An epic poem, or simply an epic, is a lengthy narrative poem typically about the extraordinary deeds of extraordinary characters who, in dealings with gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants.
The English word epic comes from Latin epicus, which itself comes from the Ancient Greek adjective ἐπικός (epikos), from ἔπος (epos),
"word, story, poem."
In ancient Greek, 'epic' could refer to all poetry in dactylic hexameter (epea), which included not only Homer but also the wisdom poetry of Hesiod, the utterances of the Delphic oracle, and the strange theological verses attributed to Orpheus. Later tradition, however, has restricted the term 'epic' to heroic epic, as described in this article.
Originating before the invention of writing, primary epics, such as those of Homer, were composed by bards who used complex rhetorical and metrical schemes by which they could memorize the epic as received in