Originally published between 1981 and 2003, the thirteen essays collected here cover topics in medieval rhetoric from its origins in late antiquity through the end of the Middle Ages. Most of the essays are concerned with the teaching of prose composition, especially the art of letter writing known as the ars dictaminis, and many of them focus on specific textbooks that were used for such instruction, in particular those composed in England from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries. Individual essays are devoted to works by major figures such as Saint Augustine, Peter of Blois, and Geoffrey of Vinsauf; to teaching programmes at important academic centres such as Oxford and Bologna; and to such topics as the relationship between the art of letter writing and the art of poetry, the oral dimension of medieval epistolography, the manuscript traditions of influential textbooks, medieval genre terminology, and the position of medieval rhetoric within a continuous disciplinary history rooted in classical rhetoric.
Martin Camargo is Professor of English, Classics, and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U S A, and President of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric
Contents: Introduction; Part A Theory and Practice: Defining medieval rhetoric; 'Non solum sibi sed aliis etiam': neoplatonism and rhetoric in Saint Augustine's De doctrina christiana; Where's the brief? The ars dictaminis and reading/writing between the lines; The varieties of prose dictamen as defined by the dictatores. Part B Pedagogy: The pedagogy of the dictatores; 'Si dictare velis': versified artes dictandi and late medieval writing pedagogy; Between grammar and rhetoric: composition teaching at Oxford and Bologna in the late Middle Ages; Beyond the Libri Catoniani: models of Latin prose style at Oxford University ca.1400. Part C Texts and Transmission: Tria sunt: the long and the short of Geoffrey of Vinsauf's Documentum de modo et arte dictandi et vesificandi; A 12th-century treatise on dictamen and metaphor; Toward a comprehensive art of written discourse: Geoffrey of Vinsauf and the ars dictaminis; The Libellus de arte dictandi rhetorice attributed to Peter of Blois; The English manuscripts of Bernard of Meung's Flores dictaminum; Addenda; Indexes.