Miloslava Vajdlová

The function of distributio in Czech written Medieval texts


As it is true of Classical and Medieval literature in general, the figure of speach distributio frequently occurs in Czech written Medieval texts as one of the many “rhetorial colours” (colores sentenciarum). It appears in numerical, as well as non-numerical and combined forms, ranging in length from one or few sentences to several pages or pholios. It is used throughout the whole period of the Old Bohemian literature, usually in religious-educative documents, tractates, polemical and expository treatises, but also in scientific literature, and, less often, in poetry. As a rhetorical figure it is mainly used as a stylistic device (the level of elocutio), but in some documents it also contributes to the overall arrangement of the text (the level of dispositio).