Dzhanashia, Simon

Dzhanashia, Simon Nikolaevich


Born Nov. 5 (18), 1900, in the village of Makvaneti, in the present-day Makharadze Raion, Georgian SSR; died Nov 15, 1947, in Tbilisi. Soviet historian, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (1941), academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1943). Became a member oftheCPSUin 1940.

Dzhanashia graduated in 1922 from the University of Tbilisi. He served from 1936 to 1941 as director of the Institute of Language, History, and Material Culture of the Georgian branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and in 1941 he became vice-president of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR and director of its Institute of History. He did research on the origins of the Georgian state and of the Georgian tribes, studying the genetic connections of the Georgian tribes with the peoples of the Caucasus and of the ancient East in The Origin of Social Classes and the State Among the Georgian Tribes (1932); he also studied the historical geography of Georgia. Using a diversity of sources, Dzhanashia confirmed the ethnic kinship of the Georgian tribes with the ancient peoples of Southwest Asia and with neighboring Caucasian peoples in TubalTabal, Tibaren, Iber (1937) and The Ancient National Tradition of the Primeval Dispersal of the Georgian Tribes in the Light of the History of the Near East (1940).

Dzhanashia made major contributions to the study of the origin and development of feudal relationships in Georgia, in such works as The Feudal Revolution in Georgia (1935) and Georgia on the Pathways of Early Feudalization (1937). He wrote studies on Georgian archaeology, and from 1940 to 1947 he headed the Mtskheta Archaeological Expedition, which yielded valuable material for the history of Georgia and the whole Caucasus.

Dzhanashia wrote on historical sources materials and on the Georgian, Svanetain, Abkhazian, Adygeian, and other languages. He was one of the writers and editors of the first textbook on Georgian history. Dzhanashia was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1942 and 1947 and received two Orders of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Shromebi [vols.] 1-3. Tbilisi, 1949-59.


Shanidze, A. G., N. A. Berdzenishvili, and G. S. Chitaia. “Pamiati akad. S. N. Dzhanashia.” Vestnik Akademii nauk, 1948, no. 12.