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‘Now of the three departments of Rhetoric that require to be treated, of examples, and maxims, and enthymemes, and the intellectual (logical) part in general1, whence we are to obtain a supply of them, and how refute them, let us be satisfied with what has been already said: style and order (of the parts of the speech) remain for discussion’.

Dionys., de Comp. Verb. C. I. divides the art of composition into two branches, διττῆς οὔσης ἀσκήσεως περὶ πάντας τοὺς λόγους, viz. (1) πραγματικὸς τόπος, the facts, or matter—Ar.'s πίστεις (in Rhetoric)—and (2) λεκτικός, the style or manner. The latter is again subdivided into σύνθεσις, ‘composition’, combination, construction of words in sentences, and ἐκλογὴ τῶν ὀνομάτων, selection of single words.

This (with the possible exception of τὰ λοιπά in II 18. 5) is the first notice we have in this work that there is anything to consider in Rhetoric beyond the proofs or πίστεις that are to be employed in persuasion; and the omission of any distinct mention of it up to this point is certainly remarkable. Of course those who regard the third book as not belonging to the system of Rhetoric embodied in the two first— (no one, except Rose, I think, goes so far as to deny the genuineness of the book as a work of Aristotle)—but as a separate treatise, founded on a different conception of the art, improperly attached to the foregoing, assume that the last words, λοιπὸν δὲ...τάξεως, are a subsequent interpolation added to connect the second book with the third. Vahlen, Trans. Vien. Acad. Oct. 1861, pp. 131, 2, has again shewn that arbitrary and somewhat dogmatical positiveness which characterises his criticism of Aristotle's text. He pronounces, that of the last section, only the words which he alters into περὶ μὲν οὖν παραδειγμάτωνεἰρήσθω ἡμῖν τοσαῦτα (omitting καὶ ὅλως τῶν περὶ τὴν διάνοιαν)—that is to say, only those which happen to agree with his theory, that the third book did not form part of the original plan of the work, “are to be regarded as genuine Aristotelian.” The promised proof of this theory, is, I believe, not yet forthcoming.

Brandis is much more reasonable, Tract on Rhet. [Philologus IV i.] p. 7,8. He thinks that the second and third parts (the contents of Bk. III, λέξις and τάξις) are already presupposed in the conception of the art expressed in the preface to the work. (This is certainly nowhere distinctly stated, and the προσθῆκαι and τὰ ἔξω τοῦ πράγματος of I 1. 3 seem rather to refer to the exaggerations and appeals to the feelings and such like topics, of which the ‘arts’ of the earlier professors were mainly composed. Still, the tricks of style, introduced by Gorgias and his followers into their arts, may be included with the others, E. M. C). One of the hypotheses suggested by Brandis on the relation of this third book to the two others seems to me highly probable. It is that the third book— which is in fact complete in itself (E. M. C.)—was written earlier than the rest, and before the author had arrived at his final conception of Rhetoric in its connexion with Logic; and was afterwards appended to the two others, instead of a new treatise written specially with a view to them; and this would account for the repetitions, such as that of III 17, which certainly are difficult to explain, if the third book be supposed to have been written after, and in connexion with, the first and second. With regard to the references, as in cc. 1 and 10, to one of the preceding books, Brandis thinks they might easily have been introduced after the addition of the third to the two others. He altogether rejects the notion that any one but Aristotle could have been the author of it. (It has in fact all the characteristics of Aristotle's style, mode of thought and expression, and nothing whatever which is out of character with him: on the other hand let any two sentences in this book and the Rhet. ad Alex. be compared, and it is seen at once that the style, manner, and mode of treatment are all totally different. E. M. C.) Lastly he notes that it is characteristic of Aristotle's writings (this, I think, deserves attention) not to give a full account of the contents of the work at the beginning of it; and such omission of style and arrangement was all the more likely in the Rhetoric in so far as it was part of Aristotle's theory of the art that everything but proof direct or indirect was non-essential and completely subordinate. He concludes, “I think therefore that I need not retract the expression I ventured on above (Sie ist ein werk aus einem gusse) that the Rhetoric is, more than most of Aristotle's writings, a work made at one cast.”

1 With τῶν περὶ τὴν διάνοιαν, comp. Poet. XIX 2, τὰ μὲν οὖν περὶ τὴν διάνοιαν ἐν τοῖς περὶ ῥητορικῆς κείσθω. τοῦτο γὰρ ἴδιον μᾶλλον ἐκείνης τῆς μεθόδου. ἔστι δὲ κατὰ τὴν διάνοιαν ταῦτα, ὅσα ὑπὸ τοῦ λόγου δεῖ παρασκευασθῆναι: which is followed in § 4 by a brief summary of the principal subjects of Rhetoric. Instead of inferring from this correspondence—as seems most natural—the indisputable genuineness of the words in the Rhetoric, Vahlen (see below in text) uses this passage—to which I suppose he refers—as an argument against it; that the (assumed) interpolator borrowed his phrase from Rhet. III 1. 7, and ‘the Poetics’.

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