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‘So first of all it must be understood that anything we have to speak or reason about’ (on συλλογίζεσθαι et sim. for reasoning in general, see note on I 1. 11), ‘whether it be on a political subject or any other whatever, it is necessary to (have in our possession) be acquainted with everything that belongs to this also (καί besides the συλλογισμός itself, or the particular point which the argument has in view), either all or some (according to circumstances); for if you have nothing (no information, no facts) in your possession (as material) you will have nothing to draw your inferences from’. The same thing is stated, and nearly in the same words, Anal. Pr. I 30, 46 a 3, μὲν οὖν ὁδὸς κατὰ πάντων αὐτὴ καὶ περὶ φιλοσοφίαν καὶ περὶ τέχνην ὁποιανοῦν καὶ μάθημα: (all learning and all philosophy and science begin with observation,) δεῖ γὰρ τὰ ὑπάρχοντα καὶ οἷς ὑπάρχει περὶ ἑκάτερον ἀθρεῖν, καὶ τούτων ὡς πλείστων εὐπορεῖν. And again, a 22, ὥστε ἂν ληφθῇ τὰ ὑπάρχοντα περὶ ἕκαστον, ἡμέτερον ἤδη τὰς ἀποδείξεις ἑτοίμως ἐμφανίζειν. εἰ γὰρ μηδὲν κατὰ τὴν ἱστορίαν παραληφθείη τῶν ἀληθῶς ὑπαρχόντων τοῖς πράγμασιν, ἕξομεν περὶ ἅπαντος, οὗ μὲν ἔστιν ἀπόδειξις, ταύτην εὑρεῖν καὶ ἀποδεικνύναι, οὗ δὲ μὴ πέφυκεν ἀπόδειξις, τοῦτο ποιεῖν φανερόν. The ὑπάρχοντα here spoken of are all that properly belong to a thing, all its properties, qualities, attributes, all its antecedents and consequences—these are especially important in human actions, the rhetorician's subject—everything closely connected with it, whether similar or different, as opposites, relative terms and so on: in short, if you have to speak or reason upon any subject, if you wish to succeed, you must first know all about it. This is illustrated at length from the three branches of Rhetoric in the next five sections.

λαβεῖν I take to be here λαβεῖν τῷ νῷ or τῇ διανοίᾳ, to seize or grasp with the mind, apprehend, conceive.

πολιτικῷ] Politics, including Ethics, being almost exclusively the source from which rhetorical enthymemes are to be drawn, though theoretically the field of rhetorical practice is boundless: see note on p. 224. Otherwise, πολιτικὸς συλλογισμός may mean ‘a rhetorical syllogism’ or enthymeme: ‘political’ that is ‘on political subjects’, to which Rhetoric is almost exclusively confined, is so far convertible with ‘rhetorical’. This seems to be Victorius' view; on II 22. 10.

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