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panegyris

in Greek religion, an ancient assembly that met on certain fixed dates for the purpose of honouring a specific god. The gatherings varied in size from the inhabitants of a single town to great national meetings, such as the Olympic Games. The religious aspect of the meetings was by far the most important and included prayers, feasts, and processions. The populace, however, was probably more attracted to the amusements, games, fairs, and festive orations (panegyrics) that occurred at the gatherings

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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