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Discussion: Unique Epics

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization' started by Publicola, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Steb

    Steb King

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    If we take the view that the Mali civilization represents something broader than the medieval Empire of Mali, I think either of those choices are fine. The Bambara, who created the Epic of Bamana Segu, are closely related to the Mandinka and can be seen as their successors in the 18th and 19th centuries.
     
  2. Novicenoble

    Novicenoble Prince

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    About Japanese heroic epic, "The Tale of the Heike" is the correct spelling.

    About Korean heroic epic, I'd recommend going for "Nanjung Ilgi" or "The book of corrections". Chasa Bonpuri is more refers to a very old and traditional religious activity often performed in the Jeju Island. I don't know what you refer to with "Songs of Emperors and Kings". Maybe the Annals of the Choson dynasty?

    For Chinese national epic, I recommend the Analects (Lunyu, 論語) or "Analects of Confucius". Romance of the Three Kingdoms is still a great novel though.
     
  3. Publicola

    Publicola Prince

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    I agree there should be a bit of leeway, but the 18th/19th century descendants is pretty far afield, especially since the real-world Malian Empire fell around 1400 AD, and any Mandinka player aiming for the UHV would wrap up their gameplay hundreds of years before those epics were written.

    Even if they are 'closely related', I'm not sure that really helps their case. It's been said that genetically, every single Western European is descended from the emperor Charlemagne, purely going by how many centuries had elapsed. (Genetic testing has confirmed that virtually every single inhabit of China and Central Asia shares descent from Genghis Khan). The Mandinka lived so long ago, that it would not surprise me if most of the tribes in the region could boast of some connection to Mansa Musa. When one of those tribes is busy conquering the same cities that Mansa Musa ruled, claims of descent or inheritance seem particularly self-serving -- just like Timur claiming descent from the Khans, or the pretty much everyone in the medieval world claiming descent from Troy.

    EDIT: I just checked the page for the Malian Empire, and realized that (after its collapse c. 1400) the surviving remnants of the Malian Empire clung to a few holdout cities until the early 1600's, when they were overthrown and their cities sacked by the Bamana Empire.
    Oops, I'll fix that.
    The 'Songs' refers to the Jewang Un'gi; I can change it to the Korean name. I really like the Nanjung Ilgi (an autobiography by the Korean admiral Yi Sun-Shin? Sign me up!) but I'm not sure the 'Book of Corrections' works here. For the most part we've shied away from nonfiction accounts and historiography -- national epics should be, if not fiction, then at least dramatized to some extent. The rare exception (such as Argentina's Facunda) should have clear evidence of its impact on the national culture and identity.
    Analects is a good option, though I'm very much inclined to stick with the Romance of Three Kingdoms; that is perhaps the most famous work, with some of the best-known stories in Chinese popular history.
     
  4. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

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    Do you have any opinions on the stuff I brought up?
     
  5. freethink

    freethink Warlord

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    I think for me, what I found most astounding was the Portuguese suggestion, as the original inspiration for later Spanish stories.

    As for the United States, I do see your point, though personally, I would rather not the quotation come from a recent movie. But, if a movie quote was included from Saving Pirate Ryan I can see how it could work given that its for a relatively young country using newer storytelling mediums. I can see an argument for both sides.
     
  6. Steb

    Steb King

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    If we can find a heroic epic for the medieval Empire of Mali, then sure, I agree. If we can't, an epic from a successor state in the 19th century is better than no epic.

    On an unrelated note, here's a quote from the Popol Vuh:
    The first men to be created and formed were called the Sorcerer of Fatal Laughter, the Sorcerer of Night, Unkempt, and the Black Sorcerer. … They were endowed with intelligence, they succeeded in knowing all that there is in the world. When they looked, instantly they saw all that is around them, and they contemplated in turn the arc of heaven and the round face of the earth.
     
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  7. freethink

    freethink Warlord

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    I would be willing to narrate the quotes.
     
  8. Enyavar

    Enyavar Prince

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    Are there already some thoughts about...
    - How are these epics created
    - What is the effect when they are created?
     
  9. freethink

    freethink Warlord

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    I think they can have a cultural or military bonus, how they come about has been debated back and forth here, between using Great People or they being the result of some kind of event of technology.
     
  10. freethink

    freethink Warlord

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    How about we create a google document, where we can all put in, and keep track of suggestions?
     
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  11. Finbros

    Finbros Chieftain

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    For Russia: quotes from "Tale of the Igor's Campaign", two variants from two translations:
    (Yaroslavna's lament is even more iconic, but it's not heroic)

    Translation of Nabokov:

    1. "Then Igor glanced up at the bright sun and saw that from it with darkness his warriors were covered. And Igor says to his Guards: "Brothers and Guards! It is better indeed to be slain than to be enslaved; so let us mount, brothers, upon our swift steeds, and take a look at the blue Don."

    2. "The wolves, in the ravines, conjure the storm. The erns with their squalling summon the beasts to the bones. The foxes yelp at the vermilion shields. O Russian land, you are already behind the culmen!"

