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Pkharmat on Turpal guided by Goddes Sata
The Nart sagas ( ; Narty kaddžytæ, ) are a series of tales originating from the North Caucasus. They form the basic mythology of the tribes in the area; some are simply stories, but some have value as creation myths and ancient theology.

As the most archaic of the Nart corpora, the Northwest Caucasian Nart sagas preserve an ancient Iranian core, but also contain Northwest Caucasian accretions.

The first written account of the material is due to the Kabardian author Shora Begmurzin Nogma (written in Russian 1835-1843, published posthumously in 1861, German translation by Adolf Bergé in 1866).

The Narts themselves are a race of giants and heroes. Some of the characters who feature prominently in the sagas are:

Some motifs in the Nart sagas are shared by Greek mythology. The story of Prometheus chained to Mount Kazbekmarker or to Mount Elbrusmarker in particular is similar to an element in the Nart sagas. These shared motifs are seen by some as indicative of an earlier proximity of the Caucasian peoples to the ancient Greeks, also shown in the myth of the Golden Fleece, in which Colchis is generally accepted to have been part of modern-day Georgiamarker or Abkhaziamarker.

Additionally, the philologist Georges Dumézil used the Ossetian division of the Narts into three clans to support his Trifunctional Hypothesis that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were similarly divided into three castes—warriors, priests, and commoners. Based especially on the Ossetian versions, the sagas have long been "largely viewed as a relic of the old Iranian-speaking culture of the Scythians, Sarmatians, and Alans" (the Alans being the ancestors of the Ossetians). However, anthropologist John Colarusso argues that this view is unfair to the versions preserved among the Circassians and their kin: although the presence of "an ancient Iranian core in the various corpora is not to be denied", the Northwest Caucasian versions are highly valuable due to their authentic and raw form. They preserve "all the odd details constituting the detritus of earlier traditions and beliefs", as opposed to the Ossetian ones, which have been "reworked to form a smooth narrative".[41151]

In the book From Scythia to Camelot, authors C. Scott Littleton and Linda A. Malcor speculate that many aspects of the Arthurian legends are derived from the Nart sagas. The proposed vector of transmission is the Alans, some of whom migrated into northern Francemarker at around the time the Arthurian legends were forming. Colarusso also notes these parallels and states that they are most evident in the Ossetian versions. See Historical basis for King Arthur - Sarmatian connection for more details on this hypothesis.

Differences between Nart Legends

In Ossetian version of Nart saga Narts are super beings with supernatural abilities. They are always oppose evil. When Nakhs see them as a very advanced human tribe. Narts can be good and evil, also there is Nakh clan Nart-Ortxoi related to Narts.

See also

External links

Circassian Nart sagas:
  1. Myths from the Forests of Circassia, by John Colarusso
  2. Prometheus among the Circassians, by John Colarusso
  3. The Woman of the Myths: the Satanaya Cycle by John Colarusso
Ossetian Nart sagas: Abkhaz Nart sagas Karachay-Balkar Nart sagas: Chechen-Ingush Nart sagas:


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