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The role of captatio benevolentiae in the interaction between the speaker and his audience in Antiquity and today

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Abstract

The rhetorical category of captatio benevolentiae, essential to convince and persuade listeners, is one of the rhetorʹs most effective tools. Cicero saw it as one of the pillars upon which the entire edifice of the art of oratory should be based and, as such, it was extensively practised by Roman orators and medieval authors. In the exordium its purpose was to make hearers attentive, receptive and well‐disposed. In connection with auditorem benevolum parare, two search formulae based on Quintilian's Institutio oratoriaare of particular importance: ab nostra persona and ab iudicum/auditorum persona. When included in the exordium of the speech, these techniques can help gain the good will of the listeners (the judge) as well as of the readers of literary texts; at the same time, they may incite the emotions and moral values of the public. Although the ancient rhetoricians paid considerable attention to this rhetorical category, it is often neglected and overlooked by contemporary speakers, or it is used in such an inadequate way that might deter the audience right at the beginning of the speech. In the rhetorical style the speaker should not step out of the crowd, rather he should fit into the audience and engage them in his speech. Even if the presented topic is not at all new, it is still of great use to be dealt with in theory as well as in practice, especially when preparing a public discourse, the aim of which is to persuade the listeners. The focus of this paper is thus to point out several theoretical sources of ancient rhetoric based on Cicero and Quintilian in relation to the figure of captatio benevolentiae and, consequently, to examine its use in the selected literary texts of Late Antique authors, particularly those of Saint Augustine of Hippo and Tyconius. Finally, the application of the alleged principles is demonstrated in a few examples of the exordium of chosen modern public speeches. Keywords: ancient rhetoric, captatio benevolentiae, art of persuasion, efficient speech, inciting emotions, gaining good will of the audience ʺA potent factor in success, then, is for the characters, principles, conduct and course of life, both of those who are to plead cases and of their clients, to be approved, and conversely those of their opponents condemned; and for the feelings of the tribunal to be won over, as far as possible, to goodwill towards the advocate
1
Theroleofcaptatiobenevolentiaeinthe
interactionbetweenthespeakerandhisaudience
inAntiquityandtoday
MarcelaAndoková
DepartmentofClassicalandSemiticPhilology
FacultyofArts
ComeniusUniversity,Bratislava,Slovakia
marcela.andokova@uniba.sk
ABSTRACT
Therhetoricalcategoryofcaptatiobenevolentiae,essentialtoconvinceandpersuade
listeners,isoneoftherhetorʹsmosteffectivetools.Cicerosawitasoneofthepillarsupon
whichtheentireedificeoftheartoforatoryshouldbebasedand,assuch,itwasextensively
practisedbyRomanoratorsandmedievalauthors.Intheexordiumitspurposewastomake
hearersattentive,receptiveandwelldisposed.Inconnectionwithauditorembenevolumparare,
twosearchformulaebasedonQuintilian’sInstitutiooratoriaareofparticularimportance:ab
nostrapersonaandabiudicum/auditorumpersona.Whenincludedintheexordiumofthespeech,
thesetechniquescanhelpgainthegoodwillofthelisteners(thejudge)aswellasofthereaders
ofliterarytexts;atthesametime,theymayincitetheemotionsandmoralvaluesofthepublic.
Althoughtheancientrhetoricianspaidconsiderableattentiontothisrhetoricalcategory,itis
oftenneglectedandoverlookedbycontemporaryspeakers,oritisusedinsuchaninadequate
waythatmightdetertheaudiencerightatthebeginningofthespeech.Intherhetoricalstyle
thespeakershouldnotstepoutofthecrowd,ratherheshouldfitintotheaudienceandengage
theminhisspeech.Evenifthepresentedtopicisnotatallnew,itisstillofgreatusetobedealt
withintheoryaswellasinpractice,especiallywhenpreparingapublicdiscourse,theaimof
whichistopersuadethelisteners.Thefocusofthispaperisthustopointoutseveraltheoretical
sourcesofancientrhetoricbasedonCiceroandQuintilianinrelationtothefigureofcaptatio
benevolentiaeand,consequently,toexamineitsuseintheselectedliterarytextsofLateAntique
authors,particularlythoseofSaintAugustineofHippoandTyconius.Finally,theapplicationof
theallegedprinciplesisdemonstratedinafewexamplesoftheexordiumofchosenmodern
publicspeeches.
Keywords:ancientrhetoric,captatiobenevolentiae,artofpersuasion,efficientspeech,
incitingemotions,gaininggoodwilloftheaudience
ʺApotentfactorinsuccess,then,isforthecharacters,principles,
conductandcourseoflife,bothofthosewhoaretopleadcases
andoftheirclients,tobeapproved,andconverselythoseoftheir
opponentscondemned;andforthefeelingsofthetribunaltobe
wonover,asfaraspossible,togoodwilltowardstheadvocate
2
andtheadvocate’sclientaswell.Now,feelingsarewonoverby
aman’smerit,achievementsorreputablelife,qualifications
easiertoembellish,ifonlytheyarereal,thantofabricatewhere
nonexistent.Butattributesusefulinanadvocateareamildtone,
acountenanceexpressiveofmodesty,gentlelanguage,andthe
facultyofseemingtobedealingreluctantlyandunder
compulsionwithsomethingyouarereallyanxioustoprove.ʺ[1]
ThisopeningquotationfromCicero’sDeoratoreshowswhichrolethecaptatiobenevolentiae
playedintheexordiumofanorator’sspeechandhowimportanttheinteractionbetweenthe
speakerandhisaudiencewasinAntiquity.Thisrhetoricaltechnique,essentialtoconvinceand
persuadelisteners,isoneofarhetoricianʹsmosteffectivetoolsandCicerosawitasoneofthe
pillarsuponwhichtheentireedificeoftheartoforatorywasbased.[2]Itwasextensively
practicedbyRomanoratorsandmedievalauthors.Althoughancientrhetoricianspaid
considerableattentiontothecaptatiobenevolentiae,bothintheirtheoreticalwritingsaswellasin
thespeeches,thiscategoryisoftenneglectedandoverlookedbyourcontemporaryspeakers;or,
ifused,itisusedbyinsuchaninadequatefashionthatonlydeterstheaudiencefromthe
beginningofthespeech.Evenifthistopicisnotatallnew,thesituationinthepostCommunist
countries,wherefreedomofspeechwasalmostcompletelysuppressedforseveraldecades,
showsusthat,eventoday,itisstillgreatlybeneficialtodealwithitintheoryaswellasin
practice.
