'LIVIUS ANDRONICUS (c. 284-204 B.C.), the founder of Roman epic poetry and drama.
Amongst these may be mentioned Virgil, the epic poet Ponticus, Bassus (probably the iambic poet of the name), and at a later period Ovid.
In so far we have embodied in the first part of the epic dim recollections of actual events, but we soon leave the solid ground of fact and find ourselves soaring to the heights of genuine myth.
But he was a profoundly interested observer of affairs at home and among 1 The Assyrian term abubu is used of the great primeval deluge (in the Gilgamesh epic), and also of the local floods common in the country.
His "epic canto" on the destruction of his ships by Cortes (Las Naves de Cortes destruidas) failed to win a prize offered by the Academy in 1777, and was published posthumously (1785).
Herodotus makes him a principal figure in epic dialogues: he warns Darius not to attack the Scythians (iv.
The period we have briefly traversed was immortalized by Dante in an epic which from one point of view might be called the poem of the Guelphs and Ghibellines.
The imitation of Greek comedy, tragedy and epic poetry, which produced great results in the hands of Naevius, Plautus, Ennius and their successors, received its first impulse from him.
He was the author of a collection of epigrams called Cicuta (" hemlock") 1 from their bitter sarcasm, and of a beautiful epitaph on the death of Tibullus; of elegiac poems, probably of an erotic character; of an epic poem Amazonis; and of a prose work on wit (De urbanitate).
The epic of Gudrun is not unworthy to stand beside the greater Nibelungenlied, and it has been aptly compared with it as the Odyssey to the Iliad.
Like the Odyssey, Gudrun is an epic of the sea, a story of adventure; it does not turn solely round the conflict of human passions; nor is it built up round one all-absorbing, all-dominating idea like the Nibelungenlied.
Firdousi had been always strongly attracted by the ancient Pahlavi records, and had begun at an early age to turn them into Persian epic verse.
Angilbert was the Homer of the emperor's literary circle, and was the probable author of an epic, of which the fragment which has been preserved describes the life at the palace and the meeting between Charlemagne and Leo III.
The following description of the band of Cathbu's Druids occurs in the epic tale, the Cattle-spoiling of Cualnge (Cooley): "The attendant raises his eyes towards heaven and observes the clouds and answers the band around him.
The goddess Irnina (a form of Ishtar, q.v.) in revenge kills Eabani, and the balance of the epic is taken up with Gilgamesh's lament for his friend, his wanderings in quest of a remote ancestor, Ut-Napishtim, from whom he hopes to learn how he may escape the fate of Eabani, and his finally learning from his friend of the sad fate in store for all mortals except the favourites of the god, like Ut-Napishtim, to whom immortal life is vouchsafed as a special boon.
EPIC OF GILGAMESH, the title given to one of the most important literary products of Babylonia, from the name of the chief personage in the series of tales of which it is composed.
Though the Gilgamesh Epic is known to us chiefly from the fragments found in the royal collection of tablets made by Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria (668-626 B.C.) 'for his palace at Nineveh, internal evidence points to the high antiquity of at least some portions of it, and the discovery of a fragment of the epic in the older form of the Babylonian script, which can be dated as 2000 B.C., confirms this view.
Equally certain is a second observation of a general character that the epic originating as the greater portion of the literature in Assur-bani-pal's collection in Babylonia is a composite product, that is to say, it consists of a number of independent stories or myths originating at different times, and united to form a continuous narrative with Gilgamesh as the central figure.
Why and how he came to be a popular hero in Babylonia cannot with our present material be determined, but the epic indicates that he came as a conqueror and established himself at Erech.
A separate stratum in the Gilgamesh epic is formed by the story of Eabani - introduced as the friend of Gilgamesh, who joins him in his adventures.
There can be no doubt that Eabani, who symbolizes primeval man, was a figure originally entirely independent of Gilgamesh, but his story was incorporated into the epic by that natural process to be observed in the national epics of other peoples, which tends to connect the favourite hero with all kinds of tales that for one reason or the other become embedded in the popular mind.
Nature myths have been entwined with other episodes in the epic and finally the theologians took up the combined stories and made them the medium for illustrating the truth and force of certain doctrines of the Babylonian religion.
In its final form, the outcome of an extended and complicated literary process, the Gilgamesh Epic covered twelve tablets, each tablet devoted to one adventure in which the hero plays a direct or indirect part, and the whole covering according to the most plausible estimate about 3000 lines.
This adventure against Khumbaba belongs to the Eabani stratum of the epic, into which Gilgamesh is artificially introduced.
That the astro-theological system is also introduced into the epic is clear from the division into twelve tablets, which correspond to the yearly course of the sun, while throughout there are indications that all the adventures of Gilgamesh and Eabani, including those which have an historical background, have been submitted to the influence of this system and projected on to the heavens.
- The complete edition of the Gilgamesh Epic by Paul Haupt under the title Das babylonische Nimrodepos (Leipzig, 1884-1891), with the 12th tablet in the Beitrage zur Assyriologie, i.
Probably his latest composition was the epitaph already referred to, written like the epic in Saturnian verse "Immortales mortales si foret fas Here, Flerent divae Camenae Naevium poetam; Itaque postquam est Orci traditus thesauro Obliti sunt Romai loquier lingua Latina."
He was not only the oldest native dramatist, but the first author of an epic poem (Bellum Punicum) - which, by combining the representation of actual contemporary history with a mythical background, may be said to have created the Roman type of epic poetry.
SALEIUS BASSUS, Roman epic poet, a contemporary of Valerius Flaccus, in the reign of Vespasian.
The cycle of Guillaume has more unity than the other great cycles of Charlemagne or of Doon de Mayence, the various poems which compose it forming branches of the main story rather than independent epic poems. There exist numerous cyclic MSS.
In the Norse version of the Carolingian epic Guillaume appears in his proper historical environment, as a chief under Charlemagne; but he plays a leading part in the Couronnement Looys, describing the formal associations of Louis the Pious in the empire at Aix (813, the year after Guillaume's death), and after the battle of Aliscans it is from the emperor Louis that he seeks reinforcements.
The most distinguished of the native scholars was John Cesinge, alias Janus Pannonius, who composed Latin epigrams, panegyrics and epic poems. The best edition of his works was published by Count S.
The most noteworthy follower of Dugonics was Adam Horvath, author of the epic poems Hunniasz (Gyor, 1787) and Rudolphiasz (Vienna, 1817).
The serio-comic epic of Peder Paars, the earliest of the great classics of the Danish language, appeared in 1719.
The cunning and stratagem of the fox have been proverbial for many ages, and he has figured as a central character in fables from the earliest times, as in Aesop, down to "Uncle Remus," most notably as Reynard (Raginohardus, strong in counsel) in the great medieval beast-epic "Reynard the Fox" (q.v.).
This anachronism arises from the fusion of the epic Guillaume with the champion of Louis IV., and from the fact that he was the military and civil chief of Louis the Pious, who was titular king of Aquitaine under his father from the time when he was three years old.
The inconsistencies between the real and the epic Guillaume are often left standing in the poems. The personages associated with Guillaume in his Spanish wars belong to Provence, and have names common in the south.
Le Couronnement Looys, already mentioned, Le Charroi de Nimes (12th century) in which Guillaume, who had been forgotten in the distribution of fiefs, enumerates his services to the terrified Louis, and Aliscans (r2th century), with the earlier Chanrun, are among the finest of the French epic poems. The figure of Vivien is among the most heroic elaborated by the trouveres, and the giant Rainouart has more than a touch of Rabelaisian humour.
There are many translations of the epic into modern German, the best known being that of K.