Armenian Communities in Georgia

Excerpt from the book of G.S. Abrahamyan “Brief Sketch from the History of the Armenian Communities”

It is difficult to answer definitely, when Armenian population started the resettlement to Georgia and when the first Armenian communities were founded in Georgia. Philologist A. Sarukhan finds that the Armenian communities had existed in Georgia even during the reign of the Artashesyan dynasty, i.e. in the 2nd -1st centuries BC (A. Sarukhan, “Georgia and Armenians”, Vienna, 1939, p. 17). Kartvelologist prof. Khakhanov finds, that the beginning of the Armenian migration should be considered the 5th century. (“Journal Asiatique”, 1898, p. 337-344).

We know nothing about the existence of the Armenian communities in Georgia during the reign of the Artashesyan dynasty. Where the philologist Sarukhan found this information - we do not know. We also have no evidence that the settlement of Armenians in Georgia began in the 5th century, as prof. Khakhanov mentions.

Our information about the foundation of the first small Armenian community in Georgia dates back to the end of the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th century. The 10th century Armenian historian Ukhtanes of Sebastia tells about the severance of Georgian and Armenian Churches in the beginning of the 7th century, and, recalling documents, testifies that a small Armenian community existed in Tsurtavi.

Generally before the 7th century, i.e. before the emergence of harmful and scholastic quarrels between the Armenian-Georgian clericals around theological issues, there was a close relationship between Armenian and Georgian communities, and as the Catholicos of Georgia Kyurion correctly noted in one of his letters: "There was unanimity between Armenians and Georgians" (Ukhtanes “History of Armenians”, ch. B, page 89).

One of the oldest Armenian communities in Georgia was in Tbilisi. Some experts, kartvelologists, mention that in Tbilisi, particularly in Tapkhat (which was one of the districts in Tbilisi) the oldest St.Gevorg Church was built in 80’s (according to the Old Armenian Calendar). In the following centuries the church was destroyed, and in 1251 famous Armenian merchant Umek sponsored the construction of the new Cathedral. Existence itself of the Armenian Church in Tbilisi in the 7th century proves the existence of the Armenian community united around it.

According to ancient sources, the first mass migration of the Armenian population to Georgia occurred in 703. Historian Ghevond, describing the tyranny of Arab invaders in Armenia and oppression of the Armenian people, erupted rebellion in 703, battle in Drashpet village of Vanand region, where the troops of the Caliphate defeated the Armenian-Byzantine forces, tells that after the battle, Prince Smbat Bagratuni of Tayk with the consent of the Byzantine Royal Court (then Georgia was ruled by the Byzantine Empire), moved with his family and followers to Poti. According to the data, these refugees did not stay long there and returned to Armenia.

The next major migration of Armenians to Georgia took place in 774, Historian Ghevond also reports about this fact. He says that in the specified year the Armenian patriots headed by Artavazd Mamikonian, rebelled against the Caliphate in Kumayri village of Shirak, they killed Arab tax collector, and not being able to fight against the organized and numerous Arab forces escaped, finding refuge in Georgia. Georgians hosted the Armenian refugees with rare courtesy, and even gave to Artavazd Mamikonian the right to rule. Later, in 775, when the Arab punitive troops, which were sent to Armenia, again defeated the Armenian patriots in Archesh, part of the Armenian forces again moved to Georgia, by the way, among warriors-immigrants was Ashot Bagratuni - provident and intelligent person, who succeeded to establish Klarjeti - an independent principality in Tao with the capital Artanush. Ashot Bagratuni began the Georgian royal Bagrationi dynasty, which had ruled from the beginning of the 9th until the 19th century.

