article discusses the fruits of fifty years of Dutch scholarship on ancient
Greek and Roman rhetoric. A.D. Leeman, one of the founding fathers of both the
journal Lampas and the International
Society for the History of Rhetoric, is identified as an influential pioneer,
whose teaching and research inspired the Dutch school of classical rhetoric. Lampas published many contributions to
the study of rhetorical practice and theory.
A central theme in Leeman’s work was Cicero’s integration of rhetoric into a
philosophically oriented humanism. This Ciceronian perspective on rhetoric,
which deeply influenced the European tradition, tells us that the irrational modes
of persuasion (êthos and pathos), which are unavoidable and indispensable
in human communication, must always be genuine and sincere; and it demands that
the orator considers both sides of a case. Building on Cicero’s De oratore and Leeman’s publications,
this article concludes with a plea for a moderate and reasonable rhetoric.