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Overlaps, Based on True Events, and Historical Fictions

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Where do History and Literature meet?


Is one really that different from the other?  In a book "Heroes and Hero Worship" we see a great man or woman's feats and their exploits recorded by reporters and witnesses.  Yet often in less than a generation, these 'great feats' become legendary.  He didn't knock out a big man, me slew a giant. Instead of using bread for bait and netting a bunch of fish to feed friends, the person multiplied the meager for all the masses.  Then when modern researchers look for the mythical legend, they find fictions...overgrown facts.


This is then used to claim the individual(s) never existed at all.


King Arthur, Beowulf, Budda, Yeshua, Achillies, Caesar, Aragorn...who were they, really?  Pure fictions, or overgrown legends turned myths?


A man named Heinrich Schliemann took Homer's "fictions" and found a real Troy.  Does that make Homer's work a history?  How many accurate facts are required for Literature to become History?  


The more I read, research, and find, the more I conclude that these two studies should be combined.

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Giants are universally present in ancient literature in some form or fashion. Even the Bible mentions a race of them (There is currently a belief in many researchers that a race of giant hominoids lived on Sardinia. So far real evidence is lacking among accusations of cover-ups and conspiracy theories, but to be honest, giant species wouldn't normally evolve on an island - the small enviroment tends to promote smaller individuals). 

But culture can adopt literature all too easily. The classic example is the "Holy Grail". There was a 'Holy Chalice' mentioned in three biblical gospels, but the Grail - not originally holy, first arrives in the late twelth century as a prop in a story called Perceval written by Chretien Des Troyes. The hero witnesses a ritual in which the grail is used, but the author died before finishing it, so we don't discover exactly what it is. Some time later Robert De Boron wrote Joseph D'Aramathie, which describes the Grail in a christian context for the first time. The christian church has long been happy to fuse the two objects together and now around two hundred objects are claimed to be the Grail. Then of course you have that silly Blood Royal alternative. In other words, people are seeking reality from a prop in a medieval romance. Just don't get me started on the Bible :D

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