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The Concept of Conversation – From Cicero's Sermo to the Grand Siècle's Conversation - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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The Concept of Conversation: From Cicero's Sermo to the Grand Siècle's Conversation

David Randall


The Concept of Conversation traces the rise of conversation from a minor mode of rhetoric to the point where rhetoric as a whole was redefined as conversation, and argues that this was the most important change in rhetoric during the centuries between 1400 and 1700. In the classical period, conversation referred to real conversations, conducted in the leisure time of noble men, and concerned with indefinite philosophical topics. Christianity inflected conversation with universal aspirations during the medieval centuries and the ars dictaminis, the art of letter writing, increased the importanc ... More

Keywords: Literary studies, women, literary theory, rhetoric, conversation, public sphere

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9781474430104
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430104.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Randall, author