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.
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The informal economy in Bangkok, Thailand, offers upward mobility but is fraught with risk. For members of the urban lower class, residence and occupation are closely inter-connected. Shifts in priorities in housing, occupation and education as family circumstances change affect the way they deploy their limited financial resources, while home fires and job lay-offs frequently lead to dislocation. Of necessity, poor communities accommodate frequent changes of residence and variations in production and consumption.
People with limited resources are extremely sensitive to uncertainty. Living with Risk examines how lower class communities in the inner city and the urban fringe of Bangkok view their employment prospects and living conditions, and how they manage risk. As a case study, the author examines the lives of female factory workers who became self-employed after losing their jobs during Thailand’s economic restructuring in the late 1990s. The book makes a substantial contribution to development economics, which is rich in studies of rural populations but lacks comparable material on urban areas and the dynamics of the informal economy.
About the Author
Aaron Podolefsky is Provost and Vice President for Academic at the University of Northern Iowa, where he also served eight years as Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and also holds degrees in Liberal Studies and Mathematics. He has authored books on law in Papua New Guinea and crime prevention in urban America. Peter J. Brown is a Professor of Anthropology at Emory University, where he also holds a faculty position in the Rollins School of Public Health. He is currently director of Emory’s Center for the Study of Health, Culture and Society. He has served as an officer in the Society for Medical Anthropology and was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Medical Anthropology for nine years. He has done research on a variety of topics, including malaria, tuberculosis, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, male gender and health, and the history of international health policy. He has been the recipient of three teaching awards. He has co-edited The Anthropology of Infectious Disease (with Marcia Inhorn) as well as the textbooks Applying Anthropology (sixth edition) and Applying Cultural Anthropology (fifth edition) (both with Aaron Podolefsky.
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.
Few subjects provoke as much public fascination and political concern as crime and criminality. Criminology is an ideal textbook for undergraduate students approaching the subject for the first time. It examines a wide range of topics, including historical and contemporary understandings of crime and criminal justice; different forms of crime – from street crime to state crime; who commits crime and who are the victims of crime; and how society and state agencies respond to crime and disorder. The contributions to this book offer clear, accessible introductions to the main topics and issues of criminology. Questions, summaries, further reading guidance, useful web links, and tables and diagrams can be found throughout. The third edition includes contributions from six new authors and contains new chapters on cybercrime, and ‘crime, culture, and everyday life’. Online Resource Centre This book is accompanied by an extensive Online Resource Centre which can be used by lecturers and students alike. The resources available are as follows: Lecturer Resources Lecture notes by chapter Powerpoint slides to accompany lecture notes Test bank of multiple choice questions Student Resources Updates Chapter synopses Annotated further reading lists Interactive glossary Web links.
About the Author
Dr Emma Wincup is Director of Student Education and Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the School of Law, University of Leeds.