Archive for April 14th, 2012

April 14, 2012



Chironomia is the art of using gesticulations or hand gestures to good effect in traditional rhetoric or oratory. Effective use of the hands, with or without the use of the voice, is a practice of great antiquity, which was developed and systematized by the Greeks and the Romans. Various gestures had conventionalized meanings which were commonly understood, either within certain class or professional groups, or broadly among dramatic and oratorical audiences.

Gilbert Austin was a well-known author on chironomia, in the preface to his book on the subject, Austin writes: ‘…it is a fact, that we do not possess from the ancients, nor yet from the labors of our own countrymen, any sufficiently detailed and precise precepts for the fifth division of the art of rhetoric, namely rhetorical delivery, called by the ancients ‘actio’ and ‘pronuntiatio.”

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