Archive for the ‘Georgia’ Tag

Gregory the Illuminator and saints-for-idols replacement   Leave a comment

Here are a few lines from today’s reading in the Armenian synaxarion (text and FT in Bayan, Aug 25, PO 5: 433). The title of the reading is:

Տօն է ամենասրբուհւոց Աստուածածնին զոր կարգեաց սուրբն Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչ։

  • ամենասրբուհւ all-holy, very holy
  • Աստուածածնին Mother of God
  • կարգեաց aor 3sg կարգեմ, -եցի to arrange, fix, establish

The Feast of the All-Holy Mother of God, which Saint Gregory the Illuminator Established

This paragraph explains how the famous Armenian saint replaced idol-worship in Caucasia with feast-days for the saints. See similarly Agat’angełos, §§ 48ff., and on Anahit and Aramazd, see Thomson’s remarks in the introduction to his edition and translation of Agat’angełos, pp. xxxviii-xlii. (For an earlier report on Anahit among the Armenians, see Strabo 11.14.16.) Anahit is in other places identified with the Greek Artemis, but here with Aphrodite.

Gregory the Illuminator, of course, was hardly the only idol-basher in the early centuries of Christianity. For Theodosius as one, for example, see Movsēs Xorenac’i, History of the Armenians, § 3.33 (Thomson, ET, p. 286). For a general reflection, see lines 867-884 of Grigor Magistros’ poem recently edited and translated by Abraham Terian: Magnalia Dei: Biblical History in Epic Verse by Grigor Magistros, Hebrew University Armenian Studies 14 (Leuven: Peeters, 2002; ET pp. 61-62, comm. pp. 98-99, Arm. 161-162).

Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչն եւ մեծ հայրապետն ամենայն Հայոց Մեծաց կործանեաց զամենայն պատկերս կռոցն եւ եբարձ զդիւապաշտութիւնն յաշխարհէս Հայոց եւ Վրաց եւ Աղուանից,

  • հայրապետ patriarch
  • կործանեաց aor 3sg կործանեմ, -եցի to overthrow, destroy
  • պատկեր, -աց statue, idol, figure, icon, image, painting (< Parthian, Middle Persian patkar; cf. Aramaic paṯkar)
  • կուռք, կռոց (pl. tantum) idol, image, statue
  • եբարձ aor 3sg բառնամ, բարձի to lift up, raise, take away, destroy (NB the ե- augment, added as usual to aorist forms that would otherwise be monosyllabic)
  • դիւապաշտութիւն idolatry (demon-/devil-worship; cf. դեւ demon, devil [Middle Persian dēw] + պաշտեմ to worship, serve)
  • Վիրք Georgians
  • Աղուանք (Caucasian) Albanians

եւ փոխանակ շինեաց եկեղեցիս յանուն սուրբ աստուածածնին Մարիամու եւ սուրբ Կարապետին Յովհաննու։

  • փոխանակ substitute, alternative, exchange (cf. փոխեմ below)
  • շինեաց aor 3sg շինեմ, -եցի to found, build, construct
  • կարապետ, -ի forerunner, precursor, guide (for կար- here cf. the Iranian root in Middle Persian kārawān “caravan” and kārdāg “traveler”)

Եւ զտօնս պղծութեանն՝ փոխեաց ի տօնս սրբութեան, զի մինչ ի կռապաշտութիւն էր աշխարհս, տօնէին այսօր Անահիտ տիկնոջն եւ կոչէին զնա ծնունդ այրոյն Արամազդայ որ է Ափրոդիտէս ըստ յունականին։

  • պղծութիւն contamination, stain, impurity, pollution
  • փոխեաց aor 3sg փոխեմ, -եցի to change, transform, displace, transfer
  • կռապաշտութիւն idolatry, idol-worship
  • տօնէին impf 3pl տօնեմ, -եցի to feast, celebrate
  • այսօր this day (also today)
  • տիկին queen, empress, princess (decl. like կին; < *տի- + կին, as տէր < *տի- + այր)
  • կոչէին impf 3pl կոչեմ, -եցի to call, name
  • ծնունդ, ծննդեան, -դոց child, offspring (also birth, origin)
  • այրոյն (presumably an aberrant form of the gen.sg of այր, the usual classical form being առն)
  • յունական Greek

English translation:

Saint Gregory, the Illuminator and great Patriarch of all Armenia, overthrew all the statues of the idols and removed demon-worship from the land of the Armenians, Georgians, and Albanians, and as a substitute he founded churches in the name of the holy Mother of God, Mary, and the holy forerunner, John [the Baptist], and he changed the feasts of impurity to feasts of holiness. [The feast is today] because while the land was in idol-worship, on this day [Aug 25] they would celebrate Lady Anahit and they would call her the offspring of her husband Aramazd; she was Aphrodite among the Greeks.

