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Mary Chkhartishvili: Proper Name as a Marker of Georgian Identity

The most important among the kaleidoscope of human identities from the perspective of societal development are collective cultural identities.
There might be distinguished several forms of them, namelyethnic category, ethnic network, ethnie and nation.
The first one represents solely imagined, in artifactspractically unfixed (for its flexibility) form, while others, especially the last ones, are historically welldocumented. Collective cultural identities are delimitated by certain set of markers. Collective proper namerepresents one of the most principal identity marker.
The paper deals with self-designation of modern Georgians Kartveli in which according to the authorcan be traced all states experienced by Georgian identity in its long way of development. It is shown thatGeorgian identity gradually had passed above-listed forms of collective cultural identities, as evolutional stages.
Thus, the fact of continuity of Georgian identity during millennia finds its reflection in collective proper nameof Georgian in-group.

February 4, 2009 Posted by | History of Middle Ages Georgia | Leave a comment



There is the account existent in VII-th century Bizantian author’s Theophilact Simokatta’s work “History” (This account was unknown till nowadays for Georgian historiography). This account, about kolkhi’s chiefs and 300 000 kolkhis killed by Turks is partly exaggerated, but it depicts historical reality.

At about 558 (or bit lately 562) the Jujans run from central Asia (they were known as Avars in Eastern Europe) devastated Ogors lived eastern beach of Azov sea. After this the Jujans killed Kolkhis and population lived on North-eastern beathch of Black sea. This was depicted in Theophilact Simokatta’s “History”. After this Kolkhi’s territory occupied Zikhs (Jiks). This is depicted georgian “Life of Vakhtang Gorgasali” and foreign Prokopios Kesarian written sources.

The results received by analyze of Theophilact Simokatta’s account confirms that the North-eastern beach of the Black Sea was territory of Georgian tribes in VI-th century (and in next times too). This territory was the part of the culture of Mtkvar-Araksi. All denoted agreed that the river Kuban was the North-western range of Lazika.  

February 4, 2009 Posted by | 1. INSTITUTE, History of Middle Ages Georgia | Leave a comment

Mary Chkhartishvili: Saint George of Mtatsmnida and Markers of Georgian Identity in 11th c

In the process of national consolidation an important role belongs to the outstanding public workers personifying principal interests of the given community. They are able to channel national ideas and solidarity sentiments of their fellow countrymen.

Their activity in cultural, political spheres predetermines acuteness and durability of the national identity markers.

The detailed case study presented in the paper shows that Saint George of Mtatsminda had played decisive role in national consolidation of Georgians in 11th c. He directed his efforts to eliminate social partitions within the Georgian in-group, to sharpen features of national character, to elaborate ideal of national dignity.
Ascetic mode of life and viewing native country from certain distance allowed the Saint Father to play such role of social catalyst. The obtained data apparently reveal general feature of human communitydevelopment: the main actors of national formation processes as usual are saints.

February 4, 2009 Posted by | 1. INSTITUTE, History of Middle Ages Georgia | Leave a comment