Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium takes a fresh look at rhetorical rhythm and its theory and practice, highlighting the close affinity between rhythm and argument. Based on material from Byzantine and Old Church Slavonic homilies and from Byzantine rhetorical commentaries, the book redefines and expands our understanding of both Byzantine and Old Church Slavonic prose rhythm. It positions rhetorical rhythm at the intersection of prose and poetry and explores its role in argumentation and persuasion, suggesting that rhetorical rhythm can carry across linguistic boundaries, and in general aims to demonstrate the stylistic and argumentative importance of rhythm in rhetorical practice. Along the way, it challenges the entrenched separation between content and style and emphasizes the role of rhythm as a tool of invention and a means of creating shared emotional experience.
Introduction: why rhythm? 1. Meter and rhythm in Byzantine eyes: Hellenistic traditions and Byzantine theory 2. Between prose and poetry: ’Asianic’ rhythms, accentual poetry, and the Byzantine festal homily 3. Dirhythmia in the Byzantine classroom 4. Argument, figure, and rhythm 5. Rhythm in translation: some evidence from Old Church Slavonic homilies Conclusion: why recover rhythm? Appendix A. Text comparison: corpus and methodology Appendix B. Tables and flow charts