Historian Bettany Hughes follows the trail of the Caucasus in antiquity, from the Black Sea coast of ancient Colchis to the shadow of Mount Ararat in Armenia.
Historian Bettany Hughes follows the trail of the Caucasus in antiquity from the Black sea coast of Ancient Colchis to the shadow of Mount Ararat in Armenia.
In this two-part series, Bettany Hughes travels to the Caucasus, the land that sits on the boundary of Asia and Europe, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, to unravel its mythologised and pivotal place in Western history. For the Ancient Greeks, the region was home to the Golden Fleece, the Amazons and Prometheus. In the Christian tradition it was thought to be the resting place of Noah's Ark after the flood. In Russian literature it was mythologised by Pushkin, Lermontov and Tolstoy. And in the Europe of the Enlightenment, it crucially became known as the home of the purest members of the white race - hence today's descriptions of white criminal suspects as "Caucasian". Bettany travels to the region to find the roots of these stories and test how far the myths are backed up by reality
Produced by Russell Finch
A Somethin' Else production for Radio 3.
You are at the first episode