We present the new international journal Rhetoric & Science, which belongs to the field of Classical Philology, Rhetoric and Science. The international conference entitled ‘Mapping the Rhetoric of Science Writing in Antiquity and Beyond’, organized in March 2019 by the Ancient World Study Laboratory of the Department of History of the Ionian University, was its starting point.
The main impetus for its founding came from the work La Rhétorique dans l'Antiquité by Laurent Pernot, who in 2000 found that Ancient Rhetoric was still a field of study and research that remained largely unexplored, in the sense that critical questions they were waiting for answers. One of these questions still remains burning: can we talk about rhetoric of ancient scientific discourse? At the core of this journal is the fundamental work 'Towards a Rhetoric of Ancient Scientific Discourse' (1997) by Philip van der Eijk, who dealt with some morphological features of ancient Greek medical and philosophical texts, establishing from the outset a very specific framework of terminology.
Rhetoric & Science is based on this framework: it uses the term 'rhetoric' to refer to any set of formal techniques and processes employed in the production of oral or written texts, primarily for the purpose of communicating; and the term 'science', to refer to the study and understanding not of the physical world, in the narrow sense, but, more generally, of the nature of things. In this light, not only texts on medicine, mathematics, geography, astronomy, optics, harmonics or any other representative of the 'ancient science', but also philosophical treatises, historiographical texts can be defined as 'scientific', or even non-scientific projects containing modules designed to impart scientific knowledge.
However, Rhetoric & Science is not limited to exploring the formal features and rhetorical, literary or communicative structures and strategies of ancient scientific and technical texts; it also seeks to shed light on how ancient orators approached and used scientific-technical knowledge, achievements, practices or terminology for their own purposes, but also to bring to the fore those moments when they are immersed in a kind of scientific reflection. But the most important question it tries to answer is: To what extent is it required (if at all required) by ancient scientific writers to have a rhetorical education and by ancient orators to have a scientific education? Therefore, the journal Rhetoric & Science aims to cover all aspects of the interaction between rhetoric and science in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Byzantium. However, it also welcomes contributions from scholars working on similar issues in modern science and rhetoric, as well as in the perception of ancient rhetorical theory and scientific writing.