An Introduction to Enumeratio

Enumeratio (derives from a Latin word, literally means “a counting out” ), is a figure of amplification in which a subjectOpens in new window is broken down into its adjunctOpens in new window — the subject into accidents, the matter into the antecedents, the effect into the causes. This involves a detailed listing of the causes following after the effect.

Examples of Enumeratio

In the following examples the subjects are bolded, whereas the antecedent, consequencies and effects are italicized.

  • What may we think of man, when we consider the heavy burden of his misery, the weakness of his patience, the imperfection of his understanding, the conflicts of his counsels, the insatiable of his mind, the brevity of his life, and the certainty of his death?
  • — (Courtesy: Henry Perseus)

  • One dieth in full strength, in all ease and prosperitie, his brestes are full of milke, and his bones runne full of marrow. Another dieth in the bitternesse of his soule, and never eateth with pleasure. Time likewise may be distributed, as the time of peace, the time of warre, the tune of plentie, the time of dearth and famine which are the accidentes of time.
  • — Job.21.23.24.
Further Readings:
Silva Rhetoricae, Figures | Enumeratio Opens in new window
American Rhetoric — Rhetorical Figures In Sound | EnumeratioOpens in new window
Henry Peachum — The Garden of Eloquence (1593): Schemas | EnumeratioOpens in new window