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Were the ‘preliminary exercises’ which made up the elementary stage of instruction in schools of rhetoric. Some collections from the time of the empire survive. The principal exercises were fable, narrative, anecdotal apophthegm, maxim (see gnōmē), refutation and confirmation, commonplace (see communes loci; topos), speech written in character, description (see ekphrasis), general question, introduction of a law. While some of these exercises might prove useful for forensic or deliberative oratory, others (esp. ‘narrative’ and ‘description’) were closer to the needs of display oratory or history. The influence of these exercises on literature was very great and very long‐lasting.

See rhetoric, greek.

See rhetoric, greek.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Classical Studies.

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