If they had not, lengthy epics would never have survived oral transmission for centuries.
In the Epics his practice agrees with that of Homer.
The age was prolific of epics, both historical and mythological, and that of Varro seems to have held a high rank among them.
In Scandinavia, in Lithuania, in Russia, according to Gaston Paris (Histoire poetique de Charlemagne, p. 9), the national songs have been arrested in a form which may be called intermediate between contemporary poetry and the epic. The true epics are those of India, Persia, Greece, Germany, Britain and France.
Like the French epics, Homeric poetry is indigenous, and is distinguished by this fact, and by the ease of movement and the simplicity which result from it, from poets such as Virgil, Dante and Milton.
Even the French epics are pervaded by the sentiment of fear and hatred of the Saracens.
In the epics considerable merit is attached to a life of seclusion and ascetic practices by means of which man is considered capable of acquiring supernatural powers equal or even superior to those of the gods - a notion perhaps not unnaturally springing from the pantheistic conception.
But, in this repect, we also meet in the epics with the first clear evidence of what in after time became the prominent feature of the worship of Siva and his consort all over India, viz.
That these two figures would appeal far more strongly to the hearts and feelings of the people, especially the warlike Kshatriyas, 1 than the austere Siva is only what might have been expected; and, indeed, since the time of the epics their cult seems never to have lacked numerous adherents.
Remigius and Maxentius, now lost; on the annals of Arles and Angers, now lost; and on legends, either collected by Gregory himself from oral tradition, or cantilenes or epics written in the Latin and Germanic languages.
Not only are relics of La Tene culture found in Ireland, but the oldest Irish epics celebrate tall, fair-haired, grey-eyed heroes, armed and clad in Gallic fashion, who had come from the continent.
There he can reconstruct the splendour of that Minoan age to which Homeric poems look back, as the Germanic epics looked back to Rome or Verona.
The epics in general show a mixture of Homeric, Ionic and Doric forms. The Bucolics, Mimes, and the " Marriage-song of Helen" (xviii.) are in Doric, with occasional forms from other dialects.
The metre used by Theocritus in the Bucolics and Mimes, as well as in the Epics, is the dactylic hexameter.
Theocritus in the Epics conforms to the new technique in both these respects: in the Bucolics his practice agrees with that of Homer.
The Indian epics and the Puranas belong to a much later date, and are full of deities either unknown to or undeveloped in the Rig Veda and the Brahmanas.
In the domain of intellect the advance of the French showed a no less dazzling and a no less universal activity; they sang Intel- as well as they fought, and their epics were worthy Iectual of their swordsmanship, while their cathedrals were develop- hymns in stone as ardent as their soaring flights of inent, devotion.
In the satisfaction they afforded to the commemorative and patriotic instincts they anticipated an office afterwards performed by the national epics and the works of regular historians.
The reign of Domitian, although it silenced the more independent spirits of the time, Tacitus and Juvenal, witnessed more important contributions to Roman literature than any age since the Augustan, - among them the Institutes of Quintilian, the Punic War of Silius Italicus, the epics and the Silvae of Statius, and the Epigrams of Martial.
All their hymns, epics and histories were bound up with their individuality as a free people.
The subjects of the historical epics were generally some of the well-known myths, in the exposition of which the writer could exhibit the full extent of his learning and his perfect command of verse.
The subjects of didactic epics were very numerous; they seem to have depended on the special knowledge possessed by the writers, who used verse as a form for unfolding their information.
Many of the works once attributed to him are lost; those which remain are the two great epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, thirty-three Hymns, a mock epic (the Battle of the Frogs and Mice), and some pieces of a few lines each (the so-called Epigrams).
In the later part of the same series of discussions (1837), and in his chief work (Die Sagenpoesie der Griechen, 1852), he investigated the structure of the Homeric poems, and their relation to the other epics of the Trojan cycle.
These epics had meanwhile been made the subject of a work which for exhaustive learning and delicacy of artistic perception has few rivals in the history of philology, the Epic Cycle of F.
