ser-mo-ci-na'-ti-o L. “[inserted imaginary] dialogue”

Speaking dramatically in the first person for someone else, assigning language that would be appropriate for that person's character (and for one's rhetorical purpose).
  Sometimes this has meant dramatizing an entire scene, performing the dialogue of more than one person. In oratory, sermocinatio was readily blended with the narratio.
  When soldiers filled the city and all, oppressed by fear, took shelter in their homes, a certain ruffian appears in soldier's garb, armed with a sword and holding a javelin. Three youths, similarly appareled, follow him. Breaking suddenly into the house, he shouts with a loud voice, "Where is that wealthy master of this house who was to have appeared before me? Well? Why don't you answer!" Indeed, all are so terrified they cannot speak. Then the unlucky man's wife, in a fit of tears, flings herself at the soldier's feet, saying, "By all you hold dearest, pity us. Why destroy those already downcast? Make the best use of your own good fortune. We, also, have enjoyed good fortune. Do not forget that you, too, are human." "Why don't you just shut up and hand him over? He's not going to escape me." Meanwhile the master of the house, having heard of the commotion and the threatening stranger, entrusts his children to their teacher. "Listen well, Gorgias, hide my dear ones, protect them, be sure they are brought up to be young men in safety" [etc. until the man is killed] —adapted from Ad Herennium 4.52
Related Figures
See Also
  Sources: Ad Herennium 4.52.65; Peacham (1577) O3v; Day 1599 97 ("dialogismus," "sermocinatio")

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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