Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric

LCL 193: 346-347

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1. Ἐπειδὴ τρία ἐστὶν ἃ δεῖ πραγματευθῆναι περὶ τὸν λόγον, ἓν μὲν ἐκ τίνων αἱ πίστεις ἔσονται, δεύτερον δὲ περὶ τὴν λέξιν, τρίτον δὲ πῶς χρὴ τάξαι τὰ μέρη τοῦ λόγου, περὶ μὲν τῶν πίστεων εἴρηται, καὶ ἐκ πόσων, ὅτι ἐκ τριῶν εἰσί, καὶ ταῦτα ποῖα, καὶ διὰ τί τοσαῦτα μόνα· ἢ γὰρ τῷ αὐτοί τι πεπονθέναι οἱ κρίνοντες, ἢ τῷ ποιούς τινας ὑπολαμβάνειν τοὺς λέγοντας, ἢ τῷ ἀποδεδεῖχθαι πείθονται πάντες. εἴρηται δὲ καὶ τὰ ἐνθυμήματα, πόθεν δεῖ πορίζεσθαι· ἔστι γὰρ τὰ μὲν εἴδη τῶν ἐνθυμημάτων, τὰ δὲ τόποι.

2Περὶ δὲ τῆς λέξεως ἐχόμενόν ἐστιν εἰπεῖν· οὐ γὰρ ἀπόχρη τὸ ἔχειν ἃ δεῖ λέγειν, ἀλλ᾿ ἀνάγκη καὶ ταῦτα ὡς δεῖ εἰπεῖν, καὶ συμβάλλεται πολλὰ πρὸς τὸ φανῆναι ποιόν τινα τὸν λόγον. 3τὸ μὲν οὖν πρῶτον ἐζητήθη κατὰ φύσιν, ὅπερ πέφυκε πρῶτον, αὐτὰ τὰ πράγματα ἐκ τίνων ἔχει τὸ πιθανόν· δεύτερον δὲ τὸ ταῦτα τῇ λέξει διαθέσθαι· τρίτον δὲ τούτων, ὃ δύναμιν μὲν ἔχει μεγίστην, οὔπω δ᾿ ἐπικεχείρηται, τὰ περὶ τὴν ὑπόκρισιν,




1. There are three areas requiring special attention as regards speech-making: first, the means of persuasion; second, style; and third, the arrangement of the parts of the speech. We have already spoken of the means of persuasion and stated that they number three, what their nature is, and why there are only three; for in all cases persuasion is the result either of the judges themselves being affected in a certain manner, or because they consider the speakers to be of a certain character, or because something has been proved. We have also stated the sources from which enthymemes should be derived, some of them being special, the others general topics.

We have therefore next to speak of style; for it is not sufficient to know what one ought to say, but one must also know how one ought to say it, and this largely contributes to making the speech appear of a certain character. In the first place, following the natural order, we investigated what comes naturally first: what gives the facts themselves their persuasiveness; in the second place, their arrangement by style; and in the third place, delivery,1 which is of the greatest influence, but has not yet been treated by any

  • 1The Greek word ὑπόκρισις, translated as “delivery” in the context of rhetoric, usually means “acting” (on stage) and was no doubt transferred to the performances of orators from those of actors.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-art_rhetoric.2020