Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic


(Sakartvelos Sabchota Sotsialisturi Respublika). Georgia (Sakartvelo).

The Georgian SSR was formed on Feb. 25, 1921. From Mar. 12. 1922, through Dec. 5. 1936, it was part of the Transcaucasian Federation, and on Dec. 5, 1936, it became part of the USSR. It is located in the central and western part of Transcaucasia. It borders on the RSFSR (Krasnodar Krai, the Karachai-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast, the Kabarda-Balkar ASSR. the Severnaia Osetiia ASSR. the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. and the Dagestan ASSR) to the north, the Azerbaijan SSR to the east and southeast, and the Armenian SSR and Turkey to the south. To the west it borders on the Black Sea. Area, 69,700 sq km; population. 4,734,000 (as of Jan. 1, 1971; estimate). Its capital is Tbilisi. The Georgian SSR includes the Abkhazian ASSR, the Adzhar ASSR, and the Iuzhnaia Osetiia Autonomous Oblast.

There are 67 raions, 51 cities, and 57 urban-type settlements in the republic.

The Georgian SSR is a socialist state of workers and peasants, a union soviet socialist republic of the USSR. The constitution now in effect was adopted by the Extraordinary Eighth All-Georgian Congress of Soviets on Feb. 13, 1937. The highest body of state power is the unicameral Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR, elected for a four-year term on the basis of one deputy for every 11,000 inhabitants. Between sessions of the Supreme Soviet, the highest body of state power is the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR. The Supreme Soviet forms the government of the republic—the Council of Ministers—and legislates for the Georgian SSR. The local bodies of state power in the raions, cities, settlements, and villages are the respective soviets of working people’s deputies, which are elected by the population for two-year terms. The Georgian SSR is represented by 32 deputies in the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (the Abkhazian ASSR, Adzhar ASSR, and Iuzhnaia Osetiia Autonomous Oblast, which are part of the Georgian SSR, have independent representation in the Soviet of Nationalities: 11 deputies each for the ASSR’s and five deputies for the autonomous oblast).

The highest judicial body in Georgia is the Supreme Court of the republic, which is elected by the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR for a five-year term. It functions in the form of two judicial divisions (one for civil and one for criminal cases) and a plenum. In addition, there is the Presidium of the Supreme Court. The procurator of the Georgian SSR is appointed by the procurator general of the USSR for a five-year term.

The territory of the Georgian SSR is characterized by extreme diversity of the natural setting. Georgia’s association with a mobile alpine belt of the earth’s crust brought about an abrupt succession of intensive neotectonic uplifts and sinks over a small area. It was these movements that created the contrasting terrain of the country and, in the final analysis, the diversity of its landscape, with a multitude of climatic types, hydrological regimes, soil covers, vegetation, and fauna. Georgia’s boundary position—bordering on the semi-humid Mediterranean, the arid, undrained Aral-Caspian depression, and the continental Southwest Asian highlands—has also played a fundamental role in forming its diverse natural environment.

Georgia’s Black Sea coastline (308 km) is weakly indented. The coast describes a smooth arc, devoid of significant gulfs and peninsulas.

Terrain. The territory of Georgia combines high-mountain, middle-altitude, hilly, low-lying plains, highlands, and plateaulike terrain. The northern part of the republic is occupied by the Greater Caucasus (in Georgian. Kavkasioni). primarily its southern slope but also part of its northern slope. The highest point is Mount Shkhara (5,068 m). The system of the Greater Caucasus consists of the Glavnyi, or Vodorazdel’nyi, Range and a number of accompanying ranges: within Georgia, the notable ranges are the Gagra, Bzyb’, Kodori, Svaneti, Egrisi, Lechkhumi, Racha, Kharuli, Lomisi, Gudi, Kartli, and Kakheti on the southern slope and the Khokhi, Shavan, Kidegani, Khevsureti, and Pirikitskii on the northern slope. Mountain-erosional, mountain-glacial, and nival relief forms created by the glaciers of the Greater Caucasus—glacial troughs, moraines, and others—are clearly expressed in the northern high-altitude belt (and also on the highest mountain massifs of the Lesser Caucasus and the South Georgian Highland—the Georgian part of the Transcaucasian Highland). Karst is prevalent in the west of the Georgian section of the Greater Caucasus; young volcanic structures predominate in the east.

South of the Greater Caucasus, an intermontane depression stretches out in a sublatitudinal direction; it is subdivided into the Colchis and Iveriia (western part of the Kura) basins and the Dziruli massif (Verkhniaia Imereti plateau), which separates them. A considerable portion of both basins is occupied by alluvial plains—the Colchis lowlands and the Vnutrenniaia Kartli, Nizhniaia Kartli, and Ala-zani (Kakhetia) plains. The Iori highland is situated between the last two plains. Karst is widespread in the northern hilly strip of Colchis (“low” karst, as distinct from the “high” karst of the Greater Caucasus). Still further south, middle-altitude ranges of the Georgian portion of the Lesser Caucasus (the Meskheta, Shavsheti, Trialeti, and Loksi) extend latitudinally; they reach elevations of 2,850 m, and their terrain retains morphological traces of ancient leveling in the form of stepped surfaces. The extreme southern part of the republic is occupied by the South Georgian Volcanic Highland, in whose morphology lava plateaus, volcanic chains, and canyon-like river gulches play a determining role. The highest point of the highland is Mount Didi-Abuli, 3,301 m.


Geological structure and mineral resources. The territory of Georgia belongs to the alpine folded region and is divided into a number of large structural units. The anticlinorium of the Glavnyi, or Vodorazdel’nyi, Range is located in the north, in the axial zone of the Greater Caucasus. The range is composed of Precambrian and Paleozoic metamorphic rocks that are breached by granitoid and ultrabasic intrusions. To the east, ancient rock is buried under slates of the Lower and Middle Jurassic periods. Folded series of the Glavnyi Range are overthrust on the fold system of the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus, in which four zones can be distinguished: the Kazbek-Lagodekhi (Jurassic slate series), Mestiia-Tianeti (flysch series of the Upper Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene periods), Chkhalta-Laila (Silurian-Triassic series of weakly metamorphic terrigenous rocks), and Gagra-Dzhava (por-phyritic strata of the Bayeux Stage, carbonaceous rocks of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). Each of these zones is overthrust on the succeeding one from north to south, and the flysch zone toward the east tectonically overlaps the two southern zones. The internal structure of the zones is characterized by asymmetrical linear folding and overthrusts of a southerly direction. The Anthropogenic period was characterized by an outburst of surface volcanism (the Keli plateau and the Kazbek region). The Georgian block—a central massif, essentially of Hercynian consolidation—is situated to the south of the structures of the Greater Caucasus (from the Colchis depression to Vneshniaia Kakhetia). The basement of the block, which is composed of metamorphic rocks and granitoids of the Precambrian-Paleozoic (Dziruli massif), crops out in the Verkniaia Imereti plateau, sinking to the west and east. The sedimentary cover consists of red Liassic limestones, porphyritic strata of the Bayeux Stage, carboniferous deposits of the Bath Stage, Upper Jurassic motley deposits, Cretaceous-Eocene carbonaceous deposits, and molasse—lower, clay molasse of the Oligocene-Lower Miocene (Maikop series) and upper, coarsely fragmented molasse (sandstones and conglomerates) of the Middle Miocene-Lower Pliocene. In the Colchis lowland, Kartli, and Vneshniaia Kakhetia (Gare-Kakhetia), Anthropogenic, primarily continental deposits are developed (in Colchis there are marine deposits as well). Deposits are gathered into sloping folds; in Vneshniaia Kakhetia, folding intensifies and overthrusts play a notable role.

Farther south, the Adzhar-Trialeti folded system, which is composed of thick Paleocene volcanogenic and carbonaceous deposits of the Cretaceous and terrigenous and volcanogenic deposits, stretches latitudinally. The folding is linear; the general structure is asymmetrical and fan-shaped. Overthrusts are directed to the north. In the Borzhomi-Bakuriani region, Anthropogenic surface vulcanism appears. A second intermontane massif of Hercynian consolidation, the Artvin-Bolnisi block, runs still further south (from the Dzhavakheti highland to the Marneuli depression). The Dzhavakheti highland is made up of Pliocene and Pleistocene lavas (andesite-dacites and doleritic basalts); centers of eruption are confined to seismically active meridional fractures. East of the highland, outcroppings of the basement (the Khrami and Loksi massifs, similar to the Dziruli massif) and the thin terrigenous Liassic and thick Cretaceous volcanogenic and calcareous strata covering them are exposed. To the east, molasse is well developed because of the general sinking. Folding is discontinuous and sloping.

The main minerals in the Georgian block are manganic ores (the Chiatura deposit from the Oligocene), coal (Tkibuli and Tkvarcheli), and oil (Colchis, Vneshniaia Kakhetia), which is associated with Mesozoic, Paleocene, and Neocene deposits. Complex and antimony-arsenic deposits associated with Jurassic and Neocene intrusions are known on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus. In the south there is a large deposit of copper ores (Madneuli) that is subordinate to a Cretaceous volcanogenic formation.

Building materials (marble, slates, tuffs, raw materials for cement, and so on) are encountered almost everywhere. There are numerous mineral and thermal springs.


Climate. On the whole, the climate of Georgia is transitional between subtropical and temperate. The Colchis depression, ranging in elevation from sea level to 500–600 m, is characterized by a humid subtropical climate, with features that are unique for the USSR as a whole: the warmest winter (the temperature of the coldest month, January, is 3°-6° C), the smallest annual temperature range (17°-21°), and a large quantity of atmospheric precipitation (1,200–2,800 mm), with a spring minimum and a relatively even distribution throughout the other seasons. Frosts below -5° C occur only in occasional winters; they are produced by intrusions of arctic air. Strong, sometimes long-lasting east winds of the foehn type are characteristic. The climate of the Iveriia depression is distinguished from that of Colchis by colder winters (the average January temperature is between -2° and 1.5° C), a greater annual temperature range (24°-27°), and a smaller quantity (300–800 mm) and more uneven distribution of atmospheric precipitation through the seasons (spring maximum). The average temperature of the warmest month, August, is 23°-26° C. The average annual temperature in low portions of the intermontane depression is 12°-15° C. Altitud-inal zonality (the temperate, alpine, and nival belts), complicated by decreasing humidity from west to east and from the periphery of the mountains to their interior hollows, is characteristic of the mountainous portions of Georgia—the Greater and Lesser Caucasus and the South Georgian Highland. On the slopes facing the Black Sea, precipitation reaches 3,000–4,000 mm, and in interior regions of the eastern portions of the mountainous areas, it decreases to 600–800 mm. The lowest absolute temperatures in closed sinks— in the Shaori basin of the Racha Range—are -35° to -40° C. The climate of the South Georgian Highland is characterized by comparative continentality and aridity, little snow, and very cold winters.

Glaciation. The contemporary glaciation of Georgia is concentrated in the axial strip of the Greater Caucasus and is primarily of the mountain-valley type. There are 605 glaciers, with a total area of 520 sq km. The largest glaciers are located in Svaneti (Lekziri, Tsaneri, Tviberi, Chalaati, and Adishi) and Racha (Zopkhito, Kirtisho, and others). The Lekziri and Chalaati glaciers descend lowest of all (to 1,900 m).

Rivers and lakes. The river system is unevenly developed. It is most dense in western Georgia and least dense on the Iori plateau; this is connected with the flow ratio distribution (from 80–150 l/sec/km2 in the Western Caucasus to 3l on the Iori plateau and in the southeastern Nizhnekartli plain).

The rivers of Georgia belong to two basins—the Black Sea and the Caspian. Almost the entire flow of the Caspian basin is carried by the Kura River; its important tributaries are the Bol’shaia Likhavi, Ksani, Aragvi, Iori, and Alazani rivers (the last two flow into the Minchegaur Reservoir) on the left and the Paravani, Dzama, Tana, Tedzami, Algeti, and Khrami on the right. The rivers of the Black Sea basin (western Georgia) do not form a single system: they discharge independently into the sea. The main rivers are the Rioni, which flows in its lower section along the axis of the Colchis basin, and its tributaries, the Tskhenistskali, Tekhuri, and Kvirila. Also notable are the Inguri, Kodori, Adzharistskali, Bzyb’, Khobi, and Galidzga. The lower course of the Chorokh River, which originates in Turkey, flows through Georgia for 26 km.

Most of the rivers that have their origins in the mountains have their maximum flow (flood stage) in the spring, when the snows melt. Rivers that are fed primarily by glaciers (the upper courses and tributaries of the Kodori, Inguri, and Rioni) carry the most water in the summer, at which time they have a sharply defined diurnal variation in flow, with a maximum in the evening hours and a minimum before dawn. Autumn-winter high water and frequent floods resulting from rains characterize the rivers of the Adzhar coast and the northern slopes of the Meskheta Range. The mountain rivers, which have rapid currents, rarely freeze over; the rivers of the South Georgian Highland, which are distinguished by exposed longitudinal sections (steep in the lower course and gentle in the upper course), constitute exceptions. Regions composed of limestones or lavas are distinguished by highly developed systems of underground drainage, which is expressed in the abundance of giant springs, or Vaucluses (the Chernaia, Tsachkhuri, and Rechkhi rivers in western Georgia and the Nardevani, Tashbashi, and Armutlo in southern Georgia), and the redistribution and natural regulation of the river flow. Georgia is rich in hydroelectric power sources. The total potential power of the rivers is 18 million kilowatts (kW), with potential resources of 159 billion kW-hrs.

There are few lakes in Georgia, but in certain areas (Dzhavakheti, the Colchis depression, the Keli plateau, and the ancient glacial zone of Abkhazia) there are groups of lakes of tectonic, volcanic, marine, fluvial, glacial, landslide, karst, and other origin. The largest in terms of area is Lake Paravani (37 sq km); next come Lakes Kartsakhi (26.6 sq km) and Paleostomi (17.3 sq km). The dammed-up Lakes Ritsa (116 m) and Amtkel (72–122 m because of sharp variations in level) are the deepest; Lake Kelistba is 75 m deep. Fishing is developed on lakes Tabatskuri and Paleostomi.

Soils. The soils of Georgia are varied, motley to the point of being mosaic—a function of the diversity of soil-forming factors. Krasnozem soils, close to tropical laterites (the only ones in the USSR), are prevalent in the hilly zone of western Georgia, particularly in Adzharia and Guria; they are basically relicts of the process of soil formation of the geological past. Yellow earths are also prevalent there. Chernozems and chestnut, cinnamonic and gray-cinnamonic soils are native to the eastern portion of the intermontane depression. In addition, chernozems are developed on plateaulike sections of the South Georgian highland. In the mountains, brown forest soils are formed under forests; these give way to humus-calcareous soils in limestone regions and mountain meadow soils under alpine vegetation. Bog and subtropical podzolic soils form large tracts in the Colchis lowland.

Flora. The flora of Georgia includes over 4,500 species of flowering plants—more than the flora of the entire European part of the USSR. The floristic wealth of Georgia, like that of the Caucasus as a whole, is associated with the diversity of physical geographic conditions and the relative stability of the climate in the past, which favored the preservation of ancient elements of flora. Georgia is abundant in relic and endemic plants (Dioscorea, Pontic azalea, Caucasian rhododendron, boxtree, cherry laurel, zelkova, and persimmon).

The vegetation cover is diverse. The forestation of Georgia is 36.7 percent. Forest vegetation formerly covered the Colchis lowland and a large part of the Iveriia depression. The lowland (plain) forests of Colchis and the Alazani valley have been displaced almost everywhere by cultivated plantations. Mountain forests in the lower zone are represented by a mixture of broad-leaved varieties (oak, hornbeam, chestnut, and others); beech dominates at higher altitudes. In the upper zone of the mountains of western Georgia, the western portions of Iuzhnaia Osetiia, and the Trialeti range, dark coniferous forests of fir and spruce are prevalent, and in high-altitude valleys of Tusheti and northern Khevsureti, there are pines. In the Greater Caucasus, Lesser Caucasus, and volcanic ranges of southern Georgia, alpine meadow extends from the upper borders of forest to between 2,800 m (the Western Caucasus) and 3,500 m. Steppes, which have been largely displaced by cultivated plantations, cover a vast area in the Iveriia depression and on the lava plateaus of the South Georgian Highland.

Fauna. The fauna of Georgia is a combination of Mediterranean and Central Asian elements. The alpine zone of the Greater Caucasus is inhabited by the urus, a mountain goat native to the Caucasus, as well as by the Caucasian “mountain turkey” (the snow pheasant; in Georgian, shurtkhi), the chamois (which came from the mountains of Europe), and the wild goat. The European brown bear, red deer, roe deer, and lynx live in the forests. The Caspain snow pheasant is encountered in the high mountains of the Lesser Caucasus and the South Georgian Highland.

Preserves. Fifteen preserves have been established for the protection of flora and fauna (1971), including the Lagodekhi Preserve for the protection of broad-leaved forests and subalpine and alpine meadows and fauna (the Dagestani tur, chamois, deer, roe deer, boar, bear, and others), the Bor-zhomi Preserve for the protection of Coniferous and Broad-leaved forests and fauna (the Caucasian deer, roe deer, bear, European wildcat, and Persian squirrel), and the Ritsa Preserve—Lake Ritsa, which is surrounded by dark coniferous forests; yews and boxtrees are encountered.

Natural regions. The high-mountain region of the Greater Caucasus has mountain-forest, mountain-meadow, and nival zones. The Western and Central Caucasus are distinguished from the Eastern Caucasus by a moister climate and a lowering of the nival zone, the unbroken distribution of glaciers, and the presence of dark coniferous forests. Recent volcanic structures are characteristic of the Central and Eastern Caucasus. Pine forests are indigenous to the northern slopes of the Eastern Caucasus. The Colchis lowland, an area of moist, subtropical hilly plains. The Iveriia hilly-plains forest-steppe region consists of the Vnutrenniaia Kartli, Nizhniaia Kartli, and Alazani intermontane plains and the Iori plateau. The climate, which is dry in comparison with western Georgia, is responsible for the virtually treeless forest-steppe and steppe nature of the landscape. Forests have survived along certain rivers (tugai [floodplain] forests along the Iori, Alazani, Kura, and other rivers) and on the slopes of the highest ranges (the Sagurami and others). The middle-altitude mountainous region of the Lesser Caucasus, with mountain forest and intermittent mountain-meadow zones, consists of regions of abundant moisture with extensively developed dark coniferous forests and elements of the flora of Colchis (the Shavsheti and Meskheta ranges, the Adzhar hollow, and the western portion of the northern slope of the Trialeti Range) and less moist regions (the Akhaltsikhi hollow, the remainder of the Trialeti Range, the Sredniaia Khrami mountain plexus, and the Lokskii Range). The highland steppe and meadow region of southern Georgia consists of areas with alpine landscapes (the Samsari, Dzhavakheti, and Erusheti ranges) and highland-steppe areas (the Akhal-kalaki, Gomareti, and Dmanisi plateaus).


Gvozdetskii, N. A. Fizicheskaia geografiia Kavkaza, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1954–58.
Prirodnye resursy Gruzinskoi SSR, vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1958–65.
Kavkaz. Moscow, 1966. (Prirodnye usloviia i estestvennye resursy SSSR.)

The main population of Georgia (66.8 percent) is made up of Georgians (3.1 million, according to the 1970 census). Considerable portions of the population are made up of Armenians (452,000), Russians (397,000), Azerbaijanis (218,000), Ossets (150,000), Greeks (89,000), Abkhazis (79,000), and Ukrainians (50,000). Jews, Kurds, Tatars, Byelorussians, Assyrians, and other peoples live in Georgia.

During the Soviet period, the population of Georgia has grown more rapidly than the average for the USSR (the population growth of Georgia is indicated in Table 1).

Table 1. Population
 Percentage of total
1913 (year-end estimate)...............2,601,000666,0001,935,0002674
1926(census of December 17)...............2,677,000594,0002,083,0002278
1939 (census of January 17)...............3,540,0001,066,0002,474,0003070
1959(census of January 15)...............4,044,0001,713,0002,331,0004258
1970 (census of January 15)...............4,686,0002,240,0002,446,0004852

In terms of average population density (67.9 persons per sq km in 1971), Georgia is fourth in the USSR, after Moldavia, Armenia, and the Ukraine. More than 80 percent of the population is concentrated in the lowlying part of the republic (about one-third of the territory of Georgia), where there are more than 160 persons per sq km. About 70 percent of the population lives on land with elevations up to 500 m. Women constitute 53 percent of the population, men 47 percent (1970 census).

Economic and cultural development have resulted in a growing economically active population. In 1928 there were 183,000 industrial and office workers, and in 1970 there were 1.49 million, 385,000 of whom were working in industry. Industry, construction, transportation, and communications account for 34 percent of those employed in Georgia’s economy; agriculture and forestry account for 38 percent. The branches of nonmaterial production employ 24 percent. Women constitute 43 percent of the total number of industrial and office workers; in industry, 42 percent; in education and culture, 68 percent, and in public health, physical education, and social service, 74 percent.

In conjunction with the industrialization of the republic, the relative proportion of the urban population has been growing. The major cities (over 100,000 inhabitants, 1971) are Tbilisi (907,000), Kutaisi (166,000), Rustavi (102,000), Sukhumi (104,000), and Batumi (104,000). Under Soviet rule, new cities have arisen, including Rustavi, Tkvarcheli, Chia-tura, Zestafoni, Tkibuli, Vale, and Kaspi.


