Figure Name peristasis
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Peacham 1593; Bullinger (1898) ("peristasis; or, description of circumstances")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms circumstantiae descriptio, description of circumstances
Etymology Gk. peri, "around" and stasis, "a standing, setting"
Type Trope
Linguistic Domain Phonological

1. A description of attendant circumstances: time, place, occasion, personal characteristics, background, education, habits, etc. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Peristasis, a forme of speech by which the Orator amplifieth by circumstance, and circumstances are either of a person or of a thing, a person hath these: Parentage, nation, Countrie, kinde, age, education, discipline, habite of bodie, fortune, condition, nature of the minde, studie, foredeeds, name, & c. (Peacham)

3. Peristasis is the name of the figure which describes the circumstances... (Bullinger, 474)


2. Parentage: Thou ar of a noble blood, and hast thou made thy selfe a companion of most lewd men. (Peacham)

2. Nation: art not thou worthie of blame being an Englishman borne to despise the practice of shooting, knowing that it hath been of long time the principall cause of English glory? (Peacham)

2. Countrey: To be borne in Crete and to hate the vice of lying is praise worthy. To be borne in Asia among Turkes and to favoure and imbrace Christian religion, amplifieth the vertue of that man. (Peacham)

2. Kinde: Boldnesse, unchast speech, manlike apparell and gesture are all unseemely in women, and woman kind. (Peacham)

2. Age: Lying, lightnesse and lust are three evils intollerable in youth, how much more in gray heads and old age? (Peacham)

2. Education: To be well brought up, and vertuously trained in youth, and after to digresse and become wicked as did Nero, amplifieth the fault and increaseth the shame. (Peacham)

2. Discipline: A Judge to corrupt lawes and wrest judgement, a professor of divinitie to teach errors and maintaine heresies, a Phisition to destroy life by the abuse of Phisicke, a Captaine to forsake his Prince, and take part with the enemie: all these are great offences in any sort of men, but yet far greater, when the profession and the transgression be compared together. (Peacham)

2. Habite of bodie: God hath indued thee with a bewtifull fairnesse, and why dost thou live in so foule manner, and blemish that which he hath bewtified? (Peacham)

Thou hast a lustie and strong bodie, art thou not ashamed to beg thy bread? (Peacham)

Thou art a tall and mightie man, why art thou then fearefull to fight for thy countrey? (Peacham)

Little David slew great Golia, which was wonderfull. (Peacham)

2. Condition: Being a servant and to strike his maister, is he not worthy to be punished? How dare you being a private person resist your magistrate? a rich man to steale, a poore man to be proud, are offences much encreased when their condition or estate is considered. (Peacham)

2. The nature of the mind: God hath given you a valiant heart, and shall carefull thoughts overcome you? you have had alwaies a constant mind, and shall trifles quench your old frendship? (Peacham)

2. Studie: You studie the law which is the maintenance of right, with what face or conscience can you offer this wrong? (Peacham)

2. Foredeedes: When a man hath in his youth and former part of his time been vertuous, well geven, liberall and pittifull, valiant and hardie, and now to fall from all vertue to all vice, to become hard, cruell, cowardly, slouthfull and carelesse, amplifieth greatly these crimes by which those excellent vertues are oppressed. (Peacham)

2. You counselled them to take this ungracious enterprise in hand, and therefore your punishment is like to be thereafter. (Peacham)

By his counsell the armie was directed, the Cittie beseiged, won and conquered, the greater is therefore the fame of his wisedome. (Peacham)

2. Name: Is thy name Salomon, and hast no more wisedome? doest thou feare to be a souldier, and thy name Alexander? (Peacham)

2. Cause: Judas was the cause of betraying Christ, therefore he had the more sin. (Peacham)

2. Place: They bought and sold in the temple the house of praier, and therefore they were reputed theeves, and the temple called their denne. (Peacham)

2. Time: In the time of praier to be exercised in wicked works, lewd wordes, or wanton behaviour is offensive to good men, and cursed before God. To abuse the tune of peace with tumults and sedition, is an heinous offence. (Peacham)

2. Occasion: To watch the oportunitie of darkenesse to do mischiefe betokeneth a pretended purpose, to use the helpe of solitudes as Cain did, when he slew Abel his brother, doth take away all excuse of ignorance and pretence of infirmitie. (Peacham)

2. Instrument, to slay with a dag or privie weapon, to murder by poisoning or by strangling doth argue a deepe and cursed malice of the murderer. (Peacham)

3. See John 4:6; 18:18, etc. (Bullinger, 474)

Kind Of Identity
Part Of
Related Figures figures of amplification
Notes Unsure of 'type of'.
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No