The Practice of Rhetoric: Poetics, Performance, Philosophy 0817321373, 9780817321376

Essays that show what a broad conception of rhetoric means and does in relation to practice   Rhetoric is the art of emp

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Table of contents :
List of Figures
Introduction: Rhetoric’s Practices | Debra Hawhee
Part I. Poetics
1. The World-Building Power of Ekphrasis | Susan C. Jarratt
2. Prose before Prosa: A Brief Exposé | Michele Kennerly
3. Dear Mice: | Debra Hawhee
4. Exploring the Performed Argument: Teaching Poetry Rhetorically | Glen McClish
Part II. Performance
5. Reading Poetry, Performing Rhetoric: The Place of Poetic Performance in Byzantine Rhetorical Education | Vessela Valiavitcharska
6. Performing History, or, Imitation with a Difference: Examples from the Alexiad | Ellen Quandahl
7. A Small Communicability | Dale Martin Smith
Part III. Philosophies of Argumentation
8. The Stases—Then and Now | Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor
9. John Locke and the Paradox of Tolerant Disputation | Mark Garrett Longaker
10. Rational Rhetoric: Using Tibetan Debate to Teach Persuasive Writing | Cleve Wiese
Conclusion: Practice’s Questions | Vessela Valiavitcharska
List of Contributors
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The Practice of Rhetoric

Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique Series Editor John Louis Lucaites

Editorial Board Jeffrey A. Bennett Carole Blair Joshua Gunn Robert Hariman Debra Hawhee Claire Sisco King Steven Mailloux Raymie E. McKerrow Toby Miller Phaedra C. Pezzullo Austin Sarat Janet Staiger Barbie Zelizer

The Practice of


9 Poetics, Performance, Philosophy 0 Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Walker

Edited by

Debra Hawhee and Vessela Valiavitcharska

The University of Alabama Press Tuscaloosa

The University of Alabama Press Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-­0380 Copyright © 2022 by the University of Alabama Press All rights reserved. Inquiries about reproducing material from this work should be addressed to the University of Alabama Press. Typeface: Adobe Caslon Pro Cover design: Lori Lynch Cataloging-­in-­Publication data is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN: 978-­0-­8173-­2137-­6 E-­ISBN: 978-­0-­8173-­9419-­6

Contents List of Figures   vii Acknowledgments   ix Introduction: Rhetoric’s Practices Debra Hawhee   1

9 Part I. Poetics 0 1. The World-­Building Power of Ekphrasis Susan C. Jarratt   11 2. Prose before Prosa: A Brief Exposé Michele Kennerly   29 3. Dear Mice: Debra Hawhee   49 4. Exploring the Performed Argument: Teaching Poetry Rhetorically Glen McClish   67

9 Part II. Performance 0 5. Reading Poetry, Performing Rhetoric: The Place of Poetic Performance in Byzantine Rhetorical Education Vessela Valiavitcharska   93 6. Performing History, or, Imitation with a Difference: Examples from the Alexiad Ellen Quandahl   114 7. A Small Communicability Dale Martin Smith   129


9 Part III. Philosophies of Argumentation 0 8. The Stases—Then and Now Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor   157 9. John Locke and the Paradox of Tolerant Disputation Mark Garrett Longaker   178 10. Rational Rhetoric: Using Tibetan Debate to Teach Persuasive Writing Cleve Wiese   201 Conclusion: Practice’s Questions Vessela Valiavitcharska   227 Notes   231 Bibliography   277 List of Contributors   301 Index   303


Figures 5.1. Venetus A, fol. 18v, Iliad 1.327–53   106 5.2. Venetus A, fol. 18v, Iliad 1.334–35, main text (detail)   107 5.3. Venetus A, fol. 18v, Iliad 1.334–35, Nicanor’s scholion (detail)   107 5.4. Venetus A, fol. 19v, Iliad 1.393, with Nicanor’s remark in the left margin   107 5.5. Genevensis 44, p. 295, Iliad 7.171, with scholia by Theodore Meliteniotes   108 7.1. Harmony Holiday, “Adultery”   145 7.2. Harmony Holiday, “Martin Luther King . . . at Communist Training School”   146

Acknowledgments Jeffrey Walker, this book’s raison d’être, directed both of our dissertations. He mentored us both well beyond graduate school with equal attention to kindness and scholarly rigor. We hope that he feels our gratitude, as well as the friendship and enthusiasm of each contributor, with every page. Thank you to the volume’s contributors, brilliant scholars and amazing humans, every one of them. They have been patient, kind, and cheerful throughout the editing, revising, and publication stages. Abigail Fourspring and Megan Covone both provided valuable assistance with citations and formatting. Thank you to Dan Waterman, editor extraordinaire, whose encouraging enthusiasm and understanding of rhetoric buoyed us. The manuscript’s anonymous readers helped strengthen each essay and the volume as a whole. Publication of The Practice of Rhetoric is supported in part by the McCourtney Professorship in Civic Deliberation. Debra Hawhee and Vessela Valiavitcharska

The Practice of Rhetoric


Rhetoric’s Practices Debra Hawhee A practice of rhetoric 1, mid-­twentieth century: a marine biologist wishes to impress upon her fellow citizens just how harmful pesticides are to their world. She composes vivid descriptions, urgently directing imaginations into a grim future: desolate forests, neighborhoods without songbirds, a hollowing out—even destruction—of noisy, verdant life. A practice of rhetoric 2, second century BCE: the early life of the marks now known as punctuation, learned and taught as rhythmic guides, designed to be breathed, felt, performed. A practice of rhetoric 3, twenty-­first century: a teacher incorporates principles of Tibetan debate in his college writing classroom at a Western university. The habits of engagement carry with them their own philosophy, a commitment to structures of reasoning that infuse the course assignments and the students’ accounts of the experience of the course itself.

These practices of rhetoric are but three of the practices elaborated in this volume. The descriptions, the marks, the philosophically infused structures all point to rhetoric as a practice, which the volume defines as a collection of principles assembled in the trial and error of use, shaping and shaped by reflection, bodies, worlds, with the goal of offering something useful and teachable.1 Such a conception of practice does not eschew theory but rather presumes and incorporates theoretical activity. Such a conception presents rhetoric as an enterprise that braids together poetics, performance, and philosophy. This volume presents essays that explore the implications of such a framing of rhetoric, a framing inspired by Jeffrey Walker, the scholar whose work this volume honors. As Thomas O. Sloane (Walker’s own teacher) put it in 1991, “the history of rhetoric has always been entwined with the history

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of education.”2 But Walker himself took that observation further two decades later with this assertion: “Its pedagogical enterprise is what ultimately makes rhetoric rhetoric and not just a version of something else.”3 And that presumption—that rhetoric’s commitment is chiefly educational—has been shared by scholars such as Richard Graff, Michael Leff, and Mark Garrett Longaker and elucidated by work on rhetorical education by scholars such as Shirley Logan, Jessica Enoch, and Cheryl Glenn such that rhetoric becomes a more inclusive practice.4 The assertion of a constitutive relation between education and rhetoric is simultaneously capacious and specific. Like the conception of rhetoric it pursues, this volume is capacious because it draws poetics, performance, and philosophies of argumentation into its mission. And it is specific precisely because of that mission—education for civic life, which requires a mind engaged with others, informed by philosophical and theoretical principles yet navigating concrete circumstances, and turned toward future practice. One important implication for this conception of rhetoric as a practice is disciplinary, for it begins to recombine the distinguishing strengths of the two institutional locations of rhetoric (in US institutions), English or writing departments, where rhetoric has long been entwined with composition or the teaching of writing, and communication departments, where rhetoric tilts toward criticism and public address.5 A conception of rhetoric as a practice nourishes what writers of the “Mount Oread Manifesto” call “a unified vision of rhetorical education.”6 Communication scholar Gerard Hauser, sharing Walker’s presumption that rhetoric is foremost a teaching art, argued that “we—scholar-­teachers of rhetoric—require a manifesto that connects our disciplinary history and expertise to the character and quality of civic life. We need a statement that ties what we know to what we teach, and how what we teach contributes to an engaged and informed citizenry and to the quality of public decision-­ making.”7 Hauser’s account presents the teaching of rhetoric as a bridge between disciplinary expertise and public deliberation. The account also builds and reinforces a new bridge between rhetoric as studied and practiced in English and writing departments and as it is studied and practiced in departments of communication. The conception of rhetoric as a practice brings curricular efforts and classroom practices closer to the discipline’s center and at the same time values public life and democratic processes. What becomes possible from there is a focus on public figures, like the marine biologist in the first example in the opening of this chapter, who turned her expertise to the public and who sought to teach through vivid description, 2

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to show through her words what she knows, and to share that knowledge in order to inspire action. In addition to drawing out the importance of teaching and learning, practice—especially its adjective form, practical—carries overtones of use, amplifying the useful features of rhetoric. In academic worlds in particular, in an almost commonplace way, the word practice stands in contradistinction to the word theory. The sometimes-­frustrated question of what can be done with a theory often lingers in the air, in queries about how a theoretical concept or insight can be put to use. In a book-­length investigation of “the uses of use,” Sara Ahmed notes that using something brings it “back down to Earth.”8 The Earth as a stand-­in for material, for the here and now, can also inhere in the word practice. Such a conception extends into characterizations of “high theory” as “stratospheric,” which implies the need to think—or speak or write— in more earthly terms. Rhetoric, of course, has long operated on the ground, in the contingent world of public deliberation, and its Earth-­bound people, bodies, and material.9 That on-­the-­groundness, on my reading, helps to account for the flashes of near-­contempt for the art that rise up from the pages of Aristotle’s Rhetoric (e.g., in his framing of delivery in book  3).10 That on-­the-­ groundness also requires of rhetoric a kind of flexibility or nimbleness. To be useful, that is, in a variety of communicative situations, a practice of rhetoric needs to be adaptable. As Ahmed writes, the idea of use “involves a way of arranging worlds as well as ourselves.”11 A practice of rhetoric exerts its usefulness in similar ways. We are of course not alone in returning to this idea of rhetoric as a practice at this moment; a handful of recent books have led the way in something of a return to practice, though perhaps they amplify a feature of the discipline that has long been latent. Casey Boyle’s Rhetoric as a Posthuman Practice formulates practice as a set of concrete particulars that point to generalizable knowledge as well as activities that through repetition create the grooves of knowledge.12 For Boyle, rhetoric as a posthuman practice accounts for the material forms and movements of information and shows how, through serial movements, “practice composes a body and exercises its tendencies that will later activate new or different capacities.”13 This volume documents instances of just such a productive conception of practice. Public address scholar Kristy Maddux examines citizenship as a practice, which she conceives of as “a set of repeated behaviors” that are constantly under negotiation, which is to say rhetorical.14 And Michele Kennerly, who presents editing as “both a practice and as a language for indexing that practice,” 3

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elucidates the material habits and reflective processes that combine with editorial practices.15 The portraits of rhetoric as a practice presented in this volume join these recent scholarly contributions to present rhetoric as a complex entwinement of poetics, of material objects, of streams of habits, of performance—of arranging worlds, to use Ahmed’s phrase again.16 Such is the spirit of this volume. The Practice of Rhetoric focuses on rhetoric’s distant and near pasts in order to fashion a forward-­looking account, asking primarily where recent reformulations can take the future of rhetoric as a discipline and—importantly—as a practice. This volume brings to life studies of rhetoric’s practice across a variety of historical contexts and with specific implications ranging from feminist and ecological to religious and pedagogical. Those three distinct but still at-­times overlapping sets of practices—poetics, performance, and philosophical argumentation—organize the volume. But that very organization itself argues in a more subtle and recursive way: these three categories of rhetoric’s practice need each other to make sense. I will now consider each in turn along with the chapters comprising the three sections.

Poetics Thomas Farrell, writing in 1986, argues that Aristotle’s conception of rhetoric as a practical, public art both constituted and limited by the poetic, defined as that which could be made.17 Poetics, in this scheme, as in ours, puts forth a making, and in all its lexical possibilities—Liddell, Scott, and Jones list these as fabrication, creation, and production—have a comprehensive ring to them. Such making both constitutes and is constituted by the practical art of rhetoric.18 Susan C. Jarratt’s essay, “The World-­Building Power of Ekphrasis,” pre­ sents our guiding conception of poetics by showing how rhetoric participates in what Michael Warner calls “world-­making.” Jarratt focuses on the practice of ekphrasis or vivid description, long an inventive, creative—read, poetic— component of rhetorical education with the power to build desired worlds by depicting alternative futures. Jarratt productively reads the writings of biologist and environmental scientist Rachel Carson as ekphrastic efforts to stun readers into caring about the future of the Earth’s resources by bringing before readers’ eyes a bleak picture of the inevitable destruction that would result from the use of chemical toxins. Michele Kennerly’s exploration of a little-­studied predecessor to the term prose—logos psilos, or naked speech— reveals early rumblings of a separation between poetic and rhetorical texts 4

introd uction

and practices even as it further historicizes the idea of clothed or ornamented speech. In an essay that reflects on the poetic, almost magical, properties of writing, Debra Hawhee builds on the idea of world making by considering the curious practice of people writing letters to nonhuman animals in order to banish or punish them and uses rhetorical education to cast the letters in a new light. Finally, Glen McClish presents a case and a method for teaching poetry rhetorically. His approach gains vividness and usefulness for language arts teachers at all levels through his consideration of a broad range of poems and sample analyses of three more: Rupert Brooke’s “The Soldier,” Thomas Hardy’s “Drummer Hodge,” and Josephine Miles’s “Teacher.”

Performance If poetics helps focus on the world-­making practice of rhetoric, performance nudges things a step further by altogether reworlding.19 Much has been written, especially in the field of communication, about the potentially productive relationship between performance studies and rhetorical studies. This section means to honor the “heft” of performance as a set of repeated, enacted practices, even as it newly construes its workings in rhetorical education.20 Performance lends emphasis to self-­reflection in rhetorical education, a point Mary Frances HopKins made about criticism toward the end of last century when considering the use of the term in the context of rhetorical criticism.21 Reflection, and particularly intersectional reflection, after all, as Bernadette Marie Calafell notes, is a central methodology of performance studies and of women of color feminist theories that can productively blend with critical rhetoric to resist traditional rhetoric.22 Given its theoretical foundation in the art of training up orators, even the most traditional accounts of rhetoric can show how bound up that art is with performing. The selection of essays gathered in this section add to recent work on rhetoric and performance by zeroing in on exactly how rhetorical education has nurtured and shaped performance. Vessela Valiavitcharska examines the role of punctuation in intertwining poetic rhythm with rhetorical performance in Byzantine education, suggesting that such practices underlie rhythmical components of stylistic theory as manifest in oratory. Ellen Quandahl looks at the ever-­rich tradition of Byzantine encomiastic rhetoric, using an oration written about a woman and an immense history composed by that woman to show how these speeches operate as memory performances that rely on imitation. Dale Martin Smith’s essay rounds out the performance section by using the ancient stylistic theory of Dionysius 5

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of Halicarnassus along with the activist work of contemporary poets Amiri Baraka and Harmony Holiday to show how performance and persuasion have—and can continue to—unify rhetoric and poetics. These three contributions show better than I can tell the overlap between poetics and performance. HopKins notes, a performance “is always a kind of repetition,” and Quandahl’s contribution highlights how that repetition works in rhetorical education—with imitation it is a performing of another person’s words, behaviors, or really, persona.

Philosophies of Argumentation When the first issue of the journal Philosophy and Rhetoric was published in the winter of 1968, part of its mission was to “concern itself with the rôle of rhetoric in philosophical argument.”23 Of course scholars and thinkers concerned themselves with such matters well before that date. This section presents new considerations of the role of philosophy—especially philosophies of argumentation—in rhetoric. Scholars here work with a variety of tools and traditions that productively—and practically—enact the mutually constitutive relationship between rhetoric and dialectic or rhetoric and philosophy. This section begins with a new account of a familiar heuristic, a procedural approach to invention known as stasis. Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor update this classical framework that encourages aspiring rhetors to ask after the nature of things, their facts and their qualities, as a way of locating an argument’s position. They re-­present the new stases of cause and of proposal, adjusting them for contemporary conditions—which stem mainly from developments in scientific reasoning as well as multimodal modes of argumentation. Mark Garrett Longaker, next, momentarily inhabits the early modern practice of disputation in order to marshal a new argument about why, exactly, John Locke detested rhetoric. What he finds in Locke’s opposition between science and rhetoric as modes of proof has lasting implications for the way argument works today. And in the final chapter of the section, Cleve Wiese draws from the Tibetan monastic tradition a dialectical practice of reasoning to rethink current Western approaches to argumentation pedagogy. Whereas most joint treatments of philosophy and rhetoric begin and remain within a philosophical framework, presenting what Walker is on record as calling “just another kind of philosophy,”24 the chapters in this section break out of that mold by focusing on the utility of underlying principles in the context of rhetorical education and practice.25 6

introd uction

Together, then, the essays in each of the three parts demonstrate the continued usefulness of rhetoric’s principles, tools, and yes, practices, even as they perform the important work of revising and reconsidering prevailing narratives of rhetoric’s history and the implications of those revisions for current practice.


9 Part I 0


9 chap ter 1 0

The World-­Building Power of Ekphrasis Susan C. Jarratt Description is the highest and rarest achievement. Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social

Ekphrasis, the progymnasmatic exercise of description, has attracted interest from many quarters and in many eras. The questions posed for contributors to this volume have a special pertinence for a technique that has been seen to carry almost as much sway as argumentation in the process of persuasion.1 How does ekphrasis create a relationship between invention and critical thinking? How has it been a site for creativity and constraint? A seemingly simple process—describing in words a scene, a landscape, a building, or an object such as a work of art, an animal, or a plant—occupies an advanced place in the progression of the progymnasmatic exercises.2 A common starting point in discussions of ekphrasis is its capacity to bring the object described vividly before the eyes (enargeia) with an accompanying emotional force. Ruth Webb explores in detail the emotional power produced by ekphrasis with reference to Aristotle, Quintilian, and Pseudo-­Longinus as well as the later authors of progymnasmata textbooks.3 As Webb’s chapter titles, “Enargeia: Making Absent Things Present” and “Phantasia: Memory, Imagination and the Gallery of the Mind,” suggest, she, like many others, is interested in the way ekphrasis calls to mind something not immediately available or present to the apprehension of listeners or readers. Through the power of language, rhetors evoke listeners’ “internal images of absent things, [that] provide the raw material with which each party can ‘paint’ the images that ekphrasis puts into words.”4 In recent work on this phenomenon of phantasia, the emphasis falls on the mental activity and the emotional power derived therefrom. Debra Hawhee, for example, in a 2011 article on rhetorical vision, discusses image formation for

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Aristotle as a kind of conjuring, associated with pleasure and desire, anger and shame. Rhetorical vision “resides in short bursts of language, in vivid turns of phrase, in lively and lifelike metaphors”; it is sometimes achieved through the heaping up of detail.5 Ned O’Gorman, similarly, takes an interest in phantasia as a psychological phenomenon, working with Aristotle’s Rhetoric and De Anima to emphasize the “affective state[s]” thus produced with “urgent and unpredictable affective power.” O’Gorman also notes, citing Rhetoric (1368a), that in epideictic, amplification is a key stylistic strategy for producing “greatness” (megethos). Here rhetoric works at a “‘primal’ level of desire and/or emotion.”6 Much of the contemporary scholarship on ekphrasis shares this focus, examining the competition between verbal and visual arts in their power and exploring passages of ekphrastic tour de force in, for example, the Greek novel.7 At its dazzling extremes, description can overflow boundaries, often stretching the limits of realism. It can move from the thing being described to other things—outside the frame or sometimes within it, creating a three-­dimensional picture inside a picture. Or it can become a narrative, introducing a temporal element. It can include senses other than sight, like smell and touch. But to what end are such emotional effects created? Simon Goldhill, elaborating the “strong sense” of ekphrastic visualization, notes its capacity to astonish, even to blind the listener or reader. It can be used, Goldhill asserts, as a “rhetorical weapon to get around the censor of the intellect.”8 Without gainsaying this potential, I aim here to look at some ancient and contemporary examples of ekphrasis in which the effects seem to be marshaled, pace Goldhill, in service of a reader’s or listener’s critical capacity: namely, the capacity to entertain a critique of or alternative to a prevailing perspective. Page duBois alludes to this capacity in an early work on description in the epic where she describes ekphrasis as “a model of the course of the world.” Serving a historical function, the examples duBois presents work to “clarif[y] the relation between individual and communal history.”9 Hawhee moves in a similar direction when she suggests that phantasia can have a role in deliberation beyond the emotional surge, working to “construct a composite image involving images of past, present, and future events.”10 And Webb confirms that “ekphrasis plays an important role—alongside argumentation—in making the audience share the speaker’s perspective. It also serves to alter their perception of certain events and their relation to the present.”11 To designate this capacity, I use the term world building, borrowing from public sphere theory and queer studies.12 How does ekphrasis come into play when the rhetoric aims not merely to create an emotional effect 12

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but, in the process, to change dramatically the perspective of the listener or reader? I propose that ekphrasis is especially useful for such radical changes in perspective. A contemporary ethnographer of affect, Kathleen Stewart, suggests this phenomenon in a brief reflection on the “Still Life”: “A still is a state of calm, a lull in the action. But it is also a machine hidden in the woods that distills spirits into potency through a process of slow condensation. . . . Still lifes punctuate [the] significance [of ordinary life] . . . , the fragments of experience that pull at ordinary awareness but rarely come into full frame. When a still life pops up . . . , it can come as a shock or as some kind of wake-­up call.”13 Stewart writes here about the visual image that arrests movement, and in so doing, she creates a kind of ekphrasis of her own weighted with reflection on the capacities of still images. The image, she writes, can become “an alibi for all of the violence, inequality and social insanity folded into the open disguise of ordinary things.” But the verbal description breaks down that alibi, exposing and opening up those dangerous forces constellated in the fixed image. Let us consider the earliest and, arguably, most impressive example of ancient ekphrasis—the description of Achilles’s shield from book 18 of the Iliad—as a case in point.14 When Achilles, sulking, refuses to fight, his comrade Patroclus begs to wear his armor and enter the battle. After Patroclus is killed, and the armor taken by the Trojans, Achilles is propelled into action but lacks armor. His mother, Thetis, prevails on Hephaestus to forge a new kit. The poet takes the time here to describe the shield crafted for this occasion. The craftsman embosses images onto layers of leather covered with silver: of the Earth and the heavenly bodies, of cities and their busy doings, of war and its stratagems and destruction, of agriculture and its fruits, of festivals and even of the potter who commemorates them through his art. As many others have observed, the very first ekphrasis offers an awe-­inspiring example of world building.15 Indeed, such language appears at the beginning of the description: And first Hephaestus makes a great and massive shield. Blazoning well-­wrought emblems all across its surface, Raising a rim around it, glittering, triple-­ply With a silver shield-­strap run from edge to edge And five layers of metal to build the shield itself, And across its vast expanse with all his craft and cunning The god creates a world of gorgeous immortal work.16 13

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The following hundred-­plus lines describe a world of beauty and complexity. Crowned by the heavens at the beginning and encircled by the river Ocean at the end, the world of the shield is laid out initially in a circular and urban topography.17 But actually Hephaestus embosses not one but two cities, we read, one located within another. The inside city features weddings with processions through the streets, dancing, and music.18 But it also includes a quarrel (neikos) in the agora: two men declaim before a judge in the presence of heralds, elders, and crowds, implying that law (and the rhetoric fueling it) will operate successfully to adjudicate the conflict. The listener is offered a series of scenes, many of which are peaceful and bucolic. Fields are plowed, grain reaped and bound, vineyards harvested, and sheep tended in scenes peopled by well-­fed workers and young people joyfully dancing and singing. These descriptions offer the reader a utopic vision of life interrupted at points by the warring world of the epic. The other city, however, surrounds the first with a “divided army” in battle gear. As with the Greeks in Troy, there are competing plans for conquering a “handsome citadel.”19 Led by the god and goddess of war (Ares and Athena), the troops dazzle with their brilliant armor. They use treachery to catch their opponents off guard and ultimately engage in the same kind of brutal assault that Homer recounts in the main narrative, including bloody wounds and corpses dragged off the field.20 The poet offers here two dramatically different pictures of collective existence: two worldviews. The point of this ekphrasis is decidedly not a momentary, emotional charge but rather an invitation to a more extended contemplation of two ways of living. The shield represents worlds, but who observes or receives them? What is the rhetorical effect of Homer’s grand ekphrasis? Although scholars may track reception within the world of the narrative, what listeners or readers of the epics in various historical moments made of the worlds created on Achilles’s shield is another question, one difficult to answer.21 As they listened, audiences of the epic might have called to mind images of war or of peace, depending on their experiences, though the peaceful world seems to carry more sway. The examples of ekphrastic persuasion offered in the ancient progymnasmata present much simpler scenarios; they are often stock situations from declamation.22 It is easy to see how these dramatic examples could be useful with students. But in the case of Achilles’s shield, we have something far more complex. If the interpretive response is not obvious with this Homeric ekphrasis, its scope and scale suggest the comprehensive reach and potential of this rhetorical practice at its very beginnings. Another Homeric case turns our attention to the way ekphrasis might be mobilized for radical reimagining. 14

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Thersites Appearing in book 2 of the Iliad and nowhere else in Greek literature, Thersites is the only common soldier described in the poem and is “the ugliest man who ever came to Troy.”23 After nine discouraging years of war, Agamemnon, at the inspiration of Zeus in a dream, tries a devious strategy for urging the Greek forces to gather their strength and beat back the Trojans. In an attempt at reverse psychology—or what he terms a “test”—Agamemnon reports that his dream message indicated defeat; the troops should “cut and run.”24 Apparently imagining that they would rally in the face of this message, Agamemnon and his counselors are distressed to find the soldiers eagerly rushing to the ships. As Odysseus seeks to stem the retreat—reasoning with the higher-­class leaders and beating the ordinary soldiers with the speaking scepter—a character named Thersites speaks up, boldly and bluntly scolding Agamemnon for bad leadership but advising the same course of action—a retreat. Odysseus beats the lowly and debased truth speaker with the scepter, drawing blood and tears, while the other soldiers (the plethus, or throng) laugh and revile him for “wrangling” with princes.25 Here is the full description of Thersites: Here was the ugliest man who ever came to Troy. Bandy-­legged as he was, with one foot clubbed, Both shoulders humped together, curving over His caved-­in-­chest, and bobbing above them His skull warped to a point, Sprouting clumps of scraggly, wooly hair.26

Again, as with the Achilles shield example, we have little way of knowing how this small episode may have struck listeners or readers in the era of its composition. It may have confirmed the aristocratic values of physical strength and beauty associated with glory and bravery on the field of battle. But there is a populist logic to Thersites’s argument—a survival ethic—and his treatment at the hands of Odysseus may have evoked sympathy. Indeed, a few centuries later we encounter the work of fourth-­century CE Anti­ ochian rhetorician Libanius, whose encomium of Thersites praises him for courage, forthrightness, and defense of the powerless. In support of the outlier, Libanius writes, He was moved to words and accusations against the wrongdoers by the mishandling of the situation, and he did not fear the status of some, and 15

susan c. jarrat t he did not flatter those in power while being harsh to men of the people. . . . For those in power and with full tables and riches, there was need of someone with wisdom and a beneficial frankness of speech, who would understand the wrongs being done and would rebuke and shout down and prevent some of them, but correct others, and who would fear nothing at all—neither a scepter, nor a man’s rhetorical ability, nor a host of friends.27

For Libanius, Thersites challenges the epic power structure completely; he turns it inside out. The character is an exemplar of free speaking, reproaching Agamemnon for his greed, his anger at Achilles, and his duplicity: “[Aga­ memnon was] openly mentioning retreat, but secretly preparing to stay, and saying some things himself, but doing others through flatterers and doing a deed uncharacteristic even of a good private soldier, let alone a king.”28 Libanius addresses the physical description in a couple of ways. For one thing, he praises Thersites for joining the military expedition despite his physical deformities: “His anger against the wrongdoers spurred him on . . . though he was bandy-­legged.”29 Further, the Sophist notes that the physical description does not imply mental imbalance, separating the body from the finest of Thersites’s deeds.30 Libanius’s interpretation of the ekphrasis of Thersites challenges the values of the epic world: physical beauty is not a guarantor of virtue; venerable speakers such as Nestor are less brave than one such as Thersites, who speaks up in the face of possible reprimand. Post-­ Enlightenment classicists follow in Libanius’s path. For nineteenth-­century historian George Grote, Thersites is a stand-­in for the “mass” (the Achaian plethus).31 In the twentieth century, G. E. M. de Ste. Croix comments on Thersites’s “seditious speech” and describes him as a “proto-­demagogue.”32 In this example, a reception of the ekphrasis operates less as emotional appeal than as an interruption and a provocation. Interpretation is needed. Does the world of the epic have a place for a Thersites? Or does his presence demand that we imagine that world differently? This world-­(re)building function of ekphrasis would seem to have potential for bringing to light social situations or peoples never contemplated by most listeners or readers, breaking down the alibi, as Stewart puts it. It may reveal something hidden in plain sight: the existence of those whose lives are lived below the level of visibility or regard. Marjorie Curry Woods shows how the performance of another rhetorical exercise, ethopoieia (a speech delivered through the voice of another—another person, place, or even animal), created such effects in her study, Weeping for Dido, the title of which comes from St. Augustine’s account of a moment in his rhetorical education. 16

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Required to speak in the voice of the Carthaginian queen, deserted by Aeneas after his short stay on the way to founding Rome, Augustine wept with sorrow, imagining himself in her place.33 The commonality between the two exercises is the possibility of imagining an alternative to life as we know it. Libanius probably wrote his encomium (as his many progymnasmatic exercises) for students; it may have been discussed in a classroom setting. This exercise may have led students to question commonplaces of the culture. In what follows, I examine two more ekphrastic episodes in ancient texts and then one from a contemporary source, each of which stages the complexity of ekphrasis as a world-­building enterprise. At the end, we move back to the classroom with a critical commentary on ways that teaching description in writing classes may carry the weight of world building, or not. My ancient cases come from the second-­century BCE Greek historian Polybius’s Rise of the Roman Empire and from the second-­century CE Latin novel by Apuleius, The Golden Ass (Metamorphoses).

Polybius Historian Polybius (c. 200–118 BCE) is not a familiar figure for students of ancient rhetoric but perhaps should be. His forty-­volume work, Histories (in Greek), has come down to us in fragments but has had an important influence on political theory and historiography.34 In the Hellenistic period, this well-­educated Greek aristocrat from the Peloponnese was on his way to becoming a successful diplomat in the path laid out by his father, Lycortas, when he was caught up in the colonizing aggression of the Romans. By the third century, the Romans had moved into Africa, Spain, and turned eventually to Macedonia, sacking the city of Acanthus in 200, possibly the year of Polybius’s birth. Sweeping through many Greek cities to the south, including Polybius’s Megalopolis, the Romans decided that some Greek leaders had been working against Roman interests and deported a thousand of them to Italy, Polybius among them. He, along with his compatriots, was held in detention without accusation or trial for sixteen years (167–150 BCE). But unlike the other Greek hostages, Polybius was befriended and taken in by the general Aemilius Paullus, and in time, he became a friend and adviser to the general’s son, Scipio Aemilianus. Through this family, Polybius had access to other influential Romans and was allowed freedom of movement in the city and the leisure for writing. Thus he conceived of a grand historical project through which to “discover by what means and under what system of government the Romans succeeded in less than fifty-­three years 17

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in bringing under their rule almost the whole of the inhabited world.”35 From the biographical information available to us, we know that Polybius experienced some of the most violent and disruptive events in the history he narrates. After his return to Greece, Polybius served as an intermediary between the Romans and the Achaeans, keeping in touch with the remaining detainees (only three hundred left of the original one thousand). He served as political and military adviser to Scipio in Spain and Africa, witnessing the destruction of Carthage in 146. In that same fateful year, Polybius became aware of another violent demonstration of Roman conquest, the razing of the city of Corinth.36 Thus the Histories provide one of the first and most extensive commentaries on imperial power from the perspective of a colonized subject. The reader might then expect an account of these experiences—an account that brings before the eyes of his readers the violence of imperial conquest. And yet Polybius is disinclined to resort to pathetic appeals in the project of persuading readers of the validity of his history. In fact, he harshly condemns historians who describe the pain and suffering caused by the Roman conquest. Polybius self-­consciously places himself in the line of pragmatic historians, Thucydides standing as the primary exemplar, and criticizes others who indulge in what he considers sensationalism.37 In making such criticisms, he reproduces ekphrastic passages. In the first such instance, Polybius takes exception to the descriptions of Phylarchus, a historian who describes the calamities of Mantinea, a city destroyed during this period: “In his eagerness to arouse the pity and attention of his readers, he treats us to a picture of clinging women with their hair disheveled and their breasts bare, or again of crowds of both sexes together with their children and aged parents weeping and lamenting as they are led away to slavery. This sort of thing he keeps up throughout his history, always trying to bring horrors vividly before our eyes.”38 For Polybius, such an approach is not just bad history but an “ignoble and womanish” treatment. This critique comes from one whose own city, during the same period, was destroyed “in so savage and vindictive a manner as to leave no prospect that it could ever be inhabited again” and who himself was taken into captivity.39 Self-­consciously staging his history as fact based and pragmatic, in contrast with the overly dramatic histories of others, Polybius places his project generically under the mantel of “free speech,” a frank assessment of facts, dismissing the emotional responses one might feel in the face of such events. Vigorously rejecting what he terms “tragic” histories, Polybius sanctions those historians who try to bring horrors (ta deina) vividly before the eyes: Phylarchus simply narrates most of such catastrophes and does not even 18

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suggest their causes or the nature of these causes, without which it is impossible in any case to feel either legitimate pity or proper anger.40 Seeking to apply reason and order to loss, Polybius condemns such “exaggerated pictures” (ton suggraphea terateuomenon), presented without a discussion of causes, suggesting that they make it impossible to feel legitimate (eulogos) pity or proper (kathēkontos) anger.41 The negative feminization of this style of historiography is notable; a properly masculinized historian will feel nothing but rather will channel his emotions into appropriate forms, legitimate and proper.42 How does ekphrasis relate to world building in this example? Polybius actually experiences world destroying, although he turns aside from that reality. He seeks to accomplish with his writing an explanation of that process, a rationalizing of the Roman rise to power. Through his writing, Polybius rebuilds a world through reason and writing to replace the one he lost. It is not until later in his life and writing process that he is able to acknowledge that loss. By the end of the project, we understand that Polybius has undergone two traumas: the original hostage taking and then the perhaps even more disturbing developments of 146, the culmination of what he calls “troubled times.” He was present with Scipio at the destruction of Carthage and then absent but informed of the “ruination of his homeland,” the razing of Corinth.43 Unable to rationalize Roman aggression under the same principles as earlier in his career, Polybius after 146 shifts his historiographical stance. In the fragments that remain of book 38, Polybius contrasts the two devastations: “And again the Carthaginians, having been utterly exterminated by the calamity which overtook them, were for the future insensible of their sufferings, but the Greeks, continuing to witness their calamities, handed on from father to son the memory of their misfortune.”44 Again we see Polybius attending to the pain of others, but here, he is less the detached historian: he refers to memory and witnessing as sustaining acts for the survivors. Concerning his method, he remarks that “it should not surprise anyone if abandoning here the style proper to historical narrative I express myself in a more declamatory and ambitious manner.”45 No longer does Polybius throw a veil over the suffering of the Greeks. After Corinth, Polybius shares that vision and gives scope in his rhetoric for its expression.

Apuleius In the previous example, historian Polybius critiques another historian for exploiting the emotional power of ekphrasis. But in a kind of praeteritio, 19

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Polybius simultaneously brings before readers the violence of Roman conquest in spite of his stated stylistic, historiographical principles. There is a displacement here—a layered voicing. We see another form of displacement in the next case, drawn from a second-­century CE Latin novel composed by Apuleius, native of a Roman colony in North Africa. Metamorphoses, or, more popularly, The Golden Ass, is a work of prose fiction—a comic narrative following the misadventures of a licentious young man, Lucius, whose curiosity about magic results in his metamorphosis into an ass. In the fashion of a Greek novel, Lucius-­ass undergoes many ordeals, including kidnapping by robbers, threatened castration, flight, a dog attack, and sale on the auction block to a group of self-­flagellating Syrian priests. After a second sale, Lucius-­ass is bought by a baker who used the beast to turn the millstone. In the course of his labors, Lucius observes slaves and other laboring animals, providing through description a form of social commentary rare for a culture that normalized the oppression of enslaved people and nonhuman animals: Great heavens, what poor specimens of humanity the men were! Their entire bodies formed a pattern of livid bruises. Their backs, which bore the marks of the whip, were not so much covered as shaded by torn shirts of patchwork cloth. Some wore nothing except a thin covering over their private parts; all were clad in such a fashion that their bodies were visible through the rags they wore. They had letters branded on their foreheads, half-­shaved heads, and chains round their ankles. Their faces were a ghastly yellow, and their eyes had contracted in the smoke-­filled gloom of that steaming, dank atmosphere, making them half-­blind. They resembled boxers who coat themselves with dust when they fight, for their bodies were a dirty white from the oven-­baked flour. As for my fellow-­beasts, what can I say, what words can I use to describe those superannuated mules and enfeebled geldings surrounding the manger with their heads bent low as they munched the piled-­up straw? Their necks, pockmarked with running sores, were twitching; their limp nostrils gaped wide from constant bouts of coughing; their chests were a mass of raw patches from the continual rubbing of their rope-­harnesses; their flanks were exposed to the bone from constant beatings; their hooves were distended and misshapen through their incessant circling of the millstones; their entire skins were coarse with age and scurvy emaciation.46

Voiced by an animal, this passage could be interpreted as an ethopoieia.47 The two exercises seem to merge here, but the curiosity lies in the double nature 20

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of the description: the animal (given voice by a human) describes enslaved humans reduced to the condition of beasts of burden. As classics scholars attest, there are very few existing accounts of slavery in the Greco-­Roman period from the perspective of the slave, although scholars have accumulated a full account of the practice based on a wide range of ancient sources.48 Thus the passage from Apuleius offers an especially precious perspective. Keith Hopkins writes that the passage “describes the physical conditions of slaves in a bakehouse with a surprising sympathy.”49 This description is indeed powerful. It lives up to the ekphrastic requirement of provoking strong emotion—horror, shock, disgust, pity, and perhaps sympathy. Such a passage is bound to inspire sympathy in modern readers, and similar accounts certainly played their part in the movements that led to post-­Enlightenment eradication of large-­scale, systematic slavery.50 But would second-­century CE readers have been similarly moved? It seems not, according to Keith Bradley, who writes that, though the slave’s “essential humanity” presented classical society with a practical problem, “for a thousand years and more slavery never produced any serious moral crisis in the classical world at all.”51 Sociologist Orlando Patterson offers insight on this question via his striking and highly influential thesis about the dialectical relationship between the subjection of the slave and the honor of the master. Drawing extensively on evidence from ancient Greek and Roman societies, Patterson argues that in “timocratic” cultures—those in which status and power are derived from honor—“slavery and the timocratic character were mutually reinforcive”; thus accounts such as Apuleius’s would only serve to reinforce the status of a slave owner. Such descriptions would fit seamlessly into the fabric of the Roman world.52 The cases I examine—admittedly an arbitrary selection—raise the prospect of world building through ekphrastic visions, but none of the three offers an example of decisive change issuing from the rhetorical act. Whether the interpretation is ambiguous (Iliad), the adoption retroactive (Polybius), or the context for reception unwelcoming (Apuleius), we have not yet seen ekphrastic world-­ building persuasion in action. A more comprehensive overview might include cases such as Aelius Aristides’s successful appeal to the emperor Marcus Aurelius for support to rebuild the city of Smyrna after an earthquake.53 Aristides’s pathos-­filled description of the ruined city led to a literal reconstruction. But in this situation, the warrant for the appeal is the value of beautiful cities, a value shared by Greeks and Romans alike in the postclassical world. The world building required here did not demand an ideological reorientation. Surely such cases must exist in antiquity, and 21

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a search for them would make a fascinating study. For the purposes of this brief inquiry, we turn to an example of successful ekphrastic world building from our post-­Enlightenment democratic culture.

Rachel Carson Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, one of the most powerful rhetorical acts of the twentieth century, uses ekphrasis to inspire fear in her readers—fear of the damage done by insecticides and other dangerous chemicals to the natural world. Her opening gambit is a fable: There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings. . . . Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow.54

Like an ancient ekphrasis, Carson starts with a visual set piece and then moves into narrative, complete with sound—a key element of the book’s title figure. This is a dark fable, as we know, and soon “a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change.” Animals and humans, including children, sicken and die, and sound stops: “The birds, for example, where had they gone? . . . The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was now no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh.”55 Published in 1962, Carson’s work provoked strong responses, both positive and negative. Her vision of human-­created natural decline through the careless use of agricultural chemicals gave the United States a “galvanic jolt” and helped to launch the environmental movement.56 An English major before she switched to biology at Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College), Carson probably did not study ancient rhetoric, but 22

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according to her biographer, Linda Lear, she read deeply in the English Romantic tradition.57 Carson thought of herself as a writer and indeed began her career as a writer of radio scripts on ocean life for the federal Bureau of Fisheries in Baltimore and of freelance articles for the Baltimore Sun describing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Her 1951 The Sea Around Us won a National Book Award for nonfiction and affected readers in part through her “lyrical, poetic voice.”58 Writing for a popular readership in Silent Spring as in her earlier works, including journalism published in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and Reader’s Digest, Carson relied on a number of rhetorical devices. Arguably, the fable may have been more influential, given that the chemical industry created a parody of it titled “The Desolate Year,” mocking its apocalyptic tone and warning that without pesticides the United States would be overrun by insects.59 But description is embedded in the fable—essential to its force. The core of the book treats separate domains of the natural world, informing the nonspecialist reader about their structure and functions and then laying out evidence for the toxic effects on them of chemical agents. Freshwater sources, plants, insects, fish: all are affected by the glut of pesticides, especially DDT, which flooded the country in the 1940s and 1950s. For her chapter on soil—a lowly and seemingly inert element of nature— Carson creates an origin story with vivid ekphrastic elements: For soil is in part a creation of life, born of a marvelous interaction of life and nonlife long eons ago. The parent materials were gathered together as volcanoes poured them out in fiery streams, as waters running over the bare rocks of the continents wore away even the hardest granite, and as the chisels of frost and ice split and shattered the rocks. Then living things began to work their creative magic and little by little these inert materials became soil. Lichens, the rocks’ first covering, aided the process of disintegration by their acid secretions and made a lodging place for other life. Mosses took hold in the little pockets of simple soil—soil formed by crumbling bits of lichen, by the husks of minute insect life, by the debris of a fauna beginning its emergence from the sea.60

The reader is led to envision events with a kind of sublime force, a natural drama virtually unfolding beneath the feet, as it were. The action of these prehistoric processes, combined with Carson’s discussion of the continuing movement of invisible creatures—bacteria, fungi, and algae, “all this horde of minute but ceaselessly toiling creatures”—bring soil to life.61 23

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Later in the book, Carson evokes the damage wrought by chemicals through lyrical, even elegiac, descriptions of common scenes of midcentury American life—the birds in a suburban yard, the products on a grocery shelf: If a huge skull and crossbones were suspended above the insecticide department the customer might at least enter it with the respect normally accorded death-­dealing materials. But instead the display is homey and cheerful, and, with the pickles and olives across the aisle and the bath and laundry soaps adjoining, the rows upon rows of insecticides are displayed.62 Use of poisons in the kitchen is made both attractive and easy. Kitchen shelf paper, white or tinted to match one’s color scheme, may be impregnated with insecticide, not merely on one but on both sides.63 The average purchaser is completely bewildered by the array of available insecticides, fungicides, and weed killers, and has no way of knowing which are the deadly ones, which reasonably safe.64

There is a chilling quality to this scene: lurking within the domestic, the familiar, the life-­sustaining are the deadly chemicals about which ordinary people, in this case the homemaker or the weekend gardener, know so little. Ekphrasis was a significant rhetorical element in Carson’s powerful text. She predicted comprehensive changes in the natural world and alerted readers to a possible future that they might experience. Though some scholars minimize Carson’s influence on the beginnings of a movement that has grown since the early 1970s, most argue that her work was critical in bringing attention to environmental hazards. Drawing on the emotional power of an apocalyptic vision, Carson sets the stage with ekphrasis—creating the conditions of receptivity—for her more technical arguments about agricultural chemicals.

Student Writers The wrecked city, the unbeautiful body, the enslaved (non)human laborer, the destroyed environment: these ekphrastic occasions have in common their power to bring to life—to bring before the eyes, as the ancients would say—pain, suffering, damage, and neglect in the interest of imagining, and arguing for, more life-­sustaining worlds as alternatives. Of these examples, only Libanius’s encomium of Thersites offers a direct link to the classroom, 24

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although we can be certain that Polybius and Apuleius, with their immersion in the paideia, and Carson, as an English major, must have practiced, perhaps working from models, before composing their forceful and memorable descriptions. We know from scholarship in the history of composition that nineteenth-­century US writing students would have encountered description as one of four modes (along with narration, exposition, and argument) in a long-­standing curricular model.65 And there is some evidence that description is still taught. But to what effect? Richard Ohmann in a College English essay from 1979 (republished in Politics of Letters, 1987, quoted here) offers a rare example of reflection on the rhetorical and political potential of description.66 In “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” Ohmann illustrates the tendency of composition handbooks to encourage student writers to use such language (a direct quotation from Strunk and White’s Elements of Style) so as to avoid boring abstractions.67 For “A period of unfavorable weather set in,” Strunk and White substitute “It rained every day for a week.”68 Such substitutions make Ohmann “uneasy” because, in his view, the original “conveys—however inadequately—a more complex idea.”69 In a survey of three composition textbooks (all from 1978), Ohmann finds similar advice as the authors contrast descriptive passages: in two cases, the textbook authors rewrite hypothetical student texts to make them more concrete and vivid; in a third case, the authors contrast descriptions from published novelists, suggesting a preference for the more concrete prose of a twentieth-­ century writer, Nevil Shute, over the abstract nouns and long sentences of the eighteenth-­century novelist Henry Fielding. These exercises, concludes Ohmann, encourage young writers to “pile on details.” But in so doing, in each case, the writer has added “superficial interest but no gain in insight.”70 Without the space to reproduce a complete example, we can get the gist of Ohmann’s observation through sentences from one pair of descriptions: 1. The country store was an interesting place to visit. In the very heart of the city, it had the air of a small-­town grocery store combined with a feed and hardware supply house. . . . When you finally left the store, . . . you felt as you sometimes do when you come out of an old movie into the bright light of reality. 2. Charlie’s Country store was a spell-­binding emporium. In the very heart of Minneapolis, Charlie’s had the dubious charm of a small-­town grocery combined with a feed and hardware supply house. And when you finally 25

susan c. jarrat t left this anachronism . . . you felt as you sometimes do when you come out of an old cinema into the blinding glare of a rocket-­age reality.71

Ohmann makes several observations about the changes here. First, particularizing the scene blurs the contrasts between country and city, present and past. Second, the writer becomes more of a presence but one without the capacity for reflection; the added details “seem like the reflexes of a dilettantish tourist whose fugitive sensations and values clutter the picture and block analysis.”72 Finally, the “emphasis on visible surfaces . . . draws attention to a detached present experience, dissipating the image of an earlier kind of civilization.” In striving to “mak[e] the passage ‘richer,’ more ‘vivid,’ and more ‘intense,’ [the writer loses] the thread of any analysis in a barrage of sensory impressions, irrelevant details, and personalized or random responses.”73 Ohmann’s attention to the intellectual and critical potential of description offers the opportunity to compare current rhetorical attitudes toward description and its possible effects to those of ancient sources. One can hardly expect first-­year writing students to produce the wondrous effects of ancient ekphrasis, but the textbook writers that Ohmann considers clearly urge them to aim for a stimulating effect rather than the thoughtful evocation of a world. Ohmann’s readings support a kind of description that foregoes the “oh wow” effect in favor of an attempt at evoking a world—a present world in need of change or a future world worth striving for. Has the status of description in the teaching of writing changed in the decades since Ohmann’s article? This is a big question, one that deserves an essay of its own, but we may consider some factors involved in reviving ekphrasis for twenty-­first-­century student writers. The digital world, with its wealth of visual material, is a much bigger factor in the lives of composition students today than four decades ago, and composition texts have responded to that change. We might gain access to such responses by tapping into the field of visual rhetoric, for which Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab offers a convenient summary.74 It is notable that, of the four components of the field highlighted by this resource, only one—“analysis of existing images and visuals”—approximates ekphrasis. Surely as a writer analyzes an image, she will necessarily describe it, but the process is complicated by the fact that readers will simultaneously view that image and come to their own conclusions about the worlds evoked by it. This is a complex situation—one on which there is an extensive bibliography, extending visual rhetoric into the realm of word/image relations.75 Going down that path, however, takes us toward analysis and visual reception and away from the writer’s capacity to create a world through description. 26

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Without space for a comprehensive survey of composition textbooks, we may note a range of approaches to teaching description today in addition to Crowley and Hawhee’s revival of the ancient course of study. A popular and highly regarded composition text—Ramage, Bean, and Johnson’s The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing (8th ed.)—includes an ekphrastic exercise along the lines I develop here. An early chapter invites students to consider the ways “messages persuade through their angle of vision.”76 Students are given competing descriptions of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, a natural area about which there has recently been a heated controversy with conservationists on one side and resource developers on the other. Then they invite the students to compose “Two Contrasting Descriptions of the Same Scene.”77 Another resource surfaced in a Google search under the terms “description” and “composition.” There I found an unusually full list of exercises on “Details and Description” offered at a website produced by the English Department of Florida State University.78 The fifteen exercises presented there seek to develop precision in word choice to “[add] depth and creativity” and to expand the scope of a student’s text. For example, in “Exploding a Moment: Developing Details” the authors reassure that the activity will be “especially helpful in eliciting rich details (and the student will love the length it adds to a draft).” While the compositional goals laid out in these exercises are certainly recognizable and perhaps laudable, they come from within a narrow, skills-­based composition pedagogy. They do not seem designed for an education for civic life set out as a goal of this volume. While one exercise, inviting students to create dialogue and description for a silent film, invites students to examine their biases, none of the fifteen suggests that description could be employed to evoke or refute larger conceptions of world conditions. In fact, most replicate the advice of the composition texts Ohmann critiques: pile on details, aiming to make the writing more vivid and intense without reference to the larger purposes of the discourse. When we move beyond the domain of first-­year composition, we find description as a key element in certain disciplines: e.g., ethnographic field study, scientific description, and journalistic work, to mention only a few contexts. Training in these fields brings its own rigors. There is probably not a lot of variation in the ways a naturalist would describe a specimen, but when we move into the social sciences, there can be considerable variability and thus power in description. As compositionists move into the poetic and performative realm of creative nonfiction, description becomes newly important.79 It remains to be seen how description works in such contexts: for 27

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color and stimulation or as a frame, a window, or a filter—an invitation to see the world anew. It will be the task of twenty-­first century rhetoricians to determine how successfully this ancient technē can be reanimated in an era of image overload—not in the interests of nostalgia or antiquarianism but toward the possibility of shaping future visions.


9 chap ter 2 0

Prose before Prosa A Brief Exposé

Michele Kennerly

The appearance of the Latin word prosa in Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria marks its first in a rhetoric text.1 In time, the usefulness (and Latin-­ness) of the word helped it find its way into a great many subsequent languages, including English as “prose” in the fourteenth century.2 In the first century CE, though, prosa settled between verse and everyday chatter, claiming the broad verbal zone with which rhetoric concerns itself. “Prosa” derives from the Latin adjective prorsa, meaning “straightforward.” The conceit of prosa, and it is very much a conceit, is that it is direct, with the various connotations of that word appertaining. It is easy to follow.3 Prosa may be the most recognizable result of ancient efforts to parse rhetorical utterance from verse and everyday conversation, but it is not the earliest, even if we limit ourselves to Latin. In a study of Latin names for prose, Fernand Delarue observes that oratio prosa (straightforward speech) emerged within the first century of imperial Rome, eventually outrunning the endurance of oratio soluta (unbound, unfettered, loose speech).4 “Soluta” stresses the slackening of metrical bonds. Oratio soluta is speech that has broken or been let loose, marking meter as the original condition this kind of speech has escaped. In dispensing with the freedom-­from-­meter frame, oratio prosa gives prose its own independent identity; moreover, the meaning of “prosa” implies that whatever falls outside of prosa is complicated, or confusing, or crooked. It misleads. To understand more precisely the novelty and enormity of what prosa pulls off would require plotting it amid a series of attempts to conceptualize rhetoric’s distinguishing communicative mode, stretching back more than five hundred years. More modestly, I propose to feature only one antecedent

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of prosa. In the course of writing what I was thinking about as a prehistory of prose, I kept noticing in ancient Greek sources a concept that scarcely appears in major studies about prose stylistics before “prose.”5 The concept is logos psilos. “Logos psilos,” “speech” that is “nude” or “bare” or “uncovered,” refers to speech not clothed by regular stitches of meter or enrobed by music. That such words are “stripped” of poetic qualities gives priority to poetry: poetry precedes and exceeds this deprived, denuded form. Even without the benefit of pointing to logos psilos as evidence, many scholars have asserted the chronological and cultural primacy of poetry over prose.6 In Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, for instance, Jeffrey Walker argues that rhetoric “originated from an expansion of the poetic/epideictic domain, from ‘song’ to ‘speech’ to ‘discourse’ generally.”7 Throughout chapter 2, “The Emergence of Poiêsis, Logos, and Rhêtorikê,” Walker uses the word “prose”— sometimes in caution quotes, sometimes not—to reference the mode of logos use being adopted across rhetoric, philosophy, and history in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. Prose seems to him to spring from the following sequence: “Once ‘song’ expanded into ‘poetry,’ and poetry divided into the sung and the ‘spoken,’ the spoken in turn divides into the metered and the unmetered. ‘Prose’ thus emerges as unmetered ‘poetry,’ in other words a sort of free verse.”8 Walker deems that sequence “plausible” but does not attempt to build a case for it, since he has his eyes on other prizes.9 In work on poetry and prose a few years later, Richard Graff makes an important point: “The Greek language did not come ready-­fitted with a proper equivalent for the modern term ‘prose.’”10 When “prose” appears in English translations of ancient Greek texts, as it often does, translators usually are translating “logos,” less controversially rendered as “word,” “speech,” “discourse,” “account,” or “argument.” But ancient Greek writers modify “logos” in all sorts of ways, and each modifier gives to “logos” a slightly different role in the history of rhetoric—and of prose. Logos psilos is an important plot point on the way to the Latin prosa less because it further substantiates claims that the conception of poetry preceded that of prose than because looking at the ways ancient writers use “bare speech” shows us how writers and speakers established, submitted to, and subverted expectations about what words lacking meter and music can do long before prose emerged. Logos psilos appears in Plato, Demosthenes, and Aristotle, recognized as three of the foremost contributors to and preservers of fourth-­century rhetorical culture as we know it. Isocrates once refers to his logos as gumnos, naked, so I include him too. Sometimes bare speech is used to draw attention to speech purportedly disadvantaged by its 30

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relative lack of poetic qualities. In such instances, the phrase affects minimalism and even vulnerability, aiming to make its influence given its deficiencies all the more impressive. Also clear are developing notions of verbal standards for building a case, expressing truth, and earning trust.11 As oratio nuda, naked speech appears in Roman texts too. There, it has benefited from centuries of practical, theoretical, and critical development in nonverse speaking and writing. Since, by then, public speech has many established, authorized ways of sounding, there are more agonisms internal to prose. Accordingly, bare speech takes on a new connotation in the earliest Roman rhetorical handbook. Cicero, though, returns the phrase to its earlier Greek meaning in his reflections on the relationship between poetry and speech, seemingly in an effort to show that what he is doing with oratio may be new for Latin, but it is not new for speech. To bolster such claims, I locate logos psilos and then oratio nuda in the variety of rhetorical genres in which they appear, indicated parenthetically in each subsection heading and ranging from the three civic genres of rhetoric, to sympotic speechifying, to technical treatises. That this prototype of prose shows up across so many speech types and speaking occasions seems good evidence of its growing and then ongoing usefulness. Logos psilos and oratio nuda merit close consideration because they have histories and identities unique from those of prosa. They allow us to see how related and yet radical prose—and its straightforward pose—really is. They also serve to remind us that “bare” utterance wears a lot of layers, despite its protestations to the contrary.

Plato (Epideictic) (Epitaphios Logos); Sympotic/Epideictic (Encomium) Plato may have acquired his name—which is a nickname—from his wrestling (“broad”-­shouldered) or from his writing (“wide” stylistic range).12 According to Diogenes Laertius, a third-­century CE historian, Plato was an aspiring tragedian when he met Socrates but then cast all his plays into a fire.13 That Socrates willfully did not write one iota has prompted book-­length inquiries about why Plato wrote.14 But Leslie Kurke asks a more pinpointing question: Why did Plato write prose?15 Kurke argues that Plato’s use of prose is integral to his struggle to establish philosophy as a unique domain of inquiry into self and other.16 Kurke tracks how Plato positions philosophy against poetry, most vigorously in the Republic. Rhetoric, of course, poses a different kind of challenge to Plato because it resembles the philosophy he 31

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forwards, but it also resembles poetry, in that it is enchanting and popular. Plato’s Socrates advocates for a philosophical rhetoric—where rhetorical training follows philosophical training so that speakers can persuade others to move toward the good rather than to the pleasurable—as distinct from a sophistic rhetoric, which he does not think is rhetoric at all.17 Of course, all the while Plato uses the dialogue form, which reads like a play without regular patterns of meter.18 Two dialogues that are obviously rhetorical in orientation, Menexenus and Symposium, feature logos psilos.19 The dramatic setting of the Menexenus finds the eponymous character bumping into Socrates somewhere outside the agora. Menexenus has been listening to deliberations in the bouleuterion about who should deliver that year’s oration for the war dead. Menexenus expresses distress at the decision being delayed a day, since the announcement was already coming later than usual, giving whomever the council should appoint even less time to prepare. Socrates, however, does not worry: anyone the council would ask would have something sitting around or could quickly throw something together.20 His description of what epitaphioi logoi do and how seems at odds with his breezy assertion that they come easily: by means of the “superlative beauty and variegation of their words” (kallista pōs toīs onomasi poikillontes), they “bewitch our souls” (goēteuousin hēmōn tas psuchas), sweeping up in their praise “not only those who died in the war but also everyone born before us as well as all of us who are presently living.”21 Civic eulogies work verbal magic on citizens, connecting them to fellow citizens, past and present, in continuous community. He continues, detailing the literally aggrandizing effect of this prose praise on those at whom it is directed: “The effect of their praise on me, Menexenus, is to fill me with feelings of my own nobility. I stand there entranced each time, as I listen, and feel that I have suddenly become taller, more noble, and more good-­looking.”22 And it is not only Athenians such as (the notoriously ugly) Socrates who perceive this beautification: if out-­ of-­towners stand with him at a civic eulogy, he and Athens grow in their eyes, too, all due to the amazing persuasion they hear.23 Socrates says three full days go by before he starts to come down from the high. Menexenus accuses Socrates of “always kidding (about) the rhetors” and presses Socrates on his lack of concern for whichever fellow Athenian of theirs will have to prepare—on very short notice—a speech expected to have such potent effects.24 Socrates speaks to the level of difficulty: “If there were a need to speak well of Athenians before an audience of Peloponnesians, or of Peloponnesians before Athenians, there would be a need for a good rhetor who 32

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could persuade and had a good reputation; but when one strives in the presence of those he praises, it’s not hard to seem [or gain a reputation for being] a fine speaker.”25 Persuasion and trust do not come into play when one praises a city to its own inhabitants, Socrates claims. Eulogizing at home about home comes easily. Menexenus challenges Socrates: if it is so easy for an Athenian to compose an epitaphios logos for Athenians, then Socrates should be able to do so on the spot. Socrates agrees, offering to recite from memory one he learned from his rhetoric teacher, Aspasia, the metic from Miletus who spent her days (and, as the story goes, nights) with Pericles. The speech, he says, she glued together from scraps left on the cutting room floor after she composed and edited the eulogy given by Pericles during the first winter of the war.26 Because Socrates gives his speech that provenance, it makes sense to compare on one key point the speech Socrates recites and the speech Thucydides attributes to Pericles: the ostensible power of poets to commemorate war deeds and thus help preserve those deeds (and their doers) in public memory. Pericles’s speech contends that Athenians have no need of a Homer, since poets produce a temporary “delight” (terpsis) by hinting at courageous acts, whereas the “signs, witnesses, and monuments of their power” Athenians leave behind will call forth long-­lasting wonder.27 Socrates’s speech positions poets quite differently. He submits that logos psilos about long-­ past wars cannot compete with any song about long-­past wars, since even to outfit and adorn (kosmeīn) bare speech fails to match song. But logos psilos can center on more recent and undercommemorated wars and, in so doing, provide poets with material they can use to truly memorialize those who fought in them and where they came from.28 Socrates thereby inserts bare speech into the cycle of commemoration; we might think of it as tucked chronologically and aesthetically between the breathless tales veterans tell right after battle and the sweeping songs poets compose about them generations later. Socrates’s speech, then, presents itself as a transitional form that preserves civic sacrifice for later and repeated use by poets. Why does Plato’s Socrates attribute the speech he delivers—and the speech Pericles delivered—to Aspasia? Is he implying an epitaphios logos is so easy to compose that even a metic woman can do it? Or is he suggesting the nature of an Athenian epitaphios logos has become so internalized by those whom it was designed to celebrate that it takes a metic woman—a total outsider—to see the precise ways an Athenian epitaphios logos amplifies a polis’s vision of itself in order to work on its audience? It is a subgenre that relies on inflation, and part of its puff is its pretense of being 33

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altogether different from poetry in its memorializing capacities and effects. When rhetors claim to provide only basic facts about a city or its citizens, they downplay the power of emphasis and repetition within their accounts, features that sustain the sense of place and identity that empowers people to think of where and how they live as unique. When rhetors call their addresses logos psilos, Socrates recognizes the power of that disavowal of power. Plato’s other encomiastic work is Symposium, and it, too, uses logos psilos to point to the comparative disadvantage of speech over song. Its nested narrative structure accentuates the talk-­based nature of the drinking party in question: a Socrates enthusiast named Apollodoros, who was not there but who heard about it from someone else who was not there, tells some friends about the night.29 Furthermore, within the retelling itself, Socrates recounts a distant conversation with Diotima, and Alcibiades tells stories about his past encounters with Socrates. The chatty, nonverse nature of the Symposium is all the more notable because of the poets involved: the host and celebrant of the party is the tragedian Agathon, who had recently won the top award in a drama festival, and the comedian Aristophanes is among the friends who wish to mark the occasion. It falls to Eryximachus, a physician, to impose some structure on what could otherwise be a sloppy evening. Mindful of the health of his friends, he surveys the room and learns that everyone there overindulged the night before and does not want to drink competitively that evening.30 Next, he proposes that the flute girl, who has just entered the room, be sent away again: “Let her pipe to herself or, if she likes, to the women within, but let us seek our entertainment today in logos. I am ready, if you wish, to suggest what kind of logos [di oiōn logōn] it should be.”31 The dismissal of the girl means a key feature of poetry, musical accompaniment, will be absent; moreover, Eryximachus stipulates that logos, and a particular type of logos, at that, will be their modality. At his suggestion, the focus of the evening falls on Erōs/erōs, whom Phaedrus, another sympotic participant, feels is too often neglected: Phaedrus “is constantly complaining to me and saying is it not a curious thing, Eryxima­ chus, that while other gods have hymns and paeons made by the poets, the god of Love, so ancient and so great, has had no song of praise composed for him by a single one of the many poets that have ever been,” or by the sophists, either, since they seem to prefer to praise subjects not conventionally believed to be praiseworthy, such as Heracles, or salt.32 The exigence must be redressed not with soaring song or clever nonsense but with something different: “So if you on your part approve, we might pass the time well enough en logois; for my opinion is that we ought each of us to make a logos in turn, 34

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from left to right, praising Erōs/erōs as beautifully as he can.”33 Eryximachus suggests a sort of generic mash-­up: poetic-­level theme + speech-­level form. The theme is making the rhetorical rounds when the group is disturbed by what Guido Bonelli calls the “ingresso e discorso di Alcibiade.”34 A very drunk Alcibiades is admitted entry—as is his personal flute girl—and eagerly seeks out Agathon to crown him with a congratulatory victory garland. After Alcibiades notices Socrates, Alcibiades takes a few pieces of garland back and bedecks Socrates, since Socrates “conquers everyone in discourse— not once in a while, like you [Agathon] the other day, but always.”35 Alcibiades responds to Eryximachus’s instruction to praise Erōs/erōs by protesting that the only person he can praise in Socrates’s presence is Socrates. Alcibiades’s inebriation merely compounds the difficulty anyone faces when they try to speak about Socrates’s atopia (strangeness, out-­of-­place-­ ness).36 Alcibiades believes analogy brings him the closest he can get to his (a)topic, and his use of eikōnes (semblances) makes visual similitude the general category that structures his speech.37 The homology begins when Alcibi­ ades likens Socrates to the figurines of the satyr Silenus sold in statue shops. By extension of visual satyr logic, Socrates also resembles Marsyas, the satyr notorious for piping the aulos more enchantingly than Apollo, the very god of music.38 Alcibiades then pivots from visual to aural analogy. Anyone who plays the Marsyas pipes will “hold” others (katechesthai poieī).39 Socrates has the same effect but without an instrument: he has only “psilos logos.”40 Alcibiades says that no one really reacts much when listening to a “good rhetor” give “some speech or another,” but by the words of Socrates, whether he says them himself or someone is repeating him, even by someone who speaks poorly, “we find ourselves being amazed and held” (ekpeplēgmenoi esmen kai katechometha).41 Alcibiades himself attests to bounding corybantic feelings, a galloping heart, and gushing tears, and his affective response builds into question of his life’s purpose. “When I listened to Pericles and other good rhetors I deemed them to speak well, but I have never undergone [epaschon] anything like this; my soul was not thrown into confusion and feeling as though enslaved, but I have been rearranged by our Marsyas here so many times that it seemed to me I was not living my best life.”42 Alcibiades distinguishes between the recognition of talent the finest orators prompt and the outright disruption that Socrates causes. Socrates jolts, upsets, and overpowers those who listen to him—with bare words alone. Alcibiades again connects visual and aural satyric elements at the close of his logos, and his interpretive guidance suggests that one can only really “get” Socrates after he has already gotten (to) you: 35

michele kenner ly If you chose to listen to Socrates’ logoi you would feel them at first to be quite ridiculous; on the outside, they are wrapped around [periampechontai] in such absurd words and phrases—all, of course, the gift of a mocking satyr. His talk is of pack-­asses, smiths, cobblers, and tanners, and he seems always to be using the same terms for the same things, so that anyone inexpert and thoughtless might laugh his speeches to scorn. But when these are opened, and you obtain a fresh view of them by getting inside, first of all you will discover that they are the only speeches which have any sense in them; and secondly, that none are so divine, so rich in images of virtue, so largely—no, so completely—intent on all things proper for the study of such as would attain both beauty and goodness.43

Alcibiades’s play with insides and outsides, depths and surfaces, provides a hermeneutic for understanding the way Socrates talks (and looks). That seemingly simple talk requires complex interpretation points away from the later pose of prose as straightforward. Logos psilos might not be wrapped in music and metrical schemes, but it is not without interiority and exteriority.

Isocrates (Epideictic and Protreptic/Deliberative) Fortunately for anyone trying to understand how ancient prose writers conceived of their verbal form, Isocrates writes often about logos in his mode. He does not, however, qualify logos with psilos in any of his surviving works. Still, his use of logos occasionally conveys a sense of bareness and, in one instance, asserts it outright. For instance, he goes into depth about the lacks of logos in Evagoras (c. 370–365 BCE), generally classified as a “prose encomium” for a ruler.44 The problem with that classification, of course, is that it was not available to Isocrates; indeed, in this work, he presents a case for praise in a new form and then offers the new form itself. Isocrates writes to the prince Nicocles, recently bereaved of his father, Evagoras. Nicocles has been commemorating Evagoras with the usual tributes of “beautiful gifts, dances, songs, and gymnastic contests, and in addition, with competitions involving horses and triremes. [. . .].”45 If Evagoras could see them, he would no doubt appreciate them, but, Isocrates asserts, Evagoras would value above all “a deserving account of his activities and of the dangers he undertook,” since a “logos that recounts Evagoras’s deeds well would make his excellence [aretē] ever-­remembered among all men.”46 The conventional festivities, by contrast, are short-­lived. Isocrates points out that “good men” should be praised “among their 36

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contemporaries” because direct knowledge of the good men means praise of their deeds must hold to the truth, resulting in examples of chronologically and practically proximate goodness for young men to emulate.47 The current state of praise is demoralizing, however. It seems one has to have fought in the Trojan War to merit celebration in song or on stage.48 Envy holds this status quo in place: people feel less challenged by faraway virtue. Isocrates, however, is undeterred: “I know what I am about to do is difficult—praising a man’s excellence through a speech [logoi]. The greatest proof of this is that those who concern themselves with philosophy venture to speak on many subjects of every different kind, but none of them has ever attempted to write on this matter.”49 Isocrates joins others who are composing logoi across great topical range, suggesting that prose composition itself was plentiful, even if it was new. The difference, though, is that others have shied away from praising great men, since that would put them into direct competition with those word workers who traditionally have done that: poets. And tradition is not the only thing they have in their favor. The advantages of poets include all manner of adornments (kosmoi), unrealistic interventions, and the use of strange and new words, metaphors, and every kind of figure, all of which “variegate what they have made [diapoikīlai tēn poiēsin].”50 They outfit their words in ways and to degrees that Isocrates’s words cannot match. The difficulty of the novel praise form Isocrates introduces and produces is that it works from a place of lack: it is both socially unrecognized and formally disadvantaged. Those who write in logos must use only “the established language of the polis” and thoughts and themes emergent from the matters themselves.51 Poets craft everything with “meter and rhythm [metrōn kai rhuthmōn],” of which he can have no share, and those qualities confer such “charm” that they lead the souls of listeners even when a poet’s diction and thoughts are bad.52 Break the metrical trance (to metron) of a well-­regarded poem and what remains will not be impressive. “Still,” though, “poetry has such a great advantage,” and that must be conceded, but “we must not hesitate to attempt speeches [tōn logōn] to see if good men may be praised by such speeches just as well as by those who celebrate them in song and meter.”53 Isocrates’s Evagoras may very well be the first time the idea of “singing someone’s praises” becomes figurative, signifying a shift from song to prose. Isocrates comes close to logos psilos in one of his bold attempts to advise King Philip  II of Macedon. The opening passages of To Philip (346 BCE), in which Isocrates describes his mode of address, abound with words of shame and deprivation. The central problem is that Isocrates fears his self-­presentation is “lonely and naked [erēmos .  .  . kai gumnos],” which he 37

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describes in two ways.54 First, such is the vulnerable state of any logos “detached from the reputation of its speaker, their voice, and changes made in the speaking of it, the opportune moment, and a serious regard for the subject matter.”55 That separation accounts for the loneliness of his words. Being at a distance from the reception of his written words puts Isocrates at the mercy of whomever reads them aloud, and the reader could unconvincingly and without trying take on the character of the writer, reducing the sound of his words to a toneless drone, as if rattling off items in an inventory.56 His reliance on someone else to read the book-­roll engagingly makes his logos potentially friendless. He also claims not to have “outfitted it with any rhythmical orders or variegations [poikiliais] in its style [tēn lexin],” as he did when he was younger and as those earlier logoi taught others to do to make theirs more persuasive.57 That purported lack of dress accounts for the nakedness of his words. Isocrates worries, then, that his writing will underwhelm listeners: first, because writing always introduces distant reliance, and second, because writing without poetic features gives fewer performance hints to readers and is less likely to hold ears.58 These are implicated problems: writers may be able to secure a better out loud reading if they avail of particular rhythmic patterns and stylistic patterns. In his last attempt to frame the protreptic urgings that follow this characteristically lengthy introduction, Isocrates affirms that he offers tas praxeis haplōs, simple facts or plain matters.59 His nude and solitary logos can have nothing up its sleeves. If we are to believe these supposed exposures, then the very deficiencies of rhetorical composition make it worth trusting. As we see in its next appearance, however, naked speech can also refer to unsubstantiated assumption that ought not to be trusted. The ambiguity here is a result of naked speech having an as-­yet-­unsettled identity within the usual casts and categories of logos.

Demosthenes ( Judicial) The “prose” of Demosthenes becomes legendary, but even he had to start somewhere, and that is where we find our phrase. “Logos psilos” appears only twice in Demosthenes’s surviving speeches: once in his very first case, a prosecution of his uncle Aphobos (364 BCE); and once in his first major public case, a prosecution of Androtion (355 BCE), a longtime public official. In these cases, it takes on a meaning different from those in line with the nonpoetry orientation of logos psilos, evidence that the phrase may not have had one settled technical meaning in his time. As we saw with Plato and Isocrates, present again is the matter of truth, but Demosthenes treats bare words as bald 38

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accusations that ought not to be granted the status of believable. In a judicial context, naked words undermine the accumulative nature of building a case; they dispense with layers and present themselves without a stitch of proof. “Against Aphobos I” finds Demosthenes prosecuting Aphobos for squandering the estate of Demosthenes’s father, which was left to Aphobos in trust until Demosthenes came of age. Demosthenes begins by pointing out the speaking savvy of Aphobos and those offering support to Aphobos and by emphasizing his comparative youth and inexperience.60 He asserts that he will keep his logos as brief as he can keep it while supplying the details jury members need to know.61 These initial strategies suggest De­ mosthenes may use logos psilos in a way akin to how Isocrates uses gumnos: to point out the fineries and elaborations his words lack. But he does not. Instead, Demosthenes uses the phrase to describe the wily ways of his uncle’s evidentiary processes. Since Aphobos cannot adequately defend himself against any of the evidence-­backed claims his nephew presents, he makes unfounded assertions to prejudice the jury against Demosthenes.62 Demosthenes recognizes these assertions as bold and baseless, but he understands the tactic: his uncle intends for him to have to address them, which would give them credence and prevent Demosthenes from spending his speaking time on matters that truly bear on the case.63 Of one assertion in particular, Demosthenes says: “Yet he who dared to make such a statement put no witnesses to prove it, but relied on his naked words [psilōi logōi], as though you would likely incline to be trusting [hōs pisteuthēsomenos eikēi].”64 In this instance of its use, “naked words” are claims devoid of the kinds of support and substantiation that make a claim trustworthy, especially in a judicial context. A juror should not simply take somebody’s word for it. Demosthenes implies that Aphobos expects them to do precisely that. Aphobos plays them like a game of chance. Demosthenes invites jurors to consider what deserves to have their trust. Aphobos can easily be seen “not to speak truly [ouk alēthē legein]” but to make allegations that are “impossible [adunaton].”65 If someone does not dress their bare words with the trappings of argument—witnesses, examples, and so on—then, Demosthenes argues, they are likely making fanciful or even all-­out false claims. Demosthenes builds upon this first usage of logos psilos in “Against Androtion,” his first case with polis-­wide scope. Demosthenes begins by preparing the jury to evaluate Androtion’s defense strategy: “If I could see any straightforward [haplēn] defense that he could offer to these charges, I would not make any reference to them; but I am quite certain that he cannot have any simple [haploun] and honest plea to put forward, but will try 39

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to hoodwink you, inventing malicious answers to each charge and so leading you astray. For he is, men of Athens, able to speak with technical mastery and has devoted all his life to doing so.”66 Demosthenes twice uses the adjective haplos (simple, straightforward) to describe what the words of Androtion will not be. Indeed, Androtion has made artful speech his life’s work. Later, we see that Androtion tries the same shenanigans as Aphobos: But I think you ought first of all to reflect in your own minds that abuse and accusation are very far removed from proof. It is an accusation when one makes a bare statement [psilōi logōi] without supplying grounds for believing it; it is proof when one at the same time displays the truth of one’s statements. Those, therefore, who are proving a case must supply evidence sufficient to establish its credibility with you, or must advance reasonable arguments, or must produce witnesses. Of some facts it is impossible to put eyewitnesses in the box, but if one can establish any of these tests, you rightly consider in every case that you have a sufficient proof of the truth.67

Both uses of logos psilos in Demosthenes suggest that the phrase could be—and was—used in a juridical context to refer to testimony lacking evidentiary support.68 Abuse and bald accusations are extremely prejudicial and designed to force the accused into dignifying them by mere response. De­mosthenes tries to mitigate their damage by reminding jurors that bare speech is a deliberate, crafty attempt to undermine not only their critical faculties but also the norms of legal argumentation. How do these two appearances of logos psilos relate to the development of prose? They demonstrate that prose was pressed into form in different ways across speaking spaces and the types of speech that recur there. De­mosthenes argues that rhetorical speaking in a courtroom must make a case to earn credit as legitimate. Innuendo—especially the suggestive talk of powerful public people—and mere assertion ought not be deemed as trustworthy as claims supported by various forms of evidence. In the contexts in which Isocrates uses the phrase, naked speech is more credible than poetic utterance; in the contexts in which Demosthenes uses the phrase, naked speech is less credible than layered, processual argument.

