GREAT HEROES LIVE FOREVER
In the pages of books great heroes live forever. Men who were famous centuries ago are known today to millions of people.
Many of these heroes lived long before men knew how to print books, but their deeds were kept alive by wandering story-tellers, called minstrels.
You are probably already acquainted with some of these famous heroes. Do you remember Beowulf, Sigurd, and Roland?
Now you are going to read of three more great heroes of adventure: Robin Hood, Achilles, and Ulysses.
The legend of Robin Hood goes back at least five hundred years in the history of England.
Probably the tales about him were told for many, many years before that. No one knows who first told them.
So famous is Robin Hood that an entire opera of beautiful music has been written about him,
and a moving picture has been made of his stirring deeds.
Achilles and Ulysses were two great heroes of ancient Greece. The stories about them go back probably three thousand years,
and they have come down to us in the writings of a blind, wandering, minstrel poet named Homer.
His name is famous the world over because of two great poems he wrote, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Homer probably first wandered from town to town with his harp, singing these long song-stories of great heroes.
If Homer had not written these tales in verse, we should know very little about the Greeks of ancient times.
It is often true that such old, old stories are almost the only means we have of knowing how the people of those times lived.