Contemporary studies of rhetoric address a much more diverse range of domains than was the case in ancient times. A man can confer the greatest of benefits by a right use of these, and inflict the greatest of injuries by using them wrongly.
The acquisition of a greater in place of a lesser good, or of a lesser in place of a greater evil, is also good, for in proportion as the greater exceeds the lesser there is acquisition of good or removal of evil. Consequently both pleasant and beautiful things must be good things, since the former are productive of pleasure, while of the beautiful things some are pleasant and some desirable in and for themselves.
The constituents of honour are: sacrifices; commemoration, in verse or prose; privileges; grants of land; front seats at civic celebrations; state burial; statues; public maintenance; among foreigners, obeisances and giving place; and such presents as are among various bodies of men regarded as marks of honour.
Augustine exerted strong influence on Christian rhetoric in the Middle Ages, advocating the use of rhetoric to lead audiences to truth and understanding, especially in the church. That which is dearly prized is better than what is not-the sort of thing that some people have only one of, though others have more like it.
He states: "We deliberate together in political communities by making and listening to each other's attempts to persuade us that some future action will best serve the end that citizens share with each other…It is this shared goal that distinguishes deliberative rhetoric, and therefore public reasoning, from the other forms of rhetoric and political judgment that Aristotle examines.
A good orator needed also to be a good man, a person enlightened on a variety of civic topics. It arises both from the excellences of the body and from good luck.