Old Georgian manuscripts published in English

Georgian old manuscript with Queen Tamar's signature. Photo by Garibahsvili's official Facebook.
Agenda.ge, 11 Mar 2015 - 17:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

English-speaking people who are interested in learning more about Georgia’s history now have the possibility to see some translate ancient Georgian manuscripts, which are among the oldest in the world.

The unique materials have been translated into English and from today, the English version of the Georgian Manuscript album is available for viewing at the National Centre of Manuscripts.

The manuscripts presented in the album reflect the historic origin and development of the book as a cultural-historical marvel.

The album represents four Georgian handwriting manuscripts published during the 5-19th centuries.

Those books are: 

  • A copy of the Adishi Four Gospels – an important early medieval Gospel Book from Georgia; 
  • The Vardzia Gospel;
  • Samples of old Georgian manuscripts preserved at Mount Sinai; 
  • Samples of old Georgian manuscripts preserved at Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.

"You know we have a very little amount of Georgian literature about the country’s history and culture [that has been] translated into foreign languages. It has its objective and perhaps more subjective factors. For some reasons we, Georgians, don’t like to publish our literature in foreign languages. It might be because we are lazy,” said Buba Kudava, director of the National Centre of Manuscripts.

"Georgian manuscript culture was no exception. Before, we did not have an English-language edition to provide general information for foreigners interested in our ancient culture,” Kudava said.

Moreover, photos of Georgian collections of foreign materials that the National Centre of Manuscripts are authorised to use are also included in the album.

Meanwhile the Georgian version of the album was published in 2012. Both Georgian and English albums of manuscripts were able to be printed thanks to financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.