• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Rhetorical Canons

The Roman educational system emphasized five canons of rhetoric: (1) invention (inventio), (2) arrangement (dispositio), (3) style (elocutio), (4) memory (memoria), and (5) delivery (pronuntiatio). Together, these five elements of effective communication provide a guide for developing, as well as analyzing, rhetorical arguments. While devised for oratory, the canons were seen as applicable to any type of rhetoric, whether verbal or written, and they have remained influential in education since their inception more than 2,000 years ago. Even in the modern technological world, far removed from the ancient Roman society and its emphasis on oratory as the primary means of communication, the canons are often used as a way of teaching rhetoric, whether in verbal, written, or multimedia formats.

Rhetorica ad Herennium

It is unknown today precisely ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles