If we want to witness the greatest rise and fall of civilizations, nothing can be better than the epics which have lived through ages, undergone several changes, and represent some of the deepest philosophies and profound ideologies ever on earth. Combining elegant language with love, war, romance, betrayals, etc. epics provide the ideal combination of morals and ideals through the method of story-telling. Let’s have a look at some of the greatest epics from history.
1. The Epic of Gilgamesh- written around 2000 BC, this is the oldest known piece of literature written in the form of an epic poem on a grand scale. This epic is based on the actual Assyrian ruler, Gilgamesh and it confronts several themes like the division between human and deity, seduction, the mortality of human beings, legacy, etc. In the story an arrogant and young god-king is challenged by a Wildman created by a goddess. He challenges the monarch’s power.
2. The Iliad- This Homeric poem composed around 800 BC is widely based on the theme of war. The story revolves around the Greek attack led by Achilles on Troy after they take Helen from Sparta. Though there’s some divine involvement, the human factor is more significant.
3. The Odyssey- Another Homeric poem also composed around 800 BC is written around the warrior Odysseus when he finds his way back home from Troy. He has to fend off malevolence of Gods, the seduction of Calypso, and also reach home before suitors pursue his wife into marriage.
4. The Mahabharata– One of the all-time longest pieces of literature, composed around 350 BC the greatest Indian epic which is almost 2,20,000 lines long revolves around the age-old rivalry between two dynasties, confusing relationships, love, romance, etc. Mahabharata is aimed at building the characters of the readers through several layered characters. Another seminal Hindu text, The Bhagavad Gita, that preaches the ultimate lessons of spirituality and mortality, is also contained within this epic.
5. The Ramayana- Another epic of Indian origin, Ramayana is based on the ideal values of devotion towards parents, husband, elder sibling, and country. The central characters are shown to be incarnations of Vishnu and Laxmi who’re represented as ideal human beings for generations to follow