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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers in detail the aspects of rhetoric taught in Elizabethan grammar schools. Pupils were shown the use of rhetorical ideas in practice when teachers pointed out rhetorical features in set texts from Latin literature. While the texts studied in grammar school— Erasmus’ De conscribendis epistolis and De copia, Aphthonius’ Progymnasmata—did not provide a comprehensive account of the whole of rhetorical theory, they gave a great deal of practical help on issues of style, amplification and decorum, on ways of approaching an audience, and on components of larger texts such as narratives, descriptions, comparisons, maxims and examples. They provided some help with argument and a flexible approach to disposition.

Keywords: Erasmus, Aphthonius, rhetoric, style, amplification, decorum, education, grammar school, argument, reading, De copia

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