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.

Grammatical Category of Version in Georgian and “Conjugation Prefixes” in Sumerian: A Contrastive Analysis


In the article, semantics, syntactic functions, and morphological marking of the markers of the grammatical category of version in Georgian and of the so-called “conjugation prefixes” in Sumerian are described, analyzed, and contrasted with each other according to different syntactic frameworks. The results are valuable for functional typology.


keywords:The Georgian language, the Sumerian language, the passive voice, the middle voice, applicative, locative, reflexive, syntactic functions Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Zurab Baratishvili
The Mystery of the Unknown Poem by Rustaveli


TusenThe present issue of the Journal introduces a French translation of the unknown poem considered to be written by Rustaveli along with Georgian translation performed from that French original. The French translation of the poem caused a lot of controvery among Georgian scholarly circles and mass media in the 20th century.

A compilation of poems translated from Arabic into French titled as “The Islamic Songs of War and Love” was published in 1942 in Marseille. The translator as well as the editor of the book was Franz Toussaint. The compilation includes prosaic translations of Arabic, Persian, Afghan, Belujistan, Altarian, Turkish, Egyptian, Maroconian, Hoga­rian, Cherqezian and Georgian poems with the following sub­title – “Géorgie”

The Georgian part of the book includes four poems: Prince Zoumali La Rose, Chavtali L’ Embarras, Roustoual La Peau de Léopard, Anonime Nuit. However, the poems have not been identified by Georgian sources and only Rustaveli and Shavteli are considered to be the authors of the poems, whose names are suggested in an altered transliteration by a French compilation – Roustoual, Chavtali. Georgian media learned about the compilation only in the middle of the previous century and the controversy over the facts con­cern­ing the genuinity of the publication is still going on. The author­ship of Rustaveli is one of the major issues of the discussions.

Some commentators fully deny the genuinity of the facts provided by Franz Toussaint since the poems have not been verified by Georgian sources and some parts of the reports are obscure. The name of the Rustaveli poem The Tiger Skin fails to reveal any links with The Knight in a Panther Skin by Rustaveli. The reason the names of Shavteli and Rustaveli are mentioned is absolutely unclear. Georgia is surrounded by Muslim countries and what is more important, adoption of Rustaveli’s name for other poems in newspaper or journal publications in the 19th-20th Century is not scarce at all (The Anthology by A. Thalasso, translations by Trikoglidis).

The opinions of the commentators supporting Franz Toussaint’s publications as to be the most important novelty are based upon the following viewpoints:

Franz Toussaint is far from being an armature writer or a journalist, seeking for sensational facts and financial benefits. Rather, he is an outstanding expert of Oriental stu­dies as well as a translator of Arabian, Persian and Sanskrit poetry. His publications are designed for wide variety of people rather than for one or two nations in parti­cular.

His compilations include examples of a classical works of Oriental literature such as: Jalal ad-Din Rumi and Hize,  Rubiyát of Omar Khayám, extracts from  The Thousand and One Night, etc., more importantly the examples of the religious Oriental literature such as verses from Quran.


keywords:Rustaveli, Franz Toussaint Category: GEORGIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION Authors: Anthony Anderson
The Meaning of the Words “mkali (locusts)” and “veluri tapli (wild honey)” Mentioned in the Gospel


This article discusses the meaning of old Greek words and their old Georgian equivalents, mentioned in the New Testament as the food of St. John the Baptist.

According to Matt. 3:4 and Mark 1:6, John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey: Mt. (3:4): “…and his food was locusts [Gr: akrides] and wild honey [Gr. meli agrion]; Mr. (1:6): “...and he did eat locusts [Gr. akridas] and wild honey” [Gr. meli agrion].

The discussion about the terms locusts and wild honey began in the early centuries and continues until today. The Georgian translations of Greek homilies or patristic works, beginning from the VII century, as well as the Greek authors of these works often have commented the meaning of the words akris and meli agrion//melagria. These terms are also interpreted and determined in the old Georgian original texts.

In this article we support the view that claims that these terms mean plants, herbs. We have already published one article on the issue.Now, after 11 years, more, additional arguments were found both from old manuscripts and contemporary researches, which are presented in this work.


keywords:John the Baptist, melagria, mkali, locust, danakiskudi, wild honey, dates Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Anthony Anderson
Using Geopoetic Strategies of Romanticists by Ilia Chavchadze


The discussion on this paper concerns with geopoetic strategy in Ilia Chavchavadze’s travelogue “Letters of a Traveler.” He cites some strophes from Georgian romanticist G. Orbeliani’s poems in the travelogue. According to a previous study, there are three types of geopoetic strategy in Georgian romanticism literature, that indicates different attitudes toward Russian colonialism. Considering these geopoetic strategies, it can be said that the writer notices the differences and use them in order to express his own geopoetic standpoint. Concretely, he cites Orbeliani’s verse “Night of Farewell” ironically because it can be classified into the first type of the strategies which implies Georgian romanticists’ complicity with Russian colonialism in North Caucasus. On the other hand, he cites Orbeliani’s poem “Toast” without any ironic intention because the poem applauses the history of Georgia. Therefore, it can be said that Chavchavadze strategically recreates the national conscious­ness of the romanticists and use it as inspiration for his own works and actions.


keywords:Ilia Chavchavadze, Geopoetic strategies, Georgian romanticism Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Anthony Anderson
Romanos the Melodist and One of the Earliest Examples of Byzantine Hymnography


The paper deals with the old Georgian translation of the “Kontakion” – “Adam’s Lament” (“The Lost Paradise”) which is recognized as one of the earliest examples of Byzantine hymnog­ra­phy­. This hymn is considered a prede­cessor of Romanos the Melodist and his school. According to the old Georgian sources, the author of this hymn is a founder of Byzantine hymnography ̶ Romanos the Melodist.


keywords:Romanos the Melodist, Kontakion, “The Lost Paradise”, Georgian hymnography. Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Anthony Anderson