Abstract–Silence and Rumor as Rhetorical Strategies in Basil's Letters

In this project we have analyzed the use of two non-technical communication strategies—rumor and silence—in the epistles of Basil of Caeserea. We have approached silence as Basil’s method to manage his self-image and his engagement with the theological landscape of the fourth century, and rumor as narrative strategy to alter the reputation of an enemy or to manipulate it for their own benefit. In effect, our study shows that rumor and silence held a symbiotic relationship that resulted in a dynamic cycle of retreat and retaliation in a forensic atmosphere. We have come to understand the corpus comprised of the letters concerning the Eustathius affair as an Apologia Basilii.