Abstract: Alexander of Ashby's De artifldoso modo predicandi has the distinction of being the first medieval sermon rhetoric since the De doctrina Christiana to apply classical rhetorical terms to preaching. The text ineludes a dedicatory prologue to Alexander's abbot (of the Augustinian canons at Ashby), the treatise proper on a sermon's construction, and five sample sermons. In contradistinction to current formalist descriptions of the De artificioso modo predicandi, this essay focuses on its audience awareness. I argue that the historical importance of this treatise lies not merely in its revival of classical terminology, but also in its theorization of rhetorical scenes in which classical teachings might apply to the sermon.

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