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Everything is rhetoric: a translation and introduction of On literary composition, a treatise by Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Grant number: 21/03081-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Languages
Principal Investigator:Fernando Rodrigues Junior
Grantee:Gaya de Castro Cunha
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims at two separate goals: first, a translation from Greek to Portuguese of chapters 1 to 9 of the rhetorical treatise On literary composition (Peri syntheseos onomaton); second, an introductory essay regarding said treatise and its author, the rhetor, historian and Hellenistic teacher Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1st century BC). The first objective is justified by the lack of a Portuguese translation of the said text, whose importance in the rhetorical tradition is undeniable, having influenced rhetors and poets of several epochs, such as Quintilian, Hermogenes, Castelvetro, Góngora, and Racine. The second objective gains relevance for dedicating itself to a study barely covered in Brazil, regarding a type of rhetoric settled in critical analysis of several works of the Ancient period, aiming at discussing the literary composition. Through minute's analysis, Dionysius compares excerpts of poets, philosophers, historians, and rhetoricians such as Homer, Plato, Herodotus, and Demosthenes in order to demonstrate how the arrangement of words breeds excellence of lexis - the excellence of speech. There is revealing evidence that On lit. used to circulate freely among the Ancient, given its broad relevance; for us, the treatise is a valuable testimony of critical theory, rhetoric, and teaching methods, as well as the relationship between student and teacher in the 1st century BC, a period marked for being a transition between epochs. Having settled the proposed objectives, it is ultimately expected that this project contributes to the studies of rhetoric, poetry, prose, reception, and education in Ancient History, as well as their transformations over time. (AU)

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