Progymnasmata: Greek Textbooks of Prose Composition and Rhetoric (Writings from the Greco-Roman World)

Progymnasmata: Greek Textbooks of Prose Composition and Rhetoric (Writings from the Greco-Roman World)

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 158983061X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For students of classical, medieval, and early modern literature and of the history of education, Kennedy (classics emeritus, U. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) presents and comments on four Greek treatises for teaching prose composition and elementary rhetoric. They were written during the time of the Roman Empire and studied throughout the Byzanti




















Hock and O’Neil, vol. , pp. –. [] A chreia (khreia) is a brief saying or action making a point, attributed to some specified person or something corresponding to a person, and maxim (gnômê) and reminiscence (apomnêmoneuma) are connected with it. Every brief maxim attributed to a person creates a chreia. A reminiscence is an action or a saying useful for life. The maxim, however, differs from the chreia in four ways: the chreia is always attributed to a person, the maxim not always; the

fable. Just as by avoiding what is difficult in complete hypotheses [] those who arranged these things invented the use of progymnasmata, so they put the fable first among them as being naturally plain and simpler than the others and as having some relationship to poems. In their transition from poems to rhetoric, students should not all at once encounter things that are strange and unusual to them. Let us speak first, therefore, about fable. . ON FABLE See Gangloff, “Mythes,” pp. –.

being outraged in the future is for one caught doing so always to pay the appropriate penalty?” And in Against Aristocrates (§)—the same passage occurs in Against Androtion (§)—he says, “If something has not been done in accordance with the laws, and you, Aristocrates, imitated the act, you would not for that reason be justly acquitted; on the contrary, it is much more a reason for you to be convicted. For just as if someone had been convicted for that act, you would not have introduced your

benefits, and in each of the others [] similarly. Since some praises of living things are general— for example, that of man or horse—and some are particular, like that of Socrates or some other persons, in the case of subjects of a general sort it is necessary to aim at what is possible. In general, the speaker himself, as Isocrates said, needs to understand the divisions of the subject and to be a judge of utility and to compose speeches that accord with occasions and persons and things.

law only in one respect and in all others is the same: a decree is for a particular occasion, a law is ratified for all time. The exercise in introduction of a law differs from commonplace because in the latter there is an attack on something agreed upon and known to be wrong, whereas here the subject is still in doubt. It is divided into the “final” headings. Those wanting to divide it into other headings did not realize that they were adorning enthymematic demonstrations [] with novel

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