Figure Name commoratio
Source Quintilian 9.2.4; Peacham (1577) T4r; Putt. (1589) 240 ("commoratio," "figure of abode"); Day 1599 98; Silva Rhetoricae (; Garrett Epp (1994) ("commoratio," "epimone"); Peacham 1593; Vinsauf (1967) ("commoratio"); De Mille (1882)
Earliest Source None
Synonyms figure of abode, epimone
Etymology L. “delay, dwelling on a point”
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. Dwelling on or returning to one's strongest argument. Latin equivalent for epimone. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Lingering upon a strong point and frequently returning to it. (Garrett Epp)

3. Commoratio is a forme of speech, by which the Orator knowing whereon the whole waight of his cause doth depend, maketh often recourse thither, and repeateth it many times by variation, whereof there be two kindes, to one which expresseth one thing with may words of the same signification which is called Sinonimia, spoken of before as in this example of Cicero: And shall so great a vertue be expelled, thrust out, banished and cast away from the citie? (Peacham)

4. There are other figures to adorn the meaning of words. All of these I include in the following brief treatment: when meaning is adorned, this is the standard procedure. ... ((8) commoratio) [By commoratio] I go deeply into one point and linger on in the same place. (Vinsauf)

Emphasis is given to dwelling upon any important proposition or any single circumstance. (De Mille)


2. The Ad Herennium says it is not possible to give an example, since this figure runs through a whole discourse, but note, for instance, Mark Anthony's variations in the funeral oration (JC 3.2) on the theme:
"...Brutus says he was ambitious,/ And Brutus is an honorable man."
(Note: this particular line also illustrates the figure commutatio.) (Garrett Epp)

3. Another: What diddest thou covet? What didest thou wish? what diddest thou desire? The other wich declareth one thing with diverse members, divers causes, diverse effectes and deverse reasons, Cicero when Erutius could shew no cause in his accusation, why Roscius should slay his father, he doth first amplifie the wicked fact of Parricide, declaring how great it is, & argueth that without many and great causes, such a wickednesse cannot bee committed, and contendeth that it cannot fall but upon a mischievous and most lewd men: after this he demaundeth of Erutius the cause why Roscius should slay his father, which place because it was strongest in Roscius defence, he tarieth long in it, and very often maketh his returne thither, he often demaundeth the causes of so great and horrible wickednesse, of so shameful a deed, he often amplifieth the greatnesse of the fact, and that which is great indeede, he maketh by his eloquence and vehemencie of his speech wonderfull great. (Peacham)

4. ((8) Commoratio) His own sordid gain gratifies each man; the general depravity oppresses you only. This one sin is corrupting all men. (Vinsauf)

5. "A proposition was made in the Congress of the United States-almost the sole, the last, the greatest repository of human hope and of human freedom-the representative of a nation capable of bringing into the field a million of bayonets." -HENRY CLAY. (De Mille)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of
Related Figures epimone, repetition, figures of reasoning, figures of amplification
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Samantha Price
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No