National epic

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Extensive poems ( epic poems ) are referred to as national epic , which have such an outstanding meaning for the identification of a people or a nation that they are considered constitutive or at least exemplary for its cultural history .

They often deal with the historical or prehistoric self-assertion of a hero (hero) who stands up for the self-esteem of a modern nation. The often very old seals usually only have this function in modern times. The Nibelungenlied , which was completely forgotten between 1500 and 1750 , became a national epic in the 19th century, for example. In the age of nation-building in the 19th century, the national idea and the need for historical roots in one's own tradition in many younger nations led to the creation of a new national epic of identification.

List of national epics

The list below shows the national epics of individual states or peoples, the time of origin referring to the earliest written record that is known to us. Many national epics were passed down orally centuries earlier.

National epics of individual nations
Country / people epos author Time of origin
Arab world Taghribat Bani Hilal (تغريبة بني هلال) unknown 11th century
Argentina El gaucho Martín Fierro José Hernández 1872
Armenia Sasna zrer (daredevil from Sasun) (Սասնա ծռեր) unknown 8th century
Ethiopia Kebra Negest (ክብረ ነገሥት) unknown 13th century
Germany Nibelungenlied unknown around 1200
England Arthurian legend unknown 11th century
Estonia Kalevipoeg Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald 1853
Finland Kalevala Elias Lönnrot 1835 / 1849
France Roland's song unknown 12th century
Georgia Vep'his tqaosani (The warrior in the tiger skin) (ვეფხისტყაოსანი) Shota Rustaveli 13th century
Greece Iliad (Ἰλιάς) and Odyssey (Ὀδύσσεια) Homer 8th century BC Chr.
India Mahabharata (महाभारत) unknown 4th century BC - 4th century AD ?
India Ramayana (रामायण) unknown (according to legend Valmiki ) unknown (presumably before Mahabharata )
Iran Shahnameh (شاهنامه) Abū l-Qasem-e Ferdousī 10th century
Ireland Táin Bó Cúailnge (Cooley cattle robbery) unknown 11th - 14th century
Iceland Edda (Óðr) unknown 13th century
Italy Divine Comedy Dante Alighieri 13th century
Kyrgyzstan Manas VV Radlow 1885
Kurdish people Mem û Zîn Ehmedê Xanî 17th century
Ladins Kingdom of the Fanes unknown unknown
Latvia Lāčplēsis (The Bear Slayer) Andrejs Pumpurs 1888
Lithuania Witolorauda (Lament of Witold) Józef Ignacy Kraszewski (Kraševskis) 1840
Poland Pan Tadeusz Adam Mickiewicz 1834
Portugal Os Lusíadas Luís de Camoes 1572
Roman Empire Aeneid Virgil 1st century BC Chr.
Romania Țiganiada sau Tabăra țiganilor Ion Budai-Deleanu 19th century
Russia and Ukraine Igor song (Слово о полку Игореве) unknown End of the 12th century
Sweden Frithjofssage Esaias Tegnér 1825
Switzerland William Tell Friedrich Schiller 1804
Spain El Cantar del Mío Cid unknown 12th century
Thailand Ramakien (รามเกียรติ์) different versions 18th century
Tibet Gesser Chan (གླིང་ གེ་ སར་ སྒྲུང) unknown 11th century
Tyrol King Laurin's rose garden unknown middle Ages
Turkey The Book of Dede Korkut (Dede Korkut Destanları) unknown 15th century

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: National epic  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations