At the beginning of this short book, Ginzburg says that he wants to know what history, rhetoric, and proof have in common. He says that history and rhetoric obviously have something in common, but what about proof? That seems to be the unlikely term. Yet, Ginzburg demonstrates that proof used to have something to do with both rhetoric and history—it was central—and that fact reveals the methodology of historians. Rhetoric is therefore naturally the term between history and proof.
One example of this appears in Chapter 1, when Ginzburg states that Aristotle’s Poetics and the Rhetoric reveal how history, proof, and rhetoric were closely connected with one another.
Ginzburg’s book includes the following chapters:
1. Aristotle and History, Once More
2. Lorenzo Valla on the “Donation of Constantine”
3. AlienVoices: The Dialog Element in Early Modern Jesuit Historiography
4. Reflections on a Blank
Carlos Ginzburg. Rhetoric, History, and Proof. Hanover and London: Brandeis University Press, 1999.