Therefore,theaimofthispaperistopointoutseveraltheoreticalsourcesofancientrhetoric
inrelationtothecaptatiobenevolentiaeand,consequently,toexamineitsuseinselectedliterary
textsofLateAntiqueauthors,especiallythoseofSaintAugustineofHippoandTyconius.
Finally,Iwouldliketodiscusssomereasonsforwhichtheapplicationoftheseprinciplesmight
beprofitablealsoinmoderndaypublicspeaking.
Thenotionofcaptatiobenevolentiaeinancientrhetoric
Captatiobenevolentiae,equivalenttopetitioveniae,isarhetoricalcategoryaimedatcapturing
thegoodwilloftheaudienceatthebeginningofaspeech(exordium,prooemium)orappeal.
However,thetechnicaltermisnotfoundintherhetoricalhandbooksofLatinAntiquity.[3]It
wasfirstusedbyBoethius(died524CE)inhiscommentaryonCicero’sTopica.[4]Itspurpose
wastomakethehearerattentive(attentumparare),receptive(docilem)andwelldisposed
(benevolum).[5]Anexordiumthatfocusesonbenevolumauditoremisoftendesignedtofunctionas
acaptatiobenevolentiaeitself,securingthegoodwilloftherecipientsandaimingatincitingtheir
emotionsandmoralqualities.Inspeeches,itisfrequentlyfollowedbyabriefnarratioand
propositio.WemightencounterthisrhetoricaltechniquealreadyinHomericepicsand
QuintilianremindsusthatintheintroductorylinesoftheIliadHomersecuresthegoodwillof
theaudiencebyinvokingthegoddessesbelievedtopresideoverpoets:[6]
ʺAsregardstheemotions,therecanbenoonesoilleducatedas
todenythatthepoetwasthemasterofall,tenderandvehement
alike.Again,inthefewlineswithwhichheintroducesbothof
hisepics,hashenot,Iwillnotsayobserved,butactually
establishedthelawwhichshouldgovernthecompositionofthe
3
exordium?For,byhisinvocationofthegoddessesbelievedto
presideoverpoetryhewinsthegoodwillofhisaudience,byhis
statementofthegreatnessofhisthemesheexcitestheirattention
andrendersthemreceptivebythebriefnessofhissummary.ʺ[7]
Benevolumparareisclassifiedunderthegenusancepssincethepersonalgoodwillofthe
judgecanplayanimportantroleinacasewhichpresentsseriousdifficulties.Inadditiontothat,
itisalsonecessaryforthegenusadmirabileandcanbeofuseinthegenushonestumwhichreflects
theopinionsandfeelingsofthepublic.[8]Intheexordium,theoratorshoulddedicatea
particularattentiontothepathosandtostylisticornaments(elocutio)[9]butitisnotalways
indispensable,andparticularlyingenushonestumitsuseisfacultative:[10]
ʺSucharetherulesfortheexordium,whereitisemployed.Itmay
howeversometimesbedispensedwith.Foroccasionallyitis
superfluous,ifthejudgehasbeensufficientlypreparedforour
speechwithoutitorifthecaseissuchastorendersuch
preparationunnecessary.Aristotleindeedsaysthatwithgood
judgestheexordiumisentirelyunnecessary.[11]Sometimes,
however,itisimpossibletoemployit,evenifwedesiretodoso;
when,forinstance,thejudgeismoreoccupied,orwhentimeis
shortorsuperiorauthorityforcesustoembarkuponthesubject
rightaway.ʺ[12]
Basedonthepreceptsofancientrhetoric,Lausberg(1998,129–130,§274–275)summarizes
foursearchformulae[13]forbenevolumparare[14]outofwhichespeciallythefirstandthethird
servethepurposeofthispaper.
Thefirstsearchformulaisnamedabnostrapersonaandrefersbothtotheclientaswellasto
thespeaker.Itconsistsinpraisingandpresentingourselvesandourpartyasdeservingofall
humansympathy.[15]Heretheaimofexordiumistoincitetheemotionsoftheaudience.
a.Thespeakerpraiseshimselfbyshowinghisobligatoryprofessionalvirtueasavirbonus
initstruelight.[16]
b.Thespeakermustavoidthesuspicionofarrogancesince,otherwise,hewilllosethe
audience’ssympathies.[17]
c.Thespeakermustpraisehispartyasuprightanddepictitasunjustlypersecutedby
strongeropponents.[18]
Moreover,inliterature,themodestphrasesaimingatwinningthesympathyofreaders
belonghere:
ʺThesamepointshavetobeobservedwithrespecttothosefor
whomweplead:forourtonewillvarywiththecharacterofour
client,accordingasheisdistinguished,orofhumbleposition,
popularorthereverse,whilewemustalsotakeintoaccountthe
differencesintheirprinciplesandtheirpastlife.Asregardsthe
oratorhimself,thequalitieswhichwillmostcommendhimare
courtesy,kindliness,moderationandbenevolence.But,onthe
4
otherhand,theoppositeofthesequalitieswillsometimesbe
becomingtoagoodman.ʺ[19]
Andfurtherinthetext:
ʺThecharacterofthespeakerandofthepersononwhosebehalf
hespeaksare,however,nottheonlypointswhichitisimportant
totakeintoaccount:thecharacterofthosebeforewhomwehave
tospeakcallsforseriousconsideration.Theirpowerandrank
willmakenosmalldifference;weshallemploydifferent
methodsaccordingaswearespeakingbeforetheemperor,a
magistrate,asenator,aprivatecitizen,ormerelyafreeman,
whileadifferenttoneisdemandedbytrialsinthepubliccourts,
andincasessubmittedtoarbitration.ʺ[20]
Thesecondsearchformulacalledabadversariorumpersonaisintendedtoattachblameto
theopposingpartyandeliminatethesympathytheaudiencefeelstowardsthem:
„Fromthecharacterofouradversaries,ifweareabletobring
themeitherintohatred,orintounpopularity,orintocontempt,
theywillbebroughtintohatred,ifanyactionoftheirscanbe
adducedwhichhasbeenlascivious,orarrogant,orcruel,or
malignant.Theywillbemadeunpopular,ifwecandilateupon
theirviolentbehaviour,theirpower,theirriches,theirnumerous
kinsmen,theirwealth,andtheirarrogantandintolerableuseof
allthesesourcesofinfluence;sothattheymayappearratherto
trusttothesecircumstancesthantothemeritsoftheircause.
