Legends of the Caucasus

Legends of the Caucasus

9780863564734 March 2012 Paperback 376pp

About the Book

The Caucasus has an extremely rich folk literature, almost unknown among English speakers, which includes myths, legends, magical tales and proverbs.

The one hundred legends included in this volume reflect the cultures of fourteen ethnic groups – their dynamism and the matters that concerned them: survival against external dangers, the risk of starvation and the persistence of the family or clan as a coordinated group. Descended from an oral tradition, much of their knowledge was retained in memories and passed down the generations. Yet, with the introduction of the alphabet, the way of life they portray is rapidly becoming extinct.

An incomparable collection, Legends of the Caucasus conveys the poetry and romance of these swiftly vanishing tribes.

About the Author

David Hunt was an expert of Caucasus folk literature. He was a member of the Folklore Society for forty years and published many papers on the folklore of the Caucasus. He won the McDowell Prize of the Folklore Society in 2008.


‘A major contribution not only to the study of the Caucasus, but also to world folklore.’
John Colarusso, McMaster University, Canada

‘Inventive and meticulous in rendering the extraordinary folk poetry of the many nations of the Caucasus.’
Donald Rayfield, Queen Mary, University of London

‘Outstanding …. an indispensable undertaking … Hunt’s anthology is a major contribution to the study of the folklore of the Caucasus and a worthy continuation [to] Caucasian ethnography and folklore … Hunt [is] a gifted storyteller, able to represent in a fascinating manner a wide selection of captivating narratives coming from the ancient cultures of Caucasia.’