"You Narts are a haughty and stubborn race."
December 4, 2004 7:24 PM Subscribe
Narts! The Nart Sagas are arguably the most essential ingredient of Circassian Culture, to which they are what Greek mythology is to Western Civilization. Though much less known than their Greek counterparts, the Nart epic tales are no less developed. The heroism, sagacity, guile and ferocity of the Nart demi-gods are more than matches to those of the Greek Pantheon. If this selection of stories captures your interest, you might want John Colarusso's Nart Sagas from the Caucasus; you can read the introduction online ("A ship sailing across the Black Sea in the year 1780 eventually would have come upon a lush shore at the eastern end of the dark gray waters..."). Although they seem to have been brought by the Ossetes (and J. Cassian is posting an Ossetian tale, The Death of Soslan, on his blog), they're everywhere in the Northern Caucasus. And some people say they were the source of the King Arthur stories.
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