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Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14-Sep-2004 at 14:20

http://www.hfe.org/_old/prayer/caucasus/caucus4.htm

The OSSETIANS: (INDO_EUROPEAN: Iranian) who call themselves "Irons" or "Digorons," are one of the oldest Caucasian peoples. When the Iranian speaking tribes (Alans, Scythes and Sarmats) settled there, the local population took their language and many cultural features. The Alans and the Ossetians started the formation of the Ossetians. This alliance was destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars, and the Alans were driven from the plains to the mountain ravines; part of them moving to the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus where they still live. Like other Caucasian peoples, they preserve and develop their traditions, customs and holidays. These are remembered in tales, proverbs and songs that depict the centuries-long history of the Ossetian people.
Of the 600,000 population in this language group, 402,000 live in North Ossetia (capitol is Vladikavkaz) and 161,000 in The Republic of Georgia. Just over 60,000 are in South Ossetia (surrounded on three sides by Georgia). The Ossetians and Georgians have a long relationship and share some of the customs. There are also numbers of this group in Kabardin-Balkaria and Stavropol Region of Russia. North Ossetia and South Ossetia straddle the northern border of Georgia. Most of the Ossetians professed Christianity that came from the Byzantine Empire and Georgia during the sixth and seventh centuries. Islam penetrated into Ossetia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At present most of the Ossetians profess Islam (Sunni).



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colchis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2004 at 18:47
Sadly, the world heard about the Ossetians by the recent horrible events in Beslan, and not by their admirable culture that survived centuries..

One thing I would like to correct there, the majority of Ossetians are not Sunni Muslims, they are Orthodox Christians. The majority of the ones in Turkey are Sunnis, but those generally have "converted" after their emigration to Ottoman lands. The ones in North and South Ossetia are Orthodox and have had clashes with their Chechen-Ingush-Dagestani neighbours in the past due to this difference. The Chechen-Ingush and the Dagestanis are considered to be the most staunchly religious (Muslim) groups in the area as usually the Northern Caucasian peoples do not have a strong religious tradition unlike the said three, but a hereditary one, based on social customs and not religious beliefs (Khabze, Xabze and other similar spellings).

The Ossetians have even greater cultural ties with the Northwestern Caucasians, namely the Circassians (Adyghe) and the Abkhaz-Abazin; with whom they share the famous Nart Sagas. "Nart" itself is an Iranian word, however, the Nart sagas consist of common cultural elements of the ancient Iranians, Alans, Sarmatians, Scythians, proto Indo Europeans and of the indigenuous peoples of the Caucasus mountains and are a shared heritage by Ossetes and NW Caucasians alike.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colchis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2004 at 19:17
Here's an excerpt from the paper, The North Caucasian Diaspora in Turkey, dated 1996, by E. Wesselink, UN Refugee Agency -to give a bit of an idea about the religious issues concerning the Caucasian peoples, including the Ossetians. The Ossetians are lumped together with the other Caucasians in the Turkish diaspora, called the "Cherkess" -after the name the Russians called them. The Georgians, Dagestanis and to a great extent the Chechens are referred to as Georgians, Dagestanis and Chechens, however.

Quote Christian Georgians and Christian Abkhaz cannot live together, but Christian Abkhaz and Muslim Adyghe can! Nowadays, people can no longer be judged on religious grounds. >>

The indigenous populations of the North Caucasus are Muslim, with the exception of the Abkhaz and the Ossetians who are, with few exceptions, Christian. While Islam is of great importance for the social life and ethnic identity of the Northeast Caucasians, religion is a marginal social factor in North Ossetia and in the Northwest Caucasus, including  Abkhazia. >>

The North Caucasian diaspora is entirely Muslim, including its Abkhaz and Ossetian members. Within the North Caucasian diaspora it is generally presumed that they were deported from Russia because of their religion. (note: which is the official reason the Ottoman Empire gave at the time, but this is not true. In reality the Caucasian populations were exchanged between the Ottoman and Russian Empires. The Ottomans "gave" the Caucasus (which wasn't theirs to start with) to the Russian Empire and the Russians "gave" the Caucasians to them, in exchange.) Islam forms an integral part of their identity and has historically been an important motive for their loyalty to the Turkish state. (Again, implemented by the Ottoman government of the time and carried out idoelogically by the future governments. It is true that some rulers and elders of the Caucasians were loyal to the Ottoman Empire, in which they had their own reasons -such as rank, lands etc.- but the same cannot be said of the population who initially arrived) >>

It came as a shock to members of the diaspora to find out in the late 1980s that the Abkhaz in the homeland were Christian Orthodox, if religious at all, and that the other Northwest Caucasian peoples, though officially Muslim, had no interest in religious teaching. Religious radicals within the diaspora community even proposed to cut contacts with the Abkhaz for this reason. In reaction, the Government of Abkhazia has undertaken to construct a mosque in Sukhumi to satisfy the religious needs of members of the diaspora.


http://www.refugee.4t.com/The%20North%20Caucasian%20Diaspora %20In%20Turkey.htm


*** I don't know why the cheeky smiley faces showed up and I couldn't get rid of them. Sorry.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 13:58

We had a long discussion about Ossetians in our previous forum, as you said they have really a rich and influential culture.

Ossetian don (Alanian dan) = water [compare with: 'Don River']
Ossetian arf (Alanian apr, Modern Persian zharf, Pahlavi zupar) = deep [compare with 'Dniepr River']
Ossetian styr (Alanian stour, Modern Persian sotorg, Pahlavi sturg) = big [compare with: 'Dniester' River - 'dana stour']
Ossetian sar (Modern Persian & Pahlavi sar) = head [compare with: 'Sarmatian']
Ossetian hoch = mountain [compare with:  hoch (Germ.)]
Ossetian roukhs (Modern Persian roushan, Pahlav rokshn) = light [compare with: 'roksalan', 'Roksalana']
Ossetian bour (Modern Persian & Pahlavi bour) = yellow, light [compare with: 'Bourbon dynasty']



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 14:09
I am confused: Are Ossetians ancient Aryan Iranians?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colchis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 15:44
Originally posted by Aryan Aryan wrote:

I am confused: Are Ossetians ancient Aryan Iranians?


Indeed. As Aryan as it gets. They're the closest surviving kin of the Alans, according to historians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 16:19

Originally posted by Colchis Colchis wrote:

Originally posted by Aryan Aryan wrote:

I am confused: Are Ossetians ancient Aryan Iranians?


Indeed. As Aryan as it gets. They're the closest surviving kin of the Alans, according to historians.

That's great.
I will marry an Ossetian girl then.
What do Ossetian girls look like? Are they hot?
I would like to know where I can meet some.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheDiplomat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2004 at 05:55

Aryan,right now You yourself are talking to one of these aryan-ossettian women

ARDA:The best Turkish diplomat ever!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rava Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2004 at 07:44

They're the closest surviving kin of the Alans, according to historians.

As a nation yes. However their descendants live in Europe as well. People in Europe even don't know how many noble families have Alanian roots.

Perhaps Alans created the medievial ethos of the mounted knight in Europe.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2004 at 08:27

I have never heard of Alans before. Who are they?
Are Alans and Aryans the same?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colchis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2004 at 09:19
Originally posted by Rava Rava wrote:

They're the closest surviving kin of the Alans, according to historians.

As a nation yes. However their descendants live in Europe as well. People in Europe even don't know how many noble families have Alanian roots.

Perhaps Alans created the medievial ethos of the mounted knight in Europe.



Of course, you are right Rava. Alans, as well as Scythians and Sarmatians have survivors living in Western Europe, the Balkans, Poland, Ukraine, Southern Russia and the Caucasus. They were all around the place and contributed to the ethnos of many groups. The difference with the Ossetians is that they survived as a distinct group and kept the language. You know how important language is when defining people, even though sometimes it's not defining the majority. For example, Ossetians and Kabardians (a Circassian group living in Kabardino-Balkaria) have a lot more in common genetically as is shown by research (Malyarchuk et al. if I'm not mistaken), but the Ossetians are referred to as Iranian, because they speak an Iranian language and Kabardians speak a Northwestern Caucasian language. In reality they no doubt contributed to the other Caucasian (not "white" but from the Caucasus area) populations as well as they contributed to them; not to mention the aforementioned European nations due to spreading out.

I also look favourably on theories about the Alans and knighthood in Europe. I believe you might have read the book From Scythia to Camelot?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rava Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2004 at 10:50

Colchis wrote:I also look favourably on theories about the Alans and knighthood in Europe. I believe you might have read the book From Scythia to Camelot?

Not yet. There's a reliable monografy by B.S.Bachrach: "A History of the Alans in the West". You can still get a good reprint at Books on Demand.

Even in Poland we have some toponyms like Oss, Ossa, Ossow and surnames like Ossowiecki etc. Among steppes tribes Alans are my favorite

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2004 at 12:21
Ossetians like Tajiks (Tojik as they name themselves) pronounce "A" mostly as "O", so I think "Ossetian" is the same "Avestan".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 04:17
Ossetian is not the same as Avestan.  It's in the same family group, as in, Eastern Iranian branch though it's more akin to Pashtun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 05:05
I meant "Ossetian" can be just the Ossetian pronunciation of "Avestan".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 11:53
Ah, ok.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 18:15

Medieval European knights are based on Germano-Gothic heavy cavalry which is greatly inspired from Sarmatian cataphracts.

[IMG]http://img50.exs.cx/img50/6148/ger3.jpg">

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colchis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 19:10
Originally posted by ihsan ihsan wrote:

Medieval European knights are based on Germano-Gothic heavy cavalry which is greatly inspired from Sarmatian cataphracts.



I thought they certainly would be inspired by Sarmatians. This excerpt is from The Roman Army from Caesar to Trojan:

"Precisely which nation was responsible for the invention of mail, called hamata by the Romans, remains a matter of debate.The earliest examples of mail are quoted as having been found in Scythian tombs of the 5th century BC; however, it seems most unlikely that people such as the Scythians, who enjoyed a nomadic way of life, would have been able to develop the quite advanced tooling required for successful mail manufacture. The next indication of the use of mail is a painting of a mercenary soldier from Galatia (modern Turkey, but an area apparently settled in early times by Celtic peoples) wearing a short, sleeveless hauberk, dated to the 3rd or 2nd century BC.  The Roman writer Varro states that the Romans acquired their knowledge of mail-making from the Celtic Gauls, and it was considered that they were its inventors.  Whilst there is no evidence to prove or disprove Varro on this point, the Celts were an inventive people with a superb mastery of metal working, perfectly able to achieve such an innovation.  But exactly the same can equally well be said of the peoples of the Middle East- the Assyrians made beautiful iron helmets as early as the 8th to 7th centuries BC (see British Museum) and therefore the required technology could very possibly have been developed in that region.
  
Whether mail originated in western Europe or in the Middle East, in view of the Scythian finds its date of origin must surely be as early as the 6th century BC."


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 15:42
However, AFAIK the Alans were mostly light riders armed with javelins, unlike the rest of Sarmatian tribes such as the Iazyges.
[IMG]http://img50.exs.cx/img50/6148/ger3.jpg">

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rava Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Oct-2004 at 09:43

Ihsan wrote: Medieval European knights are based on Germano-Gothic heavy cavalry which is greatly inspired from Sarmatian cataphracts.

In terms of armor, yes. I thought of some cultural Alanian elements in knights' ethos . The simplest example is hunting with dogs.

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