Tim Boucher

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Klepht (Greek history, Ottoman empire)

Klephts (/klɛfts/; Greek κλέφτης, kléftis, pl. κλέφτες, kléftes, which means “thief” and perhaps originally meant just “brigand”[2]) were highwaymen turned self-appointed armatoloi, anti-Ottoman insurgents, and warlike mountain-folk who lived in the countryside when Greece was a part of the Ottoman Empire.[2][3] They were the descendants of Greeks who retreated into the mountains during the 15th century in order to avoid Ottoman rule.[4] They carried on a continuous war against Ottoman rule and remained active as brigands until the 19th century.[4][5]

The terms kleptomania and kleptocracy are derived from the same Greek root, κλέπτειν (kléptein), “to steal”.[6]

Source: Klepht – Wikipedia

Sarakatsani (Greek & Bulgarian culture, history)

The most widely accepted theory for the origin of the name “Sarakatsani” is that it comes from the Turkish word karakaçan (from kara = ‘black’ and kaçan = ‘fugitive’), used by the Ottomans, in reference to those people who dressed in black and fled to the mountains during the Ottoman occupation of Greece.[6] They never accepted the fall of Constantinople. According to another theory, the name derives from the village of Sakaretsi, the supposed homeland of the Sarakatsani.[7] […]

Georgakas (1949) and Kavadias (1965) believe that the Sarakatsani are either descendants of ancient nomads who inhabited the mountain regions of Greece in the pre-classical times, or they are descended from sedentary Greek peasants forced to leave their original settlements around the 14th century who became nomadic shepherds. Angeliki Hatzimihali, a Greek folklorist who spent a lifetime among the Sarakatsani, emphasises the prototypical elements of Greek culture that she found in the pastoral way of life, social organisation and art forms of the Sarakatsani. She also points out the similarity between their decorative art and the geometric art of pre-classical Greece.[17]

Source: Sarakatsani – Wikipedia

Highland Travellers (Scottish history, culture)

As an indigenous group Highland Travellers have played an essential role in the preservation of traditional Gaelic culture.[23] Travellers’ outstanding contribution to Highland life has been as custodians of an ancient and vital singing, storytelling and folklore tradition of great importance.

Source: Scottish Gypsy and Traveller groups – Wikipedia

Types of Meter in Historic Epic Poetry

Ancient Sumerian epic poems did not use any kind of poetic meter and lines did not have consistent lengths;[13] instead, Sumerian poems derived their rhythm solely through constant repetition, with subtle variations between lines.[13] Indo-European epic poetry, by contrast, usually places strong emphasis on the importance of line consistency and poetic meter.[13] Ancient Greek and Latin poems were written in dactylic hexameter.[14] Old English, German and Norse poems were written in alliterative verse,[15] usually without rhyme. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese long poems were usually written in terza rima [16] or especially ottava rima.[17] From the 14th century English epic poems were written in heroic couplets,[18] and rhyme royal,[19] though in the 16th century the Spenserian stanza[20] and blank verse[21] were also introduced. The French alexandrine is currently the heroic line in French literature, though in earlier periods the decasyllable took precedence. In Polish literature, couplets of Polish alexandrines (syllabic lines of 7+6 syllables) prevail.[22] In Russian, iambic tetrameter verse is the most popular.[23] In Serbian poetry, the decasyllable is the only form employed.[24][25]

Source: Epic poetry – Wikipedia

Sribhargavaraghaviyam (Sanskrit epic poem)

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya composed the epic in 2002 at Chitrakuta during his sixth six-month Payovrata (milk-only diet).[3] The poet chose 21 as the number of cantos due to several reasons. He composed the epic at the beginning of the 21st century, and it was the first Sanskrit epic to be composed in the 21st century. The number 21 is also associated with the narrative of the epic. Reṇukā, the mother of Paraśurāma, beats her chest 21 times after the Haihaya kings murder her husband Jamadagni. Subsequently, Paraśurāma annihilates the Kṣatriyas 21 times from the earth.

Source: Sribhargavaraghaviyam – Wikipedia

Homer’s Invocation to the Muse Memory (The Odyssey, Book I, Lines 1-20)

Of these things,
Speak, Immortal One,
And tell the tale once more in our time.

Source: The Odyssey, Book I, Lines 1-20 by Homer – Poems | poets.org

Grand Question to the Muse (Epic Poetry)

The narrator begins by stating the main theme, invoking a muse or guiding spirit to inspire him in his great undertaking, and then asking the muse to answer a grand question. The narrative as a whole is supposed to answer this grand question.

Source: What is Epic Poetry – Virtue and Adversity: The poetry of Virgil in the DA Kidd Collection – University of Canterbury – New Zealand

Epic of Darkness (Chinese mythology)

The Epic of Darkness (traditional Chinese: 黑暗傳; simplified Chinese: 黑暗传; pinyin: Hēi Àn Zhuàn) is a collection of tales and legends of primeval China in epic poetry, preserved by the inhabitants of the Shennongjia mountain area in Hubei. It is composed of numerous Chinese myths relating to the creation of the world, containing accounts from the birth of Pangu till the historical era. It dates back to the Tang Dynasty of China. It was translated and published by Hu Chongjun after the discovery of a manuscript in 1982.

Like the Homeric epics, the written poem was likely preceded by an oral tradition dating back to at least the Tang Dynasty. Wooden copies of Darkness are said to have survived to the Ming Dynasty but none have been found today.

Source: Epic of Darkness – Wikipedia

Mist of Concealment (Irish myth)

Féth fíada (Old Irish: féth fíada, féth fiada, feth fiadha, fé fíada, faeth fiadha), in Irish mythology is a magic mist or veil which the Tuatha Dé Danann uses to enshroud themselves, rendering their presence invisible to human eyesight.[1] Féth denotes this mist in particular, and fíada originally meant “knower”, then came to mean “lord, master, possessor”.[2][3]

Source: Féth fíada – Wikipedia

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate (Medieval prayer)

The prayer is part of the Liber Hymnorum, a collection of hymns found in two manuscripts kept in Dublin[1] and published in 1903 in the Thesaurus Paleohibernicus. The document gives this account of how Saint Patrick used this prayer:

“Saint Patrick sang this when an ambush was laid against his coming by Loegaire, that he might not go to Tara to sow the faith. And then it appeared before those lying in ambush that they (Saint Patrick and his monks) were wild deer with a fawn following them.[2]”

The description concludes “fáeth fiada a hainm”, which the Thesaurus Paleohibernicus translates as “Its name is ‘Deer’s Cry’. However, the phrase ‘fáeth fiada’ is used elsewhere in Irish mythology to mean a mist of concealment.[3]

Source: Saint Patrick’s Breastplate – Wikipedia

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