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WALKER, Jeffrey

Winter 2001, pages 5-40

Michael Psellos on Rhetoric: A Translation and Commentary on Psellos' Synopis of Hermogenes

Abstract: Michael Psellos' heretofore untranslated synopsis of Hermogenean rhetoric, Peri Rhetorikes, composed probably between 1060 and 1067, gives us a window into the state of rhetorical education in late Byzantium. The details of its inclusions, elisions, and amplifications suggest the ways in which Hermogenean rhetoric was understood and taught, at least by one uncommonly talented and influential rhetorician. The text suggests that Psellos may have found the pseudo-Hermogenic On Invention--rather than On Stases or On Types of Style--most useful, most amenable to his efforts to revive an "Aristotelian" rhetorical philosophy, and most relevant to actual rhetorical practices (including his own).
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