The Kartvelologist

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.

The Meaning of Vepx-i in Shota Rustaveliʼs "The Man in the Pantherʼs Skin"


The present work refers to the interpretation of the animal – tiger given in the MPS. According to the author, the name is not related to the modern Georgian tiger. 


The literal translation of the title of the famous poem Vepxist’q’aosani, written by Shota Rustaveli (or Rustveli as he himself specifies) around 1190s, is “The One clad in the Skin of a Vepxi” and has been translated into all the principal European languages and into Russian as The Man (Lord, Knight) in the Panther’s (Tiger’s) Skin. The difference in the translation between Man, Lord or Knight depends on the aesthetics of the translator, but the meaning remains the same. On the other hand, the translation of vepx-i as panther/leopard or as tiger is of far greater significance. It is true that we are speaking about two animals both belonging to the family of felines, but the panther has a spotted coat, while the tiger has a striped coat. The various translators of Vepxist’q’aosani were certainly in contact with informants, but how could it happen that some informants have suggested translating vepx-i as panther and others as tiger? Rustaveli employs the ancient word vepx-i (in modern Georgian vepxv-i, with the meaning of leopard/panther, scientifically the same animal, i.e. Felis pardus, today Panthera pardus) . Beginning at least in the second half of the 19th Century, the term vepxv-i was reconceptualised in Georgian as tiger, so that many Georgians – as well as some quite harsh critics ‒ think today that the animal to which Rustaveli refers is a tiger.

keywords:Vepxist’q’aosani, “The Man in the Panther Skin”, Rustaveli, tiger, leopard, panther, vepxi Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Luigi Magarotto
Story of Nuradin Pridon when Tariel met him - Aesthetic Experience of the Elevated


deRustaveli brings the Renaissance structure of thinking into medieval thought, revealed through various aspects in the world view of the MPS.  The emotion of the character, the depth of aesthetic experience is not only a characteristic component of the hero of the work or an adornment of his artistic image. It is an essential pointer to the wholeness of the outlook of the artistic world of MPS. Around this revolves the new thinking of the Renaissance, introduced uncompromisingly by the poet. Events such as Tariel’s momentary loss of consciousness on first seeing Nestan-Darejan or the establishment of friendship between Tariel, Avtandil and Pridon at first sight is not a fairy-tale narrative or a simple telling of a story, it is rather an organic wholeness based on the nuances of human psyche. Exaggeration of the elevated, of viewing the beautiful is the foundation of that great love and friendship brought into play by Rustaveli as a new philosophy. Just as Tariel was charmed on seeing Nestan, so too did the knights of MPS find a liking for each other. ‘He looked at me, I pleased him’ — this is how Tariel describes his first meeting with Pridon to Avtandil. This attraction has an artistic basis since it is not only liking the beauty seen by the eye but primarily the view of the elevated however aesthetic experience of the beautiful arising in the characters and developing into friendship and love that is Rustaveli’s new credo.

We offer the publication of the extract from the MPS “Story of Nuradin Pridon when Tariel met him”. The Georgian version of the text is being published based on the publication of A. Shanidze and A. Baramidze (Tbilisi, 1966), translations of Marjory Wardrop (Tbilisi, 1966), Venera Urushadze (Tbilisi, 1968), Katharine Vivian (London, 1077); Robert Stevenson (New York, 1977); Lyn Coffin (Tbilisi, 2015). 

The Editor

keywords:Rustaveli Category: GEORGIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION Authors: Luigi Magarotto
The Man in the Panther Skin and Literary Sources of Cymbeline


cbThe present work analyses the MPS by Rustaveli, being the literary source of Cymbeline (by Shakespeare) in relevance with other sources.

