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(pseudonym of VissarionGabashvili). Born 1750 in Tbilisi; died Jan. 24 (Feb. 4), 1791, in Iaşi. Georgian poet and political figure.

Besiki’s father was ZakhariiGabashvili, the royal confessor and a writer. He was raised at the court of the king of Kartli and Kakheti, Erekle II. He was chief secretary to the king of Imeretiia, Solomon I. In 1787, Besiki was sent to Russia as head of a diplomatic mission. As envoy he was attached to the staff of Field Marshal G. A. Potemkin in the Ukraine and Moldavia.

Besiki became famous as a lyric poet and author of elegant love songs: “The Stature of a Beauty,” “Garden of Melancholy,” “I Understood Your Accusations,” “Two Thrushes,” and others. The ode “Aspindza,” which was written in honor of the victory of the Georgian troops over the invading Turkish hordes in 1770 near the small town of Aspindza (southern Georgia), stands out among his patriotic odes and messages. Besiki also wrote satirical verses and epigrams. A fine master of verse and an innovator in the field of prosody, Besiki influenced Georgian poetry of the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. The novel Besiki (1942–47) by A. Beliashvili is devoted to the life and work of Besiki.


Thhswlebatha srwli kkrebwli. Tiflis, 1932.


Baramidze, A., Sh. Radiani, and B. Zhgenti. Istoriia gruzinskoi literatury. Tbilisi, 1958.
Antologiia gruzinskoi poezii. Moscow, 1958.
Baramidze, Al. Narkkvevebi kharthwli litterattwris isttoriidan, 2nd ed. Tbilisi, 1940.
Leonidze, G. Besikki. Tbilisi, 1953.
Kkekkelidze, Kk. Kharthwli litterattwris isttoria, 2nd ed. Tbilisi, 1958.
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