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Gargareans

Gargareans

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In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, the Gargareans (or Gargarenses) were an all-male tribe. They had sex with the Amazons
Amazons
The Amazons are a nation of all-female warriors in Greek mythology and Classical antiquity. Herodotus placed them in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia...

 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.

The Gargareans are held to be a component of the ancestry of the Vainakh peoples, and equivalent or at least related to the Georgian name Dzurdzuks.

Strabo wrote that "... the Amazons
Amazons
The Amazons are a nation of all-female warriors in Greek mythology and Classical antiquity. Herodotus placed them in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia...

 live close to Gargarei, on the northern foothills of the Caucasus mountains
Caucasus Mountains
The Caucasus Mountains is a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region .The Caucasus Mountains includes:* the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and* the Lesser Caucasus Mountains....

". The Amazons were attributed to the Circassians via the root maze. Gaius Plinius Secundus
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 also localizes Gargarei
Gargareans
In Greek mythology, the Gargareans 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...

 at North of the Caucasus, but calls them Gegar. Some scholars (P.K. Uslar, K. Miller, N.F. Yakovleff, E.I. Krupnoff, L.A. Elnickiy, I.M. Diakonoff
Igor Diakonov
Igor Mikhailovich Diakonov was a Russian historian, linguist, and translator and a renowned expert in the Ancient Near East and its languages....

, V.N. Gemrakeli) supported that Gargarei
Gargareans
In Greek mythology, the Gargareans 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...

 is earlier for of Vainakh ethnonym. Jaimoukha suggests that the myth might have been a nod to the similarity between Circassians and Dzurdzuks (Chechens), 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. Jaimoukha notes that Gargareans is one of many Nakh roots- gergara, meaning, in fact, "kindred" in proto-Nakh. 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 Chechnya and 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
Èrs
The Èr people, also known as Èrsh or the Hers, are a little-known ancient people inhabiting Northern modern Armenia, and to an extent, small areas of Northeast Turkey, Southern Georgia, and Northwest Azerbaijan...

, another historical (albeit now extinct) Nakh people
Nakh peoples
Nakh peoples are a group of historical and modern ethnic groups speaking Nakh languages and sharing certain cultural traits...

 living in Northern Armenia and Hereti
Hereti
Hereti was a historic province in the medieval Caucasus on the Georgian-Albanian frontier. It roughly corresponds to the southeastern corner of Georgia's Kakheti region and a portion of Azerbaijan's northwestern districts.-History:...

(the name Hereti is derived from them).