Primitive communal system in the territory of Georgia. Formation of class society. Human inhabitation of the territory of Georgia can be traced to the earliest stage of development of human society. Remains of an anthropoid ape, Udab-nopithecus, found in the little town of Udabno (eastern Georgia) in 1939 give grounds to conjecture that Transcaucasia was one of the sources for the formation of primitive man. Monuments of the material culture of the Stone Age, beginning with the early Paleolithic period—dozens of caves and stands of the Acheulean and Mousterian periods—have been uncovered in Georgia (in Abkhazia, Imereti, Iuzhnaia Osetiia, Nizhniaia Kartli, and Kakhetia). Late Paleolithic monuments have been revealed in western Georgia (Devi-skhvreli, Sakazhia, Mgvimevi, Sagvardzhile, Samer-tskhleklide, and Svantasavane); Mesolithic monuments have been uncovered in caves of Gvardzhilasklde, Sareki, Kvachara, Iashtkhva, Dzhampala, and Edzani, and camps have also been discovered on the open sites of Entseri and Zurtaketi.

Neolithic monuments have been discovered primarily in western Georgia (Kistrik, Odishi, Tetramitsa, Khutsubani, Sagvardzhile, and Anaseuli); in eastern Georgia, they have been found at Tsopi. Preceramic neoliths, neoliths with ceramics, and local variants have been distinguished in the culture of the late Neolithic period. Monuments of the Stone Age of Georgia make it possible to trace the sequence in the development of the production of implements made of stone and bone, as well as the changes in the mode of life of human beings in this epoch: the transition from the nomadic and seminomadic to the settled way of life and from gathering and hunting to agriculture and livestock raising, and the development of handicrafts—pottery, weaving, and other forms of domestic production.

A developed matriarchal tribal society took shape on the territory of Georgia in the Neolithic era. During the fifth and fourth millennia B.C., a highly developed Aeneolithic culture spread over Georgia, as well as in other areas of the Caucasus and Near East. The settlements of this period (Shulaveris-gora, Arukhlo, Imiris-gora, Tsopi, and Didube) were intricate complexes of structures, crude round houses. Farming reached a high level of development.

The transition to the Bronze Age took place at the turn of the third millennium B.C. For the most part, settlements of the early Bronze Age (third millennium B.C.) have been uncovered in eastern Georgia (Khizanaant-gora, Kvatskhelebi, and Digomi). The dolmen culture in western Georgia (Abkhazia) dates to the early and middle Bronze Age. Metallurgy, along with farming and livestock raising, became a leading occupation. The transition to the patriarchal tribal system was completed.

The decay of the tribal system intensified in the middle Bronze Age (the end of the third and first half of the second millennia B.C.); large tribal alliances formed. Unique specimens of weapons, ceramics, and jewelry—evidence of a high level of socioeconomic and cultural development—have been discovered in the rich burial mounds of tribal leaders in Trialeti, as well as in Savtavro, Iuzhnaia Osetiia (Kvasatali and Nuli), and Racha (Brili).

In the third millennium B.C., the Kartveli ethnic group formed on the territory of Georgia, and its main language, which subsequently divided into separate languages (Svani, Mingrelo-Chan, and Karti), took shape. Bronze metallurgy, distinguished by diversity of forms and a high level of productive and artistic craftsmanship, reached its apogee in the late Bronze Age (second half of the second millennium and beginning of the first millennium B.C.). With increased intertribal exchange, clearly defined regions with homogeneous material cultures took shape—the western Georgian culture, which has much in common with the Koban culture, and the eastern Georgian culture.

Iron metallurgy originated at the end of the second millennium B.C. and was widely disseminated during the ninth through seventh centuries B.C. Firm tribal alliances were established, and property and social inequality deepened. Frequent wars and the capture of prisoners and booty also fostered the disintegration of the primitive communal system and the birth of class relations. Fortifications for the defense and shelter of the population and its property (livestock) were erected.

The first early class state formations of Georgia took shape at the end of the second and beginning of the first millennia B.C. in the southwestern areas (Diauhi and Colchis). In the eighth century B.C., Transcaucasia and the countries of the Near East were invaded from the north by the Cimmerians and later by the Scythians, which accelerated the downfall of the states of Urartu and Assyria. In Southwest Asia, the kingdom of Media, and then Achaemenid Persia, which also extended its political influence to Transcaucasia, gained strength. A western Georgian early class state—the Colchian Kingdom, which was the successor to ancient Colchis— began to form in the sixth century B.C. The formation of the Colchian Kingdom was preceded by deepening economic and social differentiation of the population of Georgia, increasingly active foreign trade, and the formation of handicraft and farming settlements and cities. In the sixth century B.C., Greek trading stations and colonies (Phasis and Dioscurias), in whose political and economic life the local population also played a significant role, were founded on the eastern Black Sea coast. The minting of silver coins—kolkhidki, whose area of dissemination embraced all of western Georgia—began in Colchis in the sixth century.

The Colchians began losing political influence over neighboring tribes in the late fifth and early fourth centuries B.C., and the kingdom of Colchis was limited to the valley of the Rioni (Phasis) River. The Iberian (Kartli) Kingdom, which emerged in approximately the fourth century B.C. (Mtskheta was its capital), was an eastern Georgian early class state formation. It subjugated the adjacent regions of western Georgia (especially to the south) and a part of Caucasian Albania.

The socioeconomic system of Georgia in the third to first centuries B.C. was characterized by diverse structures. Vestiges of the primitive communal system survived (especially in mountainous areas); communal farmers made up a large part of the population. Free members of the commune constituted the basic military force; other members were partly dependent on the royal family, the tribal aristocracy, and priests. Slave labor was also employed, primarily on large construction projects, in trade, on royal farms and farms belonging to temples, and in the homes of the aristocracy. Georgia maintained political and cultural and economic ties with Armenia and the Hellenic states of the Seleucids and with the kingdom of Pontus. During the reign of Mithridates VI of Eupator, Colchis was subjugated by the kingdom of Pontus.

In the first century B.C., Rome undertook to subjugate Georgia. As the Iberian Kingdom gained strength in eastern Georgia in the second century A.D. and the kingdom of Lazica (Egrisi) grew stronger in Colchis in the third and fourth centuries, Rome’s influence declined. Monuments of the highly developed Georgian culture of the classical period have been revealed by archaeological excavations—great fortified, temple, and palace structures (Mtskheta and Vani) and rich tombs containing unique artistic handicraft objects, many of which were produced locally. Epigraphic monuments testify to the early dissemination of written languages (Aramaic, Greek, and later the Georgian language itself).

Origin and development of feudal relations (second through 18th centuries). Feudal relations originated in Georgia during the second through fourth centuries A.D.; in the sixth century they became dominant. Christianity, which became the state religion, spread in Georgia during the third and fourth centuries. The assault on Kartli by Sassanid Iran gained force beginning in the fourth century; the population of Kartli staunchly resisted the enemy, especially during the reign of Vakhtang I Gorgasal (second half of the fifth century). Large-scale construction projects were carried out in Kartli under Vakhtang I; the city of Tbilisi became a prominent center, and under Vakhtang’s son Dachi (early sixth century) it became the capital of Kartli. In 523, the Iranians, relying on the support of the local feudal aristocracy, abolished the royal regime in Kartli. A ruler (marzpan) residing in Tbilisi was placed at the head of the country. By the treaty of 562 between Byzantium and Iran, concluded as a result of a 20-year war, Lazica fell under Byzantine rule. In the early seventh century, Byzantine influence also became established in Kartli. Between the mid-seventh and ninth centuries, a considerable portion of Georgia was seized by the Arabs; Byzantine influence survived only in a part of western Georgia. The common struggle of the Georgians, Albanians, and Armenians, aided by the internal weakening of the caliphate (late ninth and early tenth centuries), put an end to Arab domination. Later, Georgia freed itself from dependence on Byzantium.

The process of feudalization deepened in Georgia during the eighth to tenth centuries: the feudal aristocracy seized communal lands and enslaved the peasants. Major feudal principalities arose in Georgia in the late eighth and early ninth centuries—Kakhetia, Ereti, Tao-Klardzheti, and the Abkhazian principality. Prince Leon II of Abkhazia united all of western Georgia in the single Egrisi-Abkhazian kingdom, which had its capital at Kutaisi. The subsequent struggle among the various principalities concluded in the second half of the tenth century and the early 11th century with the unification of the Georgian lands into a single feudal state, headed by King Bagrat III (975–1014) of the Bagrationi dynasty.

The 11th and 12th centuries were the period of feudal Georgia’s greatest political power and the full bloom of its economy and culture. In the first quarter of the 12th century, under King David the Builder (1089–1125), Georgia successfully repelled the onslaught of the Seljukids and liberated a substantial portion of Transcaucasia—Shirvan and northern Armenia—which became part of the Georgian state. Under the reigns of Georgi III (1156–84) and Tamara (1184–1213), the influence of Georgia spread to the northern Caucasus and eastern Transcaucasia, Iranian Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the southwestern Black Sea coast (the Empire of Trebizond). Georgia was one of the strongest states in the Near East. Relations between the Georgians and the Slavs were sporadic in the tenth and 11th centuries, but closer cultural-economic and political relations were established between Georgia and Kievan Rus’ as early as the 12th century: painters from Georgia took part in the mosaic decoration of the main church of the Kievo-Pecherskaia Laura (monastery) at the end of the 11th century; in the mid-12th century, Prince Izia-slav Mstislavich married a Georgian royal princess; and in 1185, Iurii, the son of Prince Andrei Bogoliubskii of Vladimir-Suzdal’, married the Georgian queen Tamara.

By the 12th century, feudal relations had reached a high level of development in Georgia: enslavement of the bulk of the producers was completed, and political power, which was based on a complex state apparatus, had been centralized. The country’s political power was based on its highly developed agriculture (the use of improved cultivating implements, such as the heavy plow, that were adapted to local conditions; the development of an irrigation system) and flourishing urban economy (handicrafts and trade). Feudal culture—philosophy, historiography, philology, literature, art, metal coinage, architecture and monumental painting, miniatures, and ceramics—had reached a high level. The immortal work The Man in the Panther’s Skin by Shota Rustaveli dates to this period. There were Georgian cultural and educational centers both within Georgia (the Gelat and Ikalto academies) and outside it—on Mount Athos (Greece), Shavi Mta (Syria), Palestine (from the fifth century A.D.), and Bulgaria (the Petritsov monastery).

In the second quarter of the 13th century, Georgia was subjugated by the Mongol Tatars, who inflicted tremendous damage on its political unity and economy. The attacks by Timur (Tamerlane) in the second half of the 14th century devastated the country even more. Under grave external and internal conditions, the struggle between the royal power and the great feudal lords resulted in the disintegration of Georgia into independent kingdoms in the late 15th century—the Kartli, Kakhetian, and Imeretian kingdomsand the Samtskhe-Saatabago Principality (in southern Georgia). By the 16th century, the independent principalities of Mingrelia and Guria had, in effect, separated themselves within the Imeretian Kingdom and, in the early 17th century, Abkhazia emerged. The disintegration of Georgia was aided by the development of the system of satavados (dominions)-semiindependent feudal holdings headed by strong princes (didebuli tavadi), who achieved immunity by concentrating administrative and judicial power in their own hands. In the 16th through 18th centuries, Georgia was the arena for the struggle between Iran and Turkey over hegemony in Transcaucasia. The campaigns of the forces of Shah Abbas I into Kartli and Kakhetia in the first quarter of the 17th century were particularly ruinous: he strove to exterminate the Georgian population altogether (in Kakhetia alone, 100,000 people perished; 200,000 were driven into Iran), turn Georgia into a khanate, and populate it with nomads. The heroic struggle of the Georgian people prevented the implementation of these designs. In 1625, a great uprising against the Iranian yoke erupted under the leadership of G. Saakadze. The people of Kakhetia rose up in 1659. To the tremendous harm of Georgia, the Turks took Samtskhe-Saatabago away from Adzharia and Lazica in the 16th and 17th centuries and carried out forced Turkization; the Turks sold Georgians into slavery on a massive scale. The progressive forces of Georgia, fighting for the liberation and rebirth of the country, became active in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Under Vakhtang VI (1703–24) there was extensive construction, and the irrigation system was restored. The central power strove to put the state administrative and feudal systems in order; legislative acts were promulgated.

Georgia’s ties with Russia, which had been broken for the period of the Mongol Tatar yoke, were renewed in the 15th century, and during the 16th to 18th centuries they became regular. The rulers of Georgia repeatedly addressed requests for military aid to the Russian government; the question of common action against Turkey and Iran was also posed. The Georgian colony in Moscow, which played an important role in the Russo-Georgian rapprochement, was established in the late 17th century. In the first quarter of the 18th century, after Peter I’s Persian campaign and in the context of Turkish and Iranian domination, Vakhtang VI and many of Georgia’s political and cultural figures found refuge in Russia.

The correlation of forces in Transcaucasia began to change radically in the second half of the 18th century. The Kartli Kakhetian state, which had amalgamated under King Erekle II, strengthened itself considerably. Erekle II reduced the princes to obedience, concerned himself with the rehabilitation and development of the economy and with trade, fought against the predatory raids of the Dagestani feudal lords, and settled uninhabited lands. The Transcaucasian khanates acknowledged themselves to be tributaries of Erekle II. He was victorious over the sovereign of Tavriz, Azat Khan, and over the Dagestani feudal lords. Favorable conditions for the country’s socioeconomic development were created. Privately owned estate landholding grew in the second half of the 18th century. Landlords’ and peasants’ farms using hired labor appeared. Some agricultural produce entered the market. Urban life also experienced a renaissance; the largest cities were Tbilisi (up to 25,000 residents), Gori, Kutaisi, Signakhi, and Telavi. There were also a number of “little cities” and small trading towns. Certain branches of handicraft production (particularly textiles) were subordinated to merchant capital. Isolated manufactories appeared, and later individual large enterprises of this type emerged: some belonged to the king of Georgia or to members of the royal family and were leased to big mokalak merchants (townspeople), and others belonged to the mokalaks. The largest manufactory enterprises were the Alaverdi copper mines and the Akhtal copper and silver mines. In the second half of the 18th century, royal power increased considerably in the Imeretian Kingdom. Solomon I (1752–84) subjugated recalcitrant feudal lords. The enemy was driven from the country as a result of the repeated defeats inflicted on the Turks by Georgian forces.

During the 17th and 18th centuries Georgian culture was reborn, and book publishing began. Enlightenment became one of the leading currents in social thought.

The strengthening of Russo-Georgian relations in the second half of the 18th century led to the conclusion of a treaty of friendship in Georgievsk in 1783. The treaty, signed by Russia and the Kartli-Kakhetian Kingdom, established a Russian protectorate over eastern Georgia. The conclusion of the treaty complicated Georgia’s political relations with Turkey and Iran. In the context of the intensifying feudal reaction after the death of Erekle II, the grave consequences of the invasion of the shah of Iran, Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar, and the devastation of Tbilisi (1795) created a critical situation in the country.

Georgia after annexation to Russia. Decay of the feudal system and the origins of capitalist relations (first half of the 19th century). Eastern Georgia was annexed to Russia in 1801, and the Kartli-Kakhetian Kingdom ceased to exist. In the 19th century, western Georgia was also included in the Russian Empire (1803–64). As a result of the Russo-Iranian (1804–13, 1826–28) and Russo-Turkish wars (1806–12, 1828–29), in which the Georgians took an active part, much of the territory that had been taken away from Georgia was liberated. Despite the establishment of a colonial regime in Georgia, its annexation had a progressive significance: it was the only way to deliver Georgia from the domination of Turkey and Iran. Georgia’s inclusion into the economic life of Russia, which had embarked on the path of capitalist development, furthered socioeconomic progress. The political and economic fragmentation of Georgia was eliminated. Cultural ties between the Georgian people and the Russian people, as well as other peoples of the Russian Empire, were strengthened.

The colonial policy of tsarism and the onerous oppression of serfdom were the causes for massive peasant actions. The people of Kartli rose up in 1804, those of Kakhetia in 1812–13, and those of Imereti in 1819–20. Protest against the predatory policies of tsarism found expression in a conspiracy of the aristocratic intelligentsia in 1832. A reactionary part of the nobility strove to restore the Bagrationis to the throne, and exponents of the democratic orientation, ideologically tied to the Decembrists, fought for the creation of a republic or a constitutional monarchy in Georgia—one manifestation of the liberation movement in Georgia.

In the 1830’s and 1840’s, with the establishment of a comparatively stable situation, the conditions for Georgia’s further economic development were created. The existence of intensive agriculture, peasant landownership by individual households (with the developed institution of peasant “purchased land”), and the growth of private individual feudal property fostered this process. At the beginning of the 19th century, the number of familial-ancestral estates declined noticeably, and handicrafts and small-scale commodity production expanded in the cities. The division of labor between the farming and trading and crafts populations occurred; this, like the geographical division of labor, stimulated the expansion of commodity-money relations. The consolidation of the domestic market also favored Georgia’s economic development. There was an expansion in commercial farming, primarily in the production of grain and wine for sale; industrial crops were planted.

The stratification of the peasants occurred. With the development of commodity-money relations, exploitation of the peasants increased, and the colonial policies of the tsarist regime redoubled in oppression. Large peasant uprisings erupted in Guria in 1841 and Mingrelia in 1857. The further development of the productive forces led to changes in the social structure. The urban population increased—primarily at the expense of the peasantry but also through the addition of people newly arrived from neighboring regions of Transcaucasia, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. In 1865 the urban population of eastern Georgia was 18.8 percent; for Georgia as a whole it was 10 percent.

In the prereform period, the overwhelming majority of the urban taxpaying population (primarily under state jurisdiction) actually was counted in the urban estate of “state residents or citizens.” Only a small number of manorial and church peasants were still enslaved. Guild handicrafts were decaying and small-scale commodity production developing; small industrial enterprises (tanneries, brickworks, blacksmith-mechanics shops, and tailors’ and shoemakers’ shops), as well as larger ones, with ten to 15 workers, appeared. Georgia was gradually being drawn into the national Russian market and, through it, into the world market.

The period of capitalism (1860’s to 1890’s). Socioeconomic development and the intensification of the class struggle in the context of the developing revolutionary situation in the Russian Empire forced the tsarist government to abolish serfdom in Georgia during 1864–71. The peasant reforms, with all their limitations, accelerated the development of capitalism in Georgia. The construction of the Transcauca-sian Railroad began in the mid-1860’s; service between Tbilisi and Poti was inaugurated in 1872, and in 1883 the laying of the Batumi-Tbilisi-Baku trunk line was completed. The construction of railroads joining various regions of Georgia and the entire Caucasus was completed in the 1890’s. The Central Shops of the Transcaucasian Railroad, where as many as 3,000 workers were employed toward the end of the 19th century, were organized in Tbilisi in 1883. In 1900, the Transcaucasian trunk line was included in the national Russian system. Large-scale enterprises in various branches of industry appeared (textiles, metalworking, tanning, brandy and vodka, tobacco, and so on). Petroleum container plants and bulk stations were opened in Batumi. The mining industry developed: Tkibuli coal and Chiatura manganese were extracted. In the 1890’s, Georgia provided about 50 percent of the world exports of manganese. The concentration of production proceeded. Joint-stock companies in which local, Russian, and foreign capitalists participated were founded. Between the 1860’s and the early 20th century the volume of manufacturing industry has grown from 1 million to 21 million rubles; factory production constituted about 80 percent of the total production. However, enterprises with 15 or fewer workers predominated. Toward the end of the 19th century, the urban population of Georgia was 15.3 percent.

Capitalist relations also penetrated into the Georgian countryside. In the 1880’s, 37 percent of peasant farms were on rented land; in the 1890’s the figure almost doubled. Class differentiation among the peasantry deepened: at the turn of the 20th century the kulaks (prosperous peasants), who held 30 percent of the cultivated land, accounted for 5 percent of the rural population, and the semiproletarian strata constituted 55–60 percent. The development of capitalist relations and the political and economic consolidation of Georgia created the preconditions for completing the formation of the Georgian bourgeois nation.

In the course of the development of capitalism during the 1870’s to 1890’s, the working class of Georgia took shape. By the end of the 19th century, there were about 36,000 industrial workers (including mining, railroad, and construction workers), and the total number of wage laborers was 120,000. The proletariat of Georgia, like that of all of Transcaucasia, was distinguished from the earliest stage of its formation by its multinational composition. The fact that workers of various nationalities—Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Russians, and others—worked in common and struggled jointly against tsarism and the capitalists laid the foundations for workers’ international solidarity.

The colonial policies of tsarism, oppression of the national culture, and social oppression gave rise to resistance among the toiling people of Georgia. The ideas of the Russian liberation movement influenced progressive public opinion in Georgia. The national liberation movement gathered force in the 1860’s. It was led by prominent writers and public figures, including the revolutionary democrats I. G. Chavchavadze, A. R. Tsereteli, N. Ia. Nikoladze, and G. E. Tsereteli, who had been educated in Russia and had associated themselves with the revolutionary ideas of V. G. Belinskii, A. I. Herzen, N. A. Dobroliubov, and N. G. Chernyshevskii. The Georgian shestidesiatniki (a group of Revolutionary Democrats in 1859–61; in Georgian, Tergdaleulebi) fought against the social and national oppression of the Georgian people.

Georgian national culture developed rapidly in the second half of the 19th century. Fiction, in which critical realism became established, supported social and national liberation. The Georgian and Russian progressive periodical press in Georgia pursued the same aims. Georgian theater was reborn, and realistic painting and musical culture took shape.

