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Bill Thayer

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The Rhetorica ad Herennium
on LacusCurtius

The Text

As almost always, I am retyping the text rather than scanning it: not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with it, an exercise I heartily recommend. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

In the table of contents below, the items I've completely proofread are shown on blue backgrounds; any red backgrounds indicate that the proofreading is still incomplete. The header bar at the top of each webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. In either case of course, should you spot an error, please do report it. I'll eventually put up the original Latin text as well; for now, that column is greyed out.

Latin Text English Translation

Liber I

Liber II

Liber III

Liber IV:




The Author, the Manuscripts

Harry Caplan, the translator of the Loeb edition, has provided a detailed introduction, which also covers the principal manuscripts.

Edition Used

The text and English translation are those printed in the volume of the Loeb Classical Library, [Cicero]: Ad Herennium, first published in 1954. The work is thus now in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the last copyright expired in 1982 and was not renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been that year or the year before. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

Chapter and Section Numbering, Local Links

My transcription includes a full complement of local links. Both chapters (large numbers) and sections (small numbers), then, mark these local links, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage. Similarly, for citation purposes, the Loeb edition pagination is indicated by local links in the sourcecode, and marked in the right margin.

[image ALT: A photograph of a relief sculptured of a man with a book, on the viewer's left, taking dictation from a crowned woman on the right. It is a detail of a carving on the Fontana Grande in Perugia, Umbria (central Italy); on this site, it serves as the icon for the Rhetorica ad Herennium.]

The icon with which I indicate this work is a detail of Rectorica (sic) on the Fontana Grande, the medieval marble fountain in front of the cathedral of Perugia in Umbria. It's pretty much the perfect illustration, since the acme of our book's reputation and use was in the Middle Ages, when it was the foundational textbook for teaching its subject. For a full-sized photo of the panel pairing Rhetoric and Arithmetic, see my diary, Mar. 26, 2004.

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Site updated: 5 Jul 08