Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
From the debates of the Christian councils to the homilies of the local priests, from the opaque scripting of the Byzantine epistle to the clarities of stasis theory, from the entertaining fictions of declamation to the promulgation of Byzantine cannon law, the citizens of Byzantium were never far from the rhetorical, and they themselves knew it. But the development of rhetorical theory in the Greek West has gained little attention, and what has been given to it has generally concentrated on questions of style. This dissertation examines some of the most basic qualities of that theory of rhetorical invention which Byzantium inherited and made its own, and which served as the foundation of its theoretical approach for a thousand years. The present study attempts to provide a basic in-road to Byzantine rhetoric by comparing and contrasting the technical vocabulary of rhetorical invention (such as epicheireme [ 3 ,pi c3i&d12;r hma ], enthymeme [ 3 ,nj u&d12;mhm a ], development [ 3 ,rg asi&d12;a ], artistic proof [ , 3&d12; nt3cnov pi&d12;st iv ], inartistic proof [ , a&d12; t3cnovp i&d12;sti v ], etc.) as it is employed, first, in the treatise of Anonymous Seguerianus and then in the inventional corpus of Hermogenes of Tarsus (whose works became the standard textbooks of Byzantine rhetoric). By examining alterations in the vocabulary of rhetorical invention surrounding Hermogenes' reconstitution of the subject, one accomplishes two important tasks. First, such an examination lays out in a detailed and specific manner some of the changes in rhetorical theory which are represented in the Hermogenic inventional (as opposed to the stylistic) works, thus contributing to a more complete view on the history and development of rhetoric. Second, such an examination, once completed, provides the rhetorical theorist with an absolutely essential foundation upon which to build an understanding of rhetoric in Byzantium. This understanding of the Byzantine alterations in technical vocabulary provides a tool with which the rhetorician may investigate and interrogate Byzantine texts with respect to their critical outlook, their development, and their deviation from the Hermogenic norm.
Williams, Mark Allen, "Some Technical Vocabulary of Rhetorical Invention in the Treatise of Anonymous Seguerianus, Hermogenes' "On Statis", and Book Three of the [Pseudo-]Hermogenic Work "On Invention"" (2001). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 388.