Abstract: In the Christian society and culture of England before the Norman Conquest literary education viras centred on grammar. The extant texts reflect an educational system which by no means neglected rhetorical education——but the classical ars bene dicendi was apparently basically unknown. Anglo-Saxon England thus provides a test case for the continuation and elaboration of alternatives for classical rhetorical teaching. It is argued that, besides the influence of pedagogical considerations and Germanic poetical devices, the background of Anglo-Saxon rhetorical strategies is to be sought in an extended grammatical curriculum. Instruction in the praeexercitamina may have been included in this curriculum. The figures and tropes contained in the grammars for the purpose of text interpretation were certainly studied, cind they were also employed in the production of literature. Of utmost importance was the creative use of rhetorical techniques which were deduced from model texts by way of grammatical enarratio.
- Copyright 1999, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric