Dzhavakhishvih, Ivan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dzhavakhishvih, Ivan Aleksandrovich


Born Apr. 11 (23), 1876, in Tbilisi; died there Nov. 18,1940. Soviet historian, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939).

Dzhavakhishvili graduated in 1899 from the department of eastern languages of St. Petersburg University and became an assistant professor there in the subdepartment of Armeno-Georgian philology in 1902. In 1918 he became professor and dean of the department of philology, and from 1919 to 1926 he was rector of the University of Tbilisi. Dzhavakhishvili’s social views were formed under the influence of the Russian revolutionary movement. In 1905 he wrote The Political and Social Movement in Georgia in the 19th Century (published in 1906). From 1919 to 1925 he served as chairman of the Georgian Historical-Ethnographic Society, and in 1937 he was appointed director of the Shota Rustaveli Museum. From 1937 to 1940 he headed the Mtskheta Archaeological Expedition. Dzhavakhishvili’s major works on the ancient and medieval history of Georgia were published in the Georgian language including History of the Georgian People (vols. 1-4, 1908-49), History of Georgian Law (vols. 1-2, 1928-29), An Economic History of Georgia (vols. 1-2, 1930-34), and Basic Questions in the History of Georgian Music (1938). The history of the Georgian people is considered in conjunction with the history of neighboring peoples.

Dzhavakhishvili devoted considerable attention to the development of source criticism and auxiliary historical disciplines: Tasks, Sources, and Methods in History Then and Now (vols. 1-4, 1916-26); Ancient Georgian Historical Literature (1916); Georgian Numismatics and Metrology (1925); Georgian Paleography (1926); and Georgian Diplomacy (1926). He located and published a large number of valuable sources of Georgian history and assisted in the preparation of the first textbook on the history of Georgia. Dzhavakhishvili studied general problems of the ethno-genesis of the peoples of the Caucasus, in Introduction to the History of the Georgian People (1937). The Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR has been named after Dzhavakhishvili. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1947 and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


K’art’veli mrist’istoria, books 1-4. Tiflis, 1913-24.
K’art’uli saeart’lis istoria, books 1-2. Kutaisi-Tiflis, 1919-29.


Kikvidze, A. “Akademik I. A. Dzhavakhishvili.” Istorik-marksist, 1941, no. 1.
Gvritishvili, D. Ivane Javaxishvili: Monograp’ia. Tbilisi, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.