The Kingdom of Alania
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.
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.
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.
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.