Arab historian Tabari tells noteworthy information about the joint struggle of Armenians and Georgians against punitive troops of the Caliphate in Tbilisi. As is known, in 851-853, big uprising flared in Armenia and Georgia against the Caliphate. The rebels destroyed all Arab garrisons in Transcaucasia and expelled them from the country. To quell the uprising a large Arab army under the command of a bloodthirsty warlord Bugha was sent in Transcaucasia. Bugha, drowning in blood the scattered forces of the Armenians, in 853 wends his way to Georgia and encircles Tbilisi. According to historian Tabari we see, that among the defenders of Tbilisi were Khutins. "This city (Tbilisi) - he wrote - built King Anushirvan, and Isaac strengthened the city, he dug a huge trench around it, and inside the city put Khutins guard troops and other soldiers. Bugha promised to grant pardon to the residents of the city under the condition that they would lay down arms and go wherever they want. ” (Arab Chroniclers about Armenia. Collected and translated B. Halatyants, Vienna, 1919, p. 100). How to explain the presence of brave Khutins in Tbilisi in 853? Candidate of Philology Sciences V. Nalbandian tried to make two possible explanations, either Khutins after the suppression of the uprising in Taron, avoiding prosecution came to Tbilisi, or Tbilisi governor Sahak, knowing the courage of Khutins , invited them in order to make the city more secure (V.S. Nalbandian, Tbilisi in Armenian Chronicles, Yerevan, 1958, p. 63).

In any case, the above information of Arab historian shows that the brave sons of Armenian and Georgian people together fought against the enemy, and shed their blood to defend Tbilisi.

After the fall of the Armenian Bagratuni, and the Byzantine army captured the capital Ani, resettlement of Armenians in Georgia became massive. Some segments of the Armenian population preferred to live there, because Georgia was not under a foreign yoke yet. Armenian communities grow, particularly, in Dmanisi, Shamsholda and Tbilisi. Armenian patriots pin their hopes on Georgian Bagrationi dynasty, hoping to liberate Armenia with their help. A new political doctrine is put forward – the liberation of Armenia under the leadership of the Georgian Bagrationi ( A.Hovhannisyan, Episodes in the History of Armenian Liberation Thought, book I, Yerevan, 1957, page 141). The information, received from the 12th century Armenian historian Matthew of Edessa, shows that the Armenian scattered military units start to gather around the Georgian King David the Builder and take active part in the liberation of Transcaucasia from the Seljuks’ oppression. During the reign of the kings, who succeeded David the Builder, Armenian military units continued to exist in the Georgian army, and they side by side fought the common enemy. This fact explains the extremely friendly attitude of the Georgian Court to the Armenian immigrants. Matthew of Edessa, telling about an unusually amiable and friendly attitude of David the Builder to Armenian refugees, said that he had ordered to build a city especially for them.

"He, - writes the historian - appeared accepting and loving the people of Armenia ... he built the Armenian city in Georgia and founded many churches and monasteries there. And he named the city Gora (= Gori). And the Armenian people exulted over that "(Matthew of Edessa, page. 356).

In the 70’s of the 12th century so many Armenian refugees had gathered in Georgia, that it became necessary to establish the Armenian Diocese by selecting Tbilisi the center of the Head of the Diocese.

In the 12th century chronicles there is some preserved information about the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Tbilisi, His Eminence Bishop Barseg, who in 1179 took part in the National Ecclesiastical Assembly in Rumkale. He was an authoritative person and was mentioned as the seventh in the number of delegates from Georgian capital Tpkhis. (M. Chamchian “History of Armenia”, v. 3, p.132). In the Armenian chronicles there is also information about other Bishops of the Armenian Diocese in Tbilisi: Anania, Hovhannes et al.

During the reign of the Georgian King George III positive attitude towards Armenians, living in Georgia, was maintained. According to historian Matthew of Edessa, we know that King George III, responding to the Armenian request, in 1162 attacked Shaharmens and liberated the city of Ani from their domination. Then, writes the historian, King George III gave ransom 40,000 coins and freed captured residents of Ani. (Matthew of Edessa, page 427). In order to imagine, what kind of attitude the Georgian Royal Court showed towards the Armenians, especially to honor those, who had distinguished themselves in battle, it is sufficient to recall those fundamental rights that the Georgian Royal Court gave to Armenian Princes - brothers Zakhare and Ivane. During Queen Tamara's reign the first one held the high position of warlord-governor, and Ivane- the position of Atabeg. These two high-ranking Armenians who served the Georgian Royal Court made a great effort to liberate Eastern Armenia from the Seljuk rule. According to transferred information, historians tell that they managed to free Ani, Dvin, Vagharshapat, Kagzvan, Amberd, Kars, Garni and other regions and cities from foreign domination.

