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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- Explores the Malay presence in Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, as well as the modern Malay show-state of Malaysia
- Offers diplomatic speculation about ways Malay ethnicity will develop and be challenged in the future
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
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About the Author
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About the Author
Azrini Wahidin is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Nottingham Trent University.