The paper pursues an investigation on an apocryphal text still underinvestigated by scholars: the Urbano, falsely attributed to Boccaccio. The first part focuses on its fortune in the Boccaccio’s canon, from the first edition of the Vocabolario della Crusca to the Boccaccio’s complete works edited in the Ottocento; furthermore, are pointed out its connections with the Libellus de Constantino Magno eiusque matre Helena, the main source of the plot, and with other genealogical medieval tales, such as the Libro imperiale and the Manfredo. The second part focuses on the manuscript tradition of the text, in order to demonstrate as its circulation in Quattrocento’s miscellaneous manuscripts of rhetorical texts in the vernacular, containing several texts by Boccaccio, has probably influenced the spurious attribution.
The communication of scientific knowledge is traditionally oriented towards objective truth and facts, and builds on the authority of science. This article argues that, besides or even opposite to these aims, creating authenticity has become a major factor of successful science communication. Conveying a “personal touch,” or giving the audience a feeling of “being real,” are crucial promoters of credibility. Significant methods of gaining trust and sympathy on the level of textual as well as visual presentation are disclosed by exploring a bestselling popular scientific book, and with references to ancient rhetorical texts.
Subject to neglect and at times harsh criticism, the eighteenth-century British elocutionary movement merits reconsideration as a complex rhetorical episode within the history of rhetoric. Confirming the value of the rhetorical analysis of rhetorical texts, this essay examines the forms and functions of persuasion which two key treatises from the elocutionary movement enacted within their own socio-historical context. A rhetorical reading of Thomas Sheridan's A Course of Lectures on Elocution (1762) and John Walker's Elements of Elocution (1781) - informedby theories of ethos, logos, and pathos - illustrates the nuances of the different cases made for the scholarly and educational credibility of elocution as a new field of study within the context of late eighteenth-century British culture: Walker's text, while profiting from Sheridan's earlier promotional campaign for the value of elocutionary study, attempts to redress the excesses of his forerunner's “florid harangue[s]” and to fill in the gaps of his incomplete instructional method.
Given that medieval allegory constantly uses personification debate as a tool for analysing its characteristic polarizations and oppositions, the Excursus investigates what we call ‘personification’, and its relation to speech, debate literature, and allegory. It argues that personification is a fundamentally hybrid figure. It claims that the speakerly aspect of the trope, which Classical and medieval theorists often also called prosopopoeia (the ‘speaking figure’, a figure of rhetorical enlivenment), has been occluded by the post-medieval term ‘personification’, along with a post-medieval tendency to define the trope of this name almost exclusively in terms of the animation of abstractions or inanimate phenomena. The Excursus illustrates this claim with an analysis of Classical and medieval rhetorical texts, showing that even when personification is defined in substitutive terms, as the animation of some usually non-animate phenomenon, it is still strongly associated with speech and even dialogue. The Excursus then goes on to explore the widespread use of dialogue in Antiquity and the Middle Ages for many kinds of pedagogy, especially where accessibility was a desirable; it also notes the recurrence of the speaking personification/prosopopoeia in such contexts, with its further endowment of rhetorical energy and persuasiveness. The claim is that these contexts go a long way towards explaining the deeply embedded connection between personification, speech, debate and the work that these figures and structures do in medieval allegory.
Many modern scholars have studied in detail the phenomenon of vividness (gr. ἐνάργεıα; lat. evidentia) in ancient rhetorical texts; however, they have neglected to examine two important testimonies included in an Ars rhetorica ascribed to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, but in fact to be ascribed to an anonymous rhetorician who probably lived in the third century AD.
In these two passages the anonymous rhetorician faces some issues concerning the stylistic evidence that have not been previously studied. He analyzes the relationship between the vividness of the text and the use of everyday language, aimed to enhance realistic effects of discourse. This paper aims to present a detailed analysis of the comments offered by the anonymous rhetorician, that will help to define some peculiar aspects of stylistic vividness of the language in discourse.
One segment of the American debate over internal improvements occurred between 1808 and 1817 and was marked by three rhetorical texts in which arguments moved from technical considerations to more transcendent appeals. These texts illustrate the interplay of geography and rhetoric and highlight the early use of god-terms like “fact,” “progress,” and “communication.”