This study examines the uses of the term harmonia in Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics and aims at identifying a consistent meaning of this word when applied to the literary arts. A difficulty arises from the fact that harmonia commonly denotes the melodic component of music and speech, but is mentioned in connection with the hexametric rhythm in two parallel passages from the Poetics and the Rhetoric, the latter of which is textually problematic. The solution presented in this article suggests an interpretation which assigns to harmonia the meaning of ‘speech melody’ and supports the least disruptive emendation of the contested passage from the Rhetoric.
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