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This is the first comprehensive History of Renaissance Rhetoric. Rhetoric, a training in writing and delivering speeches, was a fundamental part of renaissance culture and education. It is concerned with a wide range of issues, connected with style, argument, self-presentation, the arousal of emotion, voice and gesture. More than 3,500 works on rhetoric were published in a total of over 15,000 editions between 1460 and 1700. The renaissance was a great age of innovation in rhetorical theory. This book shows how renaissance scholars recovered and circulated classical rhetoric texts, how they absorbed new doctrines from Greek rhetoric, and how they adapted classical rhetorical teaching to fit modern conditions. It traces the development of specialised manuals in letter-writing, sermon composition and style, alongside accounts of the major Latin treatises in the field by Lorenzo Valla, George Trapezuntius, Rudolph Agricola, Erasmus, Philip Melanchthon, Johann Sturm, Juan Luis Vives, Peter Ramus, Cyprien Soarez, Justus Lipsius, Gerard Vossius and many others.
Peter Mack studied at Oxford, the Warburg Institute, University of London, and Rome. He has been editor of the leading international journal Rhetorica and Chair of the English Department and the Arts Faculty at the University of Warwick. From October 2010 he will become Director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of the History of the Classical Tradition. His books include, Renaissance Argument (1993), Elizabethan Rhetoric (2002) and Reading and Rhetoric in Montaigne and Shakespeare (2010).