Religion Past and Present

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(360 words)

[German Version]

For Aristotle the theory of topoi (Lat. loci, “places”) was one of the fundamental elements of dialectics, the knowledge of what is probable, where it reveals and substantiates the situational appropriateness of strategies of argumentation (Rhetoric). Cicero’s rhetorical understanding of loci, only partially coincident with Aristotle’s theory, was more influential: the loci are sedes argumentorum (De oratore, II 162), the most general categories in which a speaker looks for arguments. Thus “topics” are associated with the rhetorical art of inventio, which is…

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Zachhuber, Johannes, “Topic”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 18 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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