Arsen, Arsen Odzelashvili

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Arsen, Arsen Odzelashvili


Year of birth unknown; died 1843. Participant in the peasant liberation movement in Georgia in the first half of the 19th century and hero of the Georgian folk epic, Song of Arsen.

Arsen took money and property from the rich and distributed it to the poor, which won him glory and the love of the oppressed population. The folk epic of Arsen, which arose in the 1840’s, was published in 1872 and has since gone through about 50 editions. The image of this folk hero was embodied in the works of I. Chavchavadze, A. Tsereteli, A. Kazbegi, and M. Dzhavakhishvili; it has also had an impact on Soviet drama and the cinema in S. Shanshiashvili’s play Arsen, M. Chiaureli’s screenplay Arsen, and other works.


Pesn’ ob Arsene. Moscow, 1941.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.