Sprachlich-rhetorische Analyse der einleitenden Reden im Antibarbarorum Liber des Erasmus von Rotterdam


  • Peter Schenk




Erasmus of Rotterdam, Antibarbarorum liber, style and rhetoric, characterization of the dialogue participants


Peter Schenk: Linguistic-rhetorical analysis of the introductory speeches in the Antibarbarorum Liber of Erasmus of Rotterdam

This paper shows how Erasmus skillfully stages a lively dialogue in the introductory part of the Antibarbarorum liber by employing the most diverse linguistic and rhetorical means and by literarizing his work. The parts in which a comparison with the Gouda version is possible show not a mere expansion but also an intensification of the original. As a consequence, this section fits better into the overall context of the introduction and of the entire dialogue, both in terms of style and of rhetoric. In addition to strengthening the inner cohesion of the individual parts, the stronger linguistic and rhetorical elaboration serves a more sophisticated characterization of the dialogue partners. Their speeches reveal a hierarchy which corresponds to the different weight of their respective statements. The basic principle in the arrangement of the four introductory speeches is the climax, a literary technique that has been part of dialogue literature since antiquity. Batt’s speeches in particular are permeated by a unity of apt statements and superior rhetorical design in the spirit of the Ciceronian ideal of the orator perfectus. These results demonstrate the interdependence of rhetoric and thinking in Erasmus.