With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Sochi's little known genocide of 1864

Through most of history, the Sochi region has been a bit mysterious and not a little menacing. It was at the northern edge of the ancient kingdom of Colchis, where the legendary Greek adventurer Jason and his trusty Argonauts allegedly went in search of the Golden Fleece.

The people of Colchis were the ancestors of the modern day Georgians. But in the northern borderlands and beyond lived a very different people: the Circassians. The Circassians were one of the "mountain peoples" of the Caucasus — tough, hardy, independent-minded people living in tightly-knit clans.

They seemed to enjoy feuding with each other, but came together to combat outside influence and control. The Georgians were the biggest local power and wrestled with the Circassians and the other mountain peoples, such as the Abkhaz (the last conflict between the Georgians and the Abkhaz was in 2008).

The Circassians call themselves Adyghe. They are still around. But you won't find many in Sochi....

Further Reading

Read entire article at Public Radio International