Classical Rhetoric Tutorial

    What is Rhetoric?

    a central subject in classical education for over two thousand years and the capstone of the Trivium in the liberal arts, is the art of organizing knowledge into a systematic, coherent whole for the purpose of effective communication.

    Why study it?

    Rhetoric teaches communication:
    not only the ability to persuade others, but more importantly, the ability to analyze the attempts of others (whether politicians, news media, or books) to persuade us, whether those attempts are manipulative or benevolent. And

    Rhetoric teaches w
    isdom: even if one never has a career involving public speaking, the art of prioritizing and ordering one's knowledge is practice for doing the same in all of life. And that is, as Thomas Aquinas says, the art of wisdom, the art of judging and ordering all the parts of our lives to achieve our chief end.

    What is distinctive about this course?

    This Rhetoric course, like others, surveys the history and basic principles of classical rhetoric from authors like Aristotle, Quintilian, and Augustine, along with the skill of determining the structure of spoken communication (speeches, debates, arguments) and of written works of various kinds. But this course, like other Schola courses, is based on reading and discussing primary sources rather than modern textbooks about the primary sources. Textbooks have a valuable place but Schola is about reading the original works. This course also focuses on discussion of theory and it's application rather than practice. For that, local speech and debate clubs are highly recommended. But remember, a solid grounding in theory is necessary, and that is what this course provides.

    The course is best suited to students sixteen years old and up, who have had the equivalent of Great Books 1 (Greek) and 2 (Roman). Adults are welcome!

Homework load: moderate (about a half hour of reading per day).

Cost: see Internet Tutorials page (you can subscribe to just receive the recordings for half the tuition)

A minimum number of registrants is needed for class to launch.

Contact Schola for further information.

Texts required:

Plato, Six Great Dialogues.
Aristotle, Rhetoric.
Cicero, Ad Herennium.
Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory.
Longinus, On the Sublime.
Yates, The Art of Memory.