Aristotle defined rhetoric as finding all the available means of persuasion. Rhetoric was divided into five parts: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. Classical rhetoric can be defined as the period of rhetorical developments from Corax (470–? BCE), author of the first work on rhetoric, The Art of Rhetoric, or Socrates (469–399 BCE) to Augustine (354–430). Thomas Benson and Michael Prosser define the period of classical rhetoric generally from Socrates to Augustine; Joseph Miller, Michael Prosser, and Thomas Benson argue that the medieval period began approximately with Augustine and extended to about 1400 and the rediscoveries of classical works.

Classical rhetoric is important as the foundation for the modern field of communication, and the elements of rhetorical training offered by classical rhetoricians continue to be the basis of rhetorical training today. At the same time, there continues to be considerable debate about the nature of rhetoric, its properties, functions, and ends, just as was the case in classical times.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.

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Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan