Figure Name congeries
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Peacham 1593; Quint 8.4.3, 8.4.26-27; Melanch. IR d1r-v ("congeries" "interpretatio" "synathroesmus" "epitrochasmus"); Melanch. ER D4v-E1r ("congeries" "synonymia"); Peacham (1577) Q2r; Vinsauf (1967) ("interpretatio")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms synonymia, interpretatio, symphoresis
Etymology L. "heap," "pile"
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Lexicographic

1. Piling up words of differing meaning but for a similar emotional effect. Often congeries is simply the Latin term for synathroesmus ("collection"). However, the Latin term seems to emphasize the emotional amplification of such an accumulation, making congeries akin to climax and grouped among both the Figures of Pathos and the Figures of Amplification (Thus Melanchthon distinguishes incrementum [climax] as a kind of congeries). If the piling up occurs by rapidly touching on one thing and then another, congeries may be considered a type of epitrochasmus. Some authorities equate congeries with synonymia (as Melanchthon 1523 D1r; 1531 D4v-E1r)) (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Symphoresis, otherwise Congeries, is a forme of speech by which the Orator doth multiply and heape manie words togither, signifying diverse things of like nature. (Peacham)

3. (Interpretatio) If a mode of expression both easy and adorned is desired, set aside all the techniques of the dignified style and have recourse to means that are simple, but of a simplicity that does not shock the ear by its rudeness. Here are the rhetorical colours with which to adorn your style: (Vinsauf)


2. An example of the scripture: “Thus all thinges were mixed togither with blood, manslaughter, theft, and deceit, corruption, and unfaithfulnesse, sedition, perjury, disquieting of good men, unthankfulnesse, defiling of soules, changing of byrth, disorder in marriage, adultry, and uncleannesse.” Sap.4. (Peacham)

2. Another of the Apostle Paul: “The deedes of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleannesse, wantonnesse, worshipping of images, witchcraft, hatred, variance, zeale, wrath, strife, seditions, sectes, envying, murther, drunkennesse, gluttony, and such like. Contrariwise, the frutes of the spirit, is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faithfulnesse, meeknesse, temperance.” Galat. 5. (Peacham)

3. Death how happy! How happy a death! that death our redemption! This death of his healed the wounds of our soul; washed the unclean; removed guilt. (Vinsauf)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of
Related Figures figures of amplification, figures of pathos, synonymia, synathroesmus, exergasia, climax, epitrochasmus
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Nike Abbott
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No