On Rhetoric (Fourth Cent. B.C.)
Rhetoric Timeline
Primary Source Synopses

Although Aristotle was preceded by other Greeks in discussing rhetoric, his was the first systematic account of rhetoric, and in many ways set the terms for the discipline for centuries to come.

The best modern edition of Aristotle is the translation by George A. Kennedy (Oxford, 1991)

Compact Outline:
Book I

Kinds of Speeches and of Proofs (Invention)

Book II The Persuasiveness of Character, Emotion, and Logic
Book III Style and Arrangement

Detailed Outline:
Book One
1.1 Rhetoric vis-a-vis Dialectic
1.2 Rhetoric Defined
1.3 Three Species of Rhetoric (deliberative, judicial, epideictic)
1.4 Deliberative Rhetoric: Political Topics
1.5 Deliberative Rhetoric: Ethical Topics
1.6 Deliberative Rhetoric: Ethical Topics(cont'd)
1.7 Deliberative Rhetoric: The Greater Good
1.8 Deliberative Rhetoric: Topics on Political Constitutions
1.9 Epideictic Rhetoric & Amplification
1.10 Judicial Rhetoric: Topics on Wrongs and their Causes
1.11 Judicial Rhetoric: Topics on Pleasure
1.12 Judicial Rhetoric: Topics on Wrongdoers and the Wronged
1.13 Judicial Rhetoric: Topics on Justice and Injustice
1.14 Judicial Rhetoric: The Greater Wrong
1.15 Judicial Rhetoric: Nonartistic Means of Persuasion
Book Two
2.1 Character and Emotion in Persuasion
2.2 Arousing Emotion: Anger and Calmness
2.3 Arousing Emotion: Anger and Calmness (cont'd)
2.4 Arousing Emotion: Friendliness and Enmity
2.5 Arousing Emotion: Fear and Confidence
2.6 Arousing Emotion: Shame and Shamelessness
2.7 Arousing Emotion: Kindliness and Unkindliness
2.8 Arousing Emotion: Pity and Indignation
2.9 Arousing Emotion: Pity and Indignation (cont'd)
2.10 Arousing Emotion: Envy and Emulation
2.11 Arousing Emotion: Envy and Emulation (cont'd)
2.12 Adapting Ethos to Audience: The Young
2.13 Adapting Ethos to Audience: The Old
2.14 Adapting Ethos to Audience: Those in Their Prime
2.15 Adapting Ethos to Audience: The Well Born
2.16 Adapting Ethos to Audience: The Wealthy
2.17 Adapting Ethos to Audience: The Powerful
2.18 Logical Argument: Introduction
2.19 Logical Argument: Common topics: Possible/Impossible; Past Fact/Future Fact; Degree
2.20 Logical Argument: From Example
2.21 Logical Argument: Maxims
2.22 Logical Argument: Enthymemes
2.23 Logical Argument: 28 Common Topics and Strategies
2.24 Logical Argument: Fallacious Enthymemes
2.25 Logical Argument: Refutation of Enthymemes
2.26 Logical Argument: Non-Topics: Amplification, Refutation, Objection
Book Three
3.1 Summary of Books 1-2; Delivery; Prose Style
3.2 Qualities of Good Prose
3.3 Faults of Diction (Frigidity)
3.4 Similes
3.5 Grammatical Correctness
3.6 Amplification
3.7 Appropriateness
3.8 Rhythm in Prose
3.9 The Periodic Style
3.10 Wit and Visual Imagery
3.11 Visualization, Metaphor, and Other Stylistic Devices
3.12 Oral and Written Styles; Deliberative, Judicial, and Epideictic Styles
3.13 Arrangement: Parts of a Speech
3.14 Arrangement: The Introduction (Prooemion)
3.15 Arrangement: Topics for Answering a Prejudicial Attack
3.16 Arrangement: The Narration
3.17 Arrangement: The Proof
3.18 Arrangement: Asking Questions
3.19 Arrangement: The Conclusion (Epilogue)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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