The first economic strikes took place in Georgian enterprises in the late 1860’s. In the 1870’s, under the influence of the Russian Narodniks, a populist movement was born in Georgia. Workers’ circles were established in the late 1870’s. The first generation of worker-revolutionaries included M. I. and Z. I. Chodrishvili, M. Z. Bochoridze, A. G. Okuashvili, and I. F. Sturua. The proletariat of Georgia took part in the countrywide revolutionary liberation movement. One of the first workers’ organizations of Transcaucasia, the Workers’ Union, was founded in Tbilisi in 1887; the locksmith F. A. Guzenko, who had come to Georgia from Rostov-on-Don, was its leader. The number of workers’ circles grew in the 1880’s and 1890’s. Social Democrats exiled to Georgia from the interior provinces of Russia and the Ukraine (F. E. Afanas’ev, S. Ia. Alliluev, A. M. Kaliuzhnyi, I. I. Luzin, F. I. Maiorov, and G. Ia. Francheski) became propagandists for the ideas of Marxism among the workers. In the autumn of 1891, A. M. Gorky came to Tbilisi. He began working in the Central Shops of the Transcaucasian Railroad as an accounting clerk and became acquainted with many participants in the revolutionary movement and prominent public figures. Gorky established ties with the self-education circle of the exiled Social Democrat F. E. Afanas’ev and became one of the leaders of the so-called Krasnogorsk Commune. The Georgian Marxist organization Mesame-dasi (see below: Communist Party of Georgia) was formed in Tbilisi at the end of 1892. In the late 1890’s the strike movement in Georgia, influenced by revolutionary Social Democracy, became organized. The first May Day celebrations of the workers of Tbilisi were held during 1898–1900.

The period of imperialism and the bourgeois-democratic revolutions in Russia (1900–17). The workers’ movement of Georgia entered a new stage at the beginning of the 20th century. Under the leadership of revolutionary Social Democrats, the Georgian proletariat began a mass political struggle. During 1900–02 there were large strikes at enterprises in Tbilisi, Batumi, and the Chiatura industrial region. The Batumi strike and demonstration of 1902 was a major revolutionary action of countrywide importance. In July and August, the proletariat of Georgia took part in the General Strike of 1903 in the south of Russia. The first Congress of Social Democratic Organizations of the Caucasus was held in Tbilisi in March 1903.

The revolutionary struggle of workers and peasants unfolded in Georgia during the period of the Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia. A strike of railroad workers, which subsequently became a general strike, began in Tbilisi on Jan. 18, 1905. Armed clashes between the peasants and the police and army units took place in Gori and Tianeti districts and in villages in Kakhetia and Mingrelia. Actions by the peasants of Guria linked with the workers of Batumi increased in frequency. In Guria, to all intents and purposes, power passed into the hands of peasant committees; land was taken away from the landlords, and armed “Red Hundreds” were created. The October political strike in Georgia developed into an armed uprising. The first trade union organizations (see below: Trade unions) formed in November and December 1905. By the end of 1905, virtually all of western Georgia and part of eastern Georgia were in the hands of the insurgents. The uprising was harshly suppressed by the tsarist regime. In 1912 there was a new wave of strikes. In the summer of 1913 about 10,000 persons participated in a strike of Chiatura miners and Shorapan, Zestafoni, Poti, and Batumi manganese loaders. The May Day demonstrations of 1912–14 were massive in nature. Georgia’s industry experienced a crisis during World War I (1914–18), and the amount of land under cultivation decreased considerably; there were about 40 large strikes.

During the period of the February Bourgeois-Democratic Revolution of 1917 in Russia, soviets of working people’s, soldiers’, and peasants’ deputies formed in early March in Tbilisi and other Georgian cities; however, the Mensheviks and SR’s captured the leadership in them. An organ of the bourgeois Provisional Government, the Special Transcaucasian Committee, was established in Tbilisi on Mar. 9 (22). 1917. In Georgia, as in the rest of Russia, dual power was established.

The period of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Civil War, and armed intervention (1917–21). The October Revolution initiated the social and national liberation of the Georgian people. The Bolsheviks led the struggle of toiling masses for the victory of the socialist revolution in Georgia, but they did not succeed in establishing Soviet power at the same time as in the central regions of Russia. On Nov. 15 (28), 1917, the bloc of counterrevolutionary forces organized the Transcaucasian Commissariat in place of the Special Transcaucasian Committee. The Mensheviks seized power. With the support of other counterrevolutionary parties, they created Georgian national military units, a Georgian national soviet, and the so-called people’s guard. On Nov. 29 (Dec. 12), 1917, the Mensheviks captured the Tbilisi arsenal: on Feb. 8–9 (21–22). 1918, they smashed and shut down Bolshevik newspapers; and on Feb. 10 (23), they fired on a protest demonstration of Tbilisi workers. The Bolsheviks were forced to continue the struggle underground. A new counterrevolutionary state body, the Transcaucasian Seim, which proclaimed Transcaucasia to be an “independent federal democratic republic,” was created in February 1918: it disintegrated in May. On May 26, 1918. the Mensheviks proclaimed Georgia an “independent republic.”

During the years of Menshevik rule, the economy collapsed. The agrarian question was not resolved, and the peasantry remained without land. As a result of the antipopular policies of the bourgeois government, Georgia’s economic ties with Russia were disrupted. There were armed uprisings of the toiling masses against Menshevik rule in the first half of 1918. In the interests of the struggle against the revolutionary movement, the Mensheviks entered into agreements with the interventionists. German forces entered Georgia in late May and early June 1918. On June 4, 1918, the Georgian Menshevik government concluded a treaty with Turkey by which part of Georgia would be ceded. In December 1918. German and Turkish forces were replaced by the English occupation force, which remained in Georgia until July 1920. In 1919 the Bolsheviks of Georgia, carrying out the directive of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) on the participation of the toiling masses of the Caucasus in the struggle against the White Guard forces of Denikin, began preparations under the leadership of G. K. Ordzhonikidze for an armed uprising. The toiling masses of most of the districts of Georgia rose up during October and November 1919. Complex domestic and external political circumstances forced the Menshevik government to conclude a treaty with the RSFSR on May 7, 1920. According to this treaty, the Mensheviks were to break off all ties with the Russian counterrevolution, withdraw foreign military units from Georgia, and legalize Bolshevik organizations. S. M. Kirov was appointed plenipotentiary representative of the RSFSR in Georgia, and he played an important role in consolidating the forces of the Communists and achieving the victory of Soviet power in Georgia. The Communist Party of Georgia was organized in May 1920. Communists emerged from the underground and expanded activity among the masses of the people.

The Mensheviks grossly violated the conditions of the agreement with the RSFSR. Communists were subjected to harsh persecution. The Bolsheviks stepped up preparations for the overthrow of the Menshevik regime, the last stronghold of counterrevolution in Transcaucasia. An armed uprising that came to cover all of Georgia began in Lori, Gori, Borchali. Dusheti. Racha, Lechkhumi and other districts on the night of Feb. 11–12. 1921. On February 16. the Revolutionary Committee of Georgia (A. A. Gegechkori, V. E. Kvirkveliia, F. I. Makharadze, and others) was established in Shulaveri. Proclaiming Georgia a soviet socialist republic, on February 18 the Revolutionary Committee called on all the toiling masses of Georgia to seize power in the provinces and to form local revolutionary committees. The uprising developed successfully, but it was necessary to wage an unequal struggle against the troops of the Mensheviks and interventionists. The Revolutionary Committee turned to V. I. Lenin for aid. The Soviet government responded to the Revolutionary Committee’s appeal. On Feb. 25, 1921, units of the Eleventh Red Army, along with detachments of Georgian insurgents, entered Tbilisi and overthrew the Menshevik government. On March 4, Soviet power was established in Abkhazia and the Abkhazian Socialist Soviet Republic was formed: on March 5. Soviet power was established in Tskhinvali (Iugo-Osetiia). On Mar. 16, 1921. the RSFSR and Turkey signed a treaty in Moscow by which Turkey renounced Batumi and the northern part of Adzharia. According to this treaty. Adzharia was recognized as an integral part of Georgia. On March 18. the Menshevik government of Georgia was driven out of Batumi. By the end of March, all of Georgia had been cleared of Menshevik troops.

The period of socialist construction, 1921–40. During the first days after the victory of Soviet power in Georgia, industry. the railroads, banks, and the land were nationalized. On May 21, 1921, the Georgian SSR concluded a military and economic alliance with the RSFSR. Elections to the soviets were held between December 1921 and February 1922. The first All-Georgian Congress of Soviets (Feb. 25-Mar. 4, 1922) adopted the first constitution of the Georgian SSR and elected the Central Executive Committee of Soviets, which established the government of Georgia. On July 16. 1921. the Revolutionary Committee of Georgia promulgated a decree on the formation of the Adzhar ASSR as part of Georgia. On Dec. 16. 1921. the Abkhazian SSR became part of Georgia on the basis of the Union Treaty between the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia. On Apr. 20, 1922. the Iuzhnaia Osetiia Autonomous Oblast was created as part of Georgia by a decree of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of Georgia. On Mar. 12, 1922, in the interests of maximum mobilization of all the forces of the Soviet republics of Transcaucasia for socialist construction, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the formation of a federal union. From Mar. 12, 1922, to Dec. 5, 1936, Georgia was part of the Transcaucasian Federation (the Transcaucasian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic, TSFSR). On Dec. 30, 1922, Georgia joined the USSR as part of the TSFSR. In 1936 the TSFSR, having resolved the tasks confronting it, was eliminated. Georgia, like Azerbaijan and Armenia, became part of the Soviet Union directly, with the status of a union socialist republic. In February 1937 the Extraordinary Eighth All-Georgian Congress of Soviets adopted a new constitution for Georgia.

In fraternal alliance with the union of Soviet republics, the Georgian SSR developed its economy and culture. Construction was begun on 20 large industrial installations during the first years of Soviet power. In 1926 the economy of Georgia reached the prewar level of industrial production; transportation was restored, the area under cultivation exceeded its 1913 level, and cultural construction had expanded. As a result of socialist construction and the successful completion of the first five-year plans, Georgia was turned into an industrial-agrarian country with a diversified, collectivized agriculture. On Mar. 15, 1935, the Georgian SSR was awarded the Order of Lenin for the outstanding success achieved by the toiling masses of the republic in the spheres of agriculture and industry. In 1937, industry’s share in the economy was 75.2 percent. More than 800 new industrial installations were built, including the forerunner of socialist power engineering in Georgia, the Zemo-Avchala Hydroelectric Power Plant (1927), as well as the Rioni Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Tkvarcheli State Regional Electric Power Plant, the Tbilisi Worsted Cloth Combine, the Kutaisi Silk Combine, Zestafoni Ferroalloy Plant, the Inguri Paper and Pulp Combine, the Kutaisi Lithopone Plant, and the Tbilisi Spinning and Knitting Combine. Under the prewar five-year plan, 30 new industrial branches were created, including machine building, petroleum extraction, and the tea and chemical industries. Industrial enterprises built or wholly reconstructed under Soviet power provided more than 80 percent of the industrial product of Georgia. More than 8,000 km of highways and 250 km of rail lines were built, and 277 km of rail lines were electrified. By 1940, the gross industrial product of Georgia had increased by a factor of 10.2 over 1913.

In Georgia, as everywhere else in the Soviet country, the kolkhoz system triumphed. By 1940, 94.1 percent of all peasant farms had been collectivized, and the area under cultivation had increased by 148,000 hectares (ha) over 1913. The area of tea plantations grew from 900 ha in 1913 to 49,600 ha in 1940, and the area of citrus crops grew from 200 ha to 24,600 ha. In early 1941 there were 3,680 tractors (in terms of 15–hp units), 532 grain-harvesting combines, and over 2,700 trucks operating on kolkhoz and sovkhoz fields. Over a period of 20 years the total number of industrial and office workers had increased from 89,500 to 494,000. The prosperity of the people had increased markedly, the ranks of the working class had expanded, and wages and income from public funds had increased systematically.

The cultural revolution was successfully carried out during the period of socialist construction: illiteracy was eliminated, the number of qualified national cadres of the working class and people’s intelligentsia was increased, and institutions of higher learning, scientific research institutions, and scientific and cultural-educational institutions were established. Soviet Georgian literature and art were developing successfully. Socialist industrialization, the collectivization of agriculture, and the cultural revolution had fundamentally altered the face of the republic. Socialism had essentially been built in Georgia. With the victory of socialism in the USSR, the Georgian people were consolidated as a socialist nation.

The Great Patriotic War (1941–45) and the postwar period. During the Great Patriotic War, the peoples of Georgia, together with all the other peoples of the Soviet Union, defended the socialist fatherland. In all, about 700,000 people from Georgia (one-fifth of the republic’s population) took part in the war. Georgia supplied substantial quantities of arms, ammunition, uniforms, and provisions. In the course of the war, several Georgian divisions were formed that participated as part of the Soviet Army in the battle for the Caucasus, battles for the liberation of the Taman Peninsula and the Crimea, and fighting on other fronts. In the summer of 1942, fascist German troops moved out toward the foothills of the Glavnyi Range, and in the second half of August 1942, they attempted to break through to Abkhazia. The toiling masses of the front-line areas of Georgia worked heroically on the defensive boundaries; under the difficult conditions of the autumn and winter of 1942, they supplied ammunition, equipment, and foodstuffs to the front. In the fall of 1942, as a result of the successful actions of Soviet forces, including the 46th Army (commanded by General K. N. Leselidze), the fascist German troops were driven back beyond the Glavnyi Range. Georgian soldiers took part in the partisan war and in the resistance movement of the peoples of Europe. For their combat feats, 137 people from Georgia were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. More than 240,000 soldiers, commanders, and participants in the partisan movement were awarded orders and medals of the USSR. There were about 350,000 sons and daughters of Soviet Georgia among the heroes who fell in battles for the homeland. For their heroic labor during the war, more than 46,000 industrial workers, kolkhoz workers, and members of the intelligentsia of the republic were awarded the medal For the Defense of the Caucasus, and more than 333,000 people were awarded the medal For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45.

After the conclusion of the Great Patriotic War the Georgian people, along with the toilers of the entire country, set about peaceful labor to complete the construction of socialism and to build communism. The gross product of Georgia’s industry increased by a factor of 85 between 1913 and 1970; the republic’s agriculture achieved great successes (see below: Economy).

In December 1965, the Georgian SSR was awarded a second Order of Lenin for the great successes achieved by its toilers in the development of the economy and in cultural construction. The Abkhazian ASSR (Mar. 15, 1935), the Adzhar ASSR (July 12, 1967), and Iuzhnaia Osetiia Autonomous Oblast (Aug. 25, 1967) were also awarded Orders of Lenin. On May 14, 1971, for the services of the toilers of Georgia in the revolutionary movement and in the struggle for the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution and for the strengthening of the first socialist multinational state in the world, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and for the heroism displayed in battle against the enemies of our homeland and the successes achieved in building communism, the Georgian SSR was awarded the Order of the October Revolution. The Abkhazian and Adzhar ASSR’s were also awarded Orders of the October Revolution (Mar. 3, 1971, and July 15, 1971, respectively).


Istoriia Gruzii: Uchebnoe posobie, vols. 1 and 3. Tbilisi, 1962–68.
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Meskhia, Sh. A. Goroda i gorodskoi stroi feodal’noi Gruzii XVII-XVIII vv. Tbilisi, 1959.
Gvritishvili, D. V. Iz istorii sotsial’nykh otnoshenii v pozdnefeodal’noi Gruzii (satavado-sen’orii). Tbilisi, 1961.
Antelava, I. G. Gosudarstvennye krest’iane Gruzii v XIX veke, vols. 1–2. Sukhumi-Tbilisi, 1962–69.
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The Communist Party of Georgia is a constituent part of the CPSU. From its inception, the revolutionary movement of the workers of Georgia was organically linked to the country-wide Russian workers’ movement, under whose influence it grew and gained strength.

The first Marxist Social Democratic organization in Transcaucasia was Mesame-dasi, which was established in Tbilisi at the end of 1892 on the initiative of M. G. Tskhakaia arid E. F. Ninoshvili. At the end of the 1890’s, a revolutionary wing took shape in Mesame-dasi. Its core was made up of M. Z. Bochoridze, V. Z. Ketskhoveli, F. I. Makharadze, J. V. Stalin, I. F. Sturua. A. G. Tsulukidze, M. G. Tskhakaia, and Z. I. Chodrishvili. Under the influence of the St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class, work to establish Social Democratic organizations unfolded in Georgia. Revolutionaries exiled from central Russia participated directly. The Tbilisi Committee of the RSDLP, which led the struggle of the working class of all of Georgia, was established in 1898 with representatives of Social Democratic circles and Mesame-dasi. The Social Democratic groups in Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi were the most active. Between 1901 and 1903, Social Democratic organizations and groups of the Leninist Iskra orientation appeared in Gori. Sukhumi, Poti. Chiatura, and Khashuri. Russian Social Democrats who helped begin revolutionary work in Georgia included F. E. Afanas’ev, S. Ia. Alliluev, N. P. Kozerenko. G. Ia Francheski, V. K. Kurnatovskii, and M. I. Kalinin. The newspaper Brdzola (Struggle) was of great importance in the ideological and organizational consolidation of the Social Democratic organizations.

In March 1903 the First Congress of Caucasian Social Democratic Organizations in Tbilisi established the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP and elected its directing body, the Caucasian Union Committee of the RSDLP, which existed until 1906. At various times this committee included N. N. Aladzhalova, V. S. Bobrovskii, M. Z. Bochoridze, M. N. Davitashvili, P. A. Dzhaparidze, B. M. Knuniants, F. I. Makharadze. J. V. Stalin, A. G. Tsulukidze, M. G. Tskhakaia. and S. G. Shaumian. The Caucasian Union Committee was the leading center of the revolutionary movement in Transcaucasia. The congress proclaimed the Caucasian Union an integral part of the RSDLP. At the Second Congress of the RSDLP (1903), the representatives were D. A. Topuridze of the Tbilisi Committee and A. G. Zurabov of the Batumi Committee. In 1903 the Social Democratic organizations and groups of Georgia worked under the leadership of the Caucasian Union Committee and the Tbilisi, Batumi, and Imereti-Mingrelia committees of the RSDLP.

Adhering to a firm internationalist standpoint, the Social Democrats of Georgia conducted their revolutionary work among the masses along with revolutionaries of other nationalities. P. A. Dzhaparidze, D. S. Postolovskii, G. P. Teliia, A. G. Tsulukidze, M. G. Tskhakaia, and others headed a strike of 15,000 Tbilisi workers in support of the strike of the Baku proletariat in July 1903. After the Second Congress of the RSDLP, a considerable proportion of the Social Democrats of Georgia resolutely supported V. I. Lenin. At the Second Congress of the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP, held in October 1903, the Mensheviks were defeated; as before, supporters of Lenin—Bochoridze. Knuniants, Postolovskii, and Tskhakaia—were elected to the Caucasian Union Committee. In order to supply the revolutionaries of the Caucasus with Marxist literature, the Caucasian Union Committee established the illegal Avlabar Press.

During the Revolution of 1905–07, the Bolshevik organizations of Georgia consistently carried out the Leninist tactical line. They headed the strike movement of workers in Tbilisi, Batumi. Kutaisi, Chiatura, and Alaverdi and actively struggled against the petit bourgeois and bourgeois parties. At the Third Congress of the party. Lenin called the Bolshevik organizations of Transcaucasia the most militant in the RSDLP and included the Caucasus among the centers “where the movement has left the old terrorism farthest of all behind, where preparations for insurrection have been made best, and where the proletarian struggle most clearly and vividly bears a mass character” (Pain. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 12, p. 181). The representatives of the Caucasian Bolsheviks at the Third Congress of the RSDLP (1905) were Dzhaparidze and Tskhakaia.

During the years of reaction, the Bolsheviks of Georgia waged an active struggle against revisionists. Despite the repression of the tsarist government, they were able to preserve illegal organizations and to prepare for a new upsurge in the revolutionary movement.

During World War I (1914–18) the Bolshevik organizations of Georgia firmly maintained Leninist positions on the questions of war, peace, and revolution; they educated the multinational working class in the spirit of international unity and strengthened its ties with the Russian working class. “In Russia and in the Caucasus.” Lenin wrote in 1913. “the Georgian + Armenian + Tatar + Russian Social Democrats worked together in a single Social Democratic organization for more than ten years. This is not a phrase, but the proletarian solution of the problem of nationalities. The only solution” (ibid., vol. 48, p. 162).

The February Revolution of 1917 gave impetus to the development of the revolutionary movement in the outlying national areas, including Georgia. Armed with Lenin’s “April Theses” and the resolutions of the Seventh (April) Conference and Sixth Congress of the RSDLP (Bolshevik), Bolshevik organizations expanded the struggle for the victory of the socialist revolution. The first krai congress of the Caucasian Bolshevik organizations, which established the tasks of the Bolsheviks of the Caucasus, was held in Tbilisi on Oct. 2–7 (15–20), 1917. A. N. Atabekov. P. A. Dzhaparidze. S. I. Kavtaradze, F. I. Makharadze, M. D. Orakhelash-vili, M. G. Tskhakaia, D. I. Shaverdov. S. G. Shaumian. and others were elected by the congress to the Caucasian Regional Committee of the party.

However, the political situation was complicated by the fact that after the victory of the October Socialist Revolution in central Russia, the revolutionary forces of Georgia did not succeed in establishing Soviet power. With the active support of the German and Anglo-American imperialists, the counterrevolutionary parties of Transcaucasia—the Mensheviks, Dashnaks, and Musavatists—established a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Under conditions of harsh repression by the Menshevik government, the Bolsheviks had to conduct political work semilegally and underground to prepare the masses for the struggle for Soviet power in Georgia. The Communists gradually acquired firm positions among the workers and toiling peasants. Between 1918 and 1921 the toilers of Georgia, led by the Communists, organized armed actions against the Menshevik government.