Theywillbebroughtintocontempt,ifsloth,ornegligence,or
idleness,orindolentpursuits,orluxurioustranquilitycanbe
allegedagainstthem.ʺ[21]
Thefocusofthethirdsearchformulacalledabiudicum(auditorum)personaistopraisethe
audience,especiallyfortheirrenowneddiscrimination,and,moregenerally,inthedelectatioof
theaudience.Inmoredetail,praiseoftheaudienceshouldbeconnectedwiththediscussed
issue[22]andmustbeintelligentandmoderate.Thendelectatiooftheaudienceisachievedbya
finestylewhichis,however,restrainedintheexordium.[23]
Thefourthsearchformula,acausa,consistsinpraisingthepositionofone’sownpartyand
inreproachingtheopponent’sposition.
Inconnectionwiththecaptatiobenevolentiaeitis,however,importanttonotethattheideas
fromtheexordiumcanalsobedevelopedinthecourseofthewholespeech,mostlywhen
keepingcontactwiththeaudience(attentumparareandbenevolumparare):
ʺOntheotherhanditisattimespossibletogivetheforceofan
exordiumtootherportionsofthespeech.Forinstance,wemayask
thejudgesinthecourseofourstatementofthefactsorofour
argumentstogiveustheirbestattentionandgoodwill,a
5
proceedingwhichProdicusrecommendedasameansof
wakeningthemwhentheybegintonod.ʺ[24]
BenevolumparareinLateAntiqueliterarytexts
ʺFishingforgoodwillʺoftheaudiencewasanimportantrhetoricaltechniquewhichcould
befoundnotonlyintheexordiumofancientpublicspeechesbutalsointheopeningchaptersof
ancientliterarytexts.Bymeansofbenevolumpararetheauthortriedtoprocurealenient
approach[25]towardshiswritingonthepartofhisreaders.Byshowinghismodestknowledge
ofthetopicandhisinadequacytoundertakesuchahugeenterprise,theauthorbelievednot
onlytogainthegoodwillofhisreadersbutalsotoraisetheirinterestinthetopicofhiswork.
Forexample,thisisclearlymanifestedatthebeginningoftheprologueofaLatinMasterpiece
AburbeconditawrittenbyafamousRomanliteraryhistorian,Livy(TitusLivius).Inthefirst
paragraphofhisprologuehestates:
ʺWhetherIamlikelytoaccomplishanythingworthyofthe
labour,ifIrecordtheachievementsoftheRomanpeoplefrom
thefoundationofthecity,Idonotreallyknow,norifIknew
wouldIdaretoavouchit;perceivingasIdothatthethemeisnot
onlyoldbuthackneyed,throughtheconstantsuccessionofnew
historians,whobelieveeitherthatintheirfactstheycanproduce
moreauthenticinformation,orthatintheirstyletheywillprove
betterthantherudeattemptsoftheancients.Yet,howeverthis
shallbe,itwillbeasatisfactiontohavedonemyselfasmuchas
liesinmetocommemoratethedeedsoftheforemostpeopleof
theworld;andifinsovastacompanyofwritersmyown
reputationshouldbeobscure,myconsolationwouldbethefame
andgreatnessofthosewhoserenownwillthrowmineintothe
shade.ʺ[26]
ItisobviousthattheseLatinwriterswerewelltrainedintherhetoricalschoolsandintheir
writings,manyatime,attemptedtoimitatetheliterarystyleoftheirrhetoricalmodels,
especiallythatofCicero.Ontheotherhand,Quintilian,whoserhetoricalcompendiumInstitutio
oratoriahadanundisputedvaluefortheancientpracticeoforatory,neverrejoicedoversomany
literarydevoteesasCicerodid.Moreover,shortlyafterhisdeath,hepracticallyfellintooblivion
foralmosttwocenturies.However,Quintilianregainedrecognitionduringthefourthcentury
mainlyamonggrammarianslikeDiomedus,andhewasquotedbysuchChristianauthorsas
HilaryofPoitiers,Lactantius,RufinusandSidoniusApollinaris.InNorthAfrica,Quintilian
foundanimportantfollowerinthepersonofaDonatistlaytheologianTyconius[27],authorof
theearliestknownsystematicattemptofscripturalhermeneuticsinsideWesternChristian
tradition.HiscontemporaryAugustineofHippoconsideredhimtobeamanofʺsharpintellect
andabundanteloquence.ʺ[28]Nevertheless,hedislikedthatschismaticfellowChristianfrom
Africaeventhoughheadmiredhiswork,especiallyhisLiberregularum[29],whichwasquoted
extensivelyinhisfamousmanualontheChristianhermeneuticsDedoctrinachristiana.Inhis
articlededicatedtoQuintilian,TyconiusandAugustine,Kannengiesser(1994,244)remarks:ʺA
Donatistbyfamilystatusandsocialconformity,hefoughtanendlessbattleinorderto
6
reintegratetheschismaticAfricantraditionintomainstreamChristianity,withtheonlyresult
thathewasseverelycensuredbyhisownbishop,ParmenianofCarthage,in378,andridiculed
aboutfiftyyearslater,byAugustine,inhisDedoctrinachristiana.ʺSo,intheclosingpartofBook
IIIofthistreatiseweread:
„TherewasamancalledTyconius,whowroteagainstthe
Donatistsinamannerthatitisquiteimpossibletorefute,and
whoseunwillingnesstopartcompanywiththemcompletely
revealstheutterabsurdityofhisattachments.Hecomposed
whathecalledabookofRules,becauseinitheworkedout
sevenrulesbywhichthehiddenmeaningsofthedivine
scripturesmightbeunlocked,aswithkeys.ʺ[30]
AndabitfurtherAugustinecontinues:
ʺAtleast,heopenedthisverybookwiththesewords:‘I
