Pierre Chiron

After some remarks on the « absence » we are talking about – methodological reflections, details on the period and the culture at stake, elements of comparison – we attempt to establish the facts concerning the lack of interest in Byzantium in regard to Aristotle’s Rhetoric before we attempt to explain it. Among the hypotheses for interpreting this phenomenon, we emphasize less the problems of textual transmission – which is not a cause but a consequence – than the difficulties of the text itself and the ambivalence of a project that is both practical and theoretical. Most importantly, Hermogenian rhetoric and especially the status theory probably supplanted Aristotle’s treatise, insofar as they offer a more systematic and thorough treatment, though they too need exegesis because of their difficulty.