Heuristic Strategies in the Speeches of Cicero

  • Gábor Tahin

Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 23)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 1-14
  3. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 15-38
  4. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 75-86
  5. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 87-100
  6. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 101-112
  7. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 113-126
  8. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 127-143
  9. Gábor Tahin
    Pages 145-168
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 169-193

About this book


This book introduces a new form of argumentative analysis: rhetorical heuremes. The method applies the concepts of heuristic thinking, probability, and contingency in order to develop a better understanding of complex arguments in classical oratory. A new theory is required because Greek and Roman rhetoric cannot provide detailed answers to problems of strategic argumentation in the analysis of speeches. Building on scholarship in Ciceronian oratory, this book moves beyond the extant terminology and employs a concept of heuristic reasoning derived from the psychology of decision making and mathematical problem solving. The author analyses selected passages from Cicero’s forensic speeches where arguments of probability are deployed, and shows that the Sophistic concept of probability can link ancient rhetoric and modern theories of argumentation. Six groups of heuremes are identified, each of which represents a form of probabilistic reasoning by which the orator plays upon the perception of the jurors.


Analyses of Ciceronian Oratory Ancient Rhetorical Systems Arguments in Ancient Rhetoric Ciceronian Speeches Early Greek Rhetoric Heuremes in Cicero Heuristic Arguments in the Greek Orators Heuristic Oratory Meaning of εἰκός and its Cognates Origins of Heuristics Sulla veri simile in Rhetorical Theory ‘Facts’ of the Case ‘Probabilities’ of the Case

Authors and affiliations

  • Gábor Tahin
    • 1
  1. 1.Downside SchoolStratton-on-the-Fosse, RadstockUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information