The strong connection between rhythm and number is one of the most significant features of Aristotle's theory of rhythm. It equally underlies Cicero's rhetoric; and hence he translated the Greek notion of ῥυθμός into numerus. However, this terminology gives cause for concern; since numerus, like ῥυθμός may be relevant not only to rhythm in oratory, but also to musical rhythm. This is why Cicero was suspected by some Atticists of confounding music and discourse, although in fact the distinction between song and speech is prominent in his treatises. Quintilian addressed this problem and proposed a new terminology: for him, numerus referred only to rhythm in oratory, whereas rhythmos evoked the idea of musical rhythm.
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