Nart Sagas: Ancient Myths and Legends of the Circassians and Abkhazians
The sagas of the ancient Narts are to the Caucasus what Greek mythology is to Western civilization. This book presents, for the first time in the West, a wide selection of these fascinating myths preserved among four related peoples whose ancient cultures today survive by a thread. In ninety-two straightforward tales populated by extraordinary characters and exploits, by giants who humble haughty Narts, by horses and sorceresses, Nart Sagas from the Caucasus brings these cultures to life in a powerful epos. In these colorful tales, women, not least the beautiful temptress Satanaya, the mother of all Narts, are not only fertility figures but also pillars of authority and wisdom. In one variation on a recurring theme, a shepherd, overcome with passion on observing Satanaya bathing alone, shoots a “bolt of lust” that strikes a rock–a rock that gives birth to the Achilles-like Sawseruquo, or Sosruquo. With steely skin but tender knees, Sawseruquo is a man the Narts come to love and hate. Despite a tragic history, the Circassians, Abazas, Abkhaz, and Ubykhs have retained the Nart sagas as a living tradition. The memory of their elaborate warrior culture, so richly expressed by these tales, helped them resist Tsarist imperialism in the nineteenth century, Stalinist suppression in the twentieth, and has bolstered their ongoing cultural journey into the post-Soviet future. Because these peoples were at the crossroads of Eurasia for millennia, their myths exhibit striking parallels with the lore of ancient India, classical Greece, and pagan Scandinavia. The Nart sagas may also have formed a crucial component of the Arthurian cycle. Notes after each tale reveal these parallels; an appendix offers extensive linguistic commentary. With this book, no longer will the analysis of ancient Eurasian myth be possible without a close look at the Nart sagas. And no longer will the lover of myth be satisfied without the pleasure of having read them. Excerpts from the Nart sagas “The Narts were a tribe of heroes. They were huge, tall people, and their horses were also exuberant Alyps or Durduls. They were wealthy, and they also had a state. That is how the Narts lived their lives…” “The Narts were courageous, energetic, bold, and good-hearted. Thus they lived until God sent down a small swallow…” “The Narts were very cruel to one another. They were envious of one another. They disputed among themselves over who was the most courageous. But most of all they hated Sosruquo…A rock gave birth to him. He is the son of a rock, illegally born a mere shepherd’s son…” In a new introduction, folklorist Adrienne Mayor reflects on these tales both in terms of the fascinating warrior culture they depict and the influence they had on Greco-Roman mythology.
About the Author
John Colarusso is professor of anthropology and modern languages and linguistics at McMaster University, and one of the world’s most distinguished scholars of comparative linguistics. Adrienne Mayor is a research scholar in classics and history of science at Stanford University.
Out of stock
What is the criminal justice system for? How does it operate? How does it treat victims, suspects, defendants and offenders? Does it work? Is it fair? Criminal Justice provides a thought-provoking and critical introduction to the challenges faced by the UK’s criminal justice system including policing, sentencing and punishment at the beginning of the 21st Century. Expert contributors, including criminologists and lawyers, provide students with a critical introduction to issues, institutions and agencies which shape the operation of the criminal justice system. A fascinating book which provides students from a range of disciplines including criminology, law, sociology, psychology and social policy with knowledge and understanding of the key areas of the subject and an appreciation of contemporary debates, policies and perspectives. Each chapter features questions, summaries, tables, diagrams, annotated further reading and weblinks, to ensure the book is as accessible and engaging as possible, and provides clear guidance on further study. An illuminating glossary of key terms is also included. Online Resource Centre This title is accompanied by an Online Resource Centre containing an online version of the glossary of key terms and annotated web links. Adopting lecturers will also have access to a test bank of multiple choice questions with answers and feedback.
About the Author
Azrini Wahidin is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Nottingham Trent University.
Drugs, Society and Human Behavior provides the latest information on drug use and its effects on society as well as on the individual. Trusted for more than 30 years by both instructors and students, this authoritative resource examines drugs and drug use from a variety of perspectives—behavioral, pharmacological, historical, social, legal, and clinical. The 15th edition includes the very latest information and statistics and many new timely topics and issues have been added that are sure to pique students’ interest and stimulate class discussion. Accompanying the text are instructor and student resources on the Online Learning Center.
About the Author
Dr. Carl Hart is an Associate Professor in both the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University and is also a Research Scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. A major focus of Dr. Hart’s research is to understand the complex interactions between neurobiological and environmental factors that mediate and modulate the actions of drugs of abuse, including drug-taking behavior and cognitive performance. Dr. Hart’s research has been supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the past several years. In addition to his substantial research responsibilities, Dr. Hart teaches an undergraduate Drugs and Behavior course and was recently awarded Columbia University’s highest teaching award.
Charles Ksir received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington. Following his postdoctoral training in Neurobiology at the Worcester Foundation in Massachusetts, he began a 34-year career in teaching and research at the University of Wyoming, where he also served in a variety of administrative positions. Now a professor emeritus, he focuses his efforts on teaching and textbook writing. He has taught the psychology course Drugs and Behavior to over three thousand students since 1972, and has received several teaching awards.
Aspirations, desires, opportunism and exploitation are seldom considered as fundamental elements of donor-driven development as it impacts on the lives of people in poor countries. Yet, alongside structural interventions, emotional or affective engagements are central to processes of social change and the making of selves for those caught up in development’s slipstream. Intimate Economies of Development lays bare the ways that culture, sexuality and health are inevitably and inseparably linked to material economies within trajectories of modernization in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. As migration expands and opportunities proliferate throughout Asia, different cultural groups increasingly interact as a result of targeted interventions and globalising economic formations; but they do so with different capabilities and expectations. This book uniquely grounds its arguments in interlocking details of people’s everyday lives and aspirations in developing Asia, while also engaging with changing social values and moral frameworks. Part and parcel of a widening landscape of mobility and contingent intimacy is the ever-present threats of infectious disease, most prominently HIV/AIDS, and human trafficking. Thus, impact assessment and targeted interventions aim to address negative consequences that frequently accompany infrastructure development and market expansion. This path-breaking book, drawn on more than 20 years of ethnographic research in the Mekong region, shows how current models of mitigation cannot adequately cope with health risks generated by wide-ranging entrepreneurialism and enduring structural violence as dreams of ‘the good life’ are relentlessly enmeshed in strategies of livelihood improvement.
About the Author
Chris Lyttleton is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Macquarie University, Australia.
In this important new book, High argues that poverty reduction policies are formulated and implemented in fields of desire. Drawing on psychoanalytic understandings of desire, she shows that such programs circulate around the question of what is lacking. Far from rational responses to measures of need, then, the politics of poverty are unconscious, culturally expressed, mutually contradictory, and sometimes contrary to self-interest.
Based on long-term fieldwork in a Lao village that has been the subject of multiple poverty reduction and development programs, High’s account looks at implementation on the ground. While these efforts were laudable in their aims of reducing poverty, they often failed to achieve their objectives. Local people received them with suspicion and disillusionment. Nevertheless, poverty reduction policies continued to be renewed by planners and even desired locally. High relates this to the force of aspirations among rural Lao, ambivalent understandings of power and the “post-rebellious” moment in contemporary Laos.