In May 1920, in accordance with the resolution of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik), the Bolshevik organization of Georgia took the form of the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia, and the Provisional Central Committee was established. As the Communist Parties of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia were formed, the Caucasian Regional Committee terminated its activity; the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) became the leading party organ. By early 1921, the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia included over 9,000 Communists, who led the struggle of the toiling masses against the Menshevik regime.

Table 2a. Membership in the Communist Party of Georgia (as of January 1)
 MembersCandidate membersTotal

In February 1921 an armed uprising began in a number of districts, during the course of which the Central Committee of the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia established a revolutionary committee on February 16. On Feb. 25, 1921, the Menshevik regime in Georgia was overthrown and Soviet power established. Under the leadership of the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia, the toiling masses entered a period of revolutionary transformations and socialist construction. The Communists expanded work to restore and further develop the economy and culture of Georgia. V. I. Lenin’s letter of Apr. 14, 1921, “To the Communist Comrades in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Dagestan, and the Gortsy Republic,” was of great importance for the activity of the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia. Lenin advised that the tactics of the central party organizations should not be copied but rather carefully modified in conformity with differences in concrete conditions (ibid., vol. 43, p. 198).

Guided by the resolutions of the Tenth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik) of March 1921, the First Congress of the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia (January 1922) worked out concrete measures to implement these resolutions in Georgia. The congress adopted resolutions on strengthening the party organization, on Soviet construction, and other questions. Overcoming the resistance of the national deviationists, the Communists of Georgia, along with the Communists of Armenia and Azerbaijan, struggled actively for unification in the TSFSR. The Second Congress of the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia (1923) condemned the antiparty platform of the national deviationists and approved the unification of the republics of Transcaucasia in the TSFSR. Thanks to the directing activity of the Communists of Georgia, the economy was successfully reconstructed, development proceeded, and cultural construction was carried on. The Sept. 3, 1928, resolution of the Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik) “On the Work of the Communist Party of Georgia” served as a program for the further development of the activity of the Communists of Georgia. The Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik) noted that the successes of industrialization, the correct resolution of the agrarian and national questions, and the growth of the working class and intensification of the party organization’s ideological work had brought about the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat in Georgia. At the same time, the insufficient rate of development in agriculture was stressed, and it was recommended that particular attention be devoted to the cooperation of the peasantry and the intensification of ideological work.

The CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia carried on ideological educational work among the toilers of the republic, organized them for the solution of the immediate tasks of socialist construction, and consistently implemented the general line of the ACP (Bolshevik). By January 1934 the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia numbered 60,600 Communists. It grew and gained strength in the struggle against Trotskyism, the right-wing opposition, and nationalism. As a result of the implementation of the party’s Leninist line—industrialization of the country, collectivization of agriculture, and cultural revolution—Georgia changed from a backward outland of tsarist Russia to a progressive, industrial-agrarian republic with a highly developed culture. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, F. I. Makharadze, M. G. Tskhakaia, G. K. Ordzhoni-kidze, Sh. Z. Eliava, S. I. Todriia, M. D. Orakhelash-vili, L. I. Kartvelishvili, N. A. Lakoba, L. D. Gogoberidze, M. I. Kakhiani, V. V. Lominadze, and A. A. Gegechkori carried on a great deal of work in the party organization of Georgia.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), the party organizations of Georgia worked to mobilize all the forces of the republic to resolutely repulse the enemy. The Communist Party of Georgia sent more than 52,000 Communists to the front—that is, more than half its membership. Under the direction of the party, the entire economy worked for the front.

After the Great Patriotic War, the party led the work for the further development of the economy and culture of the republic. Communists waged a tenacious struggle to eliminate the errors and shortcomings that had been evident in the work of party organizations. This struggle was aided by the resolutions of the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU (1956) concerning the re-establishment of the Leninist norms of party life and socialist law and by the resolutions of the October (1964) plenary session of the Central Committee of the CPSU, which condemned voluntarism and subjectivism. Guided by the resolutions of party congresses and the plenary sessions of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Communists of Georgia strengthened and enhanced the fighting capacity of their party organizations. Fulfilling the directives of the Twenty-third Congress of the CPSU on the five-year plan for 1966–70, the Communist Party of Georgia, in which representatives of 76 nationalities were united, focused its attention on organizational and political work among the masses and improved the selection, placement, and training of cadres and the control over execution of the decisions of the party and the government.

Table 2b. Congresses of the Communist Party of Georgia
1st...............Jan. 23–Feb. 1, 1922
2nd...............mar. 14–18, 1923
3rd...............May 6–11, 1924
4th...............Nov. 30–Dec. 5, 1925
5th...............Nov. 12–19, 1927
6th...............July 1–10, 1929
7tn...............May 28–June 5, 1930
8th...............Jan. 20–24, 1932
9th...............Jan. 10–14, 1934
10th...............May 15–21, 1937
11th...............June 15–19, 1938
12th...............Feb. 26–Mar. 2, 1939
13th...............Mar. 15–19, 1940
14tn...............Jan. 25–29, 1949
15th...............Sept. 15–18, 1952
16th...............Feb. 16–18, 1954
17th...............Jan. 18–21, 1956
18th...............Jan. 27–29, 1958
19th...............Jan. 12–13, 1959
20th...............Jan. 25–26, 1960
21st...............Sept. 27–29, 1961
22nd...............Jan. 29–30, 1964
23rd...............Mar. 2–4, 1966
24th...............Feb. 27–Mar. 1, 1971

The Twenty-fourth Congress of the Communist Party of Georgia (February 1971) analyzed the results that had been achieved, generalized experience and noted new measures to carry out the tasks of communist construction posed for the country by the Program of the CPSU, and discussed the draft directives of the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU for the five-year plan for the development of the national economy of the USSR during 1971–75. Issues of ideological work held an important place in the work of the congress.

In the spring of 1971 the toiling masses of the USSR celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia and of the formation of the Communist Party of Georgia; this coincided with the summing-up of the eighth five-year plan for 1966–70. Under the leadership of the party—one of the oldest branches of the CPSU—the Georgian SSR had changed into a flourishing republic with a well developed industry, a technologically well equipped, diverse agriculture, and a high level of culture. The Communist Party of Georgia mobilized the efforts of the toilers of Georgia for the resolution of the tasks posed by the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU: continuing on the course of establishing the material and technical basis of communism to ensure substantial development of the level of material and cultural life of the people.


Ocherki istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii Gruzii 1883–1970. Tbilisi, 1971.
Ocherki istorii kommunisticheskikh organizatsii Zakavkaz’ia, part 1. Tbilisi. 1967.

The Komsomol of Georgia is a constituent part of the All-Union Komsomol. The first Communist youth circles were formed in 1917 in accordance with the resolution “On Youth Leagues” of the Sixth Congress (1917) of the RSDLP (Bolshevik). In early September 1917, on the initiative of M. G. Tskhakaia, Spartak, an organization of young socialist internationalists that was the embryo of the Lenin Komsomol in Georgia, was created at a youth gathering in Tbilisi. The assembly adopted an appeal to all the working youth of the Caucasus. A second Spartak organization was formed in Nadzalevi. a workers’ section of Tbilisi, on Nov. 20. 1917. Its leader, B. D. Dzneladze, became one of the initiators of the Komsomol of Georgia. The first organizations created in Tbilisi had a great influence on the revolutionary-minded youth of other cities and districts of Georgia. Young workers and peasants began to join together in leagues. Spartak organizations were established in many places in Georgia at the end of 1918 and the beginning of 1919. A citywide conference of the Spartak organizations of Tbilisi, the founding congress of the Komsomol of Georgia, was held in late March and early April 1919 under the leadership of the Bolsheviks.

In September 1919 the First Transcaucasian Conference of Young Communist Leagues of Azerbaijan. Armenia, and Georgia was held in Baku. It united these leagues into the Transcaucasian Oblast Organization of the All-Russian Communist Youth League, headed by the Transcaucasian Committee. With the aid of the Caucasian Regional Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik), the youth organizations of Georgia published the newspapers Third International and Young Communist in Georgian.

A congress of the Komsomol of Georgia that completed the organizational formation of the Komsomol of Georgia was held on Aug. 25, 1920. In June 1924, the name “Lenin Communist Youth League of Georgia” was adopted at the Seventh Congress of the Komsomol of Georgia.

At first the Komsomol’s activity was directed against the Menshevik dictatorship in Georgia. Komsomol members of Georgia carried out responsible assignments of the Communist Party and participated in the armed struggle. After the victory of Soviet power, the Komsomol of Georgia, under the leadership of the CP (Bolshevik) of Georgia, took an active part in rehabilitating the economy, in economic development and socialist economic reconstruction, and in carrying out the cultural revolution in the republic. For its active participation in socialist construction, the Komsomol of Georgia was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor of the TSFSR in 1932.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), the Komsomol of Georgia sent more than 150,000 of its members to the front. About 100 boys and girls of the Komsomol of Georgia were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for their courage and heroism in the struggle against the fascist German invaders. The Komsomol members of the home front earned glory for their feats of labor.

Table 3a. Membership of the Komsomol of Georgia (as of beginning of year)

In the postwar period, the Komsomol of Georgia actively participated in the economic, ideological, political, and cultural life of the republic. Along with the youth of the entire country, the Komsomol members of Georgia responded to the call of the CPSU in assimilating virgin lands and working on the new construction projects in Siberia. Kazakhstan, the Far North, and the Far East. Under the leadership of the Komsomol of Georgia, summer student detachments of the republic’s institutions of higher learning performed a great deal of work in various spheres of the economy.

The Komsomol of Georgia is a source for the regular replenishment of the Communist Party: in 1970 alone, 4,630 Komsomol members were accepted into the CPSU (52 percent of the total number of members accepted into the Communist Party of Georgia during that year). As of Jan. 1, 1971, the membership of the Komsomol of Georgia was 476,701 (in 8,292 local Komsomol organizations). Under the direction of the Communist Party of Georgia, the Komsomol is laboring to establish the material and technical basis of communism and is conducting work to provide communist education for the new generation.


Table 3b. Congresses of the Komsomol of Georgia
1st...............Mar. 31–Apr. 2, 1919
2nd...............Aug. 25, 1920
3rd...............Nov. 20, 1920
4th...............Aug. 21–27, 1921
5th...............June 5–10, 1922
6th...............Sept. 16–20, 1923
7th...............June 24–28, 1924
8th...............Feb. 22–27, 1926
9th...............Feb. 27–Mar. 4, 1928
10tn...............Dec. 25–31, 1930
11th...............June 20–23, 1932
12th...............Feb. 13–16, 1936
13th...............Oct. 5–9, 1937
14th...............Feb. 7–11, 1939
15th...............Sept. 28–30, 1940
16th...............Feb. 24–27, 1945
17th...............Dec. 25–28, 1948
18tn...............Jan. 25–27, 1951
19th...............May 15–17, 1952
20th...............Jan. 20–22, 1954
21st...............Dec. 23–25, 1955
22nd...............Jan. 20–28, 1958
23rd...............Jan. 20–21, 1960
24th...............Jan. 26–27, 1962
25tn...............Jan. 4–5, 1964
26th...............Feb. 17–18, 1966
27th...............Feb. 27–28, 1968
28th...............Feb. 26–27, 1970

The trade unions of Georgia are an integral part of the body of trade unions of the USSR. They were first established in November and December 1905 (printers, postal and telegraph personnel, carpenters, pharmacists, state administrative personnel, cooks, bakers, and others). In June 1906 the Central Commission of Trade Unions was established under the auspices of the Tbilisi Committee of the RSDLP. By the end of 1906 there were 30 trade unions in Tbilisi. The Central Trade Union Council of Tbilisi, which acted under the direction of Bolshevik organizations, was established on December 3. In 1907, trade union centers were organized in Batumi, Kutaisi, and Signakhi.

During the Revolution of 1905–07, the trade unions of Georgia were linked with the trade unions of Russia; they were combat organizations of the working class that took part in organizing revolutionary demonstrations of workers and in formulating their demands. After the defeat of the revolution, the legal and especially the illegal trade unions of Georgia were harshly repressed.

Trade unions were organized anew in Georgia after the February Revolution of 1917. By May 1917 the trade unions of Tbilisi had 10,200 members. The Central Bureau of Trade Unions of Tbilisi came into being at the end of May. The First Regional Conference of Trade Unions of Transcaucasia was held in Tbilisi on Dec. 26–31, 1917; it elected the Regional Council of Trade Unions. In late February 1918, while power in Transcaucasia was in the hands of the bourgeois-nationalist parties, the Bolsheviks established in Tbilisi an illegal directing body for trade unions under the name “Workers’ Center,” which included representatives of the revolutionary trade unions that were fighting for the victory of Soviet power in Georgia. In April 1919 a congress of trade unions of Transcaucasia, the Transcaspian region, and Dagestan, in which representatives of the trade unions of Georgia participated, was held in Baku. The First Congress of Trade Unions of Georgia was held in Tbilisi on Apr. 11–16, 1919. In May 1920, after the formation of the Communist Party of Georgia, Bolshevik influence in the trade unions of Georgia began to grow. In 1920, however, the Menshevik government of Georgia disbanded several revolutionary trade unions.

After the victory of Soviet power, the trade unions of Georgia entered into united branch trade unions. In all enterprises and institutions, factory-plant and local committees were organized. In June 1921 the First Conference of Trade Unions elected the Council of Trade Unions of Georgia and approved 22 industrial trade unions. By early 1922 there were 90,000 people in the trade unions of Georgia. Under the leadership of the party, the trade unions of Georgia mobilized the masses for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the economy, for the implementation of the plan for the industrialization of the country and the collectivization of agriculture, and for the cultural revolution. They organized socialist competition, promoted the development of the Stakhanovite movement, and did a great deal of work for the improvement of the material and living conditions of industrial and office workers.

During the Great Patriotic War, the trade unions directed the efforts of the toilers toward the uninterrupted supply of all necessities to the front.

In the postwar period, the trade unions of Georgia participated actively in the development of the republic’s economy, the organization of socialist competition, and the movement for a communist attitude toward work; they displayed constant concern for the improvement of working and living conditions for industrial and office workers and expanded their activity in all spheres of state and public life. In November 1948, at the first Interunion Conference of Trade Unions of the republic, the Georgian Council of Trade Unions (GCTU) was organized. In June 1953 the Abkhazian and Adzhar oblast councils of trade unions were formed. In October 1958 the Council of Trade Unions of the Iuzhnaia Osetiia Autonomous Oblast was organized. At the Fourteenth Congress of Trade Unions of Georgia (Dec. 1–2, 1967), the primary tasks of the trade unions in the cause of communist construction were defined.

By Jan. 1, 1971, there were 22 branch trade unions, with about 1,487,000 members (157,000 in 1926), who belonged to 15,753 local trade union organizations.

In 1971 there were more than 190 clubs and houses and palaces of culture, 267 libraries, 4,087 amateur theatrical groups and companies, 62 people’s universities, 27 tourist centers, 80 tourist clubs, 12 tourist homes, and 2,264 sports facilities, as well as rest homes and sanatoriums under the jurisdiction of the trade unions. The state social insurance budget in 1971 was 118 million rubles.


Sorok let Sovetskoi Gruzii: Kratkii ocherk. Tbilisi, 1961. Pages 491–510.

General characteristics. Before the Great October Socialist Revolution, Georgia was a backward agrarian country. Under Soviet power, fundamental changes in the structure of Georgia’s economy have taken place on the basis of the steady development of all branches of the economy. A powerful, highly developed industry incorporating modern, progressive branches and a technologically well-equipped, diverse agriculture have been created. In conjunction with the policies of industrialization, industry has grown particularly rapidly (more than 1,000 new industrial enterprises have been built). Industry has developed primarily on the basis of the exploration of local fuel, power, mineral, and agricultural resources; this has determined the main orientation of the republic’s specialization. The creation of the fixed capital of the economy required large capital investments. During the period from 1921 to 1970 about 14.3 billion rubles was invested in Georgia’s economy, of which more than 4 billion rubles was invested in industry. The structure of Georgia’s economy as it has taken shape may be judged by the proportions of the global social product and the national income (see Table 4).

Table 4. Structure of the economy (1970, in real prices, as a percentage of the total)
 Global social productNational income
Transportation and communications...............2.63.1
Trade, material and technical supply, etc...............6.812.3

In the Union-wide economy, Georgia is notable for the extraction of manganic ores and the production of electric ferroalloys, steel pipes, electric locomotives, trucks, metal-cutting machines, certain electrical-engineering articles, and specific food products, including tea, citrus fruits, tobacco, wine, and essential and tung oils.

Georgia’s share in the economy of the USSR (1970) is as follows: 0.3 percent of the territory, 1.9 percent of the population, 1.3 percent of the gross agricultural product, 95 percent of the tea production, almost 100 percent of the citrus production, 1.2 percent of the electric power production, 1.2 percent of the steel production, 23 percent of the output of manganic ore, 28.1 percent of the output of electric locomotives, 2.8 percent of automobile production, 1.7 percent of the production of metal-cutting machines, 1.5 percent of cement production, and 3.1 percent of silk fabric production. In 1970 the gross industrial product was 8.4 times larger than in 1940. The gross product of agriculture in 1970 was more than 7 times that of 1913. The industrial products of Georgia are exported to other republics of the USSR and to 65 foreign countries.

The directives of the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU concerning the five-year plan for the development of the economy of the USSR during 1971–75 provide for an increase of 39–42 percent in the size of the industrial product of Georgia, with higher rates of development for nonmetal-consuming branches of machine building and the chemical industry, as well as a sharp increase in the production of electric power. Expanded production of tea leaves, an increase in irrigated land, drainage of flooded land, reinforcement of the fodder base of livestock raising, and expanded meat, dairy, grape, tobacco, and citrus production are planned.

Industry. Georgia’s industry is represented by many branches of extraction and manufacturing; the branches that have experienced particularly great development are electric power engineering, the fuel industry, ferrous metallurgy, machine building (various branches), the chemical and building-materials industries, forestry, woodworking, paper and pulp, light industry, and the food industry. The food branches account for two-fifths of the gross industrial product; they are followed by light industry (one-fifth) and machine building and metalworking (more than 10 percent). (See Table 5 for the output of the main types of industrial products.)

Table 5. Output of main types of industrial production
1 In addition, 8.8 million decaliters were produced by enterprises of the georgian ssr on the territory of other republics
Electric power (million kW-hrs)...............207421,3856,0428,964
Manganic ore (tons)...............966,0001,449,0001,837,0002,873,0001,569,000
Coal (tons)...............70,000625,0001,725,0002,621,0002,298,000
Cast iron (tons)...............819,000783,000
Steel (tons)...............2,00077,0001,364,0001,411,000
Rolled steel (tons)...............20,000995,0001,148,000
Mineral fertilizers, in standardunits (tons)...............436,000467,000
Metal-cutting machines (units)...............8032,4814,6603,439
Motor vehicles (units)...............10,00014,000
Cement (tons)...............119,000264,0001,375,0001,451,000
Slate (million standard slabs)...............215266
Cotton fabrics (million m)...............0.45.45964
Silk fabrics (million m)...............
Woolen fabrics (million m)...............
Leather shoes (million pairs)...............
Baikhov tea, initially processed (tons)...............10011,10020,20045,80063,900
Grape wine (million decaliters)...............
Canned goods (millionstandard containers)...............

Electric power engineering is represented essentially by hydroelectric power plants (the Zemo-Avchala, Rioni, Lad-zhanuri, and Khrami) and by steam power plants (the largest is the Tbilisi State Regional Electric Power Plant), which operate on coal and particularly natural gas. The power plants of Georgia belong to the unified Transcaucasian Power System, which in January 1970 was connected to the Unified Power System of the European part of the USSR. A large hydroelectric power plant, with a capacity of 1.6 million kW and a unique 270–m arch dam, is under construction (1971) on the Inguri River.

Coal is mined in Tkibuli, Tkvarcheli (coking coal, concentrates of which go to the Rustavi Metallurgical Plant), and near Akhaltsikhe (brown coal). There is small-scale drilling of oil in parts of Kakhetia. There is an oil refinery in Batumi, which uses oil brought in from the Azerbaijan SSR and other parts of the USSR. Mining of the Chiatura deposits of manganic ore, which are famous throughout the Soviet Union and the world, is of major importance. Ores of nonferrous metals, barite, gumbrin (Cenomanian bleaching clay found in Georgia), diatomite. talcum, and dolomite are also extracted. The Zestafoni Ferroalloy Plant operates on the basis of Chiatura manganic ore.

Georgia’s largest heavy-industry enterprise, established in the postwar period, is the Rustavi Metallurgical Plant, with a complete metallurgical cycle. The main metallurgical products of the republic are pipes and section rolled iron. A strong chemical industry has been established: the chemical combine and chemical fiber plant in Rustavi and the lithopone plant in Kutaisi. Machine building and metalworking (Tbilisi, Kutaisi. Batumi, and Poti) are a fast-growing branch. The largest enterprises are plants producing aircraft, electric locomotives, motor vehicles, and machine tools, as well as a number of electrical and instrument-making plants. The building-materials industry produces cement (Kaspi and Rustavi), slate, blocks, prefabricated reinforced-concrete articles, brick, and tile. Light industry—silk, wool, cotton, knitwear, and leather footwear (Tbilisi. Kutaisi. Batumi, and Gori)—is well developed. The production of tea (81 tea factories in western Georgia), wine, brandy, champagnes, tobacco, canned goods, and bottled mineral waters makes up an important part of the food industry.

