This text studies the development of rhetorical theory within the framework of the definitive questions: what is rhetoric?; what constitutes a good speaker?; how should truth be defined?; what is knowledge?; and what is involved in audience analysis? It examines how these questions are treated by Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, St Augustine, Peter Ramus, and John Locke. The study begins with the preface that man's desire to understand himself and the world in which he lives is founded in a study of history; that it is through an understanding of an era's social organizations and behaviours which are revealed by its rhetoric and rhetorical theories that insight can be gained into the manner in which the leaders of that time perceived two concepts: the nature of man, and the interrelationships of man and his world. Contemporary exercises and projects invite the reader to apply the concepts explored to modern issues.