means simply “something to be read” as part of the divine
service. The narratives of the lives of saints and martyrs were so
termed from their being read, especially at matins, and after dinner in
the refectories. Exaggeration and a love for the wonderful so
predominated in these readings, that the word came to signify the
untrue, or rather, an event based on tradition.
“A myth is a pure and absolute imagination; a legend has a basis of fact, but amplifies, a bridges, or modifies that basis
at pleasure.” —Rawlinson: Historic Evidences, lecture i. p.
231, note 2.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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