According to the chronicler of Queen Tamar- historian Basili, Zachare and Ivane were ... wise, brave, very experienced and faithful" (Basili, historian of Queen Tamar "Monuments of Rustaveli’s Epoch ", L., page 48).

One of the greatest victories of the Georgian-Armenian joint forces against the enemy, during the reign of Queen Tamara, was the victory over the Sultan of Rüm, Rukn ad-Din Süleymanshah II, in 1202 in the Battle of Basiani. The famous Armenian manuscript "Msho Charantir" ("Homilies of Mush") contains detailed information regarding the battle (G.K. Hovsepian, "Msho Charantir", Antelias, 1951, p. 712).

According to contemporary memoirist, it is clear, that the Sultan of Rüm with the giant army attacked Transcaucasia. The Georgian-Armenian army under the commanders Zakhare and Ivane opposed, surrounded and defeated the enemy, returning back with a huge trophy and captives. This victory was crucial for Transcaucasia. The enemies were finally convinced that their efforts to recapture Transcaucasia and approve their domination there were in vain.

One of the remarkable facts of the Armenian and Georgian people joint struggle against an external enemy was the incident with the Sultan of Ardabil, a brief history of which is as follows: Sultan of Ardabil in 1207 secretly attacked Ani, entered the city, destroying everything and taking the loot and captives, returned back. When Zakhare and Ivane heard about it, they immediately conducted the raid on Ardabil with Armenian-Georgian army, destroyed Sultan and returned the loot and captives.

Academician N. Marr, recalling the information of the Georgian historian, and returning to this incident, came to the following conclusion: "The above incident, told by the Georgian historian, is not the only one, which informs about solidarity in the common struggle of the Armenians and Georgians to the glory of both – the Armenian and Georgian people. During the reign of Queen Tamara, except for Zakhare and Ivane, there were many other Princes, who were known to Georgian history for their brilliant battles. In difficult days weapons protected their common interests. 150 years before the reign of Queen Tamara, Georgian troops sang songs about the military successes of Armenian general Vahram Pahlavuni and compared him to Demigod (N. Marr, Ani, L-M., 1934, p 40).

Resettlement of the Armenians to Georgia continued, after the Mongols captured Armenia and establishment there heavy taxes. The Armenian population, gathered in Georgia, once again continued to pin their hopes of freeing their motherland on Georgian Bagrationi Dynasty. It is common to see in Armenian chronicles that one or another Georgian king is mentioned not only as Georgian, but as Armenian king as well. For example, in one record, found in Avan, Georgian King Demetre (1270-1285) is mentioned as the king of "Georgia and Armenia"(K. Kafadarian, Bilingual cryptographic protocol of Avan, Yerevan, 1945, page 20). In a monumental manuscript, written in 1323 in Gladzor, Georgian King George is mentioned again as the "King of Georgia and Armenia" (Armenian St. Matenadaran, manuscript № 6289, page 283 a-b).

In one of the manuscripts of 1417 a memoirist, noting the death of the Georgian King Gregory, sadly tells that this loss was immensely sinister for the Armenian people as well. "Since he was the governor of our great nation, and now we lost him” (Armenian St. Matenadaran, manuscript № 8689, page 17-b). Tovma Metsopetsi , speaking about atrocities and ferocities committed by Shah Jahan in Georgia, at the same time notes that the representatives of Georgian nobility were unable to defend their homeland. On this occasion the historian describes the grief that Armenians endured after seeing the oppression of Georgia: “We had always set our hopes on Georgia, were proud and boasted in front of infidels, and now, after seeing their hopelessness and despair in front of infidels, we are stunned and astonished” (Tovma Metsopetsi, Historical of Timur Lenk, Paris, 1860, page 123).

