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Encomium is a Latin word deriving from the Classical Greek enkomion (ἐγκώμιον) meaning "the praise of a person or thing." Another Latin equivalent is laudatio - a speech in praise of someone or something. Encomium also refers to several distinct aspects of rhetoric:
- A general category of oratory
- A method within rhetorical pedagogy
- A figure of speech praising a person or thing, but occurring on a smaller scale than an entire speech
- The eighth exercise in the progymnasmata series
- 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' famous Encomium of Helen offers several justifications for excusing Helen of Troy's adultery
- In Erasmus' In Praise of Folly, Folly composes an encomium to herself
- De Pippini regis Victoria Avarica is a medieval encomium of the victory of Pepin of Italy over the Avars
- Encomium Emmae Reginae is a medieval encomium of Queen Emma of Normandy
- Laudes Mediolanensis civitatis or Versum de Mediolano civitate is a medieval encomium of Milan
- Versus de Verona is a medieval encomium of Verona
- Polychronion is chanted in the liturgy of Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite
- Paul the Apostle uses a kind of encomium in his praise of love, in 1 Corinthians 13; the prologue is verses 1–3, acts are v. 4–7, comparison is v. 8–12, and epilogue is 13:13–14:1.
- The dictionary definition of encomium at Wiktionary