Aristotle’s “Art of Rhetoric”
Translated and annotated by Robert C. Bartlett
For more than two thousand years, Aristotle’s “Art of Rhetoric” has shaped thought on the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech. In three sections, Aristotle discusses what rhetoric is, as well as the three kinds of rhetoric (deliberative, judicial, and epideictic), the three rhetorical modes of persuasion, and the diction, style, and necessary parts of a successful speech. Throughout, Aristotle defends rhetoric as an art and a crucial tool for deliberative politics while also recognizing its capacity to be misused by unscrupulous politicians to mislead or illegitimately persuade others.
Robert C. Bartlett offers a literal, yet easily readable, new translation of Aristotle’s “Art of Rhetoric,” one that takes into account important alternatives in the manuscript and is fully annotated to explain historical, literary, and other allusions. Bartlett’s translation is also accompanied by an outline of the argument of each book; copious indexes, including subjects, proper names, and literary citations; a glossary of key terms; and a substantial interpretive essay.
Robert C. Bartlett is the Behrakis Professor in Hellenic Political Studies at Boston College. His principal area of research is classical political philosophy, with particular attention to the thinkers of ancient Hellas, including Thucydides, Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle. Professor Bartlett has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Politics, Journal of Politics, Review of Politics, and other leading scholarly journals. He is the author or editor of seven books, including The Idea of Enlightenment, Plato’s Protagoras and Meno, and Xenophon’s The Shorter Socratic Writings. He is also the co-translator of an edition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (University of Chicago Press, 2011). Before coming to Boston College, Robert Bartlett served as the Arthur M. Blank/National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor at Emory University.
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