Industry is primarily concentrated in large cities. More than 50 percent of the gross industrial product is provided by only five cities—Tbilisi, Rustavi, Kitaisi. Batumi, and Sukhumi. A number of branches of the food industry that process agricultural raw materials are dispersed in small cities and settled points—the tea industry in the Black Sea coast raions and wine-making in Kakhetia, Imereti, and Racha-Lechkhumi.

Agriculture. The mountainous terrain of Georgia limits its agricultural area. Plowed land amounts to only 11.3 percent of all land (about 800,000 ha in 1970); agricultural land is 39.2 percent (2.7 million ha in 1970). Perennial intensive crops (tea, citrus fruits, grapes, and fruit), which occupy 301,000 ha, or 28 percent of the cultivated land, are systematically developed. In 1970 the gross agricultural product was 1.173,000,000 rubles (in comparable 1965 prices).

In 1970 there were 1,265 kolkhozes and 231 sovkhozes in Georgia. There were 35,400 tractors (in terms of standard 15–horsepower units; 3,700 in 1940), 1,600 grain-harvesting combines (500 in 1940), and 15.700 trucks (2,700 in 1940) operating in agriculture. Work is under way to develop mining equipment, as well as machines adapted to special crops. The first tea-harvesting machines in the world, the Sakartvelo and ChA-900, have been constructed.

Between 1921 and 1970 the area of irrigated land increased from 95,000 to 351,000 ha. Among the irrigation systems that have been built are the Samgori, Tiriponi, Sovmashveli, and Mukhrani systems. The large Verkhniaia Alazani Irrigation System is under construction (1971). Lands in Colchis are being drained (as of the end of 1970. a total of 139,000 ha had been reclaimed).

Favorable soil and climatic conditions in the Black Sea coastal regions have aided the establishment of a subtropical agriculture that is unique in the USSR; tea is the most important crop. In 1913, the total area under tea bushes was only 900 ha. but in 1970 the area of tea plantations reached 65,000 ha. Citrus fruits (mandarins, oranges, and lemons—more than 16,000 ha), subtropical fruits (persimmon, pomegranate, medlar, and feijoa). tung (for the production of high-grade oil), laurel, and bamboo are cultivated in Georgia’s subtropical zone.

Viticulture is a traditional branch of agriculture. More than 400 strains of grapevines are known in Georgia; those with commercial significance include the Rkatsiteli. Saperavi, Tsolikauri, Tsitska. Aleksandrouli. Chkhaveri. Chinuri, and Pino varieties. High-grade viticulture is carried on mainly in Kakhetia, Imereti. and Racha-Lechkhumi. The vineyard area increased from 35,000 ha in 1928 to 118,000 ha in 1970.

Fruit growing is an important branch. In 1970 the area of fruit and berry plantings reached 152,000ha (it was 31,200 ha in 1927); the largest growing areas are in the area of Kartli, the fruit from which is notable for its high quality.

Because land is limited, field-crop cultivation is not highly developed in Georgia. In 1970, vegetable growing, melon cultivation, and cereal farming accounted for over 11 percent of the gross agricultural product; tea cultivation, viticulture, and fruit growing accounted for over 45 percent. The structure of sown area is shown in Table 6.

Table 6. Structure of sown areas (ha)
Cereal crops...............707,000748,000760,000472,000389,000
Industrial crops...............21,00052,00043,00040,00040,000
Potatoes and vegetable-melon crops...............9,00043,00043,00048,00057,000
Fodder crops...............6,00053,00067,000269,000251,000
Total sown area...............743,000896,000913,000829,000737,000

Among the cereals, the predominant crop is corn, which is grown primarily in western Georgia (47 percent of the crop area); it is followed by winter wheat (33 percent). Spring crops are prevalent in the mountains. Industrial crops are represented primarily by tobacco (high-quality), sunflowers, and essential-oil crops. Vegetable growing is developed primarily in suburban sections, and potatoes are grown in mountainous areas. Data on the gross yield of agricultural crops is given in Table 7.

Table 7. Gross yield of most Important agricultural crops (tons)
Cereal crops...............428,000538,000796,000629,000621,000
Sugar beet(industrial)...............72,000115,000136,000124,000
Citrus fruits...............30,0003,00035,000136,000

Livestock raising is predominantly of the meat-and-dairy and meat-and-wool types (data on the livestock population are given in Table 8).

Table 8. Livestock population (head, as of January 1)
Sheep and goats...............1,866,0002,194,0002,458,0002,084,0001,955,000

Pasturing and stabling predominate for cattle; distant pasturing, based on the use of mountain meadows in summer, is most often used for sheep. Because of the lack of winter pastures, a considerable portion of the sheep is driven to pastures in the Northern Caucasus (the Chernye Zemli) in winter. Poultry farming (about 12 million head as of Jan. 1, 1971) and sericulture are well developed in most areas, particularly in the west. The dynamics of government purchases of agricultural products is shown in Table 9.

Table 9. Government purchases of agricultural products (tons)
1 Units
Cereal crops...............34,70085,0002,000100,400
Essential-oil crops...............18,8001,40010,70016,600
Citrus fruits...............23,3002,40027,50086,200
Tea leaves (high-quality)...............51,30083,700156,800258,900
Laurel leaves...............1,1006001,1004,100
Livestock and poultry (liveweight)...............20,70023,70065,70073,800
Milk and dairy products (converted into equivalent of milk)...............23,90056,900132,300174,700
Wool (examined weight)...............2,6003,5004,7005,200
Silkworm cocoons...............3,6003,9003,8002,600

Transportation. Railroad transportation, which accounts for 66 percent of the republic’s freight turnover (1970), is of major importance in Georgia. Under Soviet power, railroad trackage has increased from 881 km (1920) to 1,414 km (1970). During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) a railroad was built along the coast of the Black Sea (Mikha Tskhakaia-Sukhumi-Tuapse), linking Georgia with parts of the RSFSR by the shortest route. The main trunk line of Transcaucasia, Baku-Batumi, has a number of spurs, including Tbilisi-Telavi, Gori-Tskhinvali. Khashuri-Vale, Zestafoni-Chiatura, Samtredia-Poti, Ochamchira-Tkvarcheli, and Rioni-Kutaisi-Tkibuli. Rail lines are completely electrified. In 1970, 25.8 million tons of freight were sent out by railroad and 41.2 million tons arrived; 22 million passengers were transported.

Motor-vehicle transportation plays a large role, particularly in mountainous areas. The total length of highways is 20,900 km, of which 16,400 km have hard surfaces. The most important routes include the Georgian Military Highway (Tbilisi-Ordzhonikidze), the Black Sea Highway (Batumi-Novorossiisk), and the Samtredia-Tbilisi-Baku highway. The freight turnover of motor-vehicle transportation was 2.88 billion tons-km in 1970.

Maritime transportation is well developed: the main ports are Batumi, Poti, and Sukhumi. Air routes connect the cities and villages of Georgia with each other and with the major centers of the USSR. Shipping via pipeline is represented by the Baku-Batumi oil pipeline and natural gas pipelines from Azerbaijan and the Northern Caucasus.

Economic regions. Georgia is divided into eight economic regions according to natural geographic and economic differences.

The central-eastern (Tbilisi) region is the strongest in terms of its productive potential. A highly developed manufacturing industry (Tbilisi. Rustavi, Gori, and Kaspi) and, in the area of agriculture, fruit growing, viticulture, and grain cultivation are the main links in its economic complex.

The eastern (Kakheti) region is an area of viticulture and wine-making, field-crop cultivation, and livestock raising.

The central-western (Kutaisi) region has the power industry, mining, and machine building (Kutaisi, Zestafoni, Tkibuli. and Chiatura), viticulture and fruit growing, and field-crop cultivation, with areas of tea cultivation.

The western (Black Sea shore) region has subtropical farming, dominated by tea, and an industry that is primarily based on the processing of specific agricultural raw materials (Zug-didi and Makharadze).

The southern region has livestock raising, fruit growing, and field-crop cultivation (summer grain crops and potatoes).

The Abkhazian ASSR is a region of high-quality tobacco growing, well-developed tea and citrus cultivation, coal mining (Tkvarcheli), industry for the processing of subtropical agricultural raw materials (Sukhumi, Gudauta. and Ocham-chira). and a well-developed health resort industry (Gagra and Sukhumi).

The Adzhar ASSR is a region of citrus growing, tea cultivation, and oil refining, a developing machine-building industry, industry for the processing of subtropical agricultural raw materials (Batumi), and a health resort industry.

The Iuzhnaia Osetiia Autonomous Oblast is a region with mining (Kvaisi) and a developing electrical-engineering industry (Tskhinvali). field-crop cultivation, stock breeding, fruit growing, and viticulture.

Standard of living. The development of Georgia’s economy has been accompanied by a steady rise in the standard of living of the population. The national income increased by 97 percent between 1966 and 1970. Large yearly appropriations are set aside for social measures, housing construction, and public health. Payments and benefits received by the population from social welfare funds rose from 447.5 million rubles in 1960 to 926.1 million rubles in 1970. Between 1940 and 1970 retail merchandise turnover in the state and cooperative trade increased by a factor of more than 5; sale of foodstuffs to the population increased by a factor of more than 4. and sales of nonfood goods increased by a factor of 6.8. In 1970 sales of goods for cultural and domestic use exceeded those of 1960 by 200 million rubles. In 1970 there were 1,316 savings banks (638 in 1940); total deposits were 1,164,400,000 rubles (12.5 million rubles in 1940). Housing construction is widespread. In the period from 1921 to 1970. 41.4 million sq m of housing was built; government and cooperative organizations (excluding kolkhozes)built about 14 million sq m of this total.


Gruzinskaia SSR. Moscow. 1958.
“Gruziia.” Moscow, 1967. (Sovetskii Soiuz series.)
Gvelesiani, G. G. Razvitie i razmeshchenie sotsialisticheskogoproizvodstva v Gruzinskoi SSR. Tbilisi, 1965.
Dzhaoshvili, V. Sh. Naselenie Gruzii. Tbilisi, 1968.
Mikeladze, I. S. Spetsializatsiia i kompleksnoe razvitie narodnogokhoziaistva Gruzinskoi SSR. Moscow, 1964.
Promyshlennosf Gruzii za 40 let (1921–1961). Tbilisi, 1961.
Gruzinskaia SSR. [Edited by P. V. Gugushvili.] Tbilisi. 1971.
50 let Sovetskoi Gruzii: Stat. sb. Tbilisi, 1971.
Atlas Gruzinskoi SSR. Tbilisi-Moscow. 1964.

Medicine and public health. In 1970 the birthrate was 19.2 per thousand inhabitants: the death rate. 7.3. Infant mortality was 25 per thousand live births. The average lifespan in 1968— 69 was 73 years (as against 32 years in pre-Soviet times). Plague, typhus, smallpox, malaria, and poliomyelitis have been eradicated in the republic: the incidence of diphtheria has decreased by a factor of 10 and of brucellosis by a factor of 6. Infections of the upper respiratory tract and influenza account for 85.6 percent of all cases of infectious diseases. The main causes of death are cardiovascular diseases and malignant tumors. In western Georgia, a low-lying, humid subtropical region, there are cases of nematode helminthiases (ascariasis. ancylostomiasis, and others).

In 1913 there were 41 hospitals in Georgia, with about 2,000 beds (0.8 beds per thousand inhabitants), and 461 doctors of all specialties (one doctor per 5,600 inhabitants). As of Jan. 1, 1971, there were 573 hospital institutions, with 43.100 beds (9.1 beds per thousand inhabitants). There were 1,392 polyclinic dispensaries (including 558 rural dispensaries) and 152 clinics of various types. The health of mothers and children was maintained by more than 1,900 pediatricians and 1,000 obstetricians and gynecologists, 190 gynecological consultation offices, and 55 maternity hospitals (ten of which were run by kolkhozes). There are 367 permanent child care centers in operation. New forms of treatment and prevention institutions—cardiological-rheu-matological dispensaries, professional pathology offices, and a resuscitation service—have been established. The first-aid service has 13 independent stations and 62 units. In 1970. 97 public-health and antiepidemic stations, 628 pharmacies, and 554 pharmacy stations were in service. There were a total of 17,100 working doctors, or one per 277 inhabitants, and 43,200 paramedical personnel.

The supply of medical personnel in Georgia is higher than in a number of large capitalist countries. Medical specialists are trained by the medical institute. At Tbilisi State University, advanced training for doctors also improves the skills of specialists sent from other union republics. More than 200 doctors and 800 candidates of medical science are working in the medical institute, the institute of advanced training for doctors, and medical research institutes.

The natural conditions of Georgia have favored the development of health resorts. The construction of health resorts expanded after the establishment of Soviet power. Balneological health resorts (Tskhaltubo, Borzhomi, Bakuriani. and Tbilisi), seaside climatic resorts (Gagra. Novyi Afon, Pitsunda. Sukhumi, and Kobuleti), and the mountain climatic resort of Abastumani are well known. There are numerous rest homes and vacation hotels on the shore of the Black Sea. There is a total of more than 33,000 beds in sanatoriums, rest homes, and vacation hotels.

In 1970, Georgia’s budget for the development of public health was 170 million rubles (99 million in 1950).


In 1970. 24.8 percent of the population (more than 1 million persons, of whom 360,000 were women) were studying physical education. There were about 7,000 physical-education groups. There were 96 stadiums with a capacity of 1,500 or more, 945 gymnasiums, 59 swimming pools, more than 12,000 playing and athletic fields, and 102 shooting ranges.

TOURISM AND MOUNTAINEERING. Georgia is an important center for tourism (including foreign tourism; about 50,000 people in 1970). The main routes are the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus (railroad and motor tourism) and the Georgian Military Highway. The routes via the Sukhumi and Osetiia military highways over the mountain passes of the Caucasus (Akhundara, Nakra, Becho, Rokskii. and others) are also popular. During the Soviet period, mountaineering has developed greatly (the Kazbek area and Verkhniaia Svaneti). Ailama is a high-altitude mountaineering training camp. There is an all-Union mountain skiing center in Bakuriani.

Veterinary services. As a result of systematic sanitation measures under Soviet rule, plague and epidemic pneumonia in cattle, glanders, strangles, trypanosomiasis of horses, epizootia of hog cholera, and smallpox, mange, and moniesiosis of sheep, which inflicted great damage on livestock, have been eliminated in Georgia.

Piroplasmosis of sheep has been virtually eliminated in the republic (only sporadic cases are encountered). However, piroplasmosis, as well as fransaiellosis, theileriasis. and anaplasmosis, appear because of natural conditions; the pathogenes are transmitted by ixodes. Helminthic diseases of agricultural animals are encountered. Georgia’s border location is conducive to the appearance of certain infections, such as foot-and-mouth disease. The fight against animal diseases is carried on under the conditions of distant pasturing.

In 1970 there were about 2,000 veterinary doctors and more than 1,800 middle-level veterinary personnel in Georgia. Veterinary services are provided by 731 treatment-prophylactic and diagnostic institutions.

Veterinary doctors are trained at the Georgian Zooveteri-nary Training and Research Institute.


Kapanadze, K. S. Razvitie veterinarii v Gruzii za gody Sovetskoi vlasti. Tbilisi. 1965.

A higher school of rhetoric, the Colchis Academy, existed as early as the first half of the fourth century A.D. in Phasis (near present-day Poti). Schools began to open in the fifth century under the auspices of churches and monasteries. The Arab conquest (seventh to ninth centuries) retarded but could not halt the development of Georgian culture, which began to flower after liberation from the Arab yoke. Major seats of Georgian culture were established both in and outside Georgia in the tenth to 12th centuries. The first higher educational institutions of medieval Georgia, the Gelati and Ikalto academies, were important centers of enlightenment.

Culture and education declined in Georgia between the 13th and mid-17th centuries as a result of the inroads of foreign conquerors and internecine feudal wars. A period of development began in the mid-17th century in conjunction with a certain stabilization of the country’s political situation. By the end of the 18th century, Georgia had what was for those times a sizable school system. The Tbilisi and Telavi seminaries (founded in 1755 and 1782 respectively) played large roles.

After Georgia was annexed by Russia, cultural and political ties between the Georgian and Russian peoples strengthened. The national liberation movement of Georgia gathered force under the influence of the Russian revolutionary democratic movement of the 1860’s. Its leading figures—I. G. Chavchavadze. A. R. Tsereteli, N. Ia. Niko-ladze, and Ia. S. Gogebashvili—supported the democratization of schooling. The Society for the Spread of Literacy Among the Georgians played a large role in this regard. Through the efforts of progressive society, the school system grew and the number of seminaries and women’s schools increased. Private Higher Women’s Courses opened in Tbilisi in 1908. In the 1914–15 academic year there were 1.677 elementary schools (127,700 students) and 48 secondary schools, although the bulk of the population remained illiterate. The reactionary policies of the Menshevik government (1918–21) sent the economy of Georgia into total decline, which also severely affected the state of education.

Culture and education became genuinely popular only after the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia. On July 4, 1921, the Revolutionary Committee of Georgia adopted the decree On the Elimination of Illiteracy Among the Population. In 1926 the literacy rate among men between the ages of 9 and 49 was 61.2 percent; among women of the same ages it was 44.6 percent. After the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia, all schools and cultural-educational institutions were transferred to the jurisdiction of the state, the schools were separated from the church, and instruction in the native language was introduced.

The introduction of compulsory universal education in Georgia began in the 1930–31 academic year. In pre-revolutionary Georgia there were no state preschool institutions (there were only five private kindergartens). In the 1922’s a state system of preschool education was established, and by 1930 the number of kindergartens had reached 134 (more than 10,000 children). By 1939 literacy among the population between the ages of 9 and 49 had reached 89.3 percent, a firm material base for the further development of preschool education had been established, universal compulsory elementary education (and in the cities, seven-year schooling) had been implemented, the system of general-educational secondary schools had been expanded, and the training of middle-level and advanced specialists had been improved. By the 1962–63 academic year eight-year schooling had been introduced throughout the republic. In 1970, 115,800 children were being educated in 1.784 preschool institutions. In the 1970–71 academic year there were more than 4,570 general-educational schools of all types, with about 78,000 teachers and 1.036,000 students.

In 1970, 81 palaces and houses of Pioneers and schoolchildren, 11 centers for young engineers, five young naturalists’ stations, five parks of culture and recreation for Pioneers and schoolchildren, and 107 children’s sports schools were in operation. The largest extracurricular institutions—the Republic Palace of Pioneers and Schoolchildren, the Central Young Engineers’ Station, the Children’s Center for Excursions and Tourism, and the Republic Young Naturalists’ Station—are located in Tbilisi.

Secondary specialized education has developed greatly. In the 1914–15 academic year there were only five secondary specialized schools (526 students); in the 1940–41 academic year there were 192 secondary specialized schools (26.100 students); and in the 1970–71 academic year there were 100 secondary specialized schools (17 industrial, 35 agricultural, 25 cultural-educational, 17 medical, and six economics and finance schools), with more than 53,000 students. As of Jan. 1, 1971. 67 schools in the system of professional and technical education were training workers in 180 specialties.

Under Soviet power, higher education has reached a high level. In the 1940–41 academic year, there were 21 institutions of higher learning, with 28,500 students, whereas in the 1970–71 academic year there were 18 such institutions—the University of Tbilisi, the V. I. Lenin Georgian Polytechnical Institute, a medical institute, eight pedagogical institutes, three agricultural institutes, the Academy of Arts, a theater institute, a conservatory, and an institute of physical education—in which 89,300 students were enrolled. Teachers for all kinds of schools are trained at the pedagogical institutes and the university (prior to 1958 there were teachers colleges).

As of Jan. 1, 1971. 3,550 people’s libraries were in operation (with total holdings of 22,274,000 books and magazines). The largest libraries are the K. Marx State Library of the Georgian SSR, the scientific library of the University of Tbilisi, the Main Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR. the Ia. Gogebashvili Republic Library for Public Education, the T. A. Dzhaparidze Scientific Library of Tbilisi, the Kutaisi Public Library, and the republic libraries of the Abkhazian and Adzhar ASSR’s.

In 1970 there were 2,074 clubs and 74 museums, including the S. Dzhanashia State Museum of Georgia, the Art Museum of the Georgian SSR, 34 historical and ethnographic museums and museums of local lore, 28 literary memorial museums, and museums of the revolution and of public education.


AMATEUR ARTS. In 1970 there were 13,261 amateur theatrical groups in the republic: 1.277 dance groups, 1.433 choral groups, and 1,657 drama groups: 232 musical ensembles, of which 74 are instrumental; and 37 folk theaters.

Natural and technical sciences. Georgian science was part of a distinctive culture that was created through interaction first with the people of the ancient East and then with the Greco-Roman world. Achievements in metallurgy, ceramics, the production of glass and dyes, field-crop cultivation and viticulture, irrigation construction, and architecture, as well as written sources, monuments of material culture, and archaeological data, testify to the extent of applied knowledge in ancient Georgia. The incursions of foreign conquerors, which intensified beginning in the 13th century, hindered the further development of science.

The late 17th and 18th centuries were marked by an upsurge in culture. Vakhtang VI compiled a manual of chemistry. Works on mathematics, physics, astronomy, and medicine appeared.

