Abstract: Aristotie's Rhetoric appears to have had little influence on rhetorical theory in Greek or Latin during late antiquity or the early Middle Ages, but it was closely studied by some Islamic philosophers, notably al-Farabi. Behind al-Farabi's interest in Aristotle's Rhetoric lay his adoption of Plato's doctrine of the philosopher-king, Whitch had an eloquent exponent in late antiquity in the philosopher-orator Themistius. An allusion to the Rhetoric in an oration of Themistius suggests that al-Farabi's assessment of the Rhetoric also had roots in late antiquity, possibly in circles around Themistius. The content of the Syriac Rhetoric of Antony of Tagrit confirms the likelihood that in thèse matters, as in many others, the Syrians were the intermediaries between Greek late antiquity and the classical renaissance in Islam.
- Copyright 1995, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric