A legend (Latin, legenda, "things to be read") is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. A narrative or story is a construct created in a suitable format (written spoken poetry prose images song Theater, or Dance) that describes a sequence of Verisimilitude in Literature and Theatre denotes the extent to which a work of Fiction exhibits realism or Authenticity, or otherwise Legend, for its active and passive participants, includes no happenings that are outside the realm of "possibility", defined by a highly flexible set of parameters, which may include miracles that are perceived as actually having happened, within the specific tradition of indoctrination where the legend arises, and within which it may be transformed over time, in order to keep it fresh and vital, and realistic. A miracle is an event believed to be caused by interposition of Divine intervention by a Supernatural being in the Universe by which the ordinary operation Indoctrination is the process of inculcating Ideas attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional Methodology. Realism in the Visual arts and Literature is the depiction of subjects as they appear in Everyday life, without embellishment or interpretation
A legend is a story, that is probably about someone that did exist but has been twisted to seem more interesting and fascinating. This story is passed down generation to generation. Most legends are pourquoi stories. A pourquoi story, also known as an origin story is a Fictional Narrative that explains why something is the way it is for example why a snake
A modern folklorist's professional definition of legend was proposed by Timothy R. History The concept of folklore developed as part of the 19th century ideology of Romantic nationalism, leading to the reshaping of oral traditions to serve modern ideological Tangherlini in 1990:
Legend, typically, is a short (mono-) episodic, traditional, highly ecotypified historicized narrative performed in a conversational mode, reflecting on a psychological level a symbolic representation of folk belief and collective experiences and serving as a reaffirmation of commonly held values of the group to whose tradition it belongs. "
The word "legend" appeared in the English language circa 1340, transmitted from medieval Latin language through French. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people Its blurred extended (and essentially Protestant) sense of a non-historical narrative or myth was first recorded in 1613. Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. By emphasizing the unrealistic character of "legends" of the saints, English-speaking Protestants were able to introduce a note of contrast to the "real" saints and martyrs of the Reformation, whose authentic narratives could be found in Foxe's Book of Martyrs. The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517 though its roots lie further back in time John Foxe (1517 &ndash April 18, 1587) martyrologist is remembered as the author of what is popularly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs Thus "legend" gained its modern connotations of "undocumented" and "spurious".
Before the invention of the printing press, stories were passed on via oral tradition. A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a medium (such as paper or cloth thereby transferring an image Oral history can be defined as the recording preservation and interpretation of historical information, based on the personal experiences and opinions of the speaker Storytellers learned their stock in trade: their stories, typically received from an older storyteller, who might, though more likely not, have claimed to have actually known a witness, rendered the narrative as "history". Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in Words Images and Sounds often by Improvisation or embellishment Legend is distinguished from the genre of chronicle by the fact that legends apply structures that reveal a moral definition to events, providing meaning that lifts them above the repetitions and constraints of average human lives and giving them a universality that makes them worth repeating through many generations. A genre (ˈʒɑːnrə also /ˈdʒɑːnrə/ from French "kind" or "sort" from Latin: genus (stem gener-) is a loose set Generally a chronicle (chronica from Greek (from) is a historical account of facts and events in chronological order In German-speaking and northern European countries, "legend", which involves Christian origins, is distinguished from "Saga", being from any other (usually, but not necessarily older) origin. The sagas (from Icelandic saga, plural sögur) are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history about early Viking voyages
The modern characterisation of what may be termed a "legend" may be said to begin in 1865 with Jacob Grimm's observation, "The fairy tale is poetic, legend, historic. Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm ( Hanau, January 4, 1785 &ndash September 20, 1863 in Berlin) German Philologist A fairy tale or fairy story is a fictional Story that may feature folkloric characters (such as fairies, enchantments]] often involving " Early scholars like Karl Wehrhahn Friedrich Ranke and Will-Erich Peukert followed Grimm's example in focussing solely on the literary narrative, an approach that was enriched particularly after the 1960s by addressing questions of performance and the anthropological and psychological insights provided in considering legends' social context. Questions of categorizing legends, in hopes of compiling a content-based series of categories on the line of the Aarne-Thompson folktale index provoked a search for a broader new synthesis. The Aarne-Thompson classification system is a system for classifying folktales.
Compared to the highly-structured folktale, legend is comparatively formless, Helmut de Boor noted in 1928.  The narrative content of legend is in realistic mode, rather than the wry irony of folktale; Wilhelm Heiske remarked on the similarity of motifs in legend and folktale and concluded that, in spite of its realistic mode, legend is not more historical than folktale.
Legend is often considered in connection with rumour, also believable and concentrating on a single episode. A rumour or rumor (see spelling differences) is often viewed as "an unverified account or explanation of events circulating from person to person and Ernst Bernheim suggested that legend is simply the survival of rumour.  Gordon Allport credited the staying-power of certain rumours to the persistent cultural state-of-mind that they embody and capsulise; thus "Urban legends" are a feature of rumour. Gordon Willard Allport ( November 11 1897 - October 9 1967) was an American Psychologist. An urban legend or urban myth is a form of modern Folklore consisting of stories thought to be factual by those circulating them  When Willian Jansen suggested that legends that disappear quickly were "short-term legends" and the persistent ones be termed "long-term legends", the distinction between legend and rumour was effectively obliterated, Tangherlini concluded. 
The elasticity of legend in its highly specific and localised social context has rendered it elusive to attempts to typify it simply through its content, as fairy tales have been successfully categorised. A fairy tale or fairy story is a fictional Story that may feature folkloric characters (such as fairies, enchantments]] often involving
A legend or legend fragment is a meme that propagates through a culture. A meme (miːm consists of any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate" generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic It may be crystallized in a literary work that fixes it and which affects the future direction it will take. Such an example of this is the contrast of Hamlet the legend, and Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hamlet is a striking figure in Scandinavian romance and the hero of Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Hamlet is a Tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601 When a legend that is rooted in a kernel of truth is so strongly affected by an ideal that it conforms to expected literary conventions of behavior, in certain cases it turns into a Romance. As a Literary genre of High culture, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic Prose and verse Narrative Such may well be the case with a historical Arthur (see Historical basis for King Arthur), around whom legends accumulated and were expressed in the purely literary magical atmosphere of surviving Arthurian romances, collectively known as the "Matter of Britain". The historical basis of King Arthur is a source of considerable debate among Historians. The Matter of Britain is a name given collectively to the Legends that concern the Celtic and legendary History of Great Britain, especially those
Modern retellings of the legend of Saint George omit many of the miraculous happenings that were central to earlier versions, but which have lost credibility. In Christian hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Thus modern "urban legends" are quite correctly termed legends: "it happened to the brother-in-law of someone my friend's mother knew". An urban legend or urban myth is a form of modern Folklore consisting of stories thought to be factual by those circulating them In short, legends are believable, although not necessarily believed. For the purpose of the study of legends, in the academic discipline of folkloristics, the truth value of legends is irrelevant because, whether the story told is true or not, the fact that the story is being told at all allows scholars to use it as commentary upon the cultures that produce or circulate the legends. Folkloristics is the formal academic study of Folklore. What actually constitutes folklore is disputed even within the discipline but generally folklore focuses on the
Hippolyte Delehaye, (in his Preface to The Legends of the Saints: An Introduction to Hagiography, 1907) distinguished legend from myth: "The legend, on the other hand, has, of necessity, some historical or topographical connection. Hippolyte Delehaye ( Antwerp August 19, 1859 – Brussels April 1, 1941 was a Belgian Jesuit The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" It refers imaginary events to some real personage, or it localizes romantic stories in some definite spot. "
The distinction is carefully drawn by Karl Kerenyi in the opening pages of The Heroes of the Greeks (1959):
"An essential difference between the legends of heroes and mythology proper, between the myths of the gods and those of the heroes, which are often entwined with them or at least border upon them, consists in this: that the latter prove to be, whether more or less, interwoven with history, with the events, not of a primeval time which lies outside of time, but with historical time. One of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology, Károly (Carl Karl Kerényi ( January 19, 1897 &ndash April 14 1973 "
A clear example, which distinguishes what is myth from what is legend, is the story of the Gordian Knot. The Gordian Knot is a Legend associated with Alexander the Great. The legend concerns Alexander the Great, who, when confronted with the ancient knot of cornel bark that secured the pole of the sacral ox-cart at Gordium in the winter of 333 BC, severed it with a slash of his sword. Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' Gordium (Greek Gordion, Turkish Gordiyon) was the capital of ancient Phrygia. The myth of the Gordian Knot is the founding myth of Gordium itself, justifying the authenticity of its line of kings.
