Легенды и мифы Северного Кавказа

VI Международный конкурс научно-исследовательских и творческих работ учащихся
Старт в науке

Легенды и мифы Северного Кавказа

Айрапетян  Л.Г. 1Погосян  А.Г. 1
1МБОУ СОШ №29 «Гармония»
Грязева  М.А. 1Янкелевич  Е.В. 1
1МБОУ СОШ №29 «Гармония»
Автор работы награжден дипломом победителя III степени
Текст работы размещён без изображений и формул.
Полная версия работы доступна во вкладке "Файлы работы" в формате PDF



Данная тема была выбрана в связи тем, что развитие межкультурной коммуникации связано со знанием истории и традиций своего региона.

Актуальность темы обусловлена необходимостью повышения авторитета собственной страны и родного края.


формирование всесторонне развитой, гармоничной личности , уважающей ценности иных культур, религий и мировоззрений, воспитание чувства любви к своему краю и своей Родине, уважения своего народа, его культуры и духовных традиций.


Повысить уровень образованности, расширить кругозор; уметь применить полученные знания на практике.

Воспитать культуру межнационального общения, патриотизма, интернационализма, веротерпимости, толерантности

Исследовать некоторыми факты из истории Кавказа.

Описать этимологию библейских легенд, связанных с Кавказом.

Расширить знания о родном крае, быте, истории, национальной культуре в её единстве с общемировой культурой.

Обзор литературы

При написании данной работы были использованы научная и учебно-методическая литература, статьи в сети Интернет. Основными источниками явились работы:

Татьяна Меджидова « Легенды о Кавказе»

John Abercromby. «An Amazonian custom in the Caucasus.»

www.rbardalzo.narod.ru / kavkaz.html

The Bible.

Степень изученности темы

Особая роль отводится метапредметным связям, использованию знаний, полученных при изучении литературы, географии, истории, МХК, музыки,

изобразительного искусства, позволяющих формировать всесторонне развитую, гармоничную личность.

Характеристика вклада авторов

Авторы исследовательской работы показали историческую связь Кавказа с социокультурными мировыми ценностями.


Результатом данной работы является воспитание языковой компетенции, готовность к сотрудничеству с другими людьми, социальным коммуникациям на основе восприятия позитивных ценностей, а также гордости и любви к Родине.

Legends and Myths of the Caucasus”

The myths and legends here gathered together have appealed and will continue to appeal to every age. Stories so intimately connected with the life and history and religion of the great peoples of antiquity that they have become an integral part of our own civilization, a heritage of wealth to every child that is born into the world.

The historic basis of the tales is slight; yet who can think of the Greeks without remembering the story of Troy. Any understanding of German civilization would be incomplete without knowledge of the mythical prince Siegfried, hero of the earliest literature of the Teutonic people. Any understanding of English civilization would be similarly incomplete without the semi-historic figure of King Arthur. And so one might go on. In many ways the mythology and folklore of a country are a truer index to the life of its people than any of the pages of actual history; for through these channels the imagination and the heart speak.

The imagination of the ancients had few if any bounds, and even Athens in the height of her intellectual glory accepted the fabulous tales of gods and half-gods. Today we read and wonder. But the child, who in his brief lifetime must live over in part at least the history of the whole race, delights in the myths and legends which made his ancestors admire or tremble. They are naturally not so real to him as they were to his forefathers; yet they open up a rich and gorgeous wonderland.

The etymology of the word “Caucasus”

Surrounded by the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas, the Caucasus is divided into three large geographic regions – Ciscaucasia, North Caucasus and South Caucasus. The magnificent mountains of the Caucasus include two major mountain systems: Greater Caucasus and Lesser Caucasus. One of the near-forgotten translations of the word "Caucasus" literally means "Mountains Holding up the Sky"; indeed, just one look at the powerful and noble allure of the ancient Greater Caucasus peaks will convince you that they are the very columns on which the whole world is being supported.

Serving as the bridge between Europe and Asia, the Caucasus has with time become an exponent of a unique culture. For example, no other place in the world can boast such a concentrated variety of languages on comparatively small territory. The Caucasus and the mountain ranges to the north and to the south served in antiquity as the crossroads of great civilizations, competing with Babylon for the right to be called the Center of the World. The Caucasus engage a vital place in Greek mythology (the myths of Prometheus, the Amazons, etc.), and in the Bible the Caucasus are referred to as the place where humanity was rescued from the Flood (in particular, on Mt. Ararat).