considereditnecessary,beforealltheotherideasIhave,towrite
alittlebookofrules,andtoforgeasitwerekeysandlampsfor
thehiddensecretsofthelaw.Fortherearecertainmysticalrules
whichcangainadmittancetotheinnerchambersofthewhole
law,andrendervisiblethetreasuresoftruththatareinvisibleto
somepeople.Ifmyaccountoftheserulesisaccepted
ungrudgingly,inthespiritinwhichIofferit,allcloseddoors
willbeopenedanddarkplaceslitup,sothatanyonestrolling
throughthevastforestofprophecywillbeprotectedbythese
rulesfromerror,beingguidedbythem,sotosay,alongpathsof
light’.Here,ifhehadsaid,‘fortherearecertainmysticalrules
whichcangainadmittancetonotafewoftheinnerchambersof
thelaw’,oreven,‘whichcangainadmittancetotheimportant
innerchambersofthelaw’,andnotwhatheactuallydidsay,ʿthe
innerchambersofthewholelaw,ʾandifhehadnotsaid,ʿall
closeddoorswillbeopened,ʾbutʿmanycloseddoorswillbe
opened,ʾwhathesaidwouldhavebeentrue,andhewouldnot
haveraisedfalsehopesinthosewhowishtoreadandknowhis
extremelypainstakingandusefulwork,bygivingitabigger
boostthantheactualmattercallsfor.ThereasonIthoughtthis
hadtobesaidisthat,ontheonehand,thisbookoughttoberead
byseriousstudents,becauseitisofthegreatesthelpin
understandingthescriptures;and,ontheother,oneshouldnot
hopetogetfromitwhatitcannotprovide.ʺ[31]
IfwetakeintoconsiderationtherhetoricalcontextofTyconius’Liberregularumand
Augustine’scommentonitinDedoctrinachristiana,Kannengiesser’sobservationappearstobea
bitshallow.Infact,fromthequotationcitedabove,itdoesnotresultthatAugustineis
ridiculingTyconius;ratherheseemstobeupsetaboutthewayTyconiuspresentedhisown
workintheprologueofhisLiberregularum,wherehestates:
7
ʺButifthesenseoftheserulesisacceptedwithoutillwill,aswe
impartit,whateverisclosedwillbeopenedandwhateveris
darkwillbeillumined;andanyonewhowalksthevastforestof
prophecyguidedbytheserules,asbypathwaysoflight,willbe
keptfromstrayingintoerror.ʺ[32]
Thisbringsusbacktothethemeofthisarticle,i.e.,tothediscussionoftherolecaptatio
benevolentiaeplayedinpublicspeechesaswellasinliterarytexts.HereitappearsthatTyconius,
despitethefactthathehadbeentrainedinancientrhetoric,neverthelessmadeanerrorvisàvis
hisreaderswhenpretendingintheProloguethathisbookonbiblicalhermeneuticshadbeen
writteninanexhaustivemannerandthattheknowledgeofhisruleswouldhavebeensufficient
forunderstandingalltheobscuritiesoftheScriptures.Fromtheperspectiveofbenevolumparare
thisstepseemstobecounterproductive,sinceitmighthaveraisednegativefeelingsontheside
ofthereaderswhowouldprobablyhaveexpectedamoremoderatetone.Accordingto
Quintilian’ssearchformulae,theauthorwasbelievedtoblameandexcusehimselffornothaving
sufficientcompetencetowriteabetterpieceofwork.Thismighthavealsobeenthecaseof
AugustinewhocouldfeelirritatedbytheconceitedmannerbywhichTyconiuspresented
himselfandhiswork.Tosupportthisargument,letusrecallbrieflytheopeningchapterofthe
firstbookofAugustine’sDedoctrinachristianawheretheauthorapologizesfornotfeeling
competenttowriteaworkwhichseemstohimʺtoogreatandarduousʺ.Thereweread:
ʺTherearetwothingswhichalltreatmentofthescripturesis
aimingat:awaytodiscoverwhatneedstobeunderstood,anda
waytoputacrosstootherswhathasbeenunderstood.[33]Let
usfirstdiscussthewayofdiscovery,andafterthatthewayof
puttingourdiscoveriesacross.Agreatandarduouswork,andit
isdifficulttokeepup,Iamafraiditmaybethoughtrashtohave
undertakenit.Andsoitcertainlywouldhavebeen,hadIbeen
relyingsolelyonmyownpowers;butasitis,myhopesof
carryingthisworkthroughrestintheonefromwhom,inmy
reflections,Ihavealreadyreceivedmanyideasonthismatter;
andsothereneedbenofearthathewillrefrainfromgivingme
therest,whenIbeginspendingonotherswhatIhavealready
beengiven.ʺ[34]
Consequently,itbecomesclearthatAugustinewasnotparticularlyconstrainedto
recognizethevalueofthebookofTyconiuswhowasamemberoftheschismaticchurch,he
wasrathertroubledbythepretentiousmannerwithwhichtheDonatisttheologianpresented
hisLiberregularumattheverybeginningofhiswork.
Theapplicationofcaptatiobenevolentiaeinmodernpublicspeaking
Wemightsay,usingthelanguageoftoday,thatthefigureofcaptatiobenevolentiaeisclosely
linkedwiththeLatindecorum[35],consideredtobeoneofthefourvirtuesofstyleasrecorded
byancientrhetoricians.Infact,inQuintilian’sviewitwasthemostimportantone.[36]It
presentsanartforhowtofitintotheaudience;and,inthiscontext,onemustdecidecarefully
whichstylewillsuitmostourtopicandourlisteners.Inmodernunderstandingofthepersonal
8
stylewehaveratheratendencytostepoutofthecrowd;ontheotherhand,theconcernofthe
rhetoricalstyleshouldbemorethatweproperlyfitintoourpublicandbecomeonewiththem.
