John Colarusso's Nart sagas from the Caucasus : myths and legends from the PDF

By John Colarusso

The Nart sagas are to the Caucasus what Greek mythology is to Western civilization. This ebook provides, for the 1st time within the West, a big variety of those interesting myths preserved between 4 similar peoples whose historical cultures at the present time live to tell the tale by means of a thread. In ninety-two easy stories populated by means of remarkable characters and exploits, via giants who humble haughty Narts, by way of horses and sorceresses, Nart Sagas from the Caucasus brings those cultures to existence in a robust epos.

In those colourful stories, ladies, now not least the gorgeous temptress Satanaya, the mummy of all Narts, will not be in simple terms fertility figures but additionally pillars of authority and knowledge. in a single version on a routine subject, a shepherd, triumph over with ardour on staring at Satanaya bathing by myself, shoots a "bolt of lust" that moves a rock--a rock that provides delivery to the Achilles-like Sawseruquo, or Sosruquo. With steely dermis yet soft knees, Sawseruquo is a guy the Narts come to like and hate.

Despite a sad background, the Circassians, Abazas, Abkhaz, and Ubykhs have retained the Nart sagas as a residing culture. The reminiscence in their intricate warrior tradition, so richly expressed by means of those stories, helped them face up to Tsarist imperialism within the 19th century, Stalinist suppression within the 20th, and has strengthened their ongoing cultural trip into the post-Soviet future.

Because those peoples have been on the crossroads of Eurasia for millennia, their myths show extraordinary parallels with the lore of old India, classical Greece, and pagan Scandinavia. The Nart sagas can also have shaped an important portion of the Arthurian cycle. Notes after every one story demonstrate those parallels; an appendix deals large linguistic observation. With this booklet, not will the research of historic Eurasian delusion be attainable with no shut examine the Nart sagas. And now not will the sweetheart of delusion be happy with out the excitement of getting learn them.

Excerpts from the Nart sagas

"The Narts have been a tribe of heroes. They have been large, tall humans, and their horses have been additionally exuberant Alyps or Durduls. They have been prosperous, and so they had a nation. that's how the Narts lived their lives. . . ."

"The Narts have been brave, lively, daring, and good-hearted. hence they lived till God despatched down a small swallow. . . ."

"The Narts have been very merciless to each other. They have been resentful of each other. They disputed between themselves over who was once the main brave. yet so much of all they hated Sosruquo. . . . A rock gave beginning to him. he's the son of a rock, illegally born a trifling shepherd's son. . . ."

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Additional resources for Nart sagas from the Caucasus : myths and legends from the Circassians, Abazas, Abkhaz, and Ubykhs

Sample text

In purely Circassian terms, it would be /me-Ga-za-c@&J / ‘not-let-(be)oneinst’, “the one who is not abandoned,” which in fact accords well with the tale and therefore probably reflects a folk etymology. 8 Literally, [HékNJéfqN°ekNJéf] ≤ / Ha-kNJaf-qN°e-kNJaf / ‘dog-happy-pig-happy’. The Circassians consider dogs and pigs the happiest of animals. 9 The name has no clear etymology within Circassian. ’ It reflects the form *warza-ma¯ ka, borrowed from an Iranian language other than Ossetian, which has Uryzmæg.

After a short time he went over to the maiden. ” he bragged. “That is all very amazing, but I suspect that Zhaqa taught you how to do to that,” she replied. ” The scaly giant was surprised at her question and grew suspicious. Sensing this, Psatina took great care to remain calm, and eventually she succeeded in making him divulge all to her. Psatina discovered that the mare 25 26   that had given birth to Zhaqa still lived and was kept near a cove among a herd of horses. 13 She now had all the information that Warzameg needed.

When the time drew near for Meghazash to die, she gathered her sons about her and conveyed to them her last wishes. “Sons,” she said, “you will give each of my three daughters to a good man thus. ’ Give to him your eldest sister. Then, when a further three months have passed, another horseman will come in the night just like the first. You will give to him your middle sister. Finally, one night a third horseman will come as the others will have, and to him you will 17 18   give the youngest.

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