Gargareans

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In Greek mythology, the Gargareans (or Gargarenses, Greek: Γαργαρείς) were an all-male tribe. They had sex with the Amazons annually in order to keep both tribes reproductive. Varying accounts suggest that they may have been kidnapped, raped, and murdered for this purpose, or that they may have had relations willingly. The Amazons kept the female children, raising them as warriors, and gave the males to the Gargareans.[1][2]

The Gargareans are held by some historians[3] to be a component of the ancestry of the Chechen and the Ingush peoples, and equivalent or at least related to the Georgian name Dzurdzuks.[4]

Strabo wrote that "... the Amazons live close to Gargarei, on the northern foothills of the Caucasus mountains". The Amazons were attributed to the Circassians via the root maze. Gaius Plinius Secundus also localizes Gargarei at North of the Caucasus, but calls them Gegar.[5] Some scholars (P.K. Uslar, K. Miller, N.F. Yakovleff, E.I. Krupnoff, L.A. Elnickiy, I.M. Diakonoff, V.N. Gemrakeli) supported that Gargarei is earlier for of Ingush ethnonym. Jaimoukha suggests that the myth might have been a nod to the similarity between Circassians and Dzurdzuks, despite their very different languages. The Ancient Greek chronicler Strabo mentioned that Gargareans had migrated from eastern Asia Minor (i.e. Urartu) to the North Caucasus.[6] Jaimoukha notes that Gargareans is one of many Nakh roots- gergara, meaning, in fact, "kindred" in proto-Nakh.[7] If this is the case, it would make Gargarei virtually equivalent to the Georgian term Dzurdzuk (referring to the lake Durdukka in the South Caucasus, where they are thought to have migrated from, as noted by Strabo, before intermixing with the local population) which applied to a Nakh people who migrated North across the mountains to settle in modern Ingushetia.

In addition to their importance to the ancestry of Chechens and Ingush, the Gargareans have also been considered possibly central to the formation of the Èrs, another historical (albeit now extinct) Nakh people living in Northern Armenia, Caucasian Albania and Hereti (the name Hereti is derived from them).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strabo, Geography, Bk. 11, Ch. 5, Sec. 1
  2. ^ Text description
  3. ^ Jaimoukha. The Chechens. Page 30"
  4. ^ Ахмадов, Шарпудин Бачуевич (2002). Чечня и Ингушетия в ХVIII - начале XIX века. Elista: "Джангар", АПП. p. 51. 
  5. ^ Латышев В. В. Известия древних писателей греческих и латинских о Скифии и Кавказе, т. 1, Греческие писатели, СПб, 1890; т.2, Латинские писатели, вып.1, СПб, 1904, вып.2, СПб, 1906; Крупнов Е. И. Ук.соч., page.25.
  6. ^ Strabo. Geography. Pages 1-49
  7. ^ Jaimoukha. The Chechens. Page 30"