J.L. Vives: De ratione dicendi


Juan Luis Vives’ 1533 treatise on rhetoric, De ratione dicendi, is a highly original but largely neglected Renaissance Latin text. David Walker’s critical edition, with introduction, facing translation and notes, is the first to appear in English.

The conception of rhetoric which Vives elaborates in the De ratione dicendi differs significantly from that which is found in other rhetorical treatises written during the humanist Renaissance. Rhetoric as Vives conceives it is part of the discipline of self-knowledge, and involves a distinct way of thinking about the way kinds of rhetorical style manifested modes of human life. Moving as it did from the concrete particulars of a man’s style to their abstractable implications, the study of rhetoric was for him a form of moral thinking which enabled the student to develop a critical framework for understanding the world he lived in.

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Biographical Note
David Walker, Ph.D. (2003), University of Melbourne, is an independent scholar who specialises in early modern history. He has previously published in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History (Cambridge).
Review Quotes
“the translation is clear, forceful, and fluid. Most importantly, it is very good and useful to have a Latin critical edition and English translation of an important treatise on rhetoric from a major Renaissance humanist.”
Paul F. Grendler, University of Toronto, emeritus. In: Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 5, No. 4 (November 2018), pp. 702-704.

Table of contents

 1  Juan Luis Vives
 2  Plato and Isocrates
 3  The Ciceronian Model
 4  Vives’ Rhetorical Work
 5  The De Ratione Dicendi
 6  Summation
 7  The Present Edition
 8  The English Translation



Text and Translation

Appendix: Juan Luis Vives, De causis corruptarum artium, Book IV, De corrupta rhetorica
Index Locorum
Index Nominum
All interested in Juan Luis Vives, rhetoric, Northern humanism and Renaissance culture, and anyone concerned with Spanish studies, history of education, and neo-Latin literature.
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