Aristotle (Technical) Among the varied interests of Aristotle, Demosthenes’s exact contemporary, was public speech, and Aristotle did not shy away from the challenge of 40

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distinguishing it from poetic forms. The versions of Poetics and Rhetoric we possess cross-­reference one another, an index of some editor’s or another’s opinion about the more obvious commonalities between the two works.69 From the perspective of prose development in particular, we are fortunate to be able to see how a determined systematizer went about his work on metered and irregularly metered compositions with the terms of—or with terms new but intelligible to—his time, including logos psilos, which features in Poetics and Rhetoric. Poetics uses the phrase almost immediately. Poetics begins with a pertinent instance of nomenclature frustration. While that state likely was an ontological constant for Aristotle, here he hits on a significant problem: those arts (technai) that accomplish the mimesis of life “in rhythms, and words, and harmonies [en rhuthmōi kai logōi kai harmoniai], either separately or in combination” are known as poetic, “but that which features only naked words or metrical ones [toīs logois psiloīs hē toīs metrois], using either one kind of meter or combining them, has to now no name.”70 Insofar as names differentiate and separate, Aristotle has to admit at the start that he cannot clearly set apart this poetry-­adjacent art. He adds that no “common name [onomasai koinon]” exists for classifying the nonmetrical mimes of Sophron and Xenarchus and the Socratic dialogues (Sōkratikoi logoi), both of which feature some obviously poetic elements, such as, respectively, masks and stichomythia.71 Further, Aristotle explains that both visual artists and verbal artists depict people either as they are or as better or worse than they are, and he includes in that latter category those who produce “kai [. . .] tous logous de kai tēn psilometrian.”72 Logoi can be rendered as speeches, and the absence of psiloi may suggest these logoi possess dress (rhythm, perhaps?). This time, the nudity comes with psilometria. The standard definitions of psilometria are “verse not accompanied by music” and “prose composition,” but it literally means something that is “meter-­naked” (but has rhythm, perhaps?). Aristotle works with the limited language he has, and his struggle is visible. We learn more about logos psilos in the Rhetoric. There, Aristotle attends to lexis (word choice and expressive structure) as a rhetorical concern in the third book-­roll. Here all of the references to Poetics appear. In keeping with his interest in firsts (first principles, origins, etc.), Aristotle begins by attributing initial attentiveness to lexis to poets. Sounding a lot like Isoc­ rates in Evagoras, he claims that poets, even when speaking of ordinary matters, seem to come by their reputation (doxa) because of their lexis, and he names Gorgias as the first to figure out how one might pull that power into speech.73 41

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Furthermore, while speech stepped up, poetry stepped down; even tragic poets had been using iambics for a while now, the meter “most like speech.”74 Though Aristotle does not elaborate, he may be hinting at a chiasmus of mutual influencing among fifth-­century poets and sophists. Aristophanes seems to mock it in his Clouds: when the teenage character Pheidippides becomes smitten with sophistry, it is not “a melos [song] of Simonides” that he wants to recite but a “rhēsis [speech] of Euripides.”75 Aristotle, too, offers Euripides as an example—and the first—of how one can “hide well” what one is up to by choosing a way of speaking that seems everyday.76 Yet Aristotle insists that the lexis of logos is not the same as that of poiēsis.77 As he does with poetic lexis, he calls “to be clear [saphē einai]” the core aretē of rhetorical lexis, adding that because rhetorical lexis “must be neither low nor amplified, the poetic, while presumably not low, is not appropriate for logos.”78 To attain clarity, both poets and rhetors should use familiar words; to avoid the lowly, they both should use unfamiliar ones but a rhetor more sparingly.79 The pairing of the common and the curious yields language that is always comprehensible but with hints of the alluringly peculiar. Those who use meter, he grants, have lots of ways to do that, but those who use “naked speech [toīs psiloīs logois]” are more limited.80 He offers the more specific direction to speakers that only metaphors and words in their familiar meanings and prevailing forms are useful “in the lexis of psilos logos.”81 Metaphor, in particular, speakers should work on lovingly because logos has so much less going for it than does verse (tōn metrōn).82 A section on frigidities summarizes how rhetors go wrong, including by using a lot of compounds words, in the manner of dithyrambic, epic, and iambic poets, or by overdoing metaphors.83 Gorgias frequently does the latter, and Aristotle judges him to be “immoderately poetic.”84 Though Aristotle does not use logos psilos again, the meaning he seems to intend for it becomes clearer when he discusses what he calls the schēma of rhetorical lexis. It should be “neither metrical nor arrhythmic,” the first prohibition being necessary because metrical patterns become so predictable that an audience can anticipate, to a word, how a given instance of pattern might end and the second because “the unlimited is unpleasant and unknowable.”85 After quickly mentioning rhythmic patterns that repeat the same sequences of long and short vowels within short units, Aristotle spends some time with the paeon, which came into use in logos with Thrasymachus, “although he and his followers could not state what it was.”86 The paeon recommends itself as a schema for logos because its longer patterns permit of less obvious regularity and thus a measure of unpredictability that keeps an audience from guessing what comes next. 42

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Next, Aristotle discusses the schematic element of units of thought and the nature of their connectedness: namely, length. Notably, he begins this section with an immediate analogy to poetry: rhetorical lexis “is necessarily either continuous and united by connective, like the preludes in dithyrambs, or compact and like the antistrophes of the ancient poets.”87 The latter gains Aristotle’s endorsement as a model for logos. Aristotle calls the constituent parts of a compact style “periods,” which he defines as thought units “having an intrinsic starting-­point and end-­point, and a magnitude easily surveyed as a whole.”88 That perceptible limits please people is a fact of sensual life from which poets benefit greatly, and Aristotle makes that fact work for rhetorical lexis. Aristotle’s definition permits of periods of varying lengths, but he warns that those “that are too long become a [whole] speech that is like a rambling [dithyrambic] prelude.”89 Again, Aristotle offers an element from a particular type of poetry as a caution. Aristotle’s abundant technical language makes for a lot to learn. In the preface to The Invention of Prose, Simon Goldhill specifies that “this is not a book on ‘prose style’: the requirements of translation and transliteration forbid extensive analysis of such precisions of expression.”90 Since, though, Aristotle’s thoroughgoing technicalities allow him to differentiate public speech from poetry even at the places where they seem most alike, struggling through those technical terms helps us identify his exceedingly important contributions to the prehistory of prose. Goldhill does examine Aristotle’s contribution to the invention of prose but as a composer of it rather than a critic. Goldhill overlooks, however, that Aristotle uses modes other than the technical to communicate differences between the purview of rhetoric and that of poetics. In the Rhetoric, for instance, Aristotle uses not only analogies to poetry to explain the technicalities of rhetorical lexis but also analogies to moving bodies.91 Aristotle understands how knowledge is augmented—largely when one figures out the similarity between two seemingly dissimilar things—and the pleasure that attends such growth. Aristotle uses metaphor to make the most important structural element of logos, the period, understandable.

Demetrius (Technical) Peri Hermēneias, usually translated as On Style, has no secure date and no secure Demetrius as its author. Still, there is good reason to believe someone very familiar with, if not outright educated in, the Peripatetic school of rhetoric wrote it in the third century BCE. Demetrius of Phalerum, an 43

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Athenian student of Aristotle’s student Theophrastus and temporary governor of Athens during Macedonian rule, is a possibility. The opening line of the work as translated by W. Rhys Roberts shows the immediate significance of On Style to the verse/prose distinction: “As poiēsis is articulated by measures (such as the hemistich, the hexameter, and the like), so also is [speech] style [tēn hermēneian tēn logikēn] articulated and marked by what are called ‘members’ [kōla].”92 Demetrius offers an analogy based in units of sound and sense. Demetrius designates four characters (charaktēres, literally “imprints”), which resemble meters in that they convey different energies and intensities through particular patterns of sound. The character most fitting to my effort here is the first: magnificent (megaloprepēs), which Demetrius says “now” is called simply “logion,” meaning something like “a good talker.”93 No character description resembles the lexis portions of Aristotle more than this one; Demetrius endorses the paeon rhythm and even amplifies the cautions about dithyrambling.94 Intriguingly, given how closely Demetrius follows Aristotle, Demetrius does not use the phrase “logos psilos.” He maybe hints at it in a section on the attractions of allegory: “What is clear and obvious is likely to be looked down upon, just like stripped things [apodedumenous].”95 By the time Demetrius writes, there seems to be a new phrase for “prose,” logos pezos (foot speech), which he uses in this part of the text.96 This phrase takes hold during the Hellenistic period and remains the preferred phrase for “prose” in Greek. Dionysius of Halicarnassus uses it.97 Modern Greek still uses it. The extant evidence suggests it is not until the Latin-­writing rhetoricians of the first century BCE that naked speech returns, perhaps as a result of a burgeoning interest in rhetorical works from fourth-­century Athens.

Auctor Ad Herennium (Technical) Nudity darts in and out of attempts to delineate and develop prose in Roman rhetoric texts. Here, though, it commonly acts as an orator’s starting place rather than simply the state to which orators have been consigned by not being poets. Nudus appears in the earliest surviving handbook in Latin, the Rhetorica ad Herennium, attributed to an unknown author whom we call, traditionally, the auctor (author). The auctor dedicates the fourth and final book-­roll to elocutio, usually translated as “style,” and it amounts to half of the length of Rhetorica ad Herennium.98 The auctor designates three registers of style, which he calls figurae (figures): adtenuata (thinned out), mediocris (moderate), and gravis (weighty).99 Though body-­based terms for various 44

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parts of rhetoric and poetics began to establish themselves in the fifth century BCE, Roman style theory runs with the analogy, which goes some way in explaining the recurrence of “naked” as a descriptor.100 Next, the auctor enumerates sixty-­four exornationes (items of rhetorical ornament and equipment), which are more commonly known as tropes and figures, but do not go by those names here.101 This plenitude speaks to the auctor’s stated objective to furnish Herennius with everything he needs to know about the art of rhetoric.102 Additionally, it sets up the auctor to make this closing point: “We have collected with zeal all the honorable principles of elocutio, through which, Herennius, if you will train yourself diligently, you will be able to have in your speaking heftiness, worthiness, and sweetness, such that you will speak entirely like an orator, and what you invent will find no use in the nude, unstylish, or common chit-­chat [nec nuda atque inornata vulgari sermone efferatur].”103 Evidently, rhetoric has gained a measure of self-­ assurance in how it carries itself. The auctor does not, as Isocrates does, bemoan the naked state of public speech compared to dressed-­up poetry. For the auctor, naked public speech is not stripped-­down poetry but rather not yet outfitted for the encounters and effects it is meant to have. Nudity becomes that which exornationes cover up, dress up, gear up. They make an orator an orator rather than simply a talker.104 The “ex” prefix of “exornationes” suggests thoroughness, and that is precisely what rhetorical training in stylistics extends to speech: complete coverage. This “ex” does not suggest something “extra” in the sense of an addition of “non-­functional decorative features to the basic argument,” in the words of Elaine Fantham.105 Enveloping nude speech ought to be distinguished from decking it out in gaudy adornment.

Cicero (Technical/Historical) Variants of “nudus” appear throughout Cicero’s rhetorical works, but Orator gives us Cicero’s most concentrated treatment of what an orator is, does, and sounds like. Orator is a follow-­up to Brutus, both from 46 BCE and dedicated to Brutus. The dedicatee apparently thought the latter’s slowly creeping catalog of orators made it difficult to tell what genus of eloquentia Cicero thought is “the utmost and most perfect.”106 Brutus wants a hierarchy, not a chronology. Sections detailing rhythmic oratorical composition comprise the final third of Orator, which seems enchantingly passive aggressive: Cicero breaks it all down for Brutus, even down to the length of vowels so that Brutus will know perfect eloquence when he hears it, without a doubt.107 (Subtext: Brutus need only listen to Cicero.) 45

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These sections proceed in three parts: compositio (putting words together), concinnitas (harmonious structure), and numerus (count, meter, rhythm), the latter of which Cicero breaks into four parts (origin, cause, nature, utility). The three sections loop back on themselves and repeat several times, as if Cicero anticipates objections and resistance.108 The point he repeats most frequently is not that oratio must have numerus (count/measure/rhythm) but that it simply does have it, naturally—and that does not make it poetry.109 Measure in oratio and in versus has a shared origin: the patter of long and short vowel lengths are an ordinary feature of language that our ears easily detect, even without training in the technical minutiae.110 Patterns— as in repeating segments of long and short vowel-­based syllables—come later, after people notice the effect of accidental, natural rhythms and decide to capitalize upon the pleasure they bring.111 Cicero makes the origin of rhythm not artifice but sensus: rhythm is a matter of sensation, fundamentally. About his contemporaries who do not value oratio with numerus, he says, “I do not know what sort of ears they have, or whether they are human at all.”112 Cicero speaks of rhythm as though it is a basic feature of using language, itself a basic feature of being human (according to most ancient thinkers). Nakedness, then, is where speech starts, rather than where speech ends up after being “stripped” of repeating meter and music. Cicero’s account of the origins of oratorical numerus features some familiar names. Gorgias, Isocrates, and Aristotle employed or addressed the intentional adoption of rhythm in oratio.113 Whereas Gorgias overdoes it, Isocrates tempers his teacher while eagerly “seeking out numeri that could be used in speech” because they bring pleasure and overrun satiety with variety.114 Cicero may be referring to Isocrates’s Evagoras here. Cicero explicitly references To Philip—the logos Isocrates calls gumnos (naked)—as evidence that Isocrates “relaxed” his rhythm enthusiasm with age, a necessary self-­correction.115 Aristotle comes next, and Cicero stresses his view that the paeon rhythm is “used by all [uti omnis].”116 If Brutus or any of his friends refuse to use rhythm intentionally in their prose speaking and writing on the grounds that the Attic orators they most admire did not recognize its value, then they are ignoring Aristotle, the most authoritative authority of all, who insists orators use rhythm.117 Cicero also joins his Greek predecessors in recognizing that certain poetic meters are so speech-­like that the music that accompanies them is nearly all that distinguishes them: “This is particularly true of the best of the poets whom the Greeks call λυρικοὶ [lyric]: when song is ripped away really only nuda oratio remains.”118 Naked speech returns, in Orator, to the technical meaning 46

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Plato uses in Menexenus and Symposium and Aristotle uses in Poetics and Rhetoric.119 The Greek influence on Cicero’s account of oratorical numerus appears also in his analogies to bodily training. Rhythm in speech, he writes, came to be “noted and known somewhat late,” establishing, as it were, a sort of palaestra (gym) where speech could work on its alignments.120 Exercises in building symmetry, strength, and stamina were, of course, undertaken nude in Greece. Oratio nuda stands to benefit from numerus in a similar way: it prepares speech to maneuver and manage itself in high-­stakes contests. Cicero draws Orator to a close by going after contemporaries who dismiss the significance of rhythmic speech: “The speech of those who do not form their sentences with a rhythmical cadence seems to me to resemble those whom the Greeks call ἀπαλαίστρους, and it is far from being true that— as those are wont to say who, from lack of teachers, or slowness of wit, or shirking from hard work, have failed of success—careful arrangement of words enfeebles speech: on the contrary without this it can possess no force or vigour.”121 Brutus and his friends forget that naked words can be either scrawny or brawny and that rhythm makes the difference.

Between Cicero and Quintilian It seems precious little of the rhetorical activity recorded between Cicero and Quintilian made it very far. Of the major prose writers in Latin who treated rhetoric explicitly, only work by Seneca the Elder, Seneca the Younger, Pliny the Younger, and Tacitus continued to be copied enough to survive.122 They were writing in the imperial period, and all but Seneca the Elder were contemporaries of Quintilian, who, as I show at the beginning of this chapter, has prosa available to him. Seneca the Elder uses “nuda” to describe “oratio,” but Seneca the Younger uses it to describe bodies only.123 The latter uses “prosa oratio” once, the former not at all.124 Neither “nuda” nor “prosa” appears in Tacitus’s Dialogus de Oratoribus. “Prosa” does not appear in the letters of Pliny the Younger. Pliny does, though, use “nuda” three times as an adjective modifying verbal elements: first to complain that some versions of Cicero’s speeches feature sections that are little more than “brief and nude” summaries; then to compare poetry and oratory; and finally to compare oratory and history.125 That Pliny, who was a student of Quintilian, uses “nuda” and not “prosa” tells us that “prosa” had not caught on within Pliny’s circle of correspondents or that it had connotations he did not wish to activate. We do not know why Quintilian decided to use “prosa.” All we can say for 47

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certain is that he picked up on a change in nomenclature that would, in time, be consequential. It broke the mold and the hold of poetry, which no earlier term had managed to accomplish. Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Jeffrey Walker, whose work on rhetoric and poetics has shaped my own since graduate school; his students Debra Hawhee and Ve­ ssela Valiavitcharska, for their leadership and encouragement; and the organizers and participants of the summer 2021 “get-­togethers” cosponsored by the Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric (at Royal Holloway, University of London) and the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, especially Giulia Maltagliati and Christos Kremmydas.


9 chap ter 3 0

Dear Mice: Debra Hawhee

Mice eating your crops? Try writing them a letter urging them to go elsewhere. So a tenth-­century agricultural manual suggested, even providing a template. The script, from the Byzantine text known as Geoponics (a Greek compound rooted in work and earth), appears at the end of a chapter about contending with field mice and includes half a dozen recommended strategies to rid one’s fields or home of the unwanted vermin, many of them recipes for deadly concoctions.1 The instructions conclude with a threat of grisly death: “Take a piece of paper and write on it: I adjure the mice caught here, to do me no harm, and to prevent other mice doing so. I give you the following land (and name it). If I find you still here, I take the Mother of the Gods to witness, I will cut you into seven pieces. After writing this, fix the paper before sunrise against a natural rock in the field where the mice are, and let the letters be turned outward.”2 While this passage from the Geoponics presents something of a puzzle, it is not the past’s only example of formal address to rodents. Consider as an example the Irish tradition of reading aloud metered verse, mentioned in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, to kill rats by means of rhyme.3 In the legal realm, insects and other vermin were formally summonsed, sometimes in writing, as with a seventeenth-­century case I discuss in this chapter. According to E. P. Evans, the Geoponics script may have originated an enduring tradition of eviction letters written and delivered to rats, mice, and other pesky vermin.4 The folklorist William Wells Newell reprints one such letter composed by a Boston man and addressed to rats infesting his summer residence in Maine. The letter, dated October 31, 1888, addresses the rats formally, outlines the reason for the request, gives the address of another farm to consider, and threatens to “employ ‘Rough on Rats’” if the rats do not follow the letter’s advice.5 Evans notes the formulaic similarities between the nineteenth-­century letter and the one from Geoponics. By the

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late nineteenth century, when Newell published a selection of such letters to rats, the practice itself was “commonly regarded as jest”; the editor of the earliest extant version of the Geoponics presents the formula discussed here with a note of skepticism.6 This tradition may be surprising, not least because it is so rarely discussed. But it is also surprising because of the assumptions it seems to entail. Of all the ways to disperse pests—a good “shoo” gesture, rocks clapped together, a cat, a carving of a cat—why write to them? Did the ancients really think mice and other vermin could read?7 The rhetorical production of a letter to mice constitutes “a moment of poesis,” to borrow Kathleen Stewart’s phrase.8 Stewart’s characterization of such a moment—“a mode of production in an unfinished world”—helps position this making, this worlding, as a gathering of feelings, practices, intensities that are worth inspecting from a mixture of theoretical and historical perspectives important for writing and rhetoric.9 By elaborating features of these letters—their status as charms, as writing, as objects of consumption, as forms of address—I present these letters as an early, material instantiation of rhetoric, one that enacts poesis in the broadest sense of a world making and one that illustrates the “ambient” theory of rhetoric put forth by Thomas Rickert.10 As Rickert observes, “Rhetoric has a material dimension, and it is an embodied and embedded practice.”11 My aim, then, by interleaving Rickert’s observations about rhetoric and Stewart’s observations about poesis with these letters as objects, is to make sense of them by leading with the senses. The implications of this analysis for studies of writing and rhetoric are many. First, the practice of evicting mice by means of writing bespeaks enduring assumptions about rhetoric generally, drawing out its material, magical, and less-­than-­rational features. In exploring these features, I hope to peel apart the related but not identical valences of logos: speech and reason, valences that, over time, and especially during the Enlightenment, have become conflated. Words and reasoned arguments were by no means conflated in the tradition of composing letters to mice. The Geoponics letter depends on writing for its potency, more for its ability to convey something like meaning. That potency turns on a theory of words as material presence articulated first by the fifth-­century BCE Sophist Gorgias and more recently—much more recently—by Derrida with special reference to writing.12 Writing’s materiality has enjoyed new attention in the context of new media, pedagogy, and technology, and this examination shows that focus on writing’s materiality pays off in the context of old media—very old media—as well.13 50

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The case of the letter addressed to mice has the added benefit of making explicit the superstitious, almost magical, notions on which theories about writing’s materiality rest. Recent work situated in object-­oriented rhetoric is relevant here, for at times writers working in object-­oriented ontology or object-­oriented rhetoric seem to presume a kind of magic without naming it that.14 After examining word magic and writing as charm in the context of rhetorical history, I consider the proverbial elephant in the room of this genre, namely the addressees, the mice in the fields or house, by placing the “Dear Mice” letter in the context of three fairly distinct but—I argue—related traditions, traditions that together might help to account for how epistles to mice became possible at all: (1) the progymnasmata tradition, especially the use of fables in classrooms, but also the exercise called ēthopoesis, or character-­making; (2) the ancient tradition of epistolography, which incorporated classical rhetorical theory, linked to the progymnasmata, and presaged the medieval art of letter writing known as the ars dictaminis; and (3) the tradition of trying animals in courts of law. All of these traditions embody escalating degrees of magic, of imaginative address, of an abiding faith in language’s—and specifically writing’s—ability to conjure, to command, and to banish. The ancient artifact therefore offers a rare opportunity to bring together histories of writing/rhetoric and histories of magic.15 The net effect is a letter that is more than a trifle: it is an artifact that depends on and is therefore revealing of the nonrational, even magical, contours of writing and rhetoric. Let us begin, then, with charm.

Charmed From the moment people began talking about rhetoric as an art, they have talked about it as a kind of magic. The spread of writing further strengthens the magical potency of language, capitalizing on the objecthood of written words. That objecthood, I will show, folds neatly into—occasionally etching directly onto—a robust tradition of charm objects. It is important to note at the outset that what matters for rhetoric as magic in this context is the direction of the magic. Put more clearly, that magic has a directional or even transportational urge: an urge to move. The fifth-­century (BCE) Sophist Gorgias of Leontini was apparently among the first, and he was probably the most well-­known, practitioner to call attention to rhetoric’s magical properties. It is no coincidence that he does so in a speech about Helen, who was carried away, whose “voyage” (stolon) to Troy is parsed by the Sophist into 51

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four possible causes—speech, love, force, or the gods—all of which metaphorize rhetoric, and none of which are prone to holding still.16 As Jacqueline de Romilly sees it, rhetoric and magic align so easily because they both have the aim of stirring.17 Michele Kennerly’s conception of “rhetorical transport,” whereby rhetoric operates at the level of the image to tap humans’ phantasic capacities can in this context be made simultaneously more general and more literal: rhetoric moves through stirring, through imagining, through and like magic.18 And it also just plain moves. Such is Gorgias’s message, anyway. That message can be confirmed with a mere glance at the verbs Gorgias activates alongside logos or speech, the subject, and each verb on this list translates a Greek verb: banish (paūsai), remove (apheleīn), stimulate or make (energasasthai), enlarge (epauxēsai), and (again) centrally for this speech, Helen was hērpasthē, or “snatched away” by logos, her mind eksēn, “swept away” or “expelled” by persuasion.19 And this transportation is enabled by magical words that work through what Gorgias dubbed the “smallest and most invisible” bodies: words.20 At line 10, Gorgias heaps up what Romilly calls “a luxurious bunch of words,” combining “all the expressions that can be used for magic and witchcraft.”21 If Gorgias unleashes a theory of magically moving words, he is merely the first in a long line of thinkers from antiquity to the Renaissance to be recorded doing so.22

Written Writing, though, enlarges those word bodies, making them visible but no less magical—indeed, when appearing in written form, the magic itself may well expand in both potency and reach. In a diachronic treatment of magic, rhetoric, and literacy, John O. Ward resists the temptation to view the fall of magic in obverse correlation with the rise of writing and literacy.23 Instead, he focuses on writing as enabling what he calls a “forceful imposition of self ” that contains “the possibility of a mastery over nature and the future as the result of individual or personal knowledge and skills acquired and guaranteed by the writer.”24 In this way, writing amplifies the magical properties of rhetoric. Ward makes his argument through priestly texts, but the “Dear Mice” letter also points to the idea that writing helped to make magic more transmissible, in prescriptive form, to everyday people. This includes those who worked land, got headaches, or delivered babies. Writing helps to democratize magic by allowing formulas and spells to be more visibly and precisely passed along, thereby spreading more widely the work of specialized 52

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sorcerers and magicians. With writing, too, both arts of magic and rhetoric themselves shift. Again, these histories of magic, writing, and rhetoric, are usually kept separate. This is most likely because, as William A. Covino puts it, “we don’t believe in magic but do believe in rhetoric.”25 This section’s brief meditation on rhetoric from the point of view of written charms reveals important and overlooked points of overlap, most notably the points enlivened by writing’s objecthood. Premodern texts can be placed firmly in the land of the magical object. Catalogs of charms include written objects.26 Spells, in written form, often meant that object and formula were combined.27 Writing therefore doubles the magical force by adding a formula to an object, creating the formula as object. The written charm object leans for its potency on writing’s precision and capacity for repetition as much as it does its materiality. The “extended symbolic significance” resulting from this object merger pertains to my argument: in many contexts, writing intensified the magical power of words.28 Jan-­Dirk Müller uses the term aura to describe the magical powers of writing that result from its status “in medieval culture as a guarantor of truth, as a vessel of arcane knowledge, even as a component of magical practices.”29 Writing’s ability to capture magic may also result from the intermingling of geographically proximate traditions, namely the Egyptian hieroglyphic tradition, which locates magic in symbols themselves, and the Greek alphabetic system of writing, which invests writing’s magical power in its replication of spoken words.30 The effect of the combination, according to David Frankfurter, was particularly potent: “Attractive permanence of the written ‘voice’ brought writing quickly into the service of private rituals and magic, as a means of continuing the effect of a real or mythical primary rite through the ‘endless’ repetition afforded by an inscribed amulet.”31 Writing’s status as an object—simultaneously material and symbolic—as well as its citational signal of a prior presence, helped to lend it something of an aura, a ghastly ability to refer, thereby heightening its magical powers for ancient and medieval people. The medium of writing, it might be said, bolsters the message’s magic. Writing’s objecthood also entails a shift in language’s sense-­able properties. Ward’s helpful treatment draws on the classicist R. F. Newbold’s observation that literacy provides a form of control.32 That control, for Newbold, is a control of senses. He describes typography as a technology that “not only robs the winged words of their sound but locks them tightly into visual space, reduces the need and opportunity for ascertaining olfactory qualities and for exercising muscles and touching (the use of the kinesthetic and tactile, or haptic, senses) in the process of communicating.”33 While Newbold 53

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concludes that the arrival of print results in a culture of reading dominated by vision, I would like to dwell for a moment on what Newbold argues is left behind with the move from spoken (“winged”) words to inscribed ones (whether in ink or etched in stone), mainly because it is a bit difficult for today’s consumers of print and digital texts to fathom reading as a full-­on multisensory experience.34 This observation, which I make contra Newbold, is not the same as noticing the smells and feels associated with the materials and processes of print production (as avid readers today describe the smell of ink and feel of pulp)—though these are no less sensuous for some readers. Rather, Newbold’s narrative of sensory reduction prompts me to consider telltale smells and textures associated with individual artifacts, hence the need for activating multiple sense organs for a full-­body reading process. These qualities functioned as important parts of the complete written object; they emanated from it, making available information about the written object’s inception and subsequent movements. This ability to activate multiple senses combines with writing’s capacity for syntactic precision, helpfully filling out the story of writing’s magic. For early “readers,” writing captured and captivated. It is worth noting how easily the English word spell bears magical and grammatical etymologies. Both traditions—spells and spelling—are by necessity rigidly prescriptive.35 Writing’s capture happens through a rematerializing, a bringing into objecthood of an otherwise, theretofore ineffable (because fleeting), word. As the Latin proverb observes, verba volant, scripta manent (words fly; writing remains).36 Writing endures, yes, and it also spreads. Historically, with it spreads magic.37 Writing’s status as both performance (enacting a script) and as performative—as an iterative and iterable calling forth—comes to light when a spell takes the form of an epistle, of direct address, and especially when the intended recipients of the magical epistle are not human, as with our mouse-­ directed charm. The formula itself, including the parchment on which it is to be inscribed, becomes a charm object through and through. Infused with the magical power of words to instill, remove, or banish, intensified by the objecthood of those words through writing, vibrating with sensory attractors, a written charm object such as a script for a letter to field mice holds a material promise of altering existing conditions. It is, in other words, the ultimate pharmakon. The pharmakon famously has the ability to draw out or to transport, be it poison from a wound or a man from the city, as with Socrates in the passage from the Phaedrus most worked over by Jacques Derrida in a chapter entitled “Plato’s Pharmacy.”38 In that passage, Socrates proclaims himself 54

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a “lover of learning,” noting that “country places and the trees won’t teach me anything,” whereas “people in the city do.”39 Then addressing Phaedrus, he says, “But you seem to have found the charm [pharmakon] to bring me out.”40 That charm, of course, is writing. And bringing out and driving out are not all that far apart. Much has been made of writing as a pharmakon, a word that in the Greek not only cuts two ways as a drug (healing or poisoning) but that also slips easily into charm.41 In rhetorical theory, most scholars, following the gaze of Derrida, focus on the Phaedrus for their discussions of pharmakon, and others add Gorgias’s “Encomium on Helen” to the pile.42 But a passage in Plato’s Laws throws a slightly different, more magic-­tinged light on the concept, binding magic rather tightly, even inseparably, to suasory force. In Book 11, Plato divides the category of pharmakeiai (uses of poisoning) into two: the first “is that in which injury is done to bodies by bodies according to nature’s laws,” as when someone deliberately injures someone else “by means of potions, foods, and unguents.”43 The second type, operating “by means of sorceries and incantations and spells (as they are called), not only convinces those who attempt to cause injury that they really can do so, but convinces also their victims that they certainly are being injured by those who possess the power of bewitchment.”44 The words that R. G. Bury translates as “convinces” here are forms of peithein, to persuade. According to these passages, the pharmaka of incantations, charms, and witchcraft can impede perception and forestall persuasion altogether: “It is futile to approach the souls of men who view one another with dark suspicion if they happen to see images of molded wax at doorways, or at points where three ways meet, or it may be at the tomb of some ancestor.”45 These material markers of magical activity (activity Plato calls goēteia) signal a set of beliefs that may be unalterable by persuasion.46 In other words, Plato’s consideration underscores the suasive force of magic itself, the hold magical beliefs can have on someone. Interestingly, the stranger in Plato’s Sophist also uses a form of goēteia to describe “another art which has to do with words” (i.e., Sophistic rhetoric), “by virtue of which it is possible to bewitch [goēteuein] the young through their ears with words . . . by exhibiting to them spoken images of all things.”47 The words for spoken images—eidōla legomena—read tantalizingly by Sarah Johnston as “verbal ghosts”—count as the “stuff ” of Sophistic magic, goēteia.48 The Laws passage, read in the context of the passage from The Sophist, shows how magic can work on and through rhetoric, forestalling it or facilitating it. And, of course, for Plato, unlike for Gorgias, Sophistical magic is a cause for concern. The discussion in the Laws also makes it possible to show how 55

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magic may be directed not just at humans, but at beasts, for it includes a provision for punishing someone convicted of poisoning, ophlē dikēn pharmakōn, not just another person, but someone’s flocks or hives.49 The Phaedrus passage, too, includes nonhuman animals in Socrates’s description of how the pharmakon (the written text) works as lure: “A hungry animal can be driven by dangling a carrot or a bit of greenstuff in front of it; similarly, if you proffer me speeches bound in books [en bibliois], I don’t doubt you can cart me all round Attica, and anywhere you please.”50 As Derrida makes plain, this dialogue figures writing as a pharmakon, a word that helpfully captures Plato’s concern with both writing and (in other dialogues) rhetoric: that their use can so easily slip from good to evil. Hemlock, as an example, possessed curative properties—the ancients used it as a sedative— but in larger doses it was deadly. This passage also underscores the transportative properties of writing—that which renders Socrates immanently cartable. What is more, in comparing a reader to a hungry animal, the text to dangling vegetables, Plato’s Socrates presents the written text as not just alluring but consumable. And while the trope turns on an animal-­like consumer of writing, the “Dear Mice” letter pushes toward that trope’s literalization: animals really could read.51

Consumed The consumptive trope is detectable in the Geoponica’s express directions for presenting the letter: “After writing this, fix the paper before sunrise against a natural rock in the field where the mice are, and let the letters be turned outward.”52 The four component parts of the prescribed delivery specify, in turn, location, with a focus on proximity to the rodent recipients; time, before dawn, presumably to optimize notice once the sun appears; specific material of posting, a rock; and orientation, the letters must be turned outward. Such measures help ensure notice on the part of the mice, even as they acknowledge and protect the parchment’s fragility. The stone on which the letter is to be fastened provides both neutrality and heft; a human-­made object such as a vase appearing overnight might distract the mice from the letter itself, and a natural substance other than stone—a tree branch, for example— might be carried to another, less prominent place and would not provide the stability of stone. Delivering the letter to such a spot just before the sun rises optimizes notice while minimizing the chances of incidental damage from a human stumbling in the dark, for example, if it were placed, say, at nightfall. Most intriguing, though, is the specification that “the letters be turned 56

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outward.” This orientation suggests the importance of exposing the words and the mice to each other: the aim here is to invite sensuous inspection of the words, a reading of sorts, the quick, reaching pecks of small mouse noses. The timing of placement—just before dawn—suggests that vision is deemed important for the inspection; the mice will notice the posting, a novel object in their otherwise familiar abode. Neither mentioned nor ruled out is the possibility for a little nibble. It is not, after all, unheard of for ancient spells to include explicit instructions that the writing be imbibed.53 In the instance of the mice, the selected stone would presumably be positioned low enough for such furtive scrutiny. The writing, therefore, leans on the ecology of its presentation to encourage a bodily, inspective encounter: the sun, the stone, the mice-­facing orientation of the letter’s letters. And the letter genre, with its mode of direct address, underscores that ecological encouragement all the more. In a fascinating study of magic in ancient farming manuals, Britta K. Ager notes that in this instance the letter’s conspicuous placement honors the mice’s “corporeal” condition, as opposed to curse tablets, which may be placed “in graves or springs or other secret locations” to be read by ghosts or other spirits.54 But Ager seems to suspend her own observation about corporeality when she explicates the assumptions of this particular Geoponics passage. “For one,” writes Ager, “the mice must be able to understand human speech and to read Greek, which are not necessarily obvious premises.”55 She continues: “The assumption is that animals possess something resembling human reasoning—that they can be communicated with, they can learn from an example, and they can identify where the boundaries of the land being protected lie. . . . The charms described here [including this central one from Geoponics] depend for their operation on a belief in the human qualities of animals.”56 Ager’s observation echoes conclusions frequently made in the name of contemporary animal studies (here I am thinking of Derrida’s dismissive reading of fables as “an anthropomorphic taming, a moralizing subjection, a domestication”).57 And yet the contexts I consider here, the histories of rhetoric and writing, would urge a suspension of the too-­simple point that animals serve as discursive mirrors for humans. Indeed, Ager’s initial point about mice’s corporeal encounters with the writing, when paired with the sensuous, magical properties of writing—the way writing can portend without meaning (as in the example of nonsense inscriptions)—does not necessarily only point to anthropomorphism as the primary explanation for how this formula was thought to work. If as I argue, written charm objects “signify” in excess of grammar and syntax, then the power and guiding logic of such a written charm is such that the addressees 57

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need not grammatically or syntactically decode the command form in order to work. The meaning of the words may well matter less than the spirit held by the writing—the command issued in order to be sensuously absorbed— whether by sight, touch, smell, or the whole slate of senses. It is worth remembering in the context of our charm letter that parchment is made of animal skins and also reeks of the humans who inscribed the letter, such that the inscribed material itself bears threat of death as much as the words “cut you into seven pieces.”58 Even more than that, though, the ineffable power of writing—writing’s ability to exude nonrational force beyond and because of its material arrangement of words in succession—dominates, especially when the written charm object is turned to face the sun. The “Dear Mice” letter provides, then, a curious instance of addressing nonhumans formally, in writing. It is tempting to dismiss the tendency as rare or even silly, a puzzling phenomenon in line with premodern “scientific” assumptions such as Aristotle’s theory that lice were spontaneously generated.59 Yet lingering for a moment on the question of why these assumptions about reading/consuming nonhumans came to be possible at all offers important early reminders about the development of rhetoric and writing as arts neither wholly rational nor entirely human.

Addressed I want now to consider more carefully the rhetorical features of the “Dear Mice” letters in the context of educational trends that made it possible to fathom composing a letter to, of all things, a mischief of mice. In this section, I examine the progymnasmata, or early rhetorical exercises for the young, and the ancient epistolography tradition that wended its way into the school curriculum and around the progymnasmata. The progymnasmata, as many scholars of rhetoric know, enjoyed a durable life in Western education, persisting as they did for well over a millennium and counting Shakespeare and Milton among their most well-­known purported students.60 One of the earliest progymnasma—and here I mean early in both the history of rhetorical education and the individual lives of the students practicing them—was the practice of fable writing, dating back to Aesop, the legendary sixth-­century weaver of creaturely stories. The fictional form of the fable allowed for all kinds of imaginative twists, the most common of which was animal speech. As Manfred Kraus demonstrates, the progymnasmata were wildly popular during the Byzantine Middle Ages.61 This was a time, Kraus notes, when Hermogenes enjoyed immense authority 58

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and the progymnasmata manual written by the fifth-­century rhetorician Aphthonius saw measurable success.62 When the Byzantine John of Sardis discusses fables in his ninth-­century commentary on Aphthonius’s text, he notes that fables are a good place to begin “introducing the young to the great mystery of rhetoric [to mega tēs rhetorikēs mustērion].”63 He continues, “For if in fables we succeed in teaching how to form speeches and actions appropriate for characters, it is clear that we shall become competent for the rhetorical task of composing speeches with the persons in complete hypotheses. . . . Thus, fable is assigned first as being something encompassing the seeds of all the art.”64 Fable is, therefore, rhetorically comprehensive, and at its heart lies the value of reaching across difference, the kernel—or as John puts it, “seed”— of rhetoric. The different animal species with their varied temperaments and distinct modes of self-­interest provide a relatively stable repertoire of characters both in the dramatic and the rhetorical (ēthos) sense. Students who practice composing by either expanding or compressing existing fables, or even generating their own, therefore, learn about competing values and characters via hawks, crows, wolves, sheep, lions, and yes, mice. Ancient theorists of the progymnasmata make a good deal, in turn, about the tendencies of such animals. Strikingly, the progymnasmata writers all figure nonbipedal creatures as aloga zōa, animals without speech, animals without reason, deduced from Aristotle’s formulation of human creatures as logon zōon echon—speech-­ or reason-­having animals. And yet these same writers—perhaps because of the fictive frame—deem it unremarkable to ascribe words to the animals.65 Of their narrative capacity for language, Nicolaus the Sophist, writing in the fifth century, instructs, “If there is need to attribute some words to them, if we make the fox speak subtle things and the sheep naïve and simple-­ minded things; for such is the nature of each; so that the eagle is introduced as rapacious for fawns and lambs and the jackdaw does not so much as think of anything like that.”66 Such is the imaginative genre of the fable, which strives for the kind of “magical thinking” William Covino called for at the end of the most recent millennium.67 It stands to reason, then, that if nonhuman animals can talk among themselves, then animals who can understand—even read—language might not be too much of an imaginative stretch, especially if we bear in mind the magical, material, sensory encounter that was early reading. As Nicolaus’s reflections attest, character native to each species manifests in the kinds of things they do and say, as well as how others address 59

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them. Fables thus contain a good deal of evidence for how various creatures were viewed. In the well-­known fable of the fox and the crow, the fox’s address to the crow is shaped by knowledge of a crow’s susceptibility to flattery. In addition to being a lesson about the dangers of trusting flatterers, it also offers a subtle lesson about adjusting one’s message to the addressees. If you want the cheese, you should know how to get the crow to release its grip. Foxes, of course, are fairly consistently characterized in the fable and other traditions as clever, exuding mētis (cunning intelligence).68 None of the progymnasmata writers explicitly discuss the characters of rodents, but a brief consideration of fables featuring mice presents something of a cumulative profile. The fables “The Lion and the Mouse,” “Belling the Cat,” and “Country Mouse, City Mouse” yield a composite picture of mice as at once kind-­ hearted and skittish creatures who value their safety and survival above daily living. The mouse, who invokes his own lowliness as a good reason for the lion not to kill and eat him and later gnaws the same lion free from a net, is presented as small but resourceful, his transgressions inadvertent. “Belling the Cat” features a deliberation among mice of how to remain alert to their most immediate predator, underscoring their combination of resourcefulness and skittishness. The more widely known “Country Mouse, City Mouse” depicts a rural mouse lured to the city for its bounty, only to have frightful encounters with two different humans. The mouse opts, in the end, for his spare but less dangerous existence in the country, where he can chomp on his barley with little worry.69 The “profile” of rodents put forth by fabulists can be detected in several of the template’s features, beginning with the belief—however faint by the time the later editor gets hold of it—in the formula’s effectiveness. The letter depends foremost on receptivity to both the message’s command as much as its material: the addressees must be adjurable. Second, it depends on the recipients’ skittishness, which stems from their low status, and on their resourcefulness. Rodents are bothersome but relatively harmless, and their charm—if they have any—resides in their seeming awareness of their lowly place, made manifest in their efforts to stay out of the way of larger animals, efforts that can be assisted either by choosing places not frequented by members of other, larger species (as in “Country Mouse, City Mouse”) or by becoming adept at detecting those species (one of the concerns in “Belling the Cat”). The more specific our missive’s directions, the better: it is not enough to simply scatter the mice or to order them to “go away.” The letter’s author must designate a new home for the charm to work, for the addressees not to return. The early template interrupts the first-­person script—“I give 60

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you the following land”—with a second-­person parenthetical “and name it.” Mice, after all, are on the fabulist record weighing consequences, thereby pointing to the possibility for such a letter’s success. These vermin are tiny and risk averse, and they are also suggestible, as seen with all three fables: the country mouse fable, after all, turns on attracting the rural mouse to the city in the first place. Finally, the fables also contain an implicit message that mice are bothersome but harmless and that killing them full stop would be pointless; the “Lion and the Mouse” fable even suggests that lowly creatures might turn out to be helpful. The eviction script therefore preserves—even depends on—the same ethos of scurrying vermin found in the fable tradition. The lessons of that tradition contain more than the specified moral lesson (e.g., choose safety above riches in the case of “Country Mouse, City Mouse”), but they also profess creaturely capacities and suggest relational, cross-­species (i.e., human to rodent) dispositions. The other educational tradition that can be usefully read alongside our magical mouse-­directed letter, and one that is demonstrably entwined with the progymnasmata, is letter writing, what would become the medieval ars dictaminis. Carol Dana Lanham makes a compelling case for viewing the progymnasmata as a platform for teaching letter writing in antiquity.70 Her investigation of “what lay between” classical rhetoric and the ars dictaminis lands on the later progymnasma known as ēthopoeia or “character-­making.”71 Ēthopoeia expands on skills developed in earlier fable-­writing exercises, which, as the preceding discussion suggests, presents students with a palette of distinct character types with which to practice crafting messages to/from or between. Animals by no means disappear by the time the progymnasmata sequence reaches ēthopoeia; indeed, John of Sardis explicitly discusses and follows Hermogenes’s use of ēthopoeia as a means of expanding.72 In doing so, he draws on a delightful example assignment from Hermogenes by which students are asked to compose a speech for an old ape who wants to caution his fellow apes not to build a city out of concern for hemming themselves in by walls.73 Ēthopoeia provides something of a through-­line both within the progymnasmata and from the early exercise sequence to other, later curricular mainstays. As John observes, ēthopoeia “occurs in almost all [ten of ] the previous exercises and is part of each, starting with fables.”74 John also marks it as one of the most portable skills developed in the sequence when he pre­ sents them as important scaffolding for declamations, the later exercises involving scenario-­type forensic speechmaking: “Ēthopoeia has been included 61

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among the progymnasmata so that a young man may be practiced in it and not be unprepared for declamations.”75 Ēthopoeia also feeds into epistolary theory, which from its earliest stages emphasized the importance of rendering one’s character, and letter writing appeared to inhabit the curriculum comfortably alongside the progymnasmata. Aelius Theon, one of the earliest authors of progymnasmata, links letter writing to prosopopeia, personification, usually considered a subcategory of ēthopoeia, which he describes as “the introduction of a person to whom words are attributed that are suitable to the speaker and have an indisputable application to the subject discussed; for example, what words would a man say to his wife when leaving on a journey? Or a general to his soldiers in time of danger?”76 M. Luther Stirewalt’s study of ancient Greek epistolography notes that “advanced students prepared letters appropriate to a particular character.”77 Surviving letters composed in the characters of Diogenes and Crates suggest that the letter form was probably recommended to students who were simultaneously learning philosophy and expanding their rhetorical repertoires.78 The progymnasmata and letter writing were likely to have been enlisted in the service of each other and therefore overlapped early on.79 If Theon designated letter writing as an important genre for practicing ēthopoeia, five or six centuries later, Nicolaus the Sophist would elaborate the theory behind the relationship. According to Nicolaus, ēthopoeia moves in two directions in the context of letter writing. After mentioning the usefulness of ēthopoeia for epideictic and forensic rhetoric, Nicolaus has this to say: “To me, it seems also to exercise us in the style of letter writing, since in that there is need of foreseeing the character of those sending letters and those to whom they are sent.”80 The projection of character, the basis of ēthopoeisis, is not just useful for imagining what a letter writer might say in a particular situation, but the letter’s commonplace status as “a conversation halved” turns up the importance of projecting the character of the addressee as well.81 As my fable-­based analysis suggests, the template charm letter to mice is implicitly imbued with rodent characters and therefore stands as a useful example of what Koen De Temmerman identifies as “indirect characterization” inasmuch as the letter’s purpose, tone, and suggested actions are crafted according to prevailing assumptions about rodents more generally.82 Well before the twelfth century, when ars dictaminis took hold and took off, ancient and medieval writers had a good deal to say about the form of the letter. I have already mentioned the conception of letters as “one half of a conversation,” a formulation that itself contains the observations about writing as an indicator of absent presence. As Plato’s Socrates points out, this 62

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feature enables messages to travel long distances, and Cicero cheerfully focuses on that capacity of letters when he folds that feature into a brief origin story he offers in a letter to his friend Scribonius Curio: “The purpose in fact for which letter-­writing was invented, is to inform the absent of what it is desirable for them to know, whether in our interest or their own.”83 Letters no doubt saved people trips. But they also allowed people more easily to traverse something like social distance as well. As the treatises on letter writing demonstrate, social hierarchies helped to determine epistolary style.84 Some social relationships were separated by such wide chasms that half a conversation was all that took place anyway. This generic relational feature of letters helps make less strange the very idea of nonhuman recipients. And finally, given our composite picture of mice—lowly and skittish, particularly when it comes to humans—a letter, with its ability to traverse distance and difference, might well have been the ideal means of address.85 But that same advantage of course has a flip side: the halving of a dialogue, which lends both more and less control to the author, moves more in the direction of said conversation, risking a move away from meaning. That absence of any speaker/author therefore also brings with it certain rhetorical pressures that are made most explicit in the literature about letter writing. One late antique Latin writer, Julius Victor, approximates Plato’s general anxiety about writing in the narrower context of letters, instructing letter writers to “avoid obscurity more assiduously (in letters) than you do in speeches and conversation. For while you can ask someone who is speaking unclearly to elucidate his point, it is altogether impossible in correspondence when the party is absent.”86 These generic epistolary conditions led to an emergence of a distinct epistolary style, which is best characterized as clear, concise, adapted to the circumstances and mood of the situation, and above all, which preserves social hierarchies. Abraham J. Malherbe’s assembly of advice on epistolary style points generally to concision, clarity, and brevity.87 Ps. Libanius’s Epistolary Styles insists on a “proper mode of treating the subject matter” and invokes the words of Philostratus of Lemnos: “‘Epistolary style’ should be more Attic than everyday speech, but more ordinary than Atticism, and it should be neither excessively elevated nor mean, but somewhere between the two.”88 According to Ps. Libanius’s scheme, the mouse letter would be categorized as a combination of a commanding and a threatening letter. These are straightforward types that receive little comment by the author.89 Letters are of course most usually deemed a human-­to-­human genre, and yet the educational partnership of letter writing with progymnasmata makes it more conceivable for nonhumans to receive a delivery. In 63

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keeping with its commanding (parangelmatikē), also called the “protesting” (marturikē) style according to Ps. Libanius, the letter in question uses simple first-­person verbs, verbs that give sharp commands—for example, exor­ kizō, discussed in the following section.90 The letter is brief and to the point. It moves from considerate but firm (suggesting another piece of land) to threatening. It is specific. It exhibits relationality, a primary feature of letters. It is a charm that incorporates the features of early epistolographic theory, initiating a conversation that may or may not remain halved. These epistle-­ like features signal a strong hope of the addressees getting the message.

Adjured The first word of the prescribed Geoponics charm letter, exorkizō, is a first-­ person verb, a verb closely related to one used to administer an oath. Primarily, though, the verb contains a sense of conjuring and more closely approximates the sense most evident to English-­speaking eyes: that of exorcising, as in an evil spirit.91 And yet the ability of exorkizō—much as the English term adjure (Latin adjuro)—to simultaneously contain contractual/legal and magical meanings gestures toward the overlap between spheres of magic and law during antiquity and into the medieval period. The final tradition, then, that helps situate the mouse letter is that of legal proceedings involving nonhumans. The widespread practice during the medieval period of bringing animals to trial in secular and ecclesiastical courts has captured the attention of legal scholars and historians alike. The medieval historian Peter Dinzelbacher wonders whether “any tradition [can] make sense of this phenomenon.”92 In casting about for examples, he considers processual changes in judicial practice such as the introduction of torture, as well as biblical rituals and magic.93 One of the foremost experts on medieval animal trials in Europe, Esther Cohen, observes that the history of these trials “illustrates the continual interaction between popular and learned elements in the sphere of legal practice.”94 As instances of such elements, Cohen mentions zoology, folklore, as well as literary traditions such as beast epic legends and fables.95 Her mention of fables, though fleeting, suggests the progymnasmata, an area in which the popular and the learned intersect—if early educational exercises can be considered learned.96 It is worth mentioning in this context that whereas popular fables usually introduced the progymnasmata, its more learned counterpart—the progymnasma that usually concluded the exercises—was introduction of law. The sequence’s gradation gives the impression of a “sendoff ” into the world of professional oratory or at least 64

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into the more advanced world of declamation. As bookends of a widespread educational tradition—as Kraus attests, “there can be little doubt that assignments similar in character to ancient progymnasmata were widely practised in the Middle Ages”—fables and the law might repay a careful look as educational/cultural enablers of trials. And the magical, imaginative work of narrative threads through the entire series.97 Like the progymnasmata, the Geoponica script has roots in ancient Greece, and it is worth noting, too, that so do animal trials: as Plato and Aristotle both attest, the Prytaneion was the designated location for trying inanimate objects, the dead, and nonhuman animals.98 E. P. Evans even mentions the Geoponica charm letter in the context of the tradition of anathemizing animals, a tradition linked to animal trials, inasmuch as anathema often accompanied a guilty verdict. This essay is not the place for an expansive meditation on animal trials, but suffice it to say, those trials share with our template letter crucial qualities: the desire of humans to command and control their surroundings, their recourse for that control to human-­made processes and technology (e.g., writing, the law), the binding of persuasion with domination and the tandem logic of dominion, and a necessary attribution of agency and blame to their nonhuman counterparts. All of these qualities figure into a much later instance of addressing nonhuman pests by means of writing, this one situated more squarely in the context of law. I wish to consider it here as a point of comparison to our Dear Mice letter because it helps to illustrate my claims about the shared territory of animal trials and said letter and even offers yet another instance of addressing bothersome animals by means of written address, posted in their supposed dwelling place. As this instance shows, even as writing developed and played a major role in the development of law in both content and logic as well as the perseveration of legal records and ideas of ownership, it maintained its mysterious capacity to transmit messages across species.99 Evidence of delivering formal requests to vermin is paltry—perhaps it ended up in the entrails (animal bodies turned inside out)—but one documented instance concerns the inhabitants of five different seventeenth-­century communes in Italy. One Captain J.  B. Pestalozzi filed a complaint on behalf of the communes Chiavenna, Mese, Gordona, Prada, and Samolico against caterpillars for ravaging their fields. In the complaint, Pestalozzi requested that that “these hurtful creatures should be summoned by the proper sheriff to appear in court on June 28 [1659] at a specified hour in order to have a curator and defender appointed, who should answer for them to the plaintiffs.”100 Notarized documentary evidence indicates that each of the five 65

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communes posted these summons on a tree in the forest. In the trial, prosecutors requested that the caterpillars remain in the forests and no longer venture onto the gardens, orchards, and fields tended by the people of the communes. The court’s findings acknowledged the caterpillars’ right to life and freedom and assigned them a specific place to live.101 The “inalienable” rights of caterpillars proved inextinguishable, as long as they abided by parameters of property and of behavior, much as the mice were assumed to have agency to go elsewhere to preserve life and limb. What interests me here is the apparent fact that these court summonses addressed to the caterpillars were issued in writing, posted on trees where the caterpillars were thought to dwell (though it is perhaps an ironic twist that the summonses were not posted in the gardens and fields they were being urged to abandon). If writing—be it in the form of a letter, a written charm, or a legal summons—traverses geographic and social distances, it also absorbs time, waiting in stony silence, in these cases, fastened to rocks and trees. This ability of a letter to speak silently works well for the skittishness of the addressees, be they mice or caterpillars or some other animal. Just as a trap is most effective left alone with a lure, our letter as well as the (later) subpoenas were left alone and silent on a tree or stone facing the sun, to work their magic. This analysis presents a picture of those practices—educational, cultural, material, technological, magical—that make possible the address of pests by means of a written letter. The progymnasmata, grounded in animal characters and lives, provide the central context for understanding the belief in writing to animals. These strongholds of rhetorical education ought to be considered in the other human-­animal contexts, such as the practice of bringing animals to trial for murder, destruction of property, and the like or the practice of anathemizing animals as punishment. At stake here is more than an explanation for a curious artifact. Indeed, the prominence of agentive creatures in the Aesopian tradition, the centrality of tradition in rhetorical education, the persistence of magical thinking through such a durable educational tradition as the progymnasmata, and the preservation of word magic by means of writing’s status as charm object, all combine to emphasize the sensuous, even magical, sides of rhetoric and writing and their abilities to activate much, much more than rational sense.


9 chap ter 4 0

Exploring the Performed Argument Teaching Poetry Rhetorically Glen McClish

A Rhetorical Invitation There is a long-­standing tradition, common to K–12 pedagogy, college teaching, and literary criticism more generally, of approaching literature as essentially different from (and often superior to) other kinds of texts, including those considered overtly argumentative or rhetorical. This scholarly and pedagogical tendency has long informed approaches to poetry. The protestations of poets themselves—from William Butler Yeats’s “we make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry,” to Archibald MacLeish’s “A poem should not mean / But be,” to T. S. Eliot’s “if the author never spoke to himself, the result would not be poetry, though it might be magnificent rhetoric”—only feed this lopsided critical and pedagogical bifurcation.1 Peter Mack views this tradition of separation, appropriately, through the lens of paradox: “Poets and their audiences have usually been formed by a rhetorical approach to the study of language, which poets have had to use and have wanted to transcend.”2 Not surprisingly, this troubling antithesis has deep roots. Jeffrey Walker writes of the two primary critical positions that develop in ancient Greek culture: the archaic perspective, in which poetry constitutes a ceremonial performance or epideictic rhetoric intended to persuade audiences; and the Aristotelian approach, which characterizes a poem as “a hermeneutic object” intended for the audience “to decode and decipher.”3 With respect to the former approach, which predates Aristotle’s theorizing on the subject, rhetoric “derives originally from the poetic tradition” and “extends, in ‘applied’ versions of itself, to the practical discourses of public and private life.”4 Thus, despite the persistence of the Aristotelian tendency to subdivide the two,

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poetry is rhetoric and—in the oldest sense—rhetoric is poetry. Nonetheless, as Walker explains, although “the former, broader view of poetry accounts most fully for actual poetic practice from early to late antiquity[,] . . . it is the [Aristotelian] view of poetry that will survive into modernity as the main thread in Western literary theory and criticism.”5 The consequences of the ancient bifurcation of rhetoric and poetry, for Walker, are serious. At the conclusion of Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, he laments that the removal of poetry from the realm of rhetoric relegates the former to “symposiastic insider discourse” or, to put it very simply, preaching to the choir. Instead of approaching poetry as an art of crafting arguments for the purpose of engaging people with whom we do not necessarily agree concerning matters of great civic and societal importance, such writing becomes an urbane exercise in reinforcing positions the audience already holds to be true. Such discourse, Walker reminds us, is severely limited and limiting: “To cleverly tell the knowing what they know and think already is, in truth, to produce a minor kind of epideictic, even if one does it exceptionally well, and even if the knowing are exceptionally refined.”6 Yet the potential for a more robust, useful perspective concerning the relationship between rhetoric and poetry is hardly a pipedream. Thomas Sloane and Walter Jost, who review the significant historical connections between rhetoric and poetry, extend the close relationship between the two arts Walker elucidates within the ancient context. Rather than consistently occupying a sphere separate from poetry, they explain, “rhetoric has periodically expanded to become not only a prominent but the overarching art of discourse, e.g., in the Roman republic and throughout the Renaissance in Europe.” They continue, “When this occurred, poetry itself was usually written and read by people for whom rhetoric was not only the major craft of composition but the general intellectual context for interpreting all matters of thinking, feeling, and acting.” And even though, as Walker argues, historically the silo approach to rhetoric and poetry introduced by Aristotle constitutes the primary stream of Western thinking, Sloane and Jost point out that rhetorical approaches to discourse—including poetry—have in recent years become “pervasive” and even “architectonic.”7 Indeed, as demonstrated by Wayne Booth’s germinal study The Rhetoric of Fiction, Craig Kallendorf ’s anthology Landmark Essays on Rhetoric and Literature, and a host of other studies and collections, there is a respected modern tradition of scholarship that approaches literature rhetorically.8 Accordingly, motivated by Walker’s proposition that rhetoric’s “pedagogical enterprise is what ultimately makes rhetoric rhetoric and not just a 68

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version of something else,” I propose a modest extension of this integration of poetry and rhetoric, in other words, a teacherly apologia for a rhetorical approach to poetry.9 Complementing the long-­standing efforts of rhetoric and literacy scholars such as David Jolliffe, I argue broadly in terms of K–12 and college composition and literature instruction but also with an eye toward rhetorical education in communication, since that field, in recent years, has made considerable inroads into literary study.10 Before outlining a rhetorical pedagogy for poetry, however, we need to review the current state of literary pedagogy in general, which is, not surprisingly, diverse and enlivening. A quick survey of recent decades of the scholarship of teaching literature reveals that the New Criticism and traditional historical criticism that shaped the more senior faculty among us have been augmented and in many cases supplanted by a host of pedagogical approaches based in materialism, New Historicism, ecocriticism, postcolonialism and decolonialism, digital humanities and digital media, critical theory/ cultural studies, psychoanalytic criticism, feminism and gender theory, and a host of ideologically sophisticated critiques focused on intersections of race, class, gender, and other variables.11 Yet, despite this panoply of innovative approaches to the teaching of literature, there is not a strong emphasis on situating literary texts as deliberate agentive creations, produced in particular historical contexts for the purpose of having particular effects on audiences. In the absence of this focus, literary pedagogy tends to neglect the essential communicative acts of given works of literature, and hence, rhetorical pedagogy is separated from literature.12 I seek to show that a rhetorical approach to the pedagogy of poetry reveals the powerful arguments and civic impulses that inform verse and provide its enduring relevance. Furthermore, a rhetorical approach to poetry best captures its essential performative nature, inasmuch as poems, no less than orations, are occasions of speech. Following a general discussion of rhetorical reading of poetry, I present three analyses to suggest more fully its pedagogical value. Since the discussion over rhetoric’s relationship with poetry is of ancient origin and because—drawing once more on Walker—“ancient rhetorical education remains useful as an object of contemplation for rhetoric in its modern form,” I freely borrow from classical thinking and terminology.13 Nonetheless, I intend not so much to make a point about classical rhetoric as to advance a position about contemporary pedagogy. A rhetorical approach to the teaching of verse benefits from, but does not depend on, the ancient perspectives and terms that I draw upon. I also note at the outset that my argument for a rhetorical approach to teaching poetry is part of the larger 69

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case for teaching all literary forms as rhetoric, whether narrative, drama, essay, or other genres. Considering, of course, the broad scope of that case, my argument is essentially synecdochic.

A Rhetorical Approach to Teaching Poetry Poetry as Situated Symbolic Action

Central to a rhetorical approach to the teaching of poetry is the assumption that poets write not merely to create beautiful, autonomous, eternal objects of art that are meant to be viewed as above and immune from the mundane concerns of day-­to-­day living. Nor do they, I believe, compose simply to communicate their thoughts objectively and impartially to the minds of their readers—the unrealistically neutral process John Locke seems to suggest is the proper purpose of language in book 3 of Essay on Human Understanding. Nor do they intend for the words of the poem on the page to be puzzled abstractly—like a math problem—devoid of contextual details concerning an audience, speaker (or poetic persona), time, and place. Nor is poetry best approached as territory to be conquered by the student-­critic who artfully exposes its ideological features yet neglects or discredits the poet’s efforts to persuade through rhetorical performance. In fact, like writers of many other genres of discourse—including nonliterary forms—poets write to stimulate their audience’s emotional responses, to establish sympathetic bonds, to mock or to scold, to influence, to inspire, and to shape the understanding, perceptions, and beliefs in often subtle but powerful ways. They write to direct the attention of their readers, suggesting what is important, significant, admirable, pitiable, or evil. They set forth claims, positions, and stances about the world, human relations, and experiences—they present cases and seek to persuade. “Persuasion, in a literary context,” Walker writes in Bardic Ethos and the American Epic Poem, “means the use of logological, structural, stylistic, and other means to create an intended effect in the mind of the reader (or listener).”14 To achieve these essential effects, poets situate their creations as specific performances located in space and time. Walter Ong, refuting the interpretative assumption “that to put an utterance in writing is to remove it from [its] state of oral discourse and thus to ‘fix’ it, to specify and totalize its meaning once and for all,” counters that “words are living events, happenings, moving with the flow of time, not things, as texts make them appear.”15 Correspondingly, for Ong, all textual interpretation is inherently rhetorical because “it is situated 70

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in a real, existential dialogic setting, a setting not fully reducible to abstract logical operation.”16 Here is another way to understand the relationship between rhetoric and poetry and thus the pedagogy we have begun to trace. If rhetoric is “the art, the fine and useful art, of making things matter,” as Thomas B. Farrell memorably defines it, then surely poets are rhetoricians, employing the means of persuasion to perform situated cultural work, what Kenneth Burke calls “symbolic action.”17 Or, since rhetoric can be conceptualized as—to cite Burke once again—“the use of words by human agents to form attitudes or to induce actions in other human agents,” rhetoric is precisely what poets create.18 Thus, many of the standard concepts of rhetorical analysis we employ when we teach expository texts—claim, evidence, ethos, pathos, logos, strategy, premise, structure, context, and so forth—bring interpretive life to the elements and effects of poems.

Poetic Invention

Just like writers of speeches, essays, and reports, poets engage in rhetorical invention—what the ancients labeled inventio or heuresis—to develop the stuff of arguments.19 With this material in hand, they are equipped to pre­ sent, support, develop, and refute claims, positions, and perspectives that have import to themselves and their audiences, which is exactly what they do. Take, for example, the male speaker in “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell—a rhetor if there ever was one—who brazenly exhorts his love interest to drop her “coyness” and to yield to his amorous urgings: “Now therefore, while the youthful hue / Sits on thy skin like morning dew, / And while thy willing soul transpires. . . . Now let us sport us while we may.”20 More generally, the rake makes a case for libertine values, or at least the enduring importance of the ancient epigraph carpe diem in romantic matters.21 The highly performative quality of this poem, which is, after all, presented as a kind of deliberative speech from the would-­be seducer to this beloved, exhibits the mid-­seventeenth century’s fondness for rhetorical performance, a fondness extending from the Renaissance. Yet it is crucial to emphasize that through Enlightenment rationalism, Romanticism, Modernism, and our Postmodern present, despite the din of voices questioning the value of rhetoric and demanding that it be partitioned from other, more rarefied forms of discourse (science, poetry, and so forth), poetic invention remains distinctly rhetorical, and its workings are revealed to students through rhetorical analysis. Thus, in “The Lover, A Ballad”— Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s eloquent eighteenth-­century protofeminist 71

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counterargument to Marvell’s amorous pitch—the sage, self-­confident female speaker explicitly declares the value of relationships built not on transitory lust but respect, relative equality, and mutual esteem. “Let the friend and the lover be handsomely mixed,” she exhorts her listener, “In whose tender bosom my soul might confide, / Whose kindness can soothe me, whose counsel could guide.”22 Providing her counterdeliberative address, Montagu’s feminine speaker deftly refutes her predecessor’s libertinage, offering in its place the promise of egalitarian friendship and love. When engaging these poems, student readers quickly grasp how Montagu creates a line of debate with her male predecessor, an eighteenth-­century poetic smackdown in which the terms of romantic relationships are made to matter. The pedagogical value of the rhetorical approach to poetic invention extends to the present, as illustrated by relatively recent poems such as Billy Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry,” the opening selection in his anthology Poetry 180: Turning Back to Poetry. This charmingly succinct sixteen-­liner urges readers to enjoy, explore, and investigate a poem, rather than to coldly and brutally scrutinize it, tying the verse “to a chair with rope” and “beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.” “I ask them to take a poem,” he coaxes, “and hold it up to the light / like a color slide / or press an ear against its hive.”23 In addition to demonstrating to students that poets, like other kinds of rhetoricians, forward identifiable claims, “Introduction to Poetry,” particularly with its vivid imagery of interrogation, affirms Ong’s resistance to critical methods that attempt to “fix” a written utterance, “to specify and totalize its meaning once and for all.” In all three poems, the speakers demonstrate a process of rhetorical invention by explicitly forwarding central claims intended to, in Burke’s terms, “form attitudes or to induce actions in other human agents.” Thus, as I continue to present the case for a rhetorical pedagogy for poetry, I draw upon a wide range of verse, from eras both explicitly enthusiastic and skeptical about the role of rhetoric in artistic creation.

Poetic Logos

Essential to rhetorical invention is identifying and marshaling reason-­based arguments, or what Aristotle identified as logos.24 Although many readers of verse may not consider the lines generated by poets to be guided by quasi-­ logical forms of proof, poets have since ancient times presented a stunning variety of good reasons in the performance of their arguments. This evidence is not generally the sort of somber statistical or rigorous scientific proof marshaled in the kind of expository arguments students are typically trained to analyze. Poets, in contrast, are more likely to provide suggestive—rather 72

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than exhaustive—evidence such as powerful examples (inductive reasoning) designed to resonate with specific audiences, but it is evidence nonetheless. For example, in order to make the case that the first tentative appearance of spring growth brings hope, the empiricist physician-­speaker in William Carlos Williams’s “Spring and All” provides a short list of the humble but inspirational early season plant life he observes on his way to work at the hospital: “Now the grass, tomorrow / the stiff curl of the wildcarrot leaf / One by one objects are defined.”25 In Taslima Nasrin’s bitterly ironic “Happy Marriage,” the speaker, in order to impress upon the reader the horror of an abusive relationship, constructs a catalog of reasons why “a monster of a man . . . wants my body under his control”: “so that if he wishes he can spit in my face, / slap me on the cheek / and pinch my rear. / So that if he wishes he can rob me of my clothes / and take the naked beauty in his grip.”26 Arguments based on deductive reasoning are by no means eschewed by the speakers of poems, and it is not difficult to identify such reasoning at the heart of many poems. For instance, E. E. Cummings begins one of his most well-­known poems with the lines, “since feeling is first / who pays any attention / to the syntax of things,” which constitute a clear enthymeme—or concise statement of a claim with a supporting reason or premise—in spite of the speaker’s playful attack on strict adherence to (both grammatical and societal) conventions and order.27 The conventional enthymeme goes something like this: There’s little need to pay “any attention to the syntax of things” because “feeling is first.”28 Student readers readily identify such enthymematic structures when asked questions such as the following: What does the poem’s speaker ask you to believe or do, and why? The standard of evidence in a poetic argument is somewhat more relaxed and impressionistic than it is for much conventional prose, but powerful, meaningful poems are richly supported by evidence that is profitably elucidated by rhetorical analysis. In addition to forwarding claims supported with evidence, poetic invention inevitably draws upon premises or “warrants”—as the philosopher Stephen Toulmin identifies them—to link together elements of their arguments.29 Simply stated, premises are the assumptions or beliefs that form the foundations or common ground of arguments. As in expository prose, premises in poems need not be explicitly stated, but they are certainly implied, for they constitute the intellectual, psychological, or moral foundation on which the argument presented through the text rests. Correspondingly, if readers cannot accept the fundamental premises of a poem—stated or unstated— they will not find its argument worthy of adherence. Consider, for example, Gary Soto’s “Saturday at the Canal,” in which 73

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the speaker, recalling his youth, vivifies high school alienation (“The teachers were / Too close to dying to understand. The hallways / Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair”) and the desire to seek a more exciting life (“San Francisco was a postcard / On a bedroom wall. We wanted to go there”). The speaker’s case depends upon several unstated but readily identifiable premises, including general irreverence toward public education as well as the value of nonconformity and adventure.30 A reader who in contrast believes students should not question school authority and should focus on conforming to the establishment would doubtless find this poem unconvincing, wrongheaded, or even downright subversive. In analyzing a poem with students, it is pedagogically effective to ask, What must the reader believe or hold as true for the poet’s case to be persuasive? Sometimes, as just suggested with Soto’s poem, it may be easier to prompt students by asking them to speculate about who is not a part of the audience and what beliefs inevitably disqualify such readers.

The Poet’s Ethos

More clearly than typical expository writing—which may at least appear to be simply the natural, plain, unmediated, direct thoughts of the author— poetry is always a kind of self-­conscious performance, deliberately staged for rhetorical effect. Thus, the entity who “speaks” a poem is never exactly the equivalent of the poet but is rather a performer or persona invented for that specific purpose. In Aristotelian terms, the character of the rhetorician as created in the act of speaking is known as ethos.31 Exploring the rhetoric of Renaissance Humanism, Sloane describes the relationship between ethos and the overall process of invention in distinctly dramatic terms, which fits particularly well for our discussion of the pedagogy of poetry: “Now the speaker’s character was a variable thing—an appearance he was to don, or a role he was to play for the sake of his argument.”32 Accordingly, the rakish speaker in “To His Coy Mistress” is not precisely Andrew Marvell but his special creation, a strategic agent cast to further the poem’s case. His wit, audacity, adoration, and persistence give voice to his libertine proposal: carpe diem. A powerful complementary pair of ēthē inform Diana Garcia’s poems “On Leaving” and “On Staying Behind.” In the first, the speaker, commencing her journey from her home village in Latin America for the United States, exudes at the outset youthful confidence and energy: “I can run five times around the village, my dog beside me. I have tested / myself against her speed, my younger cousins’ endurance. I win.”33 In the latter poem, the speaker of the first poem’s mother, who remains in the village, begins with 74

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a parental perspective shaped by long exposure to the world, its hardships, and its possibilities: “She thinks I don’t know why she runs. Not to catch the trains / or escape la migra or outrun packs of wild dogs. I listened.”34 Garcia’s carefully constructed, contrasting ēthē—neither of which is privileged or exclusively represents the poet—function together to persuade the reader of the complexity of the issues and human relationships at the center of border crossings.35 The inevitable constructedness of every poem’s speaker provides an excellent opportunity for teaching the concept of ethos. And, to the extent that poets’ speakers address their characteristics or ways of knowing—just as orators or other writers commonly call their audience’s attention to their personal or professional qualifications—they can be said to marshal proofs based on ethos. For example, the speaker in Langston Hughes’s “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” begins, magisterially, with his profound knowledge of great waterways of the world: “I’ve known rivers: / I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.”36 In this way, the speaker highlights his authority as a spokesperson for a great people who are intimately connected to these primal forces of nature, forces that transcend race and even species. Fashioned in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance, the poem’s speaker exudes the confidence and deep connection with the natural world that build Hughes’s case for race pride. To assist student readers in identifying the ethos of the persona of a poem, ask, Who (or what kind of person) seems to be speaking the poem? Why (or why not) trust, admire, or sympathize with this constructed character? How does this character align or contribute to poet’s argument?

Pathos in Poetry

As a genre of rhetoric, poetry is particularly well allied with emotion, and thus rhetorical moves that make vivid the emotion of the speaker and consequently kindle emotion in the audience—or pathos, to use Aristotle’s nomenclature— are central to poetic invention.37 As Laura Micciche makes clear, such emotions develop as a kind of coconstruction or mutual response of the rhetor and the audience. Pathos is not “appealed to” in some abstract or mechanical sense but originates from the performative nature of rhetoric and the interaction between speaker and audience. Indeed, teachers of literature know that students can quickly pick up when they are meant to experience specific emotions evoked by the speaker—which, to draw again on Micciche’s understanding, emerge “relationally”—and with prompting can articulate the larger rhetorical purposes of such emotions.38 75

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These emotion-­based elements of poetic rhetoric should not be viewed as necessarily weak or manipulative, as some are wont to teach students of expository prose, but as essential strategies drawn upon to render powerful arguments. For whether or not one is convinced by Cummings’s claim that “feeling is first,” feelings are—particularly as developed as responses to specific exigence—essential to our moral, social, and civic lives, to our judgments and decisions. As George Kennedy, translator of the most popular English version of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, notes about pathos in oratory, “Aristotle’s inclusion of emotion as a mode of persuasion . . . is a recognition that among human beings judgment is not entirely a rational act. There are morally valid emotions in every situation, and it is part of the orator’s duty to clarify these in the minds of the audience.”39 Micciche elaborates on the essential role of emotion in rhetoric and rhetorical pedagogy, arguing that “emotion is not additive” but “integral to communication, persuasion, attachments of all sorts, and to notions of self and other.”40 Furthermore, Ellen Quandahl emphasizes the importance of linking the emotions and ethics in discussions of rhetorical pedagogy, explaining that emotions “bind the individual to ethical commitments and to the sense of how things are and ought to be. People are ethicized and emotionalized at once.”41 Indeed, the role of pathos is often salient within the realm of poetic rhetoric. From the anger and frustration accumulating in Langston Hughes’s “Harlem,” whose case about the harmful consequences of “a dream deferred” is particularly timely (“Maybe it just sags / like a heavy load / Or does it explode?”), to the umbrage generated by Montagu’s speaker in “The Lover,” which works against the grain of the sexism inherent in eighteenth-­century British culture (“I loathe the lewd rake, the dressed fopling despise, / Before such pursuers the nice virgin flies”), to the construction of tender affection urged in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese, designed to celebrate the manifold and undying affection of the true lover (“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”), poets rely on the performative nature of their craft to engage audiences in emotion to further cases, to direct the attention, and to shape perception and belief.42 As mentioned above, it is not difficult for student readers to identify emotions evoked by poetic personae, but it is important to push them to articulate the values and ethics from which these feelings emanate within the performance of the poem: Together with the poem’s speaker, I feel emotion X because we share value or ethical principle Y. This analytical exercise moves the student reader to approach pathos not as emotional frosting but as integral to the core beliefs behind the argument’s success or failure. 76

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Poetic Structure

As noted at the outset, poems should be approached linearly as they unfold in time rather than fixed as atemporal objects because, as distinct rhetorical performances, their arguments and the effects that inform them highly depend upon structure, upon the specific placement and sequencing of their elements within lines, stanzas, sections, and other formal elements. This heightened attention to what comes when, or how the text is arranged, is what the ancient Roman rhetoricians understood as dispositio and the ancient Greeks called taxis.43 Cummings may have, for the sake of his argument, disparaged the importance of the “syntax of things,” but nonetheless, it is fruitful to approach the structure of a poem as a function of its performance before an imagined audience. Ted Kooser demonstrates this critical perspective in his gently self-­ deprecating “Selecting a Reader,” which prods poets and their devotees to take themselves less seriously. Expertly attending to structure, the poem’s speaker shifts his portrayal of his desired reader dramatically over the course of the poem for significant rhetorical effect. He begins, in a rather clichéd manner, “First, I would have her to be beautiful,” and narrates how in a bookstore she would walk “carefully up on my poetry / at the loneliest moment of an afternoon.” As the speaker continues, however, he undercuts the predictable poetic conventions with which he began. The woman, who happens to be short on cash, is wearing a dirty old raincoat. Having examined his book, she unceremoniously returns it to the shelf. The speaker, finally blowing the lid off any pretension of romanticism, reports the woman’s judgment: “‘For that kind of money, I can get / my raincoat cleaned.’ And she will.”44 Thus, the rhetorical effect of the structure of Kooser’s poem is to enable the reader to engage—and perhaps temporarily embrace—romantic topoi associated with poetry that are then decisively undermined by a more compelling expression of everyday pragmatism. Executing this reversal in sentiment, the poem’s structure invites the reader to entertain, then reimagine and debunk some of the mystique surrounding conventional verse. Likewise, virtually any Shakespearean sonnet demonstrates that poems are not preserved specimens floating inertly in jars but events, and a poem’s structure inevitably contributes to its eventfulness. Consider, for the sake of argument, sonnet #73, in which the speaker spins a dazzling series of metaphorical statements vivifying his decrepit condition, a physical state that appears to suggest his lack of value.45 The closing couplet, however, reverses this impression. The speaker concludes that his failing body actually “makes thy [the audience’s] love more strong,” building on the major 77

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premise (articulated in the final line) that the individual addressed, like people in general, is disposed “to love that well which thou must leave ere long.” The first twelve lines of the poem function as copious evidence for the poet’s minor premise that his audience clearly “perceiv’st” the state of physical decay that indicates his coming demise.46 Seen this way, the entire sonnet functions as an extended enthymeme, the presence and power of which is manifest only as the poem closes. This late-­surfacing argument—and the reversal it effects—owes its rhetorical force largely to its placement in the overall rhetorical performance. Students can better understand the contributions structure makes to poetic rhetoric by answering questions such as the following: How does the order of lines or sections in the poem contribute to its argument or effects? How would the argument’s impact change if it were rearranged? How does the entire poem set up the mic drop in the final line?

Poetic Style

In addition to attending to rhetorical invention and structure, poets marshal stylistic features in order to further their arguments. Style—known as elocutio or lexis to the ancients—in verse often includes elements such as meter, rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and many other types of repetition, techniques that have been taught to students of literature and rhetoric for two and a half millennia and hardly need elaboration here. In addition to these stylistic features, comparisons between things easily understood and those more complex (the techniques of analogy, simile, metaphor, and so forth) are also frequently marshaled by poets.47 Thus, the speaker in Robert Bly’s “Gratitude to Old Teachers” insightfully compares a frozen lake’s load-­ bearing ice to one’s former teachers: “Water that once could take no human weight— / We were students then—holds up our feet. / And goes on ahead of us for a mile.”48 More traditionally, Emily Dickinson’s speaker declares that “there is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away,” extending— and complicating—the simile to the conclusion of the poem: “This Traverse may the poorest take / Without oppress of Toll— / How frugal is the Chariot / That bears the Human soul.”49 In “Not Bad, Dad, Not Bad,” Jan Heller Levi compares her father’s parenting to his competent, if undistinguished, swimming technique: “You’re neither fantastic nor miserable / at getting from here to there.”50 Early in “Still I Rise,” Maya Angelou employs the image of walked-­ upon ground to vivify white oppression and subsequent African American grit: “You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”51 This metaphor-­ simile combination is particularly rich for the reader 78

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knowledgeable of African American culture because of its resonance with metaphoric language of walking marshaled by Black poets such as James Weldon Johnson in “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” set to music in a hymn later known as the African American National Anthem: “Stony the road we trod. . . . Have not our weary feet / Come to the place for which our fathers sighed? .  .  . Keep us forever in the path, we pray.”52 Whether rising “like dust” from the trail of oppression or, alternatively, metaphorically navigating a path themselves, African American poets employ the basic language of foot travel to memorably characterize complex human behavior and states of consciousness (such as the enactment of prejudice and the resilience of marginalized people) through timeless, universally experienced images of bodies negotiating the physical world. What is telling about these stylistic strategies is that they contribute profoundly to the poet’s invention and are in fact inseparable from it. The ice, the frigate, the swimmer, and the trod soil/path are in no way dispensable, paraphrasable, or merely symbolic, aesthetically pleasing, or ornamental—they make the arguments in the poems in which they are featured. Theoretical and pedagogical efforts to clearly delineate thought from speech, invention from style, and arguments from the language used to express them tend to distort the highly integrative, symbiotic nature of the elements (or canons) of rhetoric.53 Poets’ keen attention to style, as well as the stylistic license poets tend to enjoy, demonstrate to our students the highly inventional status of local strategies. In examining style rhetorically, students should be challenged to not simply identify strategies or figures poets marshal but to describe their specific, often essential function in the poem’s argument. In the case of analogy, it is useful to ask how the literal differences between the thing being described (a book) and the thing used to describe it (a boat) function (almost counterintuitively, at times) to vivify the former.

