Hermogenes of Tarsus (Greek : Ἑρμογένης ὁ Ταρσεύς) was a Greek rhetorician, surnamed The Polisher (Ξυστήρ). He flourished in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (AD 161–180).
His precocious ability secured him a public appointment as teacher of his art while he was only a boy, attracting the note of the emperor himself; but at the age of twenty-five his faculties gave way, and he spent the remainder of his long life in a state of intellectual impotence.According to legend, he probably fell victim to a disease which resulted in meningitis, such as measles or yersinia. Philostratus of Lemnos notes he continued in this pitiable state until dying at an advanced age. Allegedly, Antiochus used to taunt him: "Lo, here is one who was an old man among boys and now among the old is but a boy." The Suda records a rumor that after his death his heart was found to be enormous and covered in hair.
During his early years, however, he had composed a series of rhetorical treatises, which became popular textbooks, and the subject of subsequent commentaries. We still possess some sections:
In On Types of Style,[ full citation needed ] Hermogenes identifies seven, rather than the traditional three—high, medium and low—elements of style. First is clarity, because of its importance. Clarity is subdivided into purity, which is sentence-level clarity, and distinctness, which is about overall organization. The next category, grandeur is subdivided into six parts, but generally clumped into four sections: solemnity and brilliance are the first section and are very similar. Solemnity is using short, abstract statements about elevated topics; brilliance takes those abstracts down to specifics, and is longer. The third part of grandeur is amplification. The last section of grandeur comprises three parts: asperity, vehemence and florescence. Asperity for sharp criticism, vehemence for disdain and florescence to ameliorate strong feelings. The category of beauty is not subdivided. The next type of style is rapidity—quick short sentence, rapid replied, sudden turns of thought in antithesis. The fifth style is ethos which is subdivided into simplicity, sweetness, subtlety and modesty. The last style, gravity, is the correct balance of all six of these types of style.
In the Renaissance the famous publisher, book- and type designer Aldus Manutius introduced the Hermogenean rhetorical corpus to the Western European reader. The works of Hermogenes appeared in the Aldine series. The 19th century Hugo Rabe edition of the Opera Hermogenis, with Latin introduction, is based upon various editions, a.o. the Aldine edition.
Michel Patillon has translated the entire Hermogenic corpus into French, with copious annotations. Περὶ στάσεων) into English, and Cecil W. Wooten has translated On Types of Style into English. A Dutch translation of On Types of Style appeared in late 2006.Malcolm Heath has translated On Issues (
Mikael Johansson has tried to apply the unique rhetorical schemes of Hermogenes on some of the declamations of Libanius.
Annabel Patterson wrote a book about Hermogenean style, rhetorical categories, and its influence on Renaissance writers, such as William Shakespeare. Hugh Blair also mentions Hermogenes in his work on rhetoric.
There seems to have been yet another Hermogenes of Tarsus, remembered for being put to death by Emperor Domitian because of some allusions in his History.
Anaximenes of Lampsacus was a Greek rhetorician and historian. He was one of the teachers of Alexander the Great and accompanied him on his campaigns.
Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic, is one of the three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the capacities of writers or speakers needed to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. Aristotle defines rhetoric as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion" and since mastery of the art was necessary for victory in a case at law; or for passage of proposals in the assembly; or for fame as a speaker in civic ceremonies; he calls it "a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics". Rhetoric typically provides heuristics for understanding, discovering, and developing arguments for particular situations, such as Aristotle's three persuasive audience appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. The five canons of rhetoric or phases of developing a persuasive speech were first codified in classical Rome: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.
Libanius was a Greek teacher of rhetoric of the Sophist school. During the rise of Christian hegemony in the later Roman Empire, he remained unconverted and in religious matters was a pagan Hellene.
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman educator and rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing. In English translation, he is usually referred to as Quintilian, although the alternate spellings of Quintillian and Quinctilian are occasionally seen, the latter in older texts.
Gorgias was an ancient Greek sophist, pre-Socratic philosopher, and rhetorician who was a native of Leontinoi in Sicily. Along with Protagoras, he forms the first generation of Sophists. Several doxographers report that he was a pupil of Empedocles, although he would only have been a few years younger. "Like other Sophists, he was an itinerant that practiced in various cities and giving public exhibitions of his skill at the great pan-Hellenic centers of Olympia and Delphi, and charged fees for his instruction and performances. A special feature of his displays was to ask miscellaneous questions from the audience and give impromptu replies." He has been called "Gorgias the Nihilist" although the degree to which this epithet adequately describes his philosophy is controversial.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Augustus Caesar. His literary style was Atticistic—imitating Classical Attic Greek in its prime.
