'How Lhepsch searched to find the Earth's Edge' Translated & Annotated by

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 30, 2016

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Submitted: September 30, 2016




  1. Lhepsch Duneiym Zerilhix'uar

How Lhepsch searched to find the Earth's Edge

Kabardian text

Latinized Circassian text

Se duneym iyghune qezghotinsh, qizeghelheghunsh, - zchiy'eriy ghusch' vaqe eish'iriy, ghush' basch eisch'iriy duneir qizepeik'whinu nart Lhepsch eiozcher.


Kodre k'wasch, kodre plhasch. Iyvaqer lazcheeriy iylhapschem qif'exuezchash, iybasch lazcheriy iytsiper 'edakem qich'emishizchu x'uasch.


Kodre k'wasch, lhix'asch aue uafemre sch'ilhemre zishzeghequam neca'im.


Abi shhech'e nobe qizenecmiy:

Lhepsch sh'im iyghune neca'im! – Adige l'izchxem zcha'e.


English Translation

"I shall journey to find the earth's edge and see it with my own eyes" - to these words Nart Lhepsch made the hardest boots and cane out of steel and set off to meet his mission.

He traveled so long and saw so much of the world until his boots fell off his shanks, and his cane thinned and melted.

He continued to travel and search, but he did not reach the area where earth and sky met.

That is why the Circassian elders say:

"Lhepsch did not reach (find) the earth's edge."


(Hedeghel’e, I968, Vol. I, p. 2I7)


*This narrative, in its plainness, portrays two imperative teachings; the revolutionary discovery among the Narts that earth is spherical rather than horizontal, and the early consciousness of time; the principle of a “long time” is exhibited by the decay of Lhepsch’s shanks and cane. In personal views, this saga might be among the oldest in the chronology of the Nart sagas portraying the astronomical and time detection among the ancient Circassians.

The proverb Lhepsch did not reach the earth’s edge “Lhepsch sh'im iyghune neca'im” is still articulated among the Circassians in the North Caucasus pronounced to render the inability of performing or accomplishing an undertaking.


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