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a formal expression of praise, esp. an elaborate eulogy; laudation
Greek enkomion 'eulogy'
a prose or poetic work in which a person, thing, or abstract idea is glorified. Originally an encomium was a Greek choral song honouring the hero of the Olympic Games and sung at the victory celebration at the end of the Games. The Greek writers Simonides of Ceos and Pindar wrote some of the earliest of these original encomia. The term later took on the broader meaning of any composition of a laudatory nature. Verse forms of the encomium include the epinicion and the ode. The word is from the Greek enkomion, "laudatory ode" or "panegyric."