The people who founded such powerful civilizations as Urartu, Sumer and Hittite are considered by many to have come from the Caucasus. However, the image of the Caucasian mountains and the mythological and legendary notions connected with them were received primarily from the Persians (Iranians). Iranian nomads brought with them a new religion - Zoroastrianism -and, connected with it, a specific understanding of the world. It could be noted that in the East the suffix "start" in the names of countries (for example Daghestan, Afghanistan and Pakistan) has its source in Iranian and is translated roughly as "country." Iranian is also the source of the word "Caucasus", for Iranians named the mountain range in honor of the epic ruler of ancient Iran - Kavi-Kaus. The first part of his name, "Kavi" (or "Key"), in Iranian mythology refers to the estate of priests who created ritual texts. Later "kavi" came to mean the title of king, from which also emerged the first dynasty of Iranian kings - the Keyanid dynasty. Kavi-Kaus (in the "Avesta" - Kavi-Usan) was the second king in the Keyanid dynasty who ruled 150 years (Abu'l-Kasim Firdousi"Shah-Name" (Book of Kings) ). Wishing to eradicate an evil, Kavi-Kaus set off on a campaign against the devs (demons), but soon found himself blind and in the captivity of the White Dev. The hero Rustam rescued Kavi-Kaus and returned his eyesight to him with the help of the White Dev's liver. Later Kavi-Kaus found himself in misfortune again. Having fallen in love with the beautiful Sudaba, the insidious daughter of the Yemen king, he set off to him and on the way fell into captivity. Rustam once again rescued Kavi-Kaus.

The "Avesta" refers to Kavi-Kaus as a king who had dominion over the whole world. The birds, beasts and even black demons submitted to him and helped him to raise a miraculous palaces on the summit of Mt. Elbrus. The demons weighed out for him 7 magical palaces of gold, silver, bronze, etc. Upon entering there, old people were made young.

Of course, authority over the world and the splendor of the palaces only increased the pride of Kavi-Kaus. Eagles carried him up into heaven so that he could establish his power even there. However the eagles dropped him above the river Amul (probably above Amu-Daria) in the forest, where his body was found by servants. Kavi-Kaus' defiance of the gods can link him with Prometheus and his fall from heaven with Phaeton or Icarus.

The image of Kavi-Kaus also recalls that of Solomon, the Biblical king of wisdom, in the Syrian apocrypha "The Story of Solomon" and the Slavic "Tale about Solomon and Kito-vras". When building the temple, Solomon was helped by demons who were captivated by him. When Solomon became proud, the commander of the demons, Samael, carried him to the edge of the earth. Samael took the appearance of the king and replaced Solomon on the throne, while Solomon had to wander about the earth in poverty, begging forgiveness from God.

So, for such a short word, "Caucasus" hides a rich history of various peoples, the fates of which are interlaced and mixed with accumulated myths and legends.


In the ancient times there existed legends about Titan who was bound to the Caucasus rocks. The name of the Greek titan Prometheus is associated with the Caucasus. According to one of the versions, he was bounded by Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, to Mount Shalbuzdag in southern Dagestan for his transgression (he taught people to use fire), where his liver was eaten daily by an eagle,only to be regenerated by night, due to his immortality. The liver was also a regenerative organ. The eagle is a symbol of Zeus Himself. The image of Prometheus- Caucasian, who taught people to cultivate the land and gave them fire, became collective and bright. Years later, the Greek hero Heracles (Hercules) killed the eagle and freed Prometheus from his chains. The location of the Caucasus rocks to which Prometheus was chained is near the Caspian Gates , that is, in the region of Derbent .

According to Greek mythology, the battle between the Olympian gods and the Titans took place in the Caucasus . One of the Titans was Japheth - the father of Prometheus. Ancient Armenian historian Movses Khorenaci identifies Japheth with Prophet Noah’s son Japheth - the ancestor of Japhetic ( Caucasian ) peoples. The walls of Derbent in ancient times were called the walls of Gog - Magog ( Yajuji and Magog ) , who were considered to be the sons of Japheth.

The Golden Fleece

Colchis , a kingdom in western Georgia , has become known for the trade and the Greek colonies Dioscurias and Phasis which were founded here in the VI century BC . Ancient Greek legends told of a distant fabulously wealthy land that was reached by the Black Sea and down the River Phasis. The actual site of this legendary kingdom has never been found but the Greeks must have been greatly impressed by the Colchis region of Georgia, through which the River Phasis (currently the Rioni River) runs, for such stories to have been born.