Armenian community in Georgia not only gave good soldiers, but also created the well-known centers of Armenian manuscript art. Here valuable Armenian manuscripts were rewritten and painted, genuinely distinctive works were written, translations were done and noble efforts were made to save the Armenian Chronicles from extinction. For example, one faded manuscript which was once “in captivity” of Mugan Tatars is now the property of Matenadaran in Yerevan. The manuscript was brought by robbers to Tbilisi for sale. The Armenian community of the city bought the manuscript and presented it to the local Surb Karasnits Church. One of the prominent representatives of the Armenian Chronicles - Vanakan, on a clean sheet of the manuscript described in detail the story of the manuscript "capture" and "liberation", and for the authenticity of written added: "I ,Vanakan, wrote this with my own hands in Tpkhis" (G.K. Hovsepian , Memorable Notes, page 903).

The famous work of Vardan AreveltsiHistory of the Armenians” had the same fate. In 1265 the chronicler Vardan, returning from Hulagu Khan, was robbed by the bandits. The robbers seized the manuscript of "History", which was also brought to Tbilisi; the local Armenians bought it and returned the work to the author. After receiving back the manuscript, Vardan considered it necessary to write an epilogue and tell the history about the capture of the manuscript (Vardan Mets, History of the World, M., 1861, page 231).

In the 15th -17th centuries the situation of Armenian immigrants considerably degraded, it was when Georgia was divided into small political principalities and fell under Persian-Turkish bloody yoke. The Armenian population of Georgia fully shared the tragic fate of the Georgian people under the contemptible yoke of foreign oppressors.

Starting from the 15th century, raging disaster in Georgia were diverse: massacre,
robbery, captivity, unbearably heavy taxes, child-gathering , etc. Contemporary historians testify that in these centuries Eastern markets were crowded with captives from Transcaucasia, who were sold everywhere for a song.

The Armenians, as honest well-wishers, in difficult and dark days of the Georgian people, having a common destiny with them, provided compassion and sympathized with the Georgian captives, tried to free them from captivity by giving ransom. Tovma Metsopetsi tells that, when in 1416 Uzun Hasan came back via Armenia with a large number of captives from Georgia, Armenians spared no expense to liberate them. Armenian women "gave their jewelry, men - cattle." Seeing the efforts and diligence of the Armenians in release of captives, the oppressors intentionally added ransom price: "... And seeing the voluntary consent of the Armenians the price for each prisoner was raised to 10, or even 20 thousand gold and silver coins" (Tovma Metsopetsi, page 78).

A considerable number of captives, brought from Georgia, were the Armenians who lived in Georgia. In 1440, during the invasion of Shah Jahan in Georgia, 12,000 people from the local Armenian population were killed or captured. In one manuscript, written in the same year, we read: “In 1440 Shah Jahan Mirza entered Georgia, smashed everything, ruined churches, killed and captured more than 12,000 Armenians.” (G. Priest Agayan, Archive of Armenian History, v. 10, page 18). Arakel of Tabriz testifies that many Armenians were among refugees from Georgia, who together with Georgians settled in the swamps of Fahrapat near Isfahan (Arakel of Tabriz, History of Armenia, pp. 132-133).

In 1795 during the invasions of Agha Mohammad Khan in Georgia Armenians shared the tragic fate of Georgian people. In Tbilisi and its surroundings many Armenians were killed and captured. According to some testimonies, during this invasion great Armenian poet Sayat-Nova was killed (Sayat-Nova, ed. Corresponding Member, Academician M. A. Hasratian, Yerevan, 1963, page XXXVI ).

Must be noted that Armenians and Georgians, these two people with a common destiny, never accepted the Persian-Turkish yoke, and always heroically fought for their liberation. Remarkable is the fact that the liberation plans of these two nations, their aspirations and wanderings almost always chose the same path. It is known that in 1679, before setting off to Europe to ask Christian countries for assistance, Hakob Jugaetsi travels to Georgia, negotiates with Georgian liberation parties , coordinates his plans with them, and only after that departs to Constantinople, and from there - to Europe. But, as we know, these negotiations failed (Leo, History of Armenia, v III, Yerevan, 1946, page 347). In the beginning of the 18th century, when Ori was conduction negotiations with Royal Court in Moscow, the question of the liberation of Armenia developed along with the question of Georgian liberation: how Russian troops would enter Georgia and Armenia, how many warring forces locals can provide, etc. (G.A. Ezov, Relations of Peter the Great with the Armenian People, page 75 and other pages). It is known, that in 1722 King Vakhtang VI and his son Shakhnavaz, at the request of Syunik residents to organize the liberation movement in Syunik, sent David Bek with his military comrades from Mtskheta to Syunik, whose exploits are written in golden letters in the history of the Armenian people.

