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.

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




anIn the present edition of the journal “The Kartvelologist” several children’s rhymes by a famous Georgian literary critic Zaza Abzianidze are published with their parallel translations. Our choice was determined by two factors:

In the past decade Zaza Abzianidze has also become popular as a children’s author. We hope that foreign readers interested in learning modern Georgian will find several poems published here interesting and useful from the point of view of their refined literary style, lexis and parallel English translations. The poems and illustrations are taken from the author’s book “Busunsulebi”, published in 2009, by the Publishing House ‘Pegasi’.

The poems are translated into English by the modern American poet Lyn Coffin, who has also translated other works by Georgian poets, for example The Man in the Panther Skin has been released. It will be interesting for Georgian readers interested in the literary features of modern English poetry to observe the translation compared to the original version.

The translations are published from the book Zaza Abzianidze, Animalarky, translated by Lyn Coffin. The publication is agreed with the author.

The Editor

keywords:Animalarky Category: GEORGIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION Authors: Zaza Abzianidze

The New Translation of The Knight in the Panther Skin


lkOn 13th of October 2015 Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University warmly welcomed Lyn Coffin, a new translator of The Knight in the Panther Skin from Georgian into English. The American poet, playwright and translator published the fifth English translation of The Knight in the Panther Skin in September 2015. The new translation was prepared by the publishing house “Poezia”. Ms. Coffin started to work on the translation of the poem in 2012 together with Professor Dodona Kiziria, who made a word for word translation of the poem. This translation was based on two editions: one, prepared by the Commission for stating the text of MPS and published in 1965 and the other, the school edition by Prof. Nodar Natadze.

At the presentation of the book Lyn Coffin was introduced to the public by Prof. Darejan Tvaltvadze, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, at Tbilisi State University, who thanked the translators for the new English translation of the greatest Georgian poem. Academician Elguja Khintibidze, Head of the Chair of Old Georgian Literature of Tbilisi State University in his welcome speech addressed the translator and noted that this translation is valuable because it is a fact that it was published recently in the 21th Century whereas previous translations were published in the 20th century. 

keywords:The Knight in the Panther Skin, Lyn Coffin, Shota Rustaveli Category: GEORGIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION Authors: Khatia Mikaberidze

Nikoloz Baratashvili Poems


nb1Nikoloz Baratashvili (1817-1845) is the greatest representative of Georgian Romanticism. His poetry has not been fully translated into English.

In this issue of the journal, three of Baratashvili’s best known poems are published: Sky Blue (translated by Donald Rayfield: The Literature of Georgia. A History. Carzon).  Meditations by the river Mtkvari and Merani (translated by Venera Urushadze.Anthology of Georgian Poetry, Tbilisi 1958).

The Georgian text is published as cited in the edition by Pavle Ingorokva (Nikoloz Baratashvili. Works, 1959).

 The Editor

keywords:Meditations By the River Mtkvari, Merani, The Blue Sky Category: GEORGIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION Authors: Nikoloz Baratashvili

Shota Rustaveli - Avtandil’s Testament


In the present issue of the Journal Avtandil’s Testament from Rustaveli’s MPS is published together with all of the English language translations to date. Avtandil's Testament is characterised by a poetic value as well as by a true Georgian phenomenon - a demonstration of the best qualities of the spiritual world and an attempt to harmonically synthesize Christian Theology and Classical Greek Philosophy - two main sources of Rustaveli's world outlook. Rustaveli's poetic and philosophical language arouses discord not only among the translators but also among the glossarians of the Romance. This is the primary reason for our decision to supply the English language reader with all the translations of the text of Avtandili’s Testament. This attempt naturally has another no less important purpose: parallel observation of the four translations will clearly reveal the poetic merits of each of them. These are by Marjory Wardrop, done at the turn of the 19th-20th c. (the text is taken from the 1912 London edition - The Royal Asiatic Society); Venera Urushadze (first issue 1968; the text is printed according to the author’s revised edition (Tbilisi: Sabchota Sakartvelo, 1986); Katharine Vivian (London: The Folio Society, 1977); Robert Stevenson (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1977). The Georgian text is printed according to the edition of the Commission for the Establishment of the Academic Text of MPS (Tbilisi: Metsniereba, 1988).


keywords: ვეფხისტყაოსანი, შოთა რუსთაველი Category: GEORGIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION Authors: SHOTA RUSTAVELI



1292. „აწ საყვარელსა მიუწერს გულ-ამოსკვნილი, მტირალი,
მისმანვე ცრემლმან დაუვსის, ვის ედებოდის კირ-ალი!
დაწერა წიგნი, მსმენელთა გულისა გასაგმირალი,
ვარდი გააპის, გამოჩნდის მუნ ბროლი გამომჭვირალი.

Wardrop 1262. “Now will I, sobbing, weeping, write to my beloved; by the tear of that one who burns him is a man’s fire quenched.” She wrote a letter piercing the heart of the hearers. She splits the rose (opens her mouth); there appears the translucent crystal.

Urushadze 1279. Nestan, bitterly weeping, writes her beloved a letter.
Surely her tears will soethe the fires consuming his Losom! 
Surely the words she wrote must soften the heart of a stone!
Her teeth flashed whiter than crystal when the rose of her lips unfolded.

Vivian. In heartrending Phrases Nestan wrote this letter for Tariel, strewn with tears:

Stevenson. And now, sobbing and weeping, she penned her lover a letter: the tears that she shed quenched the fires that consumed her. The words that she wrote would pierce any heart through, like lances: her lips rose was opened to show her teeth, shining crystal.

keywords:ვეფხისტყაოსანი, რუსთაველი Category: GEORGIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION Authors: SHOTA RUSTAVELI