As professor of Latin eloquence at the University of Naples, Vico instructed young students in the principles of rhetoric joined with the principles of Roman jurisprudence. Vico understood the art of rhetoric as based in the art of topics and the art of memory. The places of memory reside in the sensus communis, which is the treasure-house of the images and meanings that underlie the life of all nations. Vico, like Shaftesbury, defines sensus communis as "communal sense," the shared sensibilities that exist among a given people, and ultimately among the whole human race. These common sensibilities are the source required for the construction of arguments in all types of rhetoric, including forensic rhetoric. For Vico, sensus communis is the key to the interconnection of rhetoric and jurisprudence.

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