Encomium is a Latin word deriving from the Classical Greek ἐγκώμιον (encomion) meaning the praise of a person or thing. "Encomium" also refers to several distinct aspects of rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

  • A general category of oratory
    Oratory is a type of public speaking.Oratory may also refer to:* Oratory , a power metal band* Oratory , a place of worship* a religious order such as** Oratory of Saint Philip Neri ** Oratory of Jesus...

  • A method within rhetorical pedagogy
    Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction....

  • A figure of speech
    Figure of speech
    A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile,...

    . As a figure, encomium means praising a person or thing, but occurring on a smaller scale than an entire speech.
  • The eighth exercise in the progymnasmata
    Progymnasmata are rhetorical exercises gradually leading the student to familiarity with the elements of rhetoric, in preparation for their own practice speeches and ultimately their own orations.Both Hermogenes of Tarsus and Aelius Festus Aphthonius wrote treatises containing progymnasmata...

  • A literary genre that included five elements: prologue, birth and upbringing, acts of the person's life, comparisons used to praise the subject, and an epilogue.


  • Gorgias's Encomium of Helen is one of the most famous historical encomia. In it, Gorgias
    Gorgias ,Greek sophist, pre-socratic philosopher and rhetorician, was a native of Leontini in Sicily. Along with Protagoras, he forms the first generation of Sophists. Several doxographers report that he was a pupil of Empedocles, although he would only have been a few years younger...

     offers several justifications for excusing Helen of Troy's adultery—notably, that she was persuaded by speech, which is a "powerful lord" or "powerful drug" depending on the translation.
  • In Erasmus's Praise of Folly, Folly composes an encomium to herself. It is an ironic encomium because being praised by Folly is backwards praise; therefore, Folly praising herself is an ironic conundrum.
  • De Pippini regis Victoria Avarica, a medieval encomium of victory of Pepin of Italy over the Avars
    Eurasian Avars
    The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

  • Encomium Emmae
    Encomium Emmae
    Encomium Emmae Reginae or Gesta Cnutonis Regis is an 11th-century Latin encomium in honour of Queen Emma of Normandy. It was written in 1041 or 1042 probably by a monk of St Omer.-Manuscripts:...

    , a medieval encomium of Queen Emma of Normandy
    Emma of Normandy
    Emma , was a daughter of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy, by his second wife Gunnora. She was Queen consort of England twice, by successive marriages: first as second wife to Æthelred the Unready of England ; and then second wife to Cnut the Great of Denmark...

  • Versum de Mediolano civitate
    Versum de Mediolano civitate
    The Versum de Mediolano civitate is an early medieval Latin verse encomium of Milan, written anonymously around 738, during the era of the Lombard Kingdom. It served as a model for the later Carolingian Versus de Verona , an encomium of its rival Verona...

    , a medieval encomium of Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

  • Versus de Verona
    Versus de Verona
    The Versus de Verona, also Carmen Pipinianum or Rhythmus Pipinianus , formed a medieval Latin poetic encomium on the city of Verona, composed during the Carolingian Renaissance, between 795 and 806. It was modelled on the Versum de Mediolano Civitate , which is preserved today only in a Veronese...

    , a medieval encomium of Verona
    Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

  • Polychronion
    The Polychronion is a solemn encomium chanted in the liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite....

    , chanted in the liturgy of Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite
    Byzantine Rite
    The Byzantine Rite, sometimes called the Rite of Constantinople or Constantinopolitan Rite is the liturgical rite used currently by all the Eastern Orthodox Churches, by the Greek Catholic Churches , and by the Protestant Ukrainian Lutheran Church...

  • A kind of encomium is used by the Christian writer Paul in his praise of love in 1 Corinthians
    First Epistle to the Corinthians
    The first epistle of Paul the apostle to the Corinthians, often referred to as First Corinthians , is the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible...

    13. The prologue is verses 1-3, acts are v. 4-7, comparison is v. 8-12, and epilogue is 13:13-14:1.
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