What is a legend?
A legend is a story about an event that happened in the past, usually involving a heroic action. To qualify as a legend, the story cannot be proven although it might be true. Legends gave the early Greeks a common history and common heroes.
During the Greek dark ages, some people earned a living with their storytelling skills. There were many different tribes of people living on the Greek peninsula at the time. They spoke many languages. Rather than learn lots of different languages, the storytellers began to use the Greek language to tell their stories. In time, the people in all the towns could understand and speak Greek.
Sometimes, a storyteller would be in the middle of a story and the townspeople would correct him. The people had heard the same tale from another storyteller. They wanted to hear it again, but they knew the story and the hero and the adventure and the ending. Soon, the storytellers all knew the same stories. The best storytellers made up new stories, using the same characters. The people believed these stories were about real people having real adventures.
Thanks to the storytellers, the people on the Greek peninsula soon had a common language (Greek), common morals (fables), a common history (legends), and a common religion (myths). The ancient Greeks never tired of their myths, fables, and legends. Long after the dark age, these stories were still being told in homes and everywhere the Greeks traveled. They were retold by people who were not even Greek. In time, these wonderful stories were written down. We still enjoy them today.
Here is one of them: The Legend of the Trojan Horse