Dzambolat Dzanty (Dzantiaty)
The editor of “Ossetia” magazine, published in Paris in 1933 by the “Committee of Ossetian historical research ”
The regular editions of the magazine contained the interesting publications written in Ossetian, in Russian and in French.
Legend about the Caucasus
According to our data, the legend is said to be written by Dzhambulat Dzanti, a Chechen* by origin, poet, litterateur, who used to work for the emigrant magazine «Mountaineers from Caucasus» published in Paris from 1929 to April 1934 and edited by prince Elmurza Bekovich-Cherkassky. Barasbi Baitugan, who used to live in Warsaw at that time, was a co-editor.
We would like to address The Chechen Times readers and descendants of Dzhambulat Dzanti to tell us about him. We would be grateful for a photo and also publications from D.Dzanti’s literary heritage.
And let us present his «Legend about the Caucasus," which, as he put it, his grandfather told him.
The Caucasus is a country of miracles, the country of knights, the country of amazons, the country of treasures from around the world, which will enrich and sparkles with its metals, precious ores it will heal people of soul and body ailments with magic air and miraculous waters. The Caucasus is a magic hero. A Circassian coat is a symbolic reflection of the hero.
The hero held his proud head upright. Clouds served him as a sheepskin hat, and eternal white snows — as a turban. Later the mountaineer from the Caucasus put on his proud head the sheepskin hat with long, curling white fleece which looked like eternal snow drifts on the peaks of grand mountains Elbrus and Kazbek — the two heads of the great Caucasus. The rocky Caucasian ridge was the hero’s breast. That is why proud mountaineers decorated their mighty breast wit gazyrs. Long laps of the Circassian coat — are wide and splendid Caucasian plains. In its mighty hands the Caucasus held two seas — the seas of Azov and Kara-Deniz as two boiling coppers and poured salty water over enemy’s eyes.
He struggled against evil, always defeated and severely punished it. From ancient times the hero lived like that. One day he summoned the elder from all the people and told them:
«I am the Hero, the Caucasus, your father, I have protected you for a long time, I have shed much enemy blood for you and never let you be offended. I am old, but my mind and power is always young, my spirit protecting you since the beginning of time, — is harder than granite rocks. I have to rest from my work and deeds. Take this stone and strictly observe the commandments written on it. When I wake up, the violators will be severely punished. Go and tell about it."
The elders of the Caucasus read on that stone:
I am grey-haired Caucasus, and you are all my sons. Let none of you claims for seniority.
Do not divide and do not take away from each other what I did not give you. Do not leave far away.
Receive a peaceful guest with peace and see his off with good, so that he could never be offended and defame my people.
Be fearless eagles of your land, and if someone comes with sword and fire and wishes to deprive you of freedom — drive him away with arms in your hands.
Let no one interferes in quarrels of other family. If it violates my commandments, let the wise elder, the sons of the Caucasus, condemn and drive them out so that they cannot leave bad descendants within my borders.
The strong shall protect and support the weak.
The one who offends you during my rest will be punished severely.
You shall know that my life is eternal, but you, my sons, live a short life.
Heed to wise laws of foreigners, take everything useful from them, but reject — evil.
Work in peace, if necessary hunt wild animals.
Love a battle horse, love your wife, love your weapon and never entrust it to anyone. Do not let the sheepskin hat fall, be aware of evil.
Be brave and honest in a battle, preserve peace in the family. Respect the elder, do not offend the young.
Respect and do not condemn foreign laws, because they are written not for you.
Be worthy sons of the Hero Caucasus. When I wake up, I will call all of you to account, those who disobeyed will be punished, faithful sons will be awarded."
Having read the commandments from the gray-haired Caucasus, the elder hid the stone on his breast. Only the most worthy are honoured to know the secret and only they know where the sacred stone is.
*This is a mistake. Dzhambulat Dzanty (Dzantiaty) was not “a Chechen by origin”. He was an Ossetian. (R.K)
Some more information about Dz.Dzanty and his legend.
“ - By having descended from the legendary Ossetian King Odin and his followers who were known among the ancient Teutons as the Aesir (singular: Aas), what is an obvious corruption of the word As, or the ancient Ossetian self-designation. The description of the location of Asaland or Asaheim found in the Norse sagas corresponds with the actual location of Ossetia (Alania); the Ossets were a dark-haired swarthy Iranian people who at that time lived on the northern slopes of the Caucasus and the steppes located north of it, along the Sea of Azov. It must be added here that the alleged blond Alans mentioned by one Roman source were actually Germanic slaves in Osset service, since the Ossets are known to have extensively employed foreign slaves as cannon fodder troops in their armies. Another piece of pseudo-evidence used to support the false claim that the ancient Alans were blond is the argument that the Alan tribe of the Ruxs-Alan (Rus-Alans or Rus-Ossets), or Ruxs-As in Ossetic (Roxolani, Roxalani, or Rosomoni of the antique sources), who are mentioned, among other sources, in the early medieval Alanic Tale of Iry Dada and Mstislav, was named so because its members had fair hair; in Ossetic the word ruxs means "radiance" or "light", but in reality this designation has nothing to do with hair color. According to G. Vernadski, Ruxs-Alan means "Radiant Alans". Therefore, it is not surprising that an Alan tribe would refer to itself as "radiant" since the sun emits radiance, and it was this very celestial body that featured very prominently in the religion of the ancient Iranians, hence the origin of the name "Radiant Alans". Furthermore, in the above-mentioned Tale of Iry Dada and Mstislav, which describes a Russian-Alan conflict in the early 1000's, the Alans often describe their Russian opponents as having blond or red hair, whereas, they never describe themselves in a likewise manner.
The Ossets of Scandinavia conquered the natives and were recognized as "gods" by their Norse subjects. After some time the Aesir split into two groups: the southern, now known as the Dan, the name derived from the ancient Osset word for "water" (the name of the river Don in southern Russia is of same origin) and would thus mean "Waterers" or "People by the Water", established itself on the coast of present-day southern Sweden and later went on to create Denmark; the other group, located to the north and whose name derived from the word "gods" (because that is what, at least initially, the Ossets were treated as in the Nordic countries, thence the name) eventually left Scandinavia and embarked on an attempt to return to Ossetia (thence the Goths' journey in the direction of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov). The connection between Odin and the Caucasus area has been recently pointed-out by the late Thor Heyerdahl; prior to him, the only other person to have made this connection, more precisely between ancient Scandinavia and Ossetia, that I'm aware of, was the emigrant Ossetian scholar Dzambulat Dzanty. Unfortunately, lacking the famous name and "appropriate" origin of his Norwegian counterpart, D. Dzanty has been blatantly ignored for the last several decades. “