Paradox, Irony, and Ambiguity

Because poetry tends to explore sophisticated emotional states and perceptions as well as multifaceted social and personal relationships, poets often employ the rhetorical strategy of paradox. This discursive move enables writers of verse to vividly render persuasively complex, often antithetical perspectives, as in the ancient Roman poet Catullus’s poem 85, a two-­line lament that begins, “I hate and love. You ask, ‘How can this be?,’” or John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 14, which concludes as the speaker incongruously urges God to “ravish” his soul so that he may remain spiritually “chaste.”54 Likewise, Li-­ Young Lee’s “Little Father” explicates the ostensibly contradictory feelings 79

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of a son for his deceased father, employing paradox to suggest an unexpected reversal in the filial relationship that occurs upon a parent’s death: “I buried my father in my heart. / Now he grows in me, my strange son.”55 To encourage students to probe the rhetorical function of paradox, query, Within the context of the poem, how does contradiction actually make sense? What complex arguments or effects does it enhance? In addition to exploiting the strategy of paradox, poets are effective purveyors of irony, particularly differences between what is ostensibly said and what is actually meant (verbal irony), as well as discrepancies between what is usually true or expected and what actually occurs (situational or generic irony). Consider, for example, Richard Wilbur’s “A Summer Morning,” which features a cook and a gardener savoring their peaceful morning occupations while their “young employers,” who stayed out late, remain upstairs, presumably sleeping off the effects of their long, intemperate evening. The poem’s central irony, of course, is that the employees, who rise early to perform menial labor for their bosses, are the persons actually best situated to enjoy the morning’s existential pleasures, whereas those seemingly well positioned to benefit from their wealth are unconscious, oblivious to its true charms. Highlighting in the poem’s final line the difference between privilege and worldly wisdom, the speaker reveals that the gardener and the cook “alone / Receive the morning on their old estate, / Possessing what the owners can but own.”56 Wilbur’s irony, which culminates the performative act of the poem, enables him to efficiently trouble simplistic, class-­based views of success and satisfaction, without calling on the kind of clunky “voice over” I have just provided to review his argument. The poem, originally published in the New Yorker in 1960, prods the materialistic side of the American Dream well before the social revolution coming later in the decade. For students, these questions are paramount for poetic irony: What discrepancies or differences are central to the poem? How do they invite the reader to (re)prioritize their values? Irony, with its multiple levels of meaning, leads inevitably to ambiguity, a particularly complex and powerful rhetorical strategy in the poet’s repertoire. A wise teacher once suggested to me that when poets resort to ambiguous phrasings, their meanings are very often not simply one or another of the linguistic possibilities but “all of the above.” Ambiguity signals the presence of polysemy, or multiple intended meanings or claims and counterclaims. A particularly rich, pedagogically provocative kind of polysemy is “hermeneutic depth,” which stimulates an interpretive response Leah Ceccarelli characterizes in the following manner: “Arguing that both an interpretation and its opposite are sustained by the text, this type of polysemic 80

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criticism [hermeneutic depth] insists that an audience accept the multiplicity of meanings to fully appreciate the text’s deeper significance. Like the literary ‘New Critics,’ the rhetoricians who identify this kind of polysemy encourage us to recognize complexities in works that we have previously interpreted in a more singular way.”57 The rhetorical work of a poem exhibiting hermeneutic depth can be inherently paradoxical and ambiguous (often affirming both claim and counterclaim, thesis and antithesis) and, in the process, powerful and memorable. This does not mean that such poems are infinitely open or that they perform whatever position a reader, critic, or student declares them to argue but that their central arguments are more complex and dialogic than monolithic and singular.58 (I explore poems exhibiting this depth of argument in the next section.) To help students come to grips with hermeneutic depth, ask them to sharpen their account of a complex poem by testing it against an oppositional interpretation of their own invention. If the original interpretation or its rival is a clear winner, then the student simply emerges with a strengthened interpretation of the poem’s argument. However, if the student finds that both are credible, they may have encountered hermeneutic depth.

The Importance of Context

As the foregoing reflections on “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Still I Rise,” and “A Summer Morning” suggest, a thorough understanding of poems’ rhetorical effects depends on awareness of the time and space in which they are enacted. Despite the idealistic assertions of some that poets speak beyond time, space, and country, the rhetorical analysis of poetry, like the study of expository prose, requires careful attention to the poem’s environment. Such rhetorical context includes, as John Bean, Virginia Chappell, and Alice Gillam note, “the combined facets of audience, genre, and purpose,” but it also extends to relevant biographical, historical, social, and cultural issues.59 Very often, as well, context includes literary or other public texts that influence the poet or to which he or she responds. A Shakespearean sonnet such as #73 may seem timeless, but its reasons and claims depend upon Elizabethan principles and perceptions, just as Emily Dickinson’s poems are situated in Victorian modes of perception. Thus, for example, the claims and effects of Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” might seem to a twenty-­first-­century audience to be overly concerned with self-­improvement rather than calling out systemic white racism. In 1900, however, when it was penned, most African Americans were indeed more focused on economic and social advancement than political or ideological arguments. Thus, a poem that to 81

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some today could be considered timid and insular was in fact stirring and powerful—and to many continues to be. Particularly when encountering poems written in unfamiliar contexts, students can be asked to assemble preliminary lists or catalogs of “known unknowns,” references or allusions they realize they do not understand. Subsequently, instructors can challenge them with those “unknown unknowns” that, when revealed, truly elucidate context and bring alive previously opaque rhetoric.

Sample Analyses To experience in a more sustained fashion the value of rhetorically based pedagogy for poetry, let us consider a pair of poems featuring arguments about a somber topic: the significance of a soldier’s death and subsequent burial abroad. The first poem, Rupert Brooke’s “The Soldier,” was the most well-­known of the five war sonnets he wrote 1914, after witnessing the Germans overrun the city of Antwerp at the beginning of World War I. Moved by the sight of refugees and burning houses that resulted from the invasion, Brooke viewed British involvement in the war as noble and strongly embraced traditional values of patriotism and self-­sacrifice. “The Soldier,” thus, performs the altruism and optimism that marked the opening months of what was soon to become a protracted conflict with little glory and much arbitrary slaughter. One anthologist of war poetry wrote that although “criticism has sometimes blamed [Brooke] . . . for failing to know what very few people knew in 1914,” he “wrote what he felt, and he wrote it well.”60 And, indeed, “The Soldier” and his other war sonnets had an immediate effect on British readers. As Brooke lay dying en route to Gallipoli in 1915, the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral quoted “The Soldier” in its entirety in his Easter service. Soon after Brooke’s death, then First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill wrote glowingly of the dead poet and his war sonnets, which he contended would inspire British soldiers to embrace the war effort. Literary critic John Lehmann describes “the movement of the argument and the tone” as “flawless”—although he does not elaborate on this argument or its motion.61 Let us do so now. Students can readily see that Brooke’s speaker’s self-­sacrificing, high-­ minded, noble ethos is crafted to support his primary claim, that an English soldier’s death and burial abroad are ennobling. The principal evidence or reason for this conclusion, which is also fairly clear to the novice reader, is that the speaker’s hypothetical burial in a faraway place would glorify England by reproducing it abroad, creating “some corner of a foreign field / 82

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That is for ever England.” This highly nationalistic argument is supported by easily identifiable subclaims about the primacy of England and things English. The “dust” that is the soldier’s body would be “richer” than the “rich earth” in which he would be buried. His purified heart “Gives somewhere back” the highly valued “thoughts by England given,” including a “gentleness” characteristic of “hearts at peace” under a specifically “English heaven.” When students are asked to focus on the constructed emotions that clearly distinguish this poem, they can identify the idealistic, unwavering patriotism constituted by the speaker’s unflinching, altruistic description of his hypothetical death, as well as his passionate attachment to England and English ways, which readers are invited to magnify through their emotional participation. Furthermore, this construction is given specific shape by standard poetic devices such as repetition, stanza, and rhyme.62 Taken as a whole, “The Soldier” constitutes an epideictic performance in praise of the homeland, a descendant of the venerable tradition of sophisticated eulogies reaching as far back in history as Pericles’s Funeral Oration as re-­created by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides in his Peloponnesian War. Considering the poem contextually, its argument, infused by the speaker’s nationalistic ethos and his expression of patriotic emotion, is particularly relevant for its early twentieth-­century English audience because of Britain’s historical devotion to empire. The speaker’s ultimate sacrifice contributes in a small but palpable way to England’s global presence, upon which, it was said, the sun never set. Written by a relatively young man of great promise at the beginning of the War to End All Wars, the poem exudes an optimistic militarism characteristic of a youthful response to an initial call to arms. With prompting, students can see that this poem would have been extremely difficult to craft once the horrors of mass-­scale twentieth-­century warfare became better understood. The poem’s rhetorical techniques, which inform its pathos, also give shape to a traditional sonnet form that reaffirms the Georgian worldview, aesthetics, and values forwarded by the poem. In terms of the specific premises on which the poem is based, student readers can readily see that if they are to be moved and subsequently persuaded by the poem’s argument, they must endorse (or at least entertain for the sake of the performance) England’s claim to primacy (exceptionalism, we might now call it) and—more generally—the values of extreme patriot­ ism and self-­sacrifice in war. And, in fact, the rise in nationalism in twenty-­ first-­century American and European politics makes careful rhetorical analysis of literary texts such as “The Soldier” particularly relevant for today’s students. Readers less enamored of early twentieth-­century idealism and 83

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England’s imperialistic mindset, or more skeptical of patriotic fervor and militarism in general, are more likely to push back on Brooke’s argument and find the poem’s rhetorical thrust unmoving, perhaps even chauvinistic and troubling. Such discussions of the dependence of claims on premises contribute usefully to rhetorical education. Speculation over resistant readings of “The Soldier” leads us, with a certain inevitability, a bit farther back in time to a poem concerning an earlier armed conflict, the Boer War in southern Africa. Thomas Hardy’s “Drummer Hodge,” originally published as “The Dead Drummer” during the war in 1899, also features the burial of a British soldier in a foreign land.63 However, Hardy’s poem ostensibly sets forth a very different primary claim: death and burial abroad in time of war carry little lasting meaning beyond tragedy and waste. As Kathryn King and William Morgan point out, Hardy wrote against the grain of poetry praising the war penned by figures such as Rudyard Kipling. “Drummer Hodge” is one of a number of poems Hardy published in newspapers and literary magazines during the war in order to have what King and Morgan call “a rather direct effect, a transference of the content of the poems to immediate and real issues in the lives of his readers. . . . He wanted his poems to be read and to make a difference in the public’s thinking about the war.”64 Students can be directed to discuss the principal reason for Hardy’s grim claim (as presented by the poem’s persona, who significantly speaks not as a dramatized “I” at the center of the poem but a third-­person observer persona and social critic), which seems to be that the lowly subject of the poem, a dead military drummer buried far from home, is matter-­of-­factly absorbed by his lonely southern African surroundings. Whereas the primary evidence presented in Brooke’s poem suggests that the presence of English bodily remains ennobles foreign soil, students can see that Hardy’s speaker features how Hodge’s ill-­treated body—which fellow soldiers unceremoniously “throw” into the grave “Uncoffined”—is left arbitrarily and without greater purpose to “Grow to some Southern tree.”65 Students’ rhetorical reading of the poem will benefit from a greater understanding of its context. For example, Hodge’s name, a disparaging term in Hardy’s time for a country rube, “points up,” in Trevor Johnson’s words, “the callous indifference of the army who treat Hodge as mere flotsam from the battle, and thus also displays the de-­humanising effect of war generally.”66 With a more complete sense of context, they can see that foreign in life, the “veldt” in which Hodge’s grave is dug and the “strange-­eyed constellations” above, which “reign / His stars eternally,” seem to remain comfortless, distant, and unknowable.67 84

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Whereas in “The Soldier,” students discover that the physical details of the hypothetical death and burial of Brooke’s speaker provide evidence supporting the ideals of English patriotism and empire, in “Drummer Hodge,” they can discuss how Hardy’s persona, whose ethos is detached, blunt, materialist, and seemingly oblivious to nationalistic urges, focuses on the physical realities of the soldier’s purposeless death, as well as his meaningless burial and decomposition. The deceased Hodge stands for or represents nothing but what he is: a corpse melding with an alien landscape. The primary emotions evoked by the poem—coconstructed pity, sadness, and perhaps indignation stemming from a sense of the injustice of the callous official response to a marginalized boy’s seemingly pointless demise—are well-­known by our twenty-­first-­century students, who have reason to be particularly attuned to Hardy’s pathos. Interpreting the poem contextually, it can be argued that Hardy—an older, more experienced figure than the youthful, idealistic Brooke, who was reacting as a patriot to the grim consequences of an invading adversary— employs his verse to call attention to what he understands as the destructiveness and inhumanity of an ugly military campaign that took the lives of many soldiers and innocent civilians, and, more broadly, to emphasize the tragedy of militarism and war in general. Approaching the poem as a performance, students can view the poem not as an effusive eulogy of unmitigated praise, either for the fallen soldier or for the nation he served, but a lament or grim exposé intended to shock and to question, rather than inspire. To experience the full impact of the poem and its critique of British militarism, students must share in or at least be open to the poet’s assumptions about naturalism (which militate against reading higher purpose or idealism into Hodge’s death), as well as his skepticism about nationalism and British imperialism, the very values and premises that undergird Brooke’s poetic case for the meaningfulness of a soldier’s death. This is, at least, the rhetorical interpretation many would offer of the poem. Some readers of “Drummer Hodge,” however, find that Hardy’s argument evolves in the third stanza. Attending to the poem as it unfolds in time, they conclude that the final characterization of Hodge’s body as it transforms into the South African veldt is at least somewhat positive, that although the new environment is alien, it becomes a welcome resting place to which he adapts and ultimately contributes. Joanna Brown suggests that the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere “begin by being ‘foreign,’ but they end by being ‘his’ stars and watching over the boy left in their charge”; and she posits Hodge’s “final quiet triumph.”68 For Johnson, the third verse 85

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suggests that “the country boy has more in common with the Boers who farm the dusty loam to which his body now gives fertility than with the politicians and diamond-­brokers who sent him there to die.”69 With this interpretation, the poem’s pathos, when mutually experienced by speaker and audience, directs an evolving understanding of the overall argument—a largely wasteful end becomes at least somewhat redeemed. In this sense, students may experience the performance central to the rhetoric of the poem as shifting from lament about the meaninglessness of a common soldier’s death abroad to reflection on a silver lining. And it is also possible for students to read the poem’s argument both ways, without ultimately privileging one or the other. This interpretation would indicate the presence of the rhetorical phenomenon of hermeneutic depth. Hardy’s poem contains sufficient ambiguity to support two oppositional readings simultaneously, offering student readers an unresolved dialectic between two competing positions—not a choice between either/or claims but an acceptance of both. I would not make the case to students that the poem supports every imaginable reading of Hodge’s fate. One would be hard pressed to claim that it proclaims the outright glory of war or the unmitigated value of the drummer’s death. Yet the three approaches to the poem introduced here are each credible, and a discussion that entertains them would go far in helping students to understand how poems perform arguments, how they are able to do so complexly and richly, and how in many cases a wide range of readings can be made plausible, even compelling, since interpretation itself is an ancient kind of argument perpetually inviting rebuttal and reply. Since this essay advocates for rhetorical pedagogy, it is appropriate to turn for our final sample analysis to the subject of teaching itself, as addressed by a pioneering poet, scholar, and teacher of poetry. Josephine Miles’s charming “Teacher,” originally published in her 1979 collection, Coming to Terms, presents a complex reflection on the origins of a teacher’s craft and spirit.70 Comprising two complementary stanzas, the poem begins with a question posed in the second person by an unidentified speaker: “How did you come to be a teacher?” Following the question, a (second?) speaker offers the line “I went to work,” then continues in the first person, providing a catalog of specific details from the life of a budding scholar and person of letters. These details include uncovering “the many treasures unopened and uncut” at the Huntington Library in San Marino, writing plays, trying out the teaching profession in Fresno and then in Berkeley, and working under the guidance of peer and faculty mentors: “The steady hearts of scholars made 86

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me be.”71 Miles, in fact, had all these experiences. She studied rare texts at the Huntington, wrote plays, and broke into teaching in the very cities mentioned. Three of the names mentioned in the stanza ([Benjamin] Lehman, [William] Dennes, and [ James] Caldwell) served as her professors at the University of California, Berkeley. Two additional names ( Jim Worthen and [Earl] Lyon) were admired fellow students from her undergraduate years at UCLA who later assisted her in her journey toward teaching. With some of this biographical context in place—which, as noted earlier, is often essential for a rhetorical understanding of a poem—students may initially posit that the speaker who answers the question in the first stanza should be read as Miles herself.72 Their tentative conclusion would authorize the answer given by the speaker to the question raised at the opening of the stanza. The second stanza begins with the same question posed at the beginning of the poem, but this time it is rephrased in the first person: “How did I come to be a teacher?” The answer offered—“Another way”—leads to a simpler, more homey account of a young person tutoring two older boys from “the street where I lived.” “Both were in terrible struggles over their learning / Especially by thought, like reason and consequence,” the speaker reveals, “So I could help them.” The speaker continues, with a burgeoning teacherly pride, “That is pretty much of a joy / For fifteen to help nineteen and twenty-­three / To engineer arguments, try Shakespeare, evaluate / Albers Mills for Dun and Bradstreet.”73 This explanation also draws from the poet’s life—the young Josephine Miles did in fact help two young men grow more confident in college and professional writing.74 The poem’s matter-­of-­ fact final line, “So that’s how,” concludes what appears to be an alternative, perhaps competing response to the first explanation, which credits conventional scholarly activity and “the steady heart of scholars” (rather than the down-­to-­earth practice of working with two boys from the neighborhood) as the primary molders of the teacher’s spirit.75 In this way, the poem performs for students a dialectical exchange, dialogue, debate, or argument between two differing explanations of becoming a teacher that could be characterized as a contrast between the formal/official perspective and informal/ practical experience. Key interpretative questions this poem raises for students, of course, concern the status of the voices they overhear and the exact dramatic details of the back-­and-­forth the poem presents: Who asks and answers the questions? Does the poser of the question in the first stanza become the responder in the second stanza? Or are both questions answered by the same person, first responding to someone else and then thinking to herself ? Or 87

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is it some other way? Answers to these queries—which are by no means obvious—help students develop responses to ambiguities concerning the potential argument at the heart of the poem. Is the account featured in the first stanza to be valued more highly because it sounds more academic, more scholarly? Or alternatively, is the more practical, hands-­on approach to becoming a teacher provided in the second stanza meant to be implicitly favored by the poet and, thus, the reader because it stems from “a joy,” rather than merely dutiful scholarship and “steady hearts”? Because it offers a corrective approach to Berkeley’s “publish or perish” culture coming from a prominent scholar? Because it comes later and, thus, constitutes the final impression provided for the reader? Because “And that’s how” provides emphatic closure to the poem? Students might also suggest that the answer to these questions about the poet’s argument might just be “all of the above.” Miles’s poem has an open, exploratory feel, and it can be understood as offering a kind of pluralist argument concerning the fount of true teaching through the presentation of dual credible claims that are convincingly supported by plausible evidence. Cultivated by this poem, the careful reader is pulled in several directions by the tugs of each stanza; the poem is experienced not as a simple equation or truth claim but a complex rhetorical performance in time. Thus, students can view this text as demonstrating the hermeneutical depth that potentially distinguishes “Drummer Hodge.” I would not push students to interpret “Teacher” as an endlessly ambiguous or indeterminate text, but—like Hardy’s poem—it enables them to construct both singular and more pluralistic, complex readings of its argument.

Conclusion I began by inviting readers to question the ancient, persistent division of rhetoric and literature, insofar as it militates against the teaching of the latter—and, more specifically, poetry—as a facet of the former. I hope that the ensuing exploration of the highly rhetorical nature of traditional and contemporary verse modestly counterstates the long-­standing Aristotelian tradition of compartmentalizing such pedagogy, whereby poetry’s rhetorical nature is deactivated in favor of what Walker dubs a “hermeneutical” orientation. An approach to teaching poems as rhetorical performances that are intended to persuade audiences to adopt positions or perspectives on issues important within their cultural context—William James’s “living options”—could considerably help to rejoin what should never have been 88

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torn asunder.76 Concluding a discussion of Renaissance rhetoric and poetics, Arthur Kinney speculates, “Our poetics is quite possibly rhetoric’s greatest gift.”77 Teachers of literature would do well to make more of this legacy. Not surprisingly, inspiration for this position comes from the master of the counterstatement, Kenneth Burke. In this essay, I reference his definition of rhetoric from A Rhetoric of Motives. Here I return to this germinal text, but this time to revisit Burke’s eloquent claim that the study of rhetoric is obligated to guide us through that which matters to us most. This ancient, often maligned and misunderstood art, he insists, “must lead us through the Scramble, the Wrangle of the Market Place, the flurries and flare-­ups of the Human Barnyard, the Give and Take, the wavering line of pressure and counterpressure, the Logomachy, the onus of ownership, the War of Nerves, the War. . . . Rhetoric is concerned with the state of Babel after the Fall.”78 In short, the work that Burke identifies as central to rhetoric aligns with that of verse. From articulating nationalism, to exposing the tragedy of war, to debating the pushes and pulls of romance and gender relations across the centuries, to contributing to racial uplift and resilience, to reflecting on our professional callings, poetry, when approached as rhetoric, is indeed worthy of our most inspired teaching. And the reverse may follow. We began with Walker’s contention that ancient rhetoric “derives originally from the poetic tradition” and “extends, in ‘applied’ versions of itself, to the practical discourses of public and private life.”79 Even more elemental than a rhetorical pedagogy of poetry (and of literature more generally), then, could be an approach to teaching genres of civic discourse highlighting their poetic nature. A full exploration of such a pedagogy, however, lies just beyond the scope of this essay.


9 Part I I 0


9 chap ter 5 0

Reading Poetry, Performing Rhetoric The Place of Poetic Performance in Byzantine Rhetorical Education Vessela Valiavitcharska

“Just as verse is divided by its meters, such as the half-­lines, the hexameters, and the like, so too prose is organized and divided by what are called ‘clauses.’ Clauses give a sort of rest to both the speaker and what is actually being said; and they mark out its boundaries at frequent points, since it would otherwise continue at length without limit and simply run the speaker out of breath.” So does the second-­century BC author known as Demetrius open his treatise On Style.1 Demetrius discusses the length of the rhetorical clause (kōlon) compared to that of the individual metrical unit (metron) in poetry, with examples illustrating both. The kōlon, he emphasizes, is the building block of the rhetorical sentence, that is, the period. Just as poetic meter requires inexperienced students to count the measures, so rhetorical rhythm requires a measuring hand.2 Demetrius’s parallel between the rhythms of poetry and those of rhetorical prose is a clear improvement over earlier attempts to spell out a meaningful difference between the two. Aristotle and Isocrates, for example, emphasize that rhetorical discourse must carefully avoid the rhythms and vocabulary of poetry but do not offer practical guidance on how to achieve a well-­rhythmized prose.3 Hence Demetrius’s recommendation that a student “use a measuring hand” presents a valuable insight into ancient pedagogical practice. Indeed, rhetorical education both in antiquity and in the Byzantine Middle Ages relied on the existing foundation of daily reading, memorization, and recitation of poetry built by the grammar teachers. It was poetry and poetic rhythms that informed the understanding and habituated the ears of young people to the rhythms of rhetoric. And while Demetrius’s On Style

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was by no means a widely read treatise in Byzantium, his parallel between the metrical units of verse and the rhythms of prose exemplifies an attitude that undergirded both ancient and Byzantine pedagogical practice. In this chapter, I suggest that close attention to poetic rhythm and performance in the initial stages of education played an important role in establishing the rhythmical units of rhetorical discourse. The prosodic and phrasal rhythms of classical poetry continued to influence the performance of Byzantine rhetorical texts, even though the medieval Greek linguistic reality differed dramatically from that of classical counterpart. A close examination of marginal comments on the punctuation of the classics indicates that (1) the use of punctuation signs was intended to keep up the association between verse rhythm and prose rhythm and (2) attending to punctuation signs and their placement meant attending to the performative rhythms of a text.

The Role of Poetry in Learning How to Read At the elementary school level, the focused study and practice of poetic rhythm begins with the study of grammar. The first extant handbook on grammar, the Technē grammatikē of Dionysius Thrax, composed around the same time as Demetrius’s On Style, offers a surprising definition of the scope and extent of its subject matter: “Grammar is empirical knowledge of the general usage of poets and prose writers. It has six divisions: first, expert reading with regard to prosodic features; second, explanation of the poetic expressions found in the text; third, the provision of notes on particular words and on the subject matter; fourth, the discovery of etymologies; fifth, the working out of grammatical regularities; sixth, the critical judgment of poetry, which is the finest part of all that the science embraces.”4 Grammar is not theoretical but “empirical” knowledge, that is, acquired through practice, of the “general usage” of language among poets and prose writers.5 The list of parts that follows most likely reflects the order of acquiring this practical knowledge, in other words, the pedagogical progression of a student through the texts. It includes due attention to prosody, the ability to explain poetic structures and a “working out of grammatical regularities,” or the study of the morphosyntactical structures of language. The latter is not an end in itself; rather, it is meant to impart active knowledge of language structure in order to help the student acquire mastery over its rhythm and flow. In the course of instruction, the grammarian, as Quintilian recommends, ought to explain both the “parts of speech” (not in the contemporary, technical sense) and the qualities of the metrical feet, which “need to 94

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become so familiar in poetry that the need for them is felt also in rhetorical composition.”6 In other words, teaching the morphological and syntactical features of language went hand in hand with the teaching of meter and rhythm. If one knows how language is structured and how to string words together, one would also know how to achieve a good prose flow. Indeed, the aim of teaching syntax, as the grammarian and poet Michael Synkellos sees it as late as the ninth century, is to help the students achieve eurhythmy.7 Reading came first. Reading, however, did not mean simply being able to make out the text; it was “expert reading with regard to prosodic features.” In the following section, Dionysius explains what that entails: Reading is the enunciation of verse or prose without any faults. One should read with due regard to dramatic presentation, prosodic features, and punctuation; from these we see, respectively, the merits [of the poet], the skill [of the reader], and the sense [of the text]. So one should read tragedy in a heroic voice, comedy in a lively voice, lyric poetry in a clear and sweet voice, epic poetry earnestly, and lamentations gently and mournfully. If these rules are not followed, the quality of the works read will be destroyed, and the conduct of the readers will appear laughable.8

A competent student was expected to recognize and enunciate the words, read with attention to the meter and rhythms, and perform the passage according to its sense and spirit. (The passage says “enunciation of verse or prose,” but the genres listed are all verse.) We must understand here that the type of reading Dionysius refers to is not the halting syllabizing of the elementary student. Rather, it is expert dramatic performance, intended to bring out all artistic features of a text in such a way that the listener would be able to place the work easily within one of the five genre categories mentioned— tragedy, comedy, lyric poetry, epic, or lamentation, as well as to grasp, enjoy, and reflect on its meaning. The passage suggests well-­established genre conventions of performance; it also makes clear how high the requirements were for “expert reading.” In a textual culture that employed uncial letters and continuous script (without spaces between words) as a primary means of recording literature, being able to pick up a written text and at once recognize its genre, discern word and phrase boundaries, follow the meter, and bring out the meaning in a vivid and clear voice must have required considerable skill. Gregory Nagy points out that a scholion on this passage explains that, according to “the ancients,” grammar has four components: correction, expert reading, interpretation, and 95

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critical judgment (διορθωτικόν, ἀναγνωστικόν, ἐξηγητικὸν καὶ κριτικόν).9 The young student, says the scholiast, would first take the books to a “corrector” (διορθωτής) who takes them to make “corrections,” lest “the young person should fall into a bad habit [of incorrect performance] by his reading blunders” (ἵνα μὴ ἐπταισμένον αὐτὸ ἀναγνοὺς ὁ νέος εἰς κακὴν ἕξιν ἐμπέσῃ). Then the student would make his way to a “reading-­teacher,” who would “teach him how to read according to the corrections of the corrector” (πρὸς τὸν ἀναγνωστικὸν τὸν ὀφείλοντα αὐτὸν διδάσκειν ἀναγινώσκειν κατὰ τὴν διόρθωσιν τοῦ διορθωτοῦ). Next, an “exegete” would “hand down” the underlying interpretation (τὸν ἐξηγητικὸν τὸν ὀφείλοντα παραδιδόναι αὐτῷ τὴν ἐγκειμένην ἑρμηνείαν). Finally, a critic would perform the “highest” part of the teaching: point out whether the poems were composed well or not, properly or not, fittingly or not (καλῶς ἢ φαύλως, ἢ ἐν δέοντι ἢ ἐν μὴ δέοντι, ἢ εὐκαίρως ἢ ἀκαίρως)10 with respect to their subject matter. Nagy offers an illuminating interpretation about what correcting the books meant with regard to epic poetry. Being written in scriptio continua, texts did not normally contain word divisions, punctuation, accents, or breathing marks. The task of the corrector was to put in accents and punctuation, not everywhere, but only on those words that had to be pronounced on a pitch higher than the rest or needed to be separated by a pause. In other words, by putting in the punctuation, the corrector marked the musical contour and rhythm of the phrase, according to the performative tradition of reciting epic poetry. This practice seems to have continued well into the second century AD.11 The practice of reading, as described by Dionysius Thrax and his commentators, would apply to grammatical and rhetorical pedagogy during the Hellenistic period and perhaps even in late antiquity. The same pedagogy formed the foundation of grammatical and rhetorical education in Byzantium. However, by the sixth century AD, natural phonetic developments in the Greek language made the teaching of reading much more complicated. The spoken Greek language lost its syllabic quantities and transformed its musical accent into stress; grammatical and rhetorical education, however, continued to be based on mastering the classical texts. It is not exactly clear what that implied for “correct” poetry pronunciation and performance. Since the Alexandrian metrical treatises, which describe how to pronounce the classical texts, continued to be copied out and studied in Byzantium, one would expect that the Byzantine grammarians devoted considerable attention to the then-­archaic system of syllabic quantity and melodic accent. To make the matter even more complex, Byzantine manuscripts began to include, from the ninth century on, a full array of punctuation signs, thus 96

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making the task of inserting punctuation for the sake of inexperienced readers seemingly obsolete. Yet, punctuation remarks found in the ancient scholia to the classical texts, and especially in texts used in the schoolroom, continued to be copied out; moreover, newly composed commentaries would not omit to mention, in the manner of their classical predecessors, where one ought to insert a punctuation mark, even if the punctuation was already on the page. Why did the Byzantine commentators continue to give directions on how to punctuate the text? Were they simply motivated by the desire to study and “transmit” the authoritative knowledge of the ancient commentators? Perhaps, but here I would also like to propose two other, mutually complementary, explanations. One is that the punctuation comments found in the scholia vetera were intended to keep up the association between clause length and verse rhythm, an association that fully translated into the performance of rhetorical texts. Remarks on punctuation frequently appear in connection with the terms stichos, komma, kōlon, and period, which continued to do double duty as both metrical and rhetorical terms and to be deployed in Byzantine rhetorical education, despite the phonetic differences between classical and medieval Greek. Two, that punctuation comments were intended to offer performative interpretations of a given text and assert a commentator’s understanding of the rhythm of a passage. In what follows, I look at comments on punctuation as they appear in foundational texts used in grammatical and rhetorical education, such as the grammar handbook of Dionysius Thrax; some scholia vetera on the Iliad as well as Byzantine scholia recentiora; and the rhetorical commentaries and scholia on Gregory of Nazianzus, whose orations were studied in detail in the more advanced stages of rhetorical training. The scholia vetera on the Iliad, eclectic compilations put together from a variety of sources, many of ancient origin, and inscribed around the margins of the main text in the form of short, interpretive excerpts, offer valuable clues to ancient and Byzantine school practice, since the vast majority of their material was used for teaching purposes.12 Scholia continued to be copied out and composed during the Byzantine period, modeled on the ancient prototypes, in order to provide teachers with a “pedagogical map” for the analysis and interpretation of a text. Such is the case with the scholia to the orations of Gregory of Nazianzus, composed by Basil Minimus (Basil “the Least”) in the tenth century. They provide a wealth of diverse comments on a number of subjects related to rhetorical training, from argument and treatment in general, to figures of speech and thought, tone and diction, and, of course, prosody and punctuation. 97

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Punctuation in Theory It is again in the handbook of Dionysius Thrax where we find the following list of punctuation symbols: “There are three punctuation signs: full stop, middle stop, and slight stop (τελεία, μέση, ὑποστιγμή). The full stop is a sign indicating completed thought, the middle stop is a sign indicating a place to take a breath, the slight stop is a sign of a thought not quite completed but still bound [to what follows]. In what way does the full stop differ from the slight stop? In the time it takes. With the full stop the time-­ interval [of silence] is long, while with the slight stop, it is altogether quite short.”13 The signs described are immediately recognizable as the upper dot ( · ), the middle dot ( ∙ ), and the lower dot ( . ), with the upper dot indicating a completed thought and requiring a long pause, the middle dot a place to stop in order to breathe, and the lower dot an incomplete thought that still needs to be set off with a slight pause. Inexperienced readers’ copies had to have these marks inserted before the student could begin to read from them out loud. As a result, the scholia vetera on the major canonical poets contain numerous remarks on how to punctuate passages, in order that they may be performed, as Dionysius Thrax would say, “according to their sense.” For example, in comments on Achilles’s notorious invective of Agamemnon in book 1 of the Iliad, one scholiast specifies that “each vituperative phrase must bear punctuation designating brevity of pause, but at the end we must punctuate with a full stop, for the period is one of address” (καθ’ ἑκάστην δὲ λοιδορίαν βραχὺ διασταλτέον, ἐπὶ δὲ τὸ τέλος στικτέον· προσαγορευτικὴ γὰρ ἡ περίοδος).14 The reference is to lines 225–33, where Achilles calls his rival “a wine-­bag, a dog-­faced coward who never goes out to battle with his people but only collects the prizes, a king over nobodies, and a loud mouth.”15 The scholiast, who has borrowed most of his recommendations on punctuation from the treatise of the Alexandrian grammarian Nicanor, notes that the period here functions as a form of address; moreover, it comprises a list of abusive names. Therefore, for maximum impact, it ought to be punctuated with short pauses between insults (διασταλτέον), thus making each vituperative epithet stand out in a staccato-­like sequence. The period ought to end on a full stop at the end (στικτέον), signifying a longer break and adding dramatic silence for effect. A similar set of instructions involving a form of address appears in comments to lines 276–79 in book 3. The Greeks and the Trojans have agreed on an armed contest between Menelaeus and Alexander to decide the outcome of the war, and Priam joins Agamemnon in a sacrificial offering, which 98

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would confirm the oath. Agamemnon raises his voice in prayer to Zeus, invoking the chief god as well as the natural elements: “Father Zeus,” he cried, “you who rule in Ida, most glorious in power, and you O Sun, who see and give ear to all things, Earth and Rivers, and you who in the realms below chastise those mortals who have broken their oath.”16

The scholiast, again following Nicanor, explains that punctuation designating brevity is needed after each form of address, such as “Father Zeus,” “glorious in power,” “Rivers,” and “Earth,” while the end of the entire sequence, “who have broken their oath,” ought to be punctuated with a full stop.17 Each name, in other words, is set off from the rest with a slight pause, while the end of the invocation merits a much longer break. These two examples make clear that, first of all, the punctuation was meant to be added after the text was copied out, as Nagy argues,18 so expert readers would be able to “envision” it as they read along. Second, its primary use was to offer performative cues, which marked out the length of a pause and suggested how to chunk the text in the process of reading in order to bring out its interpretation during the speech act. A scholion to Dionysius Thrax, possibly authored by Stephanus of Byzantium in the sixth century, explains how punctuation signs are to be interpreted in the process of reading aloud: “‘What is the difference between the full stop and the lower dot? The length of time.’—[Dionysius] says they differ in time from each other. By ‘time’ he means not the opportune moment, but the interval of time comprised by the voice. After a full stop, it is possible for me to pause for some time—or even make that pause twice or three times as long—before I go on to the rest of the verses; after a lower dot, I do not pause at all but continue straight away with what follows. So therefore, the full stop differs from the lower dot in length of time.”19 The full stop allows for a much longer break than the lower dot, which indicates a very brief pause. In order to bring more clarity to the question of relative lengths, Heliodorus the Grammarian even specifies that “the full stop comprises four time-­intervals of silence, the middle dot one, and the lower dot—half,”20 making the relative proportion of the full stop to the lower dot 8:1—a significant difference. That difference helps to give us a sense of the wide amplitude of expressiveness required in reading. “Some commentators ask why [Dionysius] has compared the full stop with the lower dot, but not with the middle dot,” remarks Stephanus. “And 99

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they say it is because the extremes are always contraries, and their contrary relationship requires a comparison, but that is not at all the case with the middle dot.”21 In other words, the full stop and the lower dot were seen as the two end points in a scale that presumably included other, intermediate elements. Indeed, the grammar scholiasts almost unfailingly note that, while Dionysius discusses only three punctuation signs, the Homeric scholar Nicanor (who lived about four hundred years later) lists as many as eight: “According to Nicanor, there are eight punctuation signs: longest full stop/ upper dot; next longest full stop/lower dot; first, second, and third stop; comma indicating rising pitch; comma indicating flat pitch; shortest stop. The shortest stop presents a separation between letters around ambiguous syntax.”22 Each of these eight signs is associated with a particular time interval relative to the rest. The longest full stop lasts about four time intervals and denotes a completed thought; it divides two sentences and can also follow an introductory vocative expression. The next longest full stop lasts three time intervals and is placed before a logical connector, such as “for,” “however,” “moreover,” and “but” (γάρ, ἀλλά, αὐτάρ, δέ). The first, second, and third stops, lasting two, one, and one time intervals respectively, are reserved for clauses connected by the correlative conjunctions “on the one hand . . . on the other hand,” “either . . . or/ neither . . . nor” (μέν . . . δέ, ἤ . . . ἤ, οὐκ . . . ἀλλά); for clauses connected by “and” (= καί); and for clauses connected by “and” (= τέ). The comma indicating rising pitch is to be placed between the protasis and apodosis of a “straightforward period” (ὀρθὴ περίοδος, that is, one organized by the coordinating conjunctions “so long as . . . as,” “when . . . then,” “where . . . there” [ὄφρα . . . τόφρα, ὅτε . . . τότε, ὅπου . . . ἐκεῖ]), which required a rise in the pitch at the end of the protasis in anticipation of the apodosis. The comma indicating flat pitch was meant to set off parenthetical remarks, while the shortest stop, indicated by space between words, was used in places of possible ambiguity in the wording. The last three signs are assigned one time interval each.23 For all its fascinating variety of detail, Nicanor’s eight-­fold system appears to follow the same principle as that of Dionysius: it is driven not so much by syntax as it is by the demands of making the text intelligible in performance. David Blank makes a convincing case that the organizing principle of Nicanor’s system is the Stoic grammatical distinction between a complete and an incomplete thought. The first five punctuation signs mark one or another form of complete thought; the last three mark places where one must pause slightly but not take a breath.24 The same distinction of complete versus incomplete thought—whether Stoic or not—lies also at the 100

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foundation of Dionysius’s simple three-­fold division, as attested again by the scholia, which do not fail to point out that same principle.25 Given the popularity of Dionysius’s textbook in Byzantium, one would expect to see a tendency to prioritize the three-­sign punctuation system. That, however, is rarely the case. Nicanor’s eight stigmai appear as late as the fourteenth century in the rhetorical epitome of Joseph Rhacendyta in the same order, with slightly modified terms:26 There are eight punctuation signs: complete stop, full stop, subordinate stop; first stop, second stop; rising pitch mark, flat pitch mark; comma. We will discuss the reason they are eight and not more. The interval of the voice either rounds off a completed thought—which we call “complete stop” (as, for example, in “which has been spoken about by one predecessor most beautifully and loftily”);27 or a partial thought complete in terms of the expression—we call that “full stop” (as, for example, in “Christ is born,”28 which is a partial thought but complete in expression); or a partial thought incomplete in expression—which is called “subordinate stop” (as, for example, in “Christ from a virgin,”29 where “is born” is implied); or a partial thought complete in terms of expression yet anticipating a conjunction, because of which it does not receive a full stop but the so-­called “first stop” (as, for example, in “not only to those who, out of love, have done something for us,” after which comes the conjunction “or” [“or suffered something for us”]);30 or a partial thought which is essential [to the meaning] but incomplete in expression and likewise anticipates a conjunction—it receives a “second stop” (as, for example, in “Today is the Resurrection,” where “is the day of ” is implied and the conjunction “and” is anticipated);31 or when one has the thought still suspended, inasmuch as it will not have yet advanced and pressed forward—it receives, for the most part, either a “rising pitch mark” or a “comma” also called “flat pitch mark” (as, for example, in “upon the mountains and the hills on which you sacrificed”);32 or when it assumes a severe tone or another like it, it is called “rising pitch mark” (as, for example, in “Do you accuse God in this?”);33 or it signifies the imminent reception of the following thought and is called “comma” (as in “since these were in need of a greater aid, they also obtained a greater aid.”34)35

Rhacendyta’s account follows the same principle of chunking the text by assigning longer pauses to a complete thought and shorter pauses to an incomplete thought, and he also emphasizes that anticipation of the next element determines the choice of punctuation. The technical terms—and, presumably, 101

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their graphic correlatives—are slightly different; however, their function is very similar to the signs described by Dionysius, as Sebastiano Panteghini demonstrates in a recent essay. Looking at a fourteenth-­century copy of Nicephorus Xanthopulus’s Historia ecclesiastica (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliotek, MS Vind. hist. gr. 8), Panteghini notes that the most important punctuation signs—those which denote the longest and most functional pauses—mark either incomplete thoughts, that is, clauses that may appear as dependent, or complete thoughts, that is, clauses or phrases that are independent.36 They signal whether the sentence continues or is coming to an end. Eight different punctuation signs are described, among which are four full stops, one middle stop, one low dot, and one comma (virgula). The full stops, distinguished graphically by their thickness and amount of allotted empty space, are consistently used to mark completion, from short independent clauses to long periods to entire paragraphs and chapters. The middle stop serves to separate the parts of a paratactic period coordinated with paired conjunctions (μέν . . . δέ, τέ . . . καί . . . τέ), in addition to performing other functions such as separating members in a list, as well as a long, compound subject from the rest of the period. The low dot and the virgula both designate minimum length pauses and could serve again to set off a long, compound subject, to distinguish between short phrases (κόμματα) or to mark dependent clauses in a hypotactic period—all of which fall within the scope of “incomplete thought.”37 The punctuation, as well as the amount of empty space between phrases, clauses, and sentences, essentially signals to the reader the degree of cohesion that binds the preceding thought to what follows.38 Punctuation signs perform multiple, overlapping functions; yet, as Antonia Giannouli observes in her study of the Didaskalia of Leo Balianites, their roles fall chiefly within two categories: strong closure, marked by the full stop, middle stop, and double dot (another version of a full stop); and weak closure, marked by the comma, low dot, and semicolon (interrogative sign). She produces extensive statistical evidence from the thirteenth-­century Escorial Library, MS Escorialensis Y-­II-­10, that demonstrates a robust correlation between rhythmically marked phrase and clause endings and the use of punctuation signs. Both strong and weak closure punctuation is typically expected to set off clauses that employ either the rhythmical Form 2 (which means they end on a pattern of stresses that allows two unstressed syllables between the final two stresses) or they employ rhythmical Form 4 (which means a pattern that allows four unstressed syllables between the last two stresses). Giannouli concludes that the puncuation of the Didaskalia has to do with rhythm and performance and is not strictly tied to syntactical markers.39 102

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In poetry, these strong and weak pauses are strongly associated with the division into stichos (a full poetic line or a unit as long as a trimeter or tetrameter), kōlon (restricted to the measure of a dimeter), and komma (anything shorter than a dimeter), as described in the metrical handbook of Hephaestion;40 each of these units circumscribe either a “complete” thought or a “partial” thought of some autonomy. The boundary of a metrical stichos, kōlon, or komma is determined by the meter—whose measures and units are amply explained and rehearsed in the early stages of learning how to read well. When the students learned to read “with due attention to prosody,” as Dionysius Thrax recommends, they also acquired a basic sense of the length and rhythm of a metrical kōlon and komma, as well as a metrical period, which comprised anything composed of two or more kōla. This explains why Demetrius defines the rhetorical kōlon and the rhetorical komma not in syntactical terms but in terms of their length41—while specifying that their proper function is to bring a thought or a sentence to a conclusion.42 Demetrius refers, of course, to rhetorical prose; yet for his readers the feel for the basic length and rhythmical shape of the rhetorical kōlon and komma would come from the close study and dramatic reading of poetry. This continued to be the case in the Byzantine period. In a long and involved account of the origins of the terms komma, kōlon, and period, the eleventh-­century rhetorician John Siceliota explains that, in ancient poetry, the terms are used to designate the length of a metrical unit—for example, a stichos comprises three to four syzygies (a syzygy is a unit composed of two feet); three metra or less make a kōlon, while a sequence shorter than a dimeter is a komma. In order to transpose their function into prose, he translates the metrical units into syllable counts: by imitation of the poets, he says, the rhetoricians call anything between nine and eighteen syllables a kōlon, and between one and eight syllables a komma. Both poets and rhetoricians commonly refer to a phrase that completes a single thought as a stichos.43 His discussion is intended to situate rhetorical rhythm within the well-­defined and predictable context of ancient meters; the point is that the rhetoricians, no less than the poets, observed rhythmic correspondences in terms of the relative proportions of phrases, clauses, and sentences.

Punctuation in Practice Indeed, remarks on punctuation in both the scholia vetera and the scholia recentiora to the Iliad frequently give directions, accompanied by a justification, about the kind of punctuation required by a stichos (line), a hemistichos 103

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(half-­line), a komma (phrase), or a period (complete sentence). They range from simple instructions to more complex explanations offering variant construals of the text. The scholia annotation to Iliad 2.322, for example, reads: “Achilles, son of Peleus”: the end of the stichos must be punctuated with a full stop (στικτέον), for the thought is self-­contained, and so is the next one.44

The relevant lines from the Iliad read: Go to the hut of Achilles, son of Peleus. Take by the hand the fair-­cheeked Briseis and lead her here.45

They refer to Agamemnon’s order to seize Achilles’s “war trophy,” the beautiful captive Briseis. We see a similar remark at Iliad 1.393, where Achilles begs his goddess-­mother, Thetis, to ask Zeus for revenge over the Achaeans: “But you, if you are able, come aid your noble son”: Place a low dot after “able” (ὑποστικτέον ἐπὶ τὸ γέ), but a full stop at the end of the line.46

The scholion instructs the reader to insert the low dot where the caesura would fall in Iliad 1.393, in the middle of the third foot: “But you, if you are able, || come aid your noble son” (ἀλλὰ σὺ εἰ δύνασαί γε. || περίσχεο παιδὸς ἑῆος ∙). In this way the punctuation marks both the end of the line and the rhythmical-­semantic break in the middle. At Iliad 2.21, we find a similar note: “After ‘Nestor’ insert a short pause [low dot]; after the end of the line, put a full stop.”47 The context is the lying dream sent by Zeus to visit Agamemnon in the shape of the wise elder Nestor, who reproaches Agamemnon for taking pleasure in sleep rather than in the discharge of his responsibilities. However, the verse stands out with an enjambment—that is, the thought is not contained in a single line but runs over onto the next: So he took his stand above his head, in the likeness of the son of Neleus, even Nestor, whom above all the elders Agamemnon held in honor.48

The scholion implicitly forbids a pause at the end of line 20—contrary to a reader’s instinct—and follows the enjambment, inserting a short pause at 104

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the end of the thought and a long pause at the end of line 21, which completes the two-­line sequence. The punctuation is intended to bring out both the sense and the rhythm of the sentence. While the poetic line does not necessarily coincide with a complete thought, the poetic/rhetorical units of komma and period always do. They are, therefore, usually associated with punctuation intended to mark longer pauses or emphatic performance. At Iliad 2.8, we hear Zeus ordering the lying dream to go down to Earth and visit Agamemnon: “Up, go, thou baneful dream, unto the swift ships of the Achaeans”;49 at that point the scholia also instruct us that we must put a full stop at the end of the line, for it comprises a whole period, and the appropriateness of the command is shown by asyndeton.50

The idea is that the two imperative forms “up, go!” (βάσκ’ ἴθι) follow each other in quick, unceremonious succession (indicated by the lack of a conjunction), which would be acceptable only if coming from someone with great authority. The command itself is read as a single period, completed within a single line, and marked with a full stop, in order to set it off from the rest. A period, in other words, requires punctuation at the end.51 A similar requirement is implied for kommata: each ought to be marked off, possibly with a full stop. We see that also in the occasional warning against using heavy punctuation. “You must not punctuate with a full stop here,” says the scholiast at Iliad 10.424–25, “because the phrase will become short (κομματικόν) and detached from what follows, but you must make a slight pause marked with a small dot.”52 Instructions on where to place punctuation marks continued to be copied out in the margins as an integral part of the scholia, even with the punctuation already in place in the main text. Numerous examples can be found in the easily accessible tenth-­century manuscript known as the Venetus A, one of the best extant copies of the full text of the Iliad accompanied by the scholia vetera.53 Figure 5.1 shows folio 18v, with the main text of Iliad 1.327–53, taking up most of the page, and the scholia inscribed in a slightly smaller script in the left and upper margins. Figure 5.2 shows an enlarged version of 1.334–35: “Hail, heralds, messengers of Zeus and men, draw near / It is not you who are to blame but Agamemnon”; figure 5.3 shows the relevant scholion for the same line by Nicanor from the upper margin: “One must put a full stop at the end of the stichos [that is, line 334] and a short pause after ‘to blame’ [ἐπαίτιοι], in order to honor them as messengers.”54 A 105

Figure 5.1. Venetus A (Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, MS Marc. gr. Z 454), fol. 18v, Iliad 1.327–53. Photograph courtesy of Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 2021. Reproduction prohibited.

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Figure 5.2. Venetus A, fol. 18v, Iliad 1.334–35, main text (detail). Photograph courtesy of Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 2021. Reproduction prohibited.

Figure 5.3. Venetus A, fol. 18v, Iliad 1.334–35, Nicanor’s scholion (detail). Photograph courtesy of Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 2021. Reproduction prohibited.

Figure 5.4. Venetus A, fol. 19v, Iliad 1.393, with Nicanor’s remark in the left margin. Photograph courtesy of Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 2021. Reproduction prohibited.

brief look at figure 5.2 shows clearly that the punctuation about which we see instructions in the upper margin is already on the page: an upper dot (full stop) at the end of line 334, after the word ἀνδρῶν, and another one after ἐπαίτιοι. (Line 335 contains an additional punctuation mark, a low dot between ἆσσον ἴτ’· οὔ, in order to distinguish between words where the vowel epsilon is elided, as the interlinear glosses indicate.) Iliad 1. 393 (“But you, if you are able, come aid your noble son”) presents a similar example, shown in figure  5.4 (Marc. gr. 822, fol.  19v). Nicanor’s punctuation remarks are placed in the margin, immediately to the left of the line—and the punctuation itself appears exactly as described in the scholion: a low dot after “able” (ὑποστικτέον ἐπὶ τὸ γέ), and a full stop at the end of the line. Seemingly redundant directions continued to be copied out not only from the ancient scholia but also in more recent comments composed by Byzantine authors. Such is the case of the Geneva Iliad (Geneva, Bibliothèque de Genève, Gr. 44); originally produced in the thirteenth century, it contains a selection of the so-­called D-­scholia (of Alexandrian extraction), to which were later added the scholarly remarks of the fourteenth-­century Byzantine teacher and intellectual Theodore Meliteniotes. At Iliad 7.171, the punctuation comments are appended to the right of the line and read: 107

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“Place a full stop at the end of the line, after ‘from the first to the last, for him who shall so be chosen,’ so that it reads ‘though a lot let one be selected from all who have come forward.’ Space them in the following way: ‘from the first to the last, [then] him who shall so be chosen.’”55 The comment refers to lines 171–73, which render Nestor speaking and urging the Achaeans to cast lots about who, of those who have stepped forward, will be chosen to fight with Hector in a one-­on-­one combat intended to end the war. Figure 5.5 shows a portion of Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Gr. 44, p. 295, where the verses and relevant scholia are found. There is a (blurry) full stop at the end of the line (after ὅς κε λάχῃσιν) and a middle stop after “from the first to the last” (διαμπερές)—with the punctuation instructions found immediately to the right.56

Figure 5.5. Genevensis 44 (Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Gr. 44), p. 295, Iliad 7.171, with scholia by Theodore Meliteniotes. Photograph courtesy of Bibliothèque de Genève,, 2013, Creative Commons license.

Performative Interpretation Redundant instructions continued to be copied out alongside punctuation in the main text not out of a sense of perverse and vacuous conservatism. They reinforced an awareness of rhythmical structures, explained the rationale behind the placement of the punctuation sign, and also offered performative clues on how to articulate this or that portion of the text. Performance is, indeed, an important dimension of the role of punctuation. Many of the performative directions have to do with text-­chunking for the sake of clarity or weight; some may also suggest variant construals of passages, depending on where the punctuation is placed. A number of comments single out rhetorical figures, implying a special manner of vocal expression. Finally, some of the remarks point to emotionally charged passages and give recommendations on how to act out a particular emotion. 108

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Clarity appears to be a concern at Iliad 2.270, for example, which advises us to read out the first half of the sentence, then “begin anew.” The passage refers to the punishment of Thersites, whom Odysseus hits on the back with such force as to cause tears of pain. The context is the following: In order to test his troops, Agamemnon falsely tells them that they are free to go home; consequently, the Greeks rush their ships, only to be turned back, with great effort, by Odysseus, who suspects a ruse. Thersites, however, regardless of his low rank, bursts into an invective of the Greek leaders and receives a blow from Odysseus: So spake Odysseus, and with his staff smote his back and shoulders; and Thersites cowered down, and a big tear fell from him, and a bloody weal rose up on his back beneath the staff of gold. Then he sat down, and fear came upon him, and stung by pain with helpless looks he wiped away the tear. But the Achaeans, sore vexed at heart though they were, broke into a merry laugh at him, and thus would one speak with a glance at his neighbor. “Out upon it! Verily hath Odysseus ere now wrought good deeds without number as leader in good counsel and setting battle in army, but now is this deed far the best that he hath wrought among the Argives, seeing he hath made this scurrilous babbler to cease from his prating.”57

Although he challenges an unpopular command, Thersites has already made himself unpleasant by his regular grumbling and loud verbal abuse. The scholion gives the following advice: “But the Achaeans”: Means “the Greeks.” One must put a full stop after “sore vexed at heart though they were” [ἀχνύμενοί περ], then make a new beginning, so [the sense] is that the Greeks, even if they were pained at the dismissal of their return home, still laughed with satisfaction at the sight of Thersites.58

In other words, one would perform this passage by making a long pause after “sore vexed at heart though they were” and then continue as if reading a new sentence, grouping the former (“But the Achaeans, sore vexed at heart though they were”) together with Odysseus’s action and leaving the latter 109

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(“broke into a merry laugh at him, and thus would one speak with a glance at his neighbor”) by itself. In case there is any ambiguity where the troops’ emotional alliances lie, the pause makes that clear; moreover, the “new beginning” emphasizes Thersites’s isolation—an interpretation completely contrary to our modern sympathies. A “new beginning” is generally required if one is to give more weight to a portion of the text, and we see that marked at Iliad 1.216–19, where Achilles says he will yield to Hera and Athena’s order to retract his sword and refrain from attacking Agamemnon: It is necessary, goddess, to observe the words of you two, however angered a man be in his heart, for it is better so. Whoever obeys the gods, to him they gladly do give ear.59

And the scholion that accompanies these lines says: “for it is better so”: put a full stop, then start anew: “Whoever obeys the gods, to him they gladly do give ear.” For such things are to be said rather aphoristically.60

We are instructed to “start anew,” that is, to round off the sentence in the previous line, make a pause, and begin a new thought. Aphorisms, in other words, are to be articulated as self-­contained units—lending their wisdom maximum impact. Performative emphasis is assigned also to certain rhetorical figures, implying a special manner of vocal expression. The simile in Iliad 3.1–3, comparing the Trojan army to a flock of clamoring cranes fleeing in the face of a winter storm yet boding slaughter and death, is marked in the scholia as both a rhetorical figure and an “inverted” period. The main text reads: Each army so arrayed and ordered under its leader, With a piercing cry the Trojans advanced, as a flock of wild birds, Wild cranes sending their cry flying in the face of the heavens.61

“You must put a small dot after the words ‘as a flock of wild birds,’” says the scholiast, “because the apodosis is placed first, and the period is inverted.”62 The period in this case comprises lines 2–3; it is “inverted” because the apodosis (the independent clause) comes before the protasis (the subordinate clause). A “straightforward” syntax would place the protasis 110

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first—in this case, the comparison—followed by the apodosis, in the following way: “As a flock of wild birds, the Trojans advanced with a piercing cry.”63 The scholiast suggests that the inversion ought to be marked with a slight pause—not long enough to take a breath yet distinct enough to create an awareness of the wrenched syntax and an anticipation for the development of the subordinate clause, which consists of two parts and forms an extended simile. Comparisons in general seem to require punctuation to draw the reader’s attention. Another example, at Iliad 2.86–90, instructs us to “put a full stop after ‘the people [hastened on],’ so that the simile, enunciated with a new beginning, would receive a comma all the way after ‘some here, some there,’ for it is better this way.”64 The simile in question compares the troops, who are being called to council, to swarms of bees emerging from their winter hives: . . . and all the while the people hastened on. Even as the tribes of thronging bees go forth from some hollow rock, ever coming on afresh, and in clusters over the flowers of spring fly in throngs, some here, some there.65

In other words, a reader would pause after “the people hastened on”; the next two lines would be run together smoothly, in one breath, setting off the simile as a unit. We see similar remarks attached to figures of address,66 asyndeta,67 and, in general, komma-­heavy syntax. Occasionally, the instructions are rather cryptic. At Iliad 8.269–70, we are told to make a pause because “the narrative is very pleasant and so is the figure.”68 The narrative offers a description of a hoplite (Aias) working in tandem with an archer (Teucer). Aias would provide cover for Teucer, who “would spy his chance, / and when he had shot his bolt and had smitten one in the throng, / then would that man fall where he was and give up his life, / . . . and Teucer would hide back.”69 Another scholion to the same passage suggests that the pause is made on a rising pitch.70 One could only guess what this might mean— perhaps a special manner of vocalization, accompanied by a suspenseful moment of silence in the quick sequence of actions?71 Finally, some of the most interesting uses of punctuation yet are those related to emotionally charged passages. In Iliad 9.372–88, where Achilles vehemently rejects Agamemnon’s offer of numerous and lavish gifts, the scholia twice associate a short, kommatic presentation with the expression of anger: 111

v e ssel a valiav itcharska “he is ever clothed in shamelessness”: read this by itself, so that the recitation becomes kommatic, clearly showing forth [Achilles’s] anger.72

The text units are cut so short that, as another scholion points out, within four lines we find “eight [self-­contained phrases marked by] a full stop,”73 which could possibly divide the verses in the following way: . . . for utterly hath he deceived me. and sinned against me. Never again shall he beguile me with words. the past is enough. let him go to his ruin in comfort. seeing that Zeus the counsellor hath utterly robbed him of his wits. hateful in my eyes are his gifts. I count them at a hair’s worth.74

A few lines later, at Iliad 9.388, Achilles once again refuses to marry Agamemnon’s daughter: “I will not wed the daughter of Agamemnon, son of Atreus,” he announces. Accordingly, the scholia recommend that “a full stop be placed after ‘son of Atreus,’ for short, kommatic speech befits one who is angered.”75 The performance of anger, in other words, requires short phrases—possibly in imitation of the rapid breathing and increased heartbeat accompanying this powerful affect. A kommatic style seems generally associated with heightened emotion, as we see in the note to Iliad 10.91, where Agamemnon confides in Nestor that anxiety about the outcome of the war would not let him sleep. The scholia remark that his speech employs asyndeton as well as the “kommatic style characteristic of pathos”76—the same style one would use with exclamations of grief and heartbreak, such as the ὢ πόποι at Iliad 3.337.77 Short, heaving clauses coming in rapid succession express the grip of a powerful emotion. Punctuation signs, in other words, were multifunctional and served different performative purposes, depending on context; their meaning is tied to sense and recitation more than syntax. Moreover, scholars frequently asserted their own opinion of how a passage ought to be read, as reflected in their choice of punctuation. Nicanor’s scholia, for example, are full of polemical remarks against “others” or “those others” who had apparently suggested alternative construals. At Iliad 1.290–91, he offers a measured rebuttal of an opponent’s version of Agamemnon’s furious verbal assault on Achilles. “If the gods who exist forever have made him a warrior,” says Agamemnon, “do they therefore license him to keep uttering insults?”78 Nicanor argues that “one ought to put a comma after ‘who exist forever’ and a full stop after ‘insults.’” “Nothing is elided,” he says, “contrary to what some assert.” These 112

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lines refer to Achilles’s accusation that Agamemnon never goes out to war with his people or leads an ambush with the chieftains among the Achaeans.79 We do not know the opinion of Nicanor’s opponents or what interpretation they proposed, but it is clear that his version of punctuating the passage serves to interpret it as referring to earlier statements and not to something left unsaid. Such instructions continued to be copied out in order to make clear and to justify the performative construal of a passage. The same rhythmical-­performative units set off by punctuation in poetry appear in rhetorical prose. The scholia to the orations of Gregory of Nazianzus authored by the tenth-­century bishop and teacher Basil Minimus show identical topics of comment as the scholia to the Iliad.80 These scholia appear to be aimed at a more advanced stage in the process of education since they provide a wealth of teaching comments intended to complement the interpretive-­analytical work that accompanied the slow study of model orations, from notes on the subject matter and general treatment, to arguments and rhetorical figures, to tone, diction, and prosody. Particular attention is paid to clause separation,81 to the rhetorical period—inverted as well as straightforward82—to asyndetic discourse,83 to rhetorical figures,84 and to alternative performative construals.85 Basil instructs his students how to read a period in one breath—as one would do for two or three lines of poetry—in order not to destroy the unity of the thought;86 he advises on how to hold the pitch for a straightforward or inverted period87 and how to make a slight pause where the sense requires it88 or a long pause to mark an asyndeton or a form of address or a simile.89 Basil’s annotations bear a striking resemblance to what we find in poetry. To conclude briefly: attention to poetic rhythm and the dramatic performance of poetry was essential to habituating young people’s ears to the rhythms of rhetoric. The metrical terms of poetry served double duty in poetry and in prose, as the numerous comments on punctuation demonstrate. Punctuation was multifunctional and performative; its chief aim was to set dramatic expectations and to serve as a reminder of what to expect in terms of the length and meaning of the stichos, komma, kōlon, and period and, consequently, how to perform the text expertly. These habits of poetic performance were transferred into rhetorical prose.


9 chap ter 6 0

Performing History, or, Imitation with a Difference Examples from the Alexiad Ellen Quandahl

In the 2003 volume Rhetoric in Byzantium, Elizabeth Jeffreys wrote that “for all the centrality of rhetoric in Byzantine culture, the topic remains remarkably under-­investigated today.”1 The volume demonstrated that historians of Byzantium had made forays into the subject, and scholars in the history of rhetoric had made extraordinary contributions.2 Yet, as Averil Cameron noted in 2014, “the privileging of Italian humanism and the western tradition has usually assigned to Byzantium the essentially passive role of transmitter.”3 That is, the passion of European humanists for recovering and imitating ancient texts was fueled by Byzantine scholars who brought them translations and an intimate knowledge of the Greek language. In Florence, for example, Byzantine scholar Manuel Chrysoloras translated works of Homer and Plato and offered classes in Greek, and in Vicenza and Bologna, George of Trebizond introduced the Byzantine Greek rhetorical tradition.4 Byzantium is thus recognized as a preserver and conduit of texts to European rhetoric and humanism. Cameron’s point is that this story elides scholarship in Byzantium itself, where the ancient tradition was never lost and prominently featured performances of a shared paideia. Anthony Kaldellis, also speaking to the issue of Byzantium as conduit, makes the case that it was Byzantine scholars who made the concept of “‘antiquity’ possible in the first place” and developed basic tools of scholarship, including lexica, scholia, commentaries on poets and philosophers, and the teaching of rhetoric.5 Among the many Byzantine scholars that he cites as sponsoring and engaging in scholarship is the historian Anna Komnene, whose performance of the past is the subject of this chapter.

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Anna, a rhetorically trained historiographer, is known for the Alexiad, a fifteen-­book history of the reign of her father, Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. In a long funeral oration for Anna, George Tornikes offers glimpses into her rhetorical education and learnedness. In one of these, he describes a circle of scholars that she drew around her, a legacy of the emperor having supported the teaching of youth by daily exercises (paidotribountas gumnasmasi).6 In a detail taken to be biographical, he says that Anna encouraged the work of commentators on Aristotle, one of whom complained of failing eyesight from laboring day and night.7 Anna’s scholars, Tornikes says, included Christian philosophers (philosophous),8 whose words were “without ornament” (akompsois rhēmasi), and men of public or state affairs (politikous) who united knowledge with elegance of expression. With the latter, she studied Greek philosophers not forbidden by Christian custom, and history, “from which rhetors draw their practice subjects and much of their argumentative material.”9 The eulogist thus praises the broad range of her subjects of study—Christian and Hellenic, plain and elegant—and he adds in particular that this historian studied history. The passage activates a significant topos and tension of Byzantine letters, the tension between Orthodox Christian philosophy and those elements of ancient and pagan works deemed incompatible with it. It moreover draws attention to the eulogist’s and Anna’s awareness of rhetorical study and practices as well as their availability as sources of praise. And it adds an intriguing detail: that rhetors use history as a source of material for practice and argument. If this is the case, then we may suppose that Anna, who announces to her readers that she is “not unpractised in rhetoric,”10 would have been familiar with histories and used them in the activities of her compositional training. While we can know little about the details of her early education, this supposition is borne out by the historical knowledge displayed in her masterwork. In this essay, I explore this detail about history as a compositional and argumentative resource through examples from the Alexiad. I construe history broadly, to include both historical writings and what we might call literary history, both of which were important to Byzantine rhetorical education and culture. Indeed, a significant feature of this culture is its myriad ways of acknowledging history and tradition through mimēsis, or imitation.11 My approach is to notice not only the presence of earlier histories in the Alexiad, but their translation or transformation for new purposes. The rhetorical force of the imitations, I suggest, resides in the particulars of the imitated histories and their transformations. The centrality of history-­bearing 115

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imitation makes Byzantine rhetorical practice a rich site for investigating the questions raised in this volume concerning the effects of imitation and the relationship between imitative constraints and creativity. I take up these questions briefly in the final section. As Paul Magdalino notes, the demand for performing the right models has earned Byzantine rhetoric a reputation for constraint and lack of originality.12 Kennedy writes of its “static quality.”13 Reading more sympathetically, Jeffrey Walker shows that such performances could sustain “identifications (in the Burkean sense) that were deeply and powerfully significant” for audiences that shared an elite paideia and located themselves in a community of “Greco-­Roman-­Christian identity.”14 He notes, too, that often such identifications emerged through sophisticated examples of the “figured problems” described by Hermogenes for declamation exercises.15 That is, using citation and imitation covertly to say one thing through another offered opportunities not only for creative composition but for speaking into complex rhetorical situations. Approaching rhetorical performances as authored, Stratis Papaioannou figures the Byzantine writer as one who speaks in the voices of others. Like Walker, he suggests that this is a matter of using “a set of texts conducted in a certain style and register of Greek” that formed the expectations of learned audiences.16 These texts include what we think of as the epic and classical tradition; texts from the imperial period, including the Second Sophistic; fourth-­ century church fathers; and histories, poetry, and epideictic works from the nearer Byzantine past. To author was to perform these materials, from the level of diction, rhythm, and style to genres (such as the funeral oration or history writing), to common wisdom (such as the repertoire of Christian beliefs and behaviors), to actions of exemplary figures, principles of theology or statecraft, and historically significant moments. That scenes of rhetorical performance could be referred to as theatra suggests the element of verbal display that audiences valued.17 For audiences in the know, there was pleasure in catching what might be said in even the most oblique reference. As John Muckelbauer says about one of the “rhythms” of imitation generally, it provides pleasure to audiences by “offering them a moment of insight, a moment in which they recognize what . . . is being represented.”18 He thus connects imitation to performances for particular audiences to be pleased and taught.

Byzantine Rhetorical Education Before turning to Anna Komnene and the Alexiad, I would like to consider how imitative performances involving shared texts might have been learned. 116

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With “only a trifling number of theoretical remarks on imitation” from Byzantium,19 it is challenging to imagine into the pedagogical world. A helpful beginning is the now-­substantial scholarship on the early training in the progymnasmata (prerhetorical exercises).20 The progymnasmata provide evidence that, as students practiced the microcompositions demanded in individual exercises (description, praise, ethos making, and so on), they used a repertoire of vocabulary, themes, wisdom, quotations, maxims, mythologies, and bits of history from earlier, culturally significant texts. This dimension of the progymnasmata has been insufficiently stressed, though all of the extant versions as well as the model exercises from Libanius show that students were to draw upon a repertoire of reading, including Homer, Demosthenes, Thucydides, Isocrates, and others. In his reading of Theon’s Progymnasmata, Jeffrey Walker stresses a backbone of texts for study and emulation.21 Vessela Valiavitcharska shows for the Byzantine period that training under grammarians, preparatory to the progymnasmata, included study of poets and prose writers.22 Noting the strong presence of model passages from Thucydides as sources for imitation in training manuals, especially in Theon and Aphthonius, J.  Carlos Iglesias-­Zoido shows how these models could be drawn on selectively and from memory, a point to which I will return.23 Scholars interested in pedagogy agree that at the heart of schooling in antiquity and the Middle Ages was a long course of exercise—not rhetorical theorizing but a cultivation of habits of speech and thought, anchored, as Walker suggests in “studying, rehearsing, and imitating exemplar-­texts.”24 There would have been much emphasis on practice with “‘all the forms (ideai) that discourse (logos) employs.’”25 These are neither rules nor procedures, nor merely sample discourses, but identifiable elements of logoi that could be studied through a range of activities: hearing and reading aloud, copying, paraphrasing, and commentary by and analytic discussion with a teacher on everything from the question at issue to elements of syntax and figuration.26 Valiavitcharska finds evidence in the scholia on Homer, read as pedagogical tools, of commentary on topics ranging from “prosody, meter, and grammatical peculiarities, to etymology, history, myth, geography, human and animal anatomy, horsemanship, military training, rhetoric, and philosophy.”27 There are notes on sound advice, good political behavior, speech appropriate to circumstances, categories of style, genres, and argumentative terms as used in compositional circumstances.28 In other words, one could speak for or against or about, say, some political behavior, learning to craft appropriate speech through having read, rehearsed, and composed variations on the ways in which authors had written about political behavior in real situations. We 117

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may thus imagine that in the classrooms of skillful teachers, such exercises required past content for current purposes. Let us, then, turn to Anna Komnene and some examples of history-­ bearing emulation in the Alexiad.

Alexiad Anna Komnene’s Alexiad is an encomiastic account of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos coming to power through usurpation and defending and preserving an empire challenged by both external and internal enemies. Combining elements of the basilikos logos, imperial praise, with history, the work may respond to the “inflation of imperial panegyric” under the two successive emperors who ruled during Anna’s life.29 For scholars in rhetoric, the Alexiad is significant, among other reasons, for its rhetorical self-­awareness. Anna offers her rhetorical credentials, her reasons for writing, the difficulty of writing about a beloved father, and the tension of writing history while mourning for her husband and imperial parents. She uses atticizing Greek diction and, as my brief review of Byzantine rhetoric might lead us to expect, both veiled and explicit references to prior texts. The Alexiad presents all aspects of civic and religious culture and diplomacy, from administering and defending the empire to making of war and alliances, as fundamentally rhetorical—kairotic, polytropic, and layered with past history. Anna makes rhetorical skill and education a key characteristic of her heroes and often attributes poor rhetorical training to Alexios’s political enemies and to religious heretics. The work is largely military, combining a Thucydidean and Homeric emphasis on battle campaigns, strategies, formations, and individual scenes of combat.30 As the echo of the Iliad in Anna Komnene’s title suggests, Anna writes history as epic, inflected with the Homeric world of arms and men at a time when epic romance was in vogue.31 The whole work is built out, as we might expect, through a layering of references to these and other texts of Greek paideia and Byzantine culture, both Christian and pagan. As Penelope Buckley suggests, “the writing of the history is the correlative of its content: each displays the rich compendium of Byzantine civilization.”32 While Thucydides, the Bible, Homer, the Greek tragedians, and perhaps Polybius may be evident to students trained in Western rhetoric, Anna’s predecessors also include less familiar figures who chronicled and praised past emperors.33 As Roger Scott notes, Byzantine historians characteristically use “subtle variations” of past histories, “building on their audience’s 118

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expectation, memories, and acceptance of such stories.”34 This strategy could be used to shape opinion and even show how a ruler corrects the errors of other regimes. Now for the examples. These range from brief mentions of past texts and figures to what may look to us like apparent plagiarism. The selections demonstrate Anna’s rhetorical practice of using history in the service of her narrative arguments and give readers the flavor of a work in which the whole business of running and defending an empire is thoroughly rhetorical. I begin with an episode from book 6, a book that is challenging in its dizzying shifts of geography and scenes of battle, with Emperor Alexios defending his territories on many fronts. It takes place in the 1080s—Anna has just described the scene of her own birth in December 1083, the decade before the First Crusade. Alexios faces various Turkish enemies, who also engage in quarrels among themselves. One of them, Apelkhasem, controls Nicea and “coveted the scepter of the Roman Empire.” When Apelkhasem is defeated, Alexios, “expert in winning the heart of a man,”35 negotiates a peace and invites him to Constantinople. The emperor distracts his guest with gifts and with public games “in the theatre built long ago by Constantine the Great” while secretly building a stronghold that will help him defeat other Turkish enemies in the region. Anna writes: “A similar anecdote is recorded about Alkibiades.36 He too in the same way deluded the Spartans when they had not agreed to the rebuilding of Athens after its destruction by the Persians. . . . The Spartans only heard of the restoration of Athens after the ruse had fully succeeded. The Paeanian,37 in one of his speeches, recalls this beautiful trick. My father’s scheme was indeed like it, but it was much more strategically astute [stratēgikōteron] than that of Alkibiades, for by humouring the barbarian, . . . he allowed the job to be finished.”38 This is a case in which an episode both imitates and is given authority by Thucydides and Demosthenes. Anna apparently works from memory and here mistakes Themistocles for Alkibiades. It is tempting to see in this mistake the shadow of the kind of progymnasmatic training I describe, with its selective reading and remembering of Thucydides. More importantly, she makes her case for Alexios as a great general by showing him as surpassing another whom her audience will recognize. We may also note that she connects his city to its Christian founder, Constantine the Great, with whom she compares him in other passages later in the history. So she builds her narrative of Alexios out of the long classical past as well as Christian history. Just after this Thucydidean episode, Anna pauses her narrative to reflect on geographic history. The Byzantines, who were Greek speakers, referred 119

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to themselves as Romans (Rōmaioi). Thus, she refers to Alexios’s territories as the Roman Empire, the continuation of the empire whose capital was moved to Byzantion by Constantine in the fourth century. Here, she reflects on the extensive territory of its past and the currently diminished empire that Alexios has taken over and is attempting to restore: There was a time when the frontiers of Roman power were the two pillars at the limits of east and west—the so-­called Pillars of Herakles in the west and those of Dionysos39 not far from the Indian border in the east. As far as its extent was concerned, it is impossible to say how great was the power of Rome; it included Egypt, Meroë, all the land of the Troglodytes, the countries near the Torrid Zone;40 on the other side, the famous Thule and all the peoples who live in the region of the north, over whom is the Pole Star. But at the time we are speaking of, the boundary of Roman power on the east was our neighbour the Bosphorus, and on the west the town of Adrianoupolis. The Emperor Alexios, fighting two-­fisted against barbarians who attacked him on either flank, manoeuvred round Byzantion, the centre of his circle as it were, and proceeded to broaden the empire; on the west the frontier became the Adriatic Sea, on the east the Euphrates and Tigris.41

In this remarkable passage, Anna describes a time, distant from her own, when the Roman Empire (Rōmaiōn hēgemonias) comprised the known civilized world and a recent time when it had been reduced almost to Constantinople itself. She uses place-­names from antiquity that function, one might say, as memes (in the Greek sense of mimēmata, imitated things) that allow her to link her world to the Greek hegemony prior to the western Roman Empire (the one anchored in the city of Rome), giving it a doubly illustrious history. It is reminiscent of the Athenian hegemony and of the territories of Alexander. So the passage speaks more than it says for an audience who would have recognized the geography through knowledge of Greek literature of antiquity and through epitomes and commentaries on ancient geography.42 As in Greek novels of the Roman imperial period, popular in Anna’s day, the present city of Rome itself is in effect absent and a more ancient culture dominates.43 So the passage invites Anna’s audiences to an identification of the sort described by Walker, an identification with “a glorious past with which they remained ‘contemporary.’”44 When Anna writes about peoples from the European west, on the other hand, she calls them Celts, Normans, and Latins, who “had long coveted the Roman Empire.”45 120

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Alexios faces enemies among the Romans as well as from outside. Anna’s narratives of internal struggle are frequently performed through imitative gestures that invite her audiences to recognition and to comparison with histories of previous emperors. In one of the most richly elaborated episodes of the work, Anna represents Alexios contending with a plot on his life by Nikephoros Diogenes, a son of Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes—the latter defeated and captured during a disastrous battle at Manzikert in 1071— which was partly responsible for the diminished state of the empire that Alexios took over. She offers a long backstory of Alexios’s care for Romanos’s royal sons, in spite of which Nikephoros harbors designs on the throne. While this story may be illegible for us, Anna’s readers would likely recognize that with this material she rewrites, merges, and transforms scenes from the Chronographia of scholar-­rhetor Psellos concerning two previous emperors. In the first scene, Diogenes makes several attempts on Alexios’s life as he sleeps in his tent. Anna’s text recalls Psellos’s representation of his favorite emperor, Constantine IX, as foolishly careless of similar threats.46 In the second, Anna offers an ekphrasis depicting a sunrise confrontation between Alexios with his loyalists and the aristocrats won over by Nikephoros in a battleground tent. The tent scene is a topos of military history writing.47 But in describing the dawn, the tent, the restive soldiers, the throne, and the expression worn by the emperor, Anna closely follows Psellos’s very sentences in his scene concerning Emperor Michael  VI.48 The apparent plagiarism stages a subtle comparison. In Psellos, the emperor loses his throne to Isaac Komnenos (Alexios’s uncle) after agreeing to an amnesty, one brokered by Psellos himself. In Anna’s narrative, it is Alexios who addresses the rebels, reminding his audience (and Anna’s readers) that the diminished empire that he took over was in part due to Nikephoros Diogenes’s father: “‘You know,’ he said, ‘that Diogenes has never suffered ill at my hands. It was not I who deprived his father of this empire, but someone else entirely. . . . Moreover, when, by the will of God alone, I became ruler of the empire not only did I give my protection equally to him and his brother Leo, but I loved them and treated them as my own children. Every time that I caught Nikephoros plotting against me I forgave him.’”49 When Alexios’s hearers approve these words, “he seize[s] on the opportunity” (ton kairon), grants an amnesty to Nikephoros’s troops, and maintains his power.50 So the imitative ekphrasis is coded, an example of eschēmatismenos logos, figured discourse. That is, for a learned audience, the Nikephoros Diogenesepisode also argues more than it says. It tactfully and without direct assertion uses history to recall the state of the empire that Alexios took over, the weaknesses of previous emperors, 121

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and the strength of Alexios and his imperial uncle. It constructs a positive comparison of Alexios with those emperors and shows his generous winning over of those who threaten his rule from within. The ekphrasis is not only pictorially vivid, bringing a scene clearly before the eyes, it is historically layered. The composite picture uses Psellos’s episode to new purpose and may even contend with his history. For Psellos suggests that none of the emperors of his time were without evil tendencies, while he never misses a moment to promote his own rhetorical prowess as a wise counselor to them.51 In the Isaac-­Michael negotiations, he says, “we were filled with unspeakable joy to think that by our oratory and wisdom we had made some contribution to our country’s welfare.”52 Anna imitates his work but responds with her portrait of a thoroughly heroic and pious Alexios, as adept in speech as on the battlefield. If, as Susan Jarratt suggests in this volume, ekphrasis may be a world-­building enterprise, here the world and legacy of Alexios are built of a double past both of events and rhetorical abilities. Another example draws attention not to the sharp composite but to whispers of history and rhetorics of writing history that nonetheless carry argumentative force. The most extended single passage describing a person in the Alexiad does not concern the emperor himself but his mother, Anna Dalassene. Early in the work, when Alexios has just come to power and immediately finds it necessary to go out from Constantinople on campaign, he hands complete control of the government at home to her. Anna notes that “the reader may well censure [Alexios] for transferring the government of the empire to the women’s quarters.”53 How, then, had people historically written about significant and powerful women? Anna addresses and justifies her grandmother’s position through no less than four elements of discourses in the repertoire. In the first place, there is Byzantine historical precedent for the fact of the matter. Psellos had introduced Empress Theodora, who assumed “authority in all matters of government” in 1055. “Everyone agreed that for the Roman Empire to be governed by a woman, instead of a man, was improper. . . . But if one removes this single objection, one must say that in everything else the Empire prospered.”54 Like Theodora, Anna Dalassene, a powerful speaker, makes decisions, issues decrees written and unwritten, appoints officials, and gives orders. Second, Anna Komnene makes use of the abundant topoi for praising virtuous women, which extend back through saints’ lives, funeral speeches, sermons, and histories. These include modesty and quiet speech, generosity to guests and the poor, care for the household, maternal care, ascetical practices and monastic life, and virtue surpassing 122

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even that of men.55 Anna Dalassene, given all of these qualities of ideal women, was “a very great credit to her own gender, [and] to men as well” and “surpassed the famous women of old, heroines of many a legend, just as the sun outshines all the stars.”56 Third, we read that Anna Dalassene dreamed of a monastic life, and, “despite this longing in her heart, despite the total preoccupation with a higher life[,] . . . she desired to guide the ship of state on the best possible course.”57 So this woman, drawn into governing by her son, shows a very careful balance of practical, administrative powers and religious fervor, like the thinkers of Anna Komnene’s circle mentioned at the start of this chapter. While a comparison with a nonroyal woman may not be fully apt, it is difficult not to think of Psellos’s encomium for his mother, a woman who was at first “drawn to the pursuit of learning by the loveliness of words themselves and a desire for practical activity” but moved in the opposite direction increasingly into a fiercely ascetic life.58 Psellos in this speech credits his education to his mother but makes a case for his own decision to pursue rhetorical culture and public life rather than follow her religious example. Anna may also be making a case for the same by showing Anna Dalassene’s “exceptional grasp of public affairs,” her “genius for organization and government,” and her “command of language.”59 Finally, the whole passage displays a keen awareness of how historians write history. Anna says, for example, “Now if some orator had decided to make [Anna Dalassene] the subject of a panegyric, they would no doubt have exalted her and praised her to the skies, as is the way of encomiasts. . . . But such licence is not for the writer of history.”60 In this she once again writes like Psellos, who also distinguishes between these “two forms of literature whose subject-­matter is incompatible.”61 A different kind of imitative gesture is offered by the fact that she introduces Anna Dalassene’s role by quoting the imperial document through which Alexios gives her power. “I myself will set out the terms of this document.”62 Somewhat unusual in Byzantine histories, this practice of quotation may have been adopted from Eusebius’s work on the life of the emperor Constantine. And this returns us to the matter of precedent. Buckley shows that some of Anna Dalassene’s qualities are markedly similar to those given by Eusebius to another mother-­ figure, Helena, the mother of Constantine I.63 The whispers of this saintly forebear include the imperial authority and power over the treasury given to her as she travels through the eastern provinces.64 Toward the end of the Alexiad, Anna attaches to Alexios epithets and allusions both Christian and Hellenic. He is a wily, Homeric strategist and a Moses leading his army like a pillar of fire.65 He is increasingly shown 123

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fighting heresies and converting peoples and is now directly linked to Constantine I, the great Christian founder of his city: “[Alexios] alone made use of arms and words alike, for with arms he conquered [enemies] and by his arguments he subdued the ungodly. . . . And I myself would call him the thirteenth apostle. Some would ascribe that honor to Constantine the Great; however, it seems to me that either Alexios ought to be ranked with Emperor Constantine, or, if someone quarrelled with that, he should follow immediately after Constantine in both roles—Alexios as emperor and as apostle.”66 Buckley shows that Byzantine historians tended to round out their works on imperial lives with building programs and city work, memorials to emperors’ charity or piety and reminiscences of Constantine I’s new Jerusalem.67 Anna Komnene similarly rounds out the Alexiad with two extraordinary city scenes, taking up this historiographic tradition. This first is not a literal city but a military formation on the move. Alexios has taken the city of Philomelion and gives refuge to Roman inhabitants fleeing their enemies. These are gathered into a formation and taken toward Constantinople in perfect safety: “Anyone who had seen it would have said that this new arrangement or the force which I have described was a living organism, a moving, fortified town.”68 That a history in the tradition of Thucydides, Polybius, and even Psellos describes a military formation is quite standard,69 and Anna shows her awareness of this kind of writing. But she suggests that this city on the march is something entirely of Alexios’ invention: “The reader will probably imagine that this is the kind of thing mentioned by every historian and poet. But this particular formation really was unprecedented, causing universal astonishment, such as no one had ever seen before, unrecorded by any historian for the benefit of future generations.”70 She invites readers to remember their history and to see that here the usual topos is transformed. The formation, while in motion, appears immobile and while halting appears on the march. Within this mobile city are former prisoners, women, and children, all protected by Alexios. He halts the whole for the birth of a child, visits the dying, has priests administer sacraments, and invites the weary and elderly to his table. He is thoroughly Constantinian in his care.71 In the finale, Anna shows Alexios reaching Constantinople and building a new city inside the capital. This is a sanctuary for the poor, widows, children, and the blind and lame. The centerpiece is an orphanage, where the young are to be treated “not as slaves but as free children,” trained in scripture and given “a good general education” (tēn enkuklion ekpaideuesthai paideian).72 Anna invokes city builders and comments on education in the 124

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grammar school: “The famous Alexander of Macedon might well boast of Alexandria in Egypt, Boukephale in Media and Lysimakhia in Ethiopia, but the Emperor Alexios found more pleasure and pride in this Orphanage than in any of the towns he founded, which we know were built by him all over the empire. . . . You might see a Latin being trained over there; or a Scythian learning Greek; or a Roman handling Greek texts; or an illiterate Greek discovering how to speak his own language correctly—such was Alexios’ profound interest in furthering the study of our culture.”73 The passage ends with Anna’s own comment on education, and perhaps this is the moment referenced by Tornikes in his eulogy of Anna, with which this chapter began: “Today these sublime studies are considered not even of secondary importance; the poets and even the historians together with the experience to be derived from them, are denied their rightful place. . . . I say this because it grieves me to see the total neglect of general education [enkukliou paideu­ seōs]. It makes my blood boil, for I myself spent much time on these same exercises. After liberation from the elementary studies I devoted myself to rhetoric, touched on philosophy and in the midst of these sciences eagerly turned to the poets and historians. . . . These personal reminiscences, by the way, are not superfluous: they are intended to reinforce my argument for a general education.”74 By saying that these remarks are not superfluous (kai mē ek tou parergou), not beside the subject, Anna claims for her father’s reign an attention to rhetorical education since lost and perhaps offers a suggestion about how to read her history. Scholars have noted that she makes her rhetorical writing of history parallel to Alexios’s manner of ruling the empire.75 If the Alexiad makes an argument for Alexios as an emperor savvier and more upright than the earlier emperors and for her history as more truthful than inflated panegyrics of later ones, the case is made through history. Anna reminds her readers to remember their history and performs passages of history that invite them to recognitions of material subtly transformed to offer them different perspectives.

