Philophronesis: A form of speech for pacification.
Philophronesis: A form of speech for pacification.

An Introduction to Philophronesis

Philophronesis is a form of speech exclusively introduced to appease or pacify an adversaryOpens in new window. This sort of speech is introduced when the speaker, in perceiving the might of his adversary to be too great and too hostile against him, takes recourse in using gentle speech, fair promises, and humble submission, to pacify the rigor and cruelty of the adversary.

Example of Philophronesis

We have a notable example hereof in Jacob:

  • Who fearing the malice and might of his brother Esau, used this means to appease his rage and cruelty. He came before his family, as soone as he saw Esau, he showed a sign of dutiful submission, bowing himself seven times most humbly before he came near to him, calling him his Lord, and himself his servant, his family all children came likewise in seemly and suppliant order, and humbled themselves at his presence, yielding obeisance and reverence unto him, by means whereof the fiery and flaming wrath of Esau was turned into tears of compassion.

This trope is derived from the Greek term “philophroneomai,” literally means “to show kindness”.

Further Readings:
Henry Peachum, The Garden of Eloquence | PhilophronesisOpens in new window