From the moment a legend is retailed as a legend, its authentic legendary qualities begin to fade and recede: in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving transformed a local Hudson River Valley legend into a literary anecdote with "Gothic" overtones, which actually tended to diminish its character as genuine legend. " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow " is a Short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon Gent Washington Irving (April 3 1783 – November 28 1859 was an American Author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th Gothic fiction (sometimes referred to as Gothic horror) is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Like metaphors, legends may be living or dead: the vital signs of a legend depend upon its being fiercely defended as true, which eliminates the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow. Metaphor (from the Greek: μεταφορά - metaphora, meaning "transfer" is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects But compare the Voyage of Saint Brendan, and the Black Legend of the supposedly fanatical and cruel national character of Spain. Saint Brendan of Clonfert or Bréanainn of Clonfert (c 484 &ndash c The Black Legend ( La Leyenda Negra) is a term coined by Julián Juderías in his 1914 book La leyenda negra y la verdad histórica ( The Black Legend
Legends that exceed these boundaries of "realism" are called "fables". A fable is a succinct story in prose or verse that features Animals Plants inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are The talking animal formula of Aesop identifies his brief stories as fables, not legends. The talking animal or speaking animal term in general refers to any form of animal which can speak human languages Aesop (also spelled Æsop, from the Greek Αἴσωπος — Aisōpos) (620-560 BC) known only for the genre of Fables The parable of the Prodigal Son would be a legend if it were told as having actually happened to a specific son of a historical father. If it included an ass that gave sage advice to the Prodigal Son it would be a fable. The donkey or ass, Equus asinus, is a member of the Equidae or horse family and an odd-toed ungulate.
Legend may be transmitted orally, passed on person-to-person, or, in the original sense, through written text. Jacob de Voragine's Legenda Aurea or "The Golden Legend" comprises a series of vitae or instructive biographical narratives, tied to the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Blessed Jacobus de Varagine or Voragine (Giacomo da Varazze Jacopo da Varazze (c The liturgical year, also known as the Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when They are presented as lives of the saints, but the profusion of miraculous happenings and above all their uncritical context are characteristics of hagiography. Hagiography ( is the study of Saints. A hagiography, from Greek (hağios (ἅγιος "holy" or "saint" and graphē (γραφή The Legenda was intended to inspire extemporized homilies and sermons appropriate to the saint of the day. A saint (from the Latin sanctus) is a human being to whom has been attributed (and who has generally demonstrated a high level of Holiness and Sanctity
Legend may be interpreted for its ontological consequences and be treated as myth. In Philosophy, ontology (from the Greek, genitive: of being (part The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" To take an example, first used in terms of Adam Thompson, plymouth that refers to a person. myths surrounding Cadmus, a Phoenician immigrant credited with bringing the alphabet and other Near Eastern culture to Bronze Age Greece, may have begun as a series of legends gathering around the memory of the historical founder of certain coastal cities in Greece. Cadmus, or Kadmos (Κάδμος in Greek mythology, was a Phoenician prince son of Agenor and the brother of Phoenix, Cilix An alphabet is a standardized set of letters basic written symbols each of which roughly represents a Phoneme, a Spoken language, either Explaining the origins of myth as former historical legends in this fashion is termed "euhemerism". See the entry Euhemerus for more detail. Euhemerus (Εὐήμερος (working late fourth century BC was a Greek mythographer at the court of Cassander, the king of Macedon.
Conspiracy theories are similar to legends in that the linchpin of the conspiracy is usually a plausible, but unprovable secret agenda which exclusively drives the story and links otherwise unconnected happenings into a satisfying pattern: thus meaning is supplied for events. A conspiracy theory attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually Political, Social or Historical events or the concealment
Legendary animals are those a traveler in an exotic place might hope or fear to meet: their descriptions are always presented within the conventions of realism that are accepted by their hearers, though the details might stretch credulity: the basilisk. Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 Novel Lost Horizon by British author James In European bestiaries and Legends a basilisk ('bæzɪlɪsk from the Greek βασιλίσκος basilískos, "little king" They do not include mythical animals, like the sphinx or the Nemean lion. A Sphinx is a Zoomorphic mythological figure which is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head The Nemean lion ( Modern Greek: Λέων της Νεμέας (Léōn tēs Neméas Latin: Leo Nemaeus was a vicious monster in Greek mythology that lived Some real animals have developed legends: the man-eating tigers of the Sundarbans, for instance, or blond spirit bears. The tiger ( Panthera tigris) is a member of the Felidae family the largest and the most powerful of the four " Big cats quot in the Genus The Kermode bear, also known as the "spirit bear" or "ghost bear" is subspecies of the American Black Bear living in the central coast of British Columbia