World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0004514291
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sententiae  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of economic thought, Index (typography), Scholasticism, Romeo and Juliet
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sententiae, the nominative plural of the Latin word sententia,[1] are brief moral sayings, such as proverbs, adages, aphorisms, maxims, or apophthegms taken from ancient or popular or other sources, often quoted without context.

Sententia, the nominative singular, also called a "sentence," is a kind of rhetorical proof. Through the invocation of a proverb, quotation, or witty turn of phrase during a presentation or conversation one may be able to gain the assent of the listener, who will hear a kind of non-logical, but agreed-upon "truth" in what you are saying.

The use of sententiae has been explained by Aristotle[2] (when he discusses the gnomê, or sententious maxim, as a form of enthymeme), Quintilian,[3] and other classical authorities. Early modern English writers, heavily influenced by various humanist educational practices, such as harvesting commonplaces, were especially attracted to sententiae. The technique of sententious speech is exemplified by Polonius' famous speech to Laertes in Hamlet.[4] Sometimes in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama the sententious lines appear at the end of scenes in rhymed couplets (for instance, John Webster's Duchess of Malfi). In some early modern dramatic texts and other writings, sententiae are often flagged by marginal notes or special marks.[5]


The "first Roman book of literary character" [6] was the Sententiae of Appius Claudius. It was composed upon a Greek model.[7]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rhetoric 2.21 [1394a19ff]
  3. ^ Institutes of Oratory, 8.5
  4. ^ Act 1, scene 3
  5. ^ G.K. Hunter, "The Marking of Sententiæ in Elizabethan Printed Plays, Poems, and Romances," The Library 5th series 6 (1951): 171-188
  6. ^ Boak, Arthur E. R. & Sinnigen, William G. History of Rome to A.D. 565. 5th Edition. The Macmillian Company, 1965. Print. pg. 95
  7. ^ Boak, Arthur E. R. & Sinnigen, William G. History of Rome to A.D. 565. 5th Edition. The Macmillian Company, 1965. Print. pg. 95
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.