We ought in fairness to fight our case with no help beyond the bare facts: nothing, therefore, should matter except the proof of those facts. Still, as has been already said, other things affect the result considerably, owing to the defects of our hearers.
[δίκαιον γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἀγωνίζεσθαι τοῖς πράγμασιν, ὥστε τἆλλα ἔξω τοῦ ἀποδεῖξαι περίεργα ἐστίν: ἀλλ᾽ ὅμως μέγα δύναται, καθάπερ εἴρηται, διὰ τὴν τοῦ ἀκροατοῦ μοχθηρίαν.]
Rhetoric [Ῥητορική; Ars Rhetorica], Book 3, ch. 1, sec. 5 (3.1.5) / 1404a (350 BC) [tr. Roberts (1924)]
On style vs. substance in shaping judgment. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:
For justice would be to contend with the facts only, so that every thing else beside the mere demonstration is superfluous; nevertheless, it [style] is of great influence, as has been said, owing to the corruption of the hearers.
Our facts ought to be our sole weapons, making everything superfluous which is outside the proof; owing to the infirmities of the hearer, however, style, as we have said, can do much.
[tr. Jebb (1873)]
For justice should consist in fighting the case with the facts alone, so that everything else that is beside demonstration is superfluous; nevertheless, as we have just said, it [style] is of great importance owing to the corruption of the hearer.
[tr. Freese (1926)]
Although [...] in justice, litigants should appeal only to the facts to contest the case, so that everything apart from demonstration is superfluous, it remains the case, as I have aid, that, thanks to the audience's moral weakness, delivery is very effective.
[tr. Waterfield (2018)]
Added on 7-Feb-14 | Last updated 1-Feb-22
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