Today’s Writers Is it thinkable that the rhetoric of a royal princess describing and defending an imperial regime could speak to our pedagogical moment? We may share her Psellos-­like commitment to rhetoric for civic purposes and her father’s experiences of a range of languages, laws, religions, and ideas of governance. But our urgent need to decolonize, value diversity, and include marginalized voices and languages could not be more different from the performed 125

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identifications of Byzantine theatra. Using history today also raises difficult questions about disciplinary inquiry, knowledge making, and verifying sources, questions encapsulated well in the title of Sam Wineburg’s book Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone).76 Yet some scholars in the humanities call for a new, principled “presentism” that views the past and present as “mutually constitutive and meaningfully connected” and for readings of the past that permit reframings of the now and future.77 Thus, to imagine together Byzantium’s history-­laden authoring and today’s student writers may require what Kenneth Burke calls “perspective by incongruity.” This generative concept, most fully described in Permanence and Change,78 involves methodical misnaming by transferring or translating terms or concepts from one context, action, scene, group, discipline, or era into another, even in inappropriate or startling ways. Among the kinds of perspectives by incongruity, Burke offers the idea of conversions upward and downward.79 Translating upward involves ennobling, magnifying, or enlarging import by describing a lesser thing/person/event/attitude through grander language (or, where imitation exercises are concerned, we might add changing unpolished language to something more accomplished, elegant, or pleasing).80 Translating downward involves diminishing, or decreasing import through lesser language—less fearful, less virtuous, less elegant, and so on. Both moves may be history laden (speaking of Alexios as a Constantine or of Joe Biden as an FDR or describing a lauded war as petty vengeance), requiring knowledge of past situations. I suggest that Burke’s perspective by congruity may be useful for imagining a mimetic-­historical pedagogy in several ways. First, as David Fleming argues with respect to the progymnasmata today, their relevance is not in the particular exercises as laid out by Aphthonius or Theon but in “the very idea” behind them, making rhetoric a program “whose end product is neither a text nor a skill . . . but a set of deep-­seated verbal habits and dispositions oriented to public effectiveness and virtue.”81 Similarly, we might think not of emulating Anna’s particular history-­invoking moves but of the very idea of using history “for exercises and argument,” translated or transformed, used incongruously for our current scene. Second, to transfer or translate past events, actions, or arguments into a current setting is itself a kind of perspective by incongruity, as we saw in Anna’s composite picture of the Byzantine Empire as an ancient empire of Greek origin or of Alexios preserving his throne, shown through language that described how an emperor lost his throne. Robert Terrill argues in fact that mimetic pedagogy cultivates “a faculty of perspective taking.”82 126

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Fleming and Terrill, among the foremost advocates for a transformed imitative pedagogy to encourage civic engagement, illustrate such new perspectives. Fleming asks what contemporary students need to know to become rhetorical.83 In a re-­envisioned approach to topoi, he crafts categories that “catch” knowledge about how people talk and have talked about a matter. These categories focus the attention not only on strategy but also on content, not only generalizable forms but also particularities. That is, he aims not to privilege, as much imitative pedagogy does, formal or content-­free patterns of structural architecture (such as enthymemes, comparison and contrast, sentence patterns, or structures for essay writing) abstracted from the situated discourses and endoxa of communities. Instead, his example offers a casebook of discourses that are resonant in an American civic repertoire, isolates elements of which they are made, and initiates the analysis, imitation, and critique of these as rhetorical information, much as Isocrates would have done.84 His approach transforms historical content and formal strategies to an in-­between and highly unusual category of rhetorical knowledge: here are ways of talking that are specific to these texts and also generalizable in current American life. More recently, Terrill notes that a diverse context complicates the long-­ standing fear that imitation may silence individual voices and creativity and especially so where imitation is envisioned as a dyad—a student working with an exemplary text and creating another that emulates its best elements. He prefers the metaphor of a rhetorical ecology in which all texts carry the imprint of others85 (as they surely did for Byzantine writers), a perspective in keeping with the multiple and multivalent voices of democracy. To this he adds another modification, troubling the notion that students ought to emulate texts from their betters, those more accomplished, eloquent, learned, revered, and—often—more privileged. In contrast to such conversions upward, he advocates a horizontal conception in which students study and emulate outward through exemplars from heterogeneous locations and modalities, cultivating “perspectival flexibility.”86 Terrill’s horizontal imitation adds a third dimension that may be most important of all for our moment and together with Fleming’s work gives direction for imitative pedagogy. Writing a year and a half into the COVID-­19 pandemic, when everything has been shattered and wrenching brutality against citizens and newcomers is too common, histories that move horizontally into people’s near and distant stories now seem critical to education for civic life. This idea crystalized for me recently as I read journalist Marcela Valdes’s “A Forgotten Promise,” a piece about current residents of the United States under the 127

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Temporary Status Program and the antecedents that drive migration. She writes, “I began working on this article in 2019 because I was struck by how little people talked about Central American history when they discussed our immigration crisis. But the past is never really past. The consequences of Cold War policies are still with us today”87 (as the consequences of Manzikert were for Alexios’s armies). Her claim surely invites transformations of the question at issue. Another crystalizing moment came shortly after the murder of George Floyd. While the news was flooded with images of violence in Minneapolis, I wondered aloud, “Where are the moral voices?” As they began to emerge, I noted that they were the people who could speak out of their own and family and community memories about antecedents to this moment of crisis. Thus, to Terrill’s notion that horizontal imitation might be “realigned, so that instead of striving upward toward some imagined ideal of eloquence, students strive outward, into unfamiliar perspectives,”88 I would add a notion of incorporating histories not only from credentialed historians but also from journalists, memoirists, and eyewitnesses.89 In the examples of this chapter, Anna Komnene demonstrates knowledge of how people wrote about military strategy, geography, negotiations of leadership, powerful persons, and the marks of a legacy. She imitates such writing and transforms it for her purposes—to set the record straight, to describe her father’s defense and care of the empire, and to praise him. As part of our disciplinary history, her work suggests not only that effective writing can be learned by imitating vocabularies, forms, and structures but that civic purposes are enabled by the ways people talked and wrote about particular situations in the near and distant past. In her writing and in Fleming’s and Terrill’s very different teaching scenes there is, then, a hermeneutic dimension in the encounter of past and present. Our students are likely to find in past texts situations and ways of talking about them that are alien or not at all to their purposes or vocabularies that exclude or that open newly onto their experiences. To speak or write with and against these—imitating with a difference—is less a matter of creativity or restraint than of authoring and of authorizing one’s views and circumstances. The same may be said of pedagogy. If, as Walker argues, “what makes rhetoric rhetoric is its teaching tradition,” the tradition, too, may benefit from imitation with differences for our time.90


9 chap ter 7 0

A Small Communicability Dale Martin Smith

In a recent poem, critic and poet Fred Moten, in collaboration with Fernando Zalamea and Tania Bruguera, asks, “What if what the people suffer ain’t large absence but small noncommunicabilities? Let’s say, with regard to poetry, or music, that small communicability is sound.”1 The emphasis on the small and on sound draws attention to the bodily and physical, the sensuous relation of meaning through the materiality of voice, body, and gesture. The authors suggest that a “small communicability” is not insignificant to an exchange of meaning and, in fact, aids in the affective and attitudinal connections that sustain more overt forms of reasoned discourse. Communicability, Moten explains elsewhere, is “spooky resonance, phantom hapticality, haptical sociality.”2 It is the tactile and sensuous relations established at thresholds of feeling and understanding. Communicability resonates with infectious rhythm, internalizing gestures of speech, sound, and kinetic acts. It is an experience of lived conditions formalized in bodily transmission and reception. Moten addresses the concerns of Black lives, music, poetry, and performance, and as such, his arguments on behalf of Black sociality and aesthetics can enhance how we understand the relationship of art and rhetoric in contemporary culture. Unlike forensic or deliberative modes of rhetoric, where these aspects of communicability are often overlooked in epistemological arguments and public demonstrations, the epideictic mode, where the sensuous range of rhetoric is most on display, is the area of communicability textured by complex and discrete soundings of everyday experience. Contemporary life is striated with communicability in physical and digital imagery, texts, sounds, gestures, and social etiquettes that reaffirm and condition participation in the larger functional structures of society. I contend in this chapter that art and performance, as aspects of epideictic, heighten awareness to the social textures of contemporary culture and that, by holding

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attention through art and performance, we affirm or reject socially held beliefs and values. Important, too, is a question that comes to me often: How is a sense of wonderment sustained in the neoliberal circumstances of twenty-­ first-­century political and economic organization? Laurent Pernot suggests a sense of wonder, certainly of pleasure, accompanied displays of praise in Imperial Rome. The encomium, indeed, was a key feature of expression necessary to public life. Encomia recognized emperors and other political figures; the genre fulfilled ceremonial roles in a world that valued public and private ritual. Epideictic eloquence could be enjoyed for its own sake, but speeches, however confirmed through a determined aesthetic, directed aims beyond “art for the sake of art.”3 Pernot suggests, however, that the realm of epideictic does overlap with poetry, music, drama, dance, and other arts. While literature and drama, for instance, are often understood to occupy a place beyond, or in some way anterior to, rhetoric, persuasion remains key to creative making, an observation Kenneth Burke argues throughout his work.4 By acknowledging the epideictic mode in modern and contemporary contexts as an area of communicability that is embodied and formally persuasive, the textures and sounds and visual fields of our experience enter the persuasive contexts of sociability.

On Epideictic More than twenty years ago, Jeffrey Walker’s revisionist undertaking in Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity argued for the centrality of the epideictic mode of rhetoric as a foundational and pervasive aspect of public communication. His work revised the standard story that rhetoricians often like to tell about argumentation, reasoning, and civic discourse as the foundational roots of their discipline. Instead, Walker argues for the nonrational felt dimensions of communicative contexts that prepare the way for deliberative speech. His emphasis on epideictic as the primary rhetorical mode of antiquity, drawing on the examples of Isocrates and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, among others, renewed outlooks on rhetoric’s pervasive power in contemporary social and cultural contexts, articulating how rhetorical artifacts, public performance, and creative approaches to pedagogy enliven rhetoric’s potential in many discursive and nondiscursive forms. While much has been made of the deliberative and forensic modes of Aristotelian rhetoric, the epideictic mode remains a complex area of rhetorical study for a number of reasons. Perhaps one key reason is that epideictic rhetoric often relies, for communicative effectiveness, on sonic, rhythmic, visual, and haptic elements that 130

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are as important, if not more so, than forceful civic argumentation. Sonic, rhythmic, visual, and haptic elements are frequently addressed in the institutional contexts of literature, music, art history, and theater. Recent scholars, however, like Steph Ceraso (sound and composition), Joshua Gunn (voice, recording technologies, and the occult), Debra Hawhee (bodies and kinesis), and Robert Hariman and John Lucaites (visual rhetoric) exemplify a turn in rhetoric and communication scholarship that focuses on nonrational elements described by Moten in terms of communicability.5 The shared felt experiences of a public body are shaped through many convergent forms: familial stories, commercial entertainment, popular music, art, theater, and elements of poetry and fiction coincide with dominant public narratives, often altering them. It is hard, for instance, to imagine congressional debate and approval of civil rights legislation outside of the larger cultural expansion of jazz, rhythm and blues, folk, and rock in the 1960s. Similarly, films like Easy Rider (1969) and Zabriskie Point (1970) brought the visual and dramatic textures of American subcultures to large audiences. Popular authors like Joan Didion documented the nonrational impulses that shaped the period in The White Album. How was it possible, she wondered, for a technological and consumer-­based society to also include members of Pentecostal religions and alternative subcultures, sometimes with violent impulses? Didion wanted to understand how one’s commitments to oneself and to others communicated narratives that were at odds with established public dialogues. Answers were not to be found in demonstrations of public speech but in the textures of shared experience and in elaborations of inchoate forms of belief and desire through the art and secular ceremonies of the period. Such ceremonies, Didion suggested, could include criminal interrogation, studio production of popular music, private parties, news conferences, personal conversations, and gossip and commentary generated by events like the August 1969 murders of Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, and others at Cielo Drive.6 According to Walker, the Greek concept of epideiktikon contrasted with the practical discourse, or pragmatikon, of Greek public life. As ceremonial and ritual discourse, it was understood by Aristotle, Walker argues, to include “panegyric speeches, epic and lyric poetry, philosophy, and history.” But it is, essentially, a “sophistic” understanding of the term that Walker stresses. “Epideiktikon,” he argues, “came to include everything that modernity has tended to describe as ‘literature.’”7 For Walker, “in every case, the function of epideictic in its nonpragmatic setting is a suasive ‘demonstration,’ display, or showing-­forth (epideixis) of things, leading its audience of 131

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theōroi to contemplation (theōria) and insight and ultimately to the formation of opinions and desires on matters of philosophical, social, ethical, and cultural concern.”8 Epideictic is, moreover, “that which shapes and cultivates the basic codes of value and belief by which society or culture lives; it shapes the ideologies and imageries with which, and by which, the individual members of a community identify themselves; and, perhaps most significantly, it shapes the fundamental grounds, the ‘deep’ commitments and presuppositions, that will underlie and ultimately determine decision and debate in particular pragmatic forms.” But epideictic suasion does more than affirm beliefs and desire. According to Walker, it “can also work to challenge or transform conventional beliefs” (9). As a definition, “epideiktikon is the rhetoric of belief and desire.”9 In this essay, I explore two episodes in modern and contemporary poetics to show how epideictic communication has been used in recent historical contexts. I argue that Walker’s claims for the epideiktikon are important for understanding how a rhetorical poetics in the twentieth and twenty-­first centuries have been used to address belief and desire in diverse communities and at specific moments. I also reflect on how creative writing can be approached as a discipline for understanding the ways literature contributes to the textures of society that give shape and value within specific communities. Together, rhetorical scholarship and poetics can help students understand the value of epideictic communicability not as expressions of literary forms or cultural periodization but as specifically designed works aimed to achieve common goals that influence the values of a larger public culture. My focus on two African American poets and activists, Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) and Harmony Holiday, allows me to give examples of poetry engaging particular communities and involved with the terms and recent histories of Black experience in North America. Both authors not only display civic or social intent, but they also possess a strong aesthetic purpose, shaping the felt experience of readers and auditors to help them better comprehend the historical trauma of slavery and its aftermath, particularly in the period of civil rights legislation. The poet, dramatist, and activist Amiri Baraka confronted the institutional prejudices of white America through performative possibilities available to him as a public figure in 1960s Newark, New Jersey. I treat him as a rhetor whose work repeatedly engaged public culture through a blend of poetry, diatribe, ritual speech, and musical utterance. His reimagining of the terms of community for African Americans is primarily displayed through epideictic texts that connect communities in a shared vernacular identification with forms of Black speech 132

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and style. Communication, for Baraka, is built on commitment to others, a willingness to investigate and take on performative elements others recognize in themselves. Communal bonds reinforced by epideixis connect readers and auditors to new outlooks, inviting an expansion of worldviews in order to better comprehend the potential effects of public actions beyond an immediate community of individuals joined together through shared interests. In more recent cultural settings, the poet and choreographer Harmony Holiday has revised how we understand public culture by scrutinizing the past in provocative and performative ways. I draw attention to Holiday because her writing establishes a persuasive encounter with US cultural history through a sampling of fragments of speeches, images, advertising, and other media forms. I also reflect on how Holiday’s work has helped me teach creative writing courses using rhetorical objectives that direct student attention to areas of public culture and historical conflict. Helping students understand how sensuous textures of personal and familial experience inform their commitments to others enables them to create works of poetry and performance that encounter forms of public narrative and dialogue. As courses in composition and creative writing still represent areas of growth in English programs across North America, I draw attention to how epideictic informs common pedagogical goals to help students achieve strong identities as writers while also developing critical awareness of the cultures in which they live.

Amiri Baraka’s Stylistic Opportunity I begin with a writer of diverse appeal, vehement contradiction, and cultural significance. A year before Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, the Black Arts activist, author, music scholar, and polemicist LeRoi Jones began calling himself Imamu Amiri Baraka, a name inspired by the Afrocentric cultural politics of Maulana Karenga,10 and was beaten (nearly to death) and arrested for his involvement in the 1967 Newark Riots (a conviction was reversed on appeal). Unlike King, Baraka agitated for violent social change, encouraging looters in New York to “rip these stores off ” during the Northeast Blackout of 1965.11 For the celebrated dramatist and poet who once associated with Beat authors like Allen Ginsberg and other mostly white writers and artists of New York City’s Lower East Side and Greenwich Village, violence was more of a provocative display of rage than a pragmatic action. “All our politics were confused,” he says in his 1984 Autobiography, pointing out the diversity of Black Nationalist views in 133

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the 1960s.12 Baraka helped found the Black Arts movement as a program for Black separatist cultural education and social empowerment. Other nationalist groups were prominent in Black communities, like the grassroots activist Garveyites, the cultural nationalist Nation of Islam and the Yoruba Temple, and the leftists militant Progressive Labor Party. “There was, as in any large urban black community,” Baraka observes, “all kinds of promises and all kinds of frustration and bitterness. . . . The Black Arts itself was a pastiche of so many things, so many styles and ideologies.”13 The conflicting separatist politics of the Black Nationalist community permitted vehement agitation, and in this period, Baraka began to exploit urban electoral politics, helping to elect in 1970 Newark’s first Black mayor.14 While Baraka’s political advocacy took many forms, including an ambitious attempt “to build low-­and moderate-­income housing,” called Kawaida Towers, for Black residents only, his encouragement of African American self-­ determination in relation to a larger national culture left long-­lasting effects on Black social identification and on the scholarship of African American critics.15 Baraka drew attention to modes of civic conduct by highlighting commonplace attitudes among African Americans and by invigorating the daily attunements of Black lives to the alternative cultural realities of “New Ark,” his biblical appellation for Newark, New Jersey, a new Black city, imagined in terms of the mythical Dogon civilization of Wagadu, that would serve as a sanctuary for Black culture in America. Baraka’s poetry of this period aligned with his pragmatic social actions in Newark. Poems like “Black Art,” written in 1965 in response to the assassination of Malcolm X, challenged aesthetic uses of poetry through modes of vernacular speech that are meant to empower civic performance. Whether addressing a Newark court or reading in community settings from his poetry, Baraka used challenging literary and public forms of communication to reach potential auditors who could support his vision of social change.16 While his work in diverse modes of address was not consciously conceived according to explicit rhetorical programs of delivery, his writing attempted to join individual understanding and public action through compelling forms of creative and activist expression. “Poems are bullshit unless they are / teeth or trees or lemons piled / on a step,” he writes in “Black Art,” drawing attention to the pragmatic and discursive function of a poetics aimed explicitly at social action. His poem refuses the style of activist propaganda or sloganeering aimed at the conditions of white supremacy that Black Americans encountered in the period, instead directly articulating with vernacular and nonstandard syntactic usage the civic rage shared by many Black Americans. 134

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He addresses the terms of desire for political change by undermining traditional functions of art with statements designed to motivate civic action and shape public feeling in Black communities. “We want ‘poems that kill,’” he says. “Assassin poems, poems that shoot / guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys / and take their weapons leaving them dead.”17 “Black Art” was explicitly developed for performative effect on an audience as indicated by an audio performance of the poem on drummer Sonny Murray’s 1967 debut album titled Sonny’s Time Now.18 The lines between art and public function meet in performative contexts as Baraka gives voice to the rage and refusal of the violent social and political impositions of white cultural supremacy.19 Looking at this written artifact more than fifty years later, there is a sense of purpose that mixes art with explicit public statement aimed at inspiring or inflaming auditors and readers. “Black Art” gives voice to shared feelings that may not find public articulation without the occasion of the communicability of poetry to bring into observation those subtle and not-­so-­subtle daily degradations and humiliations experienced by Black Americans in the civil rights period of social change. “Black Art” goes further though, not only acknowledging the obvious threats of white supremacy but also challenging Black leaders who conform to white cultural expectations for communicative and performative advantage. “There’s a negroleader pinned to / a bar stool in Sardi’s,” Baraka writes, “eyeballs melting / in hot flame Another negroleader / on the steps of the white house one / kneeling between the sheriff ’s thighs / negotiating cooly for his people.”20 With the image of “a negroleader,” Baraka creates distance between the empty gestures of civic performance and a more expansive embrace of Blackness that he sees as a source of power for his auditors and readers. “We want a black poem,” he writes. “And a / Black World. / Let the world be a Black Poem / And Let All Black People Speak This Poem / Silently / or LOUD.”21 In moving to the plural personal pronoun, Baraka ends the poem by seeking an identification with his readers, urging them to accept active communicative and social possibilities of speech, performance, and identification with forms of cultural awareness. The “Black World” as a “Black Poem” becomes an ideal outlook by which to imagine and enact new social possibilities and behaviors empowered by creative means. Creativity in this case extends from the act of writing or performance to acknowledge outlooks and everyday actions that reinforce modes of communicability in Black separatist struggle. Political change for Baraka does not come through the mediatized images of Black leaders in significant cultural settings but through the hard work of everyday people confronting the realities of their 135

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thoughts, feelings, actions, and behaviors as they are measured against structures of racial conditioning in North America. “Black Art,” however, like most of Baraka’s other provocative texts of the period should be read in the larger context of civil rights discourse brought to national awareness by Martin Luther King Jr. and other prominent liberal Black leaders. Keith Miller, in an essay on rhetorical scholarship devoted to King, draws attention to rhetoric in the civil rights period that “includes speeches, sermons, newsletters, news releases, and press conferences; the music and lyrics of spirituals, hymns, gospel songs, and repurposed pop hits; and photographs and streaming television images conveyed on nightly newscasts.”22 He also includes the vast archive of eyewitness accounts of demonstrations and activism, African American political autobiographies and memoirs, and other textual and visual documents as part of a larger rhetorical field that prepared the public reception of King’s nationally broadcast “I Have a Dream” speech. The archive of civil rights texts provides a rich source for rhetorical criticism’s potential to address a history of the period. Such a history focuses not only on political and social outcomes but also on forms of speech and civic address mixed with performative and creative gestures of public encounter through poetry, music, visual art, and street theater. These types of speech and performative gesture can be encountered as examples of epideictic rhetoric insofar as they frequently are delivered to produce social or political effects that influence belief and desire. Baraka alone produced numerous genres of texts and explored divergent political positions as a municipal and national leader in Newark, locally, and in New York and other urban areas throughout the United States and beyond.23 While he is known primarily as a dramatist and poet in modern and contemporary literary studies, his social and political programs were effective in an emancipatory cultural moment, and the work he achieved as an activist furthered the boundaries of literary genre, polemic, and performance, all areas that can be explored rhetorically through a better understanding of epideictic in modern situations.24 By adapting diverse formal registers for particular rhetorical effects and specific audiences (as poet, dramatist, music critic, political activist, organizer, essayist, and performer), Baraka inspired a reception for a separatist cultural program, which instructed African Americans to reclaim cultural origin and to appreciate elements of Black ethnicity that signified social and political realities distinct from a larger national (white) culture. While his textual oeuvre is eclectic, it is performed with rhetorical purpose to achieve an effect; it is not organized by an ornamented aesthetic but is instead attentive to the diversity of 136

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communicative possibilities extant in Black communities. Those possibilities for Baraka were latent in the speech, sound, and physical performativity of Blackness, an evolved apparatus of communicative social tools with origins in West Africa and in the years of US-­sanctioned slavery. Writing as LeRoi Jones in Blues People, a study of “negro music in white America,” Baraka argues for the expression of a defining attitude, or stance, directed through works of art to activate specific worldviews. Indeed, Baraka’s establishment of authority is based on proofs of his commitments to forms of Black culture, philosophy, art, and mythology. To be rhetorically effective for the Black communities he addresses in a period of anxiety and anger after the assassinations of Malcolm X and King, Baraka acknowledges tensions in civil rights platforms and offers a radical possibility for Black separatist identification. He also recognizes the complexity of shared pathways of knowledge in the shaping of an authoritative ethos, arguing, “There is no one way of thinking since reference (hence value) is as scattered and dissimilar as men themselves.” One’s cultural position, he argues, is value laden, so that in the context of jazz and African American cultural history, “Negro music can be seen to be the result of certain attitudes, certain specific ways of thinking about the world (and only ultimately about the ways in which music can be made).” For Baraka, “the white musician understood the blues first as music, but seldom as an attitude, since the attitude, or world-­ view, the white musician was responsible to was necessarily quite a different one.”25 If art and life are inseparable, as he argues, stylistic decisions can enact commonly held beliefs and experiences through the communal norms of everyday social interactions; the bearing of attitudes in the conduct of daily life in Black communities both establishes a dominance of racial power and perspective and communally evokes social power as a means of resisting the structural violence of racism in America. While he begins thinking about communicative art in relation to attitudes Black musicians bring to music, by 1970 Baraka saw what rhetoricians understand as epideictic communication in terms of a complex array of performative possibilities. His contributions to diverse literary and polemic forms show a rhetorically active mind with recourse to a variety of possibilities, from the discursive features of analytic writing in his recovery of Black musical traditions, to dramatic and didactic possibilities in municipal settings. Indeed, Baraka experimented with what rhetorical scholars understand as epideictic consistently through the period to activate persuasive stances for a range of audiences. He was thinking on his feet, in a sense, developing forms of address for multiple occasions and situations. 137

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In a Black Nationalist context, for example, Baraka didactically addresses Black communities in one of his now lesser-­known texts, In Our Terribleness (Some Elements and Meaning in Black Style). (The title is based on “reversals in word meaning often found in urban black American idioms”: terrible in this case is exalted.)26 Here, Baraka directs a polemic right at the Black community to provoke awareness of cultural expression in embodied attitudes of speech, civic sociality, sartorial expression, and urban design. The formal structure of the book displays what might be described as a rejection of old-­fashioned dignity associated with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders. Baraka’s writing creates an evocative, verbal performance that magically ritualizes the historic and mythic hierarchy of Black culture, restoring social identity for African Americans based on narrative traditions that predate the violent dispersal of African bodies to the Americas. While in one sense of the epideictic mode, Baraka can be seen praising Black culture in America and reinforcing historical narratives based on West African religions and myths, such praise to white readers/auditors could be received with agonistic complexity. As Pernot acknowledges in Epideictic Rhetoric, praise in some instances can become “an instrument not of communion, but of dissent and denunciation.”27 In Our Terribleness, then, gives opportunity to better understand how attention to the conveyance of values through epideictic formal diversity shapes communal bonds for a specific audience and how attitudes bring forward worldviews that are constructive or in critical dissent depending on the cultural perspectives at stake. For now, let us consider some of the document’s primary attributes, remembering that it was written at the height of Baraka’s Black Nationalist period.28 The formal range of In Our Terribleness is difficult to label, for it moves between ethnographic description, polemic diatribe, didactic lessons, and prophetic jeremiad. Baraka’s text in part responds directly to the photographic images of Fundi (Billy Abernathy’s Africanized name), a photographer who jointly created the book and whose depictions of Black life provide an ethnographic dimension reminiscent of 1930s depression-­era photographs by Dorothea Lange, Roy Stryker, and other Farm Security Administration photographers.29 The documentation of Black bodies in civic contexts gives a visual reference that augments Baraka’s rhetorically mixed attributes. “So the act of communication is faith,” Baraka announces early in the text, bringing attention to the extraverbal dimension of his communication, the elocutionary or performative stances that elicit an auditor’s adherence.30 If communication can be understood as commitment to others, then the ethos-­bearing burden of transmission is conveyed through the decisive 138

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choices one makes in shaping text or speech for an intended audience. To neglect that communicative possibility is to act in bad faith, exposing the individual to public scrutiny rather than creating gestural modes of connectivity through the organization and patterning of texts. Part of Baraka’s goal is to desecularize African American experience by spiritualizing social power in terms of mythic and religious narratives. “God is all styles, together,” he says. “His style is all styles. But each of us is a vector / carrying meaning.” He is concerned explicitly with “the attitude. In the midst of / all / the one focus of energy. The Grace.”31 By defining his “people” according to characteristic traits that are explored in Fundi’s photographs, Baraka correlates a visual record with an exploration and advocacy of Black separatist identification with spiritual beings whose historic pasts have established them concretely as God’s people, drawing on the Old Testament commonplace theme of exile. Baraka exemplifies the gestural social politics of street life, shaping a text for a largely working-­class Black audience rather than a more specialized arts community, and the text especially refuses to communicate effectively within white literary coteries. Compared to his more celebrated poetry of the period like The Dead Lecturer and Black Magic (the latter soundly enacted in the context of Black Nationalism), In Our Terribleness is less concerned with literary stature, and employs the sociological and historical cultural criticism of Maulana Karenga in an attempt to more earnestly instruct an audience’s values and beliefs. Indeed, the opening flyleaf of the book is composed of a high-­gloss silver cardstock paper that acts as a kind of mirror in which, Baraka hoped, the reader would find herself reflected. By uplifting the cultural commonplaces of the Black community, Baraka exemplifies the “terribleness” of Black culture as a profoundly important aspect of African American self-­identification. Such commonplaces attach notions of family, marriage, and child-­rearing to the revolutionary agenda of Black separatism, reinforcing a sense of conservative human bonds within a larger strategy of emancipatory democracy. Arguing for the importance of these commonplaces, Baraka writes: “Who inhabits the cities possesses the thrust of life to power. The family unit. The man will get his woman. They are designs. And the kidz is the whole cycle. . . . Man woman child in a house is a nation. More than them we become large cities that shd have domes, spires, spirals, pyramids, you need something fleshy man. Some red and bright green or yr black self. The cities the cities our dominion. We first built them and we will manage to build them some ’gin.”32 Additionally, acknowledgment of familial union in the making of a Black nation is reinforced by religious themes based on 139

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appeals to shared cultural origin stories in Africa. “Pray we are not part of the Western / Empire in soul,” Baraka writes. “We know we are not. / In Our Terribleness / We know exactly / Who we are.”33 The beauty of Black women, the knowledge of Black men, and the shared historical circumstances of slavery unite readers in the acknowledged social and historical conditions Baraka draws out for consideration. While the paternalistic social organization he advocates calls for explicitly separatist roles for the sexes, Baraka’s claims correspond with strong masculinist preferences in the Black separatist movement of the period inspired by Maulana Karenga. “The children must be taught by us,” he says. “The wives must be taught by us. / Ourselves must be taught by us. This is the way to love as a nation / of strength.”34 Another strategy of In Our Terribleness is to create cultural division by alienating a white status quo. White establishment political agendas are flattened under the broad heading of “Western Empire,” and white people are typologically represented as “the iceman, the abominable snowman,” or “they are naked apes on horseback from out the icebox zones.” The book’s divisive claims, however, are softened, humanized by Fundi/Abernathy’s images. “There are mostly portraits here,” Baraka observes. “Portraits of life. Of life being lived. Black People inspire us. Send life into us. . . . We wanted to conjure with Black Life to recreate it for our selves. So that the connection with you would be a bigger Self. . . . Abernathy is himself, a terrible terbul dude. The way the terribleness of us gets thru him to us, again. The artist completing the cycle recreating.”35 This passage wrests cultural power through verbal performance, identifying and encouraging attitudes, values, and shared behaviors that can resonate with meaning for a Black audience. Baraka shows how life practices are built on values and beliefs that require greater awareness and that through such awareness Black lives can begin to assemble in resistance to the racial projections of a white dominant culture. Such life practices, some of which are exemplified in the commonplaces above, are addressed in Baraka’s attempt to expand the outlooks and worldviews of his readers. Part of the goal of Baraka’s consciousness raising is to shift the scale of awareness of everyday life. Rather than perceiving and organizing social roles as articulated by a larger and largely white political and economic structure, Baraka’s text asks readers to see themselves in relation to Black history, religion, and social identifications. Life practices as simple as one’s gait with friends or one’s cooking become stylistic opportunities by which to behave according to self-­determined actions and impulses rather than through disciplined practices historically associated with white cultural expectations. 140

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“All activity is cultural activity,” he writes. “A church is a smile. The cooking of food, a walk is as profound as a system of judging. A walk, there half lit by stars pointing nex tu my man, is a judgment there, in the midst of. Life as refiner and definer. So each act is the total.”36 In Our Terribleness provides more than a literary achievement in a period of political change by drawing on the strategies of epideictic communication: Baraka enacts political strategies by reimagining the terms of community for African Americans; a large part of that reimagining, moreover, is based on faithfully executed outreach to a community that draws inspiration from a speaker/writer who shows the audience’s own vernacular expressions as they are reincorporated into the rhetorically strategic presentations of the author. The sociality he encourages among his Black readers is based on active, personal decisions and acceptances of who and where they are in a predominantly white culture. Baraka increases awareness of the ways style can shape a sense of personal dignity and give definition to the social landscapes through which individuals pass. While style is especially understood in connection to music or art, Baraka wants readers to consider it more intimately by invoking creative, religious, and mythic screens through which to approach the sociality of stylistic actions. “James Brown, and my brothers sliding through the dark are Chaka and Amenotep,” he writes, making anachronistic identifications with the King of Soul and African kings.37 Through celebrity and historical figures of powerful self-­agency, Baraka acknowledges how self-­measurement in the context of social life is an ongoing process of identification with styles of expression and determination. If, as Jared Sexton argues, race exists primarily as a collection of attitudes developed and expressed in the life practices of individuals, Baraka’s text in 1970 establishes a decisive argument on the collective identifications of the Black separatist culture he promotes.38 Rhetoric is raised, in this instance, as the primary mode of expression that establishes worldviews and challenges hostile positions an African American might encounter in North American culture. The terribleness Baraka advocates, “these inside here,” is based on practices of civic and familial conduct, social gestures, personal realizations, and the expressed embodiments of social being.39 Black politics was exerted from this social being, activated by reinforcing and supporting the beliefs and actions of a larger community. But such radicalism is constricted to the social and historical conditions in which it comes forth. The emancipatory movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s gave way to other forms of democratic enactment, though such enactments are less visible in the neoliberal political and economic climate that has emerged since the writing of 141

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Baraka’s confrontational text. The move from Black Power to Black Lives Matter does not represent an advancement of social status in the racial configuration of American culture; instead, structures of feeling, the sharing of social outlooks, and the communicative determinations of Black Americans confront structural pressures in terms of police brutality, economic disparity, and the continued projections of forms of white supremacy in US political discourse. In Our Terribleness enlivened the capacities of specific people at a moment in the transformation of society by new civil rights legislation while today the legacy of that legislation remains contested, and new forms of public dissent require discursive possibilities suited to the views and social contexts of contemporary Black life.

Harmony Holiday’s Epideictic Investigation More recently, the poet, essayist, and choreographer Harmony Holiday has created multimedia works of poetry based on African American historical archives of the 1950s–80s, but she complicates those archives and their connection to history, memory, personal lore, and cultural narrative. As the daughter of the late R&B composer and performer Jimmy Holiday, she has gained access to documents associated with 1960s Black musicians and entertainers, and she conducts research in audio-­visual archives of the era. While one work, Go Find Your Father/A Famous Blues, explores the relationship of Black entertainment and racism in America, the text also considers Black masculinity and its many-­faceted expressions through the perspective of the entertainer’s daughter. In the more recent Hollywood Forever, Holiday continues to examine the textures of Black experience by situating her personal narrative within a much larger collective archive of historical performances by musicians, entertainers, orators, and activists. The work pre­ sents itself as poetry organized for rhetorical purposes, to influence perceptions of Black culture and its postwar manifestations by complicating the textures and received histories of art that collate collective forms of belief. Holiday’s writing often investigates figures and events in Black cultural history, and her poetry is frequently published in national literary magazines. Unlike Baraka’s polemical tone in In Our Terribleness, Holiday combines elements of lyricism, personal reflection, historical documentation, and epistolary writing to encounter the complexities of Black sociality and art in the context of a larger white entertainment and cultural establishment. Her work is, however, inspired by Baraka and other Black Arts writers, and, in many ways, she remains one of Baraka’s most vocal advocates.40 142

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If Baraka’s Black Nationalist phase required a guarded stance against structures of white supremacy in the 1970s, Holiday’s work looks back at the successes and failures of Black movements and the individuals who sought to shape discourse around Black culture over a more than fifty-­year period.41 An appreciation for diverse forms of epideictic communication, successful or not, regarding Black life in confrontation with white dominant realities, permeates a writing that is rigorously attuned to the crushing violence of American racial history. Her performative art is exuberant, multimodal, and scrutinizing, and I focus on two exemplary poems from her book Hollywood Forever titled “Adultery” and “Is This Tomorrow,” which are companion pieces that feature Martin Luther King Jr.’s representation in mediatized contexts. Hollywood Forever, named after Hollywood’s only cemetery (a segregated site until 1959 and a feature of civic controversy into the 1990s), draws on diverse media types, imposing poems, mostly written in prose, on images and texts taken from newspaper and magazine archives of specific historical events (see figs. 7.1 and 7.2). Holiday’s writing addresses the cultural history of the United States by sampling diverse media forms.42 These fragments cohere in one sense in terms of epideictic praise of important national figures like Martin Luther King Jr. But such praise also conveys silences, questions, and gestures that circle back on readers. Such a view of epideictic corresponds with conclusions made by Pernot, who observes the potential for “hidden messages, idiosyncratic positions, (reflecting the interests or reflections of a group or an individual), and sometimes even veiled criticisms behind epideictic orations’ universally approving and sanctioning tone.”43 Whereas Baraka spoke to a Black urban audience committed to the goals of Black Nationalism (with an adjacent or implied criticism toward white America), in these poems Holiday investigates the mediatized textures of 1960s Black experience through an approach to epideictic that requires a contemporary audience to revisit key events, to assign new ethical values to those events, and to reflect on the ways a figure like Martin Luther King Jr. conveys values still to contemporary audiences. Such audiences are composed of readers and auditors who are not those necessarily addressed by the mainstream press and the white ideological structure that supports it. An audience of multiracial poetry readers and of young people of color who identify political and social desires outside and beyond the restrictive power of neoliberal ideology differs, for instance, from Baraka’s working-­ class Black readers in the civil rights era. Centralized planning by Black leaders has been replaced by the complex distributions of information via forms of social media, and young readers of Holiday’s work specifically, and 143

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readers of experimental poetry more broadly, find meaning in the dispersed political and artistic communities throughout the United States and beyond.44 Holiday’s writing, therefore, moves between receptive spaces, urging new encounters with topics supposedly resolved by white America’s relenting of some of its power through civil rights legislation. Holiday is particularly aware of institutions of literary review that often diminish the work and stature of Black writers. In a response to a 2015 review of Baraka’s posthumous collection of poems, SOS, Holiday writes, It’s also because of the tendency and desire among many mainstream white critics to neatly define, box in, and commodify the talents and personalities of black artists. It seems as if every black artist with a consciousness extending far past his or her primary craft gets assailed for the power they possess. This critical fate reaches across the pantheon: from Miles Davis, of whom Baraka said (in his brilliant “Obituary for Miles Davis”), “I’m one of your children”; to Thelonious Monk, so laconic he becomes an easy target for lore; to Nina Simone, a friend of Baraka’s who once admitted, “The protest songs ruined my career”; to Martin Luther King,  Jr., and Malcolm X, who in their rhetorical craft are just as much artists as they are thinkers, and above all martyrs to their originality.45

“Adultery,” seen in figure  7.1, is visually dense, with Holiday’s text printed over a faded image of King derived from an April 9, 1968, funeral announcement, which in turn had been reproduced on a vinyl record cover of the period designed by Brotherhood Records. To the right of the page, beside King’s image, are titles of speeches found on the audio collection, including “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” and “I Have a Dream.” Holiday’s contribution to the image is foregrounded in bold, as is the poem in figure 7.2 titled “Is This Tomorrow?.” Behind the text of the second poem is an image of King taken in 1957 that shows him in attendance at an event at Highlander Folk School, a social justice training center in Tennessee. The school trained labor movement organizers in the 1930s and educated civil rights activists in the 1950s. The image was printed on billboards and posted in fields along roads in Alabama during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march and used to associate King with communist agitation during the Cold War.46 Both poems address Black sexuality and power, particularly male expressions of it, adjacent to the tragedy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The found texts and images appear as palimpsests beneath Holiday’s 144

Figure 7.1. Harmony Holiday, “Adultery.” Photograph courtesy of Hollywood Forever (Albany, NY: Fence Books, 2017), print collage (n.p.).

Figure 7.2. Harmony Holiday, “Martin Luther King . . . At Communist Training School.” Photograph courtesy of Hollywood Forever (Albany, NY: Fence Books, 2017), print collage (n.p.).

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writing to increase cultural and historical associations to King. “Adultery” addresses King’s alleged sexual relationships, an obsession of FBI director J.  Edgar Hoover who threatened King in 1964 with public disclosure of infidelities with multiple female partners.47 The oppositions of grace and vulgarity, of Black style’s ability to “cure” or “curse,” are tensions unique to Black experience Holiday argues throughout Hollywood Forever. Both poems work to transpose past assumptions or popular receptions of King as the leader of the civil rights era by acknowledging the human reality of desire connected to his heroic confrontation with forms of white supremacy. Such humanization shows how sexual hypocrisy is frequently weaponized in US mainstream culture to detract from the more important political messages rendered in public contexts. Holiday’s poem calls for a sympathetic consideration of King’s promiscuousness, suggesting that for him, and for many in Black communities, there was no conflict between his sexual relationships and the larger civil rights agenda. In addition to the phonetic and image-­based presentation of the poems, there is a rhythmic and sonic continuity to Holiday’s writing. The prose and verse lines are loosely iambic, though like most contemporary poets, metric writing, particularly in prose, does not motivate the establishment of beat and rhythm. Such stress instead is adapted through cadences of vernacular speech and mimetic adaptations, in this instance, of Black oratory and song.48 Holiday draws dramatic awareness to certain words or phrases by separating them through caesuras on the page that haltingly direct the eye and tongue, sometimes separately as vision and vocalization compete for attention. Interrogatory sentences invite readers to reflect on the complex intersections of image and idea. In “Is This Tomorrow?,” biblical imagery is presented through referential observations of a Black vernacular (“angels sing hexes into bottles of northern comfort. Uproar. Jesus!”). Black power is metonymically expressed in the imposition of King’s name onto a sense of Black kingship, recalling Baraka’s attunement to African culture and spirituality. “You mean one sweet sin could bring freedom everlasting, for our king,” Holiday writes. “That’s our King.” In the making of a “new mythology,” Holiday suggests power, whether it be political or personal, requires the poems’ speaker(s) to “cross our hearts with jive nerve and hopes to hide of what it don’t get.” By highlighting the imagery and cadences of a Black vernacular, Holiday evokes the individual ethical qualities attached to King, qualities that Holiday both appears to admire and also hopes to amplify for her readers by bringing the myth of kingship into association with the historical figure of the individual King. King as historical leader and king as symbolic 147

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ideal connects in Hollywood Forever to King the prophet-­healer exiled from white America. Conversely, in the imaginary of Black culture, he is the African king whose public power is sexually enacted through personal desire among multiple partners. Black masculinity’s contribution to the admixture of civil rights activism is therefore called out even as Holiday sympathetically engages its presence, withholding or even diverting judgment so that readers may experience the conspiracy of desire that animates her focus on the complex figure. Holiday also investigates types of speech in her showing forth of cultural material and its associative values. Her imagery and lyric strategies, established through mixed-­media visual and sonic associations, accord to vernacular cadences that heighten and extend the afterlife of King’s legacy. Holiday submits historical material in a rhetorical project that connects events in African American cultural history through readings of mass media, gossip, performativity, cultural myth, and iconographic lore. Holiday’s poems are activated in contrast to King’s speeches and letters, and her work invites readers to return to King’s biographies or to reexamine cultural histories of the civil rights era in order to locate historical tensions and conflicts through the stylistic investigation by which her writing animates the civil rights leader. Her work also invites difficult questions: To what extent does King register persuasively for contemporary Black audiences? In what ways might the image he represents work to persuade white culture of certain values it admires contra those of Black communities and Black social experience? What persuasive values cohere in the making of a myth? Far from a literary investigation, or a mode of appreciation, such rhetorical questioning considers how art intersects civic discourse, inviting new perspectives or approaches to problems still relevant to American culture. Although Holiday bases the poems discussed here on spectacular events (King’s assassination; the march on Selma), she is concerned with smaller, more intimate, difficult-­ to-­acknowledge modes of communicability and the forms of suffering produced by racial conflict in America. The intimate patterns of epideictic communicability established in poetry, music, and other arts have to do with a performative capacity gained through the sensuous determination of the material (language, sonic timbre, hue, beat). Holiday helps us see how, specifically, rhetoric can work as a communicability achieved in multiple registers of speech, sound, and visual cues. In the context of Black experience, Holiday’s writing claims the domain of physical, sonic, and visual communicability as the crucial site of encounter with history and with the subjectivities shaped by it. It is not the historical 148

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record that concerns her work so much as the values associated with the felt experience of its predetermined narratives. The “small communicability” she enables takes place in felt dimensions and in comparative rhetorical images, written gestures, rhythmic and sonic determinations: she performs felt experience as it is registered in her gathering of narrative threads.

Teaching Poetry Rhetorically In my creative writing classroom, using Holiday as a model for imitation, students explore areas of civic conflict along with the cultural values and beliefs that associate with individuals and events. My university in downtown Toronto is particularly diverse insofar as the student body comes from many areas of the world—Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. When I teach Hollywood Forever, I often include an investigative unit using Holiday as a model of critical performativity. Formally, students are drawn to her mixing of diverse media, and they are encouraged to assemble archives of images, sounds, and texts relevant to their own projects.49 The goal is to examine received cultural narratives by looking closely at the historical details and the motivating figures who inspire intimate responses and feelings behind more spectacular cultural and political moments, using strategies of epideictic rhetoric to establish value, hence, a kind of praise. Their first assignment is an “ancestor poem,” or sequence of poems. Students are asked to select a figure connected to their extended family and to learn about their historical location and affinities, observing the physical textures of the ancestor’s life by researching archives that may include material artifacts (clothing; jewelry), references to sensual and sonic details (scents, food, foreign terms if the ancestor is located in another country), and the historical reality that informed the ancestor’s experience (often wars such as the Siege of Sarajevo form part of the immediate familial texture). After initial research, students imitate Holiday’s prose-­poetry style, with attention to cadence, rhythm, and vowel. While we may speak briefly about traditional English metric prosody, I encourage them to discover rhetorical rhythms suitable to their purpose, looking for beats established by sonic variety and achieved through attention to the pitch and length of vowels and the punctuating impacts of consonants. Performance-­directed imitation, that is, allows students to work with the communicability of sound.50 While other writers we study might bring awareness to more traditional forms of prosody, imitations of Holiday encourage students early in the semester to acknowledge the epideictic mode as a compelling communicative 149

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structure as they confront research topics that matter to them. When students struggle to achieve a persuasive body of work, they are encouraged to compare their experience of language to Holiday’s in an effort to increase awareness regarding individual cadence and vocalic range. The results have been interesting insofar as students explore aspects of their lives by giving attention to researched material enhanced by an attunement to the aesthetic dimensions associated with sound, figurative impressions, and imagery connected through the terms and narrative reality of their ancestral figure. Whereas Holiday works well in creative writing contexts for developing student attention to embodied forms of writing that can sensuously expand the capacities of readers to new experiences, locations, and cultural knowledge, I have found that Baraka’s In Our Terribleness works better in a literature course on Black history or in a composition classroom as a source not so much for imitation but for providing historical context for critical investigations. While his language may have been persuasive in the 1970s-­era of Black Nationalism, to today’s young ears, the communicative range is outdated and often simply too didactic. His philosophic concerns for Black Nationalism animate contemporary discourse with new aesthetic resonances, enlivening present social, political, and racial awareness through the historical lens of his work. What remains is the power of Baraka’s voice and the passion of his political and spiritual hopes for Black readers of the period. Both Baraka and Holiday seek elevation and transport across eras to show how race and the legacy of slavery remain vitally necessary for understanding the present. The visible descriptions of race in the contemporary moment are made legible through the communicability of submerged images, historical rhythms of speech, attendant bodies of feeling extended elliptically through the felt experiences of those who live through the local and nationally focused determinations of the past.

Creative Writing and the Expression of Belief In the epilogue to The Genuine Teachers of this Art, Jeffrey Walker observes the close relationship of rhetoric and creative writing, though he points out “the near-­complete isolation of creative writing and rhetoric/writing programs from each other in most colleges and universities.” He summarizes this institutional distance well: The sad contemporary state of affairs is based mainly on ideological assumptions on both sides about “aesthetic” versus “practical” kinds of discourse, and 150

a small communic abilit y on the inertias of institutional history. The creative writers and the rhetoricians in the modern wissenschaftlich university belong to different, demarcated fields with different modes of professionalization and different career trajectories. Something similar can be said, of course, about the institutional separation between rhetoric/writing and communication/speech programs, which also have a natural affinity and indeed are fragments of the “genuine” discipline of rhetoric but often are housed in different colleges on the same campus. It is all the result of history, not intelligent design.51

He goes on to discuss other differences such as the romantic notion of creativity that is often modulated within creative writing programs contra the civic orientation of discourse in rhetoric and writing. But there are changes happening to the modern division of these disciplines insofar as scholars and teachers of rhetoric are growing more aware of the creative potential latent in the ancient tradition on one hand, while, on the other, creative writing pedagogy provides possibilities for students to encounter the terms of public culture through performative and poetic language. While rhetoric often addresses issues of civic debate, often through culturally or civically spectacular forms of conflict, arguing, for instance, over issues like gun control, immigration, and racial violence, creative writing enables the exploration of these issues in relatively focused, personalized, and intimate settings. The pragmatic discourse of rhetoric and composition provides strategies of civic engagement for writers while epideictic modes of writing enable descriptions and performances that give shape to those beliefs and desires that form outlooks toward civic affairs. The intimate and closely observed experience of race, for example, can be explored through personal realities that rarely appear in public view.52 Baraka and Holiday are just two examples of poets working to bring personal experience into public space through their writing about Black Nationalism and civil rights. Other contemporary poets express concern connected to conditions of nationality and global politics, while others look at the commodification and systemization of contemporary life under capitalist markets.53 Writing instruction, whether in rhetoric and composition classrooms, or in creative writing contexts, has also become more prominent within the discipline of English. Colleen Flaherty refers to a recent study in Inside Higher Education to address the shrinking number of English BA graduates at universities nationwide. Noticeably, Flaherty confirms a decline of interest in literary periodization. Those departments that remain vital emphasize variety in their program offerings, and they extend primary focus to rhetoric 151

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and composition, creative writing, cultural history, ethnic studies, and media studies. According to the article, Paula Krebs, MLA’s executive director, sees an increase in the “‘importance of writing in the English major,’ meaning composition, rhetoric, professional writing and creative writing.” Departments examined in the study are “conscious that we must be more explicit about the value of the major for students after they graduate.”54 Given the changes English programs face, departments have an opportunity to rethink and reshape the model of productive performativity in classrooms. While the workshop model of creative writing pedagogy, first developed in the early twentieth century at the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop, remains an influential example of instruction in creative writing classrooms, there is also new emphasis on rhetorical approaches that challenge this model.55 Ben Ristow argues for a sophistic approach to creative writing instruction through antilogikê and dissoi logoi, rhetorical strategies that draw attention to doubt and uncertainty in pedagogical contexts. Drawing on William Covino’s work, Ristow considers the realm of creative thinking as a productive opportunity to direct craft conversation toward “more inclusive writing practices.”56 This “dialogue driven” model of pedagogy acknowledges “indeterminacy and contradiction” as features of knowledge formation in the workshop context.57 In contrast, Mary Hedengren looks to creative writing pedagogy for strategies of composition instruction, advocating for a model of creative writing mentorship as a possibility for the composition classroom. “In composition,” she argues, “the instructor is rarely invoked as an example of a practicing writer.”58 Creative writing program administrators often hire instructors based on their professional publishing records, while universities typically give courses in first-­year writing instruction to graduate students and adjunct instructors who often do not have a public profile as a writer. “The image of the instructor as a writer is so entrenched that creative writing instructors have to compete for publications and prizes to secure their popularity at their universities,” while teachers of composition, though perhaps accomplished writers, are not publicly or professionally recognized in the ways of their creative writing colleagues.59 Basing her insights on ancient pedagogy where rhetors like Isocrates cultivated students to discover their own unique possibilities as writers, Hedengren hopes the field of composition may better “create opportunities to refigure the instructor as a mentor-­model.”60 While these ways of rethinking writing instruction suggest new approaches to rhetoric and composition, on one hand, and creative writing on the other, the ideological division of English pathways remains strong. 152

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Perhaps at stake are structures of feeling, a groundwork of belief and desire—the domain of epideictic—shared across the disciplines of the humanities. Although rhetoric’s long-­standing civic orientation contrasts in recent pedagogical history with “creative writing’s tendency to privilege private, individual experience,”61 the work of Amiri Baraka and Harmony Holiday are but two examples of a civically oriented poetics that nevertheless explores the affective dimensions of subjects in relation to problems of national significance, like race, civil rights, and community formation.62 Although the university is often slow to absorb new possibilities for pedagogy, creative writing’s emphasis on the expressions of individuals is shifting to encourage reflection and understanding on how personal experience confronts others in a process of unfolding beliefs that reflect larger communal or national concerns.63 If we look beyond the modern invention of the idea of literature in order to more fully comprehend the possibilities of what the ancients implied by epideictic communication, it is possible to imagine how a small communicability retains the possibility of larger communal and national address.


9 Part III 0

Philosophies of Argumentation

9 chap ter 8 0

The Stases—Then and Now Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor

Rhetoric is a “how to” discipline that feeds off over two thousand years of theorizing about persuasion, theorizing that is based in turn on observations of real-­world arguers. When it comes to teaching rhetoric to the next generation, theory usually guides classroom practice. But sometimes the classroom itself and the pressing need it creates to teach these students, this week can drive the theorizing. That was the situation we found ourselves in several decades ago, when Penn State undertook a major curriculum change in its writing program and dedicated its second-­level writing course, English 20, to the writing of arguments. As new PhDs and part-­time lecturers teaching there at the time, we floundered around trying to find a way to teach this course so that we could offer our students positive, practical advice about constructing arguments. Eventually, we developed an approach in a syllabus, then in a course manual shared with other instructors, and finally in the textbook A Rhetoric of Argument.1 Our approach to argument grew completely out of our classroom experience and our commitment to working with student-­generated topics. This experience taught us that it was most useful to identify general categories for the particular theses of our students’ arguments and then to give advice for developing each of these general types. But we later learned that we had to some extent reinvented the wheel, that wheel being classical stasis theory, a system for classifying arguable issues developed from courtroom practice in the ancient world. In addition to the primary texts explicating stasis theory (especially the Rhetorica ad Herennium and Cicero’s De Inventione), significant scholarship on stasis theory was available then (Dieter, Nadeau, and Thompson),2 and there has been much more since (Montefusco, Hohmann, and Heath).3 With the growth of rhetorical studies, stasis theory is now widely known, and it has been incorporated in many argument textbooks.4 In our indirect recovery of

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elements of classical rhetoric for contemporary scholarship and pedagogy we were part of an expanding movement in the 1980s and 1990s in which Jeff Walker was a major force. His work on ancient rhetoric and poetics and his textbooks on argument and rhetorical analysis, products of his deep erudition, also bring classical rhetoric into the modern classroom.5 The model put forward in Rhetoric of Argument, as we explain in several publications,6 does not exactly reproduce the classical stases; instead, it identifies a slightly different though similar sequence of the kinds of issues that can be at stake in an argument. What are the differences? The classical system is usually summarized by the following questions: an sit/ quid sit/ quale sit: Does it exist? What is it? What sort is it?7 Some classical versions of stasis theory added what was called a translative stasis, which questioned where a particular issue should be debated or decided or, in other words, whether a particular court had the authority to try a case. In our version, we grouped the stasis of fact (an sit, literally whether something is) and the stasis of definition (quid sit) into what we called arguments for categorical propositions (using the acronym CP). Then we introduced a new, separate stasis involving questions of cause (How did it get that way?). We retained the classical qualitative or value stasis, and then, we introduced a proposal issue answering the question What should we do about it? In a further modification, we viewed value and proposal questions as requiring fact/definition arguments and causal arguments. Thus, the stases, as we saw them, involved both different kinds of questions and different combinations of questions. In addition, we identified a feature of the stasis system presented in Rhetoric of Argument that supported its usefulness: it maps easily on the three speech types, the first two (fact/definition and cause) being typical of forensic arguments, the third (value) of epideictic, and the fourth (proposal) of deliberative.8 Offering alternative versions of the stases was actually common in antiquity when various teachers recommended systems with one to five or more issues.9 By adding issues having to do with the interpretation of texts, Hermogenes list of stases actually reach thirteen.10 There are other similarities to our version in ancient systems. Cornelius Celsus, according to Quintilian, also argues for a close association of “fact” and “definition,”11 and our fourth stasis corresponds to what Hermogenes calls the stasis pragmatikē, the “practical stasis” that addresses questions about future actions.12 Still, given the alterations in the system outlined in Rhetoric of Argument, we found ourselves in the uncomfortable position of differing from the dominant version of the stases in the Rhetorica ad Herennium, Cicero, Quintilian, Hermogenes, and pretty much the entire rhetorical tradition through the Renaissance. 158

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Since any claim of complete novelty for the system in Rhetoric of Argument is simply impossible, we suggest that our model actually has roots in that same rhetorical tradition and that it can be adapted for use in varying circumstances, much as the stases have always been. In what follows, we explain the novel features of the Rhetoric of Argument system, focusing first on the combination of fact/definition and its requirements. Next, we look at the new causal stasis, tracing its roots in ancient stasis theory and in the fuller art of dialectical argument that developed in the early modern period. Finally, we step back and take a broader look at special features of the twenty-­first-­ century setting that affect the application of the still powerful stasis system.

Combining Fact and Definition in a New First Stasis First, we need to discuss our bracketing together of fact and definition arguments that are separated in the classical sources. Why did we combine them as CP arguments (first edition) or “arguments about the nature of things” (second edition)? In the classical system, arguers first ask whether a certain action occurred and then ask what label, according to the law, should be applied to that action: for example, first stasis: x took the urn; second stasis: the action was theft. However, we took the view that “facts” actually require prior definitions (potential labeled categories) to come into existence in language in the first place. Even in a simple pointing claim like this is a tree, the category tree has to be in place before a particular assemblage of sense impressions can be labeled a tree. In combining fact and definition in this way we are absolutely not constructionists who say that reality does not exist until it is named. On the contrary, too many things exist that can be perceived by the senses or by other means, but those assemblages do not become distinct and expressed in language until a definition fishes them out from the background. (It is of course possible to interact with physical entities without the intervention of language. Babies do it all the time.) Another way to think about the fact/definition combination in argument is to think of facts as occupying different points on a scale of the arguability of definitions. Fact statements toward the “less arguable” side seem like obviosities (e.g., this is a glass of water). But those toward the “more arguable” side can involve problematic categories. For example, the statement this is a glass of drinkable water depends on a prior definition of drinkable water, and that definition can be a subject of disagreement. A municipal water authority that supplies drinking water will define drinkable water by an acceptable level of contamination, a public health advocacy group may 159

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define it differently (thus community disagreements about fluoridation), and a vendor selling bottled water may define drinkable water even more narrowly. Such a scale for the arguability of definitions itself depends on audiences and purposes, as some audiences demand more precision than others on certain subjects. As a simple test for widely received “facts” against this scale, consider what a newspaper will correct with its typical audience in mind (which they often conflate with what Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-­Tyteca in The New Rhetoric call the “universal audience”):13 they will correct dates, times, spelling of names, titles, locations. These are facts based on widely accepted classification systems. But newspapers will not correct labels like insurgent or judgment words like troubling. A more complicated example of the fact/definition nexus can be found in a 2018 article in Science that makes claims about the “growth of science.”14 In this case, the subject is a concept, not a physical object, but the argument tactics are the same. The article begins with a factual claim, that the number of scientific articles is increasing, a claim supported by counting the numbers of “articles” in journals listed by the indexing service “The Web of Science” over several years. This claim, built on the assumption that the “Web of Science” is a reputable service, seems straightforward. But several definitions are still required: How is a “scientific journal” defined so that such journals can be counted or sampled? How is “scientific article” defined so that content in a “scientific journal” can be counted? Most people will probably not find these entities too challenging to define. But it is a different matter with the second claim in this article, that the number of scientific “ideas” in these journals (and hence overall) has increased. How does one define a scientific idea so that it can be recognized and counted? The authors explain that they define idea operationally: an idea=a unique phrase in the title or abstract of an article in some “fixed number of articles.” In other words, idea had to be defined in a way that allowed the creation of an algorithm for automatic searching of a large data base. Unfortunately, this operational definition of idea is not offered in the article itself; readers have to consult an earlier article by one of the authors where there is a very complicated explanation of how phrases were retrieved from a subset of articles in astronomy, physics, and biomedicine.15 Not surprisingly, this process involves dramatically pruning the kinds of words examined, and it ignores the possibility that the same idea can be expressed in synonymous wording that the algorithm would count as distinct, chalking up two ideas instead of one. What happens with arguments like this one, which tend to unravel on inspection, is that people are predisposed to agree with the claim to begin with and the article merely confirms their existing inclinations. 160

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The discussion of the combined fact/definition stasis in Rhetoric of Argument offers two interdependent requirements that can lead in different directions in developing the actual content of an argument. First, if arguers cannot assume that the critical definition in their argument is as clear as glass in our example and acceptable to the audience, they have to back up and support the definition. Second, audiences may not readily accept that what is being categorized actually exists at all, let alone in a way that fits the definition. The arguer then has to verify the existence of the facts as stated that are under discussion. Because the need to verify can take arguers down some very complicated paths, verification requires a closer look.


We can introduce the problem of verification using again the example this is a glass of drinkable water. Suppose that the water authority producing the water in that glass has a definition in place of drinkable water as so many parts per million of contaminants. They will still have to verify that the water issuing from their purification plant and filling any one glass actually meets that definition (usually in this context referred to as a standard). How do they know that this glass contains drinkable water as they define it? As a means of verification, the water authority will have procedures in place to test the water. And, needless to say, these procedures may themselves be the subject of argument. Someone may challenge whether their methods really do test the water in a way that verifies the level of contamination. In some cases, then, arguments that overall concern fact/definition narrow down to become arguments over the means of verification. And these may be highly contentious, significant arguments. For example, whether the terms of an international agreement are being met can come down to disagreements over the verification of compliance. What are the conditions of compliance? Has compliance been monitored? If so, how and by whom? Similarly, legal systems codify their standards of verification so that the uncorroborated testimony of one person does not count as verification of the facts in a case. One or more additional witnesses or documents and other forms of corroboration are needed to buttress, or weaken, testimony. In a classroom teaching argumentation, investigating sources of verification looms large. Under what circumstances is a fact statement believable? In routine, daily contexts, most of the information or facts that people consume from various media are verified by trust in the source, whether that source is the news outlet itself or whether a direct source is named in 161

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the story. In both scholarly and news contexts, verification heavily depends on the reputation of the source as established by its reviewing, editing, and fact-­checking practices. In the time that has elapsed since we first taught argumentation, that trust has eroded, and issues of verification and trustworthiness often need to be addressed directly. Under what conditions is the default acceptance of facticity sufficient, and when do we need to stop and think hard about verification? It depends, of course, on how plausible the claim seems to begin with and on what implications are perceived to follow from accepting it.

Complications in Fact/Definition Arguing

Two interesting complications follow from the fact/definition interaction. First is the chicken/egg problem. Since definitions are required for identifying facts, how are definitions arrived at in the first place? Outside of the very obvious categories already embedded in our vocabulary (tree, sky, stone), someone, somewhere has had to argue the definitions into place. So there has to be a very important category of definition-­forming arguments, and of course, there is, and they belong in this stasis. Such arguments have a distinct goal: not arguing that something fits a category but that there is indeed such a category. For instance, recently scientists have argued that whereas we thought there were only two kinds of twins, identical and fraternal, there is also a rare intermediate type, semi-­identical or sesquizygotic twins, with more maternal than paternal DNA.16 Of course, it might also be argued that the rarity of this type (with only a few authenticated cases) does not qualify it as a category. A Rhetoric of Argument adds another dimension to fact/definition arguments. Since the goal of these arguments is characterizing the nature of something, two other types of arguments can be recruited here: comparisons and disjunctions. When arguers want to convince an audience to regard a thing or concept in a certain way, they often make a claim about what it is like (comparison) or what it is unlike (a contrast or disjunction). However, comparisons and contrasts are rarely end purposes of argument; more often, they are intermediate arguments that support an overall characterizing claim. A comparison of two similar universities addressed to a high school senior may be used to support a recommendation that one of them would be a better choice than the other for that person. Or a contrast between two baseball pitchers—one with the lowest earned run average, the other with the most wins in a season—might result in an argument over which pitcher should receive the Cy Young Award. 162

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The Selection of Facts

Although common sense accords a high status to stating facts as the way to settle arguments, their power to convince depends more on how they are used in arguments than on their facticity. Facts do not speak for themselves. Thus, aside from the problems with generating definitions and verification discussed, the main feature of the facts deployed in an argument is their selection. Predictably, facts that support a position are selected from the available facts, and facts that would weaken it are either not mentioned or their importance is downplayed. This obviosity is enshrined in rhetorical dogma: Kenneth Burke puts it elegantly in Language as Symbolic Action: “Even if any given terminology is a reflection of reality, by its very nature as a terminology it must also be a selection of reality; and to this extent it must function also as a deflection of reality.”17 And Perelman and Olbrechts-­Tyteca are even more explicit: “The part that is played by selection is so obvious that when facts are mentioned, we must always ask ourselves what it is that their use can strengthen or weaken.”18 In thinking through the selection of facts, students of argumentation can keep some broad principles in mind. First, as we have seen, selection is inevitable. There is no such thing as a complete accounting of the facts related to an issue since it is always possible to generate facts. If an individual is the subject of an argument, any detail about the physical appearance or the behavior of that person might be mentioned, and the choice of circumstantial details can influence the audience’s attitude toward that person in a way that favors the arguer’s case. The practice of providing circumstantial detail is common in feature journalism based on interviews where the stories often begin with scene setting or with descriptions of the people interviewed. This material may be regarded as a way of meeting genre conventions or of establishing the author’s observational credibility, but such detail often has an argumentative edge as it constructs an initial impression of the interviewee. Not only is the selection of facts inevitable, their pertinence to a particular case can also engender further argument. The complication to keep in mind in assessing pertinence is one that Quintilian noticed in his discussion of tactics for amplifying or strengthening an argument. He says that such arguments can be made by inviting audiences to make inferences from the details presented to them.19 For example, an account of the strength of enemy forces allows the audience to make an inference about the countereffort required to defeat them, and thus, it may support an argument praising the victorious army. An example of this indirect form of arguing from the apparently irrelevant can be found in a book-­length account of attempts to find 163

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the ivory-­billed woodpecker in the swamps of the Choctawhatchee River in Florida. This narrative features several accounts of the searchers becoming lost in the maze of shallow, choked streams in this river basin.20 But these apparently irrelevant details serve to underscore the wilderness aspect of the locale, an impression that in turn serves the book’s overall claim that the bird may have survived unnoticed until these searchers’ expedition. It is difficult to tell ahead of time how apparently irrelevant facts can nevertheless serve supportive inferences. Since facts are inevitably selected, and since some are clearly pertinent, is there any recourse to the inevitably tendentious selection or omission of facts? After all, audiences ignorant of pertinent facts can only be persuaded by the facts they are given. But when pertinent facts are omitted, an opposing arguer can bring them up, and this possibility may be why we tend to have faith in the process of arguing pro and con, with arguers either trying to convince each other or trying to bring a third-­party audience over to one side. In this back-­and-­forth process, both parties tend to be more careful if they know that someone might confront them with pertinent facts that have been omitted. Arguers who knowingly omit facts damaging to their case are of course behaving unethically to begin with, but for those with Machiavellian instincts not particularly moved by ethics, it is also ultimately a tactical mistake not to suppress damaging facts. However, the discovery of such suppression can destroy both the arguer and his/her position, so it is better to admit potentially damaging facts and deal with them in a way that makes them less damaging. And if these facts completely undermine the arguer’s case and cannot be ameliorated, the arguer should either reconsider and modify the case or abandon it. This high-­minded advice can, however, sound unrealistic in a world where internet filters tailor the results of an individual’s searches to match their previous choices. Twenty-­first-­century internet users, therefore, tend to be exposed to online sources that select and present facts in a similar way. Such steady exposure to only part of the “information” spectrum, often called an “information bubble,” can lead to entrenchment in views that are based on a very particular selection and interpretation of facts. Anything outside that selection is labeled “misinformation.” Slant is of course inevitable in any source, so responsible arguers have to carefully balance their sources, and students as arguers-­in-­training can be guided to do likewise. Thus the recommendations of some social scientists to “inoculate” the public against what they deem to be misinformation are not really needed.21 The best solution for entrenchment is, and always has been, a rhetorically trained public that thoroughly understands the nature and uses of facts in arguments. 164

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Evaluation and Proposal Arguments Here we jump ahead briefly to the final two stases in Rhetoric of Argument, evaluation and proposal. We saw both of these as essentially hybrid or composite types of argument, formed by combining fact/definition arguments, just discussed, and causal arguments, which we will discuss. If you evaluate something, you either use a CP argument that places it in some evaluative category (e.g., “screaming at a child is a form of abuse”) or you use a causal argument tracing its good or bad consequences (“screaming at a child creates fear and insecurity”). Of course, you may use both. The evaluation argument is already represented by the third qualitative stasis in the classical system. We added on a fourth proposal stasis because such arguments are a common species and our students often crafted such calls to action in the claims they wanted to support. The proposal argument, like the evaluation argument, is also a hybrid combining arguments from the first two stases. In its fullest form it is essentially a negative evaluation argument establishing the existence of a problem followed by a positive evaluation argument offering a proposed solution and assessing its feasibility. Thus, we produced what we called the “ideal proposal model” featuring the various kinds of subarguments that could be generated. We can look briefly at an example, an argument proposing extensive rabies vaccinations in dog populations to eliminate human deaths from rabies that still occur in parts of sub-­Saharan Africa.22 This proposal first establishes the existence of the problem in the number of recent deaths from rabies based on World Health Organization data (CP argument) and the cause of the disease in the prevalence of unvaccinated dogs. Then it supports the causal effectiveness of the proposed solution on the basis of an example where vaccination was tried, showing that as the number of vaccinations rose, the number of deaths declined. It next offers several subarguments on the feasibility of the proposed vaccination campaigns in terms of time, money, expertise, and so on. Working through examples like this one in the classroom is the best way to explain the structure of proposal arguments. It is also a good way for an arguer to assess the selection and emphasis of the elements from the ideal proposal model most significant for a particular argument.