Thankstothisapproachwemaygaintheconfidenceofourpublicandmakethempartofthe
storydevelopedinourspeech.
ThisfactremindsusofanotherpointwhichIamtodiscussinthispaper:theclashbetween
therequirementsimposedonthespeakerbytheclaimsoftheancientrhetoric,ontheonehand;
and,ontheother,thewaycontemporaryspeakerspresentthemselves.Infact,inourhighly
individualizedsociety,whereitisstillbelievedthatthesuccessofthespeakersisoftenbased
moreontheirselfconfidenceandabilitytopresentinthebestlighttheirachievements,while
oftenneglectingtheimportanceoftheinteractionbetweenthespeakerandhisaudience,the
discussionoftheusefulnessofthecaptatiobenevolentiaecomesintofocusagain.Modern
speakers’assertivewayofpresentingtheiraccomplishmentssometimesalmostamountsto
arrogance.Inourcountry(andprobablyinothercountriesaswell),itfrequentlyoccursthat,
duetosuchoverassertivebehaviour,speakerscanlosethegoodwilloftheiraudiencerightat
thebeginningoftheirperformance.
Inordertoseehowthecaptatiobenevolentiaeisbeingtakenintoaccountintheexordiumof
contemporaryspeeches,letusexamineashortexordiumoftwopoliticalspeechesdeliveredin
thepresenceofawiderpublic.Fromtheseexamples,wewillattempttodiscernwhetherthe
speakermanagedtofitwithintheboundsofcaptatiobenevolentiae,asrequiredbytheartof
rhetorictoday.
Example1:
ʺMrPresident,ladiesandgentlemen.[...]Inmyendowment’s
activities,[...]Ihavebeenusedtobeingabitinformaland
provoking.Ihopeyouwillforgivemeforbeinginformaltoday,
too.Actually,Ihavetwopiecesofnewsforyou:oneisbadand
theotheroneisgood.Icanseeheremanycareerdiplomatsand
professionals...Well,thegoodnewsisthatIverymuch
appreciateyourprofessionalapproachtowardsthethemes,
agendasandtowardsthesolutions.Iwillkeepmyfingers
crossedforyouinyourcontinuation.Ontheotherhand,thebad
newsisthatandIwillspeakfromthestandpointofthe
NationalParliamentwewillprobablyhavemoreandmore
conflicts...ʺ(Paška2013)
Example2:
ʺLadiesandgentlemen,yourexcellences,thankyouverymuch
[...].Dearfriends,Iwouldliketoexpressmygratitudetoyouall
forbeingheretogetherbecausesuchacrowdedroomspeaks
moreaboutthefuturethanaboutthepast.Andthusthiseventis
moreaboutwhatiscomingandwillbe,ratherthanaboutwhat
usedtobe,andthatisveryimportant...ʺ(Figeľ2015)
InrelationtoQuintilian’sfirstandthirdsearchformulae,fromtheexampleslistedabove,
wemightraiseafewpointsusefulforourdiscussionofthecaptatiobenevolentiae.Letuslook
9
morecloselyatthewaybothspeakersmakeanattempttogainthegoodwilloftheiraudience
which,accordingtoCicero,mightbeachievedbyʺamildtone,acountenanceexpressiveof
modestyandgentlelanguage...ʺ[37]
Inthefirstexamplewehear:ʺIverymuchappreciateyourprofessionalapproach...ʺandʺI
willkeepmyfingerscrossedforyou...ʺObviously,thisspeakerispolitetowardshisaudience
but,atthesametime,seemstobeseparatinghimselffromthembyusingthesecondperson
pluralʺyouʺ.Moreover,heis(webelieve,unconsciously)imposingakindofjudgment(even
thoughpositive)onthembyclaimingthatheiscrossinghisfingersforthem.Itisasifheison
onebankoftheriverandhispublicontheother.Hebynomeansbecomesonewithhispublic,
whichmighthavehelpedhimcreateapositiveambiencethatcouldhelphimovercomethe
negativefeelingsofhisaudienceconnectedwiththefollowingstatement:ʺwewillprobably
havemoreandmoreconflicts...ʺItisobviousthatthisisareactiontowhathasbeendiscussed
beforebyotherspeaker(s);however,tousesuchphrasesintheexordiumusuallydoesnotincite
positiveandreceptivefeelingsintheaudience.
Ontheotherhand,theotherspeakerusesinhisexordiumaverymildtoneandisfullof
optimismwhenintroducinghistopic.Inadditiontothat,whilesaying:ʺIwouldliketoexpress
mygratitudetoyouallforbeingheretogether...ʺ,thespeakerdoesnotstepoutofthecrowd
butpretendstobeonewithhisaudience.Inotherwords,hisexpressionmeans:ʺIamvery
gratefulthatweareallheretogether.ʺHeshowshimselfhavingthesameobjectivesandvisions
ofthefutureastheyhave.Atthesametime,inhisintroduction,heavoidsallnegative
judgmentsofthe(Communist)pastwhichcouldarousenegativeemotionsinhisaudience.
Soitbecomesevidentthatcertaintechniquesofobtainingthegoodwilloftheaudience,
derivedfromtheancientrhetoricaltheory,areundoubtedlyofgreatusestilltoday.Itiseven
moretruewhenwerealizethat,inourcountry,therehasbeenasignificantlackofrhetorical
educationandtraininginourmothertongue,notonlyduringtheCommunisterabutalsofora
muchlongertimebefore.Therefore,itisachallengeforustofindwaystoreevaluatethe
accomplishmentsofancientrhetoricand,consequently,toreintegratethemintothemodern
rhetoricaltheoryandpractice.
Notes
[1]Cicero,DeoratoreII,43,182183,p.326–329:„Valetigiturmultumadvincendumprobarimoreset
institutaetfactaetvitameteorum,quiagentcausas,eteorumproquibus,etitemimprobari
adversariorum,animosqueeorumapudquosagetur,conciliariquammaximeadbenevolentiamcum
ergaoratoremtumergaillum,proquodicetorator.Concilianturautemanimidignitatehominis,
rebusgestis,existimationevitae;quaefaciliusornaripossunt,simodosunt,quamfingi,sinullasunt.
