Acta Comeniana 33:27-45 (2019)

This case study of the correspondence between the German humanist Johannes Caselius and Livonian humanist David Hilchen demonstrates the decisive importance of rhetorical strategies in humanist correspondence around the turn of the 17th century. These strategies clearly depended on the social positions, ages and occupations of the correspondents, and they changed constantly, especially in long-running correspondences. The older correspondent initially reflected on his younger counterpart’s deeds, adapting the style and rhetoric of his letters to the level of his younger partner, that is, the level of school rhe-toric or progymnasmata. In letters to the almost adult correspondent, the use of rhetorical devices increased while the syntax became more complicated and the rhetorical figures more variable. After long disruptions to the correspondence, and particularly where this was due to changes in the political or social position of one of the correspondents, new rhetorical strategies were standard. © 2019, Czech Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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