The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Eloquence (from Latin eloquentia) is fluent, forcible, elegant or persuasive speaking. It is primarily the power of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language, thereby producing conviction or persuasion. The term is also used for writing in a fluent style.
The concept of eloquence dates to the ancient Greeks, Calliope,(one of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne) being the Muse of epic poetry and eloquence. "The Effects of Trim's Eloquence". George Cruikshank's illustration to Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Eloquence derives from the Latin roots: ē (a shortened form of the preposition ex), meaning "out (of)," and loqui, a deponent verb meaning "to speak." Thus, being eloquent is having the ability to project words fluidly out of the mouth and the ability to understand and command the language in such a way that one employs a graceful style coupled with the power of persuasion, or just being extremely graceful in the interpretation of communication.
Petrarch (Fracesco Petrarca), in his study program of the classics and antiquity (Italian Renaissance) focused attention on language and communication. After mastering language, the goal was to reach a “level of eloquence”, to be able to present gracefully, combine thought and reason in a powerful way, so as to persuade others to a point of view. Petrarch encouraged students to imitate the ancient writers, from a language perspective, combining clear and correct speech with moral thought. The Renaissance humanists focused on the correlation of speech and political principles as a powerful tool to present and persuade others to particular concepts. At the core of presentations was the use of graceful style, clear concise grammar and usage, and over time the insertion of rational and emotional arguments.