Sedhaecadiuvatinoratorelenitasvocis,vultuspudorissignificatio,verborumcomitas;siquid
persequareacrius,utinvitusetcoactusfacerevideare.ʺ
[2]Cf.Cicero,DeoratoreII,43,115,p.280–281.
[3]ThetermassuchisalsoabsentfromLausberg’sbook(1998,§263–288),whichIrefertothroughout
thispaper.
[4]Boethius,InCiceronisTopicaI.
[5]RhetoricaadHerenniumI,4,p.4–5.
[6]Formoreinformationonthistopicseee.g.TheWestminsterDictionaryofNewTestamentandEarly
ChristianLiteratureandRhetoric,p.89.
10
[7]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaX,1,48,p.28–29:„Adfectusquidemvelillosmitesvelhosconcitatos
nemoerittamindoctus,quinoninsuapotestatehuncauctoremhabuissefateatur.Agevero,non
utriusqueoperissuiingressuinpaucissimisversibuslegemprohoemiorumnondicoservavit,sed
constituit?Nametbenevolumauditoreminvocationedearum,quaspraesiderevatibuscreditumest,
etintentumpropositarerummagnitudineetdocilemsummaceleritercomprensafacit.ʺ
[8]Theexordiummightbeverybrieforevenomittedingenusdeliberativumandalsoingenus
demonstrativumwhereitmaybeusedsimilarlyasingenusiudiciale.Cf.Quintilianus,Institutiooratoria
III,8,10,p.484–485;Aristoteles,ArsrhetoricaIII,14,1415b.
[9]RhetoricaadHerenniumI,11,p.11:„Exordiendacausaservandumest,utlenissitsermoetusitata
verborumconsuetudo,utnonadparatavideaturoratioesse.ʺ
[10]Cf.RhetoricaadHerenniumI,6,p.6.
[11]Cf.AristotelesArsrhetoricaIII,14,1415b.
[12]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaIV,1,72,p.45–46:„Haecdeprooemio,quotienseriteiususus.Non
semperautemest;nametsupervacuumaliquandoest,sisitpraeparatussatisetiamsinehociudexaut
sirespraeparationenonegeat.Aristotelesquidemintotumidnecessariumapudbonosiudicesnegat.
Aliquandotamenutinecsivelimuseolicet,cumiudexoccupatus,cumangustasunttempora,cum
maiorpotestasabipsarecogitincipere.ʺ
[13]Benevolentiaisgenerallyachievedeitherbypraisingorblamingtheobjectsofthesearchformulaeand
isthuslargelyepideicticincharacter.
[14]Cf.Aristoteles,ArsrhetoricaIII,14,1415a;RhetoricaadHerenniumI,8;Cicero,DeinventioneI,16,22.
[15]Cicero,DeinventioneI,16,22,p.20:„Abnostra,sidenostrisfactisetofficiissinearrogantiadicemus;si
criminainlataetaliquasminushonestassuspicionesiniectasdiluemus;si,quaeincommodaacciderint
autquaeinstentdifficultates,proferemus;sipreceetobsecrationehumiliacsuppliciutemur.ʺ;cf.
Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaIV,1,715,p.8–13.
[16]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaIV,1,7,p.8–9:„Sicenimcontinget,utnonstudiumadvocativideatur
adferre,sedpaenetestisfidem.Quareinprimisexistimeturvenisseadagendumductusofficiovel
cognationisvelamicitiae,maximeque,sifieripoterit,reipublicaeautalicuiuscertenonmediocris
exempli.Quodsinedubiomultomagisipsislitigatoribusfaciendumest,utadagendummagnaatque
honestarationeautetiamnecessitateaccessissevideantur.ʺ
[17]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaIV,1,9,p.10–11:„Indeillaveterumcircaoccultandameloquentiam
simulatio,multumabhacnostrorumtemporumiactationediversa.ʺ;IV,1,33,p.22–23:„Fiduciaipsa
soletopinioneadrogantiaelaborare.ʺ
[18]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaIV,1,13,p.12–13:„Ipsiusautemlitigatorispersonatractandavarieest:
namtumdignitaseiusadlegatur,tumcommendaturinfirmitas.ʺ
[19]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaXI,1,42,p.178–179:„Eademiniis,proquibusagemus,observanda
sunt:aliterenimproaliosaepedicendumest,utquisquehonestus,humilis,invidiosus,favorabilis
erit,adiectapropositorumquoqueetanteactaevitaedifferentia.Iucundissimaveroinoratore
humanitas,facilitas,moderatio,benevolentia.Sedillaquoquediversabonumvirumdecent:malos
odisse,publicavicecommoveri,ultumiresceleraetiniurias,etomnia,utinitiodixi,honesta.ʺ
[20]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaXI,1,43,p.178–179:„Nectantumquisetproquo,sedetiamapud
quemdicasinterest:facitenimetfortunadiscrimenetpotestas,neceademapudprincipem,
magistratum,senatorem,privatum,tantumliberumratioest,neceodemsonopublicaiudiciaet
arbitrorumdisceptationesaguntur.ʺ
[21]Cicero,DeinventioneI,16,22,p.20:„Abadversariorumautem,sieosautinodiumautininvidiamaut
incontemptionemadducemus.Inodiumducentur,siquodeorumspurce,superbe,crudeliter,
malitiosefactumproferetur;ininvidiam,siviseorum,potentia,divitiae,cognatio[pecuniae]
11
proferenturatqueeorumususarrogansetintolerabilis,uthisrebusmagisvideanturquamcausae
suaeconfidere;incontemptionemadducentur,sieoruminertia,neglegentia,ignavia,desidiosum
studiumetluxuriosumotiumproferetur.ʺ
[22]Cf.RhetoricaadHerenniumI,8,p.7:„iudiciiexpectatio.ʺ
[23]Cf.Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaIV,1,5760,p.36–39.