Causality What about the largest difference between Rhetoric of Argument’s system and classical stasis theory: the separate causal stasis? A distinct causal stasis does 165

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not exist in any classical treatment of the stases, but perhaps, this new stasis is not as much a departure as it might seem at first. After all, stasis theory comes out of courtroom practice, and in the courts, then and now, charges are brought against individuals because of something they have done (or occasionally not done). Thus, that first charge in the conjectural stasis is a claim with a human agent as the subject and the act/crime that may have been committed as the predicate. You stole the urn. You murdered the victim. As Quintilian explains in book 3, if the agent is in question, the argument is in the conjectural stasis, and if the nature of what was done is in question, the argument is in the definitional stasis.23 But in combination, the first-­ stasis claim in a forensic setting is essentially a causal claim about human agency for a distinct action. (It is, of course, very easy for us, after so many episodes and versions of CSI, to separate a question about whether a murder occurred from a question about who may have done it. But in the criminal courtroom, then and now, charges must be brought against individual agents for particular acts.) Another source of evidence for the causal nature of the first stasis comes from the advice given for constructing an argument in that stasis. In De Inventione, after identifying the question at issue as did he commit murder?, Cicero identifies two possible sources of causal explanation: impulse or premeditation. Impulse comes from doing things without thinking, under the influence of strong emotions or intoxication. Premeditation is summed up as doing something “to retain, increase, or acquire some advantage or to throw off, lessen or avoid some disadvantage.”24 Cicero identifies this line of argument as the foundation or basis of the issue. Emphasizing the importance of causal attributions, he adds, “For no one can be convinced that a deed has been done unless some reason is given why it was done.”25 Quintilian, following Cicero, also zeroes in on motives and offers the following elegant taxonomy of motivations for both past and future actions. He repeats Cicero’s lists for right actions with one addition to each: the motive of an action is the acquisition, increase, or preservation, and use of good things and the avoidance, riddance, diminution, or tolerance of bad things.26 Wrong actions, he says, arise from false beliefs or evil emotions or sometimes added accidental circumstances, such as drunkenness or ignorance.27 This brief outline of the sources of right and wrong actions is amazingly complete, and it is easy to imagine the possibilities for classroom discussion and contemporary application. But the point to emphasize from both Cicero and Quintilian is that in regard to actions committed by persons, the classical model has a robust sense of human motives as causes. 166

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The third place for causal argument in the traditional stases comes from the lines of defense recommended in the qualitative stasis. It is important to remember in this stasis that the evaluative dimension of an act is at issue. The qualitative stasis as described in Cicero’s De Inventione offers the defendant many options to mitigate the evaluation of an action.28 You can play one form of law against another—claiming, for instance, that the law of nature overrides statute law. You can admit the fact and even its characterization and then flat out deny that what you did was wrong. It is also possible to take the argument in several other directions: you can claim that something worse would have happened if you had not broken the law. Or you can take up the line of relatio criminis, justifying your act as a response to someone else’s misdeed; or you can use remotio criminis, shifting the responsibility for the act, if not the actual doing of it, to someone else or to some overwhelming circumstance—in other words, “he made me do it.” Or you can concede that you did the act and admit that it was wrong but claim ignorance, accident, or necessity. Or you can plead for mercy and request a pardon, usually on the basis of an overall good reputation or deeds done in other contexts or proclamations of sincere repentance and rehabilitation. Cicero offers an example of one of these options, “confession and avoidance” through chance: a man is contracted to bring animals for a sacrifice; if he fails, the penalty, according to the contract, is execution. He is on his way with the animals when an intervening river rises rapidly and he cannot cross. Everyone sees him standing on the other side; yet he is still charged and brought to trial. He will plead the intervention of chance in extenuation of his guilt.29 It is enormous fun to update Cicero’s examples and think through these possible lines of defense for getting out of a traffic violation or a parking ticket. But the point to underscore here is that these substases require a sophisticated modeling of events as the interplay of different causes. Thus these strategies introduce causality into the qualitative stasis. Let us pause and reflect on our own argument about the roots of a causal stasis in classical theory. So far, we have argued in the qualitative stasis to justify separating out a causal stasis. To summarize our argument in a syllogism: we assume that the rhetorical tradition offers us a still useful theory of argument. There is already a distinct notion of causality in that tradition. Therefore, we are justified in adding a distinct causal stasis to our model. The second premise here needs further support, and the following three lines of argument are offered: first, that first-­stasis propositions in the classical tradition are inherently causal; second, that the advice on human motives in that tradition is causal; and third, that the subdivisions of 167

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the complex, courtroom-­based qualitative stasis in that tradition also require causal arguments.

Taking the Causal Stasis out of the Courtroom

At this point we want to pursue a different line of defense. What happens when we take the stases out of the courtroom and generalize them beyond examples involving litigation to make them more broadly applicable? Contemporary public arguments typically involve both human and nonhuman agents as causes, especially in what are called epistemic or knowledge-­forming arguments. Such epistemic arguments are common, filling our disciplinary journals and often appearing in more popular media as well, and causal arguments are prominent in this group, especially when we consider that predictions, arguing about what will happen, are basically causal arguments. Here are several examples from science publications in the last few years: “What Creates Static Electricity?,”30 “Gut Cell Metabolism Shapes the Microbiome,”31 “Why Is Homo sapiens the Sole Surviving Member of the Human Family?”32—and from Foreign Affairs: “The Vanishing Nuclear Taboo? How Disarmament Fell Apart,”33 “Why the British Chose Brexit,”34 “Iran’s Next Supreme Leader.”35 All these are either causal explanations or predictions. What do the classical sources in general have to say about causal arguments, like the examples above, that are not limited to the acts of individual human agents? Not surprisingly, a great deal, starting with Aristotle who in the opening of the second book of the Posterior Analytics distinguishes four questions that represent the kinds of things we want knowledge about in general—one being the reason why, the cause.36 What he had in mind about how to answer a question about causes in general is indicated in his Physics and Metaphysics where he itemized his four causes.37 The material cause is the physical substance from which something is made, the formal cause is the form or abstract idea that it concretizes, the final cause is its purpose or ultimate source, and the efficient or moving cause is the agency that actually brings it about. For example, in the case of a house, we could say the material cause is wood, concrete, Tyvec, and so on; the formal cause is the architect’s plan for the house; the final cause is the creation of a place to live or to impress the neighbors; and the efficient cause is the construction crew that follows the plan by acting on the materials to achieve the purpose the house was designed to fulfill. Of these four, it is obviously the moving or efficient cause that comes closest to our current sense of causality, though the others are also operative. But Aristotle is not the only ancient thinker on causality in general. And although our sources are fragmentary, Stoic thinking about causality is 168

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on display in Cicero’s De Inventione and in On the Orator’s book 3, De Fato [On Fate] where we see a complex modeling of causes.38 Cicero’s De Inventione goes through the common topics and eventually comes to efficient causes where Cicero steps outside the courtroom, saying he has given examples from the civil law but these arguments have wider application: “There are two kinds of causes: one which by its own force surely produces that effect which depends on this force . . . the second which does not have the quality of producing an effect, but is that without which the effect cannot be produced”39—certainly a notion of necessary and sufficient causes. Cicero’s Stoic view of causality was resumed in the Renaissance, especially in the popular dialectic textbooks of Philip Melanchthon. Thus, when we jump to the sixteenth century, we find ourselves exploring an art of argument that addresses arguments on all subjects and that pays a great deal of separate attention to causality in its advice on invention. Melanchthon nods politely to the Aristotelian four causes and then zeroes in on the moving or efficient cause as the most important. He presents sets of terms or templates that can be used to construct causal models. And he distinguishes ten of these. Here is the first: Of efficient causes, some are natural, others voluntary. Those are called natural that act with the innate power of nature, not with any deliberation, nor is it possible to suspend their action applied to matter, as for example Fire, in the order of nature, heats or burns when applied to bodies, not does it suspend action. . . . Those are called voluntary that are done with deliberation, and since they have some freedom, they can suspend action applied to matter, as for example, the craftsman can be idle, even when he has material and instruments. Also, a thirsting man can command his hands so that they bring an available cup to his mouth.40

Notable here is that Melanchthon has extended his interest to arguments concerning not just human beings but natural processes as well (i.e., to scientific arguments). And he turns to still another ancient source for complex discussions of causality, namely to physicians and especially to Galen who wrote two separate treatises on causality in medicine.41 Melanchthon attributes both his eighth and ninth templates for efficient causes to physicians. Here is the ninth. Causes can be divided into: proēgoumenē, or internal disposition; prokatarktikē, or irritating cause that acts on an internal disposition; and synektikē, or complex, contiguous cause produced by the joint action of 169

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the other two.42 He uses first a medical example on the causes of dysentery, which he defines as an ulceration of the intestines. The internal disposition is an excess of bile; the external, irritating cause is eating too much raw fruit; and the immediate or contiguous cause is this excess being discharged through the intestines. This template works well to explain the source of a medical condition, but surprisingly, Melanchthon also tries out this model to explain the causes of the civil war between Pompey and Caesar: The antecedent, internal cause is Pompey’s pride and greed for fame; the irritating cause is the increasing power of Julius Caesar; and the immediate or proximate cause is Pompey’s hatred of Caesar that incited him to war. Clearly, there was ample material on causal argument, had we known about it, in the recovered history of classical and early modern argumentation theory. But there were surviving remnants of this tradition relevant to the immediate classroom problem we faced. Once we had separated out causal arguments as a distinct kind based on our students’ topics, we had to offer advice on how to construct and support such causal arguments. After all, the point of identifying the stasis of an argument is to acquire a clearer sense of how to proceed with supporting it. Thus, classroom experience and looking at examples taught us first that causal arguments come in two basic varieties. In one type, the aim is to produce a causal explanation or analysis (still an argument) that attempts to give a full account of how something came about. For example, you might want to produce a detailed explanation of how the Dayton Accords were agreed to and succeeded in ending the Bosnian War. In the other type, your purpose is instead to argue that one causal factor was critical in bringing about a situation or event. It might be argued, for instance, that the location of the talks leading to the Dayton Accords, at an Air Force base outside Dayton, Ohio, was crucial because the participants were somewhat isolated and therefore more intent on reaching an agreement. Either way, producing a full causal explanation or isolating a critical factor, it turns out that causal arguments require several steps. The first step is producing a model of the causes. Then, if you are going to single out a cause, you need support for the importance of its role. And finally, there is always a residual assumption about causal agency involved. You either have to argue for or be able to assume a warrant about what can plausibly cause what. Our arguer for the rabies vaccinations could rely on a strong existing causal warrant for the role of vaccines in reducing the spread of disease, and our arguer for the role of the place of the meeting in the success of the Dayton Accords must appeal to shared assumptions about how people behave under certain conditions. 170

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In handling these preliminaries, we found that students were helped in inventing causal arguments if they tried out different templates or frames on a case to bring potential causes into view. (Without knowing it, we used the same approach Melanchthon did.) The frames we offered in Rhetoric of Argument were simply derived from the language typically used to talk about causes. We used three sets of these terms: .

Set 1: Conditions, Influences, and Precipitating Causes—a sudden occurrence acts on a preexisting set of circumstances. Set 2: Remote and Proximate Causes—these are factors lined up in time, with causes of causes in a chain. Set 3: Necessary and Sufficient Causes or Conditions—here some causes have to be in place, but the effect actually depends on the operation of a cause that forces the effect.

We also added four other causal models that are common in actual arguments: looking for responsible agents, reciprocal causality, the role of chance, and the absence of a blocking cause. We had not expected this last frame, the absence of a blocking cause, to be as important as it was in our students’ papers. But identifying what should have been in place to block a negative effect and finding a responsible party to praise or blame for an outcome are important when causal arguments feed into evaluations. We worked on the assumption that a comprehensible causal model helps arguers develop causal explanations, but if the arguer wants to single out one cause as necessary and sufficient, further support will be needed, ultimately derived from the common topics. The most useful of these John Stuart Mill codifies in his System of Logic from the nineteenth century: the common factor, single difference, concomitant variation, and elimination methods.43 Mill’s methods are now widely used as principles of research design, and when they are used without evidence of agency, they can lead to identifying correlations rather than causes. Some current stases models circulating online and appearing in textbooks use the classical system overall but incorporate causality in subordinate ways. Some place causality in the fact stasis.44 Others, as in preparation materials for the AP test in Language and Composition, place causal arguments in the quality/evaluation stasis,45 and indeed, as we point out, evaluation arguments often do incorporate causal claims about the effects 171

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following from the subject evaluated. But in their odd placing of causality, these systems compound what should be separate and offer no invention advice targeting causal argument. There are, however, distinct methods of support as well as critical assumptions about agency required in causal arguments. To sum up, on the grounds of the attention paid to causal argument in the historical sources, and on the grounds of its usefulness for identifying a type of argument often used in all argument fields, a separate causal stasis is justified.

The Stases and Twenty-­First-­Century Argument Once we take the stases beyond the courtroom, with its formal and controlled procedures, and use them in both the invention and analysis of everyday arguments, inevitable complications occur. Actual arguments can be written or oral, complete or fragmentary, direct or indirect, elaborated or condensed. Nevertheless, the stases enable us both to understand arguments by teasing out their components and tactics and to construct arguments by employing a richer variety of strategies. Thus, we want to conclude by exploring briefly some of the complications faced in applying the stases real-­ life arguments in various forms.

The Interconnected Nature of the Stases

In the classical model opponents can progress neatly through the whole series of stases with charge and countercharge. You stole the urn/I did not steal the urn. The defendant may admit to taking the urn but then redefine taking it as borrowing not stealing. You stole the urn/No, I borrowed the urn. Losing in that stasis, too, the defendant can claim, “Well what I did wasn’t so bad because it was an old, cracked urn.” If the defendant argues back in the definitional stasis—I borrowed the urn, I did not steal it—that means that he or she has conceded taking the urn. The opponents win the first-­stasis argument. And if the defendant argues back in the qualitative stasis—I stole the urn, but it was old and cracked, then the opponents have won in the second stasis, you did not just take the urn, you stole it. In this way, because of the connected nature of the stases, an argument in one stasis can precipitate an argument in another. And this process works in both directions. If I am in the fact/definition stasis (in the Rhetoric of Argument model) and my definition category has certain cultural connotations, it may immediately support an evaluation argument. For example, a social service agency, Family Promise of Newcastle County, Delaware, used 172

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this claim on a website (and similar claims in pamphlets and on billboards): “Hidden: 1 in 30 children experience homelessness each year in Delaware.”46 This CP claim would be supported by an argument based largely on definitions of homelessness and children that would lead to a verifiable counting of this population. (And it should also lead people to the causal question, why is this situation happening?) But homeless is more than a definitional category. It is a powerful evaluative label that can serve as a call to action as well. Many CP predicates have this evaluative status. Similarly, to label farming practices sustainable looks like a simple categorization, sustainable practices being practices that produce no harm to the environment. But we are immediately flung into an evaluation argument determining what harm might be in these circumstances and whether certain farming practices produce it. In still another twist, the evaluation or proposal that the arguer wants to make can influence the argument downstream, whether CP or causal. For example, in evaluating the style of a text, the number of facts one can generate about the language of a passage is enormous. So, the analyst tends to select the language facts characterizing the text that fit the intended assessment. Only first-­stasis claims that serve the desired evaluation are given and supported in the argument.

The Role of Genres in Filling Certain Stasis Functions

Arguments in the first stasis are arguments about the nature of things, which means that all information genres actually present first-­stasis arguments. All news reports, for example, are first-­stasis arguments—even those that simply report on newsworthy events. If a newspaper headline reports that a dam burst, the following article will present convincing evidence that the dam did actually burst and that it was not simply damaged. Eyewitness reports and expert assessments of the structure will be cited as verification. Once again, further arguments in other stases may ensue, either immediately or later. Was the dam in poor condition? Who was aware or should have been aware of that? Did heavy rain cause it to burst? Who was responsible for fixing it? Editorials, letters to the editor, council meetings, town halls, protest marches, legal briefs, insurance claims, and so on, may follow. Many different genres of argument with claims in different stases, all requiring different kinds of support and varying degrees of verification depending on their audiences, can result from one reported event. Similarly, all reviews of books, movies, music, and so on, are third-­stasis evaluation arguments, even when they pretend not to be. A review that appears to be merely descriptive actually argues that “this is the sort of thing 173

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you like if you like this sort of thing.” The project or object is described, and readers can decide for themselves whether they value or dismiss efforts in that realm. The evaluation is evoked by the description and articulated by the reader. Similarly, a book reviewer can write a piece noting what was overlooked in the project under review or what should have been given more attention. The reader is invited to share the reviewer’s negative evaluation, even if it is not articulated, on the basis of what would have been praiseworthy had it been present. Genres can be categorized in different ways: as oral (sermons, lectures, debates, courtroom presentations), as written (news reports, reviews, editorials, essays, scholarly articles), as primarily visual (video commercials, billboards). Genres are conventionalized forms of argument, ready-­made niches that vary in the type and quantity of support they require. But each genre can also be relabeled according to the stasis question it fulfills.

The Problem of Access to Forums for Stasis Confrontation

The classical courtroom stasis model imagines two arguers, presumably of equal status and ability, putting forth the best possible arguments on either side of the issue under debate, and aiming to convince third-­party judges on which side has the better case. It is a tidy model, but there are actually very few real-­world forums that create the conditions for such balanced confrontation. To begin with, the exact point under debate is often unclear. Even in antiquity there was considerable disagreement over whether the stasis was determined by the initial accusation or by the subsequent denial.47 In addition, actual venues for mounting paired arguments are rare, the status of the participants is often asymmetrical, and there are no procedural rules to settle issues once and for all. Sometimes journals and newspapers publish exchanges in which a letter to the editor challenges an article, but the challenger rarely gets to present as detailed an argument as the first arguer. Often, too, an argument that is mounted in one forum will be argued against in a different forum with a different audience. Since the advent of the internet, refutations of arguments published in academic journals have often appeared in blogs or online comment sections. These counterarguments are being made in a different genre, and each time there is such a change in genre, there are changes in the affordances of argument. In a famous recent case, for example, an argument that appeared in Science claiming the existence of a strain of bacteria using arsenic in its DNA was challenged in a blog by another researcher who doubted the results and who could argue from a personal perspective not available to the original arguer.48 174

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In the current proliferation of sources and media platforms, it is difficult to find parallel venues for stasis engagement. Various first-­stasis characterizations or causal explanations or evaluations of the same event circulate in print, online, and in social media venues that do not line up and do not reach the same audiences. Though tweets can be retweeted and screenshots can be juxtaposed, these methods enable circulation but not a balanced forum for engagement. Thus “third parties” who want to listen to (and in some cases also see and hear) opposing arguments on an issue have to assemble the case for themselves from diverse sources arguing in different genres with different standards of support. So there remains a huge challenge in identifying potential textual locations for balanced stasis engagement.

The Role of Statistics and Digitally Manipulated Data

In this fourth point and in the next, we confront changes that the classical originators of the stases did not to have deal with. The first has to do with facts that are only accessible to those with special expertise, facts that cannot be independently “seen.” It is true that arguers in ancient Greece and Rome did deal with facts that were not under direct observation, hence their interest in sign arguments. But they did not have the instrumentally generated facts common in the sciences where facts about temperature or pressure or pH or tensile strength, and so on, only exist by virtue of the apparatus that brings them into existence. Nor did arguers two thousand years ago have the entirely new category of fact produced by statistical sampling and now increasingly by computational “mining” of large databases. These sources of evidence are used to support claims about recurring patterns or trends that are created by parsing and retrieval algorithms. The argument cited above about the “growth of science” depends on this kind of data mining. What is the nature of the problem here? One complication is the opacity of the evidence cited. Consumers of an argument that uses such evidence often have no idea how the evidence was generated. Another complication follows as the form and presentation are taken by many to be the verification. Statistically generated facts are accepted simply because they are statistically generated and presented in a graph or table. Yet, ideally, we still need to evaluate the quality of the research generating the statistics and the relationship of the statistics offered to the issue at hand. Statistics can, after all, launch arguments as well as settle them. For one thing, a time element may be at issue. Statistics refer to patterns discovered at the time of sampling; conditions in the present and future may differ. In cancer research, for example, statistics project recent survival rates, but new treatments can change those rates 175

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substantially. Think too about political polls, widely disseminated. They need to be constantly updated as conditions change, and their accuracy depends on who is polled, what questions are asked, what percentages of those polled answer, and many other variables. Furthermore, polling statistics are often expressed as percentages that amount to hedging a claim, that is, to adding a statement about the likelihood of a result. If a poll predicts an 80 percent chance of one outcome and the opposite outcome occurs, in a sense the poll is not wrong since it predicted the opposite outcome 20 percent of the time. But polls are rarely taken that way.

The Role of Visuals in the Stases

Finally, the role of visuals in relation to the stases begs for examination. Obviously, classical arguers did have access to visual evidence—they were physically present to each other and could bring in bloody tunics and weeping widows to support their accusations. By the sixteenth century it was possible to reproduce images from woodcuts and engravings, making widespread arguing with text plus image possible for the past four hundred years. But until a few decades ago arguers did not have the modes or resources for visual or indeed multimodal persuasion that are now common on the internet. Asking how visuals argue is a lively enterprise among informal logicians and rhetoricians, though not from a stasis standpoint. In the third edition of Rhetoric of Argument, we consider certain visual conventions and their role in the different stases but in a very preliminary way. Obviously, visuals can reinforce an argument in any stasis. Claims that something exists or happened seem easily supported by pictures or video, and the immediacy of the visual bypasses nuances of contextualization. In fact, it seems possible for a visual on its own to constitute a first-­stasis argument— such as a picture of a burst dam. And as part of a second-­stasis causal argument, changes in a situation can also be shown by “before and after” images. For reinforcing third-­stasis qualitative arguments, the evaluative power of images is incontestable, hence the preference for pictures involving children to bring home the emotional dimension of a situation. And in the case of fourth-­stasis proposal arguments that inevitably build on negative evaluations, affective images are obvious supports. Of course, audiences are now much more skeptical about digitally altered or faked images, so there is some resistance to “seeing is believing.” Still, in general, visuals can easily be recruited as sources of evidence in any of the stases, and they typically serve an amplifying or intensifying purpose. But can visuals change the stasis of an argument? A single case suggesting 176

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this possibility comes from an article on Chinese aquaculture appearing in Science.49 Typical for an article in this journal, there is recourse to extensive quantitative evidence supporting a first-­stasis characterization of the extent of the Chinese fish-­farming industry and its use of wild caught “trash fish,” a term of art for this source of fish food. The article proposes limits on the size of harvests of this fish food. But above the title on the first page, there is a photograph of large blocks of trash fish, each a pressed mash of small fish and worms—slimy, gray, and frankly disgusting. This picture gives a strongly negative spin to the reader’s evaluation of trash fish as a food source in fish farming. In this way, the visual inflects the stasis of the argument.

• The stases, the set of issues that can be subjects of argument, have been a powerful rhetorical tool since antiquity, and they continue to be a subject for rediscovery and refinement. In Rhetoric of Argument we offer a version of the stases that highlights the role of definitions in the generation of facts and brings attention to the unique requirements of causal arguments while showing how these forms are then combined in evaluation and proposal arguments. We derived our model from our teaching experience. In our argument courses, we brought in current examples from a wide variety of sources (often yesterday’s newspaper) and allowed our students to follow topics of their own choosing while offering them specific advice on the constituents of their developing arguments. The complications in applying the stases— their recursiveness, genre dimensions, and incompleteness when it comes to matched arguments—were uncovered in our discussions. As the twenty-­first century unrolls, teachers and students of argument will have further complications to deal with. But the stases will remain a powerful general model for teaching the analysis, and more important for writing teachers, the invention of arguments. They are both ancient and contemporary, theoretically rich and practically useful.


9 chap ter 9 0

John Locke and the Paradox of Tolerant Disputation Mark Garrett Longaker

When regarding the early Enlightenment, historians of rhetoric tend to emphasize the philosophical and epistemological motives that prompted many, such as René Descartes and John Locke, to reject classical methods of argumentation and to embrace some version of scientific demonstration. Though an attention to epistemology allows us to understand an important part of their intellectual environment, this approach also blinds us to the social and political turmoil that they witnessed every day. Before his affair with the air pump, Thomas Hobbes contested Puritan absolutism. Before he obsessed about optics, Descartes fought the Bohemian Revolt (1618–20). And before he joined the English Royal Society, Locke defended the Restoration. Like those who lived in the aftermath of the English Civil War, we are divided by our values and beliefs; like witnesses to the Thirty Years’ War, the narcissism of our small differences inspires our violent divisions. Like those teaching argumentation in the late seventeenth century, we worry that the state of our public discourse contributes to governmental dysfunction, leads to civil strife, and collapses in horrific violence. In this essay, I interrogate Locke’s social and political reasons for rejecting a mainstay in classical argumentation: arguing both sides of any case. I begin by exploring the curriculum at Oxford from 1659 to 1664, a program featuring both formal logical disputation (which the university censors directed) and informal rhetorical disputation (in which the students voluntarily engaged). I explain that a culture of disputation emerged at mid-­ seventeenth-­century Oxford. I also claim that Locke rejected this culture when he developed a demonstrative moral science, a science that he began with his lectures on natural law and that he expanded in his later writings. In the second part of this essay, I explore Locke’s possible reasons for

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rejecting disputation and embracing demonstration. The second part of my essay is itself a disputation, debating three possible explanations for Locke’s demonstrative turn. Epistemologically, Locke doubted disputation’s contribution to a truthful moral science. Socially, he worried that contentious argumentation would exacerbate confessional strife. And politically, he believed that charitable conversation suited the permission toleration theorized in his 1685 Epistola de Tolerantia. Like all disputations, this essay’s second part arrives at no indubitable conclusions. Nevertheless, exploring Locke’s three complementary motivations reveals a paradoxical tension among our epistemological needs, our social worries, and our political hopes. Like Locke, we need arguments on all sides of a question to identify the truest, the most just, and the most widely accepted policy. However, hoping for a stable polity, we might worry that such argumentative agôn foments division.

An Exposition on Disputation at Restoration Oxford Locke knew the Oxford curriculum intimately. At Christ Church College, he was a senior student (1658–62), studying logic and participating in disputation exercises. In 1662, he began to tutor others and to lecture on rhetoric. In 1663–64, he was senior censor, presiding over the collegiate disputation exercises, and also lectured on moral philosophy. Yet, from the moment he left Oxford until his final days, Locke doubted and sometimes condemned the Oxford curriculum. Shortly after leaving the university, in 1665–66, he ridiculed the disputations that he witnessed while traveling in Cleves.1 Later that year, he compared a disputation exercise that he witnessed at a Franciscan monastery to “hogsheering”—likely to produce a lot of noise but little wool.2 In the early drafts of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (ca. 1669–71), Locke complained about “scholastique learning” and “the learned arts of disputeing.”3 In the early 1680s, he said formal disputation teaches students to “talk copiously on either side, without being steady and settled in their own judgments.”4 Finally, in the late 1680s, Locke complained that the “Art of Disputing . . . [is] fitted to perplex the signification of words, more than to discover the knowledge and truth of things.”5 Given these repeated complaints, we should wonder, what specifically was Locke rejecting? Disputation and logic were inseparable because Oxford’s verbal contests required strict form. Nevertheless, for the sake of clarity, I will distinguish the Oxford logic curriculum from the disputation exercises. Logic at Oxford was mostly taught by individual tutors in the colleges. Students would read a 179

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primer covering some medieval theory and much Aristotle. Thereafter, they might graduate to more advanced commentaries or to reading the Stagirite himself. The most popular commentaries in Locke’s day were Franco Burgersdijk’s Institutio Logicarum Libri Duo (1647) and Robert Sanderson’s Logicae Artis Compendium (1615). Additionally and commonly taught were Porphyry’s Isagoge, a commentary on the Aristotelian categories, Martin Smiglecius’s Logica (1618), Phillippe Du Triue’s Manuductio ad Logicam (1670), and Jacobo Zabarella’s Opera Logica (1597). Locke’s students studied Sanderson, Du Trieu, Smiglecius, and Zabarella.6 Sanderson’s book is typical of the Oxford curriculum because it avoids medieval technicalities while emphasizing the Aristotelian syllogism.7 Additionally, Sanderson’s Logicae Artis Compendium deserves special attention because, in an appendix to a second edition, Sanderson described Oxford disputation, based on his own personal experience as a student. Not all Oxford students would graduate to the commentaries or to the primary texts in Aristotle’s Organon. Their level of attainment would depend upon student and tutor. Some tutors would only teach the primer and then advise students to read certain commentaries on their own.8 Some students resisted further instruction. Oxford’s Restoration era reputation as a site of “militant Anglicanism” inspired loyalists to send their sons for instruction in the fineries of English culture, not the subtleties of scholastic logic.9 While Aristotelian logic was inconsistently taught, disputation was everywhere. Disputations happened within the colleges, competitively among the colleges, and at the end of a student’s baccalaureate. So popular were these exercises that students attended them for entertainment, along with jeering crowds of faculty, royalty, and local gentry.10 The typical Oxford disputation had to be syllogistic in form, though there is some evidence that rhetorical elements crept in. Students would begin with a materia disputanda, a question whose content cannot offend faith or good character, whose answer cannot be obvious, and whose consideration cannot surpass the human intellect.11 Each exercise featured three participants: the respondent, the opponent, and the moderator. The moderator posed the question, and the respondent staked out the first position: either a rigid and peremptory statement of his position or a rational and satisfactory explanation. In the collegiate disputations, the rigid response was typical but, in intercollegiate exercises, the rational answer was most common and always syllogistic, since a rhetorical reply would “seek elegance, not truth.”12 In the next phase, the opponent would propose his own argument and assail the respondent’s position. This second phase in the exercise did allow 180

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for a little rhetorical oration (oratiuncula) preceding the opponent’s formal riposte.13 This concession to a little rhetoric, however, was counterbalanced by Sanderson’s insistence on strict logic throughout the opponent’s reply. In the third phase of the disputation, the respondent would assault the opponent’s arguments. Both the respondent and the opponent were encouraged to repeat and sometimes correct one another, but without concession. The goal was to fairly represent and to refute the opposition. During the first three stages of the disputation, the moderator’s job was to preserve proper form, to shut down ridicule, and to assist when necessary. At the end of the exercise, time permitting, the moderator offered a resolution to the debate.14 This duty of concluding the exercise does not appear in contemporaneous logic manuals, so it seems peculiar to Oxford, a holdover of the determinatio common in medieval disputations.15 I offer a fuller exemplification of Oxford disputation in the second part of this essay, where I model the exercise as Sanderson describes it. For the time being, suffice it to say that Sanderson’s depiction of Oxford disputation does not support the recent scholarly assertion that these exercises were more rhetorical than logical.16 So we should avoid “sweeping claims about humanistic logic” invading the Oxford curriculum.17 An exclusive emphasis on the formal exercises and the logic curriculum, however, would prevent us from noticing something important about the university culture. In other areas of Oxford life, disputational practice, rhetorical argumentation, and probabilistic reasoning flourished. The terrae filius addresses at commencement, for example, were satirical declamations that ridiculed university faculty and customs.18 Similarly, in their many informal compositions, students wrote what I call rhetorical disputations. They argued dialogically, refuting an imagined opponent. They reasoned probabilistically, basing their conclusions on likely premises. And they declaimed rhetorically, appealing to emotions and enthymemes rather than to major propositions and middle terms. Edward Bagshaw published two of his Oxford rhetorical disputations (ca. 1660–61). The first begins with the materia disputanda in the form of a quaestio. Bagshaw then declares his suppositio, as if serving in the role of a respondent: “An Ministrorum Evangelii Certus & a Plebe Fidelium distinctus ordo, sit a Christo constitutus? Aff[irmatur]” (Was a certain and distinct order set up by Christ and by the popular agreement of the faithful? It is affirmed).19 Thereafter, Bagshaw’s argument follows a rhetorical rather than a syllogistic form. To support his claim that Jesus established a distinct order of ministers, chosen by popular approval but ordained by church authority, Bagshaw presents four probabilistic proofs: a comparison to Jesus 181

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and Moses who were divinely given pastoral authority; the testimony of the prophets; the example of Jesus who entrusted authority not to the vulgar but to the apostles; and the practice of the apostles, who consecrated preachers. In addition to these proofs, Bagshaw’s argument exhibits a dialogical quality, anticipating and contesting refutations by an imagined opponent. His refutations make no subtle Aristotelian distinctions, though he does follow some of Sanderson’s less technical advice. At one moment, for instance, he refutes those who appealed to papal ordination in ministerial consecration, saying such opponents might claim that only Jesus could ordain the twelve apostles, and only those twelve could ordain their seventy disciples. Sanderson suggests that the opponent should press the respondent’s argument into an absurd conclusion.20 Bagshaw presses his imaginary opponent’s argument into the ridiculous claim that every pope would have to consecrate twelve bishops who themselves could only ordain seventy ministers. But Bagshaw’s refutation is far from syllogistic, proceeding instead from rhetorical proofs that he labels: an argumentum a fortiori and an argumentum ab incommodi.21 Bagshaw wrote several such pamphlets, all beginning with a question, taking a stance, listing reasons, and rebutting an imagined opponent. Their probabilistic proof, dialogical format, and rhetorical presentation distinguish these pamphlets from the syllogistic disputations that he practiced as a student and that he presided over as a censor at Oxford. Other pamphlets written by Bagshaw during this time are similarly rhetorical disputations. His De Monarchia Absoluta, for example, opens with the question and states his position: “An Monarchia Absoluta sit optima Imperii Forma—Neg[atur]” (Is absolute monarchy the best form of rule? It is negated).22 Bagshaw’s argument then defines terms, lists four reasons, and refutes opponents, such as Matthew Wren, another Oxford student who defends absolute monarchy in his pamphlet Monarchy Asserted (1659). And Bagshaw was not the only Oxford student writing rhetorical disputations for public distribution. Henry Stubbe, Wren and Bagshaw’s classmate, published a pamphlet defending Richard Cromwell’s Protectorate. Stubbe’s Essay in Defense of the Good Old Cause (1659) opens with a question: “Whether the Civil Magistrate hath any power in Things of Spiritual Concernment?” Like Bagshaw, Stubbe defines terms and offers probabilistic proofs with dialogical refutations. Finally, in 1661, probably in response to a long-­standing collegiate debate about scriptural exegesis, John Locke wrote a rhetorical disputation claiming that Scripture defies an infallible interpreter (such as the pope) and furthermore stating that the magistrate should determine interpretations about indifferent matters (theological and practical points not directly 182

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related to salvation). Locke opens with a question and states his position: “An necesse sit dari in Ecclesia infallabilem Sacro Sanctae Scripturae Interpretem? Neg[atur]” (Is it necessary that an infallible interpreter of sacred scripture be given in the church? It is negated). He lists probabilistic reasons, rebuts his opponents, and concludes with a rhetorical conciliation.23 Writing about medieval rhetorical pedagogy, Alex Novikoff argues that monastic and university disputations transcended their scholarly environments, contributing to a wider “culture of disputation,” a culture escaping its “origin” in manuscripts and exercises, a culture passing from “an idea among few to a . . . practice among many.”24 The rhetorical disputations at Oxford show that formal scholastic exercises similarly transcended Sanderson’s syllogistic constraints and the censors’ strict control. I return to this transcendence when demonstrating that a public debate between Locke and Bagshaw grew out of Oxford’s culture of disputation. At the moment, however, allow a brief digression, explaining why such a culture was possible. Why would students turn away from Aristotelian logic while remaining committed to disputational practice? Three exigent factors made rhetorical disputation an especially attractive exercise: a turn toward classical humanism, a turn away from Aristotelian logic, and a commitment to syllogistic training but not formal logic. Education at midcentury Oxford took a humanistic turn because a long-­ standing Renaissance commitment to Ciceronian rhetoric met a newly established Cavalier interest in sociability. Rather than arrogant pedants, these students wanted to become gentleman-­scholars. Rather than logical acumen, they sought rhetorical eloquence. Like Renaissance humanists, these Restoration era Cavaliers saw grammar, logic, and rhetoric as sister arts complementing one another.25 Contributing to this picture of a humanistic and therefore rhetorical renaissance at midcentury Oxford was an increase in classical sources, such as Livy and Cicero, and a turn toward the topical logic often associated with probabilistic reasoning. Rudolphus Agricola’s De Inventione Dialectica (1479), a popular topical logic during the Renaissance, was also popular at midcentury Oxford.26 Even Sanderson discusses some topical argumentation, saying that this sort of logic yields a probable opinion (parat probabilem opinionem).27 Meanwhile, as topical-­probabilistic reasoning gained ground, the new science’s soldiers assaulted Aristotelian scholasticism. Despite its valiant charge, experimental empiricism did not supplant so much as supplement Aristotle’s syllogisms.28 Stubbe serves as a representative case study of how old scholasticism and new experimentalism existed together at Oxford. 183

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Stubbe was himself a man of science and a friend of Thomas Hobbes, who famously tested the modern geometric method on political theory. Hobbes hoped that a new group of mathematici would empirically induce general principles and then build deductively toward a political science. He contrasted these new moral scientists with the old dogmatici, who “take up maxims from their education, and from the authority of men, or of custom, and take the habitual discourse of the tongue for ratiocination.”29 Hobbes’s faith in empirical science and geometric reasoning led him to criticize the Oxford dons who taught staid “Aristotelity” rather than true “philosophy.”30 Stubbe, although Hobbes’s friend and advocate, married Aristotelian argumentation to empirical science. After leaving Oxford, Stubbe became an accomplished physician, and he publicly trumpeted his Aristotelian Galenism as an alternative to the English Royal Society’s atomism.31 Contributing to this scientific onslaught, Puritans and Presbyterians assailed Aristotelian scholasticism for its long association with Anglican casuistry, leading many to embrace the humanistic logic of Pierre de la Ramée (Petrus Ramus). Ramistic logic had a brief life and uninfluential existence at Oxford, promoted mainly by Puritans like John Owen (Dean of Christ Church in 1651 and Vice Chancellor of Oxford from 1652 to 1657). Both Owen and Stubbe (another supporter of the Roundhead cause) were run out of the university for their political views. Ramism, similarly was wiped from the curriculum in part because hot-­headed Puritans discredited this logical system.32 Though the Puritans were out of power, their objection to Aristotelian logic persisted among many who, nonetheless, continued to teach Aristotle. For instance, on December 17, 1659, while stepping down from his post as censor, Edward Bagshaw, a Calvinist Anglican, lamented teaching his students syllogistic logic rather than revealed truth.33 Bagshaw’s reason for questioning scholasticism was religious, not epistemological. He wanted students to study biblical revelation before attempting Aristotelian ratiocination.34 Though scientists and theologians raised concerns about scholasticism, though topical logics gained ground, the old logic held the line because most at Oxford deemed “Aristotelity” a necessarily difficult training.35 Similarly, they saw both pedagogical and epistemological value in syllogistic disputation. Locke himself, while stepping down from his post as censor in 1664, conceded that his students’ disputations had sharpened his mind and refined his ideas: “I took part this year in your disputations on such terms that I always went out at once beaten and enriched. Such indeed was the grace of your victory that your arguments, to which I so often yielded, added as much to my knowledge as they detracted from my reputation.”36 It should come as 184

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no surprise that Oxford tutors and students saw pedagogical and epistemological value in syllogistic disputation. After all, Aristotle himself thought the exercise could lead disputants to truth.37 Additionally, many medieval masters viewed disputation as “an exercise in logic and hermeneutics.”38 Finally, Sanderson repeats this chestnut, saying he did not know any other exercise more useful to the student wanting to see the truth clearly: “Qua exercitatione necio an sit alia aeque utilis juvenibus, tum ad perspiciantiam veri.”39 In these circumstances—with Aristotelian logic challenged but not beaten, with interest in eloquence growing but not paramount—rhetorical disputation was appropriate. Rhetorical disputation slaked students’ thirst for eloquence. In the logic curriculum, scholasticism would remain the dominant force. As Sanderson assured his students, one scholastic Thomas or Scotus can demolish a hundred rhetorical Ciceros or Lipsiuses.40 Nonetheless, while learning the barbaries scholasticorum, students who studied and taught Sanderson’s primer were also practicing the ratio rhetoricae. It should come as no surprise to learn that, circa 1658 to 1661, two Oxford censors who presided over collegiate syllogistic disputations also engaged in an extra­ curricular rhetorical exchange. The Oxford toleration debates began with Bagshaw’s three pamphlets, published not long after he left his post as censor at Christ Church (1658– 59): The Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent in Religious Worship (1660), The Second Part of the Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent in Religious Worship (1661), and The Necessity and Use of Heresies, or the Third and Last Part of the Great Question about Indifferent Things in Religious Worship (1662). In response, Locke wrote two pamphlets, one in English and the other in Latin. These are now called Locke’s Two Tracts on Government. He planned to publish the English tract, but the Clarendon code (1661– 65) made official Charles II’s legislatively mandated confession, rendering Locke’s Two Tracts moot. The Latin tract appears to have been written as a school exercise like Bagshaw’s Duae Exercitationes (1661), though there is no evidence that Locke ever intended to publish it. All three of Bagshaw’s pamphlets and Locke’s Two Tracts answer the quaestio at the beginning of Bagshaw’s his first pamphlet: “Whether the Civil Magistrate may lawfully impose and determine the Use of Indifferent Things in reference to Religious Worship.”41 Albeit formally rhetorical, Bagshaw’s Great Question reads like a rational suppositio, for he followed Sanderson’s advice that the respondent take a position and use words without ambiguity.42 Bagshaw, for instance, carefully defines “things in their own Nature Indifferent . . . [as] those Outward Circumstances of our actions; which the law 185

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of God hath left Free and Arbitrary.”43 Four probabilistic reasons support his contention that the magistrate should not regulate indifferent things: (1)  Imposition by force is contrary to Christian principle, (2)  imposition will violate God-­given liberty, (3) imposition is contrary to Christian practice, and (4) imposition will lead to many inconveniences, such as tyranny (maybe popery) and the corruption of Christian religion.44 Bagshaw then rebuts the three main arguments against his position.45 Locke’s English tract reads like an opponent’s reply. He repeats the main question: “Whether the Civil Magistrate may lawfully impose and determine the use of indifferent things in reference to Religious Worship?”46 And he begins with “generally accepted opinions,” a foundation typical of problematic reasoning.47 Despite some reservations, Locke states that he would accept his opponent’s opinion that magisterial authority is rooted in popular consent.48 Political theorists have long pondered why Locke begins his English tract with an admission of Bagshaw’s premise, especially when Locke himself says that he believed the magistrate “receives his commission immediately from God.”49 Yet this decision to allow Bagshaw’s foundational premise had nothing to with the integrity of Locke’s argument. Rather, he was following a standard disputational practice. An Oxford respondent could not deny premises ad nauseam but must rather concede to the irrelevant premises and give reasons for challenging those that might be integral to the opponent’s conclusion.50 Since he deemed Bagshaw’s view of popular sovereignty irrelevant, Locke conceded the premise. Locke furthermore introduces other opinions that his opponent would likely accept. At one point, for instance he echoes Bagshaw’s definition of “indifferent things”: “All things not comprehended in that law are perfectly indifferent and as to them man is naturally free.”51 The remainder of the pamphlet is a point-­by-­point refutation of Bagshaw’s four arguments. Though formally rhetorical, Locke’s English tract otherwise fulfills the opponent’s office. His objection to Bagshaw’s argument about Christian liberty proves that he learned a lot from Sanderson. Sanderson suggested that students make claims and refute opponents by drawing distinctions. Locke strategically drew the distinction between claims made in a wide-­ranging manner and claims made in a confined way (“large et stricte”).52 He said that Bagshaw had used the term “liberty” in too far-­reaching a manner. For Jesus did not give Christians an unbounded freedom to do whatever they pleased in worship. Rather, they had a “freedom from the ceremonial law [of the Pharisees and the Sadducees] which after Christ was bondage.” The Gospels, therefore, speak of “freedom from sin 186

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and the devil and not from laws.”53 Or, take another example of Locke applying Sanderson’s advice about refutational distinction. In his Latin tract, while arguing that Christian scripture does not give a perfect rule of life and manners. Locke distinguished between a set of general norms and a set of particular directions, arguing that the scripture provided the former and the magistrate the latter.54 Albeit rhetorical, Locke’s arguments in both tracts employ refutational tactics taught in Sanderson’s Compendium. Additionally, his Two Tracts follow disputational norms repeated in many sixteenth-­and seventeenth-­century logical commentaries. Agreeing to common ground and making refutational distinctions were at the heart of seventeenth-­ century syllogistic disputation both in England and on the continent.55 Despite the evident absence of Aristotelian logic, both Bagshaw’s pamphlets and Locke’s Two Tracts, therefore, were products of Oxford’s culture of disputation. If Locke participated in and learned from the Aristotelian logic and the disputation exercises at Oxford, we have to wonder why he would later deride both. The most common answer is that he become something like a Hobbesian mathematicus, empirically and rationally pursuing certainty. This answer fits a currently held and long-­standing belief that Locke rejected both the classical and medieval language arts for epistemological reasons.56 And there are good reasons to accept this consensus, starting with Locke’s biography. He fell in with chemists and other Baconian acolytes while studying at Oxford. His friends included many Royal Society magnates, such as Robert Boyle. Locke describes himself as an “under-­laborer” for the sciences in Essay Concerning Human Understanding, of which he was writing the early drafts roughly a decade after leaving Oxford (ca. 1669–71).57 In it, Locke explicitly rejects Aristotelian scholasticism, saying that civilization owed its prosperity, not to “all knowing Doctors” but to “unscholastique statesmen,” not to Aristotle’s logic but instead to the “usefull arts” of political science.58 His scientific journey began at Oxford. In the early 1660s, while lecturing on moral philosophy, he composed what are now called The Essays on the Law of Nature. These compositions turn away from Aristotelian logic and Ciceronian rhetoric. Even though Locke had his students syllogistically dispute the theory of natural law, even though their argumenta in utramque partem confirmed his conviction that such a law existed, and, even though he and Bagshaw debated rhetorically, Locke decided to explore the connection between natural law and human politics demonstratively.59 At Oxford, he pioneered a political science based on empirical observation and geometric inference.60 187

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While disputation exercises are often based on problematic premises (first principles agreed upon by both parties), Locke’s essays on natural law are apodictic (based upon indubitable axioms). While disputation exercises aim toward the moderator’s resolutio—a reasonable synthesis of the arguments—Locke’s essays on natural law pursue an indubitable and singular truth. To use the Aristotelian vocabulary that Locke and his students would have learned from Sanderson, these lectures are an episode in demonstrative rather than problematic reasoning.61 Aristotle claims that each demonstrative science has its own primary axioms.62 Locke explains that the first principles of political science cannot be perceived through the senses but must instead be grasped by “intuition.”63 His first essay on natural law, therefore, asserts that anyone can easily intuit an order to the world, some higher power, and therefore some governing law.64 In addition to its embrace of apodictic premises, Locke’s first essay on the law of nature also proceeds demonstratively. Rather than finding middle terms and reaching conclusions, Locke lays out premises and draws correlations. A certain undeniable order leads to belief in a higher power, and belief in a higher power leads to belief in a law, and belief in a law leads to trust in our rational ability to divine that law. Thus, Locke arrives at his belief in a “light of nature,” allowing demonstrative reason without cumbersome syllogisms.65 In addition to their apodictic quality, Locke’s essays on natural law are also assertoric. While appealing to indubitable axioms, he also appeals to premises that can be affirmed or denied based on particular examples and widespread experience. He takes up the Aristotelian belief that “experience . . . provides the starting-­point of the science.” In our experience of the particular, the “universal” emerges.66 This is the argument of Locke’s fourth essay, where he affirms that reason can know natural law through sense experience.67 Interacting rationally with particulars, Locke discovers the foundational premises of his moral science: a benevolent God exists and orders the world; this benevolent God implants in people a desire for society; this benevolent God gives people the ability—through language and commerce—to maintain a social order; people’s cooperation improves their lives; in order to maintain their social order, people have certain duties to God, to themselves, and to their neighbors; we can rationally intuit these duties by reflecting on our particular experiences.68 Historians of political philosophy have argued that Locke’s early beliefs in universal reason and natural law laid the foundation for his later rejection of divine monarchy and his promotion of religious toleration.69 His lectures on natural law presage his later political philosophy in content.70 In form, these lectures likewise 188

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anticipate the demonstrative moral science that he would finally defend in Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In these early lectures, Locke applied a commonsense form of rational inference, one grounded in his belief that all people—the learned scholastic and the common laborer—possess the same light of reason. Locke’s progress toward a demonstrative moral science was all but complete by 1667, when he composed his “Essay on Toleration.” This 1667 Essay is often and justly analyzed as a dramatic turn from Locke’s early defense of magisterial imposition and toward his later (1685) support for toleration.71 Setting aside the content, however, the form is equally important because Locke rejects disputatious bickering and embraces demonstrative argumentation. The 1667 essay’s opening paragraph complains about the opposing sides in this debate: “Whilst one side preach up absolute obedience, and the other claim universal liberty in matters of conscience.” According to Locke, the toleration debate’s great misstep was that neither side, in their quest for victory and glory, bothered to articulate their first principles, those intuitively grasped axioms grounding scientific demonstration. Locke starts not with generally accepted opinions but instead with an apodictic assertion: “Which . . . will not be questioned or denied, viz: That the whole trust, power, and authority of the magistrate is vested in him for no other purpose but to be made use of for the good, preservation, and peace of men in that society over which he is set, and therefore that this alone is and ought to be the standard and measure according to which he ought to square and proportion his laws, model and frame his government.”72 From this first principle, Locke derives limits to the magistrate’s authority and the subject’s liberty as well as corollaries about the magistrate’s and the subject’s duties regarding indifferent things: (1)  The magistrate may tolerate some vices if they do not impose upon people’s civil goods, (2) the magistrate must not tolerate any vices that impose upon other people’s civil goods, and (3) the subject may disobey a magistrate’s commands about indifferent matters, provided that s/he willingly suffers the consequences for this passive disobedience.73 In 1661, while arguing with Bagshaw, Locke explored toleration both rhetorically and logically. In 1667, he addressed the same topic, this time demonstratively. Twenty-­two years later, in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke shifted away from an apodictic and toward an assertoric grounding for his moral science. He abandons intuition and emphasizes sense perception: “The consent of all men, in all ages, as far as can be known, [which] concurs with a man’s constant and never-­failing experience in like cases.”74 In Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke assures his reader that 189

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“morality is capable of demonstration as mathematics.”75 He did not think syllogizing necessary to the enterprise because God afforded people an innate faculty. Morality, which Locke defines as the “proper science and business of mankind,” can be achieved with commonsense deduction from premises to conclusions, axioms to corollaries. For “God has not been so sparing to . . . make . . . [people] barely two-­legged creatures, and left it to Aris­ totle to make them rational.”76 The story of Locke’s unfolding moral science suggests that he abandoned Aristotelian logic for commonsense inference, discarded disputation in favor of demonstration, because moral science had greater epistemological potential.

A Disputation about Why Locke Rejected Disputation Scholarly consensus holds that Locke’s epistemological hopes lured him away from the medieval trivium.77 He thought an empirical moral science would cut a straighter road to truth, so he did not follow the meandering path of Aristotelian logic, the ambivalent course of argumentum in utramque partem, or the uncertain thread of probabilistic proof. But if we follow the spirit of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, we should not blindly accept scholarly consensus, for Locke warns that reasoning from received opinion causes “great obstinacy in error and mistake.”78 Accepting this admonition, therefore, the second part of this essay mimics an Oxford disputation about the following quaestio: Did Locke reject disputation for epistemological reasons?

The Respondent’s Rigid Suppositio Affirmatur

The Opponent’s Reply

(O1) Those who learn from disputation must favor the exercise. But Locke learned from disputation.

Therefore, he must have favored the exercise. (O2) If Locke had other motivations for rejecting disputation, then he did not pursue moral science for epistemological reasons alone.

Locke did have other motivations for rejecting disputation.

Therefore, he did not pursue moral science for epistemological reasons alone. 190

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In a traditional Oxford collegiate disputation, further proof of the minor propositions would be offered syllogistically. But, as Sanderson admits, these schoolroom exercises are exhausted only with great effort (“taedet ista puerilia tanto conatu”).79 Therefore, to make the presentation more engaging, the minor propositions will be argued rhetorically.

Rhetorical Proof of the Minor Proposition in O1

We know that Locke learned from disputation because he says he learned from his students’ exercises, and he repeats arguments found in Bagshaw’s and Stubbe’s pamphlets. While stepping down from his post as censor, he said he could not decide “whether your disputations assaulted the law of nature, or your behavior defended it more keenly.”80 In his 1685 Epistola, Locke repeated many of Bagshaw’s and Stubbe’s arguments. Take Bagshaw’s claim about the negative results of suppression, a position that Locke dismissed out of hand in 1662.81 Among the inconveniences of intolerance, Bagshaw listed the likelihood that heretical groups, once abused, would band together and threaten the commonwealth.82 In 1685, so did Locke.83 Or consider Henry Stubbe’s contention that the commonwealth was established by popular consent for the protection of civil goods: “If the People Are the Authors of Magistracy, and he their creature; Then it will follow, that he is erected and established for the compassing of their good. . . . The most obvious and universall end is the upholding society and entercourse by securing each in their property, and manage of commerce betwixt one another for mutuall supply of things necessary.”84 In 1685, Locke said something nearly identical. While they were both students at Oxford, Locke confessed that Stubbe had the better reason: “Men of different professions may quietly unite . . . under the same government and unanimously cary the civill intrest and hand in hand march to the same end of peace and mutuall society though they take different ways towards heaven.”85 To sum up: Locke learned from his students’ logical disputations and from his classmates’ rhetorical pamphlets, so he must have favored the exercise of arguing both sides of the case.

First Rhetorical Proof of the Minor Proposition in O2

Locke’s social anxiety about political faction motivated him to reject disputation, so he did not reject the exercise for epistemological reasons alone. It was common for ancient theorists to defend rhetorical exercises not for their epistemological but rather for social and political uses. Hermogenes, for instance, taught declamation as a kind of “civic theater,” a simulation of impartial judges and seasoned advocates in fourth-­century BCE 191

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Athens. Long after the ancient democracies and republics had morphed into empires and regalities, students could pretend to deliberate in a free assembly.86 Similarly finding civic potential in argumentative exercise, Aristotle promises that disputation will help students to avoid “debased kinds of discussion,” which fracture into “contentious” arguments.87 Where the ancients saw potential, many in postbellum England saw turmoil. Thomas Hobbes, for instance, rejects humanistic paradiastolic definition, using virtuous terms to define vices. He feared that disagreement about the basic principles of good government would imperil the civic peace.88 In his later writings, Locke echoed Hobbes, saying nothing is less “consistent with civil conversation” than the propensity “to go on with a dispute as long as equivocal sounds can furnish a medius terminus, a term to wrangle with on one side, or a distinction on another.”89 He further groused about the “learned disputants” who “destroy the instruments and means of discourse, conversation, instruction, and society.”90 Bagshaw’s third pamphlet (The Necessity and Use of Heresies) exhibits the kind of disputational parsing that worried Locke. Bagshaw distinguishes heresies that inspire a belief contrary to Christian scripture (such as the Socinian rejection of the trinity) from heresies that contribute to “a dissoluteness of Life.”91 According to Bagshaw, heresies respecting beliefs must be tolerated. Permissible and unavoidable, these include manners of worship—those indifferent things such as genuflecting, kneeling, and wearing surplices. Like Bagshaw, Locke believed that Christian liberty should include liberty of conscience, but Locke did not accept Bagshaw’s conviction that Christian liberty allowed anyone to reject the magistrate’s prescription of indifferent things.92 In his Latin tract, Locke argues—contra Bagshaw—that an exemption from the law regarding indifferent things would inspire people to disregard every law.93 Bagshaw’s distinction between heresies of belief and heresies of “Life” hacked at society’s foundation. As Locke explains, God wants people to preserve society and unity (“societatem et conjunctionem”), so divine mandate requires our obedience in outward worship. Furthermore, since the practice of these rites is always peculiar to circumstances—such as time, place, dress, and gesture—God gave the magistrate authority over indifferent things.94 Locke worried that, absent a strong magistrate mandating outward worship, people would fight violently and endlessly (“tanta atrocitate, tanta animorum contentione”) for their imagined right to Christian liberty.95 If God mandates social unity but does not tell us how to unify, then the magistrate has authority to determine these external rites, especially when 192

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restrictions on indifferent things serve the higher law of social cohesion.96 If we invert or usurp the magistrate’s determined order in any way, we invite anarchy. Afforded license over indifferent matters of worship, every person would become their own god (“sibi Legislator, sibi quisque deus esset”).97 Or so Locke reasons in his Latin tract. He dedicates his longest refutation to those defending passive disobedience by appeals to free conscience. Locke’s refutation relies upon yet another distinction between material obligation, which stems from divine law and requires obedience in conscience, and formal obligation, which stems from magisterial authority and requires obedience in will.98 According to Locke, when Bagshaw refuses the distinctions between practice and judgment or formal and material obligation, when Bagshaw says neither obligation exists in “Scripture” or “Reason,” he not only advocates passive disobedience but also promotes active resistance.99 The content of Bagshaw’s argument threatened social unity. But so did the form. Bagshaw’s proclivity for argumentative distinction was just as dangerous as his defense of unbridled liberty. Locke openly expresses his social anxiety about disputatious argumentation at the beginning of his English tract, saying that he humbly seeks “truth,” yet he worries that “engaging in a quarrel” might only contribute to further disruption.100 He elaborates on this social anxiety about disputation at the opening of the Latin tract: “When I consider that this exceedingly provocative question, in connection with which deeds almost always follow words, is hardly raised in public but it is attended by a train of as many violent acts as there are points of view, and that it does not permit of calm or passive listeners, but inspires, incites and arms them, and sets them, bitter and incensed, against one another. . . . It looks to me as though I am not approaching a [scholarly] gymnasium . . . so much as a public arena and a field of battle, and not so much proposing a thesis as raising a war-­cry.”101 Locke caps this expression of social anxiety with an epistemological hope that his argument would lead to a calmer mind and a greater understanding.102 In the end, Locke decides that the risk of social division outweighs the potential for epistemological gain. Such social discord was no fevered imagination but rather a live drama playing out at midcentury Oxford. Theological and political variety divided Locke’s fellow disputants. Bagshaw was a Puritan who argued for religious toleration but against separation, paradoxically favoring ideological plurality and a confessional state (Maclear). In 1662, Bagshaw lost his fellowship at Oxford when supportive Puritans like John Owen lost control over the college. Bagshaw attributes his dismissal to the new and hostile Presbyterian administration.103 Stubbe was an Independent and a Hobbist, berating 193

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the Anglican confessional state and defending the protectorate during its last days. Stubbe lost his post at Oxford because of his association with Lord Henry Vane the Younger. Lord Vane had been a stern Parliamentarian during the Interregnum. In 1659, Stubbe lost his job. In 1662, Vane lost his head. Bagshaw and Stubbe were both radicals but in completely different ways, both promoting toleration, both practicing disputation, both tearing at the uncertain stability promised by Charles II’s restoration. And then there was Matthew Wren, a conservative Anglican and a staunch monarchist who publicly inveighed against his classmates. In Bagshaw, Stubbe, and Wren, Locke saw the warring sides of the recently concluded civil war. In their disputations, he heard the battle cries of the just-­disbanded armies. The practice of “indifferent things” in worship was particularly important, for the decision to wear a surplice during mass indicated allegiance to the Anglican Church’s conservative wing. Foregoing the surplice showed fidelity to the Puritan wing. On February 12, 1659, a seemingly innocuous incident at Oxford measured the political gravity of such ceremonial contrivances. Bagshaw presented his bachelor’s ad determinandum oration to the entire college without wearing the typical “formalities.” John Conant—vice chancellor, committed Parliamentarian, and staunch Puritan—took no notice.104 Bagshaw’s sartorial choice made an argument for religious freedom of worship, against conservative Anglican theology and, therefore, against monarchy. He and his fellow Puritan classmates extended this argument by stealing college surplices and burying them in the sewer.105 They threatened the magistrate’s ability to impose the Book of Common Prayer on all English congregations. In Locke’s estimation, Bagshaw had declared that the prince had no right to rule without explicit consent or condition (“sine pacto et conditione”).106 Bagshaw had threatened the order established by Charles  II’s permission toleration: “Permission to live in accordance with . . . [a subject’s] convictions so long as it . . . does not question the predominance of the authority.”107 In the early 1660s, Locke would not suffer Bagshaw’s disputatious wrangling any more than he would allow the Puritan’s free confession. He rejected toleration and disputation, opting instead for what Teresa Bejan calls “civil silence,” a society of “difference without disagreement,” not unlike the civil polity that Hobbes promoted.108

Second Rhetorical Proof of the Minor Proposition in O2

In addition to his practical and social anxiety about disputation, Locke had a normative and political reason for embracing his moral science, so he did not reject disputation for epistemological reasons alone. 194

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After leaving Oxford, Locke committed to a commonwealth founded upon popular consent.109 In the 1685 Epistola, he sets aside the divine rights of kings and embraces a consensual approach to sovereignty.110 He furthermore speculates that no one would ever consent to a king who could interrupt their quest for eternal salvation. This consensual conception of mag­ isterial sovereignty led Locke to his famed separation of ecclesiastical and civil society: But that some may not mask their persecution and unchristian cruelty with a pretense of care for the commonwealth and an observance of the laws; and that others in the name of religion may not seek license for their immorality and impunity for their misdeeds; in a word, that none may impose upon himself or others, either as a faithful subject of his prince, or as a sincere worshipper of God, I regard it as necessary above all to distinguish between the business of civil government and that of religion, and to mark the true bounds between the church and the commonwealth. If this is not done, no end can be put to the controversies between those who truly have or pretend to have at heart a concern on the one hand for the salvation of souls, and on the other for the safety of the commonwealth.111

Outside of civil society, in private assemblies, people may freely practice and profess as they please, provided that their rituals and their beliefs do not abrogate the magistrate’s authority over life, liberty, and property. In cases where free confession may endanger life, liberty, or property— like when Catholics conspired against the Crown—the magistrate may use force. As Locke explains, “Papists are not to enjoy the benefit of toleration.”112 But indifferent things do not affect civil goods, so they must lie beyond the king’s right. Most importantly for the present discussion, in his later writings, Locke asserts that subjects can practice—and dispute—indifferent matters of confession within their private assemblies. Locke’s commitment to popular sovereignty therefore expanded the potential for fractious argument. He spent the next twenty years reconciling his commitment to popular sovereignty and this potential for divisive rhetoric. His solution was conversational charity. By rationally reconstructing the connection between Locke’s commitment to popular sovereignty and his endorsement of conversational charity, I argue that his new theory of toleration—including both the magistrate’s duty to exile intolerant citizens from the state and the citizen’s duty to excommunicate intolerant wranglers from private assemblies—provided a political motivation for rejecting disputation. 195

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In 1662, Locke denied subjects the freedom to dispute. He based this strict permission toleration on the practical anxiety that citizens—like Bagshaw—would threaten the magistrate’s authority if granted liberty of confession. Locke’s later, normative commitment to a government by popular consent shifted the foundation of his political theory. Anxiety about toleration’s potential to destabilize the commonwealth could no longer ground his rejection of confessional freedom. Leading us to the question: If the magistrate could not assert complete control over outward worship, if subjects maintained freedom of expression in private assemblies, would they have freedom to dispute? Sort of. In 1685, Locke argued that individuals and magistrates have the freedom to persuade one another by example and by argument: “And yet this is the true and only method of propagating the truth . . . when the weight of rational arguments is accompanied by humanity and benevolence.”113 When discussing the “weight of rational arguments,” Locke did not mention disputation nor its contentious method. He practiced a new kind of public argument. His Epistola blends demonstration with dialogical responses to an imagined, friendly interlocutor. Locke regularly addresses his reader (the Remonstrant Dutch theologian Philipp von Limborch), anticipating and answering Limborch’s questions. Limborch rationally and dialogically engages Locke, pleading: “Let each of us abound in his own thought, and between us, let us wrangle with acts of sincere friendship, and of love, and of no deception” (“Uterque sensu suo abundet, et sincerae amicitiae ac amoris infucati actibus inter nos certemus”).114 Reason and Christian charity, not scholastic naysaying nor rhetorical vainglory, must guide tolerant discourse. Locke’s later political theory of toleration, based upon his normative commitment to popular consent, is therefore characterized by what Bejan calls “civil charity[,] . . . an unabashedly elite and elitist standard,” elite because only those trained in civil dialogue and scientific demonstration can participate.115 Locke’s political reason for rejecting disputation can be summarized by attending to what analytical philosophers call the paradox of self-­destruction: A completely tolerant society will admit those who conspire to destroy tolerance. “This paradox is overcome when it becomes clear that toleration is justifiably restricted and when it is understood as a matter of reciprocity.”116 To resolve the paradox of self-­destruction, citizens must accept: first, that there are limits to toleration; and second, that the tolerated must reciprocate. Locke solved the paradox of self-­destruction by asking subjects to police one another’s discourse. We ensure reciprocity, and we set limits to toleration, by excluding destructively disputatious argumentation. Without a domineering 196

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magistrate who requires a uniform confession, people could discuss indifferent things in their private assemblies, but they had to exemplify Christian charity, and they had to chastise needless wrangling. Locke’s evolved political vision, therefore, promised reciprocal toleration if the magistrate would exclude intolerant subjects and if citizens would censor disputatious argumentation. An example, partly historical and partly speculative, will illustrate the magistrate’s and the citizen’s duties in a tolerant polity founded on popular consent. Guy Fawkes, a disgruntled Catholic, conspired to assassinate James I in the Gunpowder Plot of 1604–5. Such terrorist conspirators might destroy England, if the government tolerated Catholics who did not reciprocally respect their Protestant leaders. Therefore, the magistrate must set a limit to toleration by outlawing Catholics. While the magistrate might refuse toleration by exiling a subject from the polity, subjects might also refuse toleration by excluding one another from their civil societies. In their private assemblies, subjects cannot tolerate disputatious arguments—especially the wranglings of those who do not reciprocally respect liberty of conscience—“for it is unreasonable that any should have a free liberty of their religion who do not acknowledge it as a principle of theirs that nobody ought to persecute or molest another because he dissents from him in religion.”117 If, in a private assembly, Fawkes were to abusively cavil about transubstantiation or papal authority, never practicing the conversational charity that Locke and Limborch offered one another, then the other members of that assembly should excommunicate him.

The Respondent’s Response to the Opponent

In the disputation’s third phase, the respondent should summarize and correct the opponent’s arguments.118 Fulfilling that office, we must notice that the opponent’s first syllogism is incorrectly stated. Properly phrased, the syllogism should be: (O1′) Those who favor disputation must learn from the exercise. But Locke learned from disputation.

Therefore, he must have favored the exercise. Properly phrased, O1′ fallaciously affirms the consequent to prove the antecedent. Just because Locke learned from disputation is no proof that he favored the exercise. In fact, he hoped for a method leading to the same favorable epistemological result without the risks of argumentum in utramque partem. 197

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Moreover, the opponent’s second syllogism is also improperly stated, for this proof should be written as two syllogisms, reliant upon different middle terms that invoke different types of evidence: (O2a) If Locke had other motivations for rejecting disputation, then he did not pursue moral science for epistemological reasons alone.

Locke’s testimony confirms that he had social reasons for rejecting disputation. Therefore, he did not pursue moral science for epistemological reasons alone.

(O2b) If Locke had other motivations for rejecting disputation, then he did not pursue moral science for epistemological reasons alone.

Rational reconstruction of his political theory suggests that Locke had political reasons for rejecting disputation. Therefore, he did not pursue moral science for epistemological reasons alone.

The testimony supporting the minor proposition in the opponent’s second syllogism (O2a) is assertoric, while the rational reconstruction supporting the minor proposition in the opponent’s third syllogism (O2b) is probable. We can affirm or deny Locke’s testimony. We can, at best, speculate about Locke’s political theory of toleration through conversational charity. Finally, the minor propositions in the opponent’s second (O2a) and third (O2b) syllogisms fail to properly distinguish between primary and secondary qualities.119 For the epistemological causes behind Locke’s rejection of disputation were primary, and the social and political causes (if we accept the political cause at all) were secondary. Even if we concede that Locke rejected disputation for social and political reasons, we do not have to accept that he embraced demonstration primarily because of his social anxieties or his political commitments.

The Moderator’s Summary and Resolution

We have heard arguments about Locke’s three possible motivations— epistemological, social, and political—for rejecting the rhetorical and logical disputations that he practiced at midcentury Oxford. No one doubts his 198

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epistemological reasons. Our disputation is about (1) whether rational reconstruction sufficiently proves that Locke rejected disputation for political reasons and (2) whether the epistemological reason was primary to the admitted social anxiety and the alleged political theory. Locke’s testimony and the comparison to his later writings on toleration present a firm assertoric argument that he learned from Oxford’s rhetorical and logical disputation, even though he later rejected both exercises. The hypothetical syllogism, however, does not prove that his learning from disputation would prevent his later rejection of the exercise. Though the opponent’s first syllogism (O1′) is fallacious, the second syllogism (O2a) is logically sound and premised upon solid evidence. Locke’s testimony about disputation’s rancorous potential in midcentury England proves that his practical, social anxieties motivated him to reject the exercise. The opponent’s third syllogism (O2b), though logically sound, is premised upon shaky evidence. The rational reconstruction of Locke’s political theory offers a probable foundation for the claim that disputation did not suit his normative commitment to a tolerant commonwealth premised upon popular consent. Finally, the respondent justly orders Locke’s motivations, for his epistemological reasons were most likely primary, followed by his secondary social reasons. If we accept that he had political reasons for embracing conversational charity, we should take these as secondary to the epistemological and social motivations that led him to reject disputation. Nonetheless, this dispute is better resolved, not by weighing Locke’s motivations, but instead by meditating on the dilemma that the disagreement reveals. The story of the toleration debates at Oxford from 1659 to 1664 leads us to a species of the paradox of self-­destruction, the paradox of tolerant disputation. Locke had an undeniable, epistemological need for the logical and rhetorical disputations at Oxford. He admitted that the logical exercises helped him to develop his ideas about natural law, and these ideas (along with Locke’s related belief in universal reason), laid the groundwork for his moral science. The rhetorical disputations with Bagshaw and Stubbe taught Locke the distinction between civil and ecclesiastical society as well as the popular basis for magisterial sovereignty. So he learned from these exercises, even if that lesson did not inspire him to defend the exercises themselves. His testimony also proves that, while he found disputation epistemologically useful, he also found it politically unbearable. Refusing argumentative reciprocity—disagreeing for the sake of opposition and for the purpose of victory—can lead to a tolerant society’s self-­destruction. His Oxford disputations led to later arguments for greater toleration. 199

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He forged his arguments for conversational charity in the crucible of rancorous debate. And he presented conversational charity as the best mode of public discourse within a tolerant polity legitimated by popular consent. Once inside this peaceful kingdom, however, Locke decided that argumentum in utramque partem must remain beyond the pomeria tolerantiae. In our own day, though we may celebrate the epistemological and pedagogical potential in logical and rhetorical disputation, we might also share Locke’s social anxieties about its potential. We might even share his political concerns about argumentatively destabilizing a tolerant commonwealth. Finally, though caught in its vice, we might not recognize the paradox of tolerant disputation without this chapter’s arguments on all sides of the question. Perhaps unable to finally agree with his solution or to ultimately determine his motivations, when contemplating Locke’s epistemological, social, and political reasons for rejecting disputation, we can at least sympathize with his dilemma. Acknowledgments

For this essay, I am especially indebted to James Garner, who taught me political theories of toleration; Vessela Valiavitcharska, who taught me medieval and seventeenth-­century practices of disputation; and Jeanne Fahnestock, who taught me Renaissance and seventeenth-­century logic.


9 chap ter 10 0

Rational Rhetoric

Using Tibetan Debate to Teach Persuasive Writing Cleve Wiese

Visitors to large Tibetan Buddhist monasteries such as those located in India are sometimes surprised by the amount of activity and sound they encounter. Far from the silent, cloistered places of movies and imagination, actual monasteries are usually quite busy, with monks and nuns hurrying from place to place, numerous practices and ceremonies taking place simultaneously in different temples, each with their own streams of chanting, cymbals, drums, and resounding horns, cooks in huge kitchens preparing massive quantities of lentil stew for the ordained community, robed shopkeepers tending stores, monastic students hurrying to class or studying and reciting texts, and more, all in close proximity to the bustle of the nearby streets and crowds of local guests and tourists. But the activity visitors may find most surprising of all is debate. Imagine a courtyard filled with rows of paired-­off monks or nuns, half seated and half standing, engaged in a loud and seemingly aggressive form of argument. The standing participants coordinate shouted questions with vigorous, full-­ body clapping motions directed with thunderous force at their seated partners, who tend to respond with one-­or two-­word answers. The whole process takes place at the rapid-­fire pace of a professional ping-­pong match with the topic and the progression of the discussion extremely difficult to follow, even for native Tibetan speakers not trained in the monastic educational system. For people expecting to see monks engaged primarily in silent meditation, this vigorous, intimidating form of verbal combat can be quite unexpected. Just as unexpected, perhaps, are the joy and playfulness that observers are likely to notice interspersed with the competitive intensity—debaters often (though not always) seem to be having a good time.

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I first became interested in Tibetan debate in part because of what seemed to be its rhetorical dimensions. My doctoral work focused on the use of declamation in ancient Roman rhetoric schools, so I was naturally tempted to draw comparisons between that practice and this type of debate, another performative, oral practice with ancient roots and a long history of use in traditional schools. Both practices are often considered to be fun by students, such that some graduates of Tibetan monastic schools reminiscence fondly about their debating days, much as, according to Jeffrey Walker, some ancient rhetoric students yearned for school days spent declaiming in “a fictive parallel reality,” through which “students both cultivated through performance their rhetorical capacities and entered the ‘sweet garden’ of practical philosophia and a democratic civic imaginary” and “experienced a kind of revelation and intellectual liberation.”1 Furthermore, both practices are, at a certain point, meant to be left behind, or at least curtailed. This is particularly true from the point of view of the Nyingma school or “old translation” sect of Tibetan Buddhism,2 in which debate has historically been emphasized to a lesser extent than in other schools, if not discouraged altogether. As one graduate of the prestigious Ngagyur Nyingma Shedra at Namdroling Monastery put it to me, “Some masters don’t like debate, thinking that it creates an endless question mark in a person’s mind, [such that] sometimes [they] will not be able to believe even the truth and end up landing nowhere. But, on the other hand, without debate or analysis, one is like a blind person taking a journey without knowledge [of where to go].” These days, most Nyingma shedra use debate to foster a clear and correct understanding of the various texts studied over the course of the traditional, nine-­year curriculum, and ultimately of the proper philosophical view; however, it is also acknowledged that debate can create problems if debaters are unable to eventually let go of that critical, reflexive habit when the time comes for concentrated meditation. Ancient rhetoric teachers similarly feared that an excessive focus on declamation could hinder a student’s real-­world speaking ability, precisely because it was set apart from real life, with a finite number of variables—the same qualities that made it effective as a training technique. Quintilian himself relates an anecdote that seems to dramatize both the creative potential and potential hazards of declamation’s rules and structures: “Indeed it is recorded that this fate actually befell Marcus Porcius Latro, the first professor of rhetoric to make a name for himself; for when, at the height of his fame in the schools, he was called upon to plead a case in the forum, he put forward 202

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the most earnest request that the court should be transferred to some public hall. He was so unaccustomed to speak in the open air that all his eloquence seemed to reside within the compass of a roof and four walls.”3 This story is about more, I think, than the need for real-­world experience. After all, Latro was—despite his ineffectuality in this real legal case— an “eminent” rhetoric teacher. Quintilian does not critique his abilities in that role nor question his “eloquence” within the context of the schoolroom. Quintilian warns, instead, about the dangers and difficulties of transitioning from one domain to the other, from enclosed schoolroom to open-­air forum. In this, he is echoed by the Elder Seneca in his critiques of otherwise excellent declaimers who misapply their skills in real-­world contexts.4 The “roof and walls” upon which Latro depends seem to symbolize the creative delimitations—the rules, themes, and precepts—of the school environment. The “highest character” that he enjoyed as a teacher in this circumscribed realm is of little direct use in the unbounded realm of reality, but this in no way detracts from its preeminence in that circumscribed realm. Still, it raises the obvious question (as relevant now as then): If transfer of rhetorical skills from the rule-­governed space of the schoolroom to the unpredictable real world is so problematic, how can rhetorical exercises such as declamation ultimately help students speak outside the classroom? As I became more interested in Tibetan debate, I faced a similar question: Could the rigidly rule-­governed practice of debate not only facilitate learning philosophy but also make for more effective writers and speakers and if so, how?

Philosophy and Rhetoric Answering this question requires dealing with an even more fundamental divide: the one between philosophy and rhetoric. Monastic education is philosophical rather than rhetorical, and ancient rhetoric schools were rhetorical in more or less explicit opposition to philosophical schools—even if the dividing line between philosophy and rhetoric was sometimes contested, particularly in ancient Greece. The Athenian schoolmaster (and rival to Plato) Isocrates, for instance, defines his pedagogical focus as “philosophia” and sharply critiques traveling sophists for their shallow rhetoric, even though his writings and pedagogical approach are now viewed as a cornerstone of the rhetorical tradition. Isocrates’s broad view of engaged citizenship strongly influenced Roman rhetoric schools, which were largely united in the goal of molding effective participants in public life. Contemporary 203

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rhetoric and composition instructors often see their jobs in similar ways. By contrast, philosophical schools in ancient Rome focused on intellectual and moral development in a more absolute sense, with less overt focus (at least in terms of mission and values) on social or political application. Similarly, monastic schools in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition primarily focus on educating students in the proper philosophical view, as explained in canonical texts, not on fostering rhetorical skill per se. And just as Tibetan debaters carefully distinguish between the practice’s primary focus on formal logical reasoning and correct philosophical understanding on the one hand, and any rhetorical facility that it might engender on the other, rhetoric teachers in the Western tradition often eagerly distinguish between their primary focus on helping students develop holistic rhetorical ability, on the one hand, and any secondary role that training in logic or dialectic might play in the acquiring of that ability. Quintilian himself points to this distinction in Institutio oratoria when—after discussing at some length the forms and structures of syllogisms, enthymemes, and epicheiremes—he notes the reasons why speakers should avoid overreliance on them or confuse the domains of rhetoric and dialectic: For although I consider that there are occasions when the orator may lawfully employ the syllogism, I am far from desiring him to make his whole speech consist of or even be crowded with a mass of epicheiremes and enthymemes. For a speech of that character would resemble dialogues and dialectical controversies rather than pleadings of the kind with which we are concerned, and there is an enormous difference between the two. For in the former we are confronted with learned men seeking for truth among men of learning. . . . We on the other hand have to compose our speeches for others to judge, and have frequently to speak before an audience of men who, if not thoroughly ill-­educated, are certainly ignorant of such arts as dialectic: and unless we attract them by the charm of our discourse or drag them by its force, and occasionally throw them off their balance by an appeal to their emotions, we shall be unable to vindicate the claims of truth and justice.5

Quintilian’s concerns about the limited rhetorical benefit of a training in dialectic are reflected in a remarkably persistent commonplace among teachers of rhetoric and writing, right up to the present day. They are, for instance, echoed in a passage from the preface to Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s extraordinarily popular and highly effective textbook They Say/I Say, a work very much in the Quintilian pedagogical tradition: “We 204

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do not, for instance, cover logical principles of argument such as syllogisms, warrants, logical fallacies, or the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning. Although such concepts can be useful, we believe most of us learn the ins and outs of argumentative writing not by studying logical principles in the abstract, but by plunging into actual discussion and debates, trying out different patterns of response, and in this way getting a sense of what works to persuade different audiences and what doesn’t.”6 In general, I think many practitioners of Tibetan debate would disagree with Quintilian (as well as Graff and Birkenstein) that dialectical training is unlikely to improve a person’s rhetorical or persuasive skills—but they might agree that such training serves a fundamentally different purpose, even if increased rhetorical skill is a frequent side effect. In the Buddhist universities that practice Tibetan debate, students are trained in logical reasoning so that they can clearly and confidently ascertain a correct philosophical view that they can apply in analytical meditation not so they become persuasive or effective communicators. As such, using this type of dialectical training in a rhetoric class would seem to be at odds with both the Western rhetorical tradition and with the purpose of debate as it is used in a traditional, monastic education. Nevertheless, in my experience interacting with and listening to people trained in Tibetan debate, I have been always struck and impressed by a consistent and distinct quality of rhetorical clarity and power. Skilled debaters acknowledge this result. As one group of graduates, or lopons, of the Ngagyur Nyingma Shedra put it to me in January 2019 in an email response to a series of questions about the role of debate in their school’s curriculum, “According to the conventional purpose, monastic debate has benefit for different aspects of communication and particularly for one’s ability to appeal to people’s emotions. As it is entirely based on rational statement, it will have [a] great impact even in terms of communication skills.” I find it significant that this lopon interpreted the rhetorical power of skilled debaters’ speech in terms of its emotional impact as a result of logical clarity; whereas, in the Western rhetorical tradition, we tend to think of emotional appeal as a means to add force to (or take force away from) logical proof—as the sugar (or bile) in the medicine, so to speak. As Quintilian notes in his treatment of emotional appeal, “The peculiar task of the orator arises when the minds of the judges require force to move them, and their thoughts have actually to be led away from the contemplation of the truth. . . . Proofs, it is true, may induce the judges to regard our case as superior to that of our opponent, but the appeal to the emotions will do more, for it will 205

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make them wish our case to be the better. And what they wish, they will also believe.”7 This lopon flipped that dynamic on its head, suggesting that logic itself moves the heart if it is sufficiently clear and well grounded.

