Epic Cycle  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Epic Cycle was a collection of Ancient Greek epic poems that related the story of the Trojan War, which includes the Kypria, the Aithiopis, the Iliou persis ("The Sack of Troy"), the Nostoi ("Returns"), and the Telegony. Scholars sometimes include the two Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, among the poems of the Epic Cycle, but the term is more often used to specify the non-Homeric poems as distinct from the Homeric ones.

Aside from the Odyssey and the Iliad, the cyclic epics only survive in fragments, the most important of which is a detailed summary written by someone named Proclus (not the same person as the philosopher Proclus Diadochus). The epics were composed in dactylic hexameter verse.

The epic cycle was the distillation in literary form of an oral tradition that had developed during the Greek Dark Age, which was based in part on localised hero cults. The traditional material from which the literary epics were drawn treats of Mycenaean Bronze Age culture from the perspective of Iron Age and later Greece.

In modern scholarship the study of the historical and literary relationship between the Homeric epics and the rest of the Cycle is called Neoanalysis.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Epic Cycle" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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