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By Cicero, Tobias Reinhardt

Cicero's Topica is without doubt one of the canonical texts on historical rhetorical thought. this can be the 1st full-scale remark in this paintings, and the 1st serious variation of the paintings that's trained by way of an entire research of its transmission.

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Additional info for Cicero's Topica: Edited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Oxford Classical Monographs)

Example text

G. all maximae propositiones dealing with definitions are grouped under the differentia ‘definition’. In virtue of the 32 Introduction differentia’s function of classifying maximae propositiones, it may itself be called a locus. That they are fewer in number than the maximae propositiones guarantees their easier memorization (1186 b ). It is, of course, loci like those treated by Cicero which appear in Boethius’ outline as differentiae. Although it is not difficult to imagine how maximae propositiones could help in finding arguments, Boethius’ primary tool in this respect is the differentiae.

The Latin rhetorical tradition has nothing to offer, for various reasons. Quintilian has some Aristotelian material in Inst. Or. 5 which is not in Cicero, sometimes quite close to Aristotle’s Rhet. itself, sometimes more likely to reflect some sort of handbookaccount. However, he is an author who largely resists sourceanalysis. This is due to his command of the subject and to his working method, which involved drawing on as much material as possible and combining freely whatever seemed worth being handed down.

But I shall come back to this matter; first we have to ascertain the contents of his handbook. n dialg omnoi: diai d  Z‘ pist ZmZ t &ZB t wnZB, Ka o Z‘ m n adiapt ! n amat anousin ’ i d &in pooimiazsai.  [This, then, is their argument,] but Alexander, son of Numenius, replying to each of the statements, first complains that we have not rightly perceived the nature of rhetoric, which is ‘stochastic’; for it has escaped their attention, he says, that they were talking about rhetoric as if it was a science.

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