encomium enkomion
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Encomium is "a composition expository of attendant excellencies." Subjects include persons, things (such as abstract ideas), times (as the seasons), places, animals, and growing things, either general or specific.

Directions for Composition
Praise a person or thing for being virtuous. After composing an exordium (introduction), follow these steps:

  1. Describe the stock a person comes from:
    • what people
    • what country
    • what ancestors
    • what parents
  2. Describe the person's upbringing
    • education
    • instruction in art
    • training in laws
  3. Describe the person's deeds, which should be described as the results of
    • his/her excellencies of mind (such as fortitude or prudence)
    • his/her excellencies of body (such as beauty, speed, or vigor)
    • his/her excellencies of fortune (as high position, power, wealth, friends)
  4. Make a favorable comparison to someone else to escalate your praise
  5. Conclude with an epilogue including either an exhortation to your hearers to emulate this person, or a prayer.
Related Figures See Also

Sources: Quintilian 2.4.20

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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