Media Studies

Aristotle: Rhetoric

The Rhetoric (Greek: Ῥητορική; Latin: Ars Rhetorica) by Aristotle is a treatise on the art of persuasion, examining how a public speaker can produce a range of effects, including a favourable impression of his own character, and various emotions, as well as winning assent to arguments. As so often with Aristotle, the Rhetoric was foundational for the discipline, setting the agenda down to early modern times. 

The Rhetoric at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Loebulus. L193 - Aristotle -- The "Art" of Rhetoric. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Internet Archive: The Rhetoric of Aristotle, translated by Richard Claverhouse Jebb (1908). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Rhetoric, translated by W. Rhys Roberts. HTML and TXT formats.

Perseus: Greek text, edited by W.D. Ross (1959). English text, translated by J.H. Freese (1926). HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: Rhetoric, multiple translations, multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Stage Directions: Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Librivox: Rhetoric, public domain audiobook.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Aristotle's Rhetoric, by Christof Rapp.

The Rhetoric at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Plato: Gorgias, Phaedrus - Key dialogues on rhetoric.

Aristotle: The Topics, Sophistical Refutations - logical works relevant to art of rhetoric.

Aristotle: The Poetics - his other significant work on aesthetics.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Plato: Ion

The Ion (Greek: Ἴων) is a dialogue in which Socrates discusses the nature of poetry with a rhapsode, a professional performer who specialises in giving oral recitations from Homer. Socrates questions whether his ability is the result of skill or divine inspiration.

The dialogue is a key example of Plato's suspicion of mimesis or imitation. It could also be seen as a critique of the place of oral tradition in Greek culture, although as the Phaedrus shows, Plato also had doubts about the advantages of writing.

Ion at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France |  Germany | Spain | Italy

Free Online and Downloadable Texts

Gutenberg: Ion by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett, multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Ion, HTML and TXT formats.

Perseus: Ion. English text (Lamb 1925). Greek text (Burnet ed. 1903).

Wikisource: Ion, translated by Benjamin Jowett. Online text.

Other Resources

Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues

Librivox: Ion - public domain audiobook.

Philpapers: Ion - open access papers.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plato on Rhetoric and Poetry, by Charles L. Griswold.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plato's Aesthetics, by Nickolas Pappas.

Wikipedia: Ion

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Homer: The Iliad and the Odyssey - The high proportion of direct speech in these epics set the tone for the mimetic aspect of Greek literature which troubled Plato although it was, ironically, reflected in his own use of the dialogue form.

Plato: Phaedrus.

Plato: The Republic - in which the poets are famously banished from the ideal city.

Aristotle: The Poetics.

Ancient Greek resources: learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: Plato's Dialogues are listed.


Plato: Phaedrus

The Phaedrus (Greek Φαῖδρος) is a dialogue by Plato which includes discussions of the nature of love and of the art of rhetoric. The treatment of the latter subject includes one of Plato's most significant discussions of the uses and limitations of writing as a form of communication. Together with the examination of poetry in the Ion, this is of special interest for media studies and the understanding of the transition from an oral to a literate culture in classical Greece.

The Phaedrus at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: Phaedrus by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett, multiple formats.

Liberty Fund: Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, vol. 1, translated into English with Analyses and Introductions (Charmides, Lysis, Laches, Protagoras, Euthydemus, Cratylus, Phaedrus, Ion, Symposium), by B. Jowett, M.A. in Five Volumes. 3rd edition revised and corrected (Oxford University Press, 1892). Multiple formats

Loebulus. L036 - Plato -- Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text, edited by John Burnet (1903). English text, translated by Harold Fowler (1925). HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: Phaedrus, translated by Benjamin Jowett. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues

Dale E. Burrington: Guides to the Socratic Dialogues.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Wings of Desire: Plato's Erotic Dialogues - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Frisbee Sheffield on Platonic Love - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Librivox: Phaedrus - public domain audiobook.

PhilPapers: Plato - Phaedrus - open access papers.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plato on Friendship and Eros, by C.D.C. Reeve.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plato on Rhetoric and Poetry, by Charles L. Griswold.

Wikipedia: Phaedrus (dialogue) .

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Plato: LysisSymposium - Plato's other major erotic dialogues.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: Plato's Dialogues are listed.