WEMSK5: Rhetoric

Also See Outlines of Literary Rhetoric

[If you are interested in where rhetoric fitted in in the MA, and that sort of stuff, you still ought to read: Louis John Paetow, The Arts Course at Medieval Universities with Special Reference to Grammar and Rhetoric (Urbana-Champaign: UofIllinois Press, 1910)]

1. For bibliography: James J. Murphy, Medieval Rhetoric: A Select Bibliography, 2d ed. (Toronto: UTorontoP, 1989).  You can bring this up to date through the MLA bibliography and L'annee philologique.

2. There are a number of gatherings of medieval rhetorics:

            a. Karl Halm, ed., Rhetores latini minores (Leipzig: Teubner, 1863). Also repr., e.g. Dubuque, IA: W. C. Brown, 1964. Collects most of the
                 well-known  rhetoricians.

            b. Edmond Faral, ed. Les arts poetiques du XIIe et du XIIIe siecle. Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes. Sciences historiques et philologiques
                238 (Paris: Champion, 1924).
Contains the following:
            1. ptie. Les divers arts poetiques.
                       Leurs auteurs, leur histoire:
                                Matthieu de Vendome.
                                Geoffroi de Vinsauf.
                                Gervais de Melkley.
                                Evrard l'Allemand.
                                Jean de Garlande.
                               Opuscules divers.
                               Compositions relatives aux figures de rhetorique

             2. ptie. La doctrine:
                               De la disposition.
                               De l'amplification et de l'abbreviation.
                               L'ornement du style. Les sources de la doctrine.

             3. ptie. Les textes:
                               Ekkehard IV, De lege dictamen ornandi.
                               Matthieu de Vendome, Ars versificatoria.
                               Geoffroi de Vinsauf,
                                                             Poetria nova.
                                                             Documentum de modo et arte dictandi et versificandi.
                                                             De coloribus rhetoricis.
                               Gervais de Melkley, Ars versificaria (analyse).
                              Pyrame et Thisbe
                              Evrard l'Allemand, Laborintus.
                               Jean de Garlande, Poetria (analyse).

               c. Ludwig, Ritter von Roeckinger, Briefsteller und Formelbuecher des eilften bis vierzehnten Jahrhunderts, 2 vol. (Repr. NY: Burt Franklin, 1961;
                   original 1863).
Contains the following:
                       Alberich von Monte-Cassino
                       Hugo von Bologna
                      Ars dictandi aus Orleans
                       Buoncompagno von Florenz
                       Guido Faba
                       Saechsisches Formelwerk
                       Ludolf von Hildesheim
                       Konrad von Mure
                       Iohannes Anglicus
                       Dominicus Dominici aus Viseu
                       Iohann von Bologna
                       Formelbuch aus Baumgartenberg
                       Bernold von Kaisersheim
                       Formeln für Rechtsgeschäfte
                       Johannes Bondi von Aquileja
                       Meister Simon
                       Ordo judiciarius
                       Verzeichniss der Formelanfänge.

3. Many of these are available in translation; see WEMSK on translations:

             a.  Joseph M. Miller, Michael H. Prosser and Thomas W. Benson, Eds., Readings in Medieval Rhetoric. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
                 1973). Contains 36 texts, mostly in excerpts.

             b. James J. Murphy, ed. Three Medieval Rhetorical Arts (Berkely: UCalPress, 1971).
               Contains the following:
                       Anonymous of Bologna
                       Geoffrey of Vinsauf, The New Poetics
                       Robert of Basevorn

4. Discussions/histories of medieval rhetoric abound:

              a. Richard McKeon, "Rhetoric in the Middle Ages," Speculum 17 (1942), 1-32.  A golden oldie and a quick read. Reprinted a number of times.

              b. Charles Sears Baldwin, Medieval Rhetoric and Poetics (to 1400) (NY: Macmillan, 1928).  Another golden oldie; worth reading.

              c. James J. Murphy, Rhetoric in the Middle Ages (Berkeley: UCalP, 1974)  Contains a very useful appendix: "Gigures of Diction and Thought from
                 Rhetorica ad Herennium, Book IV."

             d.   A must: James J. Murphy, ed., Medieval Eloquence (Berkeley: UCalP, 1978). A collection of writings on "Rhetoric in Germany", "Rhetoric in
                                  England," and the like.

             e. Hennig Brinkmann, Mittelalterliche Hermeneutik (Tuebingen: Niemeyer, 1980).  Actually on interpretation (see later in WEMSK), but good for literary

5. For learning rhetoric, I recommend:
Heinrich Lausberg, Elemente der literarischen Rhetorik, 4th ed (Munich: Hueber, 1971).  I prefer the first edition (1949), if you can get it; I cannot understand why he changed the format.

6. For looking up terms:

             a. Leonid Arbusow, Colores rhetorici, 2d ed. by Helmut Peter (Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963). Worth looking at for the list of topoi,
                  with their usual names: puer senex, ubi sunt, coaevorum virtus, etc.

              b. Joseph T. Shipley, Ed., Dictionary of World Literature; Criticism, Forms, Technique,  rev. ed. (Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams, 1968).  A very
                  handy edition of the 1943 book by Philosophical Library. Contains articles, mostly signed, by over 250 scholars.  Certainly trustworthy.  Still available in
                  used bookstores. This is my first port of call.

              c. The absolute best, but packed full and hard to use:
                             Heinrich Lausberg, Handbuch der literarischen Rhetorik, 2 vols. (Munich: Hueber, 1960)
                  It covers Greek and Latin origins, with a Greek and Latin index; being done by Lausberg, it leans a little towards the Romance, but who thinks that is
                  bad.  Available (1998) also in an English translation; long available in a Spanish translation.  Not very good to look up a term, unless you want to know
                  all  about it.

             d. Another of my favorites is: Sister Miriam Joseph, Rhetoric in Shakespeare's Time (NY: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1962).  Avoid the paperback
                  version; it does not contain the discussion of terms.

              e. Don't forget the internet (from the archives):
                                     A Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples
                                     Literary Resources on the Net

[Choose "General" then (at the very end of the list) the link to "Resources for Writers and Writing Instructors" for links to a variety of online literary handbooks, glossaries, etc.]

7. The text most used for rhetoric in the Middle Ages was
                              Pseudo- Cicero's Rhetorica ad Herennium.
This is available with an English translation by Harry Caplan in Loeb Classics, no. 403.  It is also available in a recent French edition:
                               Rhetorique a Herennius, texte etabli et traduit par Guy Achard. Collection des Universites de France (Paris:  Les Belles Lettres, 1989).
It contains a new edition, a French translation, introduction and notes. It also contains a bibliography.  I prefer Caplan, perhaps because he was a dear friend, but he knew his medieval rhetoric.  We will meet him again when we talk about letter writing.  If you cannot find an English translation of some obscure rhetoric, contact the Cornell University Library.  Harry had his students translate for theses and dissertations such people as Fortunatianus and Bede.  BTW, Loeb also has other works on rhetoric, e.g. Aristotle and Cicero; they have an online bibliography.

8. Rhetorical terms and the like were also treated in Donatus' Barbarismus, the 2nd part of his Grammar.  I have an edition and translation of this on the net somewhere.  Go to Labyrinth.  There are also vernacular treatments of this, e.g. Olafr Hvitaskald's Old Norse Ma/lskrudhsfraedhi `rhetoric' (I kid you not), ed. and
translated by Lucy G. Collings as a Cornell University MA Thesis (this one not directed by Harry Caplan).