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Grant number: FA-57523-13

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Vessela Valiavitcharska
University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD 20742-5141)

The Relationship between Figurative Language and Argumentation in Medieval Greek (Byzantine) Rhetoric

This project examines the relationship between figures of speech and argumentation in Byzantine rhetorical theory and practice, seeking to understand the ways in which style participates in argumentation and vice versa. Using medieval Byzantine rhetorical theory as a basis for research, it offers a comparative analysis between structures of rhetorical arguments and structures of formal syllogistic reasoning, seeking to identify which figural features of language hold argumentational and persuasive value. The book’s material for analysis includes visual representations of the rhetorical figures in Byzantine manuscripts (charts, diagrams), polemical marginal illustrations in polemical Byzantine psalters, and selections of extant practical polemics on the controversy about the use of religious images, known as Iconoclasm. The goal is to illumine the larger question of how the rhetorical figures double as language tools and structures of reasoning.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Composition and Rhetoric

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2014 – 1/31/2015