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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.

See also:


Web links

Wiktionary: encomium  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. In Plato's Politeia , Hymnos and Enkomion are the only admissible forms of poetry. See Politeia 607a.
  2. or ἐπικώμιος epikṓmios .