Figure Name prosapodosis
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Garrett Epp (1994) ("divisio," "prosapodosis"); Ad Herennium ("division") (361); De Mille (1882); Blount (1653) 41; Bullinger (1898) ("prosapodosis; or, detailing"); Johnson (1903) ("apodosis")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms divisio, detailing, reditio, redditio, sejugatio, disjunctio, diezeugmenon, apodosis
Etymology Gr. pros "to" and apodosis "a giving back" (from apodidomi "to give back, return")
Type Trope
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. Providing a reason for each division of a statement, the reasons usually following the statement in parallel fashion. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Distinguishing the alternatives of a question, and resolving each, by subjoining a reason. (Garrett Epp)

3. Division separates the alternatives of a question and resolves each by means of a reason subjoined. (Ad Herennium)

Another kind is found in sentences where the statement of a thing is followed by the antithesis of its cause. (De Mille)

5. "[the second part of division] is PROSOPODOSIS, that overthrows no part of the Division, but returns some part to each member." (Blount)

6. A Returning for Repetition and Explanation... [see Etymology] The figure is so called because after the mention of two or three words or subjects together, there is a return to them again, and they are repeated separately for purposes of definition or explanation. (Bullinger, 422)

7. Apod'osis.—In a sentence that is made up of dependent clauses, those that set forth the conditions form the protasis, and those that state the resulting conclusion form the apodosis. (Johnson, 37)


2. If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then this parting was well made. (JC 5.1 qtd. in Garrett Epp)

3. "Why should I now reproach you in any way ? If you are an upright man, you have not deserved reproach ; if a wicked man, you will be unmoved." (Ad Herennium)

3. "Why should I now boast of my deserts ? If you remember them, I shall weary you; if you have forgotten them, I have been ineffective in action, and therefore what could I effect by words? (Ad Herennium)

3. " There are two things which can urge men to illicit gain : poverty and greed. That you were greedy in the division with your brother we know, that you are poor and destitute we
now see. How, therefore, can you show that you had no motive for the crime? " (Ad Herennium)

4. This is called "prosapodosis:"
"Neither do I dread him as an accuser, inashmuch as I am innocent; nor do I fear him as a competitor, since I am Antonius; nor do I expect anything from him as consul, as he is Cicero." - Quoted by Quintilian.
"It is better to command no one than to be a slave to any one; for we may live honorably with command, but in slavery there is no endurance of life." -Quoted by Quintilian.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (De Mille)

5. "Heretofore I accused the Sea, condemned the Pyrats, and hated my evil fortune, that deprived me of thee: But now thy self art the Sea, thy self the Pyrat, and thy will the evil fortune. Time at one instant seeming short and long to them; short in the pleasingness of such presence, and long in stay of their desires. Your silence must carry with it a construction of contempt, unkindness or displeasure. If you take me not for your friend, you offer unkindness; if you deem me unworthy of an answer, it proceeds of contempt; if your passion defers a reply, it argues displeasure." (Blount)

6. John 16:8-11. -"And when he is come, he will reprove (mar., convince) the world of sin, and righteousness, and judgment:-
"Of sin, because they believe not me;
"Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
"Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
Here, after the mention of the three words together, "sin," "righteousness," and "judgment," the Lord returns to them again, and repeats them separately, for the purpose of explaining and more particularly defining them. Thus we learn that the mission and work of the Holy Ghost with regard to the world was to bring it in guilty (for that is the meaning of the word) concerning these three important facts. (Bullinger, 423)

7. Thus:

When all the world's a dream to us, we'll go to sea no more.

The first clause is the protasis (or foresaying), and the second is the apodosis (or aftersaying). Loose habits of speech often result in the utterance of an elaborate or involved protasis, with omission of the apodosis. When the interlocutor says, " That being so, what of it ? " he is simply asking the speaker to supply the apodosis that should go with his protasis. Sometimes a speaker produces a strong effect by purposely omitting an apodosis or by uttering an unexpected one. A good instance is furnished by Patrick Henry's speech in 1765, in which
he said: "Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third—may profit by their example." (Johnson, 37)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of
Related Figures aetiologia, apophasis, enthymeme, ratiocinatio, figures of division, antithesis
Notes Unsure of 'type of'
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No