Figure Name ratiocinatio
Source Silva Rhetoricae (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm); Garrett Epp (1994) ("ratiocinatio," "aetiologia"); Ad Herennium 4.16.23-24; Vinsauf (1967) ("ratiocinatio")
Earliest Source None
Etymology L. ratio, "reason"
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. Reasoning (typically with oneself) by asking questions. Sometimes equivalent to anthypophora. More specifically, ratiocinatio can mean making statements, then asking the reason (ratio) for such an affirmation, then answering oneself. In this latter sense ratiocinatio is closely related to aetiologia. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Reasoning by question and answer. (Garrett Epp)

3. If a mode of expression both easy and adorned is desired, set aside all the techniques of the dignified style and have recourse to means that are simple, but of a simplicity that does not shock the ear by its rudeness. Here are the rhetorical colours with which to adorn your style: (Vinsauf)


1. Old age is superior to youth. Why? The body has been tamed and the mind ripened with wisdom. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by.

Richard loves Richard: that is, I am I.

Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:

Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why -

Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?

Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? ... (R3 5.3 qtd. in Garrett Epp)

3. Tell me, why did you touch fruit so harmful? My wife offered it to me. But why did you taste it? She was persuasive. Knowing the deed pernicious, why did you approve? I was afraid of making her angry. After the deed, why were you slow to repent your guilt by petitioning God for pardon? Say, in this deed of death, what reason was found? There was only delusion for reason. (Vinsauf)

Kind Of Series
Part Of
Related Figures erotema, aetiologia, anthypophora
Notes Unsure of 'linguistic domain' and 'type of'
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Nike Abbott
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes rm repetition as type of
Reviewed No