Historical dictionary of rhetoric

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The historical dictionary of rhetoric (abbreviated with the Sigle HWRh) is the newest and most important German-language specialist encyclopedia on scientific rhetoric . In this multi-volume work, both the classical and the modern terms of this discipline are made accessible in a dictionary for specialists and students.


The Historical Dictionary of Rhetoric comprises twelve volumes; The register volume was published in 2014 and the final bibliography volume in 2015. In total, the work contains over 1300 lexicon articles written by more than 800 experts. The work was financed as a project of the German Research Foundation until the end of 2011 .

editorial staff

The publisher of the HWRh is Gert Ueding ; Gregor Kalivoda was the managing director of the project until the end of 2011 . Franz-Hubert Robling , Thomas Zinsmaier and Sandra Fröhlich were part of the editorial team . The editors and editors were supported by an international advisory committee. In addition, three students of general rhetoric worked as editorial assistants in the editorial office.

Lemma selection

The lemmas were selected in three categories:

  1. The classic rhetorical nomenclature (e.g. argumentation , Dreistillehre , court speech , metaphor , speaker)
  2. Terms that emerged from a connection between rhetoric and other sciences (e.g. essay theory, biography , hermeneutics , illustration, oratorio, sermon , research or target group)
  3. Rhetorical terms that result from modern research (e.g. feminist rhetoric, television and radio rhetoric, new rhetoric , representation).

Item types

There are three different article types in the HWRh:

  1. Comprehensive research articles that serve to present important keywords in a problem-oriented and historical manner (e.g. appropriateness, baroque and dialogue )
  2. Factual articles in which the definitional and historical basics of terms are shown (e.g. case, diatribe, ellipse or epoch style)
  3. Short definition articles that provide a concise definition with examples (e.g. hyperbola , insultatio or partitio)

Symposium at the end of the project

From May 17th to 19th, 2012, at the end of the dictionary project, a symposium financed by the German Research Foundation took place in Blaubeuren / Danube with the topic: "The future of rhetoric as a cultural idea, science and technology". The venue for the lectures and discussions was the Heinrich Fabri Institute (conference center of the University of Tübingen). Editor Gert Ueding and managing director Gregor Kalivoda gathered expert advisors and an international group of authors of the dictionary to summarize the project and to discuss the current state of rhetoric research. The evening reception and the festive part of the symposium took place in the church hall of the Blaubeuren monastery. The keynote lecture was given by Jürgen Trabant (FU Berlin). Josef Klein (FU Berlin) spoke as representative of the authors and Michael Erler (University of Würzburg) as representative of the specialist advisor. A lecture by the editor Gert Ueding and a greeting from the publisher's representative Daniel Gietz followed on from these speeches. Musical contributions and a gala banquet rounded off the symposium.

The lectures at the symposium were published in an anthology:

  • Gert Ueding, Gregor Kalivoda (ed.): Ways of modern rhetoric research. De Gruyter, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-030928-7 .


  • Gregor Kalivoda, Franz-Hubert Robling (editor): Historical dictionary of rhetoric (edited by Gert Ueding , co-founded by Walter Jens , in conjunction with Wilfried Barner , with the participation of more than 300 specialist scholars). Volume 1: A - Bib. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1992, ISBN 3-484-68101-2 ; Complete edition Volumes 1–9: ISBN 978-3-484-68100-2 .
  • Gregor Kalivoda (editor): Historical dictionary of rhetoric . Volume 10: Supplements A - Z. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-023424-4 .
  • Gert Ueding, Gregor Kalivoda: Historical dictionary of rhetoric. Volume 11: Register. De Gruyter, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-026872-0 .
  • Gert Ueding, Gregor Kalivoda: Historical dictionary of rhetoric. Volume 12: Bibliography. De Gruyter, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-11-035412-6 .
  • The work is also published as an online version by De Gruyter and as a licensed edition by the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt

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