Aristotle, and W. Rhys Roberts. Rhetoric. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2004. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Book III, chapter 9.
Continuing his discussion of prose, Aristotle shows that it may be either largely free-flowing or repetitive in its punctuation (Aristotle III.9, B. 1409b). The free flowing type he views as less satisfactory, as it does not have the natural punctuation a hearer wants. Rather, he encourages periodic speech. “By a period I mean a portion of speech that has in itself a beginning and an end, being at the same time not too big to be taken in at a glance” (Aristotle III.9, B. 1409b). The period must express a complete idea. It may be divided into parts, but Aristotle emphasizes that it must be brief (Aristotle III.9, B. 1409b). Periods which are divided into parts may either be parallel or contrasting (Aristotle III.9, B. 1409b). He provides numerous examples, also referring the reader to a catalog in the Theodectea (Aristotle III.9,B. 1410b).