After the annexation of Georgia by Russia, Georgian science developed in connection with Russian and Western European science. Among the Russian explorers who studied the natural features of Georgia were G. V. Abikh, N. I. An-drusov, A. I. Voeikov, F. Iu. Levinson-Lessing, and D. S. Beliankin. Georgian scholars working in Russia achieved considerable success in the natural sciences. P. G. Bagra-tioni developed a method of cyaniding that was of great importance for gold metallurgy. The experimental research of I. R. Tarkhnishvili (professor at the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy and director of the I. M. Sechenov sub-department) was important for the development of physiology in Russia. The works of V. M. Petriashvili constituted a significant contribution to the development of organic chemistry and agrochemistry. The works of Professor P. G. Melikishvili (corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR after 1927) were widely known; one of his series of works (on the chemistry of peroxides), carried out with his student. L. V. Pisarzhevskii, was awarded the Lomonosov Prize (1899).

Scientific centers for the entire Caucasus were organized in Tbilisi in the 19th century; some of them (the Tbilisi Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory, 1835; botanical gardens) grew into large scientific institutions that still exist. At the same time, the tsarist colonial policy limited the development of Georgian science proper.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATURAL AND TECHNICAL SCIENCES IN GEORGIA AFTER THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION (PREWAR PERIOD). After the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia, intensive scientific development and training of national scientific personnel began. In the subdepartments of the University of Tbilisi (founded in 1918; the first rector was P. G. Melikishvili), research began in all areas of natural science and their practical applications.

In 1933, the Institute of Mathematics (now the A. M. Raz-madze Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR) was organized at the university. Until the 1930’s, research on mathematics and mechanics was conducted by a small group of scientists who had been educated in Russian universities—N. I, Muskhelishvili (elasticity theory and mathematical physics). G. N. Nikoladze (algebraic geometry). A. M. Razmadze (calculus of variations), and A. K. Kharadze (classical analysis and algebra).

The Georgian mathematical school took shape in the 1930’s. N. I. Muskhelishvili’s research on methods of solving the so-called plane problem of elasticity theory, which also was important for mathematical physics as a whole, was associated with the development of the theory of singular integral equations and applications of the theory of analytic functions.

The Institute of Physics (now the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR) was established at the university in 1935. In the prewar period, the most important results were obtained in the area of X-ray diffraction analysis (D. B. Gogoberidze) and the theory of the atomic nucleus (V. I. Mamasakhlisov). The high-altitude Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, the first of its type in the USSR, was established in the 1930’s.

The development of industry, which began in Georgia after 1921, brought the necessity for a supply of raw materials. The study of the geological structure and historical development of the territory of Georgia and the uncovering of its natural resources became immediate tasks. In 1925 an institute of geology was founded, and in 1929, an institute of applied mineralogy. The training of scientific personnel and the expansion of research in the area of geology were directed by A. I. Dzhanelidze, A. A. Tvalchrelidze. and K. E. Gabuniia. The main research trends were the stratigraphy of the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Cenozoic deposits that make up the territory of Georgia, the related questions of tectonics, and certain problems in petrography and mineralogy. Work in geophysics was expanded. Aerological and actinometric sections were established at the Tbilisi Observatory, in addition to a system of meteorological stations. Between 1935 and 1937 the magnetic observatory was transferred from Tbilisi to Dusheti; in 1941 the Kazbeg High-Altitude Meteorological Observatory was built.

During this same period the Georgian school of geography, headed by A. N. Dzhavakhishvili, took shape.

Chemical research was initially directed toward the study of mineral raw materials (in particular, clays), water, and agricultural products (especially wine and tea). The P. G. Melikishvili Institute of Chemistry (now the P. G. Melikishvili Institute of Physical and Organic Chemistry) was established in 1929, and the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry was established in 1932.

Under the leadership of L. I. Dzhaparidze. the Institute of Botany, which was organized in 1934, worked on questions of plant taxonomy and geography and the physiology of vegetative reproduction. N. N. Ketskhoveli’s fundamental work Main Types of Flora of Georgia was published in 1935.

The Institute of Physiology, headed by I. S. Beritashvili, was established in 1935 from the physiological laboratory of the university; its main orientation is the study of the central nervous system of animals and humans.

Agricultural science developed intensively. An agricultural institute was organized in 1929; in 1932, a zooveterinary institute was founded. The department of medicine of the university, which was made into a medical institute in 1930, played an important role in the development of medical science. Under Soviet power, a number of higher technical schools and scientific research institutions, including a polytechnical institute that separated from the university, were established for the first time; extensive research, particularly in the areas of machine building and construction and the exploitation and use of local resources, was conducted there.

DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD. The rapid rate of development of scientific research brought about the possibility of establishing a national center of scientific thought in the republic in 1941—the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR. Research on all of the main trends in modern science has been conducted in Georgia since the 1940’s; it is developing according to the tasks of economic and cultural construction and in line with existing traditions.

Mathematics. Mathematicians and scientists in the area of mechanics are working mainly at the A. M. Razmadze Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Applied Mathematics of the University of Tbilisi. A contribution of the Georgian school of applied mathematics and mechanics to world science has been the creation of a complete theory for the plane problem of the mathematical theory of elasticity. The work of N. I. Muskhelishvili in this area was extended by I. N. Vekua and his students. Vekua also developed a complete theory of generalized analytic functions. The theory of singular integral Cauchy equations was completed in a number of works by N. I. Muskhelishvili, I. N. Vekua (Lenin Prize. 1963). and others. The next stage was the construction of a general theory of three-dimensional problems of the mathematical theory of elasticity on the basis of multidimensional singular integral equations; this theory assumed great practical importance. The basic framework of this research was completed in the 1960’s (V. D. Kupradze and his students).

Research in the institute was also being conducted on functional analysis, topology (G. S. Chogoshvili and his coworkers), the theory of functions of real variables (V. G. Chelidze and co-workers), theory of numbers, probability theory, and the foundations of mathematics (L. P. Gokieli). Systematic research has been conducted on questions of approximation analysis and computer technology (Sh. E. Mikeladze). A new stage in this direction of scientific development came in the early 1960’s with the establishment of the Computer Center, where new methods of computational mathematics, the theoretical bases of new computers, and mathematical methods for the optimal planning and management of the economy are being developed.

Physics. The rapid development of physics in Georgia began in the 1955’s. after the establishment of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR. Research is also carried on in the university, in institutions of higher learning, and in branch institutes. Work on general questions of theoretical physics (M. M. Mirianashvili and others) and on the theory of the atomic nucleus (V. I. Mamasakhlisov and others) has continued; in particular, a model of nucleon associations as applied to light nuclei has been worked out.

The greatest efforts during the 1950’s were concentrated on the physics of cosmic rays. High-altitude stations were constructed, including the Tskhra-Tskaro installation, one of the most powerful in the world. The physics of elementary particles developed. Applied nuclear physics took shape after the start-up of a nuclear reactor in Tbilisi in 1959. Simultaneously, research unfolded on the quantum hydrodynamics of liquid gels. All these trends in physical science developed under the leadership of E. L. Andronikashvili. Work on solid-state physics in the 1955’s was essentially devoted to the theoretical study of a number of effects of low-temperature magnetism (G. R. Khutsishvili). After the nuclear reactor was put into service, the study of the influence of irradiation on crystal microstructures began.

New trends—plasma physics and the physics of biological macromolecules, particularly under low temperatures— appeared at the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR in the 1960’s; this work became possible through the development at the institute of a method of scanning differential calorimetry. An important contribution to world science was also made by a group of Georgian physicists engaged in the study of cosmic rays. Their years of work, which was conducted in contact with the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences-of the Armenian SSR and the Moscow Institute of Engineering Physics, led to the creation of a spark stream chamber, which has a high capacity to record a large number of particles (G. E. Chikovani, V. N. Ronishvili, G. P. Asatiani. and A. I. Alikhanian; Lenin Prize, 1970). With the aid of spark chambers, Chikovani and others discovered four short-lived elementary particles (resonances) at the CERN accelerator in Switzerland. Theoretical research on the physics of elementary particles (strong and weak interactions) is also conducted at the institute, and important results have been achieved in the area of applied nuclear physics. A principally new, powerful source of gamma radiation, the radiation loop, has been created at the Tbilisi reactor by E. L. Andronikashvili and G. I. Kik-nadze. Work on semiconductor physics, the physics of metals, physical electronics, the theory of gravitation, and the history of physics is also in progress.

Astronomy. Effective study of the interstellar medium, the structure of the galaxy, variable and transient stars and their spectral characteristics, the surface of the moon, and the upper atmosphere of earth, as well as work on the solar service, is being conducted under the direction of E. K. Kharadze at the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR. Research on the diffusion medium in the galaxy led to the determination of the electron density in planetary nebulas and the discovery of the polarization of radiation of the Crab Nebula. A new astronomical device for the study of the physical properties of the surface of the moon has been created.

Technical sciences. A broad system of scientific institutions that study technical problems has been established in Georgia. Scientific research work in mining is conducted mainly at the Institute of Mining Mechanics. The physical and technical bases for the working of deposits, mining mechanics, and mine-shaft gas aerodynamics have been developed by G. A. Tsulukidze, A. A. Dzidziguri, and K. M. Baramidze.

In the science of construction, taking into account the complex topography and the existence of regions of seismic activity, much attention has been given to problems of earthquake-proof construction, particularly of hydraulic-engineering, transportation, and other structures erected under mountainous conditions. Scientific research work is conducted at the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Earthquake-proofing of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, the Institute of Building Materials, the Tbilisi Scientific Research Institute of Structures and Hydroelectric Power Engineering, and a number of institutions of higher learning. Research based on dynamic theories of earthquake-proofing (K. S. Zavriev, O. D. Oniashvili, and others), whose underlying principles were established for the first time by the Georgian school of earthquake-proofing scientists, has become world-famous.

Research in the area of machine science is conducted mainly at the Institute of Machine Mechanics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (under the direction of R. R. Dvali and V. V. Makhaldiani), as well as at the polytechnical institute (I. I. Bakradze, D. S. Tavkhelidze, and T. N. Loladze) and the agricultural institute. Significant success has been achieved in the areas of the machine dynamics, the theory of heat engines, the reliability and durability of mobile machines, and the theory of cutting.

In the 1960’s, in the context of the scientific and technical revolution, extensive work in the areas of cybernetics and automatic control systems unfolded at the Institute of Cybernetics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (the first such institute in the USSR) under the direction of V. V. Chavchanidze, at the Institute of Control Systems of the Academy of Sciences, at the Tbilisi Scientific Research Institute of Instrument-making and Automation Devices, and at institutions of higher learning. This work was oriented toward the study of the physical, bionic, and functional-logical bases for the creation of cybernetic and bionic systems, the development of theoretical principles, and the creation of systems of optimal automatic control of various processes on the basis of contemporary electronic technology. Research has been conducted on automatic identification of a complex of spoken commands, and work has been done on automatic translation from Russian to Georgian. Work on cybernetics and automatic control is directed by N. V. Gabashvili, V. V. Chavchanidze, and A. I. Eliash-vili.

Chemistry. Research on chemistry and metallurgy is developing at the P. G. Melikishvili Institute of Physical and Organic Chemistry, the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry, the Institute of Metallurgy, the I. G. Kutateladze Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, branch institutes, and institutions of higher learning. During the 1944’s and 1950’s, research in inorganic chemistry was conducted on the synthesis and study of new complex compounds of cobalt and nickel, various salts of rare earths, methods of extracting a number of metals from sulfide ores, and the extraction of iodine from drilling water. In the field of organic chemistry, work has been done on the chemistry of petroleum, organic catalysis and synthesis, and mac-romolecular compounds; methods for the synthesis of acetylene, ethylene, and other compounds to produce polymers and biologically active substances were developed; the action of various catalytic agents on the refining process was studied; and luminescent substances were separated from petroleum. An electrolytic method of obtaining pure manganese was introduced. In the area of physical chemistry, work was done on the structure of matter, chemical kinetics, and surface phenomena.

In the 1960’s, significant success was also achieved in other directions. At the Institute of Physical and Organic Chemistry, original methods for the synthesis of fine-pored zeolites—molecular screens—were developed by G. V. Tsit-sishvili. Efficient stationary catalysts for the desulfurization of petroleum and petroleum derivatives and the hydrogena-tion of fats (Kh. I. Areshidze) and a chemical compound to combat the European spruce bark beetle were created. A method to produce new phosphors from petroleum was developed by L. D. Melikadze. Biologically active organic and complex compounds and chelates of metals that hold promise for combating various plant diseases have been produced. Important results have been obtained in the area of the chemistry and technology of natural polymeric materials applied to the production of new plastics.

At the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry, research is being conducted on the chemistry and electrochemistry of manganese and its compounds, the thermodynamic properties of inorganic compounds, and the influence of radiation on chemical processes. Significant results have been achieved with regard to new methods of processing mineral raw materials (R. I. Agladze and others). A high-temperature calorimetric unit of high precision has been made, and research is being conducted on a number of inorganic substances, above all, semiconductor compounds (N. A. Landiia).

At the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, under the leadership of V. S. Asatiani, the chemistry of biologically active substances contained in the flora of Georgia is being studied, and work is under way to create substances for medicine and a number of branches of the economy. New medicinal preparations—in particular, for the synthesis of steroid hormones and for the cure of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular deficiency—have been created.

At the Institute of Metallurgy, new forms of raw materials and low alloys have been created (F. N. Tavadze), high-purity boron has been produced, the crystallization of semiconductor solid solutions of the germanium-silicon system is being studied, and designs for metallurgical equipment are developed. Research work has been completed, and powerful mechanized enclosed electric ore-reduction furnaces (developed by G. Sh. Mikeladze) have been introduced into the ferroalloy industry of the country. A number of new alloys and deoxidizing agents, as well as high-purity electrolytic manganese, have been produced.

The technology of the production of special new refractory materials and protective cements, glass, and glazes has been developed and their properties studied (K. S. Kutateladze). A number of heteroorganic compounds containing silicon, germanium, and tin have been synthesized (I. M. Gverdtsiteli). Physicochemical methods of detecting rare and trace elements have been developed (D. I. Eristavi). Work has been done on chemical cybernetics, radiochemis-try, and the chemistry of hot atoms.

Geology. Research in geology is being conducted at the Institute of Geology of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, at institutions of higher learning, and at a number of branch organizations. Paleontological research (I. V. Kacharava, A. L. Tsagareli, and others) has made it possible to determine layers of sedimentary and volcanogenic-sedimentary rocks in Georgia. Stratigraphic diagrams are the basis of regional geological research, which has made it possible to determine Georgia’s tectonic structure (A. I. Dzhanelidze and P. D. Gamkrelidze). As a result of long years of research by volcanologists (G. S. Dzotsenidze and others), geochemists, and mineralogists, the factors in the genesis of ore deposits have been established; in particular, an enclosed copper deposit of industrial dimensions has been discovered in southern Georgia. Important radiological measurements of the absolute age of ore rocks have been carried out.

The hydrogeologists of Georgia (I. M. Buachidze and others) have established processes in the formation of fresh artesian and mineral waters.

Geophysics. Geophysical research is mainly conducted at the Institute of Geophysics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR and at the university; significant results have been achieved by A. V. Bukhnikashvili and A. I. Kartsivadze. The processes of formation of large cumulus clouds have been studied and methods developed to prevent hail damage. The technical means for the introduction of specific reagents into clouds have been established and have been used in other union republics, as well as in Bulgaria. Geomagnetic and magnetic-ionospheric observations, seismic research, gravimetric surveying of the territory of the republic, and aeromagnetic and hydrometric work have been carried out; a method of electrical geophysical exploration and prospecting is being used.

Geography. The main center for geographic research is the Vakhushti Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR. Comprehensive geographic research has covered virtually all of Georgia. Questions of general interest primarily to mountainous countries are studied. The scientific principles of the efficient use of the natural and labor resources of Georgia and the correct distribution of productive forces, as well as systems of measures to combat the harmful influence of certain forms of economic activity on the environment—especially pollution of the atmosphere and alteration of its gas composition (F. F. Davitaia)—have been developed. A geographic atlas of Georgia has been published (1964). L. I. Maruashvili has written a fundamental work on physical geography.

Biology. Work is being conducted at institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR—botany, zoology, physiology, experimental morphology, and paleobiology: the Institute of Plant Biochemistry; the Central. Batumi, and Sukhumi botanical gardens; scientific agricultural and medical institutions; and institutions of higher learning.

Georgian botanists have accomplished a great deal in the study of the taxonomy, geography, and origins of the natural and cultivated vegetation of Georgia—in particular, the origin of cultivated forms of wheat. The eight-volume work Flora of Georgia has been published (1941–52; the second edition is being prepared). The principles of geobotanical re-gionalization have been established. Research on the introduction and acclimatization of plants is conducted in botanical gardens. Many questions of plant physiology and anatomy, growth, and nutrition—particularly the use of growth stimulants—have been developed. Important work has been done on subtropical plant cultivation, the physiology of citrus fruits, the problem of the productivity of grapevines, and the fight against chlorosis.

Zoologists are studying the species composition, ecological-geographic distribution, and economic significance of various groups of land animals in Georgia’s natural zones, as well as the biology of insects and parasites (B. E. Kurashvili and others) and fish. Biological methods of combating the European spruce bark beetle have been developed. The paleontological materials that have been compiled have made possible the development of a new paleobiological direction in paleontology (L. Sh. Davita-shvili).

The research of the Georgian school of physiologists, headed by I. S. Beritashvili. has become world-famous. It is devoted to the principles of higher nervous activity and neurophysiology in humans and animals, the functional biochemistry of the nervous system (P. A. Kometiani). the influence of radiation on animal organisms, and the physiology of muscles, digestion, and reproduction. The nature of central inhibition has been investigated. The electrical activity of the brain in its normal state and under conditions of various diseases, as well as the interaction of the cortex and subcortical structures of the brain, has been studied. The efficiency of skeletal muscles, the influence of fatigue, and factors in restoring muscle efficiency have been studied. Methods of microphysiological study of electrical phenomena in the nervous sytem—particularly the cell physiology of the spinal cord—are used.

During the 1960’s there was a profound restructuring of the organization of biological research and its subjects. New divisions and laboratories were created in institutes. Work expanded in the areas of genetics, microbiology, cytology, paleoecology, biophysics, and biochemistry. A laboratory of plant biochemistry separated from the Institute of Botany and was reorganized as an independent institute in 1971. Research on form development, reproduction, and the development of plants has been conducted at the Institute of Botany; in particular, there has been phylogenetic study of Georgian wheat (V. L. Menabde). The monograph Sex in Plants by L. I. Dzhaparidze (parts 1–2. 1963–65) is of great importance.

Research is under way on the evolution of organic forms, natural selection and evolutionary progress, the process of extinction of organisms, and the interrelation of ontogeny and phylogeny. Research results have been summarized in L. Sh. Davitashvili’s works The Mutation of Organisms in the Geological Past (1970) and The Causes of Extinction of Organisms (1969) and in L. K. Gabuniia’s monograph The Extinction of the Earliest Reptiles and Mammals (1969).

At the A. N. Natishvili Institute of Experimental Morphology, studies of capillaries in different functional states at various stages of individual development, as well as under pathological conditions, have been conducted. The vascularization of the heart and the walls of blood vessels is being studied, and the data obtained have become the basis for the use of veins as a flexible material in restoring the passability of arteries. The replacement of a portion of artery by its own vein has been introduced; methods have been developed for using polyvinyl chloride tubes to replace blood vessels (N. A. Dzhavakhishvili, M. E. Komakhidze, and others).

Morphological and functional changes preceding and facilitating the degeneration of precancerous diseases of the mammary glands into cancer have been established; the production of substances that participate in the formation of fibrous elements of the stromata of tumors has been traced.

The Institute of Plant Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, directed by S. V. Durmi-shidze, develops research on the biochemistry of nitrogen-containing compounds and secondarily derived substances: the DNA of cellular structures, the material bases of extra-chromosomal heredity, the enzyme systems of nitrogen metabolism, and proteins and peptides of growth are studied. Research is conducted at the tissue, cellular, and subcellular levels. It has been shown that the nuclei of the cells of a number of higher plants are characterized by multicompo-nent DNA molecules. The role of DNA and RNA in the process of division and differentiation of plastids and in the accumulation of chlorophyll has been clarified.

Several means of chemical conversion of phenol substances have been discovered. The facts obtained have considerably expanded the notions concerning the mechanisms by which plants assimilate various organic substances through their roots, as well as the metabolic links between cyclic and acyclic compounds. Research on the metabolism of aromatic hydrocarbons has revealed new means of their conversion; new sources of biosynthesis of phenols in plants have been revealed. The study of the interaction of plants and organic substances in the atmosphere establishes the prerequisites for an explanation of the biological bases for the creation of plant communities and, at the same time, for the development of biological methods of purifying polluted air.

At the Institute of Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, the study of the physiological, morphological, and biochemical bases of memory has become the main problem (I. S. Beritashvili and P. A. Kometiani). A number of brain formations that play particularly important roles in the short-term memory process have been discovered. I. S. Beritashvili has compiled a new classification of various forms of memory and has provided an original theory of their origin. The conditions for the automation of experiments in the simulation of physiological processes have been established.

A basic stage in the study of the effect of radiation on the cardiovascular system of living organisms has been completed. Research has begun on the pathogenesis of the most acute form of radiation sickness, particularly the study of displacements in the nervous system.

Medicine. Important branches of medical science have been developed in Georgia; among them are the history of medicine (V. I. Kotetishvili). morphology (A. N. Natishvili), hygiene and microbiology (S. S. Amiredzhibi and G. G. Eliava), pharmaceutics (I. G. Kutateladze). internal medicine (S. S. Virsaladze, A. S. Aladashvili. and M. D. Tsi-namdzgvrishvili). pediatrics (S. K. Gogitidze), neurology and psychiatry (M. M. Asatiani and S. N. Kipshidze), surgery (G. M. Mukhadze, N. S. Kakhiani, and A. G. Machavariani), and obstetrics and gynecology (G. G. Gambarashvili and I. E. Tikanadze).