Tibetan Monastic Debate in the Contemporary Rhetoric Classroom As a writing teacher with an interest in Tibetan language, culture, and philosophy, I was naturally attracted to debate for its potential applications in the rhetoric classroom, despite its seemingly arhetorical, dialectical character. Since training in Tibetan monastic debate does seem to have the effect of creating logically rigorous, persuasive, skilled speakers and writers—even as a side effect rather than a central purpose—could it be harnessed for those purposes in a secular, Western university writing class? Such a thing had never, to my knowledge, been attempted. And, on its face, such a project might seem a bit paradoxical for the reasons previously discussed. After all, as the late Professor Daniel Perdue, a pioneering American scholar of Tibetan monastic debate, put it, “the central purposes of Tibetan monastic debate are to defeat misconceptions, to establish the correct view, and to clear away objections to that view.”8 Perdue refers here to the Buddhist philosophical view, the traditional subject matter of Tibetan debate. Clearly, this is not the kind of thing we primarily try to teach or analyze in rhetoric and writing classes. Nevertheless, he himself was a pioneer in adapting Tibetan debate for undergraduate students from a wide range of backgrounds and academic departments. In his course on Tibetan debate, he taught this wide range of students how to debate in the Tibetan style, using the English language. His course did maintain the traditional focus on Buddhist philosophy, but he maintained that “by no means are the techniques of this style of reasoning limited to topics of Buddhist philosophy, and it is my hope that these techniques can be communicated far beyond the Buddhist community. I am confident that every aspect of this style of reasoning and rational discourse could be rewritten in terms of reasoning about mathematics, biology, law, and other areas of human interest. What is communicated here is just another tool.”9 I have always read this statement as an exciting invitation for writing studies, even though Perdue himself did not teach in the context of a writing or rhetoric class. Perdue’s work adapting debate for Western students—including excerpts from a course syllabus, discussion questions, homework assignments, and more—was published in his Course in Buddhist Debate and Reasoning. 206

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However, his course differed from a writing class like mine in a number of ways. Most importantly, he spent a significant amount of course time focused on the philosophical content in the text The Presentation of Collected Topics Revealing the Meaning of the Texts on Valid Cognition, the Magical Key to the Path of Reasoning, a “Collected Topics” manual by the nineteenth-­century master Pur-­bu-­jok Jam-­ba-­gya-­tso that is primarily used in the Gelupa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. “Collected Topics” (bsdus tshan) manuals are a genre of academic training texts that combine basic concepts and definitions of Buddhist ontology with an introduction to debate procedures. Although Perdue points out in his introduction that the course’s most important learning outcomes are transferable forms of logical analysis, memory, and communication not limited to the subject of Buddhist philosophy, he chose to maintain this core content since this style of debate was developed specifically to study it: As we all know, rationality does not apply just to topics of theology and philosophy. Rather, it applies everywhere. Thus, I offer this course as a great introduction to one approach to rational inquiry. Though the information is expressed in terms of Buddhist philosophy, do not think that these techniques apply only to Buddhist topics. If you learn the techniques, you can use them for any topic. . . . The Buddhist debaters have done a great job of stressing the reasoning forms to find their limits, and the system is designed to take a person into topics of Buddhist philosophy. However, I have found—and so too have hundreds of students found—that the techniques apply broadly, not just to Buddhist topics. It is another tool in your toolkit.10

This argument makes perfect sense in the context of a course in an Asian Studies or Philosophy Department, but the suitability of this system for a writing class seemed another matter. On the other hand, it obviously was necessary to have some sort of shared content with which to introduce and learn the basic moves of Tibetan debate. To ensure applicability to a modern writing class, I needed to find some sort of balance between Perdue’s focus on the traditional, philosophical content of a “Collected Topics” manual and the more open-­ended research topics that students often focus on in argumentative writing.

An Overview of My Course My version of a debate class was offered as a 200-­level special topics course through our English Department under the title Creative Thinking and 207

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Critical Writing. The class took place as part of a larger program centered around an academic exchange between my university and the Ngagyur Nyingma Shedra at Namdroling Monastery. I had previously taken a group of journalism students to study at this monastery during a short-­term summer course, and as a reciprocal aspect of this program, four lopons from the shedra were invited to come to my university in America to both teach and observe in a variety of contexts and courses. A key part of their program focused on helping me to develop and facilitate this debate class.11 Rather than requiring students to purchase a textbook such as Perdue’s Course, I created a series of handouts based primarily on my own rough translations from Bsdu Tshan Rigs Lam Sgo ‘Byed (The Collected Topics Entrance to the Path of Reasoning),12 a manual by the nineteenth-­century master Jamgön Mipham Gyatso (also known as Ju Mipham Rinpoche) that was compiled by an editorial team at the Ngagyur Nyingma Shedra at Namdroling Monastery, where it is used in school. I made this choice because I wanted my students to have an authentic connection to the specific traditions of the monastery upon whose curriculum our course was based. I also wanted to make sure the monks and nuns who would be helping with the class in its early weeks would have a familiar text upon which to refer and focus their introductory lectures. Perdue’s Course was certainly an important cornerstone for the class, although I diverged significantly from him in the ways and the extent to which I utilized our respective “Collected Topics” manuals, as well as in the ways I conceptualized the course’s learning outcomes and structure. I divided the syllabus into two main sections, with a number of subunits. The first half of the class focused primarily on debate itself, while incorporating shorter writing assignments and discussions of ways to apply debate to writing. The second half focused primarily on writing but with continued debate exercises and practice. These distinctions, however, only became relevant after addressing the biggest initial difficulty with the course: helping students understand the basic structure of the Tibetan syllogism in the first place. This problem will probably be familiar to anyone with experience trying to teach logical appeal in a writing or rhetoric class. I recall one of my most admired professors in graduate school, an extremely skilled rhetorician with considerable experience teaching first-­year composition, once confiding that she had given up trying to teach syllogisms to undergraduates because she found they invariably failed to grasp their logical structure or how to apply them to actual writing. My own experience prior to this class had been similar—the 208

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concept was particularly difficult for students to grasp, and even when they could grasp it, they were usually unable to apply it in their writing in any kind of fluid, natural, rhetorically effective way. In this regard, Quintilian’s concerns ring true: eloquence, he argues, “aims at being rich, beautiful and commanding,” and will “attain to none of these qualities if it be broken up into conclusive inferences which are generally expressed in the same monotonous form: on the contrary, its meanness will excite contempt, its severity dislike, its elaboration satiety, and its sameness boredom.”13 An orator (or a teacher of orators) who relies too much on logical appeal based in these types of formal statements, he contends, risks giving up the holistic, integrated habitus, the development of which is at the very heart of a rhetorical education. The initial hurdle of teaching the form of a syllogism exemplified, in a nutshell, the two overarching challenges of the course. First, I needed to teach students the basic techniques of Tibetan debate—something that monks and nuns in a traditional shedra spend a year or more learning— in the space of a few weeks. But I also needed to nurture experimentation and reflective practice in developing a variety of transferable techniques for applying this type of reasoning in writing that, nevertheless, managed, as Quintilian puts it, to “breathe life into the argument.”14

How Tibetan Debate Works A Tibetan debate generally has two participants in different and clearly defined roles: a “defender,” on the one hand, and a “challenger” on the other.15 At the beginning of a debate, the defender, who is usually seated on the ground, makes an assertion that he or she will be committed to defending for the rest of the exchange. However, this assertion can be reached in various ways: the challenger might begin by asking the defender a question or series of questions, with the purpose of eliciting some clear philosophical position. Alternatively, the challenger might directly state a formal argument to which the defender would be obliged to respond. The challenger’s formal arguments mirror the form of a syllogism but are called consequences, and they always feature the words “it follows that . . .” to indicate that the challenger is not committed to consistently defending them. By contrast, the defender is on the hook, as it were, for backing up all of their prior statements; the challenger can change course at any point, dropping previous assertions without penalty, but the defender will be dinged with vigorous (sometimes shouted) calls of “tsar!” or “finished!” if the defender contradicts anything he 209

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or she has previously said, and an even more vigorous “tsar, tsar, tsar!” if he or she contradicts the starting assertion or root thesis.16 So far this might seem fairly straightforward, but Tibetan debate has rigid limits that distinguish it from familiar forms of debate in the Western tradition, including dialectical exchanges like Socratic dialogues. Most importantly, both the challenger and defender are limited to specific types of formal statements based on the Tibetan syllogism, which can be divided into three key elements: 1. The subject

2. The predicate

3. The sign (or reason) In a syllogism, the subject is asserted to be a member of the class or category of the predicate because of being a member of the class or category of the sign, which either encompasses or is coextensive with the class of the predicate. The first examples of formal arguments of this type in the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning are variations on the following (I have inserted numbers corresponding to the three parts of a syllogism): “It follows that (1) the subject, sound, (2) is impermanent because of being (3) compounded.”17 As mentioned, the “it follows that” in this statement indicates that it is a consequence, the type of statement used by the challenger but never by the defender. The syllogism form of this same statement—which is what the defender would use when stating an assertion at the beginning of a debate—would be “the subject, sound, is impermanent because of being compounded.” As with an Aristotelian syllogism, the Tibetan syllogism implies other statements upon which its overall logical validity depends, and students of Tibetan monastic debate are trained to identify and test these logical implications at lightning speed; indeed, the entire progression of a debate depends on this process. You might say that a debate proceeds like an improvised song in a certain musical key—the song can go in countless directions but only with the constraints of the syllogism that are its relative starting point. According to this tradition, there are three main requirements for a syllogism to be valid: 1. The class of entities that have the property of the sign must include the subject; in the example, the subject “sound” must actually 210

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be included in the class of things having the property of being “compounded.”

2. There must be “forward pervasion,” meaning that the class of entities that have the property of the sign must be coextensive with or encompass the class of entities that have the property of the predicate. In the example, this means that whatever is “compounded” is necessarily also “impermanent.”

3. There must be “counterpervasion,” meaning that whatever is not within the class of entities that have the property of the predicate is necessarily not within the class of entities that have property of the sign. In the example, whatever is not “impermanent” is necessarily not “compounded.”18 You will notice that the counterpervasion follows logically from the pervasion, so in practice a debater does not necessarily need to check this requirement to determine the validity of a syllogism. Its inclusion in some debate texts may, as Perdue suggests, follow from the emphasis in debate on personal comprehension—even though pervasion and counterpervasion in a syllogism are like two sides of the same coin, such that wherever there is pervasion there must also be counterpervasion and vice versa; the subjective experience of understanding them is different.19 As mentioned, in a debate the roles of defender and challenger vary dramatically. One key difference is that while the challenger can state consequences more or less at will, provided they are phrased in the proper format as explained above, a defender is limited to only four answers, which correspond quite closely to the requirements for determining the validity of a syllogism. As explained in the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning, these responses are: 1. “I accept,” meaning the defender accepts responsibility for defending whatever syllogism the challenger has just framed as a consequence. So, to introduce another example that I used with my class at the beginning of the semester, if a challenger were to say, “It follows that the subject, a bicycle, is a vehicle, because of having wheels,” and the defender were to respond, “I accept,” the defender would be on the hook for the syllogism “the subject, a bicycle, is a vehicle, because of having wheels.” This seems logical enough on its face, but it is important to remember the other two 211

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main statements that this syllogism implies: First, that a bicycle has wheels, and second, that whatever has wheels is necessarily a vehicle. 2. “The reason is not established,” meaning that the defender argues the first of the requirements for a valid syllogism as listed above is not met: the sign does not have the property of the subject. In the bicycle example, this would entail the defender claiming that a bicycle does not, in fact, have wheels. 3. “There is no pervasion,” meaning that the second of the requirements of a valid syllogism is not met: whatever has the property of the sign does not necessarily have the property of the predicate. Note that the term for this requirement is translated as pervasion20 and that really is the correct way to think about it, in the sense that every single instance of the sign (i.e., everything that has the quality of having wheels) is pervaded by belonging to the class of the predicate (i.e., being a vehicle). To extend this a step further, the relationship between the category or things that have the quality of the sign and the category of things that have the quality of the predicate must either be (a) mutually convertible, such that every instance of one is an instance of the other (i.e., everything that has wheels is necessarily a vehicle, and everything that is a vehicle has wheels), or (b) the category of things that have the quality of the sign must encompass the category of things that have the quality of the predicate, such that everything that has the quality of the sign necessarily has the quality of the predicate (i.e., everything that has wheels is necessarily a vehicle), but there may still be some things that have the quality of the predicate but not the sign (i.e., vehicles that do not have wheels).21. 4. “Why?” This is counted as a distinct response in the “Collected Topics” manual, even though it does not imply a specific objection to the stated consequence different from one of the previous two answers. In actual debates, challengers will sometimes omit the sign from a consequence, stating only the subject and predicate, which, taken together, form the syllogism’s thesis. For example, the challenger might say, “It follows that the subject, a bicycle, is a vehicle,” or simply, “It follows that a bicycle is a vehicle.” In this situation, the defender can answer with the question “why?” which is taken to mean both that (1) the defender disagrees with 212

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the thesis and (2) he or she wants the challenger to provide a reason to support it. Once the challenger provides a reason, the defender must respond with one of the other three responses. As one lopon explained to my class, in a debate, skilled defenders respond with only these four answers (“I accept,” “the reason is not established,” “there is no pervasion,” or “why?”). Weak defenders, on the other hand, tend to try to provide additional explanation or context. In practice, though, debates often do involve back-­and-­forth exchanges in a more natural, conversational style; however, these are only supposed to take place at the challenger’s prompting. For instance, the challenger may pose direct questions to the defender (i.e., “what is the definition of a vehicle?”) in order to ascertain their understanding of an issue, enabling the challenger to zero in on possible weaknesses in the defender’s thinking and thereby pose a more effective consequence as a starting point for debate. In a typical debate, this starting point would be a consequence to which the defender responds with “I accept.” At that point, the challenger usually reframes the accepted consequence in one of two ways: One option is to provide a specific example that seems to correspond to the logic of the syllogism despite some sort of obvious flaw. Much of the rhetorical flair in this style of debate comes from the artful selection of these types of consequences. For example, a skilled challenger might look around a classroom, spot an overhead projector, and respond with, “It follows that the subject, that overhead projector over there, is a vehicle because it has wheels.” In any case, a “correct consequence” should be a “fair reflection” of the argument articulated or accepted by the defender so that the challenger “is able to force the person to see the unwanted implications and to overcome misconceptions”; as Perdue puts it, this mode of argumentation is a way of “meeting the person on their own grounds.”22 If a challenger states an example like this, the defender must either accept it or find some logical flaw in the way it is formulated while still maintaining their previous assertion. This can only be done through one of the two available answers that imply disagreement (either “the reason is not established” or “there is no pervasion”). The defender could not answer with “why?” in this instance because the challenger provided a sign in the consequence (“because it has wheels”). In actual practice, though, challengers often omit the reason in a consequence (i.e., “it follows that that overhead projector over there is a vehicle”), in which case a defender’s first response is likely to be “why?” 213

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The challenger’s other main option at this point is to simply negate the accepted consequence (which, in syllogism form, has become the root thesis) by providing a new reason (i.e., “it follows that the subject, whatever has wheels, is not necessarily a vehicle, because some things with wheels are not vehicles”). Notice that, whichever route the challenger chooses, there is no formal mechanism for defenders to simply back out of their previous assertion at this juncture in the debate. To continue with the example, if a defender realizes that he or she has made a mistake involving pervasion, since there are some things that have wheels but are not vehicles, he or she is still committed to the starting position and must see it through until its logical conclusion. Eventually, a skilled challenger would work around to stating a consequence that contradicts a consequence that the defender has previously accepted (i.e., “it follows that the subject, that overhead projector, is not a vehicle because it does not transport people from one place to another”); when that happens, the challenger will say (or, more often, shout), “Finished!” (the Tibetan word is tsar, which we retained in my class, just for fun). If the defender accepts a consequence that contradicts their starting assertion (i.e., “it follows that the subject, whatever has wheels, is not necessarily a vehicle because some vehicles have wheels and some do not and some things that have wheels are not vehicles”), the challenger will shout, “Finished!” or “Tsar!” three times in quick succession. It might seem that the word “finished!” shouted three times implies some kind of finality and that this juncture indicates a winner and a loser in the debate. But that would actually be a misunderstanding; as the lopons made clear to my class, the purpose of this type of debate is not to win but rather to clarify misunderstandings in oneself and others. As such, the “finished” refers to the root thesis not to the defender him-­or herself. Furthermore, the debate does not stop when this happens; instead, the challenger might again ask the defender a direct question (i.e., “OK, so what is the definition of a vehicle?”) and then start over with another consequence (i.e., “it follows that a bicycle is a vehicle because it transports a person from place to place”). The debate would actually end when a kind of synthesis has been achieved, insofar as the challenger and defender agree; in practice, the challenger would continue probing the defender’s root thesis in as many ways as possible. When it becomes clear that the defender is correct in their understanding, both in terms of the root thesis and the underlying reasons, the debate would simply stop. In Perdue’s debate classes at the University of Virginia, students found this ending so anticlimactic and unsatisfying that he had to 214

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invent a more dramatic finish, having debaters together shout, “Lha gyel lo!” a traditional Tibetan New Year’s greeting that literally translates to “may the gods be victorious” and means something like “may everything be auspicious and successful!”

Initial Tibetan Debate Training in My Writing Class The visiting lopons reminded us that monks and nuns studying debate in their monastery’s shedra curriculum spend up to a year mastering the basic procedures,23 and they were somewhat surprised by the speed with which we were attempting to progress through these fundamental moves. Nevertheless, in a series of extremely helpful workshops, they not only provided authentic (and inspiring) debate demonstrations in both Tibetan and English, connecting students directly to the living tradition of Tibetan debate as it is actually practiced in the monastic universities, but also helped us navigate an adapted version of introductory debate training based on Entrance to the Path of Reasoning. One key aspect of the early chapters of the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning (and “Collected Topics” texts more generally) is the extensive use of examples and sample debates. Although this is carried on throughout the text, the earliest examples tend to focus on simple, seemingly obvious, topics like colors and shapes. In the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning, the first chapter focuses on basic debate procedures such as the four responses available to a defender and includes short examples but no extended sample debates. The second chapter, on “Colors and Shapes”—which features definitions of primary colors, secondary colors, and so forth—begins the pattern (maintained throughout the rest of the text) of following a list of categorical divisions, subdivisions, terms and definitions, with example debate transcripts based on the concepts and terms just set forth. In the early chapters of the manual, these example debates are fairly easy to follow, insofar as the logical misunderstandings on the part of the imaginary defenders are plain to see. For example, in the first sample debate about colors, the defender takes the position that “whatever is a color is necessarily yellow.” To demonstrate this mistake, the challenger asserts a consequence utilizing something obviously not yellow: “It follows that the subject, the color of a white Manjushri [statue or painting] is yellow, because of being a color. You asserted the pervasion.”24 While beginning students are unlikely to make that sort of logical error about the nature of color, they are best able to master the basic moves of a debate by using a simple and obvious topic like this. It is notable that, 215

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in these early chapters, the sample debates tend to be written from the perspective of the challenger rather than the defender. This would seem to be a necessary feature of this type of graduated approach: Debate students are unlikely to think that whatever is a color is necessarily the color yellow, but that does not mean they will immediately be able to correctly demonstrate the flaws in this position using properly formulated consequences. As the material covered in the later chapters becomes more complex, the underlying focus in the sample debates turns from procedure to the nuances of the concepts themselves. In our early debate workshops, we likewise worked through simple sample debates using basic material, drawn both from early chapters of the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning and also from other obvious examples of our own devising (such as the bicycle example discussed). I think this approach worked fairly well. However, a major shortcoming of the “short path” to debate training quickly became apparent: even at the beginning level, this style of debate requires a prodigious capacity on the part of both participants to remember exactly what has been said, as it is necessary to walk back each step in the exchange as the challenger’s consequences and the defender’s responses demonstrate logical shortcomings. It took my students some time to learn the basic responses and grasp the flow of a debate—that, in itself, was a significant challenge. However, it was much more difficult for us to immediately begin applying these in actual debates for the simple reason that we were unable to hold entire debate exchanges in our memory. I suspect that the traditional approach to teaching debate, taking place as it does over a much longer period of time, allows for the development of these types of memory skills (a benefit ancient rhetoricians would surely appreciate). This shortcoming became even more pronounced when we progressed from very basic and obvious example debates to more complex topics. Our solution—or, at the least, one of our favorite work-­arounds—was to write out each challenger’s consequence and each defender’s answer as we went along. Sometimes this took place in a slowed-­down, group format with a designated challenger and defender but with the rest of the class discussing and suggesting consequences and responses as the debate progressed. In these “open” debates (similar to an open hand of cards), I would often function as the secretary, typing each “move” onto a shared Google Doc projected at the front of the classroom so everyone could easily review previous statements at a glance. Although this undermined the rigorous memory training that is one of the noted benefits of this style of debate, it enabled us to dive directly into relatively complex debates much more quickly than would have 216

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been possible otherwise. I would even suggest that such a measure was unavoidable given the radically abbreviated approach to debate training necessitated by a single-­semester course. As the course progressed, we transitioned to more frequent one-­on-­one debates between class members, but students often retained this practice of transcribing each move, even after students were more capable of carrying on a debate without this crutch. For one thing, this enabled students to focus on reasoning rather than the challenge of remembering lengthy strings of previous arguments. But it also ended up providing a natural bridge between debate and academic writing by leaving debaters with a text that they could use as part of the prewriting process (see the example debate transcript in appendix B).

Methods of Adapting Debate for the Writing Process These transcripts were useful tools across the board, but individual students adapted debate for their writing processes through a wide range of techniques. Because we had no real model for how to connect debate practice with argumentative writing, throughout the course, and particularly when we reached the postmidterm unit that primarily focused on writing rather than on oral debate, we collectively brainstormed and experimented with strategies and techniques to do this. We facilitated this process by creating a shared Google Doc page where students could post short tips or ideas as they worked through the different stages of their writing process, and we periodically spent class time discussing the intersections of debate and the writing process while I typed their ideas onto the shared Google Doc projected at the front of the classroom. From the beginning of the course, I tried to emphasize its experimental and unique nature—the fact that, as far as I knew, no course of exactly this kind had been attempted before. Students responded well to this dynamic, and I found that it created a spirit of comradery and facilitated a collaborative, decentered classroom. This dynamic lent itself particularly well, postmidterm, to the collective invention of techniques for using the debate skills they had all developed in the first half of the class for the longer and more complex papers they were beginning to write. At the end of the course, we had a repository of practical wisdom, co­ created by members of the course, for using Tibetan debate as part of the writing process. In general, most of the strategies fell in one of two categories. Some students came up with what I call microstrategies—debate-­inspired 217

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techniques of invention for specific lines of argument or units of discourse within a paper. Other students came up with macrostrategies—arrangement-­ oriented strategies for using debate to develop an effective overall structure for a paper. To give an example of a microtechnique, students used the limited range of options available to a defender as inspiration for formulating partial concessions followed by strong rebuttals. It worked like this: It was often possible for students to concede either the establishment of the reason or the pervasion when dealing with an opposing argument, such as the arguments they encountered in their research. Considering this, students practiced choosing one aspect of the argument to concede at some length in one passage (either the reason or the pervasion) and then following this with a second passage rebutting the other paragraph (either the reason or the pervasion). The concession itself constituted an ethical appeal, but the logical rigor of the debate-­inspired analysis made for highly effective counterarguments. Other techniques focused on various ways to use the rigidly constrained flow of debates as inspiration for the structure and arrangement of essays. The most obvious challenge to this sort of adaption is that a debate is a dialectical exchange between two people, with each twist and turn determined by an interlocutor who is also the primary audience. Writing is, of course, quite different; my students found that, to begin with, a writer must play both challenger and defender, frequently ventriloquizing opposing arguments rather than hearing them directly. Additionally, a writer’s audience is indeterminate, such that the conceptualization of an “ideal audience”—an important aspect of any rhetorical situation, as Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-­Tyteca demonstrate—becomes a central part of the writing process.25 And, as Quintilian notes, the tightly constrained structure of a debate does not lend itself directly to an open-­ended argumentative essay: “Are we to have nothing but premises and conclusions from consequents and incompatibles? Must not the orator breathe life into the argument and develop it? Must he not vary and diversify it by a thousand figures, and do all this in such a way that it seems to come into being as the very child of nature, not to reveal an artificial manufacture and a suspect art nor at every moment to show traces of an instructor’s hand?”26 Even so, my students experimented at length with ways to bridge the divide between rhetoric proper and dialectic, with some interesting results. Initially, some students attempted to wear two hats over the course of an essay by beginning from the perspective of an imagined defender, laying out an argument in great detail, then shifting gears in the latter half of the 218

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paper and picking apart the argument they had just explained in the style of a challenger. In my feedback and in our class-­wide conversations about these attempts, we discussed how this approach was often rhetorically counterproductive, allowing the writer to avoid taking a clear position, giving these drafts a confusing lack of coherency and focus. However, these failed attempts were an important bridge to some more successful models that students eventually came up with. For example, another student added to this two-­hat structure a final section that focused on a kind of synthesis between the two positions set forth in the previous sections of the essay. With the insertion of some deft transitions and careful metadiscourse, this approach was quite successful, and represented an innovative, unusual way of approaching argumentative writing that is very much in line with the collaborative spirit of Tibetan debate. Some students had more success remaining in the role of the challenger throughout their papers. Others used this approach as part of the invention process, first finding the quotes from their sources that best exemplified the positions of an imagined defender then fleshing out an initial draft by using debate-­inspired rebuttal techniques directed at these quotes. Although this process alone was not enough to produce a fully developed essay in the way Quintilian calls for, varied and diversified “by a thousand figures,” it was an important and feasible waypoint in the writing process that gave students a clear path to the invention of significant amounts of logically sound material that could indeed form the basis of successful and convincing essays.

Student Feedback So what did students actually think of the class and about the intersection of Tibetan debate and writing? At the end of the semester, I administered a short, open-­ended, anonymous questionnaire to try to find out. In general, the responses were quite positive. As I would have expected, some students focused their feedback on the ways that this debate training had strengthened their skills of critical analysis and their ability to formulate effective logical appeals. Along these lines, one student noted that the class had “been helpful for analyzing arguments—mostly for counterclaims. Further, it makes you confirm that there aren’t any holes in your thesis, and if there are, [makes sure] that you can address them.” Even more promising, from my perspective, were student responses that focused on the holistic development of critical thinking skills. In particular, some students wrote about how the course had given them strategies and 219

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increased their ability to think from multiple perspectives when developing arguments and writing papers. As one student put it, training in Tibetan debate “allows for someone to explore multiple viewpoints of the topic they’re researching. If you’re stuck, switch the reason, make it the pervasion. Give a consequence to your thesis, see if there’s a way to expand on it. The class as a whole was helpful in the way that it varied my way of thinking.” Along similar lines, another student noted that, “by analyzing a topic from a Tibetan debate standpoint, I was able to research my paper topics from multiple standpoints and craft stronger arguments.” A related category of student responses focused on how debate had instilled a habitual tendency to think ahead and anticipate responses or objections. For example, one student noted that debate “forces you to think far in advance in order to better craft an argument.” Another student drew a connection between this forward thinking and the formal language used in Tibetan debate, noting that “it was interesting because it forced me, when [acting as the] defender, to think more ahead [about] my moves, rather than simply responding in plain English” (emphasis added). Other students focused more generally on the way that Tibetan debate had given them a new way of thinking about argumentation: “I found it personally fascinating,” wrote one student. “It is a completely new way of looking at things and thinking about issues.” Another student wrote, along similar lines, “It was very interesting because it gave a new way of thinking on basic topics.” And still another wrote that “it’s just given me a new perspective as a writer/debater/creator. Western thought isn’t always right.” One student noted that Tibetan debate training had fostered a new, less agonistic way to approach argumentation: “I find I’m far less, I guess, ‘competitive’ in the way I think about debates, and even in arguments.” By contrast, another student focused (with a mild dose of irony) on the tools Tibetan debate provided for winning arguments in one of the most competitive and agonistic rhetorical situations of all—family disputes: “It has proven to be very useful in sibling arguments. I’m winning more of them now by simply driving my brother into a logical corner. I have now gained more than 12 victories. This is my greatest accomplishment.” Other students noted the difficulty of learning debate, particularly in the early portions of the class. One wrote of Tibetan debate that “it was interesting, although there were times I felt very confused as to how to use it.” Another student mentioned not only the difficulty but also the sudden point at which it started to make sense: “This was one of the more interesting classes I’ve taken, maybe ever. . . . Even in the beginning when nine times 220

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out of ten, I was confused, I was still fascinated by the subject. At a certain point, it clicked and became easier.”

Conclusions and Questions for Future Research As discussed at the beginning of this chapter, the Western rhetorical tradition has a long-­standing tendency to define itself in opposition to philosophy—and, by extension, to dialectic (such as Tibetan debate). Rhetoric teachers often think of their primary goals in terms of fostering active, effective citizens in the tradition of Quintilian’s “ideal orator,” and, like Quintilian himself, they may worry that an excessive focus on rigid, logical forms is not compatible with the fluid, “open hand of indeterminacy” that characterizes real-­world rhetorical situations.27 In my own writing classes, I have often put formal logic such as syllogisms and enthymemes on the proverbial backburner in order to focus on considerations of audience, context, emotion, and ethical appeal. I do not think I am alone in this choice. But I believe that my experience teaching a writing class based on Tibetan debate provides an alternative model well worth considering. In essence, this class flipped my typical approach to writing instruction on its head, focusing almost exclusively on formal logic and putting all other elements of rhetorical theory on the proverbial backburner instead. Unlike other systems of formal logic sometimes used in rhetoric classes, such as the Toulmin method, Tibetan debate is not mere dialectical reasoning but also a fun technique for performatively, actively practicing logical reasoning, a technique that can be mastered and internalized and that is inherently focused on considerations of audience (even if only an audience of one). Nevertheless, the significant amount of time we spent in class learning and practicing Tibetan debate excluded almost entirely any discussion of ethical or emotional appeals. In making this choice, my hypothesis—my hope— was that training in Tibetan debate would foster in students a kind of confidence in the logical soundness of their arguments and that this confidence would, in turn, lead to writing that could move and persuade readers, even without explicit training in emotional or ethical appeal—that, as my lopon friend suggested, Tibetan debate could develop the “ability to appeal to people’s emotions” precisely because “it is entirely based on rational statement.” At the end of the day, I think I did see the beginnings of such a positive result in the student writing from the class, as well as in their self-­reported experiences and takeaways from it, although there is much more work to be done. In particular, in the coming years I hope to work with my partners at 221

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Namdroling Monastery to translate the entire Entrance to the Path of Reasoning and to adapt it in textbook form for use in writing classes. The classroom techniques I experimented with in this course also need to be evaluated in a more rigorous, qualitative study. However, I have concluded that training in Tibetan debate can be effective in a Western writing class, fostering confidence, logical rigor in argumentation, and, yes, persuasive power, if only as a side effect. Moreover, I think that a rhetorical technē based first and foremost on practice in sound logical reasoning like Tibetan debate rather than on persuasion as such (counterintuitive as that might sound) might have the additional side effect of molding precisely the kind of engaged and effective citizens our rhetorical tradition values so highly. After all, a Tibetan debater seeks not to win but to learn and to clarify, for benefit of both self and others, a perspective all too rare in our culture’s popular discourse. And a skilled debater is able to do this persuasively because of the natural agility and fluency born of having carefully and thoroughly thought through every angle of an argument. This brings to mind a passage from the Beacon of Certainty (nges shes sgron me), a philosophical text written by Ju Mipham Rinpoche, who also wrote the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning. This text is framed as a dialogue between a young sage (no doubt a trained debater) and wandering mendicant who appears suddenly on the road and demands quick answers to seven profound philosophical questions. Just after his appearance in the prologue section of the dialogue, the mysterious mendicant demands of the sage, What’s the point of being a scholar If you only repeat the words of others? Give us a quick answer to these questions According to your own understanding. Then your philosophical acumen will be obvious.28

The profound questions he asks are, of course, philosophical in nature, but I think the young sage’s profound and persuasive responses to them— grounded, as they are, in the confidence of sound analytical reasoning—have implications for rhetoric as well. After a brief hesitation, A light dawned in the mind of the sage. At that moment, as he acquired a little self-­confidence, He reasoned analytically according to eloquent scriptures, and spoke.29 222

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Appendix A: An Early Debate Example from the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning

When debate arises:30 For example, if someone says: Challenger: How do the two compare, colors and the color yellow? (The challenger begins by asking a question in order to elicit a clear position from the defender as a starting point for the debate.) Defender: There are three possibilities between the two, colors and the color yellow. (By three possibilities, the defender is saying that the relationship between the logical class of entities that are colors and logical class of entities that are the color yellow is such that [1] some things are both, [2] some things are one but not the other, and [3] some things are neither.) Challenger: Which way does the pervasion go? (In other words, which of the two logical classes—colors and the color yellow—encompasses the other?) Defender: Whatever is a color is necessarily yellow. (Now the defender’s position is clear: the logical class of entities that are colors is encompassed by the logical class of things that is the color yellow. This position is, of course, obviously illogical and easily disproven, which makes it a good starting example for teaching students the basic debate procedure.) Challenger: It follows that the subject, the color of a white Manjushri (statue or painting) is yellow because of being a color. You asserted the pervasion. (The challenger uses a concrete example to demonstrate a logical consequence of the defender’s position.) Defender: The reason is not established. (The defender counters that the color of a white Manjushri [the subject in the challenger’s consequence] is not within the class of entities that are colors [the challenger’s sign or reason in the consequence].) Challenger: It follows that the subject (the color of a white Manjushri) is a color because of being in accordance with an appearance. (The challenger gives a second consequence to back up the first one with a new sign or reason.) Defender: The reason is not established. (Now the defender counters that the color of a white Manjushri [the subject in the new consequence] is not actually within the class of entities that is in accordance with an appearance [the sign or reason in the consequence]. However, in the chapter of the 223

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debate manual that precedes this example, color is defined as that which is in accordance with an appearance so a beginning debater would immediately recognize the defender’s mistake.) Challenger: It follows that the subject (the color of a white Manjushri) is in accordance with an appearance because of being in accordance with the appearance of a white Manjushri. Defender: I accept the root consequence. (At this point, the defender is forced to give up on their objection to the challenger’s initial consequence about the color of a white Manjushri being yellow. In practice, the challenger would shout “tsar!” or “finished!” to indicate this turnaround. But the challenger must still get the defender to admit to the more fundamental flaw in the starting assertion that whatever is a color is the color yellow.) Challenger: It follows that the subject (the color of a white Manjushri) is not yellow because of being white. (Now that the challenger has locked the defender into the shaky position that the color of a white statue is yellow, he or she tries a more direct approach. The example ends here, but it is easy to see how the debate might progress from this point.) Appendix B: A Short Debate Excerpt from My Class

Challenger: Should WSU divest from tobacco companies? (The challenger starts by asking a question to elicit a clear position as the starting point of the debate.) Defender: Yes, because it will make everyone healthier. (This is an example of a more naturalistic style of debate. The defender is committing to the formal syllogism “the subject, divesting from tobacco companies, is something WSU should do because it will make everyone healthier” but only explicitly states the reason or sign.) Challenger: It follows that divesting from tobacco companies won’t make people healthier because WSU’s investment in tobacco doesn’t have an impact on how much people here use those products. (Rather than using a concrete example to demonstrate an unwanted logical consequence, as in the last example, here the challenger tries the more direct approach of formulating a consequence that contradicts the defender’s sign or reason.) Defender: The reason is not established. (The defender responds to this consequence by disagreeing that the university’s divesting from tobacco companies would not have an impact on how much people here use those products.) 224

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Challenger: It follows that the subject, divesting from tobacco, would not have an effect on tobacco use on campus because WSU already bans tobacco. (As in the previous debate example, here the defender formulates a new consequence to back the previous one by supplying a new sign or reason.) Defender: I accept. (The defender sees their mistake and gives up on objecting to the challenger’s initial consequence.) Challenger: TSAR! It follows that divesting from tobacco companies would not make everyone healthier because WSU bans tobacco use on campus. (Note that the defender’s surrender in the previous statement applied only to their objection to the challenger’s first consequence not necessarily to the defender’s more fundamental starting position on divestment so, here, the challenger has to formulate a more direct attack on that starting position itself.) Defender: I accept. (The defender gives up the starting position altogether.) Challenger: Tsar, tsar, tsar! Should WSU divest from tobacco? (The thrice-­ repeated tsar or finished indicates that the defender reversed their root thesis or starting assertion.) Defender: Yes. Challenger: Why? (Note how the debate does not end, even though the defender gave up their first root thesis. Instead, the challenger asks another question to elicit a new root thesis for continued debate.) Defender: WSU should divest because there’s a conflict of interest. Challenger: What do you mean by conflict of interest? Defender: . . .31



Practice’s Questions Vessela Valiavitcharska

Practice, as Debra Hawhee points out in the introduction, is frequently conceived of in opposition to theory, especially in academic inquiry. Practice connotes action, usefulness, if not utility, while theory is the proper object of study: questions related to practice tend to focus on the implementation of theory, assuming theory’s prior position and acting as its real-­world execution, whose degree of perfection depends on the ability and foresight of the agent. When it comes to rhetoric, theory is what we do in academia, chiefly by means of observation and analysis; practice we consider the domain of journalists and speechwriters. This strained relationship between theory and practice, the undue weight placed on analysis at the expense of a productive engagement with the world, is a central theme that runs through Jeffrey Walker’s scholarship, a tension between what he terms the “Aristotelian” and the “Isocratean” visions of rhetoric. Aristotle’s discussion of theoretical, practical, and productive sciences in the Metaphysics ascribes superiority to theoretical knowledge as opposed to what is acquired by mere experience;1 by extension, the theoretical arts or sciences impart the highest form of wisdom since they are able to give an account of “the principles and causes of existing things.”2 Aristotle’s engagements with rhetoric, therefore, aim at analyzing existing collections of precepts in order to extrapolate a general system of rhetorical principles—with understanding and judgment as the goal, restricted to the “regulated deliberative world of the citizen-­class in the ideal polity.”3 By contrast, Isocrates’s vision is that rhetoric is defined primarily as a precept-­based practice and an educational enterprise,4 grounded in the handbook tradition and oriented toward a productive exploration of the possibilities of verbal invention and a formation of creative habits of mind. Moreover, as Ekaterina Haskins puts it, rhetoric is a continual process of discursive performance aimed at developing and habituating “a fully externalized political agent,”5

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where political is taken in its broad sense to mean interpersonal and/or community engagement. Practice is key to Isocrates’s vision. It is the kind of practice that looks both ahead and back: ahead at desired effects (as well as unintended consequences) and back at implied principles, generalized experience, and inventional precepts. Even Aristotle holds up this kind of practice as the ultimate test of a theoretical system: In a sharp rebuke of Heraclitus, who reportedly claimed that it is possible to believe the same thing to exist and not to exist at the same time, Aristotle retorts that yes, it is perfectly possible to say so but not to truly believe it, and, even if one were to hold on to that belief somehow, one could not possibly live it in practice.6 Practice, in other words, is the measuring rod that validates theory, just as it provides the material for generalizing experience into precept. It engages with raw reality in order to revise rhetoric’s guiding principles while embracing epistemological humility by accepting the fact that a fully articulated technē that predicts an outcome with complete assurance and circumscribes everything in a theory of all situations is not possible. In another sense, practice looks ahead since its orientation is toward the future, toward a telos for its doing and making, just as it looks back to draw on its own history for principled guidance. The chapters in this volume assume that practice is implied in the very notion of technē, aptly articulated by Philo and adopted by late antique and Byzantine rhetoricians, grammarians, and philosophers alike: Technē is an organized body of observations such as arise from regular exercise, having as its goal something good and useful in life. The same principles would apply to rhetoric as well. For rhetoric is indeed an organized body on account of the fact that it is composed of many general principles and methods. “Body of observations” means to furnish such principles and methods on the basis of certain conceptualizations. “From regular exercise” means according to experience gained and tested over time, as frequently as it is possible. It has “as its goal something good and useful in life” inasmuch as it inveighs against vice and praises virtue, exhorts toward what is good and dissuades from what is bad, accuses those who do wrong and defends the wronged. For nothing else is more useful than these.7

The author of this comment, the eleventh-­ century intellectual and (to judge from his last name) monastic John Doxapatres, grounds rhetoric in principles extrapolated from the heat and trial of practice and continually 228


rethought based on that practice. It looks back to rely on its own experience and governing precepts but also looks ahead to its ethical telos: to praise virtue and blame vice, to prosecute those who perpetrate wrongs and protect those who have been wronged. In discussing the telos of technē as well as its usefulness, two hundred years later another monk and intellectual, Maximus Planudes, points out that there are at least four aspects to that usefulness: “First, to discern what is true and just in political matters. Second, to persuade ordinary people through common and convincing language rather than scholarly jargon, which they are not able to understand. Third, to help supply opposing positions with reasons. Fourth, to impart to us verbal fluency, which is useful in every science.”8 Both Doxapatres and Planudes wrote within a Byzantine intellectual and theological context, which defined theology not as a purely intellectual enterprise but as the practice of prayer, struggle against the physical and spiritual passions, and Christian charitable action; and, likewise, defined philosophy, the love of wisdom, as the ascetical-­intellectual practice of theology. Rhetoric follows the pattern. Drawing upon the tradition of the late antique philosopher-­rhetoricians Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Dio Chrysostom, and Aelius Aristides, rhetoric became a kind of philosophical practice—something particularly well-­articulated in Michael Psellos’ writings.9 In the Byzantine context, the terms practice (πεῖρα [experience, exercise]) and exercise (ἐγγεγυμνασμένος [well-­exercised]) acquire a different meaning. They imply the same epistemological humility that refuses a theory of everything—without rejecting guiding principle!—but assumes that real knowledge comes from active participation. Finally, as a way of inspiring further thought about practice, let us call attention to an observation Walker makes in a discussion of Cicero’s De Oratore: that theoretical developments are propelled by practice and not the other way around. Cicero’s theoretical concepts are, in large part, developed on the basis of both observation and experience.10 The three aspects of practice engaged by the essays in this volume—poetics (both in the sense of production and in the sense of poetry), rhetorical performance, and argumentation—have all been an object of study in Walker’s work. The questions they raise deal both with what would be “good and useful in life,” in light of the general ethical telos of John Doxapatres, and with what is “good and useful” in terms of the practical proficiency envisioned by Maximus Planudes. If an ekphrasis can bring a vivid sense of the textures, sights, and sounds of a reality of rapacious abuse, oppression, or neglect, why do we not challenge our students to moral imagination and descriptive verbal fluency? If bodily practice 229

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and the development of conceptual vocabulary go hand in hand, should we pay more attention to the cooperation of language and matter, of theoretical precepts and physical reality? If practice draws upon its own experience, what does that imply about familiarity—close, intimate familiarity—with that experience? And if wide-­ranging experience leads to the same general theoretical precepts as were developed in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and early modernity, are we not mistaken to reject what others have gathered with toil and sweat into the storehouse of human wisdom? Finally, what kind of human beings do we shape ourselves into by the practices we adopt as our own? These are some of the questions this volume hopes to inspire, as it honors Walker’s practical contributions to the vision of rhetoric that is at once capacious and specific.


Notes Introduction

1. The literature in education and applied linguistics and also in performance studies informs our understanding of reflection. In applied linguistics, see in particular the discussion of reflective teaching offered by Thomas S. C. Farrell, Reflective Language Teaching: Practical Applications for TESOL Teachers, 2nd ed. (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), 2–4. And see the subsequent discussion on performance for more on reflection. 2. Thomas O. Sloane, “Schoolbooks and Rhetoric: Erasmus’s Copia,” Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 9, no. 2 (1991): 113. 3. Jeffrey Walker, The Genuine Teachers of This Art: Rhetorical Education in Antiquity, (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011), 3. 4. Indeed, Richard Graff and Michael Leff argue that the repositioning of the rhetorical tradition as predominantly a tradition of pedagogy is what renews its relevance and salvages it from charges of irrelevance. Graff and Leff, “Revisionist Historiography and Rhetorical Tradition(s),” in The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition, ed. Richard Graff, Arthur E. Walzer, and Janet M. Atwill (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005), 12, 24–27. See also Michael C. Leff, “What Is Rhetoric?” in Rethinking Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy (Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2016), 476–78. See Cheryl Glenn, “Rhetorical Education in America (A Broad Stroke Introduction),” in Rhetorical Education in America, edited by Cheryl Glenn, Margaret Lyday, and Wendy Sharer (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2004), vii–xvi. 5. There are, of course departments of rhetoric, e.g., at the University of Iowa, where speaking and writing are studied and taught together. 6. “The Mt. Oread Manifesto on Rhetorical Education 2013,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 44, no. 1 ( January 1, 2014): 2. 7. Gerard A. Hauser, “Teaching Rhetoric: Or Why Rhetoric Isn’t Just Another Kind of Philosophy or Literary Criticism,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 34, no. 3 ( June 1, 2004): 43. Hauser and Walker were central figures in a 2003 meeting of the Alliance of Rhetoric Societies, held at Northwestern University. There, Hauser shared the observations published in the piece cited in this note, and Walker shared his observations on rhetoric and education in the form of a talk titled “On Rhetorical Traditions: A Reply to Jerzy Axer.” 8. Sara Ahmed, What’s the Use?: On the Uses of Use, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019), 37. 9. Karma R. Chávez, “The Body: An Abstract and Actual Rhetorical Concept,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 48, no. 3 (May 27, 2018): 243. 10. Aristotle, Rhetoric, 3.1.1408a.5. 11. Ahmed, What’s the Use, 26. 12. Casey Andrew Boyle, Rhetoric as a Posthuman Practice (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2018). 13. Boyle, Rhetoric as a Posthuman Practice, 61.

note s to chap ter 1 14. Kristy Maddux, Practicing Citizenship: Women’s Rhetoric at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019), 6. 15. Michele Kennerly, Editorial Bodies: Perfection and Rejection in Ancient Rhetoric and Poetics (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2018), 3. 16. Ahmed, What’s the Use, 26. 17. Thomas Farrell, “Rhetorical Resemblance: Paradoxes of a Practical Art,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 72, no. 1 (1986): 2, 19. 18. s.v. “ποίησις,” in Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, and Sir Henry Stuart Jones, eds., Greek-­English Lexicon, 9th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 1424. 19. This phrasing is inspired by a joltingly lovely sentence of John Sloop’s: “Rather than reaffirming the world through criticism, the performance in performance studies reworlds.” “Learning to Perform,” Text and Performance Quarterly 34, no. 1 ( January 2014): 110. 20. Suzanne M. Daughton and Nathan Stucky use the apt term heft to characterize the robustness of performance that is often missing in rhetorical critical or theoretical uses of the term. “Revisiting HopKins: Turning and Tossing Rhetoric and Performance,” Text and Performance Quarterly 34, no. 1 ( January 2014): 120. 21. Mary Frances HopKins, “The Performance Turn—and Toss,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 81, no. 2 (1995): 235. 22. Bernadette Marie Calafell, “Performance: Keeping Rhetoric Honest,” Text and Performance Quarterly 34, no. 1 ( January 2014): 116; Charles E. Morris III also makes a point about reflexivity of performance studies discussing in particular how reflexivity can intensify one’s commitments. “Performing/Rhetorical Studies: Differential Belonging across Intradisciplinary Borders,” Text and Performance Quarterly 34, no. 1 ( January 2014): 105. 23. “Front Matter,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 1, no. 1 (1968), np. This page appears right after the journal’s cover and lists neither title nor author. 24. Walker, “On Rhetorical Traditions”; see also Hauser, “Teaching Rhetoric,” 39. 25. Walker, “On Rhetorical Traditions.”

Chapter 1

1. The scholarship on ekphrasis is vast. For an introduction to ekphrasis within the pro­ gymnasmata, see Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee, Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, 5th ed. (Boston: Pearson, 2009). For an overview of approaches, see Susan  C. Jarratt, Chain of Gold. Greek Rhetoric in the Roman Empire (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2019), 77–80. See also Page duBois, History, Rhetorical Description, and the Epic: From Homer to Spenser (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1982); Simon Goldhill, “What Is Ekphrasis For?” Classical Philology 102, no.  1 (2007): 1–19; Sara  J. Newman, Aristotle and Style (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2005), 109–30; Froma I. Zeitlin, “Figure: Ekphra­sis,” Greece and Rome 60, no. 1 (April 2013): 17–31. 2. The close association of ekphrasis with literary genres calls to mind Jeffrey Walker’s brilliant reconfiguration of the relationship between the literary and the rhetorical in Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). His work sets the stage for explorations of this fascinating fragment of the ancient Greek curriculum. 3. Ruth Webb, Ekphrasis, Imagination and Persuasion in Ancient Rhetorical Theory and Practice (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2009), 84–130 passim. Quintilian, in book 8, for example, considers enargeia as an ornament that “[lends] additional brilliance” to an argument: The “Institutio Oratoria” of Quintilian, vol. 3, trans, H. E. Butler, 8.3.61(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986). He places the use of vivid description in the legal context, as he does so often in the Institutes, explaining that the judge’s decision will be based not only on


note s to chap ter 1 the narration of facts but also their “display as living truth to the eyes of the mind” (8.3.63). 4. Webb, Ekphrasis, 87, 107, 113. 5. Debra Hawhee, “Looking into Aristotle’s Eyes: Toward a Theory of Rhetorical Vision,” Advances in the History of Rhetoric 14, no.  2 (2011): 159. See also Debra Hawhee, Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw. Animals, Language, Sensation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), 91–94, where the author suggests that ekphrasis “could be deemed a version of phantasia,” useful for creating the wonder (thauma) that leads to inquiry. 6. Ned O’Gorman, “Aristotle’s Phantasia in the Rhetoric: Lexis, Appearance, and the Epideictic Function of Discourse,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 38, no. 1 (2005), 25, 27, 30. 7. On verbal and visual arts, see James A. W. Heffernan, Museum of Words. The Poetics of Ekphrasis from Homer to Ashbery (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); on the Greek novel, see Zahra Newby, “Absorption and Erudition in Philostratus’ Imagines,” in Philostratus, ed. Ewen Bowie and Jaś Elsner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 322–42. 8. Goldhill, “What Is Ekphrasis For?,” 5, 6. 9. DuBois, History, Rhetorical Description, and the Epic, 3. 10. Hawhee, “Looking into Aristotle’s Eyes,” 148. 11. Webb, Ekphrasis, Imagination and Persuasion, 151. 12. See Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics (New York: Zone Books, 2005). 13. Kathleen Stewart, “Still Life,” in Ordinary Affects (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 18–19. 14. Homer, Iliad, trans. Robert Fagles (New York: Penguin, 1990), 18.558–709. 15. See, for example, Andrew Sprague Becker, Construing the Shield of Achilles and the Poetics of Ekphrasis (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1995); Eric Chulhed, “Movement and Sound on the Shield of Achilles in Ancient Exegesis,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 54 (2014): 192–219; Irene J. F. de Jong, “The Shield of Achilles: From Metalepsis to Mise en Abyme,” Ramus 40, no. 1 (2011): 1–14; Heffernan, Museum of Words, 10–36. 16. Homer, Iliad 18.558–64. 17. Homer, Iliad 18.565–71, 18.708–9. 18. Homer, Iliad 18.572–79. 19. Homer, Iliad 18. 593–628. 20. Homer, Iliad 18.621–27. 21. Stephen Scully, “Reading the Shield of Achilles: Terror, Anger, Delight,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 101 (2003): 29–47. 22. Webb, Ekphrasis Imagination and Persuasion, 146 ff. 23. Homer, Iliad 2.250. 24. Homer, Iliad 2.86–87. 25. Homer, Iliad 2.283–324. Thomas Conley uses the scene to dramatize ancient Greek rhetorical practices and expectations—the interplay among stance, a speaker’s status, and the unfolding of situated argument: Thomas M. Conley, Rhetoric in the European Tradition (New York: Longman, 1990), 1–2. For current readings of Thersites, see Peter W. Rose, “The Plural Voices of Thersites,” Arethusa 21 (1988): 5–25; W. G. Thalmann, “Thersites: Comedy, Scapegoats, and Heroic Ideology in the Iliad,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 118 (1988): 1–28. 26. Homer, Iliad 2.251–55. 27. Libanius, “Encomium of Thersites,” in Libanius Progymnasmata: Model Exercises in Greek Prose, trans. Craig Gibson (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008), para. 6–7, 233.


note s to chap ter 1 28. Libanius, “Thersites,” para. 10–11, 235. 29. Libanius, “Thersites,” para. 4, 231. 30. Libanius, “Thersites,” para. 12, 235. 31. George Grote, A History of Greece, vol.  2 (London 1888), 12, qtd. in Thalmann, “Thersites,” 1n3. 32. G. E. M. de Ste. Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981), 279, qtd. in Thalmann, “Thersites,” 2. 33. Marjorie Curry Woods, Weeping for Dido. The Classics in the Medieval Classroom (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019). 34. In this section, I draw on my essay, “Historiographical Trauma: The Case of Poly­ bius,” in Emotional Trauma in Greece and Rome. Representations and Reactions, ed. Androm­ ache Karanika and Vassiliki Panoussi (New York: Routledge, 2020), 111–22. 35. Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire, translated by I. Scott-­Kilvert (London: Penguin Books, 1979), 1.1. 36. Although the details of Polybius’s life are sketchy, scholars agree on the key elements. See, for example, Donald Walter Baronowski, Polybius and Roman Imperialism (London: Bristol Classical Press, 2011) 1–3; Craige B. Champion, Cultural Politics in Polybius’s “Histories” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 15–18; J. H. Edwards, “Introduction,” in The Histories, by Polybius, trans. W. R. Paton (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1922), vii–xvi; F. W. Walbank, “Introduction,” in The Rise of the Roman Empire, by Polybius (London: Penguin Books, 1979), 9–40. 37. See Walbank, “Introduction,” 6–10, on pragmatic history. 38. Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire 2.56.7–8. 39. Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire 2.55. 40. Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire 2.56.13. 41. Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire 2.56.13–14. 42. John Marincola, in “Polybius, Phylarchus, and ‘Tragic History’: A Reconsideration,” in Polybius and His World. Essays in Memory of F. W. Walbank, ed. Bruce Gibson and Thomas Harrison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 73–90, makes the intriguing suggestion that these appropriate emotions are ones managed so adroitly by rhetors. 43. Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire 38.14. See also John Henderson, “From Megalopolis to Cosmopolis: Polybius, or There and Back Again,” in Being Greek under Rome, ed. Simon Goldhill (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 42. 44. Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire 38.1. 45. Polybius, Rise of the Roman Empire 38.4. 46. Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. P. G. Walsh (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 168–69. 47. In a chapter on beast fables, Hawhee retells two fables involving the suffering of animals, one in a condition of servitude. She emphasizes the ability of animals in fables to serve as witnesses to pain and its pathos. They are, she writes, “paradigmatic sufferers”: Hawhee, Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw, 75–79. 48. See, for example, Keith Bradley, “Animalizing the Slave: The Truth of Fiction,” in Apuleius and Antonine Rome: Historical Essays (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), 59–78; Page duBois, Slaves and Other Objects (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2003); Kyle Harper, Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Keith Hopkins, “Novel Evidence for Roman Slavery,” Past and Present 138 (February 1993): 3–27; Sonia Sabnis, “Invisible Slaves, Visible Lamps: A Metaphor in Apuleius,” Arethusa 45, no.  1 (Winter 2012): 79–108; Brent  D. Shaw,


note s to chap ter 1 Spartacus and the Slave War. A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford/Saint Martin’s Press, 2017). 49. Hopkins, “Novel Evidence,” 15n23. 50. Works that come immediately to mind from the nineteenth-­century US abolitionist movement include autobiographies of Frederick Douglass and slave narratives such as that of Harriet Ann Jacobs. Perhaps we would find similar rhetorical gestures in earlier archives such as that of the English Quakers in the seventeenth century or from political addresses to the French National Assembly by members of the late eighteenth-­century Société des Amis des Noirs. On receptions of classical texts in abolitions movements, see Edith Hall, Richard Alston, and Justine McConnell, eds., Ancient Slavery and Abolition. From Hobbes to Hollywood (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). 51. Bradley, “Animalizing the Slave,” 76. 52. Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death. A Comparative Study (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 87. Interestingly, Patterson offers an example of a text from a former slave, first-­century BC epigrammatist Publilius Syrus, as evidence of the relationship between honor and submission and of the suffering of the enslaved: “‘The height of misery is to live at another’s will,’” in J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff, trans., “Publilius Syrus,” Minor Latin Poets, 15 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1934), qtd. in Patterson, 385n2. 53. According to translator Charles Behr, the earthquake occurred in 177 or 178 CE: see Aelius Aristides, “A Letter to the Emperors Concerning Smyrna,” in P. Aelius Aristides. The Complete Works, vol. 2, trans. Charles A. Behr (Leiden: Brill, 1981), 358n1. 54. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962), 1–2. 55. Carson, Silent Spring, 2. 56. Edward O. Wilson, “Afterword,” in Carson, Silent Spring, 357–63. The fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring saw several retrospective assessments of the book and its influence. See, for example, Conor Mark Jameson, Silent Spring Revisited (London: A&C Black, 2012); Robin McKie, “Rachel Carson and the Legacy of Silent Spring,” Guardian, May 26, 2012. 57. Linda Lear, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature (New York: Henry Holt, 1997), xi. 58. Lear, Rachel Carson, xiii–xiv. 59. For an account of this parody, see Eliza Griswold, “How Silent Spring Ignited the Environmental Movement,” New York Times Magazine, September 12, 2012. 60. Carson, Silent Spring, 54. 61. Carson, Silent Spring, 55. 62. Carson, Silent Spring, 174. 63. Carson, Silent Spring, 174–75. 64. Carson, Silent Spring, 184. 65. On nineteenth-­century writing instruction, see Robert  J. Connors, Composition-­ Rhetoric: Backgrounds, Theory, and Pedagogy (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997). 66. Richard Ohmann, “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” College English 41, no. 4 (December 1979): 390–97; reprinted in Politics of Letters (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1987), 241–51. 67. Composed initially by William Strunk  Jr. in 1918, The Elements of Style was expanded and revised by Strunk’s student, E. B. White, and published by Macmillan in 1959. The fourth edition was published by Longman in 1999, and a fiftieth anniversary edition appeared in 2009 (New York: Pearson Longman, 2009).


note s to chap ter 2 68. Qtd. in Ohmann, “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” 241. 69. Ohmann, “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” 241. 70. Ohmann, “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” 245. 71. Ohmann, “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” 246 (emphasis in original). 72. Ohmann, “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” 246. 73. Ohmann, “Use Definite, Specific, Concrete Language,” 246–47 (emphasis in the original). 74. Purdue Online Writing Lab, General Writing, Visual Rhetoric: Overview, https:// 75. See, for example, W. J. T. Mitchell, Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, The Public Image. Photography and Civic Spectatorship (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016); and the journal Word and Image for an introduction to this field. The Purdue site contains a helpful Works Cited page. 76. John  D. Ramage, John  C. Bean, and June Johnson, The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing, 8th ed. (New York: Pearson, 2017), 53. 77. Ramage, Bean, and Johnson, Allyn and Bacon Guide, 54–58, 67–69. 78. “Details and Description,” Writing Resources, English Department, Florida State University, 79. See, for example, Becky Bradway and Doug Hesse, Creative Nonfiction. A Guide and Anthology (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2009); Sherry Ellis, Now Write! Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism and Creative Nonfiction (New York: TarcherPerigee, 2009).

Chapter 2

1. Quintilian, The Orator’s Education, vols. 1, 3, 4, 5, trans. Donald A. Russell (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), 1.5.13, 18; 1.8.2; 8.6.17, 20, 35; 9.4.52; 10.7.19; 11.2.39. Throughout, Quintilian uses the word sometimes as a noun and sometimes as an adjective (modifying oratio, speech). Translations are mine unless noted otherwise, and I made the choice to transliterate ancient Greek in nearly all cases. 2. The Latin prosa is the etymon of the word for “prose” across many languages, including, at least: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, English, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Albanian, Dutch, Macedonian, Russian, Luxembourgish, Maltese, Irish, Latvian, and Estonian. Modern Greek for “prose” is pezographia or pezos logos, which seems to date back to the third century BCE (in Demetrius’s Peri Hermēneias 2.90, treated below). “Prose” came into English via French in the fourteenth century. See Jeffrey Kittay and Wlad Godzich, The Emergence of Prose: An Essay in Prosaics (Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 1987) for an account of the development of prose in French from the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. Their conclusion, “The Prosaic World,” attends to ancient “prose.” 3. As Fernand Delarue puts it, prosa oratio is “l’expression qui va droit devant elle, sans se soucier de complications [the expression that goes straight ahead, without worrying about complications].” Fernand Delarue, “Les noms de la prose en Latin,” in Pensar la prose dans le monde Gréco-­Romain, ed. Dimitri Kasprzyk and Jean-­Philippe Guez (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016), 25. 4. Delarue, “Les noms de la prose.” 5. It appears, but in passing and looking like this, “‘bare words’ (or ‘prose’ [!]—ψιλοῖς λόγοις),” only in Leslie Kurke, Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 337.


note s to chap ter 2 6. George A. Kennedy, “The Evolution of a Theory of Artistic Prose,” in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 1, ed. George A. Kennedy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 184; Simon Goldhill, The Invention of Prose (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 1–9; Richard Graff, “Prose versus Poetry in Early Greek Theories of Style,” Rhetorica 23, no. 4 (2005): 303–5; Kurke, Aesopic Conversations, chapter 6. 7. Jeffrey Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), ix. In an earlier study, Gregory Nagy had claimed that “all Greek literature—song, poetry, prose—originates in kleos, the act of praising famous deeds, and never entirely loses that focus.” See Gregory Nagy, “Early Greek Views of Poets and Poetry,” in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 1, ed. George A. Kennedy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 9. 8. Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 21. 9. Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 21. 10. Graff, “Prose versus Poetry,” 305. “Equivalence” is a risky way to think about translation, but even if one goes with something safer, like “correspondence,” we miss out on a lot when we translate logos (modified or not) as “prose.” Graff, too, does not mention logos psilos. 11. “The naked truth” seems proverbial by the end of the sixteenth century. See, e.g., R. W. Dent, Proverbial Language in English Drama Exclusive of Shakespeare, 1495–1616: An Index (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 701. 12. Diogenes Laertius, “Plato,” in Lives of Eminent Philosophers, trans. R.  D. Hicks (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1925), 3.4. Laertius mentions only the “broad shoulder” possibility, which is, I think, too narrow. 13. Laertius, “Plato,” 3.5. 14. See, most recently, Danielle Allen, Why Plato Wrote (Malden, MA: Wiley-­Blackwell, 2010). 15. Kurke, Aesopic Conversations, 246n14. 16. See Christopher Moore, Calling Philosophers Names: On the Origin of a Discipline (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019). 17. See any version of Plato’s Gorgias and Phaedrus for this advocacy. 18. At “Plato,” 3.37, Laertius offers that Aristotle judged the form of Plato’s dialogues to be in the middle between poetry and pezos logos, literally meaning “foot speech” (φησὶ δ᾽ Ἀριστοτέλης τὴν τῶν λόγων ἰδέαν αὐτοῦ μεταξὺ ποιήματος εἶναι καὶ πεζοῦ λόγου). In extant writings, Aristotle does not use the phrase logos pezos but rather logos psilos, as I show. 19. Plato uses the phrase elsewhere, e.g., Theaetetus, 165a, where the eponymous character places it in an unclear relationship with geometria, but it is not noticeably tied to rhetoric. 20. Plato, Menexenus 234c, 235d. 21. Plato, Menexenus 235a. The best study of rhetoric as magic remains Jacqueline de Romilly, Magic and Rhetoric in Ancient Greece (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1975). I eagerly await Ryan Blank’s work-­in-­progress on the Menexenus and am grateful for one particularly buoying conversation with him when I was wrestling with this piece. 22. Plato, Menexenus 235a–b. 23. Plato, Menexenus 235b. 24. Plato, Menexenus 235c. 25. Plato, Menexenus 235d. 26. Plato, Menexenus 236b. Before he begins his recitation, Socrates jokes with Mene­ xenus that he would do anything he asked, including stripping and dancing (236d). That is nude speech of a different kind.


note s to chap ter 2 27. Thucydides, How to Think about War: An Ancient Guide to Foreign Policy, trans. Johanna Hanink (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019), §41. 28. Plato, Menexenus 239b–c. 29. This framework is evident at the opening (172a–74a), before the erotic speeches begin (178a), and at the end (223c–d). For a delightful poem about the structure, see Anne Carson, “Shoes: An Essay on How Plato’s Symposium Begins,” Iowa Review 25, no.  2 (Spring-­Summer 1995): 47–51. 30. Plato, Symposium 176c, 176e. 31. Plato, Symposium 176e. 32. Plato, Symposium 177a-­b. Lamb translation, adapted. One should think Sappho would “ahem” at this claim about poets ignoring Erōs/erōs. 33. Plato, Lamb trans., Symposium 177d. 34. Guido Bonelli, Socrate Sileno: Dinamica Erotica e Figurazione Scenica nel Convito di Platone (Torino: Celid, 1991), 129. 35. Plato, Symposium 213e. Lamb translation. 36. Plato, Symposium 215a2, 221d2. 37. Plato, Symposium 215a. 38. Alcibiades does not mention what Marsyas’s piping costs him: his skin. He is flayed by Apollo after besting him in a pipe-­off and bragging about it. Plato may intend dark humor here, given Socrates’s fate. For attention to the reception of the Marsyas story, see Timothy Saunders, “Discipline and Receive; or, Making an Example out of Marsyas,” in Classics and the Uses of Reception, ed. Charles Martindale and Richard F. Thomas (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006), 32–43. 39. Plato, Symposium 215c. 40. Plato, Symposium 215c. 41. Plato, Symposium 215d. 42. Plato, Symposium 215e. Lamb translation, adapted. 43. Plato, Symposium 221e–22a. Lamb translation, with small adjustment. 44. Greek from Isocrates, Evagoras, trans. La Rue Van Hook (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1945). For a full commentary, see Evangelos Alexiou, Der “Evagoras” des Isokrates: Ein Kommentar (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010). 45. Isocrates, Evagoras §1. Too translation. 46. Isocrates, Evagoras §2, §4. Too translation, adapted. 47. Isocrates, Evagoras §5. Too translation. 48. Isocrates, Evagoras §6. 49. Isocrates, Evagoras §8. Too translation. 50. Isocrates, Evagoras §8–9. 51. Isocrates, Evagoras §10. 52. Isocrates, Evagoras §10. 53. Isocrates, Evagoras §11. Too translation, adapted. 54. Isocrates, To Philip, trans. George Norlin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980), §26. In a translation on this work, Massimiliano Carloni renders the ancient Greek here as “privo e nudo,” deprived and naked. See Massimiliano Carloni, “Isocrate, Filippo. Introduzione, traduzion e commento,” PhD diss., Scuola Normale Superiore, 2018/19, 44, and see also 156–86 for his commentary on this part of the logos, especially 166 and 179. 55. Isocrates, To Philip §26. 56. Isocrates, To Philip §26.


note s to chap ter 2 57. Isocrates, To Philip §27. Variants of poikilia have appeared now several times in this chapter. In the introduction to Intratextuality: Greek and Roman Textual Relations, ed. Alison Sharrock and Helen Morales (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), Alison Sharrock writes that poikilia “signified a nexus of words intimately involved in ancient and modern imagery for texts, such as embroidery, weaving, subtlety, complexity, a shifting, multicoloured surface, notions of richness, artistry, even deception, as well as variety.” It carries with it a “negative connotation[,] . . . which, for all its vital exuberance, often conveys the sense that its referent is not ‘simple’ and so can’t be trusted. Ancient literary critics’ use of the word, therefore, expresses a mixture of admiration and uncertainty. It is in that insecure ambivalence that reading comes into being” (14). 58. Isocrates, To Philip §27. 59. Isocrates, To Philip §28. It is very much like the beginning of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1776): “In the following pages I have nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and I have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader,” Paine, Common Sense (New York: Penguin, 2005), 24. 60. Demosthenes, “Against Aphobus I,” in Orations, vol. 4, trans. A. T. Murray (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1936), §2. 61. Demosthenes, “Against Aphobus I” §2–3. 62. Demosthenes, “Against Aphobus I” e.g., §52–52. Lene Rubinstein reminded me that psilos was also used to describe “light-­armed” soldiers, and she suggested Demosthenes may be pointing out how ill-­equipped the claims of Aphobus and Androtion are for the heavy blows of courtroom agonistics. 63. Demosthenes, “Against Aphobus I” §53. 64. Demosthenes, “Against Aphobus I” §54, adapted from Murray. 65. Demosthenes, “Against Aphobus I” §54. 66. Demosthenes, “Against Androtion,” in Orations, vol.  3, trans. J.  H. Vince (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935), §4, adapted from Vince. 67. Demosthenes, “Against Androtion” §22, trans. Vince. 68. These two instances seem to be the only ones from surviving judicial oratory. 69. For overlaps, see John T. Kirby, “Aristotle’s Poetics: The Rhetorical Principle,” Are­ thusa 24, no. 2 (Fall 1991): 197–217; John T. Kirby, “Toward a Rhetoric of Poetics: Rhetor as Author and Narrator,” Journal of Narrative Technique 22, no. 1 (Winter 1992): 1–22. 70. Aristotle, De Arte Poetica Liber, ed. Rudolph(us) Kassel (New York: Oxford University Press, 1922), 1447a22–23, 1447a29–1447b1–2. I refer to this work as the Poetics. 71. Aristotle, Poetics 1447b9–10. 72. Aristotle, Poetics 1448a11. Plato’s use of “poiēsin psilēn” at Phaedrus 278c comes close to this word, seeming, as it does, to mean poetry without musical accompaniment. 73. Aristotle, Ars Rhetorica, David Ross, ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959), 3.1.1404a20–35. I refer to this work as the Rhetoric. 74. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1404a34–35. 75. Aristophanes, Clouds, trans. Jeffrey Henderson (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 1371. 76. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1404b23–25. 77. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1404a28–29. 78. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1404b1–5. 79. Aristotle, Poetics 1458a31–4; Aristotle, Rhetoric 1404b2–14. 80. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1404b14. 81. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1404b32–33.


note s to chap ter 2 82. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1405a6–8. 83. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1406a1–4. 84. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1406b10–11. 85. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1408b21–22, 1408b27–8. 86. Aristotle, Rhetoric, trans. C. D. C. Reeve (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2018), 1409a2–3. At Orator §175, Cicero joins Aristotle in naming Thrasymachus as the innovator. 87. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1409a24–26. 88. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1409a34–36. 89. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1409b24–25. 90. Goldhill, Invention of Prose, preface, np. 91. See, in particular, Aristotle’s descriptions of the periodic sentence in the Rhetoric 1409a24–27. 92. Demetrius, On Style [Peri Hermēneias], trans. W. Rhys Roberts (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 1.1. I change the translation of “logos” from “prose” to “speech.” 93. Demetrius, On Style 2.38. 94. Demetrius, On Style 2.38–41, 2.78, 2.91. 95. Demetrius, On Style 2.100. 96. Demetrius, On Style 2.90. 97. See, e.g., Dionysius of Halicarnassus, “Demosthenes,” trans. Stephen Usher (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974). 98. For a summary of elocutio in Roman rhetoric as well as attention to its translation, see R. Kirchner, “Elocutio: Latin Prose Style,” in A Companion to Roman Rhetoric, ed. W. Dominik and Jon Halls (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2010), 181–94. 99. [Cicero,] Rhetorica ad Herennium, trans. Henry Caplan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1954), 4.8.11. 100. See, e.g., Michele Kennerly, Editorial Bodies: Perfection and Rejection in Ancient Rhetoric and Poetics (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2018), especially the introduction, for an overview of body language in rhetoric and poetics. 101. Though Aristotle names a few lexical figurations in the third book of Rhetoric, it is not until the critical and indexical activities characteristic of the subsequent Hellenistic period that large numbers of rhetorical ornaments come to be classified. See, e.g., Laurent Pernot, Rhetoric in Antiquity, trans. W. E. Higgins (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2005), 57–63. 102. See, e.g., “nostro in te studio munus hoc adcumulatissime tuae largiamur voluntati” ([Cicero,] Rhetorica ad Herennium 1.17.27). 103. “Omnes rationes honestandae studiose collegimus elocutionis; in quibus, Herenni, si te diligentius exercueris, et gravitatem et dignitatem et suavitatem habere in dicendo poteris, ut oratorie plane loquaris, nec nuda atque inornata vulgari sermone efferatur” ([Cicero,] Rhetorica ad Herennium 4.56.69). 104. Gravitas, dignitas, and suavitas are terms of particular importance to Roman rhetoric. See chapter 4 (“Suauis Grauis: The Birth of the Language of Rhetoric”) of Brian A. Krostenko, Cicero, Catullus, and the Language of Social Performance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). 105. Elaine Fantham, “Varietas and Satietas; De Oratore 3.96–103 and the Limits of Ornatus,” Rhetorica 6, no. 3 (Summer 1988), 275n1. 106. Cicero, Orator, trans. H. M. Hubbell (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1939), §3. 107. Cicero, Orator §149–236. Walker discusses these sections in Rhetoric and Poetics


note s to chap ter 3 in Antiquity, 82. For an in-­depth study of rhythm in Byzantine rhetoric, see Vessela Valiavitcharska, Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), the introduction of which asks, “Why Rhythm?” 108. Cicero, Orator §168–69, for example. 109. E.g., Cicero, Orator §187–88; §194–95; §198; §201–3; §227. 110. E.g., Cicero, Orator §164, §168–71, §173, §187. 111. Cicero, Orator §183. 112. Cicero, Orator §168. 113. E.g., Gorgias §165, 167, 174–76; Isocrates §167, 172, 174–76; Aristotle §172, 192–93. 114. Cicero, Orator §174–75. 115. Cicero, Orator §176. 116. Cicero, Orator §193. 117. Cicero, Orator §172. 118. Cicero, Orator §183–84. Hubbell translation, adapted. 119. I say “returns,” because Cicero uses nuda slightly differently in De Oratore (1.218, 2.341, 3.136) and in Brutus (262), where he applies it to the autobiographical historical writings of Caesar. See Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, “Hair, Hegemony, and Historiography: Caesar’s Style and Its Earliest Critics,” in Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose, edited by Tobias Reinhardt, Michael Lapidge, and J.  N. Adams (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 97–115. 120. Cicero, Orator §186. 121. Cicero, Orator §229. Hubbell translation. For extended attention to the athletic metaphors within ancient Greek rhetorical theory, see Debra Hawhee, Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004). 122. For a study of how these writers engage matters of poetry’s relationship with “prose,” see Irene Peirano Garrison, Persuasion, Rhetoric and Roman Poetry (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019). 123. Seneca (the Elder), Controversiae (six uses); Suasoriae (one use), trans. Michael Winterbottom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974). 124. Seneca (the Younger), Letters, trans. Richard M. Gummere (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1920), 94.27. 125. Pliny (the Younger), Letters, trans. Betty Radice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969), 1.20.7, 4.14.4, 5.8.4.

