chapter  9
24 Pages

The History of the People

WithFrederick Turner

One of the chief differences between epic and myth is that epic plays out the myths in historical action, and extends the ritual of which myth is the script into real military, legal, political, economic, and social events. The emergence of the city and of recorded history itself can scarcely be imagined without the phenomenon of war. The epic people or nation is always the subject of special attention on the part of the gods, or God. The world explores as much of the available information-space as it can for any of its dynamical situations. The unanimity of epics all over the world on the special relationship between the epic people and their god or gods is thus no coincidence. Epic merely expresses the basic principles of all living organisms, and one of those principles is the efficacy of certain teleological assumptions.