    Translation of Leonard A. Magnus:

    1. "Then Ígoŕ gazed up at the bright sun, and saw all his warriors covered with the darkness [that proceeded] out of it. And Ígoŕ said to his družína:--"Brothers and družína! Better is it to be hewn to pieces than to be captive! So let us mount, brothers, on our swift steeds and look upon the blue Don!"

    2. " [Div] the Bird is fending off disaster from him at this season; the wolves raise up their [cries] threat in the crevasses; the eagles with their clatter summon the brute-beasts [to feed on] the bones; the foxes yelp at the crimson shields.
    Oh land of Russia, already art thou beyond the frontier-hill!"
     
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  12. freethink

    freethink Warlord

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    I like the Leonard A Magnus translations better, they seem to be more closer to the original text.
     
  13. Publicola

    Publicola Prince

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    It's been a while since anyone's posted here, but I had a thought regarding Egypt's Heroic Epic. What do people think about using the 'Poem of Pentaur', the inscriptions and image-captions on so many temples constructed by Ramesses II, describing his awe-inspiring (wildly exaggerated) victory at the Battle of Kadesh? It's a long text, probably a bit longer than the Story of Sinuhe, and it is much more directly about glory in battle and military might. Plus, each inscription is paired with a number of drawings/artwork depicting the battle itself, so we could use one of those as the background image for the epic's splash page.
     
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  14. JHLee

    JHLee Prince

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    What exactly is a National Epic supposed to be anyway? Is it a Historical Record of the realm? Or is it a story of the founding of the nation? Or is it a popular, well-known legend? Or is it a novel, deeply-loved by the people?
     
  15. star15389

    star15389 Prince

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    For an American national epic I think Moby Dick, Huck Finn, or Leaves of Grass would all be better choices than Last of the Mohicans. Confident we can can do better than The Red Badge of Courage as well. Maybe The Thin Red Line?
     
  16. Steb

    Steb King

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    I can be any of those things, basically. Wikipedia has a useful definition on the national epic article. Ideally, the work has the form of an epic (whether in verse or in prose) and is broadly about the history of the civilization.
     
  17. BluesyCobalt

    BluesyCobalt Chieftain

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    Hi I thought I'd pop in to confuse things with the Japanese epics. The Tale of the Heike is perfect for the heroic epic, but as far as the definition of national epic goes The Tale of Genji doesn't quite fit it for two reasons:

    1. We know (or highly suspect) that the author is Murasaki Shikibu, and typically epics don't have a specific author (although that's unavoidable for the later civs like America)
    2. The narrative is more closely focused on a cast of characters than it is generally about Japanese history. It also only reflects the lived tradition of the aristocracy of the time.

    In place of Genji I would put forward The Kojiki as Japan's national epic on the grounds that it is a compilation of oral traditions, myths, and folktales and so doesn't have an author so much as a compiler. And also that it concerns itself more broadly with Japanese myth, history, and culture as a whole compared to Tale of Genji. When Japan was manufacturing a national identity in the 19th century it was the Kojiki they pulled from.

    I'll also offer up some quotes for the two:

    Tale of the Heike: "The Jetavana Temple bells ring the passing of all things.Twinned sala trees, white in full flower, declare the great man's certain fall. The arrogant do not long endure:They are like a dream one night in spring. The bold and brave perish in the end: They are as dust before the wind."

    Kojiki: "So when Amaterasu-ōmikami had come forth, both the Plain of High Heaven and the Central-Land-of-Reed-Plains of course again became light."
     
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  18. Steb

    Steb King

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    Being anonymous is certainly not a requirement for a work to be an epic. For instance, consider Homer. And I'd say that an epic is more commonly a single narrative than a collection of stories, though a case can be made for either.

    Having very little knowledge on either the Tale of Genji or the Kojiki, though, I don't have an opinion on this matter.
     
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  19. BluesyCobalt

    BluesyCobalt Chieftain

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    That's correct; I think I was conflating it with folk epics. That said, the Kojiki is sort of a continuous narrative in the sense that it does try to establish a chronological ordering of events and genealogical decent from a creation narrative down to accounts of the lives of pre-historic emperors. The traditional legitimacy of the imperial line, the origin of the "Three Treasures," and the foundation for State Shinto are all derived from the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki; versus Tale of Genji having more of an effect on aesthetics and art and less on political and cultural identity outside of national pride.

    And as a really minor thing I think it would be cool since the account of Emperor Jimmu's conquest of Japan kicks off the imperial genealogy section and he's currently the figurehead in game for the BC and early-AD years.
     
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  20. freethink

    freethink Warlord

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    Incoming suggestion!
    I agree with Bluseey Cobalt, on Japan

    For the Munglas I thought maybe we could have one epic
    be about the actual Mughal Empire and than another be a bit more modern- about Pakistan since the dynamic names does turn Munghals into Pakistan.
    For the heroic epic, I was thinking we could use the Memoirs of Babur. Apparently this emperor wrote one of the first Muslim autobiographies in history
     

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