Hermogenes of Tarsus

Hermogenes of Tarsus was a Greek rhetorician, surnamed “The Polisher” who wrote during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180).

Hermogenes' treatise On Style was considered the most influential treatise on the topic in later antiquity and through Byzantine times. His book was the standard in rhetorical schools through the Renaissance.

Hermogenes followed the efforts of his predecessors Theophrastus, Cicero, Quintilian and Dionysus of Halicarnassus in trying to clarify the virtues of style. He classified style into the following seven main types (each with additional subdivisions):

  1. Clarity
  2. Grandeur
  3. Beauty
  4. Rapidity
  5. Character
  6. Sincerity
  7. Force

Writings about Hermogenes

Heath, M. (1995) Hermogenes on issues: Strategies of argument in later Greek rhetoric. Oxford University Press.

Wooten, C. W. (1987). Hermogenes' on types of style. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=SpIByrFHjWQC&dq=Hermogenes&source=gbs_navlinks_s, February 28, 2010.