(Thanks to Ed Mathews for discussing այրոյն with me.)

Queen Ketevan   Leave a comment

Today is the commemoration of Queen K’et’evan (1565-1624, დედოფალი ქეთევან), whose martyrdom is related by contemporary and near contemporary sources, Georgian and otherwise. The details of the events of her martyrdom are available in several other places (e.g. here, here, here, and here; see a fine, modern icon here), and I shall not recount them all here.  The story can be found in English, translated from a report of some Augustinian missionaries, at the end of Lang’s Live of the Georgian Saints (171-172), but there is also a poem on the queen by her son T’eimuraz, a play in German by Andreas Gryphius (1614-1664; Catharina von Georgien oder Bewähre Standhaftigkeit, 1657), a narrative in Georgian found in manuscript Tbilisi H-1370 — I don’t know whether there is an edition yet, but there apparently was not one at the time Tarchnishvili’s work was published in 1955 — and there are two shorter versions of the story from synaxarion manuscripts, both published in Abuladze and Gabidzashvili, ძველი ქართული აგიოგრაფიული ლიტერატურის ძეგლები, წიგნი IV სვინაქსარული რედაქციები (XI-XVIII სს.) (Monuments of Old Georgian Hagiographic Literature, vol. 4, Synaxarion Redactions, [11th-18th centuries]), (Tbilisi, 1968), 429-433. While a reading across all of these versions of Ketevan’s martyrdom would, no doubt, be an interesting exercise, here we turn our attention only to one short passage, the end of the shorter synaxarion reading just mentioned (432-433). This text was edited on the basis of four manuscripts (A-425, A-220, A-515, H-970) ranging in date from 1718-1742. (The longer story has a broader base of manuscripts.) Following a look at an icon and a list of a few more relevant resources I give the excerpted text below from Abuladze’s edition, an English translation, and a list of some of the vocabulary in the passage, which is especially replete with verbs, mostly with 3p agents (i.e. the torturers).

One icon of Queen K’et’evan was mentioned above, and there are many others. This one reads in asomtavruli (except the last letter of the first word, which is mxedruli), with the abbreviations resolved, Ⴜ(ႫႨႣ)Ⴀ Ⴃ(Ⴄ)Ⴃ(Ⴍ)Ⴔ(Ⴀ)ႪႨ Ⴕ(Ⴄ)Ⴇ(Ⴄ)Ⴅ(Ⴀ)Ⴌ Ⴜ(Ⴀ)Ⴋ(Ⴄ)Ⴁ(ႭჃ)ႪႨ (in mxedruli, წმიდა დედოფალი ქეთევან წამებული), “Holy Queen K’et’evan, martyr(ed).”

Bibliography
Avalishvili, Z. “Teimuraz I and His Poem ‘The Martyrdom of Queen Ketevan’.” Georgica 3 (1937): 17-42. [non vidi!]

Tamarati, M. L’église géorgienne des origines jusqu’à nos jours. Rome, 1910. Pp. 482-485. [Despite the age of the book, I can find no copy online.]

Tarchnišvili, M. Geschichte der kirchlichen georgischen Literatur. Studi e testi 185. Vatican City, 1955. P. 418.

Georgian text

და დაასხნეს ჴელნი ბილწთა მათ, განაშიშულეს, განურთხნეს ჴელნი, განბასრეს და მოიხუნეს განჴურვებულნი მარწუხნი, დააჴლიჩნეს (v.l. დახლიჩნეს) ძუძუნი და მერმე მკლავნი დაგლიჯნეს და ნაკუერცხალი აღგზნებული დააყარეს სისხლ-მწთოლვარესა ჴორცსა. და მერმე მოიღეს განჴურვებული სიავი და დახურეს თავსა მისსა [და] შეჰვედრა სული თჳსი ღმერთსა. მოვიდა ნათელი ბრწყინვალე და მოეფინა გუამსა ზედა წმიდისასა.

ხოლო იყვნეს მას ქალაქსა შინა მღდელნი ფრანგთანი ფურტუგეზელნი, მიიპარეს გუამი და წარიღეს ფურტუკს. და მერმე მოიღეს მარჯუენა ჴელი და თხემი თავისა და მიართუეს ძესა მისსა მეფესა თეიმურაზს ფრანგთა მათ.

