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Mythology

In georgian cosmology, the world was divided into three levels. The superior level was inhabited by gods, the inferior level hosted all kinds of demons, and the middle level was the Earth, home to the mortal men.

In the ancient times people in Georgia and Imeretia believed in a pantheon of gods, responsible for various areas of human lives. A female divinity, Barbale, was popular in the eastern parts of Georgia, including Imeretia, and was directly linked to good harvest, as well as fertility of both humans and beasts. In Imeretia, as well as in other western parts of the country, people also believed in the Batonebi, evil spirits responsible for spreading disease and pest among humans. To plead their mercy, people would leave them special gifts, in the form of food and sweets. Another creature widely believed in in Imeretia was the evil Devi, a monster with many heads and the power to grow them back. Devi lived in the mountains, where he protected his treasurehoard.

A few kilometers away form Kutaisi, near the town of Tskaltubo, one can find a cave named after a greek god: Prometheus' Cave. According to greec mythology, Prometheus had stolen fire from gods and gave it to mortal men. As a punishment for this deed, Zeus has bound him to the rocks of the Caucasus Mountains. Where exactly, nobody knows - which is why there are many sites in Georgia that claim to be the place of Prometheus' torment.

The predecessor of the greek Prometheus is a hero from georgian mythology, Amirani. He was a son of Dali, the goddess of hunt. Raised by mortal men, he discovers by chance his divine origines. The legend of Amirani bears many similarities to the myth of Prometheus.

One of the most famous myths about the land that we now know as Imeretia is the legend about the golden fleece and the Argonauts' journey. It can be explained by the natural riches of the land, where the precious metal was to be found in abundance. Kolchida was an ancient land, nowadays incorporated in Imeretia. It is this land that became the aim for Jason and his companions, who set out to find the golden fleece belonging to a fantastic sheep Chrysomallos. Jason had to win the golden fleece in order to reclaim his right to the throne of Iolkos, maliciously taken away from him by his uncle Pelias. Yet, to win the golden fleece and get back his right to reign, he had to complete several tasks and get over many obstacles. Luckily Jason, with a considerable help of enamoured sorceress Medea, daughter of the king of Kolchida, succeeded in his mission and found the fleece. Origins of the golden fleece itself, be it taken literally or as a metaphor, are probably related to the local method of extracting gold. One of them was to fish for golded nuggets in the river: the fleece was first put in the river, and afterwards put out to dry in the sun sun. Finally, it was brushed in order to collect the bits of gold stuck to the fleece.

 

 

 

 

 

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