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Literary cycles are groups of stories grouped around common figures, often (though not necessarily) based on mythical figures or loosely on historic ones. Cycles which deal with an entire country are sometimes referred to as matters. A fictional cycle is often referred to as a mythos.
Examples of Literary Cycles 
- The Matter of Britain (or the "Arthurian cycle"), which centers around King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
- The Matter of France (or the "Carolingian cycle"), which centers around Charlemagne and the Twelve Peers
- The Matter of Rome (or the "cycle of Rome"), which centers around Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great
- The Reynard cycle, which centers around the fabular fox Reynard
- The Epic Cycle, which centers around the Trojan War
- The Mythological Cycle, which centers around the Celtic pantheon
- The Fenian Cycle, which centers around Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Fianna
- The Ulster Cycle, which centers around Cú Chulainn and the Kingdom of Ulster
- The Cycle of the Kings, which centers around the monarchy of Ireland
- Der Ring des Nibelungen (or the "Ring cycle"), which centers around the Ring and the Norse pantheon
- The four troubadours Bernart d'Auriac, Pere Salvatge, Roger Bernard III of Foix, and Peter III of Aragon composed a cycle of four sirventes in the summer of 1285 concerning the Aragonese Crusade.
- The Japanese literary concept of sekai (世界, lit. "world") bears strong similarities to that of a cycle. Those surrounding Minamoto no Yoshitsune and the Soga brothers are likely the most popularly reproduced.