the skillful use of language to put the case for something convincingly

a.k.a. eloquence

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • being a smooth talker (vice of excess)
  • all talk and no cattle (vice of excess)
  • being unconvincing

Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links


Mentioned elsewhere


Inspirational quotes

  • “[E]veryone who has read our Latin authors knows that they touch and pierce our vitals with the sharp, burning barbs of their eloquence. By these the sluggish are aroused, the frigid are inflamed, the drowsy are awakened, the weak are strengthened, the prostrate are raised, and the earthbound are lifted up toward lofty thoughts and noble desires.” —Petrarch, Invectives 109
  • Cicero, Brutus 131; De optimo genere oratorum 1.3; De finibus 4.3.7