“A narrative such as a story, song, verse, or ballad handed down from the past and often conveying the lore of a culture. It is distinguished from myth by its closer relation to historical fact than to the supernatural. The earliest legends recounted the lives of saints. The term also applies to the brief explanations of symbols used in pictures, maps, and charts.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.