The Full Wiki

legend: Wikis


Encyclopedia


.]] 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. 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. The Brothers Grimm defined legend as folktale historically grounded.[1] A modern folklorist's professional definition of legend was proposed by Timothy R. Tangherlini in 1990:[2]

Legend, typically, is a short (mono-) episodic, traditional, highly ecotypified[3] 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."

Contents

Etymology and origin

, a legendary character.]] The word "legend" appeared in the English language circa 1340, transmitted from mediaeval Latin language through French.[citation needed] Its blurred extended (and essentially Protestant) sense of a non-historical narrative or myth was first recorded in 1613. 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.[citation needed] Thus "legend" gained its modern connotations of "undocumented" and "spurious".

Before the invention of the printing press, stories were passed on via oral tradition. 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". 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. 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 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."[4] Early scholars like Karl Wehrhahn[5] Friedrich Ranke[6] and Will-Erich Peukert[7] followed Grimm's example in focussing solely on the literary narrative, an approach that was enriched particularly after the 1960s[8] 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.

In an early attempt at defining some basic questions operative in examining folk tales, Friedrich Ranke in 1925[9] characterised the folk legend as "a popular narrative with an objectively untrue imaginary content" a dismissive position that was subsequently largely abandoned.[10]

Compared to the highly-structured folktale, legend is comparatively formless, Helmut de Boor noted in 1928.[11] The narrative content of legend is in realistic mode, rather than the wry irony of folktale;[12] Wilhelm Heiske[13] 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. Ernst Bernheim suggested that legend is simply the survival of rumour.[14] Gordon Allport credited the staying-power of certain rumours to the persistent cultural state-of-mind that they embody and capsulise;[15] thus "Urban legends" are a feature of rumour.[16] 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.[17]

       by Jules Joseph Lefebvre, the authentic historical person is fully submerged in the legend, presented in an anachronistic high mediaeval setting.]]

Related concepts

Legends are tales that, because of the tie to a historical event or location, 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.

        connected her to Treves.]]

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. It refers imaginary events to some real personage, or it localizes romantic stories in some definite spot."

From the moment a legend is retold as fiction 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.

Stories that exceed these boundaries of "realism" are called "fables". For example, the talking animal formula of Aesop identifies his brief stories as fables, not legends. 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.

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. They are presented as lives of the saints, but the profusion of miraculous happenings and above all their uncritical context are characteristics of hagiography. The Legenda was intended to inspire extemporized homilies and sermons appropriate to the saint of the day.

Some famous legends

See also

References

  1. ^ Norbert Krapf, Beneath the Cherry Sapling: Legends from Franconia (New York: Fordham University Press) 1988, devotes his opening section to distinguishing the genre of legend from other narrative forms, such as fairy tale; he "reiterates the Grimms' definition of legend as a folktale historically grounded", according to Hans Sebald's review in German Studies Review 13.2 (May 1990), p 312.
  2. ^ Tangherlini, "'It Happened Not Too Far from Here...': A Survey of Legend Theory and Characterization" Western Folklore 49.4 (October 1990:371-390) p. 85.
  3. ^ That is to say, specifically located in place and time.
  4. ^ "Das Märchen ist poetischer, die Sage, historischer"; quoted at the commencement of Tangherlini's survey of legend scholarship (Tangherlini 1990:371), which is in large part the basis of this section.
  5. ^ Wehrhahn Die Sage (Leipzig) 1908.
  6. ^ Ranke, "Grundfragen der Volkssagen Forshung, in Leander Petzoldt (ed.), Vergleichende Sagenforschung 1971:1-20, noted by Tangherlini 1990.)
  7. ^ Peukert , Sagen (Munich: E Schmidt) 1965.
  8. ^ Stimulated in part, Tangherlini suggests, by the 1962 congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research.
  9. ^ Ranke, "Grundfragen der Volkssagenforschung", Niederdeutsche Zeitschrift fur Volkskunde 3 (1925, reprinted 1969)
  10. ^ Charles L. Perdue Jt., reviewing Linda Dégh and Andrew Vászony's essay "The crack on the red goblet or truth and the modern legend" in Richard M. Dorson, ed. Folklore in the Modern World, (The Hague: Mouton)1978, in The Journal of American Folklore 93 No. 369 (July-September 1980:367), remarked on Ranke's definition, criticised in the essay, as a "dead issue". A more recent examination of the balance between oral performance and literal truth at work in legends forms Gillian Bennett's chaprer "Legend: Performance and Truth" in Gillian Bennett and Paul Smith, eds. Contemporary Legend (Garland) 1996:17-40.
  11. ^ de Boor, "Märchenforschung", Zeitschrift für Deutschkunde 42 1928:563-81.
  12. ^ Lutz Röhrich, Märchen und Wirklichkeit: Eine volkskundliche Untersuchung (Wiesbaden: Steiner Verlag) 1956:9-26.
  13. ^ Heiske, "Das Märchen ist poetischer, die Sage, historischer: Versuch einer Kritik", Deutschunterricht14 1962:69-75..
  14. ^ Bernheim, Einleitung in der Geschichtswissenschaft(Berlin: de Gruyter) 1928.
  15. ^ Allport, The Psychology of Rumor (New York: Holt, Rinehart) 1947:164.
  16. ^ Bengt af Klintberg, "Folksägner i dag" Fataburen 1976:269-96.
  17. ^ Jansen, "Legend: oral tradition in the modern experience", Folklore Today, A Festschrift for William Dorson (Bloomington: Indiana University Press) 1972:265-72, noted in Tangherlini 1990:375.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology

< Middle English legende < Old French legende < Mediaeval Latin legenda (a legend, story, esp. the lives of the saints, orig. things to be read), neut. pl. of fut. pass. part. of legere (to read).

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈlɛʤ.ənd/

Noun

Singular
legend

Plural
legends

legend (plural legends)

  1. A story of unknown origin describing plausible but extraordinary past events. Also historical legend.
    The legend of Troy was discovered to have historical basis.
  2. A story in which a kernel of truth is embellished to an unlikely degree.
    The 1984 Rose Bowl prank has spawned many legends. Here's the real story.
  3. A leading protagonist in a historical legend.
    Achilles is a legend in Greek culture.
  4. Any person of extraordinary accomplishment.
    Michael Jordan stands as a legend in basketball.
  5. A key to the symbols and color codes on a map, chart, etc.
    According to the legend on the map, that building is a school.
  6. The text on a coin.
  7. A fabricated backstory for spies, complete with appropriate documents and records.
    According to his legend, he once worked for the Red Cross, spreading humanitarian aid in Africa.
    • 1992, Ronald Kessler, Inside the CIA, 1994 Pocket Books edition, ISBN 067173458X, page 115:
      If the documents are needed to establish "a light legend," meaning a superficial cover story, no steps are taken to make sure that if someone calls the college or motor vehicle department, the name on the document will be registered.
    • 2003, Rodney Carlisle, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Spies and Espionage, Alpha Books, ISBN 0028644182, page 105:
      Sorge solidified his own position by returning to Germany and developing a new legend. He joined the Nazi Party [] .
    • 2005, Curtis Peebles, Twilight Warriors, Naval Institute Press, ISBN 1591146607, page 25:
      Both the agent's legend and documents were intended to stand up against casual questions from Soviet citizens, such as during a job interview, or a routine police document check, such as were made at railway stations.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

External links

  • legend in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • legend in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Simple English

Legends are usually very old stories with little or no evidence to prove them. Legends are often passed on by word-of-mouth. They are very similar to myths.

Legends can also be famous or historically significant people, places, art, etc..

Examples of legends include: Oday Jarrar, the Fountain of Youth, or Loch Ness

We sometimes say of someone who is extremely famous that they are a "legend" or "of legendary fame".

Legendary emperors of Japan

The current Emperor of Japan[1] is considered the 125th monarch according to Japan's traditional order of succession.[2]

The earliest Japanese emperors are believed to be mythical or legendary. These historical figures have been included in the traditional list of emperors since the reign of Emperor Kammu, who was the 50th monarch of the Yamato dynasty.[3]

Very little information is available for study before the rule of the 29th monarch, Emperor Kimmei who reigned in the 6th century.[4] Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Kimmei to be possibly legendary, but probable.[5]

These legends are found in the earliest written records which date from the 8th century -- the Kojiki (711)[6] and the Nihonshoki (720).[7]

Some details of the lives of the early emperors are considered likely to be fictional.[5]

Notes

  1. Imperial Household Agency: Genealogy of the Imperial Family
  2. "Prince Akihito comes of age‎," Life, Vol. 23, No. 33. (December 8, 1952), pp. 70-76; Martin, Peter. (1997). The Chrysanthemum Throne, pp. 153-158.
  3. Aston, William. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  4. Parry, Richard Lloyd. "Japan guards the emperors' secrets; Ban on digs in ancient imperial tombs frustrates archaeologists," The Independent (London). 12 November 1995; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 261-262; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 123-124; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 34-36.]
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009.
  6. Titsingh, p. 64.
  7. Titsingh, p. 66.

References


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 28, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Legend, which are similar to those in the above article.








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message