Thursday, October 18, 2012

Abkhazia Part 10 - The European view about Abkhazia Part II

About Abkhazia today it is a lot of and hotly speak. The small country has stood at first in war, then in economic blockade. It has proclaimed the independence and achieves the international recognition. The background of it de facto the sovereign state is known very much by the few...

European view about Abkhazia, part II. The Republic of Abkhazia: Paradise in limbo. Film Box2 TV.
And now, apparently, it is time to ask the question, who is the ancestral population of the Caucasus. A narrow strip of territory that separates the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, is home to a wide variety of European ethnic groups and languages. Unless, of course, to suggest that we are in Europe.
Along with a number of languages ​​that are not native to the region, but who now say here, such as Russian, Armenian or Azeri, there are many languages ​​belonging to different nations. These languages ​​are considered indigenous, for the simple reason that we do not know where they came from. The language situation in the Caucasus is so complex that X century Arab geographer al-Masudi called Caucasus "mountain language."
There are about forty of so-called "Caucasian languages", they are divided into two branches, or, according to another view, the three language families. Georgian is the only Caucasian language with a long written tradition, which dates back to the end of the fourth century AD.
In the first years of Soviet power in the Caucasus tried to overcome illiteracy royal heritage, and created the so-called newly created written language, and the Abkhaz language was one of them. Although the first attempt to create a script for the Abkhaz language date back to the end of the XIX century, but its recorded history to really start until about a hundred years ago.
Abkhazian alphabet based on Cyrillic. During her - relatively short - written history, the Abkhaz language was replaced by whole rows of alphabets. Common to a number of Abkhaz and North Caucasian peoples is to have a strong oral tradition, folklore, and in particular the epic series on the legendary heroes of the people of the sledges.
One of the outstanding figures of Abkhazian culture was Dmitry Gulia Gulia Dyrmit or - as he is known among the Abkhazians. He is rightly called the father of the Abkhaz literature, and I was holding his book, translated from Russian, published in 1921. We are now in the Museum Gulia, located in the center of the capital, the capital of the known world under the name of Sukhumi, the Abkhaz although the actual name of the town sounds like Aqua.
At the age of seventeen, he created the first practical Gulia Abkhazian language alphabet, which he used during his expeditions in the Abkhazian village. In 1925, Gulia's already published the book, which is the earliest history of Abkhazia.
Look at the history - another colony founded by the ancient along this coast was Dioskuria - later renamed Sebastopolis. Now I'm right in the middle of the Roman ruins Sebastopolis right on the famous Sukhumi coastal boulevard. Pliny - the author of the first century AD - wrote that the Romans had to hire at least 130-translators in order to do business in the Dioscuri. And such a complex language situation is not unique to Abkhazia, but also for the whole Caucasus.
The State Museum of Abkhazia put many exhibits relating to antiquity. In Abkhazia are not only structures of the classical era, there are two types of massive stone structures, or megaliths, ancient structures resembling Stonehenge in England. I'm sitting in front of one of these structures, which is an ancient burial chamber, age 5000 years.
This type of burial chambers called dolmens, or in Abkhazian, Ahat-gun. This dolmen was found in the village of Asher, north of the capital, Sukhumi, and is set here - in front of the National Museum. The descendants of the people who are supposed to have created these ancient monuments were not always able to control the destiny of their native land.
The Greeks and Romans were just the first of foreigners who sought to dominate the area, but before we leave the Roman period, it is necessary to tell you about a very important event, namely the penetration of Christianity here.
Christianity was introduced officially in Abkhazia during the reign of Emperor Justinian. Justinian rule between 543 and 546 years. However, there is evidence that Christianity existed in Pitsunda long before. The list of participants in the Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 was a Stratofil - Bishop Pitsundsky.
But of course today Pitsunda famous in Abkhazia and beyond thanks to a magnificent temple, which stands behind me. It is the largest cathedral in Abkhazia, the construction of which relates to the VI century, and the building was finally completed in X century.
During his trip to Abkhazia, near the village of Asher, I met the man I used to know the name Nazari, but now, after the adoption of the monastic rank he took the name Ignatius. He told me about his views on the current problems of the Church, the difference between the old and new generations of Abkhazian priests, and the problems of Abkhazia as a whole. Father Ignatius convinced that the return of people to the Orthodox Church to help the democratic process in Abkhazia.
We are now in Dranda, twenty minutes south-east of Sukhumi. This church dates back to the VI century, and it served as the prototype for the famous "St. Sofia" - Council of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) - which was founded by the Emperor Justinian. Anyone who was in the Hagia Sophia, immediately notice the similarities. Interestingly, this church is a very unique architectural style of the Caucasus, and one of the unique features - a direct resemblance of its dome with the dome of St. Sophia in Turkey.
The church stands in the center of the former monastery complex, but four years ago it resumed a church service, and once a week the church opens its doors to all believers.
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