In 1722, when Peter the Great began his famous Persian campaign and came to Derbent, under the preliminary arrangement, Armenian and Georgian troops were supposed to meet them in Shemakha. One of the historians of that time, Yesai Hasan-Jalalian, describes that Armenian and Georgian troops were filled with delight and inspiration (G.A. Ezov, Relations of Peter the Great with the Armenian People, page 336). And so great was their disappointment to learn that Peter the Great had left Derbent and returned back (G.A. Ezov, Relations of Peter the Great with the Armenian People, page 337).

Due to unfavorable conditions King Vakhtang VI lost his throne, and Eastern Armenia suffered unspeakable oppression, first because of the Turks, and then - the Persians. Finally, in the 60s’ of the 18th century Joseph Emin, who came to Georgia, had only one dream - to create in Georgia a big and well equipped army of Armenians and Georgians, and with its help to liberate his homeland. (A.R. Hovhannisyan “Joseph Emin”, Yerevan, 1945) During the reign of Heraclius II Georgian and Armenian joint efforts of liberation continued.

One of the most outstanding representatives of the Armenian liberation movement Shahamir Shahamiryan, who had close ties with the King Heraclius II, every possible way tried to convince the Georgian King to take the honorable mission of liberation of Eastern Armenia. On 15 October 1787 Shahamiryan wrote a letter to Heraclius II, where he advised not only to liberate Armenia but, taking advantage of the ruined state of the Persian government, to overthrow it and to head the new government. Shahamiryan thought that Heraclius II had the right to act that way. According to Shahamiryan, after takeover it would be easier to reign, if only to give freedom to the people and show regular tolerance. With regard to Western Armenia, if Heraclius after coming to power revives slavery and creates law and order in the country, "They will obey the sweetness of your laws and your freedom" (Matenadaran, Armenia, Manuscript 2949, № 278 a), Western Armenians voluntarily will be under his patronage. In what places had been located Armenian communities in Georgia and approximately how many people had lived there?

Unfortunately, the historical records do not provide rich and specific information about this fact. Besides, in the middle ages, at different times, the number of the population and places of residence constantly changed.

One of the largest Armenian communities in Georgia was in Tbilisi. The 13th century traveler Marco Polo in his notesThe Travels of Marco Polo”, describing Tbilisi, reports this significant information of its population: "In this country (i.e., in Georgia A.A.) there is a wonderful city Tbilisi, surrounded by suburbs and numerous fortresses. Residents are Christians - Armenians and Georgians, Sarakins and a small Jewish population "( The Travels of Marco Polo, translation of I. Minaev, Saint Petersburg, 1873, page 30).As can be seen from these records, the Armenians are referred to as one of the main inhabitants of the city.

In one of the manuscripts of Matenadaran in Armenia one chronicler mentions eight local parish priests that are listed by their names, but, of course, there could have been other Armenian priests in Tbilisi as well, who were not mentioned in the manuscript. This reference provides an opportunity to calculate the number of population of the local Armenian community. If we assume that every parish priest was obliged to guide 150-200 families, then eight priests should have guided from 1400 to 1600 families; if in each family, on average, lived 5 people, than in Tbilisi must have lived from 7 to 8 thousand Armenians.

In the 18th century Joseph Pitton de Tournefort tells about 20 thousand citizens of Tbilisi, from which 12 thousand are Armenians (M. Polietkov and G. Natadze, Contemporaries abut Old Tbilisi, 1929, page 30).

