The Circassian Colonies at Ammân and Jerash

Dean A. Walker
1894 The Biblical World  
Amman, the Rabbah, or Rabbath-Ammon of the Bible and the Philadelphia of the Grecian period, where Uriah the Hittite was treacherously exposed to death in accordance with David's secret orders, is situated about a mile below the source of the river Jabbok, the modern Zerka, whose narrow valley at this point is filled with the ruins of the town of the Greeco-Roman period. Among these ruins a colony of Circassians have lately established their homes. The word seems almost a mockery here. We think
more » ... kery here. We think of a home as a place about which tender associations have had time to gather, till the place itself becomes as much an object of affection as the members of the family whose mutual affection makes the place a home. But the Circassians at Amman have hardly had time to form such associations, and the place is to them more like a place of exile than a home. When, by the treaty of Adrianople in 1829, Turkey, assuming an authority that did not belong to her, ceded to Russia the territory of the independent Circassians in the Caucasus, they refused to acknowledge the new authority, and waged a brave and often successful war for independence. And when at length in 1864, their resistance was broken, the entire nation to the number of 500,000, rather than submit to Russian rule, emigrated into Ottoman territory, leaving a wilderness behind them. The Ottoman government quartered them in various parts of its dominion and a portion of them were located in Bulgaria. Here they had hardly had time to get settled, when the Russo-Turkish war of 1876-8 again drove them from their homes, enrolled the men in the Turkish army and sent their families as refugees to Constantinople. At the close of the war, they could not return to Bulgaria, now under Russian control, so they were again distributed and a portion of them were sent to people the ruins of Amman, where they must hold their ground against the Bedouin Arabs as best they could. This was about the year 1878. Three years later, a second colon)y arrived in Moab and were located at Jerash, one day to the north of Amman on a small brook tributary to the Zerka. 202
doi:10.1086/471510 fatcat:7keyi7supfeu5iomtvidetwhpq