English literary criticism has long been aware that Shakespeare tended to transpose, rethink and modify both previously unknown and fashionable plots of his time in their entirety as well as separate passages, thus creating masterpieces of “novel” inspiration and world view. A multiplicity of literary sources is one of the defining characteristics of Shakespeare’s dramatic works. Cymbeline is especially noteworthy in this regard. In the introduction to Cymbeline in Volume VIIIof his Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, Geoffrey Bullough pays particular attention to eight sources: the first book of Holinshed’s Chronicles; the second book of Holinshed’s Chronicles, History of Scotland; Boccaccio’s The Decameron; Frederyke of Jennen; the comedy by Lope de Rueda Eufemia, Bandello’s Discourses; The Rare Triumphes of Love and Fortune, and Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso [18, pp. 38-114]. The relationship of Cymbeline to these sources is not homogeneous. Extracts from several of them (Eufemia; Bandello’s Discourses; Jerusalem Delivered) are considered to be analogous to several passages in Cymbeline. Shakespearean literature also points out the likeness of Cymbeline to other sources. It has also been noted that, like other plays of Shakespeare, here, the traditions of ancient narrative, especially those of Greek romance, are also visible. Specifically, the following parallels are indicated: the story of the wager; the disappearance and eventual reappearance of King Cymbeline’s sons; Imogen’s mistaking the corpse of Cloten for Posthumus; the war of the Ancient Britons against Rome; the central line of the plot of the play: separation of the couples; intricate adventures; and finally, the couples’ reunion. The following sources are named for the play: Chariton’s Chaereas and Callirhoe, Helidorus’ Æthiopica, Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe, andXenophon of Ephesus’ Ephesiaca [8; 2, p. 8]. In this tradition, we can only see the ancient prototype of the plot of Cymbeline or its separate episodes. Scholars also point to reminiscences or allusions from plots closer to Shakespeare’s time: Sidney’s Arcadia, and Macbeth by Shakespeare himself [10, p. X]. I have already discussed two allegorical sources, the reminiscences of which in Cymbeline are more probable (the fairy tale of Snow White and the seven dwarves on the one hand, and the story of Caesar Augustus’ family on the other).  

keywords:“The Man in the Panther Skin”, “Cymbeline”, “Decameron”, “The Rare Triumphes of Love and Fortune” Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Tea Burchuladze
Linguistic Means of Negation in Kartvelian Languages


This article is dedicated to one of the topical issues of linguistics – the means of linguistic expression of negation in the Kartvelian (Georgian, Megrelian, Laz, and Svan) languages. This type of research, from the typological point of view, is conducted for the first time; based on the data taken from old and modern Georgian and unwritten Kartvelian languages grammatical models of negative pronouns and adverbs are singlued out andanalysed with particular emphasis on the expression of the double negation and normalisation issues related to it in the modern literary (standard) Georgian language. The empirical material of the corpus-based and printed texts is processed in the diachronic and synchronic contexts, employing descriptive-statistical, historical and comparative methods. Frequency of the use of linguistic means expressing negation is also estimated. By comparison and collation of the research results, common Kartvelian consistent patterns and the specifics of each of the Kartvelian languages, in this regard, are revealed.

keywords:Georgian, Megrelian, Svan, Laz, Negation, Category, particle, morphology, model, pronoun. Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Tea Burchuladze
Towards some types of word-combinations in a compound subordinate clause


The issue regarding word-combinations in subordinate clauses with the following subordinating conjunctions as if, although/even though, because/since, even if/even, while, or else/otherwise, before/until/till, as though, even (if), that, if is interesting to explore. These conjunctions establish a meaningful correlation with the verb-predicate and in this way create word combinations: While they were caressing each other…; While he was…; since I had…; otherwise I should have killed…; Even you tell me…; Even if a killer would have hold…; though they respected …; as if there was… In these word-combinations a subordinating conjunction agrees only with the verb-predicate. In such cases there is a correlation similar to an amorphous word (adverb or prepositional nouns) and the predicate referred to as parataxis. Contextually, the verb-predicate is linked to the given subordinating conjunctions so that it does not possess any grammatical function. A similar type of word-combination occurs between subordinating conjunctions and the verb-predicate, similar to the type existing between amorphous adverbs and the predicate.

From the given subordinating conjunctions as if and as though are particles and they cannot form a syntactic relation with the word to which they are added. However, in the given sentences they are subordinating conjunctions and not particles. Due to this, similar to other subordinating conjunctions (so –as if, so – as though), together with a correlative word they also link with each other the parts of the subordinate clause as in the case of other subordinating conjunctions (as though, as if) . Therefore, I propose that they create word-combinations together with the corresponding verb-predicate in a hypotactic sentence. Obviously, this is not true in the case of singling out word-combinations in a simple sentence, because being particles and not conjunctions, the subordinating conjunctions if, that cannot create word-combinations with the verb-predicate. The reason for this is that they do not relate to one member of the sentence, but to the whole sentence (the main clause). Being conjunctions they cannot create a syntagm.

keywords:Syntagm, Word combinations, Hypotax Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Tea Burchuladze