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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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.
About the Author
Esra Ozyurek is an associate professor at the European Institute of the London School of Economics. She is the author of “Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey”.
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
Robert Gottlieb is Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Mark Vallianatos is Research Coordinator at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Regina M. Freer is Associate Professor of Politics at Occidental College. Peter Dreier is E. P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.