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.



In getting to the heart of Georgia, Katharine Vivian is in the tradition of her predecessor, Marjory Wardrop. Like Vakhtang VI, both Englishwomen naturally tackled Shota Rustaveli’s epic romance of The Knight in Panter Skin[2]. Now Katherine Vivian has followed Vakhtang further with this splendid sequence of the Georgian Royal Annals. To English readers they make compulsive reading: artless and artful accounts of a medieval society which, with its courtly knights and over-mighty barons, fiefs and arriere-fiefs, bishop-chancellors and kings on the make, are uncannily familiar. For those whose concept of feudalism is of the classic Anglo-Norman kind of the same time, it should, and ought to, be familiar. But the societies of the later Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, or even of Froissart, developed quite independently. It is no more use looking for Palpable links than it is seeking the origins of Western Romanesque architecture in Armenian Ani (both have been done). The transitory colonial transplant of an adaptation of Western forms of Feudalism in the Crusader states in the Levant must also be overlooked, for they hardly impinged upon the Caucasus. This must not stop Western readers making comparisons between David IV’s Georgia and Norman England, but they should remember that in doing so they must leapfrog the intervening Byzantine Empire, grudgingly recognised by Armenian and Georgian annalists as a kind of paradigm; but it was built on quite different principles and, to complicate matters, was then entering a sort of feudalism of its own.

keywords:Katharine Vivian, Georgian Historiography, Byzantine Historiography Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Anthony A.M.Bryer
Towards Evaluating the Historicity of the Claim that Peter the Iberian Descended from the Iberian Royal Family


In an article that discusses the place, date, and purpose of the creation of the Georgian alphabet, Werner Seibt commented on the difficulties Christianity experienced in Georgia in the fifth century as a context that motivated some Georgians, who were wished to practice their Christian faith freely, to leave Georgia and go abroad. The sources suggest that a good number of them went to the Holy Places in Syria and Palestine, initially as pilgrims. Not infrequently they stayed on for longer as ascetics. Having learned the monastic craft, Georgian–speaking monks established monasteries of their own. Likely the most famous and earliest Georgian pilgrim to the Holy Land among them was Peter the Iberian. His case, as Seibt pointed out, illustrates that such pilgrims-turned-ascetics also included members of the leading families in Georgia. Seibt’s doubts concerning the veracity of the evidence of the Syriac and Georgian hagiographical witnesses to Peter’s life centered specifically on the question of whether Peter indeed was a member of the royal Georgian family, or not simply of noble, but not of royal, origins. The following remarks aim at evaluating this concern.

keywords:John Rufus, Peter the Iberian, Genealogy. Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Cornelia B. Horn
Grigol Robakidze’s Works of in the German Language (Prometheus’s Offspring)


The society has been interested in Grigol Robakidze’s works written in German for a long time. Due to the fact that the writer’s new works were tracked down in various countries, new prospects are open  for the scholars and literary critics in studying his literary heritage.

Robakidze’s five articles – under the common title The Silhouette of the Caucasus - published in 1942 in different issues of The Brussels Magazine, are unknown for the Georgian readers.  The above articles are mentioned by the writer in his letter My Explanation addressed to the Georgian writers in 1947. As Robakidze notes he managed to avoid “political emphasis” in the fierce years of the World War II. 

The main topic in the Prometheus’s Offsprings fromThe Silhouette of the Caucasus („Das Geschlecht von Prometheus“, 26.08.1942) is a free human being and his / her activities. Robakidze describes there the stories from the history of Georgia, life and customs and rites of the freedom-loving nations living in the Caucasus to the citizens of Belgium occupied by Germany and the German-speaking readers. Robakidze deserves credits for reintroducing Prometheus’s country to Europe in 1930-40-es through his works.

Ambivalence of Robakidze’s Prometheus – fighting for freedom and blasphemer at the same time – can be relevant to the immigrant writer himself who was between two frontlines. He also belongs to those offsprings of Prometheus whom nobody can help. It’s due to this ambivalence that Robakidze’s works give rise to different viewpoints both in Georgian and German academic literature. And every finding offers the possibility to make new conclusions. 

keywords:Caucasus, Robakidze, Prometheus, freedom Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Nugesha Gagnidze
East Meets West along a Fault Line: Love in Shota Rustiveli’s „The Man in the Panther’s Skin“ and Chrétien de Troyes’ Arthurian Romances


Given the proximity in time of Chrétien de Troyes and Shota Rustaveli and some similarity in their writing, this paper examines the portrayal of love in Rustaveli’s The Man in the Panther’s Skin and the romances of Chrétien de Troyes. Close reading of the texts supports the position that for both poets, marriage, not adultery, was the proper fulfillment of love.  Looking more closely at the development of love within the text, however, differences emerge.  In Chrétien’s romances, the married couples strengthen their love by finding the proper balance between their private love and their public lives, and adulterous couples are viewed negatively. In Avtandil, Rustaveli shows us a hero who already thinks and acts rationally from the beginning and whose love is not questioned. He is able to maintain emotional control by self-correcting his moments of grief and despair when he is parted from Tinatin. His role in the poem is not merely to find Nestan, but to restore the nobility and virtue which is inherent in Tariel. Rustaveli also develops the friendship-love between male characters far more than Chrétien does in his romances. An analysis of the love between Avtandil and Tariel shows some similarities to the Neoplatonic concepts of friendship between noble men which developed in the Western Middle Ages.  There are striking similarities between the two poets, but the differences indicate that they developed independently of each other.

keywords:„The Man in the Panther’s Skin“, Rustaveli, Chrétien de Troyes, marriage, friendship, ennobling love Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Sally Newell
Bronze Age Krater form Atskuri


In 2007 archaeological excavations were carried out on the 1st century BC settlement and Middle Bronze Age burials of Atskuri archaeological site.

The moust important materials were found in the Bronz Age burial on the left bank of the river Mtkvari, to the east from classical and hellenistic period settlemet. I want to draw particular attention to Krater, because it does not have analogies in Caucasian archaeology.

According to the items of complex the Krater is dated by 17th – 16th centuries BC. If we analyze materials from burial from Atskuri and burial of same period from village Ota, it is clear that after “Brilliant Culture of Trialeti” there are few somewhat different cultural elements, which preserves old traditions, but also in this group of traditional items appears a new cultural elements as well, which characterize all this complex as new micro–culture with diverse and rich inventory.

keywords: Atskuri exacavtions, Middle Bronze Age, Krater, Samtskhe micro-culture Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Vakhtang Licheli
Surion-Vani Patron Goddess: “Anassa Souri”


The article discusses one of the arti-facts of Vani Nakalakari- an inscription found on the gate-wall of the town, which presents interesting material about Old Colkhi Society.

The ancient city Vani was known as the city of “Surion” Anassa Souriin ancient times [5, p. 223; 9, pp. 124-128]. A number of significant artifacts have been discovered about the city, among which the highest interest is evoked by a vertically scratched inscription on the gate wall of Vani city which reads as follows: Ar[aomai[w Anas]s[a I pray thee my Lord – the Goddess” [6, p. 52]. From the paleographical point of view, the inscription dates from the IV-III cc. BC and is considered to be the oldest of the ancient Greek lapidary inscriptions [4, p. 148]. The inscription is worth noting for a number of reasons. For instance, not only does it provide an insight into the religious beliefs of the citizens of the city Vani - Surion, but, also, about the general ideology of society in ancient Kolkheti.

keywords:Vani, Surion, Aphrodite, goddess, Anasa, Colchis Category: SCHOLARLY STUDIES Authors: Temur Todua