Legend

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legend

Christian religion
a. a story of the life of a saint
b. a collection of such stories

Legend

 

in cartography and topography, a list of conventional symbols and notes to a map explaining its content. The legend is placed either along the margin of a map or in an open space within its borders. In atlases or maps composed of several sheets the legend may be on a separate sheet or appended in the form of a pamphlet. In an exploratory survey, the brief explanatory note containing data that cannot be depicted graphically (for example, the quality of a road, the design and condition of bridges, a description of a ford) is called a legend.


Legend

 

originally the life of a saint written to be read on his feast day. The term arose in medieval Catholic literature. During the 13th through 15th centuries, numerous compilations of legends in Latin appeared in Europe; they included the Golden Legend (Legenda aurea, 13th century), which was translated into most Western European languages and became a source of subjects for epics, drama, and lyrical poetry. Later, legends were religious didactic tales and parables about animals, plants, and objects of Christian worship. In current usage, the term “legend” is often applied to works, regardless of genre, characterized by poetic fancy yet at the same time pretending to be trustworthy.

In folklore, a legend is a traditional oral folk tale based upon a fictional image or notion, which is accepted by the storyteller and his listener as trustworthy. In Russian a contrast is made between predanie, a traditional account, and legenda (legend), which is always based upon a “miracle” and refers not only to the past but to the present and the future. The types of legend found in Russian folklore include cosmogonic (about the origin of the earth and stars), toponymic (about the origin of countries, seas, villages, cities, and their names), ethnogonic, zoogonic, Christian (about the travels of Christ and the Apostles), historical-heroic (about Stepan Razin, for example), and social-utopian (about a “golden age” and “deliverers”).

REFERENCES

Afanas’ev, A. N. Narodnye russkie legendy, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1916.
Chistov, K. V. Russkie narodnye sotsial’no-utopicheskie legendy 17–19 vv. Moscow, 1967.
Jolies, A. Einfache Formen, 2nd ed. Halle (Saale), 1956.
Bayard, J.-P. Histoire des légendes, 2nd ed. Paris, 1961. (Includes bibliography.)

K. V. CHISTOV

legend

[′lej·ənd]
(graphic arts)
A title or explanation on a chart, diagram, or other illustration.
References in classic literature ?
Indeed, except that there was a necessity for it--and that the inner life of the legends cannot be come at save by making them entirely one's own property--there is no defense to be made.
worm' was a monster of vast size and power--a veritable dragon or serpent, such as legend attributes to vast fens or quags where there was illimitable room for expansion.
But it seems rather odd," said Flambeau, "that it should exactly confirm the old legend.
If legend may be credited, their forebears--a little handful of men and women who came from somewhere out of the north and became lost in the wilderness of central Africa--found here only a barren desert valley.
And his wife dealt out stockings, and calico shirts, and smock frocks, and comforting drinks to the old folks with the "rheumatiz," and good counsel to all; and kept the coal and clothes' clubs going, for yule-tide, when the bands of mummers came round, dressed out in ribbons and coloured paper caps, and stamped round the Squire's kitchen, repeating in true sing-song vernacular the legend of St.
We must efface the legend," said Pittrino, in a melancholy tone.
I HAD rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.
Well," he said; "there is a legend connected with that iron hook.
It seizes with avidity upon any incidents, surprising or mysterious, in the career of those who have at all distinguished themselves from their fellows, and invents a legend to which it then attaches a fanatical belief.
ACCORDING to an ancient legend, the first man was made by Jupiter, the first bull by Neptune, and the first house by Minerva.
Although I attach no sort of credit to the fantastic Indian legend of the gem, I must acknowledge, before I conclude, that I am influenced by a certain superstition of my own in this matter.
For many hundred years before that time, there had been handed down, from age to age, an old legend, that the illustrious prince being afflicted with leprosy, on his return from reaping a rich harvest of knowledge in Athens, shunned the court of his royal father, and consorted moodily with husbandman and pigs.