[24]Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaIV,1,73,p.46–47:„Contraqueestinterimprooemiivisetiamnon
exordio;namiudicesetinnarrationenonnumquametinargumentisutattendantetutfaveant
rogamus,quoProdicusvelutdormitanteseosexcitariputabat,qualeest.ʺ
[25]„Lenitasorationisʺ,cf.Cicero,DeoratoreII,43,182,p.326.
[26]Livius,Aburbecondita,proem.,vol.I,p.2–3:„Facturusneoperaepretiumsim,siaprimordiourbis
respopuliRomaniperscripserim,necsatisscionec,sisciam,dicereausim,quippequicumveterem
tumvulgatamesseremvideam,dumnovisemperscriptoresautinrebuscertiusaliquidallaturosse
autscribendiarterudemvetustatemsuperaturoscredunt.Utcumqueerit,iuvabittamenrerum
gestarummemoriaeprincipisterrarumpopuliproviriliparteetipsumconsuluisse;etsiintanta
scriptorumturbameafamainobscurosit,nobilitateacmagnitudineeorumme,quinominiofficient
meo,consoler.ʺ
[27]Tyconiusflourishedbetween370and390andhisintellectualendeavorsconcentratedontherichesof
thelocalChristianityinCarthage.
[28]Augustinus,ContraepistulamParmenianiI,1,p.19:„hominemquidemetacriingeniopraeditumet
uberieloquio.ʺ
[29]Tyconius,TheBookofRules;alsoBright(1988).NotealsothecriticalFrencheditionLeLivredesRègles,
SC488.
[30]Augustinus,DedoctrinachristianaIII,30,42,CCL32,p.102:„Ticoniusquidam,quicontradonatistas
inuictissimescripsit,cumfueritdonatista,etillicinveniturabsurdissimicordis,ubieosnonomniex
parterelinquerevoluit,fecitlibrum,quemRegularumvocauit,quiaineoquasdamseptemregulas
exsecutusest,quibusquasiclavibusdivinarumscripturarumaperirenturocculta.ʺEnglishtranslation,
p.187.
[31]Augustinus,DedoctrinachristianaIII,30,43,CCL32,p.103:„Itaquippeexorsusesteundemlibrumut
diceret:ʿNecessariumduxianteomnia,quaemihividentur,libellumregularumscribereetsecretorum
legisveluticlauesetluminariafabricare.Suntenimquaedamregulaemysticae,quaeuniuersaelegis
recessusobtinentetveritatisthesaurosaliquibusinuisibilesvisibilesfaciunt.Quarumsiratio
regularumsineinvidia,utcommunicamus,acceptafuerit,clausaquaequepatefientetobscura
dilucidabuntur,utquisprophetiaeimmensamsilvamperambulanshisregulisquodammodolucis
tramitibusdeductusaberroredefendatur.ʾHicsidixisset:suntenimquaedamregulaemysticae,quae
nonnulloslegisrecessusobtinent,autcerte:quaelegismagnosrecessusobtinent,nonautemquodait:
universaelegisrecessus,nequedixisset:clausaquaequepatefient,sed:clausamultapatefient,verum
dixisset,nectamelaboratoatqueutilioperisuoplusquamresipsapostulatdando,inspemfalsam
lectoremeiuscognitoremquemisisset.Quodideodicendumputavi,utliberipseetlegaturab
studiosis,quiaplurimumadiuvatadscripturasintellegendas,etnondeillospereturtantum,quantum
nonhabet.ʺEnglishtranslation,p.188.
[32]Tyconius,TheBookofRules,proem.,p.2–3:„Quarumsiratioregularumsineinvidiaut
communicamusacceptafuerit,clausaquaequepatefientetobscuradilucidabuntur,utquisprophetiae
immensamsilvamperambulanshisregulisquodammodolucistramitibusdeductusaberrore
defendatur.ʺ
[33]Cf.Cicero,DeoratoreII,27,120,p.284–285.
12
[34]Augustinus,DedoctrinachristianaI,1,1,CCL32,p.6:„Duaesuntres,quibusnitituromnistractatio
scripturarum,modusinveniendi,quaeintellegendasunt,etmodusproferendi,quaeintellectasunt.
Deinveniendoprius,deproferendoposteadisseremus.Magnumonusetarduum,etsiad
sustinendumdifficile,uereor,neadsuscipiendumtemerarium.Itasanesidenobisipsis
praesumeremus;nuncuerocuminillositspesperagendihuiusoperis,aquonobisincogitatione
multadehacreiamtraditatenemus,nonestmetuendum,nedaredesinatcetera,cumea,quaedata
sunt,coeperimusimpendere.ʺEnglishtranslation,p.106.
[35]Thevirtueofdecorumiscloselylinkedwithotherthreevirtuesofstyle,i.e.latinitas,perspicuitasand
ornatus.Thesequalitiesofstylerefertothepurityofthespeechandtoitsornamentation.Formore
informationsee,forinstance,Andoková(2015,51–61).
[36]Cf.Quintilianus,InstitutiooratoriaXI,1,1,p.154–155.
[37]Seenote1above.
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13
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Ilruolodicaptatiobenevolentiaenell’interazione
tral’oratoreedilsuopubbliconell’Antichitàenei
nostrigiorni
MarcelaAndoková
DipartimentodiStudiClassici
Facoltàd‘Arte
UniversitàComenius,Bratislava,Slovacchia
marcela.andokova@uniba.sk
RIASSUNTO
Parolechiave:retoricaantica,captatiobenevolentiae,l’artedellapersuasione,discorso
efficace,emozionistimolanti,ottenerelabuonaattenzionedelpubblico
Latecnicacaptatiobenevolentiae,essenzialeperconvincereepersuadereilpubblico
costituisceunofraglistrumentipiùefficaciperiretorici.Ciceronelaconsideravaunadelle
colonneportantidell’interoedificiodell’oratoria,percuieramoltopraticatadaideclamatori
romaniedagliautorimedievali.Nell’exordiumloscopoeradirenderegliascoltatoriattenti,
recettiviebendisposti.Accantoall’auditorembenevolumparare,altredueformule
particolarmenteimportantichesibasanosull’InstitutiooratoriadiQuintilianosono:abnostra
personaeabiudicum/auditorumpersona.Quandosonoinclusenell’exordiumdeldiscorso,queste
tecnicheconsentonodiottenereunabuonaattenzionedapartedegliascoltatoriedeilettoridi
testiletterari.Allostessotempopossonoindurreleemozioniedivalorimoralidelpubblico.
Nonostantegliantichiretoriciprestasseromoltaattenzioneaquestatecnica,algiornod’oggiè
spessotrascuratadaglioratoricontemporaneioutilizzatainmodoinappropriatoalpuntoda
dissuadereilpubblicoproprioall’iniziodeldiscorso.Nell’usoretoricol’oratorenondovrebbe
usciredallafolla,mapiuttostoconnettersiconlaplateapercoinvolgerlanelsuodiscorso.Anche
sel’argomentotrattatononèaffattonuovo,risultaesseredigrandeutilitàqualoravenga
affrontatonellateoriaenellapratica,inparticolarmodoquandosipreparaundiscorsoda
tenereinpubblico,ilcuiscopoèquellodipersuaderegliascoltatori.Loscopodiquestolavoro
consistenell’individuarediversefontiteorichedellaretoricaanticabasatasull’operadiCicerone
eQuintiliano,conriferimentoallafiguradicaptatiobenevolentiae,equindiesaminarnel’usonei
testidiletteraturadiantichiautori,inparticolaredisant’Agostinod’IpponaeTyconius.Infine,
14
l’applicazionedeipresuntiprincipièdimostratadauncorpuscostituitodavariesempitratti
dall’exordiumdidiscorsipubbliciodierni.
... The question about the Sitz im Leben [setting or context of the specific passage] is an essential step in the exegetical process, and Jerome states here that he usually asks (solemus inquirere) why the parables were told. Jerome first refers to Luke 15:1-2, but he also 9.For an interesting article on the function of the captatio benevolentiae, see Andoková (2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article is intended as a case study to introduce students to the life and work of St Jerome, and more specifically to his exegetical method. Letter 21 to Pope Damasus contains Jerome’s interpretation of the parable of the Prodigal Son and offers the ideal text to read with third year or honours Latin students. Since Professor Dircksen has a special interest in the teaching and learning of Latin, this contribution is meant for that section of the Festschrift. My aim is twofold: firstly, to offer an introduction to the text, focusing on several aspects which illustrate Jerome’s exegetical method; and secondly, to illustrate how this material can be presented to students. Students are introduced to a well-known patristic author’s approach to a biblical text, but in this process, they are taught how to approach any text themselves.
Ab nostra, si de nostris factis et officiis sine arrogantia dicemus; si crimina inlata et aliquas minus honestas suspiciones iniectas diluemus; si, quae incommoda acciderint aut quae instent difficultates, proferemus; si prece et obsecratione humili ac supplici utemur.ʺ; cf
  • De Cicero
Cicero, De inventione I,16,22, p. 20: "Ab nostra, si de nostris factis et officiis sine arrogantia dicemus; si crimina inlata et aliquas minus honestas suspiciones iniectas diluemus; si, quae incommoda acciderint aut quae instent difficultates, proferemus; si prece et obsecratione humili ac supplici utemur.ʺ; cf. Quintilianus, Institutio oratoriaIV,1,7-15, p. 8-13.
cum iudex occupatus, cum angusta sunt tempora, cum maior potestas ab ipsa re cogit incipere.ʺ [13] Benevolentia is generally achieved either by praising or blaming the objects of the search formulae and is thus largely epideictic in character
  • Aliquando Tamen Uti Nec Si Velimus Eo
  • Licet
Aliquando tamen uti nec si velimus eo licet, cum iudex occupatus, cum angusta sunt tempora, cum maior potestas ab ipsa re cogit incipere.ʺ [13] Benevolentia is generally achieved either by praising or blaming the objects of the search formulae and is thus largely epideictic in character.
Dôležitosť latinského decorum pre úspešný rečnícky prejav v antike i dnes' ('The importance of literary decorum for an efficient speech in Antiquity as well as today'), Sambucus XI, Filozofická fakulta TU
  • M Andoková
Andoková, M. (2015), 'Dôležitosť latinského decorum pre úspešný rečnícky prejav v antike i dnes' ('The importance of literary decorum for an efficient speech in Antiquity as well as today'), Sambucus XI, Filozofická fakulta TU, Trnava, p. 51-61.
English translation: Expositions of the Psalms 121-150
  • Augustinus
Augustinus, Enarrationes in Psalmos, CCL 38-39-40, E. Dekkers -J. Fraipont (eds.), Brepols, Turnhout 1956. English translation: Expositions of the Psalms 121-150, WSA III/20, B. Ramsey (ed.), New City Press, Hyde Park-New York 2004.
Príhovor pri príležitosti 26. výročia 17. novembra 1989 (Speech on the occasion of 26th anniversary of 17 November 1989 ʺVelvet revolutionʺ). My own transcription of the opening part of the speech
  • J Figeľ
Figeľ, J. (2015), Príhovor pri príležitosti 26. výročia 17. novembra 1989 (Speech on the occasion of 26th anniversary of 17 November 1989 ʺVelvet revolutionʺ). My own transcription of the opening part of the speech, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpFnZV9ZT9k (accessed 12 October 2016).
Duae sunt res, quibus nititur omnis tractatio scripturarum, modus inveniendi, quae intellegenda sunt, et modus proferendi
  • De Augustinus
  • Christiana
Augustinus, De doctrina christiana I,1,1, CCL 32, p. 6: " Duae sunt res, quibus nititur omnis tractatio scripturarum, modus inveniendi, quae intellegenda sunt, et modus proferendi, quae intellecta sunt.
Exordienda causa servandum est, ut lenis sit sermo et usitata verborum consuetudo, ut non adparata videatur oratio esse
  • Herennium Rhetorica
Rhetorica ad Herennium I,11, p. 11: " Exordienda causa servandum est, ut lenis sit sermo et usitata verborum consuetudo, ut non adparata videatur oratio esse.ʺ