Pressing medical problems are dealt with at a medical institute, an institute of advanced training for doctors, and 22 scientific research institutes. Through the multiple application of modern research methods, a new working theory of carcinogenesis concerning the significance of the suppression of the processes of cellular activity in the development of tumors has been formulated; the forms of actinomycosis in humans have been established, and a rational classification of them has been proposed and has found general acceptance; for the first time, the possibility of producing nonpathogenic strains of bacteria has been demonstrated, thus opening up extensive prospects for the creation of effective new vaccines; and important principles of the interneuron links of the human brain have been discovered (V. K. Zhgenti, A. D. Zurabashvili. I. Ia. Tatishvili, and L. K. Sharashidze).

The influence on the organism of the natural curative factors of the health resorts of the republic have been studied and local resources in terms of medicinal plant raw materials investigated, new medicines have been manufactured, and many questions of the causes of pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of a number of internal diseases, including epilepsy, have been defined more precisely (Sh. A. Mikeladze, P. M. Saradzhishvili, V. M. Okudzhava, and P. G. Gelba-khiani).

Work has been done to introduce synthetic hibernation, hypothermy, and artificial circulation into clinical practice in cardiovascular surgery: a method of replacing diseased vessels with prostheses made of synthetic materials has been mastered: a method of treating causalgia by unraveling nerve cords has been proposed; original devices for suturing vessels and for easing childbirth have been created; and restorative operations to treat diseased hearing organs and joints have been introduced (K. D. Eristavi and A. P. Tsulukidze, N. V. Antelava [Lenin Prize. 1961], K. P. Chikovani, S. N. Khechinashvili [Lenin Prize. 1964], K. V. Chachava, O. N. Gudushauri, and M. G. Akhalaia).

The I. F. Zhordaniia Scientific Research Institute of Female Physiology and Pathology studies the causes and mechanisms of the development of sterility, as well as questions relating to its treatment and prevention.

Agricultural science. A ramified system of scientific research institutions of agriculture has been formed. A great deal of study has been done on the soils of Georgia, on their genesis and agricultural utilization, and on the augmentation of their fertility, as well as on the development of methods of combating various kinds of soil erosion (M. N. Sabashvili and M. K. Daraselia). A complex of agrotechnical measures for the cultivation of tea, citrus fruits, laurel, and other subtropical crops has been established. New methods of pre-planting cultivation of the soil, on both slopes and plains, have been developed. Great strides have been made in the breeding and seed growing of tea (K. E. Bakhtadze), and valuable new varieties have been bred and put into production; frost-resistant hybrids intended for the northern tea-growing regions merit particular attention. The botanical and agrobiological characteristics and economic qualities of many Georgian varieties of grapes have been studied. New methods of shaping and loading bushes of grapevines have been developed (S. M. Cholokashvili, M. A. Ramishvili, V. I. Kantariia, and M. A. Khomizurashvili). Research work to create frost-resistant strains of citrus fruits has expanded, and new polyploid strains have been obtained. A machine for the selective harvesting of the green tea leaf (the Sakartvelo; Lenin Prize, 1967) has been created (Sh. Ia. Kereselidze and others) and put into production, and scientific principles of plant protection have been developed (L. A. Kanchaveli). Strides have been made in the study of problems of livestock raising, land reclamation and hydraulic engineering, the mechanization and electrification of agriculture, and agricultural economics and organization.


Social sciences. SOCIAL THOUGHT IN GEORGIA FROM ANCIENT TIMES TO THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. The birth of philosophy in Georgia dates to the third century A.D. The Colchian school was the center of philosophical thought during the classical period; it is conjectured that Aristotelian philosophy predominated there. Bakuri, an adherent of stoicism, was active in the second half of the fourth century; he was influenced by Libani, an ideologist of the classical period and a critic of Christianity.

The beginning of feudalization in Georgia and the acceptance of Christianity as the state religion brought a new medieval ideology into being. Simultaneously, Manichaeism spread in Georgia. The activity of the Manichaean Mobidan, whose works were burned by representatives of Georgian Orthodox Christianity, dates to the 430’s. Peter Iver (fifth century), who taught that good was the sole and supreme principle, played a prominent role in the mastering and reworking of the classical philosophical legacy. According to the opinion of a number of scholars (Sh. Nutsubidze and others), certain works that constituted a Christian reworking of Neoplatonism and that were ascribed in antiquity to Dionysius the Areopagite belonged to Iver. In the sixth century the philosophers D. Garedzheli and A. Nekreseli strove to provide a rationalistic substantiation of a number of basic propositions of Christianity. The earliest monuments containing historical information that have come down to us are works of hagiographic church literature (fifth through tenth centuries).

In the sixth century, worldly sentiments and heightened interest in social life began to be displayed ever more strongly in the social and philosophical thought of Georgia. The rhetorician and political figure Aiet found the bases of interrelations between various countries, peoples, and individuals to be in virtue. Fartazi considered “unity of views” to be the basis of agreement and neighborly relations among peoples. The analogy between society and the living organism ran through the social thought of the sixth and early seventh centuries.

The conquest of Georgia by the Arabs (mid-seventh century) brought a strengthening in Christian religious dogmatism and the spread of eschatological ideas. The awakening of social thoiight and patriotic sentiments that was evident in the eighth to tenth centuries was expressed in the work of the writers and thinkers Ioann Sabanidze and Georgii Merchule. The first work of secular historiography that has come down to us is the Chronicle of the Conversion of Kartli (ninth century), which includes a historical chronicle from the fourth century B.C.

Evfimii Iver’s work The Wisdom of Balavar, which expresses Areopagitic ideas, dates to the tenth and 11th centuries. It is conjectured that Iver was the author of the Greek version of this work, the so-called Novel About Varlaam and Ioasaf, which was popular in the Christian East and the countries of the West.

In the 11th century Efrem Mtsire, the founder of Scholasticism in Georgia, furthered the popularization of classical philosophical ideas through his translations and commentaries. The works of Mtsire and other representatives of the Georgian Athos literary school present historical facts and use folklore, written and material monuments, and the testimony of witnesses.

Philosophical thought in Georgia subsequently developed in two directions. The conservative wing was represented by A. Ikaltoeli (12th century), who maintained the standpoint of Christian dogmatism; the progressive wing was represented by I. Petritsi (11th and 12th centuries). Petritsi’s views, which took shape under the influence of Neoplatonism, exerted a beneficial influence on the subsequent development of Georgian philosophical thought.

Sh. Rustaveli, the greatest representative of humanism in Georgia, was active in the 12th century. The ideals of the value of earthly existence found reflection in his narrative poem The Man in the Panther’s Skin.

During the 11th and 12th centuries, Georgian historiography expressed the interests of the central power. A collection of old Georgian historical writings, Kartlis tskhovreba (History of Georgia), was compiled in the 12th century.

The long rule of the Mongols, and later of the Persians and Turks, undermined the political unity and economic power of Georgia and retarded its cultural development. A renaissance began in the 17th century. S. Orbeliani and A. Bagrationi were important representatives of Georgian philosophical thought during the 17th and 18th centuries. Orbeliani, who developed the ideas of humanism, emerged as a supporter of enlightened absolutism. Bagrationi’s activity belonged to the spheres of logic, metaphysics, ethics, and physics.

In the first quarter of the 18th century the Commission of Learned Men, which edited the collection Kartlis tskhovreba and brought the history of Georgia up to the 18th century, was established on the initiative of King Vakhtang VI. Va-khushti Bagrationi was an outstanding representative of Georgian feudal historiography: his sphere of investigation included questions of sociopolitical and economic history, historical geography, ethnography, chronology, genealogy, and cartography. The activity of D. Guramishvili, the founder of the democratic orientation in Georgian social thought, dates to the 18th century.

After Georgia was annexed by Russia, the development of Georgian philosophy was closely linked to that of Russian philosophical thought. The materialist and enlightened thinker D. Bagrationi saw matter in motion as the foundation of the world. His views were developed further by S. Dodashvili, who proclaimed the human being to be the main subject of philosophy and the investigation of the principles of human reasoning activity to be the aim of philosophy. During this period I. Bagrationi, I. Khelashvili, and others presented enlightened and idealist positions. During the 1850’s, G. Kikodze attempted to combine materialist and idealist ideas, thus ensuring in advance that his philosophical constructions would be inconsistent and internally contradictory.

Georgian historiography developed further, and much credit in the process belonged to Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences M. Brosse, the author of fundamental works of research on Georgia’s history and in auxiliary disciplines (historiography, numismatics, and epigraphies). Brosse published the main sources on the history of Georgia (Kartlis tskhovreba and other works) in the original and in French translation. In the mid-19th century, P. Ioseliani investigated the history of Georgian cities and antiquities, and S. Baratov (Baratashvili) attempted to connect the history of Georgia with world history.

From the 18th to mid-19th century, writings on economics appeared in which notions similar to the ideas of the physiocrats and mercantilists and dealing with questions of domestic trade, money circulation, landownership and tenure, serfdom, handicrafts and domestic industry, and agriculture are encountered. The necessity of the development of free enterprise and the division of labor, of the organization of state credit, and of foreign trade as a means of accumulating money (gold and silver) was advocated.

The 1860’s were an important period in the development of Georgian philosophy: it was then that I. G. Chavchavadze, A. R. Tsereteli, N. Ia. Nikoladze, G. E. Tsereteli, K. B. Lordkipanidze, and others presented a program of revolutionary democracy and struggle for the elimination of national oppression. The articles of I. G. Chavchavadze and D. I. Kipiani put forth the idea of the universality of labor as the basis of a new social structure. I. G. Chavchavadze presented a materialist resolution of the basic question of philosophy. He began to study Marxism seriously in the 1890’s. G. E. Tsereteli, A. R. Tsereteli, and N. Ia. Nikoladze also defended the idea that there is an objective reality and that human beings are capable of comprehending it adequately. From the late 1860’s, under the influence of N. G. Chernyshevskii, Nikoladze became a defender of the ideas of communal socialism. The ideas of Utopian socialism were propagated by A. N. Purtseladze, M. A. Kikodze, Gr. I. Tarkhan-Mouravi, and N. Inashvili. The views of Nikoladze and Purtseladze facilitated the emergence of petit bourgeois populist socialism in Georgia. This ideology, which began to take shape in the 1870’s, was at first progressive.

The sociological ideas of the positivists were widely disseminated in the 1880’s; under the influence of progressive Russian and European science, natural scientific materialism spread. A considerable role in its development was played by I. R. Tarkhnishvili, a student and follower of I. M. Se-chenov. Gr. R. Eristavi, G. Kheladze, P. I. Ioseliani, and Gr. Mukhran-Batoni opposed the materialist trend.

In the second half of the 19th century, in conjunction with the development of capitalism in Georgia, original economic treatises devoted to questions of political economics, statistics, credit, finance, trade, industry, and agriculture began to appear. These works propagandized the ideas of bourgeois economists concerning the advantages of capitalist enterprise. In the late 1860’s, the capitalist mode of production began to come under criticism both from the Georgian populists and from the revolutionary democrats.

Bourgeois historiography originated in the second half of the 19th century: the “internal life” of the country and the history of the people were studied. Work expanded on the study of sources, historical geography, Georgian paleography, and archaeology. The Georgian shestidesiatniki and revolutionary democrats (I. G. Chavchavadze and others) posed the question of the need to study the role of the people in history and the social organization of society. They compiled and analyzed Georgian historical sources, discovered monuments of material culture and daily life, opposed the colonial policies of tsarism, and supported strengthened ties with the progressive individuals of Russia. In the late 19th and early 20th century, M. G. Dzhanashvili, F. D. Zhor-daniia, and E. S. Takaishvili played important roles in the collection and study of historical antiquities of Georgia.

Georgian studies also developed at the University of St. Petersburg (D. Chubinashvili, Al. A. Tsagareli, and N. Ia. Marr). In the prerevolutionary period, I. A. Dzhavakhishvili played a large role in the development of historiography and auxiliary disciplines.

At the end of the 19th century, the intensive development of capitalist production led to the formation of a working class in Georgia. Favorable conditions for the spread of Marxism were created. As early as the late 1860’s, the names of the founders of scientific communism were encountered in Georgian periodicals with ever greater frequency. In 1886 a note in the magazine Teatri on the Russian publication of the second volume of Capital stated that K. Marx was an outstanding expert on political economy and that thanks to Marx, economic science and the critique of the contemporary social structure had reached such a level that it would be a long time before anyone who could compare with him appeared.

In the 1890’s, the works of Georgian Marxists began to deal with such pressing problems of economic science as wages, work time, surplus value, the concentration and centralization of capital, crises of overproduction, factory legislation, the interrelation of the city and countryside, the proletarianization of the peasantry, and the trade union movement. In the struggle against bourgeois distortions of the economic teachings of Marx, the foundations of Marxist-Leninist economic science were laid in Georgia.

The period of development of social thought in Georgia from the late 19th century to the establishment of Soviet power (1921) was determined by the struggle between revolutionary Marxism and various currents hostile to it. The Georgian Marxists V. Z. Ketskhoveli, F. I. Makharadze, J. V. Stalin, A. G. Tsulukidze, and M. G. Tskhakaia actively propagandized the ideas of scientific socialism in their works.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES AFTER THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION. Philosophy. With the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia in 1921, the conditions were created for the education of the masses in the spirit of Marxist ideology. The main philosophical works of K. Marx and F. En-gels, as well as a collection of the works of V. I. Lenin, were translated into Georgian. The principles of Marxist-Leninist philosophy were defended against efforts to revise them in articles by F. I. Makharadze, K. K. Gordeladze, and I. I. Vashakmadze. Georgian philosophers devoted particular attention to the history of pre-Marxist philosophy and to problems of the Leninist stage of Marxist philosophy.

In departments of dialectical and historical materialism, the history of philosophy, and logic at the university and in subdepartments of philosophy and Marxism-Leninism in a number of institutes, scientific research work unfolded and training of philosophy specialists was conducted. The Institute of Marxism-Leninism was created in 1931. A number of monographs, as well as textbooks on dialectical and historical materialism, were published in Georgian. The Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR was established in Tbilisi in 1946; it published numerous monographs and series of scientific works.

In the early 1920’s, Sh. I. Nutsubidze put forth a philosophical system of alethic realism, which he subsequently renounced. Work on the history of classical, modern, and contemporary foreign philosophy unfolded (Sh. I. Nutsubidze, D. N. Uznadze, S. I. Danelia, K. S. Bakradze, M. I. Gogiberidze, S. B. Tsereteli, G. V. Tevzadze, A. F. Begiashvili, and T. A. Buachidze). Problems in the areas of dialectical and historical materialism were dealt with by A. A. Kuteliia, S. A. Lartsuliani, P. I. Gudzhabidze, O. M. Bakuradze, G. S. Machitadze, G. K. Tsintsadze, O. I. Dzhioev, B. I. Lutidze, and A. K. Tsimintiia; problems of dialectical, formal, and symbolic logic, by K. S. Bakradze, S. B. Tsereteli, G. M. Kalandarashvili, Z. N. Mikeladze, and G. A. Bachulashvili; and philosophical questions of natural science and psychology, by A. T. Bochorishvili, A. E. Sheroziia, and S. Sh. Avaliani. Works on sociology and philosophical anthropology (K. R. Megrelidze, A. T. Bochorishvili, Z. M. Kakabadze, V. M. Kvachakhiia, E. I. Kodua, O. N. Tabidze, and A. S. Vacheishvili), aesthetics (N. Z. Chavchavadze, L. E. Topuridze, A. I. Tavadze, G. N. Dzhibladze, Sh. V. Gabilaia, and R. N. Shengeliia), ethics and scientific atheism (G. D. Bandzeladze, A. N. Gelashvili, and O. A. Gabidzashvili), and the history of Georgian philosophy (Sh. I. Nutsubidze, S. I. Khunadze, Sh. V. Khidasheli, and V. A. Gagoidze) have been published.


Psychology. D. N. Uznadze’s work on the development of the psychological theory of sets, which brought him world fame and led to the creation of a scientific school, dates to the 1920’s. Work on problems of psychology is conducted at the D. N. Uznadze Institute of Psychology (founded in 1941) and in subdepartments of psychology at the University of Tbilisi and other institutions of higher learning; the topics dealt with are general psychology (A. S. Prangishvili, Z. I. Khodzhava, D. I. Ramishvili, N. L. Eliava, A. G. Baindurashvili, N. G. Adamashvili, K. D. Mdivani, and A. T. Kintsurashvili), genetic psychology (R. G. Natadze, V. G. Norakidze, N. V. Chrelashvili, A. M. Avalishvili, and F. S. Khundadze), pedagogical psychology (B. I. Khachapuridze, Sh. N. Chkhartishvili, and A. G. Moshava), social and engineering psychology (Sh. A. Nadirashvili and G. N. Kechkhuashvili), and pathological psychology (I. T. Bzhalava and M. K. Kol-baiia).

Historical science. In the 1920’s, the struggle to overcome the tendencies of objectivism and vulgar sociologism in historical science unfolded in Georgia. The historical and sociopolitical development of Georgia in the 19th and early 20th century, the revolutionary movement (F. I. Makharadze and G. V. Khachapuridze), and the history of social thought (S. I. Khundadze) were studied. The fundamental works of I. A. Dzhavakhishvili on the economic and political history of Georgia and on paleography, numismatics, diplomacy, the history of Georgian law, and the study of sources were published. In the 1930’s, S. N. Dzhanashia investigated the socioeconomic structure of ancient Georgian society, dealing with questions of the replacement of the tribal system by a class society of diverse structure and with the problem of the emergence of slaveholding states in the territory of Georgia during the classical period. Significant contributions to the study of Georgia’s ancient history were made by G. V. Tsereteli (the deciphering and study of Armazian writing) and S. N. Kaukhchishvili (publication of and commentaries on the information provided by classical Greek and Byzantine writers concerning Georgia). S. N. Dzhanashia provided a Marxist treatment of the genesis of feudalism, as did N. A. Berdzenishvili for the subsequent development of Georgian feudal society (11th through 18th centuries). Russo-Georgian relations (M. A. Polievktov, N. A. Berdzenishvili, and Ia. Z. Tsintsadze), the economic development of Georgia and cities during the 19th century (P. V. Gugushvili, Sh. K. Chkhetia, and A. G. Pirtskhalaishvili), and ethnographic problems of the population of Georgia (G. S. Chitaia and S. I. Makalatiia) were studied. The major results of archaeological excavations were published (G. K. Nioradze and B. A. Kuftin). A textbook on the history of Georgia from the most ancient times to the early 19th century (edited by S. N. Dzhanashia) was published in the early 1940’s.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, monographic works on many central problems of Georgian history were published. Basing their efforts on new archaeological data and the study of written sources, Georgian scholars treated the basic questions of the ancient history of the republic—ethnogenesis, sociopolitical history (G. A. Melikishvili and G. Sh. Go-zalishvili), and the development of urban life and cultural and economic ties with the outside world (A. M. Apakidze, M. P. Inadze, T. K. Mikeladze, N. Iu. Lomouri, O. D. Lordkipanidze, and D. A. Khakhutaishvili). Further research developed on the socioeconomic history of the feudal period (N. A. Berdzenishvili, V. N. Gabashvili, Sh. A. Mes-khia, M. K. Dumbadze, M. D. Lordkipanidze, K. G. Grigoliia, D. V. Gvritishvili, O. N. Soseliia, E. V. An-chabadze, and B. R. Lominadze) and the history of feudal culture and social thought (V. D. Dondua and A. A. Rogava). Monographs were written on the history of Georgia in the era of the decay of the feudal system and the development of capitalism, including the sociopolitical and economic history of the country as a whole (P. V. Gugushvili, Sh. K. Chkhetiia, and A. Ia. Kikvidze), the development of agriculture and of agrarian relations (I. G. Antelava, A. Ia. Pantskhava, G. A. Dzidzariia, A. N. Vaneev, G. A. Purtseladze, A. S. Bendianishvili, and I. I. Uturashvili), the history of industry and of the working class (G. K. Bakradze, N. M. Tkeshelashvili, G. N. Margiani, N. A. Chakhvashvili, A. I. Kochlavashvili, and E. V. Khoshtaria), and social thought and the sociopolitical movement of the 19th century (P. K. Ratiani, Antelava, G. I. Megrelishvili, L. E. Gor-giladze, M. K. Gaprindashvili, and Z. L. Shvelidze). The rev-olutionary movement, the national and agrarian questions in the era of imperialism, and the struggle of the toiling masses of Georgia for the victory of the socialist revolution have been studied by G. V. Khachapuridze, Ia. G. Khutsishvili, N. B. Makharadze, A. N. Surguladze, G. A. Dzidzariia, T. V. Doguzov, M. V. Tsertsvadze, E. Akhobadze, I. I. Mirtskhulava, M. G. Dzhidzheishvili, and P. K. Tskvitariia.

