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Eulogistic oration or laudatory discourse. The panegyric originally was a speech delivered at an ancient Greek general assembly (panegyris), such as the Olympic and Panathenaic festivals. Speakers frequently advocated Hellenic unity by expounding on the former glories of Greek cities; hence the elaborate and flowery connotations of the term. Later Roman speakers praised and flattered eminent persons, especially emperors, in panegyrics. The form was also used in the European Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque era.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on panegyric, visit Britannica.com.