Portuguese literature is distinguished by the wealth and variety of its lyric poetry, by its primacy in bucolic verse and prose, by the number of its epics and historical books, by the relative slightness of the epistolary element, and by the almost complete absence of the memoir.
The same is true of the Homeric epics wherein the Pleiades, Hyades, Ursa major, Orion and Bootes are mentioned, and also of the stars and constellations mentioned in Job.
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.
The most notable of these are the epics of the early German period.
The second cycle contains the epics of Finn (Fionn, Fingal) mac Cumhail, and his son Oisin (Ossian), the bard and warrior, chiefly known from the supposed Ossianic poems of Macpherson.
Believing that his work with the romantic Arthurian epics was concluded, Tennyson now turned his attention to a department of poetry which had long attracted him, but which he had never seriously attempted - the drama.
But it is not in the Silvae, nor in the epics and tragedies of the time, nor in the cultivated criticism of Quintilian that the age of Domitian lives for us.
The forms of poetical composition chiefly cultivated by the Alexandrians were epic and lyric, or elegiac. Great epics are wanting; but in their place, as might almost have been expected, are found the historical and the didactic or expository epics.
Nicander of Colophon has also left us two epics, one on remedies for poisons, the other on the bites of venomous beasts.
Vrchlicky, a master of verse and a perfect cosmopolitan, and tech, who took the material for his epics from Czech history, are the outstanding names of this epoch.
In the 5th century we may place Hesychius of Alexandria, the compiler of the most extensive of our ancient Greek lexicons, and Proclus, the author of a chrestomathy, to the extracts from which (as preserved by Photius) we owe almost all our knowledge of the contents of the lost epics of early Greece.
It has long been conceded that the great French national epics of the 11th and 12th centuries must have been founded on a great fund of popular poetry, and that many of the episodes of the chansons de geste refer to historical events anterior to the Carolingian period.
His Gedichte (1837), if anything, increased his reputation; his epics, Die Nibelungen inn Frack (1843) and Der Pfaff vom Kahlenberg (1850), are characterized by a fine ironic humour.
And we may safely draw the conclusion that if the great Indian epics, the Maha-bharata and the Ramayana, had been in existence when the formation of the Buddhist canon began, the course of its development would have been very different from what it was.
Two other works, the Lalita Vistara and the Buddha Carita, give us - but this, of course, is later - Sanskrit poems, epics, on the same subject.
Here lay the scene, known as Madhya Desa or " middle country," -of the second period of Aryan colonization, when the two great epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, were probably composed, and when the religion of Brahmanism took form.
Azhi Dahaka (Zohak), the mythical king of the Iranian epics, who has nothing whatever to do with the historical king of the Medes.
Why have the works of Arctinus escaped the attraction which drew to the name of Homer such epics as the Cypria, the Little Iliad, the Thebaid, the Epigoni, the Taking of Oechalia and the Phocais.
In the Trojan cycle alone we know of the two epics of Arctinus, the Little Iliad of Lesches, the Cypria, the Nostoi.
Other ancient epics - ancient enough to have passed under the name of Homer - are the Taking of Oechalia, and the Phocais.
Whether the two epics were by the same author remained an open question; the tendency of this group of scholars was decidedly towards separation.
So, too, the legend of Anchises in the Hymn to Aphrodite is evidently local; and Aeneas becomes more prominent in the later epics, especially the Cypria and the 'IAiou - of Arctinus.
It seems clear, however, that the hypothesis of epics such as the Iliad and Odyssey having been formed by putting together or even by working up shorter poems finds no support from analogy.
Noticed above between the Iliad and the Odyssey, and between Homer and the early Cyclic poems. And the peculiar degradation of Homeric characters which appears in some poets (especially Euripides) finds a parallel in the later chansons de geste.3 The comparison of Homer with the great literary epics calls for more discursive treatment than would be in place here.
In the Veda no tendency shows itself as yet towards rendering divine honour to the cow; and though the importance assigned her in an agricultural community is easily understood, still the exact process of her deification and her identification with the mother earth in the time of Manu and the epics requires further elucidation.
He believes that the epics were generally composed under the influence of earlier songs.