The history of ëpathosë since the 18th century is a history full of misconceptions and misinterpretations. This essay is an attempt to give a secure ground to the current discussion about the meaning of pathos by examining the rhetorical roots of the concept. Therefore, the author is taking a look at Aristotle’s fundamental definition of ëpathosí and his threefold scheme of types of appeal. Moreover Cicero’s modification of Aristotle’s concept is scrutinised. Emphasising Cicero’s importance for the discussion against the tendency to consider Longinus as the most substantial authority on ëpathosí opens a new perspective on the issue. As a result it becomes clear that ëpathosí is one means of persuasion among others and that the misuse of pathos in the 19th and 20th century is a result of ignoring the rhetorical insights into this mean of persuasion.