Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Irony
(780 words)

The term irony (Greek eironeía, “dissimulation”, “pretense”) is first found in the 4th century BCE in Plato’s dialogue Republic. The disparaging remarks of the Sophist Thrasymachus about the “notorious dissimulation (eironeía) of Socrates” (337a) established a usage that spawned the tradition of irony as feigned dissimulation (Latin dissimulatio), to be distinguished from the sense of the word in the theory of rhetorical figures. Somewhat later, the rhetorical figure of irony was defined in the manual Rhetorica ad Alexandrum (attributed to Anaximenes of Lampsacus), …

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Naschert, Guido, “Irony”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_021519>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190124



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