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‘Another topic (of fallacious reasoning) is exaggeration, δεινωσις’—especially the excitement of indignation contrasted with ἔλεος, II 21. 10, III 19. 3—in construction or destruction (of a thesis or argument). Haec est illa quae δείνωσις vocatur: rebus indignis asperis, invidiosis, addens vim oratio. Quint. VI 2. 24. Ernesti, Lex. Technologiae Graecae, s. v. ἀνασκευάζειν and κατασκευάζειν, are technical terms distinguishing the two kinds of syllogisms and enthymemes, the destructive or refutative ἐλεγκτικοί, and the constructive or demonstrative δεικτικοί, ἀποδεικτικοί: as κατασκευάζειν is to establish something which you undertake to prove, and leads to a positive conclusion, so ἀνασκευάζειν or ἀναιρεῖν (a term of the same import) is to break down or destroy, upset, subvert, an adversary's thesis or conclusion, by refuting it, and so leads to a negative conclusion. κατασκευαστικά of enthymeme, II 26. 3.

‘This means to amplify, heighten, intensify, exaggerate (a species of the general topic αὔξειν καὶ μειοῦν, amplification and depreciation, the fourth of the κοινοὶ τόποι. Introd. p. 129, comp. II 26. 1), the fact or act alleged (usually a crime), without any proof of its having been committed: for it makes it appear, either that it has not been done’ (read οὐ for οὔτε, with Bekker and Spengel), ‘when the party accused (or inculpated) employs it; or that the accused is guilty when the accuser grows angry (works himself into a fit of virtuous indignation)’. This might seem to confine the topic to accusation and defence in the forensic branch, and no doubt it is in this that it is most useful and most usual; and also this is its most appropriate sphere as a fallacious argument: still as a species of one of the κοινοὶ τόποι it must needs be applicable to the other two branches, and in fact in all invectives, and in epideictic oratory, it is essential. Its appropriate place in the speech is the ἐπίλογος or peroration, III 19. 1, 3.

‘Accordingly it is no (true) enthymeme, for the listener falsely concludes (assumes) the guilt or innocence (alleged) though neither of them has been proved’. This is of course a purely rhetorical topic.

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