rhetoric) the use or practical application, of γνᾶμαι, maxims or general moral sentiments; after the analogy of ἀστρολογία, μετεωρολογία, δικολογία (Rhet. I 1. 10), φυσιολογία (Plut.) and a great number of modern sciences; the use of the maxim predominates in the application of γνωμολογεῖν throughout the chapter.

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