Eunapius was a Greek sophist and historian of the 4th century CE. His principal surviving work is the Lives of Philosophers and Sophists, a collection of the biographies of 23 philosophers and sophists.
Isocrates, an ancient Greek rhetorician, was one of the ten Attic orators. Among the most influential Greek rhetoricians of his time, Isocrates made many contributions to rhetoric and education through his teaching and written works.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Elder, also known as Seneca the Rhetorician, was a Roman writer, born of a wealthy equestrian family of Corduba, Hispania. He wrote a collection of reminiscences about the Roman schools of rhetoric, six books of which are extant in a more or less complete state and five others in epitome only. His principal work, a history of Roman affairs from the beginning of the Civil Wars until the last years of his life, is almost entirely lost to posterity. Seneca lived through the reigns of three significant emperors; Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula. He was the father of Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, best known as a Proconsul of Achaia; his second son was the dramatist and Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger (Lucius), who was tutor of Nero, and his third son, Marcus Annaeus Mela, became the father of the poet Lucan.
Apsines of Gadara was a Greek rhetorician. He was a native of the Hellenised city of Gadara, whose ruins stand today at the border of Jordan with Syria and Israel. Apsines went on to study at Smyrna and taught at Athens, gaining such a reputation that he was raised to the consulship by the emperor Maximinus. He was a rival of Fronto of Emesa, and a friend of Philostratus, the author of the Lives of the Sophists, who praises his wonderful memory and accuracy.
Menander Rhetor, also known as Menander of Laodicea, was a Greek rhetorician and commentator of the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Elocutio is the term for the mastery of stylistic elements in Western classical rhetoric and comes from the Latin loqui, "to speak". Although the word elocution is now associated more with eloquent speaking, it connoted "style" for the classical rhetorician.
Himerius was a Greek sophist and rhetorician. 24 of his orations have reached us complete, and fragments of 12 others survive.
Aristotle's Rhetoric is an ancient Greek treatise on the art of persuasion, dating from the 4th century BCE. The English title varies: typically it is titled Rhetoric, the Art of Rhetoric, On Rhetoric, or a Treatise on Rhetoric.
Progymnasmata are a series of preliminary rhetorical exercises that began in ancient Greece and continued during the Roman Empire. These exercises were implemented by students of rhetoric, who began their schooling between ages twelve and fifteen. The purpose of these exercises was to prepare students for writing declamations after they had completed their education with the grammarians. There are only four surviving handbooks of progymnasmata, attributed to Aelius Theon, Hermogenes of Tarsus, Aphthonius of Antioch, and Nicolaus the Sophist.
Polyaenus or Polyenus was a 2nd-century CE Macedonian author, known best for his Stratagems in War, which has been preserved. The Suda calls him a rhetorician, and Polyaenus himself writes that he was accustomed to plead causes before the Roman emperor. Polyaenus dedicated Stratagems in War to the two emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, while they were engaged in the Roman–Parthian War of 161–166, about 163, at which time he was too old to accompany them in their campaigns.
The Education of a Christian Prince is a Renaissance "how-to" book for princes, by Desiderius Erasmus, which advises the reader on how to be a good Christian prince. The book was dedicated to Prince Charles, who later became Habsburg Emperor Charles V. Erasmus wrote the book in 1516, the same year that Thomas More finished his Utopia and three years after Machiavelli had written his advice book for rulers Il Principe. The Principe, however, was not published until 1532, 16 years later.
Aphthonius of Antioch was a Greek sophist and rhetorician.
Rhetoric of science is a body of scholarly literature exploring the notion that the practice of science is a rhetorical activity. It emerged following a number of similarly-oriented disciplines during the late 20th century, including the disciplines of sociology of scientific knowledge, history of science, and philosophy of science, but it is practiced most fully by rhetoricians in departments of English, speech, and communication.
A controversia is an exercise in rhetoric; a form of declamation in which the student speaks for one side in a notional legal case such as treason or poisoning. The facts of the matter and relevant law are presented in a persuasive manner, in the style of a legal counsel.