Legends

History of the legend  

The most widespread genre of European medieval literature (since the 6 century), generated in Catholic writing mainly as the life of  sacred, written to the day of its memory, or as the collection of instructive stories about the life of sacred martyrs, confessors, prelates, Saints, Desert Fathers, stylets, named «Paterik».

Collection of Christian legends of 13-14 centuries «Gold legend» («Legenda aurea»), translated on many languages had special popularity in the West European countries. 

Legend in Ukrainian literature

In Ukrainian writing of princely days "The Prologue"  is one of translations of such  legends collections. Then there was a collection of original legends - «Kyivo-Pechersk patericon». Later various legends of religious content  with devout and instructive manual about sacred places, parables about  animals and plants origin began to be called as the legends. From such works numerous collections were ordered; they were translated on different languages, their plots were conveyed by verses, used in school religious representations (mysteries, miracle plays, morality plays).

In Ukraine patericons Sinai, Skitsky, Athos, Jerusalem, etc. were well-known. Legends plots had numerous reflexions in icon painting, tales of chivalry and stories. Such pearl of European classics, as the «Divine comedy» of Dante Alighieri grew on them. 

The legend in folklore

These are oral national stories about wonderful event which is perceived as authentic one. Legends are very close to translations, they differ from them mostly because there are bible plots in their basis. Unlike fairy tales, legends have no initial traditional and final formulas, settled alternation of events. Only sometimes they have the general with fairy tales: initial formulas - «it was long time ago», «once upon a time»; fantastic content, which is treated as a miracle created by unusual people.

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