North Ossetia-Alania – The Kingdom of the Alans


The Kingdom of Alania

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If you are a mountain lover like myself then this tiny republic in the Northern and Southern Caucasus will capture your heart. These majestic mountains were once the medieval kingdom of the Alans. What is truly fascinating is that the legends of  King Arthur, Knights of the Round Table, and the Holy Grail all might have possible roots stemming from the Alans.

In the book entitled: From Scythia to Camelot: A Radical Reassessment of the Legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and the Holy Grail (Arthurian Characters and Themes), the authors argue that most of the Arthurian corpus derives from the stories and myths of the Alans. What is curious is that the north Caucasus’s own epic writings, the Nart Sagas, bear a curious resemblance to the Arthurian stories, abounding in magical swords and supernatural chalices.

KiGc6hL7vPgCould this be the sword in the stone?

The Nart Sagas

These sagas hold the reverence of the Caucasus people as much as Greek mythology holds to western civilization. It has been because of these sagas that not only the Alans, but 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.

Alani_map
The reach of the Alani people

In the reading and investigation done, research shows  Alanian footprints have been felt on 3 continents. During their long history it shows they settled in North Africa, Spain (there are some vestiges in Portugal as well), Hungary, France, the Caucasus, and as far away as China. After nearly being decimated by the Mongols and Tatars they turned around and fought along side the Mongols against Tamerlane, in China 30,000 Alans served as the royal guard to the Yuan. It was around 400 A.D. the Alan kingdom reached it’s peak ,  but after being beat back by the Mongols and Tamerlane they spent the next five centuries isolated from the rest of the world in the Caucasus where they rebuilt themselves back from the ashes of defeat. In the mountains of the Caucasus during this time they were able to preserve their culture, traditions, language, and religion due in part to the lengthy isolation.

 

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Ossetia-Alania Today

Over the last 150 years Ossetians have risen up out of these ashes to become Educators, writers, military leaders, and highly respected public figures. Of the many Generals and Officers who reached this pinnacle, they did so just as those in the past, with  great loyalty to those they served. Even though they consider themselves great warriors, they ferociously strive to preserve family, those they love and hold close to them. Following the post war period of WWII Ossetia was characterized by the rapid growth in agriculture , industry, and in entertainment. Today there well over 100 different nationalities living in the Ossetia region in peace. Nowadays Ossetia is one of the fastest developing regions in Russian . Ossetians are on the course of establishing business and cultural connections all over the world in order to enrich their republic. They are a very open minded people looking to have open communication with the world,  they looking forward to the future with great hopes and aspirations.

 

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12 thoughts on “North Ossetia-Alania – The Kingdom of the Alans

  1. Ossetians are relative newcomers in the Caucasus who have adopted Caucasian culture, costumes etc The ethnic Caucasians are Adyghe, Dagestani, Nakh, Kartvelian people etc. The first picture is of Shatili which belongs to Kartvelians
    This whole Alania thing is fiction inflated by Russian interests in attempt to diminish and wipe out history of the real Caucasians who are resentful of Russia and non-obedient, unlike the Ossetians.

      1. Hi, I studied the region for some time (journalism) and I have friends there. It’s hard to find info because Russia hijacked all its history. Look at Cossacks, they became known through Russian literature/ media but no one knows that the image and costumes that represent them are all copied from the Circassians that they oppressed
        Ossetians were “aliens” who came to Caucasus around 354 and adapted to Caucasian culture, similar to the Turkic minorities (Balkars, Karachay)
        I notice you visited my “blog”, that was just a test blog :)This is a more appropriate blog https://thenorthcaucasus.wordpress.com
        Cheers

  2. oh and the sources regarding the Alan Kingdom are written Russian sources. I would be open to this theory but there are no remains or physical proof of such a kingdom, if did exist, it seems to have vanished.

  3. I LOVE your blog. I feel a connection and have a tremendous attraction to this part of the world. I find all you share so interesting, informative, with links to further explore. I travel Russia, learn it’s history and meet its people and cultures vicariously through your blog! I have Scottish ancestry, so found this article to be an intriguing theory.

    I appreciate and thank you! Rose

    1. You know I try very hard to make sure my posts are accurate, if I make a mistake I don’t mind being corrected. Just because you’ve gotten the opportunity to visit particular places doesn’t necessarily mean your an authority on the subject. Yes I’d love to visit the area, and hope to, but it doesn’t exclude me from being able to write or even share about.

  4. Good afternoon! Thanks for the post. I Ossetians. Nothing needs to be corrected, you have written everything correctly. Even in ancient times Ossetian King David – Soslan, protect Georgia from the Persians and then married the Georgian Queen Tamar, Mercator gave birth to a son, and the king Alan doch..Georgy Lasha and daughter Rusudan. Georgians are well aware of this history. I would suggest you read the book of the French scientist J. Dumezil and Ossetian scholar Iranist and holder of the Order of the British historical kaongressa Asia Vasily Abaev. Thank you

    1. Thank you, I went and looked for the book you are talking about, but I’m a bit confused. I don’t understand what the name of the book is. Do you know the name of the book? Thank you.

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