This is such an interesting assignment! What I do not know is the kind of course you are writing this essay for or what text sources you might be expected to focus on. No matter what, you will probably want to focus on whether or not legends reflect history.
Discussing this issue means focusing on particular texts and particular history, since this is not something you can discuss in just general terms. To show that legends do or do not reflect history means that you must have examples of particular texts and examples of particular periods of history. Two legends that might be worthy of consideration are the legends of King Arthur or Beowulf. Both of these are part of particular periods of English history, and you will need to not only familiarize yourself with the legends you want to discuss, but also you will need to do some research on these historical periods.
Then you need to ask yourself whether there or not there is any evidence that the people described ever existed and whether or not the events described actually happened. To find out, you need to find out if there are any historical accounts of people and events. And you will probably want to find out if there is any archaeological record to show the characters from the legends or the events described.
Even supposing there is no historical evidence of these particular people and events, legends might still offer us glimpses of history, how people lived, what they ate, how they dressed, and what the customs were. Often it is possible to find sources that show that the legends are "historical" in this way. Alternatively, there might be historical evidence that shows the legends as being completely inaccurate in this way. For example, was the technology available to make the armor for those knights during the period King Arthur was supposed to have reigned? Or did someone come along afterwards and write these stories when such technology did exist? When we see a detail like this in a story, we call it an anachronism. An example of that might be a microwave appearing in a movie that takes place in 1940. Anachronisms show us that a work is historically unauthentic.
This is really very much like a compare and contrast assignment, I think. You are going to be examining how legends are different from and similar to history. Do your research, and try that approach. I hope you enjoy this assignment. I know I would!
This short essay on history of India contains information on Indian history.
Cultural India : History of India
History of India
The fifth century saw the unification of India under Ashoka, who had converted to Buddhism, and it is in his reign that Buddhism spread in many parts of Asia. In the eighth century Islam came to India for the first time and by the eleventh century had firmly established itself in India as a political force. It resulted into the formation of the Delhi Sultanate, which was finally succeeded by the Mughal Empire, under which India once again achieved a large measure of political unity.
It was in the 17th century that the Europeans came to India. This coincided with the disintegration of the Mughal Empire, paving the way for regional states. In the contest for supremacy, the English emerged 'victors'. The Rebellion of 1857-58, which sought to restore Indian supremacy, was crushed; and with the subsequent crowning of Victoria as Empress of India, the incorporation of India into the empire was complete. It was followed by India's struggle for independence, which we got in the year 1947.
Indian timeline takes us on a journey of the history of the subcontinent. Right from the ancient India, which included Bangladesh and Pakistan, to the free and divided India, this time line covers each and every aspect related to the past as well as present of the country. Read on further to explore the timeline of India.
Economic History of India
Indus valley civilization, which flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, had an advanced and flourishing economic system. The Indus valley people practiced agriculture, domesticated animals, made tools and weapons from copper, bronze and tin and even traded with some Middle East countries.
Medieval Indian History
After the death of Harsha the Rajputs came into prominence on the political horizons of North India. The Rajputs were known for their bravery and chivalry but family feuds and strong notions of personal pride often resulted into conflicts. The Rajputs weakened each other by constant wrangling.
Emperor Akbar, also known as Akbar the Great or Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, was the third emperor of the Mughal Empire, after Babur and Humayun. He was the son of Nasiruddin Humayun and succeeded him as the emperor in the year 1556, when he was only 13 years old.
Shah Jahan, also known as Shahbuddin Mohammed Shah Jahan, was a Mughal Emperor who ruled in the Indian Subcontinent from 1628 to 1658. He was the fifth Mughal ruler, after Babur, Humayun, Akbar and Jahangir. Shah Jahan succeeded the throne after revolting against his father, Jahangir.
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the founder of the Maratha Empire in western India. He is considered to be one of the greatest warriors of his time and even today, stories of his exploits are narrated as a part of the folklore. King Shivaji used the guerrilla tactics to capture a part of, the then, dominant Mughal empire.
The History of India begins with the Indus Valley Civilization and the coming of the Aryans. These two phases are generally described as the pre-Vedic and Vedic periods. The earliest literary source that sheds light on India's past is the Rig Veda. It is difficult to date this work with any accuracy on the basis of tradition and ambiguous astronomical information contained in the hymns.
Modern Indian History
During the late 16th and the 17th Centuries, the European trading companies in India competed with each other ferociously. By the last quarter of the 18th Century the English had outdone all others and established themselves as the dominant power in India. The British administered India for a period of about two centuries and brought about revolutionary changes in the social, political and the economic life of the country.