An Introduction to Distributio

Distributio (etymologically from Latin, literally “apportionment”), is a rhetorical device for assigning specific roles to a group of people.

Distributio is a type of DivisioOpens in new window; it is sometimes used as a relative of EutrepismusOpens in new window, MerismusOpens in new window, SynecdocheOpens in new window, Taxis, and DiaresisOpens in new window.

Practical Example
  • “The prosecutor's job is to bring charges; the defence lawyer's, to answer and downplay these; the witness, to state truthfully what has been seen or heard, the judge, to keep all these three doing what they ought. To allow a witness to make accusations only confuses the role of a prosecutor with those of a witness...”
    — (Example courtesy of: Silva RhetoricaeOpens in new window)
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae: DistributioOpens in new window