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Legendary Heroes: King, Thief & Saint

Many of the best bedtime stories are the ones that involve heroes found in popular legends , some of which have survived for centuries. Religious tales and ancient myths also play a role in the telling of heroic deeds. In this article, you will encounter an assortment of heroes , a few who actually existed and later became larger than life characters after their death.

King Arthur

Knights make popular heroes , brandishing a sword and riding upon a majestic steed. The infamous legend of Arthur (king of the Britons) centers on the story that the knight claimed the throne by pulling a sword (which was named Excalibur) from a stone. It was said that this could only be accomplished by a “true” king. Arthur is said to have ruled during a period of time marked by peace and prosperity in Great Britain. Folk tales say that if Great Britain becomes threatened, Arthur and his knights would return to defend the nation from danger.

Arthur’s tale dates back to the late 5th and early 6th centuries, and has been told ever since in Medieval histories and tales. The knight and his men was supposed to have led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. Modern historians dispute his existence or the achievements that the stories say he has accomplished even though his name appears in a handful of historical accounts.

Robin Hood

The poor and disadvantaged gobbled up the thought of a hero that fought for their rights and safety. In folklore, Robin Hood was an English nobleman who had his land taken away from him while King Richard the Lionheart was away fighting the Crusades from 1188 to 1192. As a result, he became an outlaw , using Sherwood Forest as his hideout that he shared with a band of thieves called the Merry Men. His true love was named Maid Marian, who also lived in the forest with him. Robin Hood made it a point to rob nobility as they passed through the forest. The valuables that they stole were later distributed to the poor and needy.

Robin Hood knew how to stay hidden from those trying to capture or kill the “King of Thieves.” He used many disguises to also trick his enemies or rescue his friends. As a skilled archer and swordsman, he was able to get out of the stickiest of predicaments. His popularity as a folk hero began during the medieval period and continued on in modern times with countless films, books, and TV shows.

St. George

St. George was a solider that fought for the Roman Empire. He refused to take part in the Empire’s decision to persecute Christians. Because of this form of treason, he was executed for his disapproval of the order. As a result, he became a martyr for the Christians. In later years, King Edward III made George a patron saint of England. From this came legends surrounding the life of George, such as being the hero that slayed a man-eating dragon that was guarding the water supply of the city. The people of the city were so appreciative of his deed that they converted from paganism to George’s Christianity.