The Custer Paradigm

“The Custer paradigm has nearly twenty segments, or motifs, within it. Yet the likelihood is that the creation of this paradigm was polygenetic; that is, each society, each author or storyteller who put his imaginative talents to retelling this tale, had to fabulate it anew. The Custer cluster includes Saul, Leonidas, Roland, Sir Gawain, and the garrison of the Alamo; we have no evidence that Herodotus (whose version of Thermopylae is the most important) copied or even knew of the Old Testament account of Saul’s death; that Turoldus or whoever was the writer of the Roland knew of Herodotus or made Saul his model; or that the alliterative Morte Arthure is based on any of these; or that the Alamo legends arose in imitation of those other heroic stands.”