An Introduction to Anacoenosis

Anacoenosis (derives from Greek Anakoinoun literally means “communication”), is a figure by which the speaker throws a question to his hearers seeking their opinion or judgment upon the matter in deliberation. This is usually in the manner that demonstrate shared interest.

Notable Examples of Anacoenosis
    Anacoenosis may be a scenario when a person excuses his conduct, gives reasons for it, and appeals to those about him whether they are not satisfactory or what they woud have done if they were in his position. As when an interculotor says, tell me:
  • “if you were in my place, what would you have done? and elsewhere, suppose it was a common affair, and that the management was instructed to you.”
    Likewise Cicero, in his Oration for Caecina, appeals to Piso:
  • “Suppose, Piso, that any person had driven you from your hosuse by violence, how would you have behaved?”
    He also made a similar appeal in his Oration for Rabirius:
  • “But what could you have done in such a case, and at such a juncture? – when to have sat still or to have withdrawn, would have been cowardice; when the wickedness and fury of Saturninus had sent for you into the Capitol, and the consuls had called you to protect the safety and liberty of your country? Whose authority, whose voice, which party would you have followed? and whose orders would you have chosen to obey?”
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae, Figures | AnacoenosisOpens in new window
Thomas Gibbons, Rhetoric | AnacoenosisOpens in new window
Mark Forsyth, The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase | AnacoenosisOpens in new window