Flag of Circassia
Circassia in 1750.
|Languages||Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Kabardian, Karachay-Balkar, Ossetic, Ubykh|
|Religion||Islam, Christianity, Traditional|
|-||Russian–Circassian War||1763 – 1864|
Circassia (Adyghe: Адыгэ Хэку, Russian: Черке́сия, Arabic: شيركاسيا) is a mountainous region located in the Caucasus of Eurasia, located within Russia on the Black Sea coast. It consists of various ethnic groups, primarily Russians and tribes that were at some points allied with each other, with differentiations made between eastern and western Circassians.
Circassia is located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Before the Russian conquest of the Caucasus (1763–1864), it covered the entire fertile plateau and the steppe of the northwestern region of the Caucasus, with an estimated population of between 3 to 4 million.
Circassia’s historical great range began from Anapa, a town in today’s Krasnodar Krai and Mozdok, a town in today’s North Ossetia–Alania. Historically, Circassia covered the southern half of today’s Krasnodar Krai bounded by the Kuban River which separated it from the Russian Empire, the republics of Adygea and Mozdok, a town in North Ossetia–Alania.
Circassia is also known by the name Cherkessia or the native term Adygea. Consequently, the ethnic group is also referred to as Circassian, Cherkessian or Adyghe.
- 1237 - Historian Rashid-ad-Din in the Persian Chronicles, wrote that the Circassian king Toocar was killed in battle against the Mongols.
- 1333 - In his letter, Pope John XXII (to the king Zichia (Circassia) Verzacht ["Верзахта" in Cyrillic script]), the Rome (Avignon) Pontiff thanks the Governor of Circassians for his assistance in implementing the Christian faith among the Adygs (Circassians). Verzacht's power and status was so high that his example was followed by the rest of the Circassian princes: They took the Roman Catholic faith.
- 1471 - A contract was signed between the ruler of Circassia and the ruler of Caffa, naming another ruler Zichia - "Petrezok, the paramount lord of Zichia". Under the contract, Zichia would supply large quantities of grain in the Cаffа.
- The region was famed for its beautiful women, many of whom were married to the Ottoman sultan and had influential positions in the Imperial Harem.
- Most of the population was expelled from their country in the late 19th century after the Russian–Circassian War in what amounted to ethnic cleansing of Circassians. Today, the Circassians are found in various areas of the old Ottoman Empire and its neighbours, including Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kosovo, Egypt and Israel (in the villages of Kfar Kama and Rehaniya, since 1880), and even as far afield as New Jersey and California in the US, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.
- Circassian nationalism has only recently developed and calls for a restoration of the native homelands.
There is an effort among the people from different locational groups to unite under the term "Circassian" (Adyghe) in the 2010 Russian Census to reflect and revive the concept of the Circassian nation. At the moment, they are spread out as Adyghes in Adyghea, Kabardians in Kabardino-Balkaria, Cherkess (Adyghe: Шэрджэс or Šărdžăs) in Karachay–Cherkessia, and Shapsugs in the southern part of Krasnodar Krai, as well as small Adyghe groups in Stavropol Krai and North Ossetia. The majority of the diaspora already tends to call itself "Circassian".
- http://aheku.org/ Russian Language
- http://www.circassianews.com/ Arabic Language
- Home thoughts from abroad: Circassians mourn the past—and organise for the future. The Economist. 2012-05-26.
- Biblioteca Italiana.Vita de' Zichi chiamati Ciarcassi di G. Interiano
- Рашид ад-Дин. Сборник летописей. М.-Л., 1952. Т. 2. С. 39
- Колли Л. Кафа в период владения ею банком св. Георгия (1454—1475) // Известия Таврической Ученой Архивной комиссии. № 47. Симферополь, 1912. С. 86
- Kressel R. Ph. The Administration of Caffa under the Uffizio di San Giorgio. University of Wisconsin, 1966. P. 396
- "World: Europe Circassians flee Kosovo conflict". BBC News. 1998-08-02. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
- Journal of a residence in Circassia during the years 1837, 1838, and 1839 - Bell, James Stanislaus (English)
- Bullough, Oliver. Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus. Allen Lane, 2010. ISBN 978-1846141416
- Jaimoukha, Amjad. The Circassians: A Handbook, London: Routledge, New York: Routledge & Palgrave, 2001. ISBN 978-0700706440
- Jaimoukha, Amjad. Circassian Culture and Folklore: Hospitality, Traditions, Cuisine, Festivals and Music. Bennett & Bloom, 2010. ISBN 978-1898948407
- Caucasian highlanders (Повседневная жизнь горцев Cеверного Кавказа в XIX в.). Everyday life of the Caucasian highlanders. 19-th century (In the co-authorship with I. Karpeev). Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiy, 2003. ISBN 5-235-02585-7
Media related to Circassia at Wikimedia Commons