Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric

LCL 193: 478-479

Go To Section
Go To Section


  • from one full stop to another; περίοδος τῆς γῆς (1.4.13), a traveler’s description of the countries visited by him.
  • περιπέτεια: (1.11.24) sudden change or reversal of fortune. In tragedy, the word implies the reversal of a situation within the limits of a single scene or act.
  • πίστις: (1.1.11 and elsewhere) “means of persuasion”; (1.14.5) pledge of good faith, distinguished from ὅρκος and δεξιά.
  • πρόθεσις: (3.13.2) “setting forth,” “statement of the case,” like a problem (πρόβλημα) in geometry.
  • προοίμιον: (1.1.9; 3.14.1) “preamble,” “introduction,” compared to the πρόλογος in tragedy and comedy, “all that part of the play which comes before the first song of the chorus” (Poetics 12.4).
  • πρότασις: (1.3.7) “proposition,” “premise” of a syllogism; (2.1.1) combined with δόξα, “notion,” “opinion” as useful for producing persuasion.
  • πτῶσις: (1.7.27) used by Aristotle as a general term for the inflections, not only of a noun, but also of a verb, generally marked by a difference of form; thus, the adjective χαλκοῦς from χαλκός (3.9.9) and the adverb ἀνδρείως from ἀνδρία (1.7.27) are instances of “inflections” (Bywater on Poetics 20.10).
  • ῥῆμα: (1) generally, that which is spoken; (2) grammatically, a verb as opposed to a noun (ὄνομα). The term also appears to be applied to an adjective when used as a predicate.
  • ῥητορική. See διαλεκτική.
  • ῥυθμός: (3.1.4, 3.8.2) “time”; in general, any regular, harmonious movement, in sound or motion, which can be measured by number; thus, it may be applied to the tramp of a body of soldiers, the flapping of birds’ wings, dance, music, and writing, in the last expressed in long and short syllables. “Rhythm consists of certain lengths of time, while meter is determined by the order in which these lengths are placed. Consequently, the one seems to be concerned with quantity, the other with quality [the syllables must be in a certain order] . . . rhythm has unlimited space over which it may range, whereas the spaces of meter are confined; . . . further, meter is concerned with words alone, while rhythm extends also to the motion of the body” (Quint. Inst. 9.4.45).


  • σαφὴς λέξις: (3.2.1) “clear,” “perspicuous,” defined (3.12.6) as the mean between ἀδολεσχία (garrulity, prolixity) and συντομία (excessive conciseness).
  • σεμνὴ λέξις: (3.2.2) “noble,” “majestic,” “dignified.”
  • σημεῖον: (1.2.16) “sign,” “indication”; a proposition stating a fact that points to a related other fact, so that the existence of the second fact may be inferred from the first, as in “he has a fever, therefore, he is ill.” When the connection is necessary (i.e., holds universally, as with fever and illness), the sign is also called τεκμήριον. Thus, “sign” is both a general and a special term. As a general term, it embraces the τεκμήρια; as a special term, the two kinds of signs, which are capable of refutation.
  • σόλοικος: (2.16.2) “one who offends against good taste or manners”; also one who speaks incorrectly (σολοικίζειν, 3.5.7).
  • στενός: (3.12.2) of style, “thin,” “meager,” “jejune.”
  • στοιχεῖον: (2.22.13, 2.26.1) “element” of an enthymeme, identified by Aristotle with τόπος.
  • στρογγύλος: (2.21.7) “rounded”; of style, “terse,” “compact.”
  • συκοφαντία: (2.24.10) “false accusation,” here used like “sophism,” a specious but fallacious argument.
  • σύμβολον: (3.15.9, 3.16.10) “sign,” “token”; not to be confused with συμβολή (1.4.11), “contract.” σύμβολον itself elsewhere = mutual covenant.
  • συνάγειν: (1.2.13; 2.22.3, 2.22.15) “to conclude,” “draw an inference”; (3.11.12) “draw together,” “contract.”
  • σύνδεσμος: (3.5.2) “connecting particle”: it includes the preposition, the copulative conjunctions, and certain particles.
  • συνεστραμμένως: (2.24.2) “twisted up,” “concise” (cf. συστρέφειν, 3.18.4).
  • σύστοιχα: (1.7.27) “conjugates,” “coordinates”: λέγεται δὲ σύστοιχα μὲν τὰ τοιάδε οἷον τὰ δίκαια καὶ ὁ δίκαιος τῃ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ τὰ ἀνδρεῖα καὶ ὁ ἀνδρεῖος τῇ ἀνδρίᾳ (Topics 2.9.1).
  • σχετλιασμός: (2.21.10) “passionate complaint” of injustice or ill-fortune: one of the parts of the peroration, in which we endeavor to secure the commiseration of the hearer, the first thing necessary being to put him into a sympathetic and pitying frame of mind (Forcellini, s.v. conquestio).