Figure Name pareuresis
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Quintilian 7.4.14; Peacham (1593)
Earliest Source None
Synonyms adinventio, excusatio, admuentio
Etymology Gk. “pretense”
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain

1. To put forward a convincing excuse. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Pareuresis, in latine Admuentio, and Excoritata excusatio is a forme of speech by which the speaker alledgeth a premeditated excuse conteining reasons of such might as are able to vanquish all objections. (Peacham)


2. A most artificall example hereof is found in the answere of Aeneas to Dido, in the 4. booke of Aeneidos, whereof I have gathered the summe both of the objections of Dido, and of the answeres & excuses of Aeneas, and have put them into partes as they stand in the Author, and first of her objection then after of his excuse and answere.

First, she objecteth by her suspition gathered from probable tokens and very likely signes, his unkinde and wicked purpose to steale away from her, to whom she declareth her most fervant love, charging him with his promise, faithfully plighted to her.

Secondly, she telleth him that for his sake, she is hated of forraine Princes, and despised of her owne people, that for his sake her high and exalted fame were utterly lost.

Thirdly, she declareth that for his sake the danger of conquest both of Carthage and her kingdome were most like to ensue, if he should wilfully persist, & wickedly proceed in this his evil purpose, which did most wofully and grievously appeare unto her.

To whose objection Aeneas maketh an anwere consisting of many parts as followeth: First he confesseth her kindnesse, goodnesse, and liberalitie. Secondly, he uterly denieth that ever his entent was to depart by stealth. Thirdly, he telleth her that wedlocke was never his meaning, nor his commng. Fourthly, he saith, that he greatly desireth to restore his ancient citie of Troy. Fifthly, he alledgeth that ye Oracle of Apollo calleth him from Carthage to Italy. Sixtly, he argueth from equall comparison, that if she might take delight and pleasure to ddwell in Carthage her native Citie and country, why might not the Troyans likewise repaire to the land which they most longed after? Seventhly, he sheweth her that his fathers ghost doth every night warn him away. Eightly, that he did wrong to his sonne Ascamus, to withhold him so long from Italy, his promised enheritance. Ninthly, he signifieth that by a message from God himselfe, both appearing to his eyes and sounding in his eares, he is commanded to remove and depart from thence, and therfore wisheth her to content her selfe, and cease her wailing for his love which might not prevaile, and therefore in vaine. (Peacham)

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures dicaeologia, anangeon, figures of moderation
Notes None of the linguistic domains or 'type of' options seem applicable.
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ashley Rose Kelly
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No