aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

[Cicero], Rhetoric for Herennius 4.39

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The anonymous author is explaining how to employ different rhetorical techniques. He gives five examples of commutatio, of which I include just the first: it’s a sentiment which was much quoted in antiquity.

commutatio est cum duae sententiae inter se discrepantes ex traiectione ita efferuntur ut a priore posterior contraria priori profiscatur, hoc modo: ‘esse oportet ut vivas, non vivere ut edas.’

A ‘reciprocal change’ is when two sentiments which disagree with each other are expressed by a transposition, in such a way that the latter follows from the former even though it is contradictory to it, like this: ‘You should eat to live, not live to eat.’

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 5, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in anonymi, Cicero

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