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1. The text’s date is difficult to pin down with certainty but is generally thought to have been composed sometime between the seventh and tenth centuries. As Ager notes, it is a composite text, which is to say it “includes material from throughout classical antiquity, translated into Greek where necessary.” See Britta K. Ager, “Roman Agricultural Magic,” PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2010, 48, Deep Blue, 2. Translation modified from Dalby. See Andrew Dalby, trans., Geoponika: Farm Work (London: Prospect Books, 2011), 271; Peter Needham, ed., Geōponika–Geoponicorum, Sive de Re Rustica, Libri XX. Cassiano Basso Scholastico Collectore (Cambridge: Impensis A. and J. Churchill Londinensium, 1704), 360–61. 3. For a thorough discussion of this rhyming tradition that includes ample references to literary works, see: J. H. Todd and Eugene Curry, “On Rhyming Rats to Death,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 5 (1850–53): 355–66.


note s to chap ter 3 4. E.  P. Evans, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (London: Faber and Faber, 1906), 132. 5. William Wells Newell, “Conjuring Rats,” Journal of American Folklore 5, no.  16 (1892): 23. 6. Newell, “Conjuring Rats,” 23. 7. This reference to a cat carving comes from one of a set of Japanese traditions by which images of cats were deemed effective rodent repellants: “The power of keeping rats away is ascribed to a so-­called Nitta no neko, a picture of a cat painted by Nitta. Where this picture is hanging no rats appear, and it is therefore highly regarded by breeders of silk-­worms. Similarly, the carvings of cats by the famous sculptor, Hidari Jingoro (early 17th century), are believed to drive away rats. A golden image of a cat was used by a certain priest, while bringing precious Buddhist books from China, to protect the books from injury by rats.” See W. L. Hildburgh, “Some Japanese Household Charms against Insects and Other Vermin,” Man 15 (1915): 86. 8. Kathleen Stewart, “Weak Theory in an Unfinished World,” Journal of Folklore Research 45, no. 1 (2008): 77. 9. For a discussion of worlding, see Stewart, Ordinary Affects (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 3. 10. Thomas Rickert, Ambient Rhetoric: The Attunements of Rhetorical Being (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013). 11. Rickert, Ambient Rhetoric, 34. 12. Gorgias, “Gorgias’s Encomium on Helen,” in On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse, trans. G.  Kennedy, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007) 251–56; Jacques Derrida, Dissemination, trans. B. Johnson (University of Chicago Press, 1983). 13. As the education scholar Nigel Hall observes, “in the study of writing, particularly its history and development, the materials and objects people use to write (apart from those used by printers) have been studied much less than the meanings and products of the writing process.” See Nigel Hall, “The Materiality of Letter Writing: A Nineteenth Century Perspective,” in Letter Writing as a Social Practice, ed. David Barton and Nigel Hall (Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 2000), 83. See also Anne Wysocki, “Opening New Media to Writing: Openings and Justifications,” in Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition, by Anne Wysocki, Johndan Johnson-­Eilola, Cynthia L. Selfe, and Geoffrey Sirc (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2004), 1–23. 14. Such a claim might be difficult to substantiate in conventional scholarly ways, but for relevant overviews of object-­oriented ontology, “thing theory,” and new materialism, see Rickert, Ambient Rhetoric, 22–27. See also the discussion of new materialisms in Laurie A. Gries, Still Life with Rhetoric: A New Materialist Approach for Visual Rhetorics (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2015), 4–7; and the discussion of rhetorical ontologies put forward by Scot Barnett and Casey Boyle. I want to stress that I am not using magic dismissively here, as is too often the tendency. See Scot Barnett and Casey Boyle, “Introduction: Rhetorical Ontology, or, How to Do Things with Things,” in Rhetoric, through Everyday Things, ed. Barnett and Boyle (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2016), 1–14. 15. Prior studies that bring together rhetoric and magic include Gunn’s, Stark’s; and two titles by William Covino. See Joshua Gunn, Modern Occult Rhetoric: Mass Media and the Drama of Secrecy in the Twentieth Century (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005); Ryan Stark, Rhetoric, Science, and Magic in Seventeenth-­Century England (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2009); William A. Covino, “Magic and/as Rhetoric:


note s to chap ter 3 Outlines of a History of Phantasy,” Journal of Advanced Composition 12, no. 2 (1992): 349– 58; William A. Covino, Magic, Rhetoric, and Literacy: An Eccentric History of the Composing Imagination (State University of New York Press, 1994). The opening pages of Jeffrey Walker’s Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity offer tantalizing glimpses of the magical, magisterial rhapsode tradition as another important element of the picture. See Jeffrey Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). 16. Gorgias, “Gorgias’s Encomium on Helen,” 251–56. 17. Jacqueline de Romilly, Magic and Rhetoric in Ancient Greece (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1975), 5. 18. Michele Kennerly, “Getting Carried Away: How Rhetorical Transport Gets Judgment Going,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 40, no. 3 (2010): 269–91. 19. The Greek text is from Hermann Diels and Walther Kranz. Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Zurich: Weidmann, 1985): enlarge (epauxēsai) (8); eksēn, “swept away” or “expelled” by persuasion (l.12). These section numbers are standard and so referenced in Kennedy’s translation, which I have used with modifications noted. The verbs (importantly) have objects in this context. They are, in order, fear, blame, pleasure, and pity (Gorgias, “Gorgias’s Encomium on Helen,” 8). 20. Gorgias, “Gorgias’s Encomium on Helen,” line 7. 21. Gorgias, “Gorgias’s Encomium on Helen,” line 10; Romilly, Magic and Rhetoric, 3. 22. See sources cited in note  15 for historical treatments of rhetoric’s long-­standing relationship with magic. 23. John O. Ward, “Magic and Rhetoric from Antiquity to the Renaissance: Some Ruminations,” Rhetorica 6, no. 1 (1988): 65. 24. Ward, “Magic and Rhetoric,” 65. 25. William A. Covino, “Alchemizing the History of Rhetoric: Introductions, Incantations, Spells,” in Writing Histories of Rhetoric, ed. Victor J. Vitanza, (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994), 53. 26. George H. Bratley, The Power of Gems and Charms (London: Gay and Bird, 1907), 4; Lea Olsan, “Latin Charms of Medieval England: Verbal Healing in a Christian Oral Tradition,” Oral Tradition 7, no. 1 (1992): 123. 27. Bratley, Power of Gems and Charms, 4. 28. Olsan, “Latin Charms,” 123. 29. Jan-­Dirk Müller, “The Body of the Book: The Media Transition from Manuscript to Print,” in The Book History Reader, ed. D. Finkelstein and A. McCleery (New York: Routledge, 2002), 144. 30. David Frankfurter, “The Magic of Writing and the Writing of Magic: The Power of the Word in Egyptian and Greek Traditions,” Helios 21, no. 2 (1994): 192–93. 31. Frankfurter, “Magic of Writing,” 194. 32. R. F. Newbold, “Perception and Sensory Awareness among Latin Writers in Late Antiquity,” Classica Et Mediaevala 33 (1981–82): 188. 33. Newbold, “Perception and Sensory Awareness,” 171. 34. Newbold, “Perception and Sensory Awareness,” 171. 35. See also Covino who notes, following Daly, that “spelling, even in its ostensibly nonmagical sense, denotes the visible materialization of invisible thought” (Magic, Rhetoric, and Literacy, 5). Bruce Horner, writing about teaching and writing together, notes that “no representation of teaching or writing can exhaust the full range of their materiality but must be understood as focused, and thus partial and selective in all senses.” Bruce Horner, Terms of Work for Composition (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000), xix.


note s to chap ter 3 36. See also my discussion of “winged words,” Debra Hawhee, Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), 37–40. 37. Olsan, “Latin Charms,” 123. 38. Plato, “Phaedrus,” in Plato: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus, trans. Harold North Fowler (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914), 413–579; Jacques Derrida, “Plato’s Pharmacy,” in Dissemination, trans. B. Johnson (University of Chicago Press, 1983), 61–171. 39. Plato, “Phaedrus” 230D. Translation is Fowler’s. 40. Plato, “Phaedrus” 230D. Translation is Fowler’s. 41. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, and Sir Henry Stuart Jones, eds., A Greek-­ English Lexicon, 9th ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 1917. 42. Rhetorical treatments of Derrida’s pharmakon include the following: Thomas  S. Frentz, “Memory, Myth, and Rhetoric in Plato’s Phaedrus,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 36, no. 3 (2006): 243–62; Susan Jarratt, Rereading the Sophists (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998), 7; James Jasinski, “Heteroglossia, Polyphony, and the Federalist Papers,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 27, no. 1 (1997): 44n39; Mark Noe, “The Oral Fixation: The Oral/Textual Binary from Phaedrus to Freshman Composition,” Rhetoric Review 26, no.  4 (2007): 349–64; A.  T. Nuyen, “The Role of Rhetorical Devices in Postmodernist Discourse,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 25, no. 2 (1992): 189. For Gorgias’s “Encomium,” see Timothy H. Engström, “Philosophy’s Anxiety of Rhetoric: Contemporary Revisions of a Politics of Separation,” Rhetorica 7, no. 3 (1989): 209–38; and Debra Hawhee, Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004), 80–84. 43. Plato, The Laws, trans. R.  G. Bury, vol.  2 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1926), 932E. 44. Plato, Laws 933A. 45. Plato, Laws 933A–B. Translation is Bury’s. 46. Ancient Greeks believed the soul would be judged at a three-­way crossroads (one road led to the Elysian Fields, one to the Fields of Asphodel, and the third road to Tartarus). See Plato, The Republic, trans. P. Shorey, vol. 2 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1930), 614B. 47. Plato, “Sophist,” in Plato: Theatetus, Sophist, trans. H. N. Fowler (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), 234C. 48. Sarah Iles Johnston, Restless Dead: Encounters between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 103. 49. Plato, Laws 933D. 50. Plato, “Phaedrus” 230D–E. Translation is Hackforth’s. 51. As do a number of non-­Western traditions, such as the Tibetan practice of curing disease by “the eating of a piece of paper on which a charm has been written.” See Alice Sárközi, “The Magic of Writing—Edible Charms,” Studia Orientalia 87 (1999): 234. 52. In the tongue-­in-­cheek ejection letter composed by the nineteenth-­century Boston man discussed above, consumption is paramount: “This letter,” according to Newell, “was greased, rolled up, and thrust into the entrance of the rat-­holes, in order that it might be duly read, marked, and inwardly digested.” Newell, “Conjuring Rats,” 23–24. 53. Covino, “Alchemizing the History of Rhetoric,” 52. 54. Ager, “Roman Agricultural Magic,” 245. 55. Ager, “Roman Agricultural Magic,” 245. 56. Ager, “Roman Agricultural Magic,” 248. 57. Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am, ed. M.  L. Mallet, trans. D.  Wills, (New


note s to chap ter 3 York: Fordham University Press, 2008), 37. For a brilliant reconsideration of fables in the medieval period, one that also explicitly resists accepting Derrida’s proclamations, see Susan Crane, Animal Encounters: Contacts and Concepts in Medieval Britain (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 42–68. See also my discussion of fables in Hawhee, Rhetoric and Tooth and Claw, 70–88. 58. For an elaboration of the parchment point, see Bruce Holsinger, “Of Pigs and Parchment: Medieval Studies and the Coming of the Animal,” PMLA 124, no. 2 (2009): 616–23. 59. Aristotle, Generation of Animals, 763a. 60. The scholarship on progymnasmata in rhetorical studies is vast. Useful introductions are offered by Donald Lemen Clark, “The Rise and Fall of Progymnasmata in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Grammar Schools,” Speech Monographs 19 (1952): 259–63; and George Kennedy, Progymnasmata: Greek Textbooks of Prose Composition and Rhetoric (Atlanta, GA: Society for Biblical Literature, 2003). For the progymnasmata in the early modern period, see Francis R. Johnson, “Two Renaissance Textbooks of Rhetoric: Aphthonius’ Progymnasmata and Rainolde’s A Booke Called the Foundacion of Rhetorike,” Huntington Library Quarterly 6, no. 4 (1943): 427–44; Thomas Whitfield Baldwin, William Shakspere’s Small Latine and Lesse Greeke, vol. 2 (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1944); Donald Leman Clark, John Milton at Saint Paul’s School: A Study of Ancient Rhetoric in English Renaissance Education (Archon Books, 1964), 208–13, 230–49; Christy Desmet, “Progymnasmata, Then and Now,” in Rhetorical Agendas: Political, Ethical, Spiritual, edited by Patricia Bizzell (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006), 188–90. 61. Manfred Kraus, “Aphthonius and the Progymnasmata in Rhetorical Theory and Practice,” in Sizing Up Rhetoric, ed. David Zarefsky and Elizabeth Benacka (Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2008), 52–67; Manfred Kraus, “Grammatical and Rhetoric Exercises in the Medieval Classroom,” New Medieval Literatures 11 (2009): 63–89. 62. Kraus, “Grammatical and Rhetoric Exercises,” 62. 63. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 180. For the Greek text, see Hugo Rabe, ed., Ioannis Sardiani: Commentarium in Aphthonii Progymnasmata (Leipzig: Teubner, 1928). 64. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 180–81. 65. For a more extensive discussion of aloga zōa, especially in relation to Aristotle’s purported distinction between human and nonhuman animals, see Hawhee, Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw, 13–36. 66. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 134. 67. Covino, “Magic and/as Rhetoric,” 355. 68. See discussions in Janet Atwill, Rhetoric Reclaimed: Aristotle and the Liberal Arts Tradition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998), 56; Marcel Detienne and Jean-­Pierre Vernant, Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society, trans. J. Lloyd (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 27–54; Hawhee, Bodily Arts, 53–57. 69. Babrius, “Aesopic Fables of Babrius in Iambic Verse,” in Babrius and Phaedrus, trans. B. E. Perry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965), 108. 70. Carol Dana Lanham, “Freshman Composition in the Early Middle Ages: Epistolography and Rhetoric Before the ‘ars dictaminis,’” Viator 23 (1992): 115–34. 71. Lanham, “Freshman Composition,” 116. 72. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 213, 74–75. 73. Hermogenes, trans. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 74–75, John of Sardis, trans. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 213. 74. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 213. 75. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 213.


note s to chap ter 3 76. For a thorough and helpful technical discussion of the relationship between ethopoiea and prosopopeia, see Koen De Temmerman, “Ancient Rhetoric as a Hermeneutical Tool for the Analysis of Characterization in Narrative Literature,” Rhetorica 28, no. 1 (2010): 36nn67–68; Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 8.115, 47. 77. M. Luther Stirewalt, Studies in Ancient Greek Epistolography (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1993), 22. 78. Stirewalt, Studies in Ancient Greek Epistolography, 22–23. 79. See also Kennedy’s note to this particular Theon passage, which he reads along with the existence of a robust tradition of “imaginative, literary epistolography” as a “minor genre of the Second Sophistic” as evidence that “letter writing may have occasionally been practiced in schools.” Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 47–48n149. 80. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 166. 81. Carole Poster, “A Conversation Halved: Epistolary Theory in Greco-­Roman Antiquity,” in Letter-­Writing Manuals and Instruction from Antiquity to the Present, ed. C. Poster and L. C. Mitchell (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2007), 21–51. 82. De Temmerman, “Ancient Rhetoric as a Hermeneutical Tool,” 28–29. 83. This passage is also cited in Latin and English in Abraham  J. Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1988), 21. Cicero, Cicero: Letters to Friends, ed. and trans. D. R. Shackleton Bailey, vol. 1 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), Letter 48 (II.4), 236–37. 84. According to Demetrius in On Style: “Sometimes we write to cities and kings: such letters must be a little more elaborate, since we should consider to whom the letter is written, but it should not be so elaborate that the letter turns into a treatise” (234). Julius Victor, writing in the fourth century CE, discusses the style of official versus personal letters (Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists, 63). Pseudo Libanius’s delineation of epistolographic styles often depend on the relationship between sender and recipient, so that “the reproachful style is that in which we reproach someone if he forgets how he has been benefited by us” (69 l.17); “the consulting style is that in which we communicate our own opinion to one of our friends and request his advice on the matter” (71 l.37); “the erotic style is that in which we offer amorous words to lovers” (73 l.44). 85. For a discussion of the intimacy of letter writing, in a study that traces the long and storied history of this form of written communication, showing “that how a culture writes is inextricably linked to how it reads,” see Kathy Eden, The Renaissance Rediscovery of Intimacy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), 4. 86. For Julius Victor’s letter, see Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists, 63. See also Poster, “Conversation Halved,” 35. 87. Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists, 13. 88. Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists, 73. 89. Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists, 69. 90. Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists, 68–69. 91. Liddell, Scott, and Jones, Greek-­English Lexicon, 598. 92. Peter Dinzelbacher, “Animal Trials: A Multidisciplinary Approach,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 33 (2002): 413. 93. Dinzelbacher, “Animal Trials,” 416–20. 94. Esther Cohen, “Law, Folklore, and Animal Lore,” Past and Present 110 (1986): 10. For a more extensive, cultural account of animal trials see Cohen’s remarkable book, The Crossroads of Justice: Law and Culture in Late Medieval France (Leiden: Brill, 1993). 95. Cohen, “Law, Folklore, and Animal Lore,” 21–22.


note s to chap ter 4 96. Kraus confirms that the progymnasmata were taught in medieval classrooms throughout Europe. Kraus, “Grammatical and Rhetoric Exercises,” 66. 97. Kraus, “Grammatical and Rhetoric Exercises,” 75. For an imaginative reading of how the series worked and might work today, see David Fleming, “The Very Idea of a ‘Progymnasmata,’” Rhetoric Review 22, no. 2 (2003): 105–20. 98. See Aristotle, “Athenian Constitution,” in Aristotle: Athenian Constitution, Eude­mian Ethics, Virtues and Vices, trans. H.  Rachham (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1935), ch. 57; and Plato, Laws, 873D–E. 99. Jack Goody, The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 127; Rosalind Thomas, Oral Tradition and Written Record in Classical Athens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 41–44, 60–61. 100. Evans, Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment, 122. 101. Evans, Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment, 123.

Chapter 4

1. William Butler Yeats, The Yeats Reader: A Portable Compendium of Poetry, Drama, and Prose, ed. Richard J. Finneran (New York: Scribner, 2002), 387; Archibald MacLeish, Col­lected Poems, 1917–1982 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976), 107; T. S. Eliot, “The Three Voices of Poetry,” in On Poetry and Poets (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Cudahy, 1957), 109. 2. Peter Mack, “Poetry,” in Encyclopedia of Rhetoric, ed. Thomas O. Sloane (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 604. 3. Jeffrey Walker, “Rhetoric and Poetics,” in The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, ed. Michael J. MacDonald (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), 94. 4. Jeffrey Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), viii. Walker further explicates this position in The Genuine Teachers of This Art: Rhetorical Education in Antiquity (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011), 222. 5. Walker, “Rhetoric and Poetics,” 94. 6. Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 330. 7. Thomas O. Sloane and Walter Jost, “Rhetoric and Poetry,” in Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th ed., ed. Roland Greene et al. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012), 1176. 8. Wayne C. Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961); Craig Kallendorf, ed., Landmark Essays on Rhetoric and Literature (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1999). For further discussion of the productive relationship between rhetoric and poetry in scholarship and pedagogy, see Leonard Nathan, “Rhetoric and Poetry,” in Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition: Communication from Ancient Times to the Information Age, ed. Theresa Enos (New York: Garland, 1996), 612–14; Thomas Sloan[e] and Raymond B. Waddington, eds., The Rhetoric of Renaissance Poetry (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974); Edward P. J. Corbett, ed., Rhetorical Analyses of Literary Works (New York: Oxford University Press, 1969); Don  H. Bialostosky and Lawrence  D. Needham, eds., Rhetorical Traditions and British Romantic Literature (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995). 9. Walker, Genuine Teachers of This Art, 3. 10. See, for example, Eli Goldblatt and David Jolliffe, Literacy as Conversation: Learning Networks in Urban and Rural Communities (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020); Jennifer Fletcher, Teaching Literature Rhetorically: Transferable Literacy Skills for 21st Century Students (Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse, 2018); Jeremy David Engels, The Ethics of Oneness: Emerson, Whitman, and the Bhagavad Gita (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,


note s to chap ter 4 2021); Bryan J. McCann, “Dialoging with Bigger Thomas: A Reception History of Richard Wright’s Native Son,” Advances in the History of Rhetoric 22, no. 1 (2019): 92–114. 11. Examples of these diverse pedagogical approaches include Kirstie Blair, “Teaching Victorian Poetry and the Body: Forming Affect,” Victorian Review 34, no.  2 (2008): 9–18; Lorrain Janzen Kooistra, “Teaching Victorian Illustrated Poetry: Hands-­On Mate­ rial Culture,” Victorian Review 34, no. 2 (2008): 43–61; Lesley Ginsberg, “A New-­Historical Approach to Teaching ‘The Black Cat,’” in Approaches to Teaching Poe’s Prose and Poetry, ed. Jeffery Andrew Weinstock and Tony Magistrale (New York: Modern Language Association, 2008), 97–103; Sean Palmer, “The Dialogism of Modern Women: A New-­Historicist Pedagogical Approach to Daisy Miller,” in Approaches to Teaching Henry James’s “Daisy Miller” and “The Turn of the Screw,” ed. Kimberly C. Reed and Peter G. Beidler (New York: Modern Language Association, 2005), 101–10; Ashton Nicholls, “Ecocritical and Environmental Approaches: Teaching Victorian Poets and Novelists in the Age of the Internet,” in Teaching Victorian Literature in the Twenty-­First Century: A Guide to Pedagogy, ed. Jen Cadwallader and Laurence W. Mazzeno (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 315–28; Jeffery Theis, “Ecocritical Milton,” in Approaches to Teaching Milton: Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” ed. Peter Herman, 2nd ed., (New York: Modern Language Association, 2012), 174–79; Peter Hitchcock, “Postcolonial Africa? Problems of Theory,” Women’s Studies Quarterly 25, no. 3/4 (1997): 233–44; Patricia Clare Ingham, “Chaucerian Translations: Postcolonial Approaches to The Canterbury Tales,” in Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” ed. Peter W. Travis and Frank Grady, 2nd ed., (New York: Modern Language Association, 2014), 149–59; Kevin Bourgue, “Mapping the Literature Survey: Locating London in British Literature,” in Teaching the Literature Survey Course: New Strategies for College Faculty, ed. Gwynn Dujardin, James M. Lang, and John A. Staunton (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2018), 11–30; Jennifer Page, “Digital Tools, New Media Survey, and the Literature Survey,” in Dujardin, Lang, and Staunton, Teaching Literature Survey Course, 133–49; Rob Pope, “Re-­ writing Texts, Re-­constructing the Subject: Work as Play on the Critical Creative Interface,” in Teaching Literature: A Companion, ed. Tanya Agathocleous and Ann C. Dean (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 105–24; Carey Nelson, “A Theorized Poetry Class,” in Teaching Contemporary Theory to Undergraduates, ed. Dianne F. Sadoff and William E. Cain (New York: Modern Language Association, 1994), 178–91; Todd O. Williams, “Teaching Victorian Poetry with Twenty-­First-­Century Psychology,” in Cadwallader and Mazzeno, Teaching Victorian Literature, 155–66; Diane Long Hoeveler, “Teaching ‘The Purloined Letter’ and Lacan’s Seminar: Introducing Students to Psychoanalysis through Poe,” in Weinstock and Magistrale, Approaches to Teaching Poe’s Prose and Poetry, 109–14; Ryan D. Fong, “Form, Gender, Pedagogy: Shaping and Engaging the Period Survey,” Nineteenth-­Century Gender Studies 12, no. 2 (2016),; Carine M. Mardorossian, “Geometries of Race, Class, and Gender: Identity Crossing in Wuthering Heights,” in Approaches to Teaching Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights,” ed. Sue Lonoff and Terri A. Hasseler (New York: Modern Language Association, 2006), 44–50; Stacey Flood, “Getting More Bang for Your Buck: Teaching Nineteenth-­Century Literature and Gender in a Survey Course,” in Cadwallader and Mazzeno, Teaching Victorian Literature, 111–23; Glenn Burger and Steven  F. Kruger, “Queer Chaucer in the Classroom,” in Agathocleous and Dean, Teaching Literature, 31–40. 12. In some cases, such as Scott Newstock’s thoughtful application of the ancient strategy of imitation (“Creative Imitation: The Survey as an Occasion for Emulating Style,” in Dujardin, Lang, and Staunton, Teaching Literature Survey Course, 31–48), Elizabeth Deis’s discussion of employing debate as a classroom exercise to confront the values embedded in a novel (“Using Debate to Help Undergraduate Non-­majors Connect with Silas Marner,”


note s to chap ter 4 in Cadwallader and Mazzeno, Teaching Victorian Literature, 99–110), and the curriculum of the Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC Online: Expository Reading and Writing Course, California State University,, concepts from ancient and contemporary rhetorical education are featured, but for the most part thoroughgoing rhetorical approaches to literature are absent from the scholarship of teaching. In “Good Fences Don’t Always Make Good Neighbors: Using Rhetorical Reading to Bridge the Gap between Literature and Writing,” Judith Burdan and Julie Hagemann suggest a rhetorical approach toward literature but do not flesh out what such a practice would look like (Teaching Composition/Teaching Literature: Crossing Great Divides, ed. Michelle M. Tokarczyk and Irene Papoulis [New York: Peter Lang, 2003], 127–47). 13. Walker, Genuine Teachers of This Art, 293. 14. Jeffrey Walker, Bardic Ethos and the American Epic Poem: Whitman, Pound, Crane, Williams, Olson (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989), xiv. 15. Walter Ong, Language as Hermeneutic: A Primer on the Word and Digitization, ed. Thomas D. Zlatic and Sara van den Berg (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017), 44. Here, appropriately, Ong is responding to the line from MacLeish cited above. 16. Ong, Language as Hermeneutic, 33. 17. Thomas B. Farrell, “The Weight of Rhetoric: Studies in Cultural Delirium,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 41, no. 4 (2008): 470; Kenneth Burke, Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 15. 18. Kenneth Burke, The Rhetoric of Motives (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950), 41. 19. Although the first three canons of rhetoric—invention, arrangement, and style— productively inform the teaching of poetry through the lens of rhetoric (note that the brief excerpt from Walker’s Bardic Ethos, included above, relies on them to define persuasion “in a literary context”), the final two canons—delivery and memory—are less obviously applied to twenty-­first-­century pedagogy, which has largely discarded the tradition of oral interpretation popular in the early and mid-­twentieth century. More generally, as Sloane and Jost note, delivery and memory “have received comparatively little attention over the centuries” (“Rhetoric and Poetry,” 1180). Nonetheless, a case for the potential relevance of delivery and memory to a rhetorical perspective on verse is suggested in Sloan[e], “The Open Poem as a Now Poem: Dickey’s May Day Sermon,” in Literature as Revolt and Revolt as Literature: Three Studies in the Rhetoric of Non-­Oratorical Forms, Proceedings of the Annual University of Minnesota Spring Symposium in Speech-­Communication, ed. Robert P. Scott (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1969), 17–31. 20. Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, eds., The Norton Anthology of Poetry, shorter 5th ed. (New York: Norton, 2005), 293–94. 21. Joseph Moldenhauer provides a thorough rhetorical analysis of the poem (“The Voices of Seduction in ‘To His Coy Mistress’: A Rhetorical Analysis,” in Corbett, Rhetorical Analyses, 16–36). 22. Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 393. 23. Billy Collins, ed., Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (New York: Random, 2003), 3. Because Collins specifically designed his anthology to engage students in reading poetry, I draw heavily from it here. 24. Aristotle, On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civil Discourse, 2nd ed., ed. and trans. George A. Kennedy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 38–39. 25. William Carlos Williams, The Selected Poems of William Carlos Williams (New York: New Directions, 1968), 25.


note s to chap ter 4 26. Collins, Poetry 180, 134. 27. Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 894. 28. Along similar lines, Sloane and Jost provide a brief enthymematic account of the argument central to Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” (“Rhetoric and Poetry,” 1178). The enthymeme, according to Aristotle, “is the ‘body’ of persuasion” (On Rhetoric, 31), and many theorists since the ancient Greeks have emphasized its centrality to rhetorical reasoning. I would be remiss, of course, if I failed to mention that—as Jeffrey Walker and others have demonstrated—since the time of ancient Greeks, the term enthymeme has meant different things to different teachers, practitioners, and scholars of rhetoric (see, for example, Walker, “The Body of Persuasion: A Theory of the Enthymeme,” College English 56, no. 1 [1994]: 46–65; Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 168–84; James Fredal, “The Enthymizing of Lysias,” Advances in the History of Rhetoric 20, no. 1 [2017]: 1–27). 29. Stephen Toulmin, The Uses of Argument (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958), 98–107. 30. Collins, Poetry 180, 229. 31. Aristotle, On Rhetoric 38–39. 32. Thomas O. Sloane, Donne, Milton, and the End of Humanist Rhetoric (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 94. 33. Diana Garcia, “On Leaving,” Prairie Schooner 88, no. 4 (2014): 11. 34. Diana Garcia, “On Staying Behind,” Prairie Schooner 88, no. 4 (2014): 12. 35. For a rich pedagogical treatment of Garcia’s poems, see Jennifer Fletcher, “Issue—‘On Leaving/On Staying Behind’ (ELA-­ELD),” Expository Reading and Writing Course, ERWC Online, California State University, 36. Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 913. 37. Aristotle, On Rhetoric 38–39. The complex relationships among the three kinds of proof—logos, ethos, and pathos—in Aristotle’ system of rhetorical invention has long been debated by scholars of classical rhetoric. For example, although for some scholars the enthymeme is strictly a function of logos, for others emotion-­based premises can be used to form enthymemes, which suggests a kind of union or cooperation of logos and pathos. For further detail, see Aristotle, Rhetoric 114; Walker, “Body of Persuasion”; Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 168–84. 38. Laura R. Micciche, Doing Emotion: Rhetoric, Writing, Teaching (Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2007), 13. 39. Aristotle, On Rhetoric 39n43. 40. Micciche, Doing Emotion, 24. 41. Ellen Quandahl, “On a Rhetorical Techne of the Moral-­Emotions,” in Rhetorical Agendas: Political, Ethical, Spiritual, ed. Patricia Bizzell (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006), 154. 42. Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 915, 393, 594. 43. For detailed historical discussion of the place of dispositio in the analysis of poetry, see Sloane, “Rhetoric, ‘Logic,’ and Poetry: The Formal Cause,” in The Age of Milton: Backgrounds to Seventeenth-­Century Literature, ed. C. A. Patrides and Raymond B. Waddington (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1980), 307–37; Sloan[e], “A Rhetorical Analysis of John Donne’s ‘The Prohibition,’” in Corbett, Rhetorical Analyses, 3–15. 44. Collins, Poetry 180, 4. 45. For a concise account of this metaphoric display, see Mack, “Poetry,” 607. 46. Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 174. 47. Since ancient times, rhetorical scholars have identified a legion of strategies based on


note s to chap ter 4 diction, syntax, figuration, and other effects. Useful accounts of these strategies include classical sources such as Rhetorica ad Herennium, trans. Harry Caplan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), as well as modern works such as Richard Lanham’s Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, 2nd ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), Arthur Quinn’s Figures of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase (New York: Routledge, 1995), and Jeanie Fahnestock’s Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language in Persuasion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). 48. Collins, Poetry 180, 156. 49. Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas  H. Johnson (Boston: Little, Brown, 1980), 553. 50. Collins, Poetry 180, 5. 51. Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems (New York: Random House, 1978), 41. 52. Delores Carpenter, ed., African American Heritage Hymnal (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2001), 540–41. 53. Even more damaging to the dynamic study and practice of rhetoric have been intellectual movements (such as Ramism) that banish invention and arrangement from rhetoric entirely, leaving the art of persuasion to concern itself mostly with degraded characterizations of style, delivery, and memory. 54. Catullus, Catullus: The Complete Poems for American Readers, trans. Reney Myers and Robert J. Ormsby (New York: Dutton, 1970), 153; Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 208. 55. Collins, Poetry 180, 54. 56. Richard Wilbur, The Poems of Richard Wilbur (New York: Harcourt, 1963), 14. 57. Leah Ceccarelli, “Polysemy: Multiple Meanings in Rhetorical Criticism,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 84, no. 4 (1998): 408. 58. Many rhetorical critics find Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of heteroglossia (or multiple and diverse voices) useful in such interpretive contexts (The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist [Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981], 263). 59. John C. Bean, Virginia A. Chappell, and Alice M. Gillam, Reading Rhetorically, 2nd ed. (New York: Pearson, 2007), 24. 60. Martin Stephen, ed., Never Such Innocence: A New Anthology of Great War Verse (London: Buchan and Enright, 1988), 68. Trevor Johnson, one such detractor, refers to Brooke’s argument as “sentimental gobbledegook” (A Critical Introduction to the Poems of Thomas Hardy [Houndmills, UK: Macmillan, 1991], 142). 61. John Lehmann, The Strange Destiny of Rupert Brooke (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980), 137. 62. M. H. Abrams, ed., The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 2, 4th ed. (New York: Norton, 1979), 1,918–19. 63. I am by no means the first to compare these poems (see, e.g., Trevor Johnson, Critical Introduction, 142; Joanna Cullen Brown, A Journey into Thomas Hardy’s Poetry [London: W. H. Allen, 1989], 22). 64. Kathryn King and William K. Morgan, “Hardy and the Boer War: The Public Poet in Spite of Himself,” Victorian Poetry 17, no. 1/2 (1979): 77. 65. Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 745. 66. T. Johnson, Critical Introduction, 142. 67. Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 745. 68. Brown, Journey, 22. 69. T. Johnson, Critical Introduction, 142.


note s to chap ter 5 70. To develop a pedagogical unit on poems focused on students, teachers, and teaching, I also recommend Bly’s “Gratitude to Old Teachers”; as well as Miles’s “Student” (Collected Poems: 1930–83 [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983], 96–97); Hughes’s “Theme for English B” (Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy, Norton Anthology, 915–16); and Tom Wayman’s “Did I Miss Anything?” (Collins, Poetry 180, 37–38). 71. Miles, Collected Poems, 211. 72. These details of Miles’s life are revealed in Miles’s Poetry, Teaching, and Scholarship: Oral History Manuscript and Related Material, 1977–1980 (Berkeley, CA: Bancroft Library, 1980), Through such readily accessible sources, students can uncover other significant elements of Miles’s life that make this poem about the formation of a teacher particularly relevant for classroom discussion: she was severely crippled by arthritis from an early age and overcame formidable challenges to establish herself as a premier scholar, teacher, and poet; she was the first woman to become a tenured professor in Berkeley’s prestigious, but old-­fashioned, English Department; she earned the title of university professor at Berkeley, a rare honor; and so forth. 73. Miles, Collected Poems, 211. 74. Miles, Poetry, Teaching, and Scholarship, 82–83. 75. Miles, Collected Poems, 211. 76. William James, “The Will to Believe,” in The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (New York: Dover, 1956), 3. 77. Arthur F. Kinney, “Rhetoric and Poetics,” in MacDonald, Oxford Handbook, 445. 78. Burke, Rhetoric of Motives, 23. 79. Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics, viii.

Chapter 5

1. Demetrius, On Style, trans. Doreen Innes and W.  Rhys Roberts (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 1. 2. Demetrius, On Style 20. 3. Aristotle, Rhetoric, trans. C. D. C. Reeve (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2018), 1404a; Isocrates, Evagoras, trans. La Rue Van Hook (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1945), 9–10. For a fuller discussion of the emergence of a theoretical distinction between poetry and prose, with a review of literature, see Richard Graff, “Prose versus Poetry in Early Greek Theories of Style,” Rhetorica 23, no. 4 (2005): 303–35; also Michele Kennerly, “Prose before Prosa,” in this volume. 4. Γραμματική ἐστιν ἐμπειρία τῶν παρὰ ποιηταῖς τε καὶ συγγραφεῦσιν ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ λεγομένων. Μέρη δὲ αὐτῆς ἐστιν ἕξ· πρῶτον ἀνάγνωσις ἐντριβὴς κατὰ προσῳδίαν, δεύτερον ἐξήγησις κατὰ τοὺς ἐνυπάρχοντας ποιητικοὺς τρόπους, τρίτον γλωσσῶν τε καὶ ἱστοριῶν πρόχειρος ἀπόδοσις, τέταρτον ἐτυμολογίας εὕρεσις, πέμπτον ἀναλογίας ἐκλογισμός, ἕκτον κρίσις ποιημάτων, ὃ δὴ κάλλιστόν ἐστι πάντων τῶν ἐν τῇ τέχνῃ (Dionysius Thrax, Ars grammatica, 1, in Robert H. Robins, The Byzantine Grammarians: Their Place in History [Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993]; G. Uhlig, ed., Dionysii Thracis Ars grammatica qualem exemplaria vetustissima exhibent [Leipzig: Teubner, 1883]). 5. Later scholia on Dionysius take issue with the term “empirical knowledge,” complaining that Dionysius “degraded the science” by calling it empeiria: for empeiria is routine practice without an underlying principle, they say, while grammar employs rational principle derived from analogical paradigms (A. Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem grammaticam [Leipzig: Teubner, 1901], 166). For a fuller discussion, see Robins, Byzantine Grammarians, 44–46.


note s to chap ter 5 6. Quintilian, Institutio oratoriae I.8.13, trans. D. A. Russell, Quintilian: The Orator’s Education (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001). 7. D.  Donnet, Le traité de la construction de la phrase de Michel le Syncelle de Jérusalem (Rome: Institut Historique Belge de Rome, 1982), 157. 8. Ἀνάγνωσίς ἐστι ποιημάτων ἢ συγγραμμάτων ἀδιάπτωτος προφορά. Ἀναγνωστέον δὲ καθ’ ὑπόκρισιν, κατὰ προσῳδίαν, κατὰ διαστολήν. ἐκ μὲν γὰρ τῆς ὑποκρίσεως τὴν ἀρετήν, ἐκ δὲ τῆσ προσῳδίας τὴν τέχνην, ἐκ δὲ τῆς διαστολῆς τὸν περιεχόμενον νοῦν ὁρῶμεν· ἵνα τὴν μὲν τραγῳδίαν ἡρωϊκῶς ἀναγνῶμεν, τὴν δὲ κωμῳδίαν βιωτικῶς, τὰ δὲ ἐλεγεῖα λιγυρῶς, τὸ δὲ ἔπος εὐτόνως, τὴν δὲ λυρικὴν ποίησιν ἐμμελῶς, τοὺς δὲ οἴκτους ὑφειμένως καὶ γοερῶς. τὰ γὰρ μὴ παρὰ τὴν τούτων γινόμενα παρατήρησιν καὶ τὰς τῶν ποιητῶν ἀρετὰς καταρριπτεῖ καὶ τὰς ἕξεις τῶν ἀναγινωσκόντων καταγελάστους παρίστησιν (Uhlig, Dionysii Thracis Ars 6; Dionysius Thrax, Ars grammatica, 1. Translation adapted from Robins, Byzantine Grammarians, 49). The interpretive additions are based on comments found in the later scholia: Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 170–74 (Scholia Vaticana). 9. Gregory Nagy, “Reading Homeric Verse,” in Recapturing a Homeric Legacy: Images and Insights from the Venetus, a Manuscript of the Iliad, ed. Casey Dué (Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University, 2009), 133–59. The scholion dates possibly to late antiquity and is identified as belonging to either Melampus or Diomedes; it can be located in Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 12. 10. Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 12. Translations here and throughout the text are mine, unless otherwise indicated. 11. See also discussion in Vessela Valiavitcharska, Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 95–97. 12. Eleonor Dickey (Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007], 18–23) and Gregory Nagy (Homer’s Text and Language [Carbondale: University of Illinois Press, 2004], 3–74) offer an accessible introduction to the Homeric scholia, while Kathleen McNamee (“Aristarchus and Everyman’s Homer,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 22 [1981]: 247–55), Michael Haslam (“Homeric Papyri and the Transmission of the Text,” in A New Companion to Homer, ed. Ian Morris and Barry Powell [Leiden: Brill, 1997], 54–100), and Gregory Nagy (“Homeric Scholia,” in Morris and Powell, New Companion to Homer, 101–22) can be consulted on their transmission history, on the Alexandrian editions of Homer, as well as the scholarly versus the “vulgate” versions of the Iliad. More comprehensive studies of the Homeric scholia traditions can be found in Hartmut Erbse, Scholia graeca in Homeri Iliadem (scholia vetera), vols. 1–5 and 7 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1969–88), and E. van der Valk, Researches on the Text and Scholia of the Iliad, vol. 1 (Leiden: Brill, 1963). 13. Στιγμαί εἰσι τρεῖς· τελεία, μέση, ὑποστιγμή. καὶ ἡ μὲν τελεία στιγμή ἐστι διανοίας ἀπηρτισμένης σημεῖον, μέση δὲ σημεῖον πνεύματος ἕνεκεν παραλαμβανόμενον, ὑποστιγμὴ δὲ διανοίας μηδέπω ἀπηρτισμένης ἀλλ’ ἔτι ἐνδεούσης σημεῖον. Τίνι διαφέρει στιγμὴ ὑποστιγμῆς; Χρόνῳ· ἐν μὲν γὰρ τῇ στιγμῇ πολὺ τὸ διάστημα, ἐν δὲ τῇ ὑποστιγμῇ παντελῶς ὀλίγον (Uhlig, Dionysii Thracis Ars 7–8). 14. Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 1.225a: A scholia. For the Homeric scholia, I have relied on the editions of Erbse (Scholia in Iliadem), Christian G. Heyne (Homeri Ilias, vols. 1–2 [Oxford: Clarendon, 1834]), and Jules Nicole (Les scolies genevoises de l’Iliade, vol. 2 [Genève: Georg, 1891]). Erbse’s work is based chiefly on the scholiastic traditions found in the Venetus A manuscript (containing the so-­called Viermänner-­Kommentar of the Alexandrian scholars Didymus and Aristonicus, as well as Nicanor and Herodian) and the tradition of the bT


note s to chap ter 5 family (containing so-­called exegetical scholia, which Erbse traces back to a lost sixth-­ century manuscript, based in turn on older Alexandrian material of the c tradition). He leaves out later material, such as the D-­scholia (a heterogeneous compilation of Alexan­ drian and later material), the bT scholia, which are based on Heraclitus and Porphyry, and all the h-­scholia (which originate in the eleventh century, but likewise present a mix of older and newer material). Nicole’s edition is based on a single manuscript, the Genevensis 44 (Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Gr. 44) and separates the older (chiefly the exegetical bT scholia) from the Byzantine (authored by Theodore Meliteniotes) material. 15. This and subsequent translations of the Iliad text are borrowed or adapted from A. T. Murray, Homer: The Iliad, with an English Translation, in Two Volumes (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1924); the Greek text of the Iliad in this and subsequent quotations is from the version edited by Thomas W. Allen, Homeri Ilias, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931). 16. Ζεῦ πάτερ Ἴδηθεν μεδέων κύδιστε μέγιστε, Ἠέλιός θ’, ὃς πάντ’ ἐφορᾷς καὶ πάντ’ ἐπακούεις, καὶ ποταμοὶ καὶ γαῖα, καὶ οἳ ὑπένερθε καμόντας ἀνθρώπους τίνυσθον ὅτις κ’ ἐπίορκον ὀμόσσῃ. (Homer, Iliad 3.276–79) 17. καθ’ ἑκάστην προσαγόρευσιν διασταλτέον, μέγιστε, ἐπακούεις, ποταμοί, γαῖα. τελεία δὲ ἐπὶ τὸ ὀμόσσῃ·(Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 3.276–79a1: A scholia). 18. Nagy, “Reading Homeric Verse.” 19. Τίνι διαφέρει στιγμὴ ὑποστιγμῆς; Χρόνῳ.—Τῷ χρόνῳ, φησί, διαφέρουσιν ἀλλήλων· χρόνῳ δὲ εἶπεν οὐ τῷ καιρῷ, ἀλλὰ τῷ διαστήματι τῆς φωνῆς· μετὰ γὰρ τὴν τελείαν ἔξεστί μοι καὶ μετὰ μίαν ὥραν καὶ μετὰ δύο καὶ μετὰ τρεῖς τὸν ἑξῆς ἐπαγαγεῖν στίχον, ἐν δὲ τῇ ὑποστιγμῇ οὐδ’ ὅλως ἀναμένειν, ἀλλ’ εὐθέως ἐπαγαγεῖν· ὥστε οὖν τῷ χρόνῳ διαφέρουσιν ἀλλήλων ἥ τε στιγμὴ καὶ ἡ ὑποστιγμή (Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 178 [Scholia Vaticana Codex C]). 20. ἡ μὲν γὰρ τελεία τέσσαρας ἔχει χρόνους σιωπῆς, ἡ δὲ μέση ἕνα, ἡ δὲ ὑποστιγμὴ ἥμισυν (Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 314 [Scholia Marciana]). 21. Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 178 (Scholia Vaticana Codex C). 22. κατὰ δὲ τὸν Νικάνορα ὀκτώ εἰσι στιγμαί· τελεία, ὑποτελεία, πρώτη ἄνω, δευτέρα ἄνω, τρίτη ἄνω, ὑποστιγμὴ ἐνυπόκριτος, ὑποστιγμὴ ἀνυπόκριτος, ὑποδιαστολή. Ὑποδιαστολὴ δέ ἐστι διάστασις γράμματος περὶ τὴν σύνταξιν ἀμφιβόλου (Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 312 [Scholia Marciana: Heliodorus]). 23. This is described in the commentary attributed to either Melampus or Diomedes (Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 25–28). The discussion, however, is prefaced with the remark “in order that it may not appear that we do not know Nicanor’s system of punctuation”—which may indicate intellectual interest more than practical need. Nicanor’s comments on the Iliad have been edited and published by L. Friedländer, who also discusses the time intervals (Nicanoris Περὶ Ἰλιακῆς στιγμῆς reliquae emendatiores [Königsberg: Regimontii Prussorum, 1850], 119–23). My presentation follows the discussion in David Blank, “Remarks on Nicanor, the Stoics, and the Ancient Theory of Punctuation,” Glotta 61, no. 1/2 (1983): 48–67. 24. Blank, “Remarks on Nicanor,” 51. 25. See, for example, Melampus/Diomedes (Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 24–25); Stephanus in Scholia Vaticana Codex C (Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 176–77); Heliodorus in Scholia Marciana (Hilgard, Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem 312–13). 26. A complete translation of Joseph Rhacendyta’s Synopsis of Rhetoric, prepared by Jeffrey Walker and Vessela Valiavitcharska, is currently being prepared for publication.


note s to chap ter 5 27. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 38 (In Theophania), in Jacques Paul Migne, ed., Patrologiae cursus completus: Series graeca (Paris: Lutetia, 1857–58), 36:320. 28. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 38 (In Theophania), in Migne, Patrologia graeca, 36:312. 29. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 38 (in Theophania), in Migne, Patrologia graeca, 36:312. 30. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 1 (In Sanctum Pascha et in tarditatem), in Migne, Patrologia graeca, 35:396. 31. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration  1 (in Sanctum Pascha et in tarditatem), in Migne, Patrologia graeca, 35:396. 32. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 38 (in Theophania), in Migne, Patrologia graeca, 36:328. 33. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 38 (In Theophania), in Migne, Patrologia graeca, 36:328. 34. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 38 (In Theophania), in Migne, Patrologia graeca, 36:325. 35. Στιγμαὶ δέ εἰσιν ὀκτώ· ὑπερτελεία, τελεία, ὑποτελεία, ἄνω πρώτη, ἄνω δευτέρα, ἀνυπόκριτος, ἐνυπόκριτος καὶ ὑποστιγμή· ὀκτὼ δέ εἰσι καὶ οὐ πλείονες, δι’ ἣν ἐροῦμεν αἰτίαν· τὸ τῆς φωνῆς διανάπαυμα ἢ ἀποκαταστατικόν ἐστιν ὅλης ἐννοίας, καὶ καλεῖται ὑπερτελεία, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ, ὃ πρὸ ἡμῶν πεφιλοσόφηται κάλλιστά τε καὶ ὑψηλότατα, ἢ ἀποκαταστατικὸν μερικῆς ἐννοίας ἐντελοῦς κατὰ τὴν λέξιν, καὶ καλεῖται τελεία, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ Χριστὸς γεννᾶται, τοῦτο γὰρ ἀποκαταστατικὸν μερικῆς ἐννοίας καὶ ἐντελὲς κατὰ τὴν λέξιν, ἢ μερικῆς ἐννοίας, οὐκ ἐντελοῦς δὲ οὔσης κατὰ τὴν λέξιν, καὶ καλεῖται ὑποτελεία, οἷον τὸ Χριστὸς ἐκ παρθένου· ὧδε γὰρ ἔξωθεν προσυπακούεται τὸ γεννᾶται, ἢ συμπληρωτικὸν μέν ἐστι μερικῆς ἐννοίας ἐντελοῦς κατὰ τὴν λέξιν, ἔχει δὲ ἐπαγόμενον σύνδεσμον μετ’ αὐτὸ, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὐ τελείας στιγμῆς τυγχάνει, καὶ δέχεται τὴν ἄνω πρώτην καλουμένην στιγμήν· οἷόν ἐστι τὸ μὴ ὅτι τοῖς δι’ἀγάπην τι πεποιηκόσιν, ἐνταῦθα γὰρ ἐπιφέρεται ὁ ἢ σύνδεσμος, ἢ συμπληρωματικὸν μέν ἐστι μερικῆς ἐννοίας, οὐκ ἐντελοῦς δὲ κατὰ τὴν λέξιν, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ὡσαύτως ἐπάγεται σύνδεσμός τις, καὶ δέχεται τὴν ἄνω δευτέραν, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα· ὧδε γὰρ τὸ ἐστὶν ἔξωθεν ὑπακούεται, καὶ σύνδεσμον ἔχει ἐπαγόμενον, ἢ τὴν ἔννοιαν ἔτι ἐπηρμένην ἔχει καὶ ὅσον οὐκ ἤδη προκόψουσαν, καὶ διαδεξομένην, ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ, ἢ τὴν ἐνυπόκριτον, ἢ τὴν ὑποστιγμὴν καὶ καλεῖται ἀνυπόκριτος, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη καὶ τοὺς βουνοὺς, ἐφ’ ὧν ἐθυσίαζες, ἢ ἤθους τινός ἐστιν ἀπομιμητικὸν σφοδρότητός τινος ἢ ἄλλου τινὸς καὶ καλεῖται ἐνυπόκριτος, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ, τοῦτο ἐγκαλεῖς θεῷ, ἢ τὴν ἀποδοχὴν τὴν ἐννοίας ἐπιστᾶσαν σημαίνει, καὶ καλεῖται ὑποστιγμὴ, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ, ταῦτα ἐπειδὴ μείζονος ἐδεῖτο τοῦ βοηθήματος, μείζονος καὶ τυγχάνει (Christian Walz, Rhetores graeci: Ex codicibus . . . [Stuttgart: Cotta, 1832–36], 3:564–65). 36. Sebastiano Panteghini, “La prassi interpuntiva nel Cod. Vind. Hist. gr. 8 (Nicephorus Callisti Xanthopulus, Historia ecclesiastica): Un tentativo di descrizione,” in Vom Kodex zur Edition=From Manuscripts to Books: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Textual Criticism and Editorial Practice for Byzantine Texts (Vienna, 10–11 December 2009), ed. Antonia Giannouli and Elisabeth Schiffer (Wien, Austria: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2011), 131–36. 37. Panteghini, “La prassi interpuntiva,” 136–62. 38. Panteghini, “La prassi interpuntiva,” 154–58. 39. Antonia Giannouli, “Leon Balianites, Exegetische Didaskalien: Zur Interpunktion im Codex Escorialensis Y-­II-­10,” in Giannouli and Schiffer, From Manuscripts to Books, 83. Ekaterina Dikova (neé Pancheva) makes a similar argument in her extensive study of the fourteenth-­century Old Slavic rhetorical prose of the Bulgarian patriarch Euthymius. She argues that medieval punctuation signs do not possess absolute value but rather acquire their significance within the ecology and context of a single text (E. Dikova [= E. Pancheva], Frazata v zhitiiata i pokhvalnite slova na sv. patriarch Evtimii Turnovski: Izsledvane [Sofia: Bulgarska Akademiia na Naukite, 2011], 79). She distinguishes three main functions of


note s to chap ter 5 punctuation: text-­chunking, that is, dividing the text into meaningful units, from the macrolevel of chapter and section to the microlevel of clause and phrase; rhetorical performance, which has to do with indicating the length of the pause or the presence of a rhetorical figure; and indexing, which has to do with marking out an important, self-­standing portion of the text (83). Pancheva catalogs the punctuation found in three copies of Euthymius’s texts (85–92), noting the range of meanings each sign could acquire in a particular context—a range that is generally consistent with the principles of Greek punctuation. 40. Maximilian Consbruch, Hephaestionis Enchiridion, cum commentariis veteribus; accedunt variae metricorum graecorum reliquiae (Leipzig: Teubner, 1906), 58, 63, and 262; see also discussion in Bruno Gentili and Liana Lomiento, Metrics and Rhythmics: A History of Poetic Forms in Ancient Greece, trans. C. Kopff (Pisa: Fabrizio Serra, 2008), 51–75. 41. Demetrius, On Style, 1–7. 42. Demetrius, On Style, 1. 43. Walz, Rhetores graeci, 6:127–29. For a fuller discussion, see Valiavitcharska, Rhetoric and Rhythm, 111–13. 44. : στικτέον κατὰ τὸ τέλος τοῦ στίχου· αὐτοτελὴς γὰρ ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ ἑξῆς ὁμοίως (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 1.322–33: A scholia). 45. ἔρχεσθον κλισίην Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος· χειρὸς ἑλόντ’ ἀγέμεν Βρισηΐδα καλλιπάρῃον.·(Homer, Iliad 1.322–23) 46. : ὑποστικτέον ἐπὶ τὸ γέ, στικτέον δὲ κατὰ τὸ τέλος τοῦ στίχου (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 1.393a: A scholia). 47. μετὰ τὸ Νέστορι βραχὺ διασταλτέον, μετὰ δὲ τὸ τέλος τοῦ στίχου τελείαν θετέον (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 2.21a: A scholia). 48. στῆ δ’ ἄρ’ ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς Νηληΐῳ υἷι ἐοικώς Νέστορι, τόν ῥα μάλιστα γερόντων τῖ’ Ἀγαμέμνων. (Homer, Iliad 2.20–21) 49. βάσκ’ ἴθι οὖλε ὄνειρε θοὰς ἐπὶ νῆας Ἀχαιῶν (Homer, Iliad 2.8). 50. βάσκ’ ἴθι : στικτέον κατὰ τὸ τέλος τοῦ στίχου·περίοδον γὰρ αὐτοτελῆ ὁ στίχος ἔχει, καὶ τὸ πρέπον τῆς ἐγκελεύσεως διὰ τοῦ ἀσυνδέτου φαίνεται (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 2.8c: A scholia). 51. Similar examples appear at Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 1.361 and 8.185a. 52. οὐ στικτέον ἐπὶ τὸ νῦν, ἐπεὶ κομματικὸν ἔσται τὸ λεγόμενον καὶ παντελῶς ἀπηρτημένον τῶν ἑξῆς, ἀλλὰ βραχὺ διασταλτέον (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 10.424–25a: A scholia). 53. Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, MS Marc. gr. Z 454 old, 822 new numbering. This well-­known manuscript has been studied extensively; it was for some time believed to contain the “best” text of the Iliad, along with the Viermänner-­Kommentar of Aristonicus, Didymus, Herodian, and Nicanor and some other scholia vetera. It has accumulated a large bibliography; some of the more comprehensive discussions can be found in G. Dindorf (Scholia graeca in Homeri Iliadem: Ex codicibus aucta et emendate [Oxford: Clarendon, 1875–88]), Erbse (Scholia in Iliadem), van der Valk (Researches on the Text and Scholia). 54. χαίρετε κήρυκες Διὸς ἄγγελοι ἠδὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν, ἆσσον ἴτ’· οὔ τί μοι ὔμμες ἐπαίτιοι ἀλλ’ Ἀγαμέμνων (Il. 1.334–35). Scholion text: στικτέον κατὰ τὸ τέλος τοῦ στίχου, καὶ βραχὺ διασταλτέον ἐπὶ τὸ ἐπαίτιοι· ὡς γὰρ ἀγγέλους σεμνύνων αὐτοὺς εἶπεν (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 1.334–35: A scholia). 55. ἐπὶ τὸ τέλος τοῦ στίχου στικτέον· “τὸ διαμπερὲς ὅς κε λάχῃσιν.” ἵν’ ᾖ· “τοῦ κλήρου διὰ πάντων ἐλθόντος ὃς ἂν λάχῃ.” οἱ δὲ οὕτως διέστησαν ὅς κε λάχῃσιν·(Nicole, Les scolies genevoises, 7.171). Jules Nicole’s 1966 edition prints this comment as part of the scholia recentiora, which include material authored by Theodore Meliteniotes, against


note s to chap ter 5 the opinion of Heyne (Homeri Ilias, vols. 1–2 [Oxford: Clarendon, 1834], 7.171), who, in 1834, identified it as belonging to the D-­scholia. 56. Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Gr. 44: 295. Homer, Iliad, with scholia and an inter­linear paraphrase of books  1 to  12. Available at https://www.e-­, December 12, 2013. Creative Commons license. 57. Ὣς ἄρ’ ἔφη, σκήπτρῳ δὲ μετάφρενον ἠδὲ καὶ ὤμω πλῆξεν· ὃ δ’ ἰδνώθη, θαλερὸν δέ οἱ ἔκπεσε δάκρυ· σμῶδιξ δ’ αἱματόεσσα μεταφρένου ἐξυπανέστη σκήπτρου ὕπο χρυσέου· ὃ δ’ ἄρ’ ἕζετο τάρβησέν τε, ἀλγήσας δ’ ἀχρεῖον ἰδὼν ἀπομόρξατο δάκρυ. οἳ δὲ καὶ ἀχνύμενοί περ ἐπ’ αὐτῷ ἡδὺ γέλασσαν· ὧδε δέ τις εἴπεσκεν ἰδὼν ἐς πλησίον ἄλλον· ὢ πόποι ἦ δὴ μυρί’ Ὀδυσσεὺς ἐσθλὰ ἔοργε βουλάς τ’ ἐξάρχων ἀγαθὰς πόλεμόν τε κορύσσων· νῦν δὲ τόδε μὲγ’ ἄριστον ἐν Ἀργείοισιν ἔρεξεν, ὃς τὸν λωβητῆρα ἐπεσβόλον ἔσχ’ ἀγοράων. οὒ θήν μιν πάλιν αὖτις ἀνήσει θυμὸς ἀγήνωρ νεικείειν βασιλῆας ὀνειδείοις ἐπέεσσιν. (Homer, Iliad 2.265–76) 58. Οἱ δὲ καὶ αὐτοί. Οἱ δὲ Ἕλληνες. Στικτέον δὲ μετὰ τὸ, ἀχνύμενοί περ. ἔπειτα ἀπὸ ἄλλης ἀρχῆς ἀναγνωστέον, ἵν’ ᾖ, οἱ δὲ Ἕλληνες, καίτοι λυπούμενοι διὰ τὴν ἀναβολὴν τῆς ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον ἀνακομιδῆς, ἡδέως ἐγέλασαν ἐπὶ τῇ ὄψει τοῦ Θερσίτου (Heyne, Homeri Ilias 2.270: D-­scholia). 59. χρὴ μὲν σφωΐτερόν γε θεὰ ἔπος εἰρύσσασθαι καὶ μάλα περ θυμῷ κεχολωμένον· ὧς γὰρ ἄμεινον. (Homer, Iliad 1.216–19) 60. ὣς γὰρ ἄμεινον: στικτέον, εἶτα ἀπ’ ἄλλης ἀρχῆς “ὅς κε θεοῖς ἐπιπείθηται, μάλα τ’ ἔκλυον αὐτοῦ” γνωμικώτερον γὰρ τὸ τοιοῦτο εἴρηται (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 1.216–19: A scholia). 61. αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ κόσμηθεν ἃμ᾽ ἡγεμόνεσσιν ἕκαστοι, Τρῶες μὲν κλαγγῇ τ᾽ ἐνοπῇ τ᾽ ἴσαν ὄρνιθες ὣς ἠΰτε περ κλαγγὴ γεράνων πέλει οὐρανόθι πρό. (Homer, Iliad 3.1–3) 62. ὄρνιθες ὣς βραχὺ διασταλτέον ἐπὶ τὸ ὥς· ἡ γὰρ ἀνταπόδοσις πρόκειται, καὶ ἀνεστραμμένη ἡ περίοδός ἐστιν (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 3.2d: A scholia). 63. For more discussion on the punctuation of an inverted period, see Panteghini, “La prassi interpuntiva,” 136–38. 64. στικτέον κατὰ τὸ λαοί, ἵνα ἀπ’ ἄλλης ἀρχῆς ἡ παραβολὴ γενομένη ὑποστίζηται μέχρι τοῦ αἱ δέ τε ἔνθα· οὕτως γὰρ βέλτιον (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 2.86–90: A scholia). 65. . . . ἐπεσσεύοντο δὲ λαοί. ἠΰτε ἔθνεα εἶσι μελισσάων ἁδινάων πέτρης ἐκ γλαφυρῆς αἰεὶ νέον ἐρχομενάων, βοτρυδὸν δὲ πέτονται ἐπ’ ἄνθεσιν εἰαρινοῖσιν· αἳ μέν τ’ ἔνθα ἅλις πεποτήαται, αἳ δέ τε ἔνθα. (Homer, Iliad 2.86–90) 66. Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 8.185a: A scholia. 67. Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 2.155–56: A scholia, 2.353a2: A and bT scholia). 68. παπτήνας: βραχεῖα διαστολὴ εἰς τὸ παπτήνας. ἡδὺς δὲ ὁ λόγος καὶ τὸ σχῆμα (Erbse Scholia in Iliadem 8.269, bT scholia). 69. . . . αὐτὰρ ὅ γ’ ἥρως παπτήνας, ἐπεὶ ἄρ τιν’ ὀϊστεύσας ἐν ὁμίλῳ βεβλήκοι, ὃ μὲν αὖθι πεσὼν ἀπὸ θυμὸν ὄλεσσεν,


note s to chap ter 5 αὐτὰρ ὃ αὖτις ἰὼν πάϊς ὣς ὑπὸ μητέρα δύσκεν εἰς Αἴανθ’· ὃ δέ μιν σάκεϊ κρύπτασκε φαεινῷ. (Homer, Iliad 8.268–72) 70. βραχὺ διασταλτέον ἐπὶ τὸ παπτήνας, ὑποστικτέον δὲ ἐν ὑποκρίσει βεβλήκει (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 8.269–70: A scholia). On the term ἐν ὑποκρίσει (ἐνυποκρίτως), translated as “on a rising pitch,” see Blank, “Remarks on Nicanor,” 55–56. 71. Dikova observes a similar relation between punctuation and rhetorical figures in Old Slavic homilies of the Bulgarian recension (Dikova, Frazata v zhitiiata, 74–100). 72. τοῦτο καθ’ αὑτόν, ἵν’ ᾖ κομματικὴ ἡ ἀπαγγελία, τὸν θυμούμενον δηλοῦσα (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 9.372b: bT scholia). The preceding scholion, excerpted from Nicanor, gives similar instructions: βέλτιον δὲ καθ’ αὑτὸ προφέρεσθαι· μᾶλλον γὰρ ἐμφαίνει τὸν ὀργιζόμενον (Erbse Scholia in Iliadem 9.372a: A scholia). 73. ἐμφαντικώτεροι γίνονται οἱ λόγοι θᾶττον διακοπτόμενοι· ἐν γοῦν τέτρασι στίχοις ὀκτώ εἰσιν αὐτοτελεῖς στιγμαί, ἀπὸ τοῦ ἐκ γὰρ δή με, ἕως τοῦ αἴσῃ (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 9.374–79: A scholia). 74. ἐκ γὰρ δή μ’ ἀπάτησε. καὶ ἤλιτεν. οὐδ’ ἂν ἔτ’ αὖτις ἐξαπάφοιτ’ ἐπέεσσιν· ἅλις δέ οἱ· ἀλλὰ ἕκηλος ἐρρέτω· ἐκ γάρ εὑ φρένας εἵλετο μητίετα Ζεύς. ἐχθρὰ δέ μοι τοῦ δῶρα. τίω δέ μιν ἐν καρὸς αἴσῃ. (Homer, Iliad 9.376–79) 75. Ἀγαμέμνονος Ἀτρείδαο: μᾶλλον δεῖ στίζειν εἰς τὸ Ἀτρείδ[αο]· ὁ γὰρ κομματικὸς λόγος τοῖς θυμουμένοις ἁρμόζει (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 9.388b: T scholia). We see similar advice at Iliad 9.46–47b and Iliad 1.231a. 76. ἀσύνδετος δὲ ὢν ὁ λόγος τὸ κομματικὸν τοῦ πάθους ἔχει (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 10.91: bT scholia). 77. ὦ πόποι: στικτέον ἐπὶ τὸ ὦ πόποι· κομματικὸν γάρ, καὶ μᾶλλον ἐμφαίνει καθ’ ἑαυτὸ λεγόμενον (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 3.337a: A scholia). 78. εἰ δέ μιν αἰχμητὴν ἔθεσαν θεοὶ αἰὲν ἐόντες τοὔνεκά οἱ προθέουσιν ὀνείδεα μυθήσασθαι. (Homer, Iliad 1.290–1) 79. Homer, Iliad 1.226–27. εἰ δέ μιν αἰχμητὴν—: ὑποστικτέον ἐπὶ τὸ ἐόντες, ἐπὶ δὲ τὸ μυθήσασθαι στικτέον· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐλλείπει, ὡς ᾠήθησάν τινες. ἀναφέρεται δὲ ταῦτα ἐπὶ τὸ οὔ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον καὶ οὔτε λόχον δ’ ἰέναι (Erbse, Scholia in Iliadem 1.290–1: A scholia). 80. The popularity of Gregory of Nazianzus’s orations as rhetorical teaching texts is clear in the frequent quotations found in rhetorical commentaries; Tom Conley (“Demosthenes Dethroned: Gregory Nazianzus in Sikeliotes’ Scholia on Hermogenes’ Περὶ ἰδεῶν,” Illinois Classical Studies 27/28 [2002–3]: 145–52) and Stratis Papaioannou (Michael Psellos: Rhetoric and Authorship in Byzantium [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013], 32–64) have also discussed it. Basil Minimus’s set of scholia—which enjoyed large circulation, if we are to judge by the number of extant manuscripts—offer a teacher’s commentary to a study of Gregory’s texts. His scholia to Orations 4 and 5 have been edited and translated into French by Gaëlle Rioual and have been recently published as vol. 90 of the Corpus Christianorum Series Graeca. 81. Thomas S. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi in Gregorii Nazianzeni orationem XXXVIII commentarii (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2001), 3.1b and 3.136. 82. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.1b, 3.3a, 3.4, and 3.29. 83. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.19. 84. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.20a. 85. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.19. 86. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.136.


note s to chap ter 6 87. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.20a, 3.29, and 3.121. 88. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.91. 89. Schmidt, Basilii Minimi commentarii 3.1b, 3.4, and 3.19.

Chapter 6

1. Elizabeth Jeffreys, “Introduction,” in Rhetoric in Byzantium, ed. Elizabeth Jeffreys (New York: Routledge, 2016), 4. 2. For example, see Jeffrey Walker, “These Things I Have Not Betrayed: Michael Psellos’ Encomium of His Mother as a Defense of Rhetoric,” Rhetorica 22, no.  1 (Winter 2004): 49–101; Jeffrey Walker, “Michael Psellos on Rhetoric: A Translation and Commentary on Psellos’ Synopsis of Hermogenes,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 31, no. 1 (2001): 5–40; Ve­ssela Valiavitcharska, Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013); Vessela Valiavitcharska, “Rhetoric in the Hands of the Byzantine Grammarian,” Rhetorica 31, no. 3 (2013): 237–60; Stratis Papaioannou, Michael Psellos: Rhetoric and Authorship in Byzantium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 3. Averil Cameron, Byzantine Matters (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014), 20. 4. George Kennedy, A New History of Classical Rhetoric (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), 198–99. 5. Anthony Kaldellis, “Classical Scholarship in Twelfth-­Century Byzantium,” in Medieval Greek Commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics, ed. Charles Barber and David Jenkins (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 9–21 passim. 6. George Tornikes, “Logos epi toi thanatoi tēs porfurogennētou kuras Annēs tēs kaisarissēs” (“Éloge D’Anne Comnène”), in Georges et Dèmètrios Tornikès: Lettres et Discours, trans. Jean Darrouzès (Paris: Éditions Du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1970), 281. 7. Tornikes, “Logos,” 283. 8. Tornikes, “Logos,” 281. Translator Darrouzès understands these philosophous as monks. 9. Tornikes, “Logos,” 281. My translation and emphasis. Many thanks to Professor E. N. Genovese for assistance with translations. 10. Anna Komnene, The Alexiad, trans. E. R. A. Sewter, rev. Peter Frankopan (London: Penguin Books, 2009), prologue, 3. All quotations from the Alexiad are noted by book, section, and page number. Interpolated Greek terms are from Anna Komnene, Annae Comnenae Alexias, ed. Diether R. Reinsch and Athanasios Kambylis (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2001). 11. For important reviews of imitation in antiquity and Byzantium, see Edward P. J. Corbett, “The Theory and Practice of Imitation in Classical Rhetoric,” College Composition and Communication 23, no. 3 (1971): 243–50; Herbert Hunger, “On the Imitation (ΜΙΜΗΣΙΣ) of Antiquity in Byzantine Literature,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 23/24 (1969/70): 15–38; John Muckelbauer, The Future of Invention: Rhetoric, Postmodernism, and the Problem of Change (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008): 51–77; and D. A. Russell, “De Imitatione,” in Creative Imitation and Latin Literature, ed. David West and Tony Woodman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 1–16. 12. Paul Magdalino, The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143–1180, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 353. 13. Kennedy, New History of Classical Rhetoric, 171. 14. Walker, “These Things I Have Not Betrayed,” 56. 15. Walker, “These Things I Have Not Betrayed,” 63. For figured problems in Hermogenes, see George Kennedy, Invention and Method: Two Rhetorical Treatises from the Hermogenic Corpus (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), 189.


note s to chap ter 6 16. Papaioannou, Michael Psellos, 21. 17. On Byzantine theatra, see Margaret Mullett, “Rhetoric, Theory, and the Imperative of Performance: Byzantium Then and Now,” in Jeffreys, Rhetoric in Byzantium, 153; Magdalino, Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 354–55; Walker, “These Things I Have Not Betrayed,” 57. 18. Muckelbauer, Future of Invention, 67–68. 19. Hunger, “On the Imitation (ΜΙΜΗΣΙΣ) of Antiquity,” 18. 20. For overviews of the progymnasmata, see David Fleming “The Very Idea of a ‘Progymnasmata,’” Rhetoric Review 22, no. 2 (2003): 105–20; Manfred Krauss, “Aphthonius and the Progymnasmata in Rhetorical Theory and Practice,” in Sizing Up Rhetoric, ed. David Zarefsky and Elizabeth Benaka (Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2008), 52–67. Mary Whitby offers an introduction to Byzantine rhetoric in “Rhetorical Questions,” in A Companion to Byzantium, ed. Liz James (Malden, MA: Wiley-­Blackwell, 2010), 239–50. 21. Jeffrey Walker, The Genuine Teachers of This Art: Rhetorical Education in Antiquity (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011), 74. 22. Valiavitcharska, “Rhetoric in the Hands,” 238. 23. J. Carlos Iglesias-­Zoido, “Thucydides in the School Rhetoric of the Imperial Period,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 52 (2012): 400–406. 24. Jeffrey Walker, “What a Difference a Definition Makes, or, William Dean Howells and the Sophist’s Shoes,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 36, no. 2 (2006): 150. 25. Walker (quoting Isocrates), Genuine Teachers, 73. 26. Walker, Genuine Teachers, 62–75 passim. 27. Valiavitcharska, “Rhetoric in the Hands,” 242. 28. Valiavitcharska, “Rhetoric in the Hands,” 243–48 passim. 29. Paul Magdalino, “The Pen of the Aunt: Echoes of the Mid-­Twelfth Century in the Alexiad,” in Anna Komnene and Her Times, ed. Thalia Gouma-­Peterson (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000), 23. 30. One thinks of the theme of descriptions of battle offered in all extant versions of the progymnasmata. For example, see Libanius, Libanius’s “Progymnasmata”: Model Exercises in Greek Prose Composition and Rhetoric, trans. Craig A. Gibson (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008), 429. 31. Ruth Macrides, “The Pen and the Sword: Who Wrote the Alexiad?,” in Gouma-­ Peterson, Anna Komnene and Her Times, 68. 32. Penelope Buckley, The “Alexiad” of Anna Komnene: Artistic Strategy in the Making of a Myth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 10. 33. As Buckley, “Alexiad,” 269, has shown, these include John Skylites; Eusebius; the Vita Basilii Imperatoris, commissioned by Constantine VII; and, most importantly, the Chronographia of Michael Psellos. 34. Roger Scott, “Text and Context in Byzantine Historiography,” in James, Companion to Byzantium, 252. 35. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 6.10, 173–74. 36. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 6.10, 175. “Recorded about Alkibiades: The anecdote is about Themistokles in Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 1.90–91,” (translator’s note), 504. 37. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 6.10, 175. “The Paeanian: Demosthenes, who relates the story about Themistokles in Contra Leptines 73,” (translator’s note), 504. 38. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 4.10, 175. 39. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 6.11, 176: “Pillars of Herakles . . . of Dionysos: The pillars flanked the Straits of Gibraltar and at an unknown location in India were thought in antiquity to hold up the skies,” (translator’s note), 504.


note s to chap ter 6 40. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 6.11, 176: “Meroë, all the land of the Troglodytes . . . Torrid Zone”: Meroë was a town far up the River Nile, inside modern Ethiopia. The Troglodytes were supposedly a tribe of people living around the southern part of the Red Sea. The Torrid or Tropical Zone refers to lands bounded by the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. Anna paints a rosy picture of the Roman Empire at its peak, even if this predates Alexios’ reign by many centuries. She does not distinguish between the Roman and Eastern (Byzantine) Empire,” (translator’s note), 504–5. 41. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 6.11, 176. 42. In “‘Asia and Europe Commonly Called East and West’: Constantinople and Geographical Imagination in Byzantium,” in Imperial Geographies in Byzantine and Ottoman Space, ed. Sahar Bazzaz, Yota Batsaki, and Dimiter Angelov (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013), 46–47, Dimiter Angelov places the preference of Byzantine writers for ancient place-­names in the context of Byzantine philosophical study. He suggests, 58n67, that Anna in this passage derives some of her information from second-­century geographer Dionysius Periegetes. 43. On this point in the Greek novels, see Susan Stephens, “Cultural Identity,” in The Cambridge Companion to the Greek and Roman Novel, ed. Tim Whitmarsh (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 62. 44. Walker, “These Things I Have Not Betrayed,” 56. 45. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 10.6, 279. 46. This episode can be found in Michael Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Rulers: The “Chronographia” of Michael Psellus, trans. E. R. A. Sewter (London: Penguin, 1966), 227. 47. In “Tented Ceremony: Ephemeral Performances under the Komnenoi,” in Court Ceremonies and Rituals of Power in Byzantium, ed. Alexander Beihammer, Stavroula Constaninou, and Maria G. Parani (Leiden: Brill, 2013), Margaret Mullett shows that in Byzantine history the tent was also a movable court and locus of ceremony (504). 48. Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Rulers, 287–97. In “Text and Context,” Scott points out that “what we consider plagiarism [Byzantines] regarded as a virtue, even a necessity” (254). 49. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 9.9, 256. 50. Scott (“Text and Context,” 261) and Buckley (“Alexiad,” 267–68) offer readings of this scene. 51. Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Rulers, 91–92. 52. Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Rulers, 297. 53. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 3.7, 94. 54. Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Rulers, 262. 55. Scholarship on this point is abundant. For examples, see Leonora Neville, Anna Komnene: The Life and Work of a Medieval Historian (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 16–20; Barbara Hill, “The Ideal Imperial Komnenian Woman,” in Komnenian Culture: Papers from the 20th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference, ed. Annemarie Weyl Carr et al. (Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1996), 7–18; Ellen Quandahl, “Andreia in the Nunnery: Rhetorical Learnedness in Twelfth-­Century Byzantium,” in Rhetoric: Concord and Controversy, ed. Antonio Velasco and Melody Lehn (Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2012), 200–209. 56. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 3.8, 96. 57. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 3.7, 91. 58. Walker, “These Things I Have Not Betrayed,” 79. 59. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 3.7, 94. Anna’s own interests clearly align with her grandmother’s and father’s. In a passage praising her own mother’s devotion to holy philosophers


note s to chap ter 6 (5.8.150), she perhaps betrays a moment of exasperation with such study: “The [philosopher’s] writing, so highly abstract and intellectual, makes the reader’s head swim.” 60. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 3.8, 97. 61. Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Rulers, 167. 62. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 3.6, 92. 63. Buckley, “Alexiad,” 251–52. 64. Eusebius of Caesaria, The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, trans. Ernest Cushing Richardson, Fordham Internet History Sourcebooks, 1997, https://sourcebooks.fordham .edu, 3:43, 47. 65. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 15.3, 437, 15.5, 444. 66. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 14.8, 426–27. 67. Buckley, “Alexiad,” 269. 68. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 15.4, 443. 69. Libanius, “Progymnasmata,” 429, describes the disposition of troops in the exercise in description. Mullett, “Tented Ceremony,” 492, describes this scene as “a court on the move.” 70. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 15.7, 450–51. 71. Compare Eusebius, Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, 1.43. 72. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 15.7, 452. 73. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 15.7, 454. 74. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 15.7, 455. 75. Buckley, “Alexiad,” 37; Ellen Quandahl and Susan Jarratt, “‘To Recall Him . . . Will Be a Subject of Lamentation’: Anna Comnena as Rhetorical Historiographer,” Rhetorica 26, no. 3 (Summer 2008): 301–35. 76. Sam Wineburg, Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018). 77. Danielle Spratt and Bridget Draxler, “Pride and Presentism: On the Necessity of Public Humanities for Literary Historians,” MLA Profession, Spring 2019, 78. Kenneth Burke, Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 71–163. 79. Burke, Permanence and Change, 134–35, 144–46, 235. 80. Dale Sullivan notes in “Attitudes toward Imitation: Classical Culture and the Modern Temper” (Rhetoric Review 8, no.  1 [Autumn 1989]: 5–21) that imitation exercises in Cicero and Quintillian included memorizing, translation, paraphrasing, modeling, and reading. Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee offer exercises in reading aloud and copying, sentence patterns, translation, and paraphrase in Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, 5th ed. (Boston: Pearson Education, 2012), 302–24. 81. Fleming, “Very Idea of a ‘Progymnasmata,’” 114. 82. Robert Terrill, “Mimesis, Duality, and Rhetorical Education,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 41, no. 4 (2011): 295. 83. David Fleming, “Becoming Rhetorical: An Education in Topics,” in The Realms of Rhetoric: The Prospects for Rhetoric Education, ed. Joseph Petraglia and Deepika Bahri (Al­ bany: State University of New York Press, 2003), 105. 84. Fleming, “Becoming Rhetorical,” 110–16. 85. Robert Terrill, “Rhetorical Imitation and Civic Diversity,” Advances in the History of Rhetoric 22, no. 2 (2019): 173. 86. Terrill, “Rhetorical Imitation,” 175. 87. Marcela Valdes, “A Forgotten Promise,” New York Times Magazine, April 11, 2021, contributor note, 4.


note s to chap ter 7 88. Terrill, “Rhetorical Imitation,” 175. 89. Anna Komnene, Alexiad 14.7, 420–21, says that she used eyewitnesses who were present during her father’s reign in addition to earlier, revered sources. 90. Walker, Genuine Teachers, 285.

Chapter 7

1. Moten’s prose poem is written in collaboration with Fernando Zalamea and Tania Bruguera. See “Resistances,” Harper’s Magazine, January 2019, The poem explores productions of meaning between audience and institutions and conveys hope in the improvisational moments of communicability between individuals, a progressive determination in the meaning of sound: But why does the problem of scale always swerve into the problem of audience? Why does the need for institutions always show up as the problem of scale? Why is showing up always scaling up them lonely streets? What if what the people suffer ain’t large absence but small noncommunicabilities? Let’s say, with regard to poetry, or music, that small communicability is sound. Then find one and find another one feel good next to it. Put one next to another and sound is beside itself. Line that verge out animal, mantic, anamathematical bruise, subdermal popularity.

