Richard Rainolde
The Foundation of Rhetoric (London, 1563)
Rhetoric Timeline
Primary Source Synopses

Rainold's rhetoric is the first English version of the ancient progymnasmata exercises. It is based upon Reinhard Lorich's Latin version of Aphthonius (1572), and is the second rhetoric in English of any sort, following that of Thomas Wilson. Following Aphthonius, Rainolde gives brief introductions and instructions for each of the 14 progymnasmata, or practice speeches, followed by model speeches for each sort, broken down with headings to show how the formula applied throughout the speech.

Introduction: The Foundation of Rhetoric

1. Fable

  • An oration made upon the fable of the shepherds and the wolves, the wolves requesting the bandogges; wherein is set forth the state of every subject, the dignity of a prince, the honorable office of counselors.
  • An Oration upon the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, teaching providence

2. Narration

  • An oration historical, how Semiramis came to be queen of Babylon
  • An Oration historical, upon king Richard the third, sometime Duke of Gloucester
  • An Oration historical, of the coming of Julius Caesar into England
  • An Oration civil or judicial, upon Themistocles, of the wall building at Athens
  • An oration poetical upon a red rose

3. Chria

  • A profitable oration, showing the decay of kingdoms and nobility

4. Sentence or Proverb

  • An oration upon a sentence, preferring monarchy, containing all other states of commonwealth.

5. Destruction [Refutation]

  • The confutation of the battle of Troy

6. Confirmation

  • A confirmation of the noble fate of Zopyrus

7. Commonplace

  • An oration called a commonplace against thieves

8. Praise (or Encomium)

  • The praise of Epaminundas, Duke of Thebes, wherein the ground of nobility is placed

9. Dispraise (or Vituperation)

  • The dispraise of Domicious Nero, Emperor of Rome

10. Comparison

  • A comparison between Demosthenes and Tully

11. Ethopoeia (or Impersonation)

  • A lamentable oration of Hecuba, queen of Troy

12. Description

  • A description upon Xerxes, king of Persia

13. Thesis

  • An oration called Thesis, as concerning the goodly state of marriage

14. Legislation (An oration in defense of or against a law)

  • An oration confuting a certain law of Solon

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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