Epic
from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
To be called an epic a composition should fulfill all but one or two of the following conditions: it is in verse; is narrative; employs a formal style; idealizes characters and actions; concerns events of great importance, involving great conflict and strife; and relates the adventures of a slightly supernatural hero, who embodies the highest ideals of a people. The great "natural" epics probably known to the reader are the Iliad, the Odyssey, Beowulf, the Poem of the Cid, Nibelungenlied, Song of Roland, Volsunga Saga, etc. Literary epics (those with a single known author, who may draw on previous sources) include the Aeneid, Paradise Lost, the Columbiad, perhaps Hiawatha and the Idylls of the King, and of course the Enchanted Duplicator. There are also mock epics such as the Rape of the Lock, Hudibras, ktp. E E Smith's Skylark and Lensman Series are often called "epics" with dubious authority.

from Fancyclopedia 2 Supplement ca. 1960:
Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy has been so-called, with more justification, methinks, than the Lens series. Of course, it's not to hard to have more justification for being called an epic than the Lens series has.
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
To be called an epic a composition should fulfill all but one or two of the following conditions: It is in verse; is narrative; employs a formal style; idealizes characters and actions; concerns events of great importance, involving great conflict or strife; relates the adventures of a slitely supernatural hero, who embodies the highest ideal of a people. The great natural epics known to the English reader are the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Beowulf. Others include the Cid of Spain, the Niebelungenlied of Germany, the French Song of Roland, the Vulsunga saga etc. Literary epics (those with a single, known author) include the Aeneid, the Faerie Queen, Paradise Lost, and the Columbiad, perhaps Hiawatha, and the Idylls of the King. There are also mock epics, such as The Rape of the Lock, M'Fingal, The Hasty Pudding, &c. EESmith's colossal stories are often called "epics", with dubious authority.