Geographically, ancient Colchis comprised the land bounded by the Black Sea to the west, the Caucasus Mountains to the north, the Surami Range to the east and the Meskhetian Mountains to the south. In this fertile, sheltered area, Colchian civilization flourished. The kings who ruled in Colchis were descendants of the god of sun Helios. It wasColchis where the Greek hero Jason and the Argonauts sailed to the west coast of the Caucasus in pursuit of the Golden Fleece.

The myth of the Golden Fleece reflects the early connections between ancient Greece and the Caucasus. The main source of wealth of Colchis was , of course, the gold-bearing river Pishon , or Phasis - modern Rioni. It is likely that the Golden Fleece existed. Earlier in this century, remote mountain villagers in Svaneti (a part of ancient Colchis) were observed using sheepskins to trap the fine gold particles in the rivers that flowed from the Caucasus Mountains. The skins would then be dried and beaten to shake out their contents.The German chemist and naturalist George Agricola XVI century , the founder of scientific mineralogy , wrote: "Colchis is glorified in the annals for the Golden Fleece. Svans, or Iberians , lived in the Caucasus ,which large and small rivers were full of the golden sand. Since there was a method of washing gold from streams using the sheep fleeces, sometimes stretched over a wood frame, and being sunk into the stream, then there was the legend of the Golden Fleece. "


One of the best known legends of classical authors relates to a fabled nation of warlike women and known as Amazons. Where did those legendary women live? According to Herodotus, Amazons were found among the Sauromatai, who lived between four and five days' journey north-east of the upper end of the Sea of Azov. Strabo gives us three versions, which do not greatly differ. According to one, the Amazons were believed to live among the mountains above Albania (the lower valley of the Kur), near Montagnes Cerauniennes, to the west of the Caspian Sea but separated from the Albanians by the Scythian tribes of Glai and Lēgai, and by the Mermadalisriver (Terek?)

From these accounts it may be assumed that certain customs, summarised under the term Amazon, prevailed among tribes that occupied an area bounded on the south by the northern slopes of the Caucasus, though, perhaps, only as far south as the Terek from the point where this river bends eastwards; on the east by the Caspian Sea; on the west by the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Don, perhaps even by an undefined line to the west of that river; on the north the limits were undetermined by any natural feature, but extended for a distance of three or of fifteen days' march north of the mouth of the Don.

Herodotus supposes the Sauromatai to be a mixed race of Scythian men and Amazon women from the banks of the Thermodon.  If it’s true, it is that the men and women did not always speak the same dialect. Hippocrates, who wrote a little later than Herodotus, though he places the Sauromatai west of the Don, is very positive in his statement that they were different from other nations, and therefore from the Scyths. Strabo, writing shortly before the beginning of the Christian era, says of seventy nations, all speaking different languages, but all of them Caucasian tribes.

It now remains to compare what is reported of the Amazons with existing customs of the Cherkes and Abkhas. According to Herodotus, the women of the Sauromatai did not form a distinct nation like the Amazons of the Thermodon, from whom they were imagined to descend. Though they wore the same dress as men, and fought and hunted on horseback, this was not always or necessarily by themselves, for they also did so in company with their husbands. Girls, however, could not marry till they had killed a man in battle, from which custom they received from their Scythian neighbours the epithet of "manslayers". Hippocrates, discoursing on the Sauromatai, mentions that the women, armed with bow and javelin, fought their enemies on horseback, but only so long as they were in an unmarried state. They might not enter matrimony till they had slain three enemies, and did not live with their husbands till they had offered the sacrifice prescribed by law. After marriage women ceased to ride, save on a special emergency. During infancy mothers cauterised the right breast of their female children, by applying a heated metal instrument made for the purpose. Strabo enters into rather fuller particulars, but refers to tribes dwelling south of the Sauromatai on the counterforts of the main Chain. From infancy the Amazons had the right breast cauterised to allow of the arm being used with greater ease, especially when throwing the javelin. When at home they ploughed, planted, pastured cattle, and trained horses. The strongest spent much time in hunting on horseback, and in practising warlike exercises. In spring, they passed two months on a neighbouring mountain, the boundary between them and the Gargarenses. The latter also ascended the mountain, in conformity with ancient custom, to perform common sacrifices, and to have intercourse with the women in secret and darkness, for the purpose of obtaining offspring, each man taking the first woman he met. When the women became pregnant they were sent away. The female children were retained by the Amazons, the males were taken by the Gargarenses to be brought up. The children were distributed among families in which the master treated them entirely as his own. This evidently implies a system of fosterage.