Another huge part of the Armenian population was located in Gori. In the 17th century the Armenian population in Gori was so large that H. Etchmiadzin found it necessary to establish a new Diocese in Georgia, with the residence of the Head of the Diocese in Uplistsikhe. In 1660 the Catholicos Hakop in his official letter to the Armenian community of the Diocese wrote: “About Blessed condition of Surb Nshan in Uplistsikhe and to the Armenian priests of the Diocese, headmen and people, in general” (Priest G.Aganyan (“Taraz” 1919, № 1-12, page 44)). The large part of the Armenian population also lived in Poti. Already in the 15th century one of the European merchants Ambrosio Contarini in 1473-1477, during his journey near Poti, saw 9 Armenian villages close to the Georgian city (Hakobyan, Travel, Yerevan, 1932, page 244). The majority of Armenian population also lived in Shamshulda. From one historical source, used by Academician A.Hovhannisyan, it is clear that in the 15th century up to 20 thousand Armenians resided in Shamshulda. (A.Hovhannisyan, Episodes in the History of Armenian Liberation Thought, book II, Yerevan, page 327). In his official letters of 1763-1767 the Catholicos Simeon mentions Tbilisi, Gori, Kakheti, Kisegh and Telavi – as the Armenian communities (Priest G.Aganyan ("Taraz" 1919, page 164)). He compiled one statistical data listing, which shows that Armenians lived in Georgia at the following locations: Tbilisi, Gori, Surami, Krtskhula, Akhalgori, Sayrista, Ananot, Dusheti, Aynudzor, Saarsatyan, Kakheti, Telavi and Kisekh.

Speaking about administrative communities in Georgia, it should be noted that they had an enormous role in the interaction of the Armenian and Georgian cultures. Armenian chronicler or craftsmen many years living in Georgia shared with the locals all the good experience that he had brought from his motherland Armenia, and vice versa, he took from the local people everything that was close to his heart.

The 5th -7th centuries are considered the first stage of the Armenian-Georgian cultural relations, and the field of activity - Kvemo Kartli and Armenian-Georgian communities in Palestine. It should be noted that, these two nations living side by side in a foreign land, as fellow neighbors and friends, had a great interaction with each other in the cultural sphere. During this period the interaction of the Armenian-Georgian chronicles, mainly in the field of religious and canonical literature, is noticeable. The period of the Armenian-Georgian culture rapprochement is the II stage of writing chronicles, and is commonly mentioned as the Tao-Klarjeti Period, i.e. the regions Tao and Klarjeti were under Georgian domination, and taking advantage of the favorable political situation, once extinguished famous centers of manuscript art were restored, such as Ishkan, Shatbert, Mijnadzor , which played a huge role in the creation of high quality Armenian and Georgian manuscripts. In this period some chapters and excerpts from the works of Armenian historians had been translated from Armenian to Georgian: Agathangelos, the founder of the Armenian historiography Moses of Chorene, Faustus of Byzantium and others. Some chapters from the works of Epiphanius of Salamis, Grigor Nyusatsi, as well as some behavioral works in separate collection had been translated from Georgian to Armenian (L. Melikset –Bek, From the history of Armenian- Georgian Literary Relations, “Etchmiadzin”, 1957, № 7-8, page 39).

Armenian benefactor Grigor Bakuryan played a big part in the development of the 11th century Georgian chronicles. He was Armenian Prince from Tayk, governor of the city of Ani, later served at the Byzantine Court, distinguished as a good soldier and politician, received an estate in the Bulgarian city of Buchkovo, and in his estate founded a brotherhood of Georgian and Armenian priests. Here since the 11th-12th centuries the center of Georgian culture flourished, where such an outstanding representative of science, the eminent philosopher Ioane Petritsi was engaged in creative activities (N.Marr, Arkaun, Saint Petersburg, 1905, pages 19-21).

The most brilliant stage of the Armenian-Georgian cultural convergence is in particular time span of the 11th to 18th centuries, when a powerful and united state was created in Georgia, and Georgian feudal culture was at a very high level of development. At this time the center of manuscript art in Pghndzahank (today Akhtala) had the most prominent role. Many valuable historical and philosophical works were translated here from Georgian into Armenian. “Kartlis Tskhovreba” manuscript, which is a valuable historical source about the peoples of Transcaucasia, occupies the place of honor among the translations from Georgian into Armenian in the 12th -13th centuries. It contains a lot of information about the history of the Georgian people and other neighboring nations. “Kartlis Tskhovreba” consists of several Georgian historical works, where the author of the most ancient part is the 11th century chronicler Leonti Mroveli. The ancient manuscript "Kartlis Tskhovreba" is located in Matenadaran, Armenia. It was rewritten in the second part of the 13th century, published twice (in Venice in 1884, edited by A.V. Tairian, and the second time published by Professor I. Abuladze, 1953).

