Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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Taking a combined theoretical and empirical approach, this essay studies the rhetorical implications of speech-reporting strategies in medieval East Slavic hagiography and homiletics. The author argues for a pragmatic approach to the study of a particular rhetorical concept: enargeia ‘the power of language to create a vivid presence of that which is set forth in words’. The first part of the article outlines the constitutive characteristics of enargeia, based on its treatment in rhetorical handbooks of Classical and Late Antiquity and on the rhetorical practice. Part two moves on to discuss reported speech as one possible field of study for an investigation of the “pragmatics of enargeia” at work in medieval texts, with a view to demonstrating the relevance of central pragmatic categories for the study of what one could call “enargetic rhetoric”. Examples are taken from Nestor of the Caves’ Life of Feodosij (eleventh century) and Kirill of Turov’s sermons (late twelfth century).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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