Noah's ark

The Bible says that Noah's ark landed on the mountains of Ararat.According to the religious traditions of the ancient Sumerians , the ark was supposed to be on Mount Ararat , however, in their traditions , Noah is called Utnapishtim ("he found life"). According to Islamic tradition , Nuh (Noah ) and his ark landed somewhere in the mountains, in the Middle East , and the Bible says more exactly : «the Ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat» The famous historian of the ancient world Josephus in his " Antiquities of the Jews " wrote: “Armenian call this place “pier-” where the ark stays forever and show the remained parts of it”Nicolaus of Damascus, a Greek historian and philosopher  in his "Universal Chronicle" mentioned the mountain Baris: "... in Armenia there is a high mountain, called Baris, on which lots of people rescued from the flood. There, on top of that mountain a person sailed in the ark stopped, the fragments of which remained there for a long time. "Baris was another name for Mount Ararat in Armenia, which was also known as Masis

Ararat has two peaks: Greater Ararat (the highest peak in Turkey, and the entire Armenian plateau with an elevationof 5,137 m or 16,854 ft) and Lesser Ararat (with an elevation of 3,896 m or 12,782 ft

According to the legend , on top of Lesser Ararat , the wise men saw the star on Christmas night and coming down from the top, they went to Bethlehem The distance between the peaks of the Greater and Lesser Ararat is about 20 kilometers and in the saddle between them and Noah 's Ark landed . It is still there, at the height of more than four kilometers, clad with eternal ice. In Armenia, there is a legend that supernatural forces guard Ararat against attempts to find Noah's Ark which is demonstrated in various natural disasters: avalanches , rock falls and hurricanes. According to legend, the son of Noah, the ancestor of the Caucasian peoples Japheth after death was buried on top of the mountain Shalbuzdag. It was an ancient tradition. It was believed that the spirit of the dead, buried at the top of the mountain, becomes closer to God in heaven. Still Shalbuzdag is the most sacred mountain among residents of the southern Dagestan and Northern Azerbaijan. Every year thousands of pilgrims make ascent on top of it, but most of the pilgrims don’t know why Shalbuzdag is considered a Holy mountain.

Caucasian Atlantis

According to the description of Plato's Atlantis was a beautiful island. In the centre of the island, in the middle of the wide plain there was a city- the capital of the Atlanteans. The Plain was surrounded by amazing beauty of the mountain ranges. And in Greek myths about the Caucasus it is said about the emerald ridge Cafes surrounding the earth, just as the ring on the finger. Comparing information about the biblical flood and the destruction of Atlantis, with the myths and tales of other peoples, the researchers came to the conclusion that we are talking about a global catastrophe in the history of the Earth, which happened about 12 thousand years ago. Data paleography, geomorphology, paleontology and confirm these conclusions. According to the hypothesis of George Maksimenko, Atlantis was located in the Caucasus, and the capital of this state in that place, where now Otkaznenskoye reservoir is situated.


So, for such a short word, "Caucasus" hides a rich history of various peoples, the fates of which are interlaced and mixed with accumulated myths and legends. And it reminds us that myths are reflections of larger archetypal patterns.

The result of this work is the education of language competence, willingness to cooperate with other people, social communication based on the perception of positive values, as well as pride and love for the Motherland.

Список использованных источников и литературы

www.rbardalzo.narod.ru / kavkaz.html

2 . Татьяна Меджидова « Легенды о Кавказе»

3. John Abercromby. «An Amazonian custom in the Caucasus.»

4. Георгия Максименко  Кавказская Атлантида

5. Сергей Рыбалко «Легенды о Кавказе»6

6. Ответственный редактор В.А. Якобсон. Мифы древнего мира.

7. 6Мэри  Бойс. Зароострийцы верования и обычаи.

 8.  Иосиф  Флавий  Иудейская война.

9. Резанов И.А.  Атлантида: Фантазия или реальность?

10. Роберт  Грейвс. Мифы Древней Греции 

11. TheBible.

12. http://ru.wikipedia.org

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