Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period : 330 B.C.-A.D. 400

By Stanley E. Porter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
INVENTION

Malcolm Heath

University of Leeds, England

“Invention”

means “discovery”. In rhetoric it designates the discovery of the resources for discursive persuasion latent in any given rhetorical problem. This process of discovery was extensively theorized by ancient rhetoricians. But rhetoric is in essence a practical discipline, and its precepts are tools to be applied in practice. The rhetor's students would not be judged by their ability to articulate a body of theory, but by their ability to compose and deliver speeches and declamations which satisfied the expectations of contemporary audiences. Theory did not exist for its own sake, but as a framework to give guidance in the acquisition and exercise of a particular set of skills. This chapter will therefore emphasize application; following the precedent of ancient handbooks it will use a hypothetical worked example to illustrate the processes and principles of invention in practice.

To identify a suitable theme for our illustration, we may turn to an incident crucial in ancient rhetoricians' perception of the history of their craft. In II. 3:203—24 the Trojan elder Antenor recalls the embassy of Menelaus and Odysseus before the onset of hostilities, when the Greeks offered peace if the Trojans would return Helen; he contrasts the two envoys' rhetorical styles.1 In the fourth century AD, Libanius composed declamations representing the speeches of Menelaus and Odysseus; an anonymous declamation of uncertain (but later) date replies to Menelaus in the person of Paris; and (striking evidence of the long life of the classical rhetorical tradition) the beginning of the fifteenth century yields a fragment of a reply to Odysseus

1 On ancient perceptions of Homeric rhetoric, see L. Radermacher, Artium Scriptores
(SB Vienna, 227.3; 1951), pp. 3–10; G. A. Kennedy, “The Ancient Dispute over
Rhetoric in Homer”, AJP 78 (1957), pp. 23–35; M. Heath, “Ixrioiq-theory in Homeric
Commentary”, Mnemosyne 46 (1993), pp. 356–63.

-89-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period : 330 B.C.-A.D. 400
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 902

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.