Several classes in during this term, I found myself remaining somewhat confused about what Rhetoric truly was. For me, I didn’t gain a deeper understanding of the concept or application until we began studying Cicero and Rhetoric in Ancient Rome. As put by Cicero himself, Cicero himself writes in “De Inventione,”There was a time when men wandered around in the fields in the manner of beasts, and sustained life on wild food; they did nothing by the reason of mind, but by bodily strength.” He continues, “a great man, becomes aware of man’s potential and he compels and gathers the men scattered in the fields in one place by means of reason and speech. Eloquence is thus the original transporter of men; it collected them in the first political society. Without its power, politics is literally unimaginable.” Is it rhetoric that separates us from the “beasts”? Furthermore, it was Cicero’s description of the process of rhetoric through the terms, inventio, dispositio and elocutio. While rhetoric certainly existed in one form or another before Cicero, he did the world (and me) a great favor in mapping it out!


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