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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with rhetoric as defined by Augustine’s teacher, Victorinus, in his commentary on Cicero’s De inventione (a foundational work for medieval rhetoric), as the “handing on” of the precepts of the Greco-Roman art of rhetoric, from earliest medieval times to the fifteenth century, when the celebrated Renaissance humanist Guarino da Verona spent a large part of his life teaching the pseudo-Ciceronian Rhetorica ad Herennium. In addition to well-known sources, the chapter also introduces an important unknown source, a full-scale textbook on rhetoric found in a fourteenth-century manuscript from Bruges. The medieval teachers of rhetoric kept alive and explored the vast repertoire of the past as an invaluable repository of tips and advice for improving oral and written communication in their own day. They kept the ancient texts open, speaking continually to new generations of contemporaries.

Keywords: rhetoric, medieval, communication, Victorinus, Ad Herennium, Cicero, textbooks, humanist, Renaissance

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