In the period of intensified statehood in Georgia Armenian poets and writers made a modest contribution to the Georgian literature. One of them Sargis Tmogvetsi was famous for his poem “Diralgev” (Sargis I Tmogvetsi), he also was very popular as "connoisseur, philosopher and orator." According to chronicles, he was a relative of Zakharyans, who were representatives of the Georgian Royal Court.

One of the Georgian writers of Armenian origin, who composed on the Georgian land, was Peshand Pashvi Bervadze. He is considered the first author in the Georgian literature, who showed the Georgian reality in his poems, and thus laid the foundation for realism.

In the 18th century a man of great merit and one of the outstanding authors in Georgia was Bektabek- Head of Chancery of the Georgian King George, who rewrote a number of Georgian manuscripts. We owe him for the preservation of the best oldest manuscript of Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, rewritten by him in 1680. From all surviving manuscripts, this manuscript is considered the best. In the field of Georgian chronicles and linguistics Parsadan Georgidzhanidze is one of the most outstanding writers of Armenian origin in the 18th century. He is the author of several historical and philological works, as well as of the big work related to the "Georgian history." He translated from Persian into Georgian the Mohammedan Law “Jami'-i 'Abbasi ”. Georgidzhanidze composed Georgian-Arabic-Persian comprehensive dictionary.

Prominent figure of the 18th century Georgian chronicles Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani in his "Dictionary", along with other sources, used glossary and vocabulary of Jeremiah placed in the appendix to the Armenian Bible, published in 1666 in Amsterdam.

The convergence of the Armenian and Georgian people gets wide significance in the first quarter of the 18th century, in particular. During the reign of Vakhtang VI and the Catholicos Anton, in Georgia conducted huge work to translate the most outstanding works of the Armenian chronicles. For this purpose a number of intelligent Armenian writers and philologists were invited, who under direct supervision of the Catholicos and Royal Court started high volume translation work. Among the Armenian translators the most famous were Zakhariah Matinyan (Madinashvili), highly experienced philosopher Pilipos Kaitmazashvili, Petor, Samvel, etc. "Storogutyun" ("Predicativity") of Aristotle, "Treasures" of Kyuregh Alexandratsi, History of the Council of Ephesus, Assyrian-Byzantine Code of Law, "Code of Law" of Mkhitar Gosh etc. were translated from Armenian into Georgian through the efforts of these translators (see I. Abuladze, New Monuments of Armenian and Georgian Literary Relations in the Past. "Banber Matenadarani", 1956, № 3, pp. 101-114).

Many textbooks, such as: "Chartasanutyun" (Rhetoric), "Kerakanutyun" (Grammar), Mkhitar Sebastatsi "Tramabanutyun" (Logics) , excerpts from the dictionary "Haykazyan", from Chamchyan "History of Genocide" , Inchichyan "Geography" etc.- were translated from Armenian into Georgian.

Nagash Ovnatan, who composed his famous song “Vrastani Gyozalner” (“Beauties of Georgia”) in Tbilisi, was related to the Royal Court of Vakhtang VI. And finally, the brilliant poet of Transcaucasia Sayat-Nova lived in Georgia, he wrote his songs in Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani. His brilliant works embody close, indestructible, centuries-old friendship between the three peoples of Transcaucasia.

Chamchi Melkon, who sang both in Armenian and Georgian, was a prominent Armenian poet on the Georgian land after Sayat-Nova.

There were specified only a few names, mainly associated with the Armenian community in Georgia, to show that Armenian immigrants, who found refuge in Georgia, were not inert and passive representatives of the social environment, but also provided an effective, active participation in the political, social and cultural life, and made their modest contribution in this area (observations and comments of kartvelologist Paruyr Muradyan were taken into account).

“Armenian nation is a river, waters of which irrigate not only the native land and fields, but also emit powerful waves in the general ocean of civilization "(N.Adonts, Artavan Arshakuni Historical Research, page 319).

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