Skip to main content

Aristotle’s "Art of Rhetoric"

Translated and with an Interpretive Essay by Robert C. Bartlett
For more than two thousand years. Aristotle’s “Art of Rhetoric” has shaped thought on the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech. In three sections, Aristotle discusses what rhetoric is, as well as the three kinds of rhetoric (deliberative, judicial, and epideictic), the three rhetorical modes of persuasion, and the diction, style, and necessary parts of a successful speech. Throughout, Aristotle defends rhetoric as an art and a crucial tool for deliberative politics while also recognizing its capacity to be misused by unscrupulous politicians to mislead or illegitimately persuade others.

Here Robert C. Bartlett offers a literal, yet easily readable, new translation of Aristotle’s “Art of Rhetoric,” one that takes into account important alternatives in the manuscript and is fully annotated to explain historical, literary, and other allusions. Bartlett’s translation is also accompanied by an outline of the argument of each book; copious indexes, including subjects, proper names, and literary citations; a glossary of key terms; and a substantial interpretive essay.

288 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2019

Ancient Studies

Philosophy: Political Philosophy

Political Science: Classic Political Thought


"As Robert C. Bartlett makes clear in an interpretive essay appended to his splendid new translation, Aristotle's Rhetoric is itself a rhetorical tour de force....there is no better place to start than Bartlett's translation of Aristotle's Rhetoric. "

Claremont Review of Books

"Robert C. Bartlett has made Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric accessible to contemporary readers with his literal but elegant translation. His numerous notes that explain Aristotle's historical and literary allusions as well as the subtleties of Aristotle's Greek are indispensable for following Aristotle's text...As Bartlett leads us to expect, Aristotle's Rhetoric offers a healthy correction to current ways of thinking about politics and about what we can expect of political leaders."

Mary P. Nichols | Law&Liberty

“Bartlett’s singularly accurate, readable, and elegant translation of Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric renders accessible to contemporary students and scholars this much-neglected foundational text of political philosophy. His interpretive essay illuminates Aristotle’s rich and complex treatment of the art of persuasion and demonstrates the central role this treatise plays within Aristotle’s overall study of human nature.”

Peter Ahrensdorf, Davidson College

“[This] new translation… takes into account important alternatives in the manuscript and is fully annotated to explain historical, literary, and other allusions.”

Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Table of Contents

Overview of the Art of Rhetoric
List of Abbreviations

Art of Rhetoric
Outline of Book 1
Book 1
Outline of Book 2
Book 2
Outline of Book 3
Book 3

Interpretive Essay
Key Greek Terms
Authors and Works Cited
Proper Names
General Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press