Figure Name martyria
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Peacham (1593); JG Smith (1665); Hill (1883) ("testimony")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms marturion, testimony, testatio, witness
Etymology Gk. marturion “testimony”
Type Trope
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. Confirming something by referring to one's own experience. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Martyria in Latine Testatio, is a forme of speech by which the Orator or Speaker confirmeth some thign by his owne experience. (Peacham)

3. Testimony: a figure when the speaker confirms something by his own experience.; Martyria, Testimonium, Testatio, Testimony or evidence: derived from [martyr] testis, a witnesse. A figure when the speaker confirms something by his own experience. Thus the Physitian makes report of his own proof in diseases and cures, and sometimes records them to the great benefit of succeeding generations. Thus the Captain which hath been in many battails, at many seiges, and hath had experience in many stratagems, teaches young souldiers, and confirms his advice by his own testimony founded upon often proof. (JG Smith)

4. 4. Testimony.
Testimony is a kind of sign implying as a condition of its existence the truth of the fact attested. The laws of motive render it probably that testimony would not be given if the attestation were not called forth by fact. The same law leads us to infer the possibility of a different condition, as incompetency, falsehood, etc. In every case where testimony is used as an argument, we must decide between the truth of the attestation on the one hand, and the incompetency or corruption of the witness on the other. The decision of such questions requires us to attend to several particulars affective the value of testimony.
(1) The Number of Witnesses. - The greater the number of witnesses, other things being equal, the greater the value of the testimony. (Hill)

4. (2) Character of Witnesses.- The moral and intellectual character of the witness is important to the value of the testimony. (Hill)

4. (3) Concurrent Witnesses.- Concurrent testimony is especially valuable if there has been no opportunity for collusion. Too close concurrence, however, leads to the suspicion of previous conference, and the invention of a tale. (Hill)

4. (4) Adverse Witnesses.- Adverse testimony is usually incidental, as in the Jewish work called the "Generation of Jesus," which refers the miracles of Jesus to magic, thereby admitting their actual performance. (Hill)

4. (5) Character of Facts Attested.- We need to distinguish sharply between matters of fact and matters of opinion. Witnesses almost invariably mingle their won opinions and explanations with the facts actually observed. (Hill)

4. (6) The Denial of Testimony.- To deny the story of a witness is to believe that he has invented it, or is deluded. (Hill)


1. During my 30 years experience in the company we have consistently maintained this policy. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. An example of Eliphaz the Themanite: “I have seene the foolish deepe rooted and suddenly I cursed his habitation.” Job.3.5. (Peacham)

2. Another of the Prophet David: “I have seene the wicked in great prosperitie, and florishing like a greene Bay tree, I passed by, and he was gone.” Psal.37.35. (Peacham)

2. Another of the same Prophet: “I have been yong, and now am old, yet I never saw the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.” verse.2.5. (Peacham)

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures figures of moderation
Notes Related Topics of Invention: Testimony; since this figure is referring to something, it is a trope
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Samantha Price
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No