The enkomion ( ancient Greek έγκώμιον , from κῶμος kōmos "festive parade"; plural enkomien ) is in antiquity a poem of praise and praise addressed to a famous person, which executes and celebrates the virtues ( ancient Greek άρεταί aretai ) of the person concerned, in contrast to the hymn addressed to gods . Examples of such poems are the Enkomion of Ibykos on the young Polycrates , the future tyrant of Samos , or that of Simonides of Keos on Skopas II of Krannon inThessaly .
A special form of the prize poem is the epinicion , which was the subject of the winners of the great competitions ( agons ). The Enkomia of Pindar are a collection of such poems. Epinikion is a term coined by Alexandrian scholars. The poets themselves preferred enkomion , according to the circumstances of the poem's performance, since the enkomion was not performed at the competition itself, but when the festive procession - the komos - returned with the winner to his hometown.
From the 4th century BC Chr. Any person or thing glorifying prose texts are called enkomien. A first famous example is the praise of Helena by Gorgias of Leontinoi , who tries to prove the innocence of the mythological Helen in her abduction and its consequences. As a result, encomies arise not only on the worthy figures of mythology and history, but also on hetaera , saucepans, stones, mice and the salt. In the enkomion of Isocrates on Euagoras I , the previously deceased king of Salamis in Cyprus , the enkomion is presented as a mature, established and fully developed rhetorical form.
The enkomion experienced a further heyday in the second sophistry of the Roman Empire. Dion of Prusa wrote encomia on the hair, the parrot, the mosquito, on Herakles and on Plato , Lucian of Samosata wrote eulogies on the fly, on the homeland and on Demosthenes . The theory was also worked on: An effort was made to differentiate the enkomion from epainos ( ἔπαινος "praise"), which were still used synonymously in the eulogies held in Plato's symposium on Eros , and Aelius Theon now distinguished the enkomion, which was directed at a living person from Epitaphios , the eulogy of the dead. Aelius Theon also derives the enkomion from the comos .
In late antiquity, this theory of the eulogy, the enkomiastics , was further elaborated and formalized and became the subject of the specialist knowledge of the encomiograph , the professional author of eulogies.
- Dieter Burdorf, Christoph Fasbender, Burkhard Moennighoff (Hrsg.): Metzler Lexicon literature. Terms and definitions. 3. Edition. Metzler, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-476-01612-6 , p. 191.
- Otto Knörrich: Lexicon of lyrical forms (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 479). 2nd, revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-520-47902-8 , p. 58.
- Emmet Robbins: Enkomion. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 3, Metzler, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-476-01473-8 , Sp. 1036-137.
- M. Vallozza: Enkomion. In: Gert Ueding (Hrsg.): Historical dictionary of rhetoric . Vol. 2. De Gruyter, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-484-68102-0 , Sp. 1152-1160.
- Gero von Wilpert : Subject dictionary of literature. 8th edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-520-84601-3 , p. 214.
- Sandra Zajonz: Isokrates' Enkomion auf Helena, a commentary (= Hypomnemata , Volume 139), Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2002, ISBN 3-525-25238-2 (dissertation, University of Cologne 2000).