Captatio benevolentiae
(305 words)

[German version]

Of the rhetorical methods essential to convince and persuade listeners, the captatio benevolentiae is one of the most effective. Cicero saw it as one of the pillars upon which the entire edifice of oratory art is based (De or. 2,115). It is concerned with a moderate incitement of feelings, with particular emphasis on the ethical qualities of the orator and his cliens (ibid. 182ff.; or. 128); it makes use of a lenitas orationis (Cic. De or. 2,128f.), which is evident not only in the elocutio, but also the actio, and thereby has an impact on the orator's actions as a w…

Cite this page
Calboli Montefusco, Lucia (Bologna), “Captatio benevolentiae”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 16 October 2018 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