Georgian King remembered in old English media

  • Georgian King Erekle (Heraclius) II remembered in old English media. Photo by the Ministry of Culture., 10 Sep 2014 - 16:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

One-of-a-kind pieces of old English publications about Georgia in the period of King Erekle (Heraclius) II is on display at the Palace of Art.

The old pieces of writing, which originated from the Public Advertiser, Daily Post, Evening Post and The Morning Chronic, all mentioned Georgian King Erekle II as a figure of hope for the East, and Georgia was pointed out as the most powerful country that sat on the crossroads of East and West.

Doctor of Historical Sciences Giorgi Kalandia found print editions of the English publications – in which they called the Georgian King not Erekle II but Heraclius II – in the national Library of Ireland.

As the penultimate King of the united kingdoms of Kakheti and Kartli in eastern Georgia, King Erekle II’s reign was regarded as the swan song of the Georgian monarchy.

Aided by his personal abilities and unrest in the Persian Empire, King Erekle II established himself as a de-facto independent ruler and attempted to modernise the government, economics and military.

Overwhelmed by the internal and external menaces to Georgia’s precarious independence and its temporary hegemony in eastern Transcaucasia, he placed his kingdom under formal Russian protection in 1783. But this move did not prevent Georgia from being devastated by a Persian invasion in 1795.

Last month about 500 pieces of historical English articles that mentioned King Erekle II or Georgia, written anytime from 1649 to 1798, were given to Georgia by the National Library of Ireland.

More than 500 printed copies comprising important data of Georgia’s historiography, in those periodical press described some of the heroic struggles of King Erekle II. Those old printed copies particularly emphasized the authority of the King in the then-known world. The collection of documents also includes references of XVIII - XIX Century Georgia, Kalandia said.

Work to explore more Georgian news in the old European press is continuing. Kalandia said there were plans to translate copies of these English articles into Georgian and publish them as a book.

Meanwhile, Georgia was also planning to continue working with the National Library of Ireland to find more visual and other written works about Georgia.