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4. Politische Rhetorik in Mittelalter und Frührenaissance

Malena Ratzke and Christian Schmidt

Abstract

Political rhetoric of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period is part of ceremonial and ritual communication that symbolizes and constitutes the political order of premodern culture. Political speech was performed at political assemblies of both worldly and ecclesiastical nature as well as in the field of diplomacy. Genres of political speech include, among others, the sermon, arenga, scholastic treatise (Traktatrede) or the Ciceronian humanist speech. Medieval and humanist Mirrors for Princes reflect upon the role of political eloquence. Aimed at clerks, scribes, and officials in communal Italy, the emerging literature of ars dictandi and ars arengandi offers an introduction to the basics of political-rhetorical communication required for the production of letters and deliberative speeches. Examples of political rhetoric in medieval German literature can be found in genres often used for political purposes (Sangspruch, Spruchdichtung) as well as in texts depicting performances of political speech, e. g. courtly romance and chronicles.

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