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Encomium (pl.: encomia) is a Latin word deriving from the Ancient Greek enkomion (ἐγκώμιον), meaning "the praise of a person or thing."[1] Another Latin equivalent is laudatio, a speech in praise of someone or something.

Originally was the song sung by the chorus at the κῶμος, or festal procession, held at the Panhellenic Games in honour of the victor, either on the day of his victory or on its anniversary. The word came afterwards to denote any song written in celebration of distinguished persons, and in later times any spoken or written panegyric whatever.[2]

Encomium also refers to several distinct aspects of rhetoric:

  • The basilikos logos (imperial encomium), a formal genre in the Byzantine empire



  1. ^ ἐγκώμιον. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  2. ^ Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898), Encomion
  3. ^ David E. Garland, Baker Exegetical Commentary, 1 Corinthians, 606, based on the work of Sigountos.