2. Moten, Black and Blur (Consent Not to Be a Single Being) (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017), 201. 3. Laurent Pernot, Epideictic Rhetoric: Questioning the Stakes of Ancient Praise (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015), 69. 4. See especially Kenneth Burke, Counter-­Statement (1931; repr., Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968). 5. See Steph Ceraso, Sounding Composition: Multimodal Pedagogies for Embodied Listening (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018); Joshua Gunn, Modern Occult Rhetoric: Mass Media and the Drama of Secrecy in the Twentieth Century (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005), “Mourning Speech: Haunting and the Spectral Voices of Nine-­Eleven,” Text and Performance Quarterly 24, no. 2 (2004): 91–114, and “On Recording Performance, or, Speech, the Cry, and the Anxiety of the Fix,” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 7, no. 3 (2011),; and Robert Hariman and John Lucaites, No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). Debra Hawhee demonstrates ways complex modes of bodily connectivity, affect, and aesthetics have informed scholarly interest in the Quarterly Journal of Speech for at least a century. See “Rhetoric’s Sensorium,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 101, no. 1 (2015), 2–17. 6. See Joan Didion, The White Album (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990), 11–48. 7. Jeffrey Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 7. 8. Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 9. 9. Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 10. 10. Maulana Karenga is a professor of African American Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and is known popularly for his promotion of the African holiday Kwanza. From 1967 to 1970, his advocacy of Black Nationalist ideology contributed


note s to chap ter 7 directly to Baraka’s artistic and cultural projects, especially the Black Arts movement. After the 1965 Watts riots, Karenga established the nationalist organization, Us; in 1967 he met Baraka at the Newark Black Power Conference, a gathering of Black intellectuals who joined together to discuss repression and violence directed at African Americans. In addition to theories of Black Nationalism, Karenga studied the ethics of Islam and other African religions and applied his scholarly activity to the political and spiritual organization of Black communities. Whereas Baraka’s views were directed toward Black arts and culture, Karenga’s methodological approach to African American culture and social organization inspired the poet-­activist’s thinking during this period. See Michael Simanga, “Maulana Karenga, Amiri Baraka, and Kawaida,” in Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People: History and Memory (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 71–77. 11. Amiri Baraka, The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones (1984; repr., Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 1997), 323. 12. Baraka, Autobiography, 312. 13. Baraka, Autobiography, 318. 14. The legacy of Baraka’s long-­standing political commitments to Newark has been extended through the efforts of his son, Ras Jua Baraka, who has served as Newark’s fortieth mayor since 2014. 15. Jerry Gafio Watts, Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual (New York: New York University Press, 2001), 371. For more on Kawaida Towers and Baraka’s Black Nationalist period, see also Lytle Shaw, “Baraka’s Newark: Performing the Black Arts,” in Fieldworks: From Place to Site in Postwar Poetics (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2013), 89–115. 16. Baraka’s dramatic public style of address has been preserved in film and photographic archives. One example, “Baraka, 1972,” a photo by the Newark Evening News, can be found in the Newark Public Library Digital Repository, In the image, Baraka addresses the Newark City Council. Political fliers, letters to the editor of the Star Ledger, and public arts announcements are made available through the collection. 17. Amiri Baraka, “Black Art,” in SOS: Poems 1961–2013 (New York: Grove Press, 2014), 149. 18. An audio performance of “Black Art” can be found on YouTube. See “Amiri Baraka Reads Black Art,” 1967, 19. Expressions of antisemitism and violence toward women complicate the poem’s reception as an artifact of civil rights–era social address. See William J. Harris, The Poetry and Poetics of Amiri Baraka: The Jazz Aesthetic (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1985), for a discussion of the historical context and an evaluation of Baraka’s partial extension of the modernist literary lineage of Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. 20. Baraka’s syntax and inventive spelling oppose standardized syntactic expectations and empower nonstandard Black stylistic decisions through the use of vernacular expressions. In terms of a literary tradition, he was indebted to Ezra Pound, Charles Olson, and other North American modernists who had already made extensive uses of nonstandard syntax and regional dialect in their work. See Harris, Poetry and Poetics of Amiri Baraka. 21. Baraka, “Black Art,” 150. 22. Keith  D. Miller, “On Martin Luther King  Jr. and the Landscape of Civil Rights Rhetoric,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 16, no. 1 (Spring 2013), 179. 23. Indeed, Baraka’s outlook was broad, and he supported revolutionary movements in Latin America along with decolonization efforts in Africa. He went to Cuba, for instance,


note s to chap ter 7 in 1960, where he attended a Fidel Castro rally. See LeRoi Jones, “Cuba Libre,” in Home: Social Essays (New York: Morrow, 1966), 11–62. 24. Baraka received an Obie in 1964 for Dutchman; it was made into a film in 1967. His literary works received praise and awards, including a Guggenheim and induction to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. See LeRoi Jones, Dutchman and The Slave: Two Plays by LeRoi Jones (1964; repr., New York: Harper Perennial, 2001). See also Simon During, Against Democracy: Literary Experience in the Era of Emancipations (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012), for discussions of democracy’s historical shifts from revolution and emancipation toward forms of corporate ownership and control. 25. LeRoi Jones, Blues People: The Negro Experience in White America (1963; repr., New York: Harper Perennial, 1999), 153. 26. Watts, Amiri Baraka, 239. 27. Pernot, Epideictic Rhetoric, 104. 28. Baraka eventually renounced Black Nationalism in favor of a more inclusive Marxist transnational vision. See Baraka, Autobiography, 363–445. 29. Billy Abernathy and his wife, Sylvia Abernathy, documented Black artists and African American culture during this period. See Jo-­Ann Morgan, The Black Arts Movement and the Black Panther Party in American Visual Culture (New York: Routledge, 2019), for more on Abernathy and the visual culture of the Black Arts movement. 30. Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Fundi (Billy Abernathy), In Our Terribleness (Some Elements and Meaning of Black Style) (Indianapolis: Bobbs-­Merrill, 1970), np. 31. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. 32. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. 33. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. 34. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. 35. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. 36. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. 37. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. Chaka is probably a reference to the Zulu monarch Shaka kaSenzangakhona; Amenotep was a pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. 38. “Race,” Jared Sexton explains, “is a production of meaning or a form of value and hence operates as communication, an element of exchange” (Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiculturalism [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008], 29). Albert Memmi argues that the communicative aspect of race creates “a cultural discourse that surrounds each person from childhood on, in the air one breathes, in parental advice and thinking, in one’s streets and newspapers, even in the writings of people one is supposed to admire and who might be otherwise admirable. . . . Racism is a collective language at the service of each person’s emotions” (qtd in Sexton, Amalgamation, 29). 39. Baraka and Fundi, In Our Terribleness, np. 40. Holiday’s passionate reflection on her friendship with Amiri Baraka, in “Amiri Ba­ raka Changed My Life, Celebrating Amiri in Sonics This April” (Genius, 2014, https:// explores the contradictions and charisma of Baraka’s cultural and personal style. In contrast, Simone White more recently questions his gendered terms for describing Black culture, especially Black music. See White’s essay, “Dear Angel of Death,” in Dear Angel of Death (New York: Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018), 82–86. 41. Although Holiday does not set out to restrict her domain of interests to a particular period of Black life, her work most prominently explores Black texts, images, and artifacts in the postwar period of American cultural production.


note s to chap ter 7 42. Besides the influence of Baraka along with related critical and creative practices inaugurated by the Black Arts movement, Holiday’s work shares some affinities with the agitprop art and political activism that emerged in the works of the Situationist International, a revolutionary avant-­garde movement in Europe during the 1960s. (See Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle [1967; repr., New York: Zone Books, 1994] as a preeminent example.) Holiday’s work includes elements of detournement (redesignations of found texts as artistic and critical objects), visual reorientations of cultural artifacts, and confrontation with consumer models of capitalist society. 43. Pernot, Epideictic Rhetoric, 111. 44. See Dale M. Smith and James J. Brown, “For Public Distribution,” in Circulation, Rhetoric, and Writing, ed. Laurie Gries and Collin Gifford Brooke (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2018), 208–24, for a discussion of the shift from centralized sources of print and broadcast information to decentralized media platforms where information is unevenly distributed across the internet. 45. Harmony Holiday, “On Amiri Baraka,” Chicago Review 59, no. 3 (2015): 176. 46. A summary of King’s involvement at Highlander Folk School can be found in archives available digitally through “Highlander Folk School” at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, 47. In an attempt to discredit King, the FBI put the civil rights leader under surveillance beginning in December 1955; Robert Kennedy approved wiretapping King’s phones in 1963. A 1964 letter to King, purportedly written by an African American man, provided salacious details of extramarital affairs. The letter was probably written by William Sullivan in collaboration with J. Edgar Hoover, and included with the letter were audio recordings of King’s sexual encounters. See Michael E. Ruane, “‘You Are Done’: A Secret Letter to Martin Luther King  Jr. Sheds Light on FBI’s Malice,” Washington Post (2017), https://; and Ryan Sit, “Here’s What the FBI Had on Martin Luther King Jr.,” Newsweek, January 15, 2018, 48. See Vessela Valiavitcharska, Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), for distinctions in poetry and prose between metric verse and the establishment of rhythm in medieval Greek writing. Her work argues for a reconsideration of rhythm as an essential component of persuasion and investigates changes to Greek oratory and poetry from the quantitative metrics of antiquity to the syllabic orientation of Byzantine stress in spoken and written formats. See also David Antin, “Notes for an Ultimate Prosody,” (December 1968; repr., Jacket 2, April 25, 2016,, for a discussion of meter and syllabic stress in English poetry. The tension between grammarian insistence on applying artificial meter to English and the vernacular expression of rhythm in verse and prose has profound implications for poetry in English to the present. Holiday’s rhythmic attunement in the prose poems found in Hollywood Forever also is informed by her work as a dancer and choreographer, with kinetic insight organizing in part the rhythmic order of her text. For more on the connection of body arts and performance, see Debra Hawhee’s study of corporeal physicality and rhetorical performance in Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005). 49. In addition to text and image, the iBook version of Hollywood Forever incorporates video, speech, and music and recorded sounds to enhance the sensuous aesthetic experience of Black performativity. 50. See David Novak and Matt Sakakeeny, eds., Keywords in Sound (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015), for an excellent resource in sound studies. Essays on acous-


note s to chap ter 7 tics, body, image, language, listening, and more explore the physicality and communicability of sound in diverse contexts. 51. Walker, Genuine Teachers, 291. 52. See Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2014), for an example of epideictic discourse that addresses the small and often unspoken contexts of everyday racial experience in North America. 53. Many other poets similarly acknowledge the fragmented and dispersed textures of subjective encounter within larger civic, national, and global concerns. See, for instance, CA Conrad, A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics (Seattle: Wave Books, 2012), and Ecodeviance: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Seattle: Wave Books, 2014); Brandon Shimoda, The Desert (Brooklyn: Song Cave, 2018); Farid Matuk, The Real Horse: Poems (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018); Roberto Tejada, Exposition Park (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2010), and Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness: History + Metaphor (Blacksburg, VA: Noemi Press, 2019); Hoa Nguyen, Red Juice: Poems 1998–2008 (Seattle: Wave Books, 2014); Susan Briante, The Market Wonders (Boise, ID: Ahsahta Press, 2016), and Defacing the Monument, (Blacksburg, VA: Noemi Press, 2020); Fred Moten, B. Jenkins (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), and The Feel Trio (Tucson, AZ: Letter Machine Editions, 2014); Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017); and M.  NourbeSe Philip, Zong!, (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2011). 54. Krebs is quoted by Colleen Flaherty in “The Evolving English Major,” in Inside Higher Education, July  18, 2018, Flaherty argues that English majors have fallen by 20 percent since 2012. “Creative writing and other writing specializations,” she observes, “were the most likely tracks to see increased or unchanged enrollments. In contrast, literature tracks experienced decreases in 74 percent of departments, followed by English education (69 percent).” 55. The postwar development of the creative writing workshop drew on the methods of the University of Iowa’s prestigious creative writing program. The history of the slow merger of the literary artist with university writing programs and the complex progression of the encounter between acclaimed writers and aspiring students is discussed in detail by D. G. Myers, “The Elephant Machine,” in The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing Since 1880 (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-­Hall, 1996), 146–68. 56. Ben Ristow, “Performance in Contradiction: Facilitating a Neosophistic Creative Writing Workshop,” New Writing 11, no. 1 (2014): 96. 57. Ristow, “Performance in Contradiction,” 94. 58. Mary Hedengren, “The Writing Teacher Who Writes: Creative Writing, Ancient Rhetoric, and Composition Instruction,” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching, Literature, Composition, and Culture 16, no. 2 (2016): 193. 59. Hedengren, “Writing Teacher Who Writes,” 195. 60. Hedengren, “Writing Teacher Who Writes,” 202. 61. Walker, Genuine Teachers, 291–92. 62. Walker, Genuine Teachers, 291–92. 63. See, for example, the diversity of civic-­oriented panel topics presented on the 2019 AWP Conference Schedule, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, AWP Conference, Archives,, including: community organizing, the poetry of protest, fiction as a tool for political resistance, social justice and identity in the classroom, poetry and technology, criticism and creativity, immigration, indigeneity, US citizenship; and many more.


note s to chap ter 8

Chapter 8

1. Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor, A Rhetoric of Argument (New York: Random House, 1982); 2nd ed. 1990; 3rd ed. 2004. 2. Otto Dieter, “Stasis,” Speech Monographs 17 (November 1950): 345–69; Ray Nadeau, “Hermogenes’ On Stases: A Translation with an Introduction and Notes,” Speech Monographs 31 (1964): 361–424; Wayne Thompson, “Stasis in Aristotle’s Rhetoric,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 58, no. 2 (1972): 134–41. 3. Lucia Calboli Montefusco, La dottrina degli status nella retorica grece e romana (Hildesheim, Germany: Olms-­Weidmann, 1986); Hanns Hohmann, “The Dynamics of Stasis: Classical Rhetorical Theory and Modern Legal Argumentation,” American Journal of Jurisprudence 34, no. 1 (1989): 171–97; Malcolm Heath, “The Substructure of Stasis-­Theory from Hermagoras to Hermogenes,” Classical Quarterly 44, no. 1 (1994): 114–29, and Hermogenes “On Issues”: Strategies of Argument in Later Greek Rhetoric (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). 4. The classical stasis model is in wide use now judging by the teaching aids available on the web, and it owes its recovery to different sources, especially to a growing appreciation of the history of rhetoric. 5. One of us (Marie Secor) also had the good fortune to be Jeff ’s colleague at Penn State for fifteen years. 6. Jeanne Fahnestock and Marie Secor, “Grounds for Argument: Stasis Theory and the Topoi,” in Argument in Transition, ed. David Zarefsky, Malcolm  O. Sillars, and Jack Rhodes (Annandale, VA: Speech Communication Association, 1983), 135–46; “Teaching Argument: A Theory of Types,” College Composition and Communication 34, no.  1 (February 1983): 20–30; “Toward a Modern Version of Stasis Theory,” in Oldspeak/Newspeak: Rhetorical Transformations, ed. Charles Knuepper (Arlington TX: NCTE, 1985), 217–26; “The Stases in Scientific and Literary Argument,” Written Communication 5, no. 4 (October 1988): 427–43. 7. Quintilian, The Orator’s Education, trans. Donald A. Russell (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), 2:70–71. 8. See also Quintilian, Orator’s Education 2:48–49, on the applicability of the stases across these types. 9. Quintilian, Orator’s Education 2:63–95. 10. On the interpretive stases, see Martin Camper, Arguing over Texts: The Rhetoric of Interpretation (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). 11. Quintilian, Orator’s Education 2:68–69. 12. George A. Kennedy, Greek Rhetoric under Christian Emperors (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1983), 83, 85–86. Our thanks to Vessela Valiavitcharska for pointing us to these similarities. 13. Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-­Tyteca, The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argument (Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969), 31–35. 14. Santo Fortunato et al., “Science of Science,” Science 359 (March 2, 2018): eaao0185, 15. Staša Milojević, “Quantifying the Cognitive Extent of Science,” Journal of Informetrics 9 (2015): 962–73. 16. Michael T. Gabbett, et al., “Molecular Support for Heterogonesis Resulting in Sesquizygotic Twinning,” New England Journal of Medicine 380, no. 9 (2019): 842–49. 17. Kenneth Burke, “Terministic Screens,” in Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature and Method (Oakland: University of California Press, 1966), 45. 18. Perelman and Olbrechts-­Tyteca, New Rhetoric, 116.


note s to chap ter 8 19. Quintilian, Orator’s Education 3:398–405. 20. Geoffrey E. Hill, Ivorybill Hunters: The Search for Proof in a Flooded Wilderness (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 21–30, 74–84, 121–22. 21. Shanto Iyengar and Douglas S. Massey, “Science Communication in a Post-­Truth Society,” PNAS 116, no. 16 (2019): 7653–61. 22. Erik Stokstad, Erik, “Taming Rabies,” Science 355 ( January 20, 2017): 238–42. 23. Quintilian, Orator’s Education 2:50–51. 24. Cicero, De Inventione. De Optimo genere oratorum. Topica, trans. H.  M. Hubbell (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976), 181. 25. Cicero, De Inventione, 183. 26. Quintilian, Orator’s Education 2:383. 27. Quintilian, Orator’s Education 2:383. 28. Cicero, De Inventione, 236–77. 29. Cicero, De Inventione, 262–65. 30. Meurig  W. Williams, “What Creates Static Electricity?” American Scientist 100, no. 4 ( July/August 2012): 316–23. 31. Patrice D. Cani, “Gut Cell Metabolism Shapes the Microbiome,” Science 357 (August 11, 2017): 548–49. 32. Kate Wong, “Why Is Homo sapiens the Sole Surviving Member of the Human Family?” Scientific American 319, no. 3 (September 2018): 64–69. 33. Nina Tannenwald, “The Vanishing Nuclear Taboo? How Disarmament Fell Apart,” Foreign Affairs 97, no. 6 (November/December 2018): 16–24. 34. Anand Menon, “Why the British Chose Brexit: Behind the Scenes of the Referendum,” Foreign Affairs 96, no. 6 (2017): 122–26. 35. Sanam Vakil and Hossein Rassam, “Iran’s Next Supreme Leader: The Islamic Republic after Khamenei,” Foreign Affairs 96, no. 3 (May/June 2017): 76–86. 36. Jonathan Barnes, ed., The Complete Works of Aristotle. The Revised Oxford Translation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), 1:147 (89b23–31). 37. Barnes, Complete Works of Aristotle, 1:332 (194b16–35), 2:1600 (1013a24–1013b4). 38. Cicero, De Inventione, Topica, 425–31; Cicero, On the Orator: Book 3. On Fate. Stoic Paradoxes. Divisions of Oratory, trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1942), 237–43. 39. Cicero, De Inventione, Topica, 425–27. 40. Phillip Melanchthon, Erotemata Dialectices, Continentia Fere Inegram Artem, Ita Scripta, Ut Iuventuti Utiliter Proponi Possint. Et Hoc Anno 1555 Recognita atque Locupletata (Wittenberg: Crato, 1555), 282. 41. R. J. Hankinson, “Efficient Causation in the Stoic Tradition,” in Efficient Causation: A History, ed. Tad Schmaltz (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014) 54–82. 42. Phillip Melanchthon, Erotemata Dialectices, Continentia Fere Inegram Artem, Ita Scripta, Ut Iuventuti Utiliter Proponi Possint (Wittenberg: Lufft, 1547), O3v–4r. 43. John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive (London: Parker, 1843), 1:450–79. 44. “Stasis Theory,” Purdue University Online Writing Lab,; “Inventing an Argument, part 2: Causal and Proposal,” Rhetoric & Writing I: Composition 105 – Section 005 – Winter 2017 (blog), These sites list the first three classical stases, putting cause under “fact” or “proposal,” and then they add a fourth “policy” stasis, which is not warranted by the classical model. In short, they are hybrids. A surprising number of commercial educational advice sites have offerings on stasis


note s to chap ter 9 theory, usually in this hybrid model, for example, the Edusson blog, “Secret Weapon of Essay Writing: Stasis Theory,”, as well as the ThoughtCo blog, “Stasis Theory in Rhetoric: Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms,” 45. “Kinds of Argument: Stasis Theory,” This tutorial also features a fourth “policy” stasis. 46. Unfortunately, the link for this website is no longer active. Current statistics on the population of homeless children in Delaware can be found at https://­statistics/de/. 47. Quintilian, Orator’s Education 2:50–53. 48. Jonathan Buehl, “Revolution or Evolution? Casing the Impact of Digital Media on the Rhetoric of Science,” in Science and the Internet: Communicating Knowledge in a Digital Age, ed. Alan G. Gross and Jonathan Buehl (Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing, 2016), 1–9. 49. Ling Cao et al., “China’s Aquaculture and the World’s Wild Fisheries,” Science 347 ( January 9, 2015): 133–35.

Chapter 9

1. “180 Locke to John Strachey, [c. 26 December 1665/5 Jan. 1666?],” in John Locke, The Correspondence of John Locke, ed. E. S. De Beer (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 1:247. 2. “182. Locke to [ John Strachey?], [early January 1666?],” in Locke, Correspondence, 1:255. 3. John Locke, Draft B of Locke’s “Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” ed. Peter H. Nidditch (Sheffield, UK: Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, 1982), 195. 4. John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education and of the Conduct of the Understanding, ed. and intro. Ruth W. Grant and Nathan Tarcov (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1996), 189. 5. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ed. and intro. Alexander Campbell Fraser (New York: Dover Press, 1894), 2:126. 6. Mordechai Feingold, “The Humanities,” in The History of the University of Oxford, vol.  4, The Seventeenth Century, ed. Nicholas Tyacke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), 294–5. 7. E. Jennifer Ashworth, “Logic Teaching at the University of Oxford from the Sixteenth to the Early Eighteenth Century,” NOCTUA 2, no. 102 (2015): 37, 46–47. 8. Feingold, “Humanities,” 227–28. 9. R. A. Beddard, “Restoration Oxford and the Remaking of the Protestant Establishment,” in Tyacke, History of the University of Oxford, 853. 10. Feingold, “Humanities,” 300–304. 11. Robert Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Johannes Lichfield and Jacob Short, 1618), 151. 12. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 153. 13. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 154. 14. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 163. 15. Donald Leonard Felipe, “The Post-­Medieval Ars Disputandi,” PhD diss., University of Texas at Austin, 1991, 192; see also Alex Novikoff, The Medieval Culture of Disputation: Pedagogy, Practice, and Performance (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 141. 16. Feingold, “Humanities,” 303. 17. Ashworth, “Logic Teaching at the University of Oxford,” 44. 18. Bromley Smith and Douglas Ehninger, “The Terrafilian Disputations at Oxford,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 36, no. 3 (October 1950): 333–39.


note s to chap ter 9 19. Edward Bagshaw, Exercitationes Duae (London: A.M., 1661), 1. In this and all other references that do not mention a translator, I rely upon my own translation. 20. Bagshaw, Exercitationes Duae, 157. 21. Bagshaw, Exercitationes Duae, 14–15, 4. 22. Edward Bagshaw, De Monarchia Absoluta, Dissertio Politica (London: Thomas Robinson, 1659), 1. 23. John C. Biddle, “Locke’s Essay on Infallibility: Introduction, Text, and Translation,” Journal of Church and State 19, no. 2 ( January 1977), 317. 24. Novikoff, Medieval Culture of Disputation, 3. 25. Feingold, “Humanities,” 235–48. 26. Ashworth, “Logic Teaching at the University of Oxford,” 43. 27. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 102. 28. Feingold, “Humanities,” 278–83. 29. Thomas Hobbes, Human Nature and De Corpore Politico, ed. and intro. J. C. A. Gaskin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 75. 30. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathon, ed. and intro. Edwin Curley (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1994), 458. 31. James Jacob, Henry Stubbe, Radical Protestantism, and the Early Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 78–108. 32. Feingold, “Humanities,” 290–91. 33. Bagshaw, Exercitationes Duae, 39. 34. Bagshaw, Exercitationes Duae, 41. 35. Feingold, “Humanities,” 283–85. 36. John Locke, The Essays on the Law of Nature, ed. and intro. W. von Leyden (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954), 237. 37. Aristotle, Posterior Analytics and Topica, trans. Hugh Tredennick and E. S. Forster (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960), 277. 38. Novikoff, Medieval Culture of Disputation, 137. 39. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 151. 40. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 161. 41. Edward Bagshaw, The Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent in Religious Worship (London, 1660), 1. 42. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 153. 43. Bagshaw, Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent, 2. 44. Bagshaw, Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent, 3–12. 45. Bagshaw, Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent, 15. 46. John Locke, Two Tracts on Government, ed, intro, and trans. Philip Abrams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), 214. 47. Aristotle, Posterior Analytics and Topica, 273. 48. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 122. 49. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 123; see also Philip Abrams, “Introduction,” in Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 78, 90–91. 50. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 159. 51. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 124. 52. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 161. 53. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 133–34. 54. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 204. 55. Felipe, “Post-­Medieval Ars Disputandi,” 115, 132.


note s to chap ter 9 56. H. R. Fox Bourne, The Life of John Locke, vol. 1 (London: Henry S. King, 1876), 85– 124; Wilbur Samuel Howell, Eighteenth-­Century British Logic and Rhetoric (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971), 268–80; Lois Agnew, “Teaching Propriety: Unlocking the Mysteries of Political Correctness,” College Composition and Communication 60, no. 4 ( June 2009): 752. 57. Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1:14. 58. Locke, Draft B, 195–96. 59. Locke, Essays on the Law of Nature, 237–39. 60. W. von Leyden, “Introduction,” in Locke, Essays on the Law of Nature, 69–78. 61. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 98–99. 62. Aristotle, Posterior Analytics and Topica, 79. 63. Locke, Essays on the Law of Nature, 261. 64. Locke, Essays on the Law of Nature, 110. 65. Locke, Essays on the Law of Nature, 111. 66. Aristotle, Posterior Analytics and Topica, 259. 67. Locke, Essays on the Law of Nature, 146. 68. Locke, Essays on the Law of Nature, 158. 69. Richard Ashcraft, Locke’s Two Treatises of Government (London: Allen and Unwin, 1987), 67–82. 70. Von Leyden, “Introduction,” 73. 71. Rainer Forst, Toleration in Conflict: Past and Present, trans. Ciaran Cronin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 215. The year 1685 refers to the year when Locke most likely wrote the Epistola de Tolerantia. The letter was published first, in Latin, in 1689. 72. Locke, “Essay on Toleration,” in Political Essays, ed. Mark Goldie (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 135. 73. Locke, “Essay on Toleration,” 146. 74. Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 2:375. 75. Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 2:347. 76. Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 2: 251, 391. 77. Bourne, Life of John Locke, 85–124; Howell, Eighteenth-­Century British Logic and Rhetoric, 268–80; Agnew, “Teaching Propriety,” 752. 78. Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, vol. 2, 370. 79. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 157. 80. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 239. 81. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 154–55. 82. Bagshaw, Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent, A3 Recto. 83. Locke, Locke’s Letter on Toleration, trans. and intro. J. W. Gough (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), 138. 84. Stubbe, An Essay in Defense of the Good Old Cause (London, 1659), 11–12, italics in the original. 85. “75. Locke to S.H. [Henry Stubbe] [mid-­September? 1659],” in Locke, Correspondence, 1:110. 86. Jeffrey Walker, The Genuine Teachers of this Art: Rhetorical Education in Antiquity (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011), 178–212. 87. Aristotle, Posterior Analytics and Topica, 737–39. 88. Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics, vol.  3, Hobbes and Civil Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 120. 89. Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 140. The medius terminus is the middle


note s to chap ter 10 term in a categorical syllogism. Locke points to the common scholastic tactic of drawing a distinction, so the middle term in the opponent’s syllogism no longer leads to the desired conclusion. If an opponent were to argue, for instance, “All people are mortal; Socrates is a person; therefore Socrates is mortal,” then the respondent might focus on the middle term “people,” drawing a distinction between common people, who die when their bodies expire, and philosophers, who live eternally in the ideas that they hand down to posterity. 90. Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 2:127–29. 91. Edward Bagshaw, The Necessity and the Use of Heresies, or the Third and Last Part of the Great Question about Indifferent Things in Religious Worship (London: S.M., 1662), 5. 92. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 133–34, 10. 93. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 159. 94. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 189–90. 95. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 190. 96. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 190–94. 97. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 197. 98. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 207–8. 99. Bagshaw, The Second Part of the Great Question Concerning Things Indifferent in Religious Worship (London, 1661), 14. 100. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 117–18. 101. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 210. 102. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 212. 103. Bagshaw, Necessity and the Use of Heresies, A6 Recto. 104. Anthony Wood, Life and Times of Anthony Wood, Antiquary of Oxford, 1632–1695, ed. Anthony Clark (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1891), 268. 105. Abrams, “Introduction,” 36. 106. Locke, Two Tracts on Government, 201. 107. Forst, Toleration in Conflict, 27. 108. Teresa Bejan, Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2017), 85. 109. John William Tate, Liberty, Toleration, and Equality: John Locke, Jonas Proast, and the Letters Concerning Toleration (New York: Routledge, 2016), 78. 110. Locke, Locke’s Letter on Toleration, 66–68. 111. Locke, Locke’s Letter on Toleration, 65. 112. Locke, “Essay on Toleration,” 152. 113. Locke, Locke’s Letter on Toleration, 85. 114. “36. Philippus von Limborch to John Locke, 18 October 1685,” in Locke, Correspondence, 2:756. 115. Bejan, Mere Civility, 142. 116. Forst, Toleration in Conflict, 23. 117. Locke, “Essay on Toleration,” 152. 118. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 158. 119. Sanderson, Logicae Artis Compendium, 162.

Chapter 10

1. Jeffrey Walker, The Genuine Teachers of This Art: Rhetorical Education in Antiquity (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011), 199. 2. There are four main “schools” or sects of Tibetan Buddhism: the Gelugpa, Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma.


note s to chap ter 10 3. Quintilian, The “Institutio Oratoria” of Quintilian, vol. 4, translated by H. E. Butler (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 10.5.18. 4. See, for example, in Seneca’s account of the declaimer Albucius’s courtroom humiliation (Seneca the Elder, Controversiae, trans. Michael Winterbottom [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974], 7.11). 5. Quintilian, The “Institutio Oratoria” of Quintilian, vol. 2, trans. H. E. Butler (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 5.14.27–29. 6. Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say, 3rd ed. (New York: Norton, 2014), xxv–xxvi. 7. Quintilian, “Institutio Oratoria” 2:6.2.5. 8. Daniel Perdue, The Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate (Boston: Snow Lion, 2014), 6. 9. Perdue, Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate, xiv. 10. Perdue, Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate, 8–9. 11. I am profoundly grateful to these four extremely generous and talented scholars and teachers for all their support and insight throughout this process; the debate class would have been impossible without their help: Lopon Pema Wangdak, Lopon Cheki Dorji, Lopon Karma Yangu, and Lopon Thiley Chachung. 12. I refer to this text as the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning throughout the rest of this paper. 13. Quintilian, “Institutio Oratoria” 2:5.14.31. 14. Quintilian, “Institutio Oratoria” 2:5.14.31. 15. George B. Dreyfus, “What Is Debate for? The Rationality of Tibetan Debates and the Role of Humor,” Argumentation 22 (2008): 45. 16. This is only a brief introduction to the intricacies of Tibetan debate, a subject explored at much greater length and depth in Perdue’s Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate and Debate in Tibetan Buddhism (Boston: Snow Lion, 1992). The present explanation is based largely on Perdue’s work, the Entrance to the Path of Reasoning, and my experiences learning from and working with the Namdroling lopons and my students. 17. “Compounded” in this context refers to the quality of being dependent on various causes and conditions, as opposed to having some kind of inherent existence. According to this line of argument, because sound depends on a variety of changeable causes and conditions, it cannot be permanent. 18. Perdue, Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate, 104, and Debate in Tibetan Buddhism, 38; Hiroshi Nemoto, “Who Is a Proper Opponent? The Tibetan Buddhist Concept of phyi rgol yang dag,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 41 (2013): 153. 19. Perdue, Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate, 114. 20. The term pervasion in this context is very close to the term distribution in Western logic, as Vessela Valiavitcharska has kindly pointed out to me. 21. Perdue, Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate, 84. 22. Perdue, Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate, 340. 23. Monks and nuns in Gelupa monasteries, where debate is even more emphasized than in Nyingma monasteries, spend three or four years learning basic debate procedures. 24. Ngagyur Ridzod Computer Section, Bsdu Tshan Rigs Lam Sgo ‘Byed (The Collected Topics, Entrance to the Path of Reasoning) (Bylakuppe, India: Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, 2015), 14. 25. Perelman, Chaim, and Lucie Olbrechts-­Tyteca, The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969), 19.


note s to conclusion 26. Quintilian, “Institutio Oratoria” 2:5.14. 31–32. 27. David Roochnik, Of Art and Wisdom: Plato’s Understanding of Techne (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996), 193. 28. John Whitney Pettit, Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1999), 194–95. 29. Pettit, Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty, 195 (emphasis added). 30. This excerpt is from my own partial translation, but I hope to work with my colleagues at Namdroling Monastery to produce a full, academic translation of the entire text in the future. 31. At this point the debate would continue after the challengers have come to a clear understanding of the defender’s new position then reframed it as a consequence.


1. Aristotle, Metaphysics 1.1 and 6.1. 2. Jeffrey Walker, The Genuine Teachers of This Art: Rhetorical Education in Antiquity (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011), 19. 3. Walker, Genuine Teachers, 21. 4. Walker, Genuine Teachers, 3; Hawhee’s introduction in this volume. 5. Ekaterina Haskins, Logos and Power in Isocrates and Aristotle (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004), 80. 6. Aristotle, Metaphysics 4.3–4, 1005b–9. 7. τέχνη ἐστὶ σύστημα ἐκ καταλήψεων ἐγγεγυμνασμένων πρός τι τέλος εὔχρηστον τῶν ἐν τῷ βίῳ. τὰ αὐτὰ δὲ ταῦτα καὶ τῇ ῥητορικῇ ἂν εἶεν ἁρμόδια· καὶ γὰρ καὶ ἡ ῥητορικὴ σύστημα μέν ἐστι διὰ τὸ ἐκ πολλῶν συγκεῖσθαι κανόνων τε καὶ μεθόδων. ‘ἐκ καταλήψεων’ δὲ διὰ τὸ ἔκ τινων ἐπινοήσεων τῶν τοιούτων εὐπορῆσαι κανόνων τε καὶ μεθόδων. ‘ἐγγεγυμνασμένων’ δὲ ὡς πολλάκις τὴν πεῖραν δόντων καὶ δεδοκιμασμένων τῷ χρόνῳ. ‘πρός τι’ δὲ ‘τέλος εὔχρηστον τῶν ἐν τῷ βίῳ’, καθὸ ψέγει μὲν τὴν κακίαν, ἐγκωμιάζει δὲ τὴν ἀρετήν, καὶ προτρέπει μὲν ἐπὶ τὰ καλά, ἀποτρέπει δὲ τῶν φαύλων, καὶ κατηγορεῖ μὲν τῶν ἀδικούντων, ὑπεραπολογεῖται δὲ τῶν ἀδικουμένων· τούτων γὰρ οὐδὲν ἂν εἴη εὐχρηστότερον ἕτερον ( John Doxapatres, “Prolegomena in Aphthonii Progymnasmata,” in Hugo Rabe, ed., Prolegomenon sylloge [Leipzig: Teubner, 1931], 101). This definition has a long history; it appears to be first attested in Philo (De congressu eruditionis gratia, 141) but is found in diverse rhetorical, philosophical, and grammatical texts, such as Syrianus, Sopater, and Marcellinus’s commentary on Hermogenes’s On Stases in Christian Walz, Rhetores graeci (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1833), 4:41; David’s Prolegomena to Porphyry’s Isagoge in Adolf Busse, ed., Davidis prolegomena et in Porphyrii Isagogen commentarium (Berlin: Reimer, 1904), 44; Prolegomena Vossiana to the grammar handbook of Dionysius Thrax in Alfred Hilgard and Gustav Uhlig, eds. Grammatici graeci, vol. 1.3 (Leipzig: Teubner, 1901), 2, which attributes it to the Stoics. 8. πρῶτον μὲν πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀληθῶν καὶ δικαίων ἐν τοῖς πολιτικοῖς πράγμασιν ἐπίγνωσιν· δεύτερον τὸ διὰ τῶν κοινῶν καὶ πιθανῶν λόγων πείθειν τοὺς πολλούς, ἀλλὰ μὴ διὰ τῶν ἐπιστημονικῶν, ὧν ἐπαΐειν παντελῶς ἀδυνατοῦσι· τρίτον τὸ πρὸς τὰ ἀντικείμενα δύνασθαι διὰ λόγου βοηθεῖν ἑαυτοῖς· τέταρτον τὸ πᾶσαν ἐν λόγοις εὔροιαν, ἥτις πρὸς ἅπασαν ἐπιστήμην ἐστὶ χρήσιμος, ἐκ ταύτης ἡμῖν προσγίνεσθαι (Rabe, Prolegomenon sylloge, 71). 9. Stratis Papaioannou, Michael Psellos: Rhetoric and Authorship in Byzantium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 31. 10. Jeffrey Walker, “On the Deinos Logos of On the Crown,” in Demosthenes’ “On the Crown”: Rhetorical Perspectives, ed. James Jerome Murphy (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), 148–73.


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Contributors Jeanne Fahnestock is professor emerita of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, author of Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language of Persuasion (2011) and Rhetorical Figures in Science (1999; repr., 2002), and coauthor, with Marie Secor, of A Rhetoric of Argument (3rd ed., 2004) and Readings in Argument (1984). Debra Hawhee is McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation and professor of English and communication arts and sciences at Penn State University. She is author of Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation (2017), Moving Bodies: Kenneth Burke at the Edges of Language (2009), and Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece (2005). Susan C. Jarratt is professor emerita of comparative literature at University of California, Irvine. She is author of Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured (2005), Chain of Gold: Greek Rhetoric in the Roman Empire (2019), and coeditor of Feminism and Composition Studies: In Other Words and Unruly Rhetorics: Protest, Persuasion, and Publics. Jarratt is one of the main editors of the much-­anticipated Norton Anthology of Rhetoric and Writing. Michele Kennerly is associate professor of communication arts and sciences and of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies at Penn State University. She is author of Editorial Bodies: Perfection and Rejection in Ancient Rhetoric and Poetics (2018), coeditor of Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks (2018) and Information: Keywords (2021), and editor of A New Handbook of Rhetoric: Inverting the Classical Vocabulary (2021). Mark Garrett Longaker is professor of rhetoric and writing, communication, and English at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of Rhetorical Style and Bourgeois Virtue: Capitalism and Civil Society in the British Enlightenment (2015), Rhetoric and the Republic: Politics, Civic Discourse, and Education in Early America (2007), and dozens of articles and book chapters on rhetoric, philosophy, and style.


Glen McClish is professor of rhetoric and writing studies. He has published dozens of articles on ancient rhetoric, nineteenth-­century rhetoric, and African American rhetoric. Ellen Quandahl is professor emerita of rhetoric and writing studies at San Diego State University. She has published dozens of articles on rhetoric’s histories and theories, ranging from Byzantine rhetoric to Kenneth Burke. Marie Secor is professor emerita of English at Penn State University. Her field-­shaping work on rhetoric and argumentation has appeared in dozens of journals and edited collections as well as textbooks, most notably A Rhetoric of Argument (3rd ed., 2004). Dale Martin Smith is on the faculty of English at Ryerson University, Toronto, where he directs the undergraduate program. He is the author of Poets Beyond the Barricade: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Dissent after 1960 (2012) and other works that investigate poetry and public culture. Vessela Valiavitcharska is associate professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion (2013), as well as articles and other scholarship on Byzantine and Old Slavic rhetoric. Cleve Wiese is assistant professor of English at Worcester State University, where he has created a cultural exchange program with Worcester students and members of Tibetan settlements in India. He has coedited, with James J. Murphy, Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing (2nd ed., 2016).


Index Abernathy, Billy (Fundi), 138, 139, 140 Acanthus, 17 accusations, unfounded, 38–39, 40 Achaeans, 18 Achilles, 13–14. See also Iliad (Homer) action, symbolic, 71 adtenuata, 44 Aemilianus, Scipio, 17, 18, 19 Aeneas, 17 Aesop, 66. See also fables African American culture, 139; poetry and, 78–79, 81. See also Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones); Holiday, Harmony African American experience, 132. See also Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones); Holiday, Harmony African Americans, 129; Black Nationalism, 133, 134, 138, 143, 150, 151; Black Power, 142, 147; Black separatism, 134, 135, 136–37, 139–40 (see also Baraka, Amiri [LeRoi Jones]); civic rage of, 134; civil rights era, 136, 148 (see also Baraka, Amiri [LeRoi Jones]; King, Martin Luther, Jr.); communicative possibilities and, 137; masculinity and, 142, 144, 148; musical traditions, recovery of, 137; photographic depictions of, 138, 139, 140; power of, 144; reviews and, 144; self-identification, 139; sexuality and, 144, 147, 148; sociality and aesthetics, 129; terms of community for, 132, 141; vernacular, 147 Agamemnon, 98–99. See also Iliad (Homer) Agathon, 34 Ager, Britta K., 57 Agricola, Rudolphus, De Inventione Dialectica, 183 Ahmed, Sara, 3, 4

Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, 27 Alcibiades, 34, 35–36 Alexander of Macedon, 125 Alexiad, 115, 118–25, 126. See also Komnene, Anna; Komnenos, Alexios I Alkibiades, 119 Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing, The (Ramage, Bean, and Johnson), 27 ambient theory of rhetoric, 50 ambiguity, 80–81, 86, 88 amplification, 12 ancestor poem, 149 Androtion, 38 Angelou, Maya, “Still I Rise,” 78–79, 81 Anglicans, 184, 194 animals, nonhuman: capacity for language, 59; in fables, 59–61; legal trials of, 51, 64–66; in Phaedrus, 56; reasoning and, 57. See also letters to nonhuman animals; Golden Ass, The (Apuleius) anthropomorphism, 57. See also fables; letters to nonhuman animals antilogikê, 152 Apelkhasem, 119 Aphobos, 38, 39 Aphthonius, 59, 117, 126 apocalyptic vision, emotional power of, 24 apodictic assertion, 188, 189 Apollo, 35 Apollodoros, 34 Apuleius, 19–21, 25; The Golden Ass (Metamorphoses), 17, 20 argument, 25; causal, 168–70, 171; definition-­forming, 162; epistemic, 168; evaluation, 165, 172–73; knowledge-­ forming, 168; in persuasion, 11; philosophical, 4, 6 (see also practice of rhetoric); in poetry, 72–74; proposal, 165; refutations of, 174–75; sharing speaker’s

index perspective and, 12 (see also ekphrasis); statistics and, 175–76; topical, 183; visuals in, 176–77; writing of, 157. See also categorical propositions (CP); composition instruction; Rhetoric of Argument, A; stasis/stases; writing instruction argumentation pedagogy, 6 Aristides, Aelius, 21, 229 Aristophanes, 34; Clouds, 42 Aristotle, 11, 44, 46, 131; on avoiding rhythms of poetry, 93; on axioms, 188; on causality, 168; commentators on, 115; conception of rhetoric, 4, 227; De Anima, 12; on disputation, 192; on ethos, 74; Goldhill on, 43; on humans, 59; image formation for, 12; lexis portions of, 44; “logos psilos” in, 30; Metaphysics, 168; Organon, 180; in Oxford curriculum, 180; on pathos, 75; Physics, 168; Poetics, 41, 47; on poetry, 67; Posterior Analytics, 168; practice and, 228; prose’s development and, 41–43; public speech and, 40–43; Rhetoric, 3, 12, 41, 43, 47, 76; technical language of, 40–43; on trials on nonhuman animals, 65; use of metaphor, 43. See also logic; syllogism ars dictaminis, 62 art, 129–30, 137. See also Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones); epideictic Aspasia, 33 assertion, 40, 188, 189 asyndeta, 111 atopia, 35 auctor (author), 44 auctor ad herennium, 44–48 audience, universal, 160 Augustine, Saint, 16–17 aura, 53 author, 44 axioms, indubitable, 188 Bagshaw, Edward, 181–82, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 189, 191, 192, 193, 194, 196, 199 Balianites, Leo, Didaskalia, 102 Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones), 6, 132–42, 147, 151, 153; African American community and, 141; Autobiography, 133;

“Black Art,” 134–35; Black Magic, 139; Black Nationalist period, 138, 143; Black separatist cultural program, 136– 37; Blues People, 137; communication and, 133; creation of cultural division, 140; The Dead Lecturer, 139; establishment of authority, 137; goals of, 139, 140; In Our Terribleness, 138–42, 150; Obituary for Miles Davis, 144; performative possibilities and, 137–38; political change and, 135–36; reviews of, 144; SOS, 144; style and, 141 basilikos logos, 118 Basil Minimus, 97, 113 Beacon of Certainty, 222 Bean, John C., 27, 81 Beat authors, 133. See also Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones) belief, 132. See also toleration debates Birkenstein, Cathy, 204–5 Black Arts movement, 134 Black Lives Matter, 142 Black Nationalism, 133, 134, 138, 143, 150, 151 Black Power, 142, 147 Black separatism, 134, 135, 136–37, 139– 40. See also Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones) Black vernacular, 147 Blank, David, 100 blues, 137 Bly, Robert, “Gratitude to Old Teachers,” 78 bodily training, 47 Boer War, 84–85. See also “Drummer Hodge” (Hardy) Bonelli, Guido, 35 Booth, Wayne, The Rhetoric of Fiction, 68 Boyle, Casey, Rhetoric as a Posthuman Practice, 3 Boyle, Robert, 187 Bradley, Keith, 21 Brooke, Rupert, “The Soldier,” 5, 82–84, 85 Brotherhood Records, 144 Brown, James, 141 Brown, Joanna, 85 Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, Sonnets from the Portuguese, 76 Bruguera, Tania, 129 Brutus, 45, 46, 47


index Bsdu Tshan Rigs Lam Sgo ‘Byed (The Collected Topics Entrance to the Path of Reasoning). See Tibetan debate Buckley, Penelope, 118, 123 Buddhism, Tibetan, 6; Gelupa tradition, 207; Nyingma school, 202. See also Tibetan debate Buddhist philosophy, 206, 207 Burgersdijk, Franco, 180 Burke, Kenneth, 71, 72, 130; Language as Symbolic Action, 163; Permanence and Change, 126; A Rhetoric of Motives, 89 Bury, R. G., 55 Byzantine culture, centrality of rhetoric in, 114 Byzantine Middle Ages, 58–59, 93 Byzantine rhetoric, reputation of, 116 Byzantine rhetorical education, 5, 94–97, 115, 116–18. See also punctuation; scholia Byzantines, referred to as Romans, 119–20 Byzantium, as transmitter, 114 Caesar, Julius, 170 Calafell, Bernadette Marie, 5 Caldwell, James, 87 Cameron, Averil, 114 Carson, Rachel, 4, 22–24, 25 Carthage, 18, 19 categorical propositions (CP), 158, 165, 173. See also argument: writing of; Rhetoric of Argument, A; stasis/stases caterpillars, 65–66 Catholics, 195, 197 Catullus, 79 causal arguments, 168–70, 171 causal stasis, 165–72 cause, questions of, 158 Cavaliers, 183 Ceccarelli, Leah, 80 Celsus, Cornelius, 158 Ceraso, Steph, 131 ceremonies, 131 Chappell, Virginia, 81 characterization, indirect, 62 character-making, 16, 20, 51, 61–62 characters, 44 Charles II (king of England), 194

charms, 51, 53, 54, 57. See also letters to nonhuman animals; magic Christian philosophy, 115 Chronographia (Psellos), 121 Chrysoloras, Manuel, 114 Churchill, Winston, 82 Cicero, 31, 45, 47; De Fato, 169; De Inventione, 157, 166, 167, 169; De Oratore (On the Orator), 45–47, 169, 229; increased interest in, 183; on letters, 63; stases and, 158 citizenship, as practice, 3 city, mobile, 124 civic life: education for, 2, 27, 127–28; encouraging, 127; Isocrates’s view of, 203; for writers, 151 civic performance, in “Black Art,” 135 civil rights, 151 civil rights era, 136, 148. See also Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones); King, Martin Luther, Jr. civil strife, 178, 193–94. See also toleration debates Clarendon code, 185 classicists, Post-Enlightenment, 16 clauses, 93. See also punctuation Cohen, Esther, 64 Cold War, 128, 144 college. See composition instruction; English programs; Oxford; writing instruction College English (journal), 25 Collins, Billy, 72 commemoration, cycle of, 33 communicability, 129, 153; in Black separatist struggle, 135; described, 129; epideictic, 148–49; Holiday and, 148–49; of poetry, 135 communication, 133, 138–39 compositio, 46 composition instruction: creative writing pedagogy as model for, 152; epideictic and, 133; skills-based, 27. See also writing instruction Conant, John, 194 concinnitas, 46 Constantine I (Constantine the Great), 119, 120, 123, 124


index Constantine IX (Byzantine emperor), 121 Constantinople, 120, 124–25 context, poetry and, 81–82, 88, 136 control, literacy and, 53–54 Corinth, 18, 19 correction, 95 count, 46 courtroom practice, stasis theory and, 166 Covino, William A., 53, 59, 152 CP (categorical propositions), 158, 165, 173 Crates, 62 creation, 4 creative writing, relationship with rhetoric, 150–53 creative writing instruction: epideictic and, 133; Holiday and, 133; instructor as writer in, 152; romantic notion of creativity in, 151; teaching poetry, 149–50; workshop model of, 152. See also writing instruction creativity, romantic notion of, 151 critical capacity, 12. See also world building critical judgment, 96 criticism, 2, 5; cultural, 139; historical, 69. See also performance Cromwell, Richard, 182 Crowley, Sharon, 27 cultural criticism, 139 cultural narratives, examining, 149 Cummings, E. E., 73, 76, 77 Dalassene, Anna, 122–23 data, digitally manipulated, 175–76 Davis, Miles, 144 DDT, 23 “Dear Mice” letters. See letters to non­ human animals debate, Tibetan. See Tibetan debate declamation, 191, 202–3 definitions, arguability of, 159–60 Delarue, Fernand, 29 deliberative, 158 delivery, 3 Demetrius, 103; On Style, 93–94 Demetrius of Phalerum, 43–44 democracy, 127 demonstration, 178, 179, 187–89, 190. See also Locke, John

Demosthenes, 30, 38–40, 119 Dennes, William, 87 Derrida, Jacques, 50, 54, 56, 57 Descartes, René, 178 description, 2, 4, 11, 12, 23, 25; approaches to teaching, 27; current rhetorical attitudes toward, 26; importance of, 27–28; potential of, 25, 26; in Silent Spring, 22– 24; world building through, 26; in writing classes, 17, 24–28. See also ekphrasis desire, 132 detail, circumstantial, 163 De Temmerman, Koen, 62 dialectic: divide between rhetoric proper and, 218, 221; training in, rhetorical ability and, 204–5. See also Tibetan debate Dickinson, Emily, 81 Didion, Joan, 131 Dieter, Otto, 157 Dinzelbacher, Peter, 64 Dio Chrysostom, 229 Diogenes, Nikephoros, 121 Diogenes Laertius, 31, 62 Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 5–6, 44, 130, 229 Dionysius Thrax, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103 Diotima, 34 discourse, figured, 121 displacement, 20 dispositio, 77 disputation, 6; Aristotle on, 192; Locke’s rejection of, 179, 187; on Locke’s rejection of disputation, 190–200; logical, 178; at Oxford, 179–89; rhetorical, 178; syllogistic, 184–85. See also argument: philosophical dissoi logo, 152 distinction, refutational, 186–87 Donne, John, Holy Sonnet 14, 79 doubt, in pedagogical contexts, 152 Doxapatres, John, 228–29 “Drummer Hodge” (Hardy), 5, 84–85, 88 duBois, Page, 12 Du Triue, Phillippe, 180 Easy Rider (film), 131


index editing, 3–4 education: Byzantine, 5, 94–97, 115, 116– 18 (see also punctuation; scholia); for civic life, 2, 27, 127–28; history of rhetoric and, 1–2; Anna Komnene on, 125; monastic, 203, 204 (see also Buddhism, Tibetan; Tibetan debate); rhetorical, 2, 5. See also composition instruction; literary pedagogy; progymnasmata; writing instruction eikōnes, 35 ekphrasis, 4, 229; changes in perspective and, 12, 13; defined, 11; description of Achilles’s shield, 13–14, 15; emotional effects of, 12; environmental movement and, 22; in Polybius’s criticism of historians, 18; Silent Spring and, 22–24; world building in, 16, 17, 19, 21, 122. See also description; poetics Elements of Style (Strunk and White), 25 Eliot, T. S., 67 elocutio (style), 44 eloquence, 185, 209 emotion, 12, 75–76, 205–6 empiricism, 183, 187 emulation. See imitation enargeia, 11 encomia, 130. See also praise encomiastic rhetoric, Byzantine, 5. See also Komnene, Anna England, 82–85. See also Locke, John; Oxford English programs, 151–53, 207. See also composition instruction; writing instruction Enlightenment, 50, 178 Enoch, Jessica, 2 enthymemes, 73, 204, 221 Entrance to the Path of Reasoning. See Tibetan debate entrenchment, 164 environmental movement, 22–23 epic. See Iliad (Homer) epicheiremes, 204 epic romance, 118 epideictic, 129–30, 131–32, 133, 143, 148–50, 151, 153, 158. See also art; performance

epideiktikon, 131–32 epideixis, 133 epistemic arguments, 168 epistolary theory, 62–64 epistolography, 51. See also letters to nonhuman animals epitaphioi logoi, 32 epitaphios logos, 32–33 Erōs/erōs, 34, 35 Eryximachus, 34–35 eschēmatismenos logos, 121 ethics, emotions and, 76 ēthopoeisis, 16, 20, 51, 61–62 eulogies, civic, 32–33 eurhythmy, 95 Euripides, 42 Eusebius, 123 evaluation argument, 165, 172–73 Evans, E. P., 49, 65 eviction letters. See letters to nonhuman animals evidence, opacity of, 175 evidence, visual, 176–77 exercises, 47 exorkizō, 64 exornationes, 45 experience, shared, 131 experimentalism, 183–84 exposition, 25 fables, 51, 57, 59–61, 64 fabrication, 4 fact/definition arguments, 159–64, 172 facts: apparently irrelevant, 164; selection of, 163–64; statistically generated, 175; verification of, 161–62 Fahnestock, Jeanne, 6, 200 Fantham, Elaine, 45 Farrell, Thomas B., 4, 71 Fawkes, Guy, 197 Fielding, Henry, 25 figurae, 44 figures, 45 Flaherty, Colleen, 151 Fleming, David, 126, 127, 128 Florida State University, 27 Floyd, George, 128 Folger, Abigail, 131


index folklore. See fables; letters to nonhuman animals foot speech, 44 forensic arguments, 158 Frankfurter, David, 53 Fundi (Billy Abernathy), 138, 139, 140 funeral oration, 116 Galen, 169 Garcia, Diana: “On Leaving,” 74–75; “On Staying Behind,” 74–75 Garner, James, 200 Geoponics, 49, 50, 56–57, 64, 65. See also letters to nonhuman animals George of Trebizond, 114 Giannouli, Antonia, 102 Gillam, Alice, 81 Glenn, Cheryl, 2 goēteia, 55 Golden Ass, The (Apuleius), 17, 20 Goldhill, Simon, 12; The Invention of Prose, 43 Gorgias of Leontini, 41, 42, 46, 50, 51–52, 55 governmental dysfunction, 178 Graff, Gerald, 204–5 Graff, Richard, 2, 30 grammar, 94–97. See also punctuation; scholia gravis, 44 greatness (megethos), 12 Greek language, 44; prose and, 30; teaching of reading and, 96 Gregory of Nazianzus, 97, 113 Grote, George, 16 gumnos, 30, 39, 46 Gunn, Joshua, 131 Gunpowder Plot, 197 Hardy, Thomas, “Drummer Hodge,” 5, 84–85, 88 Hariman, Robert, 131 Harlem Renaissance, 75 Haskins, Ekaterina, 227 Hauser, Gerard, 2 Hawhee, Debra, 5, 11–12, 48, 131, 227; Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, 27

Heath, Malcolm, 157 Hedengren, Mary, 152 Heliodorus the Grammarian, 99 hemistichos, 103 hemlock, 56 Hephaestion, 103 Heracles, 34 Heraclitus, 228 Herennius, 45 heresies, 192 Hermogenes, 58, 61, 116, 158, 191 Highlander Folk School, 144 historians, 18, 19, 118–19. See also Komnene, Anna; Polybius historical criticism, 69 history: geographic, 119–20; using, 126; writing, 116, 123. See also Komnene, Anna; performance Hobbes, Thomas, 178, 184, 192 Hohmann, Hanns, 157 Holiday, Harmony, 6, 132, 133, 142–50, 151, 153; “Adultery,” 143, 144, 147; communicability and, 148–49; Go Find Your Father/A Famous Blues, 142; Hollywood Forever, 142, 143–50; imitations of, 149–50; “Is This Tomorrow?,” 143, 147; as model of critical performativity, 149 Holiday, Jimmy, 142 Homer. See Iliad (Homer) honor, 21 Hoover, J. Edgar, 147 Hopkins, Keith, 21 HopKins, Mary Frances, 5, 6 hostages, Greek, 17, 19. See also Polybius Hughes, Langston: “Harlem,” 76; “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” 75, 81 humanities, epideictic in, 153. See also English programs identification, 120 Iglesias-Zoido, J. Carlos, 117 Iliad (Homer), 21; Achilles’s shield in, 13– 14, 15; Geneva Iliad, 107; imitation of, 118; scholia on, 97, 98, 103–8, 109–13, 117; Thersites in, 15–16, 24, 109, 110; Venetus A, 105 image formation, 11–12


index images, evaluative power of, 176 images, still, 13 imitation, 126, 127–28; history-bearing, 115–16, 118 (see also Alexiad; Komnene, Anna); performance-directed, 149 imitative performances, 116–18 immigration, 128 imperial praise, 118 impulse, 166 inference: commonsense, 190; from facts, 163–64; geometric, 187 information bubble, 164 innuendo, 40 insecticides, 22–24 Inside Higher Education, 151 internet: refutations of arguments on, 174– 75; searches on, 164 interpretation, 95 intolerance, 191 Iowa’s Writers Workshop, 152 Ireland, 49 irony, in poetry, 80 Isocrates, 45, 46, 127, 130, 152; avoiding rhythms of poetry and, 93; Evagoras, 36–37, 41, 46; logos psilos and, 36–38, 40; naked speech and, 30; pedagogical focus of, 203; To Philip, 37–38, 46; use of gumnos, 39; view of civic engagement, 203; vision of rhetoric, 227–28 James, William, 88 James I (king of England), 197 Jamgön Mipham Gyatso, 208 Jarratt, Susan C., 4, 122 jazz, 137 Jeffreys, Elizabeth, 114 John of Sardis, 59, 61 Johnson, James Weldon, 85–86; “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” 79, 81 Johnson, June, 27 Johnson, Trevor, 84 Jolliffe, David, 69 Jones, Henry Stuart, 4 Jones, LeRoi. See Baraka, Amiri Jost, Walter, 68 judgment, critical, 96 Ju Mipham Rinpoche, 208, 222

Kaldellis, Anthony, 114 Kallendorf, Craig, Landmark Essays on Rhetoric and Literature, 68 Karenga, Maulana, 133, 139, 140 Kawaida Towers, 134 Kennedy, George, 76, 116 Kennerly, Michele, 3, 4, 52 King, Kathryn, 84 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 133, 136, 137, 138, 143, 144–48 Kinney, Arthur, 89 Kipling, Rudyard, 84 knowledge-forming arguments, 168 Komnene, Anna, 114–15, 118–24; awareness of rhetorical study, 115; composite picture of Byzantine Empire, 126; on education, 125; eulogy of, 125; today’s writers and, 125–28; use of history, 119; use of imitation, 128. See also Alexiad Komnenos, Alexios I, 115, 118, 119, 121– 22. See also Alexiad Komnenos, Isaac, 121, 122 Kooser, Ted, “Selecting a Reader,” 77 Kraus, Manfred, 58, 65 Krebs, Paula, 152 Kremmydas, Christos, 48 Kurke, Leslie, 31 language, magical potency of, 51 Lanham, Carol Dana, 61 Latro, Marcus Porcius, 202–3 law, 64–66 law, natural, 188 Lear, Linda, 23 Leff, Michael, 2 Lehman, Benjamin, 87 Lehmann, John, 82 letters to nonhuman animals, 5, 49; and animals’ ability to read, 56; educational trends and, 58; fables and, 60–61; as moment of poesis, 50; orientation of, 56–57; skepticism regarding, 50; transmission of magic and, 52. See also animals, nonhuman; charms; epistolography; Geoponics; magic; poetics; writing letter writing, progymnasmata and, 62–64 Levi, Jan Heller, “Not Bad, Dad, Not Bad,” 78


index lexis, 41–42, 43, 44 Libanius, 15–16, 17, 24, 117; Ps. Libanius, 63, 64 liberty, Christian, 192. See also toleration debates Liddell, Henry George, 4 life: everyday, awareness of, 140–41; relationship with art, 137 Limborch, Philipp von, 196, 197 literacy, control and, 53 literary pedagogy, current state of, 69. See also composition instruction; English programs; poetry; writing instruction literary periodization, 151 literature, 67–68, 88. See also poetry Livy, increased interest in, 183 Li-Young Lee, “Little Father,” 79–80 Locke, John, 6, 178; as censor, 184; commitment to popular sovereignty, 195; demonstration and, 178, 179, 187–89; Epistola de Tolerantia (Essay on Toleration), 179, 189, 191, 195, 196; Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 70, 179, 187, 189–90; The Essays on the Law of Nature, 187, 188; moral science and, 188–90, 194; at Oxford, 179; rejection of Aristotelian scholasticism, 187; rejection of disputation, 178, 179, 187, 190– 200; rhetorical disputation on Scripture, 182–83; on separation of ecclesiastical and civil society, 195; toleration debates and, 185–87; Two Tracts on Government, 185–87, 193; universal reason and, 188. See also disputation: logical; moral science; Oxford Logan, Shirley, 2 logic, 208–9, 221; Aristotelian, 180, 184– 85, 187, 190; emotional appeal and, 205; Locke’s rejection of, 179; at Oxford, 179–80, 181; Ramistic, 184; Toulmin method, 221; training in, rhetorical ability and, 204–5. See also syllogism logos, 50; lexis of, 42; modification of, 30; poetry and, 72–74; schema for, 42. See also reason; speech logos pezos, 44 logos psilos (naked speech), 4–5, 30, 44; as bald accusations, 38–39, 40;

commemoration of war and, 33; credibility of, 40; Demosthenes and, 38–40; development of prose and, 40; Isocrates and, 36–38; in Plato, 32–36; public speech and, 40–43; in Rhetoric, 41; of Socrates, 35; in Symposium, 34–36. See also prose; speech, naked/bare Longaker, Mark Garrett, 2, 6 loss, 19 Love, god of, 34 Lucaites, John, 131 Lycortas, 17 Lyon, Earl, 87 Mack, Peter, 67 MacLeish, Archibald, 67 Maddux, Kristy, 3 Magdalino, Paul, 116 magic, 51–56, 57, 64, 66. See also letters to nonhuman animals magical thinking, 59 magnificent, 44 making, creative, 130 Malcolm X, 134, 137, 144 Malherbe, Abraham J., 63 Maltagliati, Giulia, 48 manifesto, for rhetorical education, 2 Mantinea, 18 Manzikert, battle at, 121 Marcus Aurelius, 21 Marsyas, 35 Marvell, Andrew, “To His Coy Mistress,” 71, 72, 74 masculinity, Black, 142, 144, 148 materia disputanda, 180 materiality, of writing, 50–51 McClish, Glen, 5 measure, 46 mediocris, 44 Megalopolis, 17 Melanchthon, Philip, 169–70, 171 Meliteniotes, Theodore, 107 members, 44 memes, 120 Menexenus, 32–33 Metamorphoses. See Golden Ass, The (Apuleius) metaphor, 42, 43


index meter, 37, 41, 44, 46, 93; Holiday and, 147; poetry and, 37, 93, 103, 147; in prose, 94–95; speech and, 42, 46 metrical trance, 37 Micciche, Laura, 75, 76 mice: characteristics of, 63; in fables, 60– 61. See also animals, nonhuman; letters to nonhuman animals Michael VI (Byzantine emperor), 121, 122 migration, 128 Miles, Josephine, “Teacher,” 5, 86–88 Miletus, 33 Mill, John Stuart, System of Logic, 171 Miller, Keith, 136 Milton, John, 58 mimetic pedagogy, 126 misinformation, 164 moderator, 180, 181, 198–99 monasteries, Tibetan Buddhist, 6, 201. See also Tibetan debate Monk, Thelonious, 144 Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, “The Lover, A Ballad,” 71–72, 76 Montefusco, Lucia Calboli, 157 moral science, 178, 179, 188–90, 194. See also Locke, John Morgan, William, 84 Moten, Fred, 129, 131 motives, 166 Mount Oread Manifesto, 2 Muckelbauer, John, 116 Müller, Jan-Dirk, 53 Murray, Sonny, 135 music, 131, 137, 148 musicians, African American, 137, 142 Nadeau, Ray, 157 Nagy, Gregory, 95–96, 99 Namdroling Monastery, 202, 208, 222 narration, 25 narrative, description of, 12 Nasrin, Taslima, “Happy Marriage,” 73 neoliberalism, 141, 143 Newark Riots, 133 Newbold, R. F., 53–54 New Criticism, 69, 81 Newell, William Wells, 49–50

New Rhetoric, The (Perelman and Olbrechts-­Tyteca), 160, 163, 218 news reports, 173 Ngagyur Nyingma Shedra, 202, 205, 208 Nicanor, 98, 99, 100, 101–2, 105, 107, 112–13 Nicephorus Xanthopulus, Historia ecclesiastica, 102 Nicolaus the Sophist, 59, 62 Novikoff, Alex, 183 nudity, 45 nudus, 44 numerus, 46 object-oriented rhetoric, 51 Odysseus, 15. See also Iliad (Homer) O’Gorman, Ned, 12 Ohmann, Richard, 25–26, 27 Olbrechts-Tyteca, Lucie, 160, 163, 218 Ong, Walter, 70–71, 72 On Style (Demetrius), 43–44 opponent, 180, 181, 190 oratio nuda (naked speech), 31, 47. See also speech, naked/bare oratio prosa (straightforward speech), 29. See also prosa; prose oratio soluta (loose speech), 29 orator: ideal, 221; vs. talker, 45; training up, 5 order, applying to loss, 19 Owen, John, 184, 193 Oxford: curriculum at, 178; disputation at, 178, 179–89; experimentalism at, 183– 84; humanistic turn at, 183; logic at, 179–80, 181; probabilistic reasoning at, 181; rhetorical argumentation at, 181; social discord at, 193; toleration debates, 185–87, 189, 191, 192–93, 199. See also Locke, John paeon rhythm, 42, 44, 46 paideia, 25 Panteghini, Sebastiano, 102 Papaioannou, Stratis, 116 paradox, poetry and, 79 paradox of self-destruction, 196–97, 199 pathos, in poetry, 75–76 patterns, 46


index Patterson, Orlando, 21 Paullus, Aemilius, 17 pauses, 99–100, 101, 102, 103. See also punctuation pedagogy, imitative, 126, 127–28 Peloponnesian War, 83 Pennsylvania State University, 157 Perdue, Daniel, 206–7, 211, 213, 214; Course in Buddhist Debate and Reasoning, 206, 208 Perelman, Chaim, 160, 163, 218 performance, 4, 5–6, 129–30; created by Baraka’s writing, 138; poetry and, 70, 74, 85, 135; punctuation and, 102, 108–13; reading and, 95; as repetition, 6; rhetorical, 71; writing as, 54. See also criticism; epideictic; history; Holiday, Harmony; Komnene, Anna; practice of rhetoric; punctuation performativity, 148; in civil rights period, 136; in classrooms, 152; poetry and, 69, 135; of writing, 54 Pericles, 33, 35, 83 Peri Hermēneias (Demetrius), 43–44 period, 43, 93, 97, 103, 104, 105, 113. See also punctuation Peripatetic school of rhetoric, 43 Pernot, Laurent, 130, 143; Epideictic Rhetoric, 138 personification, 62 perspective: radical changes in, 13 (see also world building); speaker’s, 12. See also persuasion perspective by congruity, 126 persuasion, 11, 65, 70, 130, 148 Pestalozzi, J. B., 65 pesticides, 22–24 pests. See animals, nonhuman; letters to nonhuman animals Phaedrus, 34 phantasia, 11–12 pharmakon, 54–56 Pheidippides, 42 Philip II of Macedon, 37 Philo, 228 Philomelion, 124 philosophical argumentation, 4, 6. See also practice of rhetoric

philosophy: poetry positioned against, 31; rhetoric’s division with, 203–4, 221; role of, in rhetoric, 6 Philosophy and Rhetoric (journal), 6 Philostratus of Lemnos, 63 photographs, 138, 140 Phylarchus, 18–19 plagiarism, 119 Planudes, Maximus, 229 Plato: Laws, 55–56; on letters, 62–63; logos psilos and, 30, 38; Menexenus, 32–33, 47; name of, 31; Phaedrus, 54–55, 56; Republic, 31; rhetoric and, 31; Sophist, 55; Symposium, 32, 34–36, 47; on trials of nonhuman animals, 65; use of dialogue form, 32; use of prose, 31; writing and, 31, 63 Pliny the Younger, 47 poesis, moment of, 50 poetic invention, 71–72 poetic lexis, 41–42 poetics, 4–5; aimed at social action, 134–35 (see also Baraka, Amiri [LeRoi Jones]); rhetoric and, 6 poetry: advantages of, 37; African American culture and, 78–79, 81; ambiguity in, 80–81, 86, 88; ancestor poem assignment, 149; Aristotelian approach to, 67; communicability of, 135; context and, 81–82, 88, 136; credibility of, 40; deductive reasoning in, 73; differentiating public speech from, 43; epideictic communicability and, 148; ethos and, 74–75; hermeneutic depth in, 81; irony in, 80; logos and, 72–74; meter and, 37, 93, 103, 147; musical accompaniment, 34; paradox and, 79; pathos in, 75–76; pauses in, 103; performance and, 70, 74, 85, 135; performative, 69, 135; persuasion and, 70; philosophy positioned against, 31; priority given to, 30; rhetoric and, 67–68, 69, 70, 71, 88–89; rhetorical invention and, 71–72; rhythm and, 37, 93; as situated symbolic action, 70–71; structure of, 77–78; style and, 78–79; teaching, 5, 69, 149–50. See also Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones); Holiday, Harmony; literary pedagogy; literature; verse


index poetry, rhetorical pedagogy for, 69, 70, 72; context and, 81–82; ethos and, 74–75; logos and, 72–74; pathos and, 75–76; poetic structure and, 77–78; poetic style and, 78–79; sample analyses, 82–88 poets: advantages of, 37; reputation of, 41; war commemoration and, 33 policy, 179 political polls, 176 Politics of Letters, 25 polls, political, 176 Polybius, 19–20, 21, 25, 124; Histories, 17– 19; Rise of the Roman Empire, 17 polysemy, 80–81 Pompey, 170 Porphyry, 180 practice, rhetoric as, 1, 2–3 practice of rhetoric, 3; citizenship as, 3; defined, 1; Isocrates’s vision of rhetoric and, 228; as posthuman, 3; return to, 3; theory and, 3, 227, 228; usefulness of, 3 praeteritio, 19 pragmatikon, 131 praise, 32–33, 36–37, 118, 130 premeditation, 166 Presbyterians, 184 presentism, 126 production, 4 progymnasmata, 51, 58–61, 66; ekphrastic persuasion in, 14; exercises in, 117–18, 126; fable and, 59; law and, 64–65; letter writing and, 62–64; reading in, 117, 119 proof, 6 proposal argument, 165 prosa, 29, 47. See also speech, naked/bare prose, 4; Aristotle and, 41–43; Cicero and, 45–47; Demetrius of Phalerum and, 43–44; of Demosthenes, 38–40; development of, 30, 40, 41–43, 45–47; Greek language and, 30; judicial, 38–40; logos pezos, 44; metrical feel in, 94–95; organization of, 93 (see also clauses; meter; period; punctuation); Plato’s use of, 31; rhythm in, 46 (see also rhythm); in Roman rhetoric texts, 44–48; roots of word, 29; song’s advantage over, 34. See also speech, naked/bare

prosopopeia, 62 Psellos, Michael, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 229 Pseudo-Longinus, 11 psilometria, 41 psychology, reverse, 15 public speech, 2, 3, 40–43 public sphere theory, 12 punctuation, 5, 98; adding, 96; in Byzantine manuscripts, 96–97; double dot, 102; full stop, 98, 99–100, 102, 107, 108; functions of, 102; of Iliad, 103–8; kōlon, 93, 97, 103, 113; komma, 97, 103, 104, 105, 111, 112, 113; lower dot, 98, 99–100, 102, 107; middle dot, 98, 99; middle stop, 98, 102, 108; performance and, 102, 108–13; in practice, 103–8; rhythm and, 94, 102; semicolon (interrogative sign), 102; slight stop, 98; in theory, 98–103; upper dot (full stop), 98, 107; virgula (comma), 102. See also grammar; scholia Pur-bu-jok Jam-ba-gya-tso, 207 Purdue University Online Writing Lab, 26 Puritans, 184, 193, 194 Quandahl, Ellen, 5, 6, 76 queer studies, 12 Quintilian, 11, 94, 158, 163, 166, 205, 218, 219; on eloquence, 209; on emotional appeal, 205–6; on ideal orator, 221; Institutio Oratoria, 29, 204; on Latro, 202– 3; stases and, 158; use of “prosa,” 47 race, 141, 150, 151 Ramage, John D., 27 Ramus, Petrus (Pierre de la Ramée), 184 rats, 49. See also animals, nonhuman; letters to nonhuman animals reading: in Byzantine rhetorical education, 95; expert, 95; in progymnasmata, 117, 119; teaching of, Greek language and, 96 reason, 6, 50; applying to loss, 19; non­ human animals and, 57; universal, 188 reasoning: deductive, 73; from received opinion, 190 reflection, intersectional, 5


index reimagining, radical, 14. See also ekphrasis; world building repetition, performance as, 6 research design, 171 respondent, 180, 181, 186, 197 reviews, 173–74; Black writers and, 144 reworlding, 5. See also performance Rhacendyta, Joseph, 101 rhetoric, 6; ability in, 204; approaches, 152; Aristotelian vision of, 227; Burke’s definition of, 89; education for (see education); institutional locations of, 2 (see also composition instruction; criticism; public speech; writing instruction); Isocratean vision of, 227–28; literature separated from, 88; magic and, 53; mission of, 2 (see also civic life: education for); philosophy and, 6, 32, 203–4; poetics and, 6; poetry and, 67–68, 69, 70, 71; as practice, 1; references to prior texts, 118–19; reputation of, 116; science and, 6; theoretical foundation of, 5; useful features of, 3; visual, 26. See also practice of rhetoric Rhetorica ad Herennium, 44–48, 157, 158 rhetorical transport, 52 Rhetoric of Argument, A, 157, 158–64, 165– 66, 171, 172, 176, 177. See also stasis/ stases rhythm, 37, 41, 46, 47, 93, 94–95, 102, 113, 147, 149. See also punctuation; scholia Rickert, Thomas, 50 Ristow, Ben, 152 Roberts, W. Rhys, 44 rodents, in fables, 60–61. See also animals, nonhuman; letters to nonhuman animals Roman Empire, 17, 20, 120 Romanos IV Diogenes, 121 Romans: Alexios’s enemies among, 121–22; Byzantines referred to as, 119–20 Romantic tradition, 23 Romilly, Jacqueline de, 52 Royal Society, 184, 187 Sanderson, Robert, 180, 181, 182, 183, 185, 186, 187, 188, 191

satyr, 35 schēma of rhetorical lexis, 42 scholasticism, 183, 184, 185, 187 scholia, 95–96, 97, 98, 103–8, 109–13, 117. See also grammar; punctuation Science, 160, 174, 177 science, rhetoric and, 6. See also Locke, John Scott, Robert, 4 Scott, Roger, 118 Scribonius Curio, 63 Sebring, Jay, 131 Secor, Marie, 6 self, forceful imposition of, 52 self-awareness, rhetorical, 118 self-destruction, paradox of, 196–97, 199 self-reflection, 5 Seneca the Elder, 47, 203 Seneca the Younger, 47 sensationalism, 18 senses, control of, 53–54 Sexton, Jared, 141 sexuality, Black, 144, 147, 148 Shakespeare, William, 58; As You Like It, 49; sonnet #73, 77–78, 81 Shute, Nevil, 25 Siceliota, John, 103 Silent Spring (Carson), 22–23 Simone, Nina, 144 Simonides, 42 slavery: in America, 150; in classical society, 20, 21 Sloane, Thomas O., 1, 68, 74 Smiglecius, Martin, 180 Smith, Dale Martin, 5–6 Smyrna, 21 social discord, 178, 193–94. See also toleration debates social power, 139 social unity, 193 society, classical, 21 Socrates: on letters, 62–63; in Menexenus, 32–33; in Phaedrus, 54–55; philosophical rhetoric and, 32; psilos logos of, 35; in Symposium, 34–36; writing and, 31, 56 “Soldier, The” (Brooke), 5, 82–84, 85 “soluta,” 29 Soto, Gary, “Saturday at the Canal,” 73–74


index speech, 50; in civil rights period, 136; lexis and, 41–42; meter and, 42; types of, 158. See also logos psilos; prose; speech, naked/bare speech, foot, 44 speech, free, 18 speech, loose, 29 speech, naked/bare, 30, 31, 33, 35, 42, 44, 46, 47. See also logos psilos; prose speech, public, 2, 3, 40–43 speech, straightforward, 29. See also prosa; prose; speech, naked/bare speeches, 130. See also epideictic spells, written, 53. See also letters to non­ human animals; magic stasis/stases: access to forums for stasis confrontation, 174–75; adaptation for circumstances, 159; alternative versions of, 158; application of, outside courtroom, 168–73; causal, 165–72; classical, 158, 165–66; courtroom practice and, 166; of definition, 158; evaluation, 165; of fact, 158; fact/definition combination, 159–64, 172; genres and, 173–74; interconnected nature of, 172–77; models, 171–72; proposal, 165; qualitative/ value, 158; reasons for identifying, 170; role of visuals in, 176–77; statistics and, 175–76; translative, 158. See also Rhetoric of Argument, A stasis theory, 157 statistics, 175–76 Ste. Croix, G. E. M. de, 16 Stephanus of Byzantium, 99–100 Stewart, Kathleen, 13, 16, 50 stichos, 97, 103, 113 still life, 13 Stirewalt, M. Luther, 62 stirring, 52 Stoics, 168–69. See also Cicero Stubbe, Henry, 182, 183–84, 191, 193–94, 199 students, writing. See composition instruction; writing instruction style: Baraka and, 141; Dionysius of Halicarnassus and, 5–6; Roman theory of, 44–48 syllogism, 184–85, 204, 221; Aristotelian,

180, 210; teaching, 208–9; Tibetan, 208, 209, 210–11 (see also Tibetan debate); validity of, 211 symbolic action, 71 Synkellos, Michael, 95 syzygy, 103 Tacitus, Dialogus de Oratoribus, 47 talker, vs. orator, 45 Tate, Sharon, 131 taxis, 77 technē, 228, 229 technical language, 40–43 Temporary Status Program, 128 Terrill, Robert, 126–27, 128 textbooks: argument, 157–58; composition, 25–28 theatra, 116 Themistocles, 119 Theodora (Byzantine empress), 122 Theon, Aelius, 62, 126; Progymnasmata, 117 Theophrastus, 44 theory, 1, 3, 227, 228 Thersites, 15–16, 24, 109, 110. See also Iliad (Homer) They Say/I Say (Graff and Birkenstein), 204–5 Thompson, Wayne, 157 thought, complete, 100–101, 105. See also punctuation Thrasymachus, 42 Thucydides, 18, 33, 83, 117, 119, 124 Tibetan debate, 201–25; adapting for writing process, 217–19; applicability to modern writing class, 207; basic techniques of, 209–15; challenger in, 211, 213–14, 215, 216, 219; collaborative spirit of, 219; “Collected Topics” manuals, 207, 208, 210, 211, 212, 215, 216, 222–24; counterpervasion in, 211; defenders in, 211–13, 214, 215, 216, 218; Entrance to the Path of Reasoning, 208, 210, 211, 215, 216, 222–24; examples, 222–25; goal of, 222; pervasion in, 211, 212; purpose of, 214; student feedback on, 219–21; traditional subject matter of, 206; training in, 215–17; writing instruction and, 206–25


index time, writing and, 66 timocrat, 21 tolerance, 196–97 toleration debates, 185–87, 189, 191, 192– 93, 199. See also Locke, John Tornikes, George, 115, 125 Toulmin, Stephen, 73 Toulmin method, 221 transmission, ethos-bearing burden of, 138–39 Trojan War, 37. See also Iliad (Homer) tropes, 45 trust, 39 truth, 38 uncertainty, in pedagogical contexts, 152 universities, Buddhist, 205. See also education: monastic; Tibetan debate use, idea of, 3 Valdes, Marcela, 127–28 Valiavitcharska, Vessela, 5, 48, 117, 200 Vane, Henry, the Younger, 194 verbal arts, vs. visual arts, 12 verification, 161–62 vermin. See animals, nonhuman; letters to nonhuman animals vernacular, Black, 147 verse, measure in, 46. See also poetry Victor, Julius, 63 violence, 133, 178 vision, rhetorical, 11–12 visual arts, vs. verbal arts, 12 visual evidence, 176–77 visual rhetoric, 26 Walker, Jeffrey, 1–2, 6, 48, 69, 88, 116, 120, 158, 202, 227; Bardic Ethos and the American Epic Poem, 70; on De Oratore, 229; emphasis on epideictic, 130; on epideiktikon, 131–32; The Genuine Teachers of this Art, 150–51; practical contributions to vision of rhetoric, 230; on Progymnasmata, 117; Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity, 30, 68, 130; on rhetoric and poetry, 89; on rhetoric’s teaching tradition, 128; on views of poetry in ancient Greek culture, 67, 68

war: commemoration of, 32–33; poems about, 82–85 Ward, John O., 52, 53 Warner, Michael, 4 Webb, Ruth, 11, 12 “Web of Science,” 160 Weeping for Dido (Woods), 16–17 white supremacy, 135, 142, 143 Wiese, Cleve, 6, 201 Wilbur, Richard, “A Summer Morning,” 80, 81 Williams, William Carlos, “Spring and All,” 73 Wineburg, Sam, Why Learn History, 126 women, 122–23 wonderment, sense of, 130 Woods, Marjorie Curry, 16–17 words, naked/bare. See speech, naked/bare world building, 4, 5, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 50, 122. See also ekphrasis; poetics World War I, 82–84 Worthen, Jim, 87 Wren, Matthew, 182, 194 writing, 52–56, 65; as charm object, 66; as consumable, 56–58; law and, 65; magical properties of, 57; materiality of, 50–51; objecthood of, 51, 53–54; as performance, 54; as performative, 54; as pharmakon, 54–56; spread of, 51; time and, 66; without poetic features, 38. See also logos psilos; prose writing instruction: composition textbooks, 25–28; creative writing instruction, 133, 149–50, 151, 152; within English discipline, 151–53; epideictic and, 133; performativity in, 152; rethinking, 152; teaching description in, 17, 24–28; teaching poetry, 149–50; Tibetan debate and, 206–25; workshop model of, 152. See also composition instruction; English programs; Rhetoric of Argument, A; stasis/stases Yeats, William Butler, 67 Zabarella, Jacobo, 180 Zabriskie Point (film), 131 Zalamea, Fernando, 129