The Kartvelologist” is a bilingual (Georgian and English) peer-reviewed, academic journal, covering all spheres of Kartvelological scholarship. Along with introducing scholarly novelties in Georgian Studies, it aims at popularization of essays of Georgian researchers on the international level and diffusion of foreign Kartvelological scholarship in Georgian scholarly circles.
“The Kartvelologist” issues both in printed and electronic form. In 1993-2009 it came out only in printed form (#1-15). The publisher is the “Centre for Kartvelian Studies” (TSU), financially supported by the “Fund of the Kartvelological School”. In 2011-2013 the journal is financed by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation.
Heinz Fähnrich was born in 1941, in the German village of Hamer. In 1960-1965 Fähnrich studied at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, specializing in Caucasian Studies. From 1967 Fähnrich was engaged in doctoral studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University under the supervision of Professor Akaki Shanidze. Fähnrich defended his doctoral thesis in 1965 at the University of Jena. In 1969 he was awarded the degree of Candidate of Sciences.
In 1971 Fähnrich defended his doctoral thesis at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. He was Professor and Head of Caucasian Studies at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena until his retirement (1971). He taught the following subjects: Moderen Georgian Language, Introduction to Kartvelian languages, Introduction to Caucasian languages, the history of research into Caucasian languages, the history of Georgian literary language, the practice of translating from Georgian into German, a course in conversational Georgian, the vocabulary of Old Georgian, Georgian toponomy, vocabulary of the proto-Kartvelian language, the problem of relating Georgian to other languages, Avar language, Andi language, Udi language, Tabasaran language, Agul language, study of Georgian local lore, Georgian literature, urgent problems of Caucasian Studies, the situation of ethnic minorities in the Republic of Georgia, Georgian mythology, history of Georgia, history of Georgian statehood.
Fähnrich is the author of about 50 books and 200 papers. He was granted the following awards and honorary titles: Ivane Javakhishvili Medal, Akaki Shanidze Prize, Honorary Professorship of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University, Marie Brosset Prize, Honorary Membership of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, Anton I Bargationi Gold Medal.
Fähnrich researched Georgian literature for decades. As a result of his profound research, he published the book Georgian Literature in Tbilisi in 1981: Fähnrich, H., Die georgische Literatur, Ein Überblick, Tbilisi: Sabtschota Sakartwelo 1981. The same book was edited in Aachen in 1993: Fähnrich, H., Georgische Literatur, Aachen: Shaker 1993. In this book Fähnrich gives a brief review of Georgian literature, describes the long process of its creation and development, discusses modern Georgian literature, etc.
Fähnrich was engaged in translating Georgian literature into German. He translated and published The Book of Wisdom and Lies by Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani (1973), My Little Shadow by Giorgi Kechaghmadze (1974), Lasharela (1975) and The Great Night (1978) by Grigol Abashidze, The myth of Amirani, revised and rewritten by Mikheil Chikovani (1978), and Georgian fairy-tales (1980). Furthermore, he translated two poems by Galaktion Tabidze: the Moon of Mtatsminda and Flags Quickly. The poems were published in the 29th and 30th volumes of the French journal Revue de kartvelologie in 1972. Fähnrich prefaced the translations of the poems with an introductory article and a brief biography of Galaktion Tabidze and general review of his peoms.
S. Turnava, an eminent scholar who researched Georgian-foreign literary relations, compared Fähnrich’s translations to Georgian originals and concluded that Fähnrich did an excellent job by translating both prose and poetry. In order to translate Lasharela into German, Fähnrich studied the history and geography of Georgia, read Kartlis Tskhovreba (The Life of Georgia) and the works of Georgian historians: I. Javakhishvili, N. Berdzenishvili, S. Janashia and others) in Georgian.
The Journal Georgica, that was published in German and was a joint project of Tbilisi State University and Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, played an important role in developing Kartvelian Studies in Europe. The journal was first published in 1978 and the editors of the journal were Heinz Fähnrich (on the German side) and first Shota Dzidziguri and later Mariam Lordkipanidze (on the Georgian side). Prior to the publication of Georgica, three volumes of works were issued at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena: Georgica (1973, 1975, 1977). From its foundation, Georgica came out in Jena. In 1990-2002 the journal was published in Konstanz by four universities: those of Jena, Tbilisi, Saarbrücken and Konstanz. In 2002-2005 the journal came out in Aachen. Since 2006 the journal has been edited in Berlin. The editor of the journal is the well-known German Kartvelologist Steffi Chotiwary-Jünger.
Heinz Fähnrich was mainly interested in linguistics, namely scholarly research into Georgian and Kartvelian languages. One of the most important books in this field for specialists of Kartvelian languages is the Etymological Dictionary of Kartvelian Languages, issued in German and Georgian by Heinz Fähnrich jointly with Z. Sarjveladze. In 2007 Heinz Fähnrich published the third updated and revised fundamental work: Kartwelisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch von Heinz Fähnrich (Brill) Leiden, Boston 2007.
Recently Kartvelian studies were enriched by an important work on Georgian history: Geschichte Georgiens von Heinz Fähnrich (Brill) Leiden, Boston 2010. These are the main works by Heinz Fähnrich (monographs and translations).
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