Aristotle Beyond the Academy


Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson

This strand of the project focuses on Aristole’s Rhetoric, which influenced preacher training, public speaking and self-help manuals, sometimes with parts of his logical works (the ‘Organon’) and/or Poetics included in paraphrase. It also includes the reception of Rhetorica ad Alexandrum until the mid-19th century, when its non-Aristotelian authorship became widely accepted. These have been cursorily documented for the period before 1600 [Brandes (1989)], but attempts at charting later centuries have neglected the sphere beyond university curricula [Poster (2001)], even overlooking the numerous reprintings of Thomas Hobbes’ summary of Aristotle’s Rhetoric (1681). This research examines rhetorical teaching in schools, self-help publications accessibly explaining Aristotle’s techniques of persuasion, rhetorical figures (especially analogies) and logical enthymemes for individuals keen to improve their oratorical or writing style, especially John Wesley’s trainee preachers and late 19th-century Trade Union activists.


Brandes, P.D. (1989) A History of Aristotle's Rhetoric. Scarecrow.

Poster, C. (2001) ‘Pedagogy and bibliography: Aristotle's “Rhetoric” in nineteenth-century England’, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 31, 5-35.

Durham UniversityDurham University Centre for Classical ReceptionLeverhulme Trust