Attempting to re-invigorate classical deliberative oratory, the Leuven professor of rhetoric Nicolaus Vernulaeus developed a new kind of political eloquence adapted to the needs of counsellors and diplomats working in the service of a monarch. In the present article we shall highlight his largely forgotten contribution to late humanist rhetorical theory and practice. We shall try to show that his rhetorical programme was based on a cogent, pointedly rhetorical view of political life. By analyzing the student orations which were composed under his guidance and subsequently published by him, we shall furthermore try to demonstrate that his training programme was consistent and practical, some striking discrepancies between theory and practice notwithstanding.
The Artistry of Civil Life: Deliberative Rhetoric and Political Pedagogy in the Work of Nicolaus Vernulaeus (1583–1649)*
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Toon Van Houdt, Erik De Bom; The Artistry of Civil Life: Deliberative Rhetoric and Political Pedagogy in the Work of Nicolaus Vernulaeus (1583–1649)*. Rhetorica 1 August 2017; 35 (3): 259–284. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rh.2017.35.3.259
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