National Council of Teachers of English Logo

Issue Brief: Classical Rhetoric

Cheryl Glenn and Heather Brook Adams

The Pennsylvania State University

Contemporary studies of rhetoric can be traced to rhetoric’s emergence as a practical art in ancient Athens during the 4th and 5th centuries BCE as well as to its codification by Aristotle around the middle of the 4th century BCE. Early Athenian and Roman philosophers of rhetoric such as Aristotle, Aspasia, Plato, the Sophists (theorists and teachers of rhetoric whose work was systematically destroyed), Cicero, and Quintilian are central figures of antiquity whose ideas continue to serve as a basis for Western definitions, practices, and evaluations of rhetoric. Despite a lingering focus on the Greek and Roman roots of contemporary rhetorical study, concerted efforts are being made to recognize roots of rhetorical study in Asia and Africa.

Leading Journals

Advances in the History of Rhetoric

Classical Antiquity

The Classical Quarterly

Journal of Hellenistic Studies

Philosophy and Rhetoric


Quarterly Journal of Speech

Rhetoric Review

Rhetoric Society Quarterly


Yale Classical Studies

Relevant Organizations

American Society for the History of Rhetoric

International Society for the History of Rhetoric   

National Communication Association

Rhetoric Society of America

Relevant Web Sites

Rhetoric and Composition

Silvae Rhetoricae

Relevant Email Discussion Lists


Document and Site Resources

Share This On:


Anonymous commenting is not allowed. Please log in with an individual NCTE account to post comments to this page.

Most Recent Comments (1 Total Posts)

Posted By: Anonymous User on 7/15/2012 4:08:37 PM

Thank you for posting information on classical rhetoric!

Page Tools:

Join NCTE Today

Related Search Terms

  • There currently are no related search terms for this page.


Copyright © 1998-2015 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use

Visit us on:
Facebook Twitter Linked In Pinterest Instagram