Some vocabulary (in order of occurrence):

დასხმა to throw, lay, set, prepare
ბილწი impure, unclean, vile
განშიშეულბა to expose, bare
განრთხმა to stretch
განბასრება to deride
მოხუმა to take, bring
განჴურვებული burning hot
მარწუხი tongs, pincers
დაჴლეჩნა / დახლეჩა (not in Sarjveladze-Fähnrich, but cf. Rayfield et al., 611) to split, carve
ძუძუი breast
მკლავი arm
დაგლეჯა to break, tear, shred
ნაკუერცხალი ember(s)
[აღგზნება to ignite, light; for the participle Sarjveladze-Fähnrich 45 has only a form without -ნ-]
დაყრა to throw down, away; take away; leave
სისხლ-მწთოლვარეჲ dripping blood
ჴორცი flesh, body
სიავი kettle, bowl, basin
დახურვა to cover, close
შევედრება to commit, commend, entrust
მოფენა to spread out
მღდელი priest
ფრანგი Frank (i.e. Latin Christian)
მიპარვა to steal, take away
გუამი body
წარღება to take with, take away, loot
მარჯუენაჲ right, right hand
თხემი skull, cranium
მირთუმა to present, give

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Kneifzange_HH-Harburg.jpg

Pincers

English translation

This translation is merely a preliminary attempt, and corrections and suggestions by readers of Georgian are welcome!

Those vile people held her hands, exposed her, stretched her hands, and laughed at her. They took burning-hot pincers and split her breasts. They then tore at her arms and threw burning embers on her blood-dripping body. Then they brought a burning-hot bowl and covered her head [with it]. She commended her soul to God and a bright light came and spread over the saint’s body.

Now some Latin priests, Portuguese, were present in the city, and they stole her body and took it with them to Portugal. Later the Latins took the right hand and the top of her head [i.e. the cranium] and presented them to her son, King T’eimuraz.

The Dictionary of Georgian National Biography   1 comment

I recently stumbled upon the Dictionary of Georgian National Biography online, where interested people can find short biographical summaries about famous Georgians (or people from elsewhere who came to be associated with Georgia) from antiquity — even Medea, as the daughter of the king of Colchis, has an entry — to the present. It’s hardly in-depth, but on occasions where only basic information about this or that individual from Georgia is needed, it’s worth a look. Here are direct links to a few entries that might interest readers of this blog:

Michael the Great on the Conversion of the Georgians   2 comments

Below is an English translation of Michael the Great‘s (d. 1199) short section on the conversion of the Iberians/Georgians. In the main he follows the narrative as in Rufinus‘ continuation of EusebiusEcclesiastical History and in Socrates, but not exactly. Neither Michael nor his historiographic predecessors give the name Nino to the female missionary-hero of the story, but in hagiographic tradition she is the one who brings Christianity to Georgia and performs the miracles related in the story.

I am in the course of preparing a study on this passage with commentary and full comparison of the known versions of the story, but for now, here is a bare and rough English translation. (Here are both the Syriac text and the translation in PDF.) As always, comments and questions are welcome.

Also during the time of Constantine, Georgia (Iberia) believed in Christ thus.
A certain pious woman was taken captive by [the people of] outer Georgia, which is near the Euxenian sea (they are far away from the Iberians of Spain). It happened that the son of their kingling got sick, and his mother cared for him with all manner of their customs, but to no avail. She then asked that captive woman for his healing, since she had seen her holy life, and the woman set him down on her hair blanket and said, “May Christ, who healed many, heal this child!” And immediately he got better.
After this, the king’s wife herself got sick, and she took refuge with the captive woman and came to her, and thus at that hour she was healed. When it became known, she taught all of them belief in the Christ of God. The king sent her gifts of honor, and she did not accept, but said, “This is a gift of honor: that the king should profess and trust in Christ,” but he did not accept. Some days thereafter he went out to hunt, and clouds and storm were upon them, and they were close to dying, and there was no avail. He took refuge with the god of the captive woman, together with his word; the cloud vanished and it was calm weather.
So when he returned he gathered all the people and commanded that they confess in Christ and that a temple be built. They began with the pattern that the holy woman had shown them, and when a great marble column was stuck by the influence of demons and they were unable to erect it, the woman prayed and it hung in the air by itself, and as they were looking at it with wonder and praise, it stood up on the pedestal where they had wished to erect it. (This miracle is known to this day.) Then the Georgians sent to Constantine the Emperor and took a bishop, priest(s), and clergy. Thus they believed and were baptized.

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