The history of socialist construction in Georgia is being studied with respect to the various stages and basic problems: the period of the rehabilitation of the economy, 1921–25 (Iu. M. Kacharava), industrialization (A. I. Kochlavashvili), the history of the Soviet working class of Georgia (N. I. Sturua, M. V. Natmeladze, S. E. Sharikadze, and M. Ia. Kantere), kolkhoz construction (T. I. Zhgenti), the formation of the Georgian socialist nation (G. V. Bre-gadze), the development of new forms of socialist labor (S. D. Chkhartishvili), Soviet culture (Ts. P. Kalandadze and D. G. Maisuradze), and the history of Georgia during the period of the Great Patriotic War (A. P. Ioseliani and M. I. Kochiashvili). Monographs on the history of the party organization of Georgia have been published by V. G. Esaia-shvili, G. K. Zhvaniia, L. I. Ebanoidze, V. N. Merkvila-dze, N. I. Sturua, and I. Ia. Melkadze. Essays on the History of the Communist Party of Georgia (books 1–2, 1957–63), Essays on the History of the Communist Organizations of Transcaucasia (vol. 1, 1967), and Essays on the History of the Communist Party of Georgia (1971) have been published.

Georgia’s relations with Russia (Ia. Z. Tsintsadze, G. G. Paichadze, N. T. Nakashidze, and V. G. Macharadze) and with neighboring peoples of the Caucasus, the Near East, and the European countries (Z. V. Anchabadze, V. N. Gabashvili, and I. M. Tabagua) have been studied. Problems of the history of the peoples of the Near and Middle East (G. Melikishvili and V. Gabashvili), their literatures and languages (G. Tsereteli, S. Dzhikia, Iu. Abuladze, D. Kobidze, T. Gamkrelidze, K. Tsereteli, and A. Lekiashvili), and the history and literature of Byzantium (S. Kaukhchishvili) have been investigated. Research monographs have been written on the ethnography of Georgia and the Caucasus (V. V. Bar-davelidze, R. L. Kharadze, A. I. Robakidze, and M. K. Gegeshidze), on anthropology (M. G. Abdushelishvili), and on Georgian numismatics (D. G. Kapanadze and others). A great deal of work on the archaeological study of Georgia is being conducted—the Stone Age (A. I. Kalandadze, N. Z. Berdzenishvili, and D. M. Tushabramishvili), the Aeneo-lithic and Bronze Age (G. F. Gobedzhishvili, O. M. Dzhaparidze, A. I. Dzhavakhishvili, T. N. Chubinishvili, and D. L. Koridze), the classical era (A. M. Apakidze, N. V. Khoshtariia, O. D. Lordkipanidze, and D. A. Khakhutaishvili), and the feudal period (G. A. Lomtatidze, L. A. Chilashvili and V. V. Dzhaparidze). Sources on the history of the country—Georgian, as well as Greco-Roman, Armenian, Persian, Turkic-language, and European—have been published. A three-volume textbook in Georgian, The History of Georgia (1958–62), has been published, and essays on the history of Georgia in eight volumes (vols. 1 and 5, 1970), on the history of Abkhazia, and on the history of Iuzhnaia Osetiia are being published. Collections of documents on the history of Georgia in the feudal period, the 19th century, and the Revolution of 1905–07, as well as on the struggle of the toiling masses of Georgia for the establishment and consolidation of Soviet power, have come out.

Historical problems are treated at the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR: the I. A. Dzhavakhishvili Institute of History, Archaeology, and Ethnography; the Institute of Oriental Studies; the S. Dzhanashia Museum of Georgia; the D. N. Gulia Abkhazian Institute of Language, Literature, and History; the Iuzhnaia Osetiia Scientific Research Institute; the Batumi Scientific Research Institute; and the history department of the University of Tbilisi. (Questions of universal history—history of the ancient world, medieval history, modern and contemporary history—are studied in special subdepartments.)


Economics. A socioeconomic department with two divisions, economics and law, was established at the University of Tbilisi in 1922; in 1933. a department of economics was established. The Institute of Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (now the Institute of Economics and Law) was organized in 1944; its scientific research work is directed mainly toward the study of pressing problems of the economy of Soviet Georgia, the history of Georgian economic thought, the history of the economy of Georgia and Transcaucasia, political economy, sociology, and problems of branch economics.

In the 1960’s, the Scientific Research Institute of Economics and Planning of the Economy of Gosplan (State Planning Commission) of Georgia and the Scientific Research Institute of the Economics and Organization of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia were organized. Varied scientific research work on political economy, sociology, statistics, finance, and the economics of industry, agriculture, transportation, trade, and construction is conducted in these institutes, in the departments of economics of the university and the agricultural institute, and in the departments of economics of other institutions of higher learning.

Economics scholars are devoting particular attention to the pressing tasks of the economy and the planning of the economy of Georgia, studying questions of the place and role of the republic in the Union-wide division of labor, problems of increasing the efficiency of social production in industry and agriculture, and problems of the rational distribution of productive forces, the reproduction of labor power, the utilization of labor resources, the increasing of the productivity of labor, pricing, lowering of prime cost, economic accountability, and profitability, as well as analyzing and generalizing the experiences of implementing economic reforms. They also devote a great deal of attention to pressing problems of the economics of industry, agriculture, transportation, trade, and finances and to the history of economic development and economic thought and the critique of contemporary bourgeois economic theories (V. I. Abuladze. I. S. Bad-zhadze, V. S. Bakhtadze. P. V. Gugushvili, A. L. Guniia, I. L. Dzhashi, A. I. Kakabadze, L. A. Karbelashvili. M. K. Kakhetelidze, G. I. Megrelishvili. I. S. Mikeladze, A. G. Nutsubidze, A. Ia. Pantskhava, N. S. Iashvili, V. G. Chantladze, G. D. Chanukvadze, and B. A. Khasia).

A weekly newspaper of economics, Sakartvelos sakhalkho meurneoba, was published until 1925. Publication of the monthly magazine Sakartvelos ekonomisti began in 1925; it was published under various names during 1926–41 and 1958–67, and since April 1967 it has been called Sakartvelos sakhalkho meurneoba.

Jurisprudence. Before the October Revolution, the scholars of Georgia (N. Urbneli, D. Z. Bakradze, and others) conducted research primarily on questions of the history of Georgian law. Under Soviet power, national cadres of scholars have emerged; a great deal of credit in their training belongs to L. N. Andronikashvili, an eminent specialist in the area of criminal law. The monograph The History of Georgian Law by I. A. Dzhavakhishvili (vols. 1–2, 1928–29) is prominent among the works of Soviet scholars in Georgia. The comparative-historical study of legislative monuments and other legal documents, as well as the investigation of various institutes of Georgian law, is conducted by I. S. Dolidze, I. I. Surguladze, D. L. Purtseladze, A. K. Va-cheishvili, and G. N. Nadareishvili. Georgian scholars have published monographs on problems of criminal law (T. V. Tsereteli, A. K. Vacheishvili, B. Z. Purtskhvanidze, B. V. Kharazishvili, G. T. Tkesheliadze, T. G. Shavgulidze, and V. G. Makashvili). the theory of the state and law and Soviet state and administrative law (I. A. Surguladze, G. A. Naneishvili and G. Z. Intskirveli), international law (G. E. Zhvaniia and L. A. Aleksidze), civil, labor, and kolkhoz law (S. M. Dzhorbenadze, Sh. D. Chikvashvili, and D. S. Dzhomardzhidze). and civil and criminal proceedings (D. I. Polumordvinov, T. A. Liluashvili, and A. Ia. Paliashvili).

Textbooks on a number ot juridical scientific disciplines and the Russian-Georgian dictionary Juridical Terminology have been published. Legal specialists are trained at the law faculty of the University of Tbilisi. The main centers for scientific research work are the Institute of Economics and Law of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR and the department of law of the University of Tbilisi. The law journal Sabchota samartali is published.

Scientific institutions. Under Soviet power, a ramified system of scientific institutions has been established in Georgia. In 1940 there were 89 scientific institutions (including institutions of higher learning) and 3,513 scientific workers; in 1970 there were 195 scientific institutions (including 136 scientific research institutes and 18 institutions of higher learning), employing more than 20,000 scientific workers, including over 980 doctors of sciences and 5,860 candidates of sciences. Among these were 64 academicians of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (including five academicians and three corresponding members of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR) and 47 corresponding members of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR.

The scientific center of the republic is the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, which in 1971 included six divisions, encompassing 41 scientific institutions (of which 32 are scientific research institutes). The Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR publishes the journals Communications of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (in Georgian and Russian); Matsne (Bulletin), the organ of the Division of Social Sciences (in Georgian and Russian): and Metsniereba da tekhnika (in Georgian). There are 53 scientific societies in Georgia (1971).


Akademiia nauk Gruz, SSR k 50–letiiu Oktiabria. Tbilisi, 1968.

The beginnings of book publishing in the Georgian language date to the first half of the 17th century (the first Georgian book was printed in Rome in 1629). The first Georgian presses were opened in Moscow (1705) and Tbilisi (1709); later, presses were established in St. Petersburg and other cities. During the period from 1629 to 1921, about 6,000 books, with a total printing of 1.5 million copies, were published in Georgian.

Periodical literature in Georgian appeared in the early 19th century. The first Georgian newspaper, Sakartvelos gazeti (Newspaper of Georgia), was published in 1819 (in 1820 its name was changed to Kartuli gazeti. Georgian Newspaper). The publication of the semiofficial newspaper Tpilisis utske-bani (News of Tiflis) began in 1828: until 1832 it was edited by S. Dodashvili. The magazine Tsiskari (Dawn) was published from 1852 to 1875; the newspaper Droeba (Times), from 1866 to 1885. Iveriia was published first as a journal (1877–85) and then as a newspaper (1886–1906) under the editorship of I. G. Chavchavadze. Newspapers that were founded in the late 19th century included Imedi (Hope), the organ of the populists; the literary and scientific-political newspaper Kvali (Furrow); and the children’s and youth magazines Dzhedzhili (Meadow) and Nakaduli (Little Stream).

The first illegal Georgian newspaper of the Leninist Iskra trend— Brdzola (Struggle), which was printed in Baku at the underground Nina Press—was published in September 1901. In 1903 it was merged with the newspaper Proletariat into a single organ of the Caucasian Social Democratic organizations, Proletariatis brdzola (Struggle of the Proletariat), which was published in Georgian, Armenian, and Russian. The first legal Bolshevik newspaper in Transcaucasia, Kav-kazskii rabochii listok (Leaflet of the Caucasian Worker), was published in November 1905; the daily Bolshevik newspaper Akhali tskhovreba (New Life) came out in June-July 1906; and between November 1906 and January 1907 the legal Bolshevik trade union newspaper Akhali droeba (New Times) was published. A total of 105 periodicals were published in Georgia in 1913.

After the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia, publishing began to develop rapidly. From 1921 to 1929 more than 73,500 books, with a total printing of 363.4 million copies, were published.

The largest Georgian publishing houses are Sabchota Sakartvelo (Soviet Georgia), Metsniereba (Science), Ga-natleba (Enlightenment), Nakaduli (Little Stream; publishes children’s and young people’s literature), and Merani (the publishing house of the Writers’ Union of the Georgian SSR). Books are published in Georgian, Russian, Azerbaijani, Abkhazian, and Ossetic, as well as in foreign languages. In 1970 the publishing houses of Georgia issued 2,211 books and pamphlets, with total editions of 15,944,000 copies, and the number of magazines and other periodicals, in addition to serial publications, reached 132 (yearly circulation of 14,424,000 copies). Political, scientific, fiction, satire, children’s, women’s, and other magazines include Sakartvelos komunisti (Communist of Georgia; since 1930), Mnatobi (Lamp; since 1924), Drosha (Banner; since 1951), Niangi (Crocodile; since 1923), Sakartvelos kali (Woman of Georgia; since 1957), Sabchota khelovneba (Soviet Art; since 1935), Dila (Morning; since 1928), and Pioneri (Pioneer; since 1926) in Georgian, and Literaturnaia Gruziia (Literary Georgia; since 1957) in Russian.

Some 142 newspapers are published in the republic (1970), including 12 republic newspapers, seven newspapers of the autonomous republics and oblasts, nine city newspapers, 66 raion newspapers, 33 local newspapers, and 15 kolkhoz newspapers; the total yearly newspaper circulation is 589,265,000 copies. The republic newspapers are Komunisti (Communist; since 1920), Soplis tskovreba (Country Life; since 1960), Akhalgazrda komunisti (Young Communist; since 1925), Norchi lenineli (Young Leninist; since 1931), Literaturuli Sakartvelo (Literary Georgia; since 1934), Lelo (since 1934), and Sakhalkho ganatleba (Public Education; since 1928) in Georgian, Zaria Vostoka (Dawn of the East; since 1922) and Molodezh’ Gruzii (Youth of Georgia; since 1920) in Russian, Sovet Kurchustany (Soviet Georgia; since 1922) in Azerbaijani, and Sovetakan Vrastan (Soviet Georgia; since 1921) in Armenian. The Georgian Telegraph Agency (GruzTAG) has been operating since 1936.

Regular radio broadcasting began in Georgia in 1927. In 1970, Republic Radio broadcast on three programs, in Georgian, Azerbaijani, Russian, and Armenian.

Television broadcasting has existed since December 1956. Since 1971, broadcasting has been on two channels, in Georgian and Russian; there are also relays of broadcasts from Moscow. Three times a week there are color television broadcasts. There is a television center in Tbilisi.


Folklore. Beginning in extreme antiquity, songs, myths, legends, fairy tales and poems, ballads, mysteries, and proverbs formed among the people. References to the theomachist Amirani, the Georgian Prometheus, are found in the works of the ancient Greek poet Apollonius of Rhodes (third century B.C.);the epic Amirani has come down to us in many versions. Eteriani, a poem about the love of the tsare-vich Abesalom for the shepherdess Eteri, belongs to the epics of the Middle Ages. The narrative poems The Destruction of the Princes Areshidze and Song of Arsen tell how the peasants rose up against the landowners and feudal lords. Love lyrics, heroic tales, and work songs were often associated with historical figures and events.

The main themes of popular Georgian poetry of the 19th and early 20th century are the movement for national liberation and revolution, the burdensome life of the toiling masses, and the struggle for a bright future. Many genres of Georgian folklore have retained their artistic significance and vitality in socialist society. Contemporary Georgian folk art expresses the feelings and thoughts of the people about the triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution (the songs “We Rose Up,” “October” and others), socialist construction (“Song With Chonguri Accompaniment”), kolkhoz life (“Song of the Kolkhoz Farmer” and “The Woman Kolkhoz Farmer”), the cultural revolution, friendship between peoples, and the heroism of the Soviet forces in the Great Patriotic War. The artistic images of Georgian folklore have become a permanent part of literature. The collecting and recording of the monuments of folk art began in the 17th century. The systematic study of folklore began in the 1860’s and has gained strong momentum during the years of Soviet power.

Ancient literature. The oldest surviving Georgian literary monument is a mosaic inscription of the first half of the fifth century found in Palestine (near Jerusalem). Church and religious literature maintained a dominating position in the ancient Georgian language up to the end of the 11th century.

Beginning in the fifth century, original hagiographic belles-lettres developed in Georgian literature, including The Martyrdom of Shushanika by Iakov Tsurtaveli (fifth century), The Martyrdom of Evstafii Mtskheteli by an unknown author (sixth century), and The Martyrdom of Abo Tbileli by Ioann Sabanidze (eighth century). Hagiographic literature reached its full flowering in the tenth century in the creative work of Georgii Merchule, the author of Life of Grigorii Khandzteli (951).

In the tenth century other forms of church and religious literature, including hymns, apocryphal works, homilies, and texts of an exegetic-dogmatic, ascetic, and canonistic nature, were also richly represented. In the 11th and 12th centuries literature of philosophical and theological content took shape. A Georgian literary school on Mount Athos (Greece) contributed to the cultural ties of the Christian East with the West.

The 12th century, a period of further strengthening of the Georgian state, was also the classical period of ancient Georgian literature. Heroic fantasy tales (“Amiran-Dare-dzhaniani”), novels (Visramiani), and eulogistic narrative poems (Abdul-Messiah by Shavteli, Tamariani by Chakh-rukhadze) appeared. Historiographic literature began to take shape. The narrative poem The Man in the Panther’s Skin by Shota Rustaveli, one of the masterpieces of world literature, represents the culminating point of Georgian culture during this era. Long before the European Renaissance, Rustaveli proclaimed the great ideas of humanism, fraternity, equality, love, and friendship.

In the 11th and 12th centuries the best literary monuments of the East and West were translated into Georgian. The burdensome effect of the Mongol-Tatar yoke (13th and 14th centuries), the devastating invasion of the Persians and Turks (16th and 18th centuries), the collapse of the centralized monarchy, and feudal dissension led to the loss of political unity in Georgia. In the 16th century signs of cultural renewal appeared in eastern Georgia. The theme of patriotism soon came to occupy a special place in literature. The king of Kakhetia, Teimuraz I (1589–1663), a lyric poet and the author of philosophical poems (“Complaint About Life” and “Mad-zhama”) and the historical and patriotic narrative poem The Martyrdom of Ketevana, also treated several Eastern themes (Leilmedzhnuniani and others). King Archil II (1647–1713) wrote poems and narratives with a historic-nationalistic and didactic content (Teimuraz’ Dispute With Rustaveli, On the Morals of Georgia); he condemned the involvement of some writers in Persian literature, which he considered excessively fanciful in manner. In the historical narrative poem Did-mouraviani, Iosif Tbileli (died 1688) described the tragic fate of Georgii Saakadze, a fighter for the unification of Georgia.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the struggle for the liberation of the country from foreign domination became the main theme of literature. In the literature of this period a special place was occupied by the outstanding writer, scholar, and lexicographer Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani, the author of the book On the Wisdom of the Imagination (or On the Wisdom of the Lie), a collection of didactic parables and fables that contributed to the democratization of the Georgian literary language. Mamuka Baratashvili, the creator of a standard-setting poetics and the author of patriotic poems, and Vakh-tang VI, who wrote elegiac poems and translated the collection of fables Kalila and Dimna into Georgian, were outstanding among the writers of the 17th and 18th centuries. The outstanding writers of the second half of the 18th century were David Guramishvili, the author of the narrative poem The Misfortunes of Georgia, which is imbued with a feeling of ardent patriotism and hate for the oppressors of the people, and Vissarion Gabashvili (Besiki), a subtle master of love lyrics. The creativity of the poet and ashug Saiat-Nova (1712–95), who wrote in Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani, also flourished during that period. At the turn of the 19th century, D. Tumanishvili, E. Eristavi, and Ioann Ba-grationi came to the fore.

Literature of the 19th century. The annexation of Georgia to Russia ensured the peaceful development of the country. However, the great-power policies of the tsarist regime and a disregard for national culture aroused the increasing discontent of the Georgian people. Romanticism, which became the dominant trend in Georgian literature in the 1830’s and 1840’s, gave clear expression to these social moods and set the ideal of national and personal liberty against the policy of oppression.

The founder of Georgian romanticism was the poet A. G. Chavchavadze (1786–1846), whose creative work is imbued with the ideas of national liberty and social justice. G. D. Orbeliani (1804–83), a brilliant representative of this romanticism, continued the patriotic and humanistic tradition. The culmination of the romantic trend was reached in the work of N. M. Baratashvili (1817–45), who achieved in his lyrics an organic fusion of the ideas of individual freedom and national liberation (Merani, 1842). S. I. Razmadze (1796–1860), M. B. Tumanishvili (1818–75), A. V. Orbeliani (1802–69), V. V. Orbeliani (1812–90), and G. I. Rcheulishvili (1820–77) aligned themselves with the romantic trend. The philosopher and public figure S. I. Dodashvili (1805–36) played an important role in the formation of the sociopolitical ideas of Georgian romanticism.

Beginning in the second half of the 19th century, Georgian literature began to be dominated by realism, an outstanding representative of which was the comedist G. D. Eristavi (1811–64), the founder of the Georgian theater and the editor and publisher of Tsiskari (Dawn; 1852), the first literary journal devoted to social questions. The Surami Fortress (1859), a novella by D. G. Chonkadze (1830–60), was an angry attack on the institution of serfdom. The hero of the novel Solomon Isakich Medzhganuashvili (1861) by L. P. Ardaziani (1815–70) was a member of the bourgeoisie, the first of this type in Georgian literature.

The social atmosphere of the 1860’s contributed to a new upsurge in literature. The Georgian shestidesiatniki I. G. Chavchavadze, A. R. Tsereteli, N. Ia. Nikoladze, G. E. Tsereteli, K. B. Lordkipanidze, and S. S. Meskhi posited the principles of philosophical and aesthetic materialism and introduced a new Georgian literary language that was free of the normative rules of the archaic style of the old literature. Critical realism became the dominating trend. The central figure in the movement for national liberation was I. G. Chavchavadze (1837–1907), the author of classical examples of Georgian critical realism that were noted for their intense civic enthusiasm and uncompromising hostility toward national and social injustice (the narrative poems The Vision, 1859, and The Brigand Kako, 1860; the novellas Is He a Human Being?, 1859–63, and Tale of a Pauper, 1859–73; the narrative poem The Hermit, 1883; and the novella Otar’s Widow, 1887). Another major representative of Georgian realism was A. R. Tsereteli (1840–1915), whose lyric masterpieces (Glowworm, 1871; Sunrise, 1892; and Suliko, 1895) became popular far beyond the borders of Georgia. The novels of G. E. Tsereteli (1842–1900), which described life in prerevolutionary Georgia, offered sharp criticism of the feudal and patriarchical social structure. N. Ia. Nikoladze (1843–1928), a progressive publicist, literary critic, and social activist, came to the fore in the 1860’s. The novelist, publicist, and critic A. N. Purtseladze (1839–1913), and the publicist S. S. Meskhi (1844–83), who was the editor of the newspaper Droeba (Time), also aligned themselves with the shestidesiatniki.

A somewhat isolated figure in 19th-century Georgian literary life was R. D. Eristavi (1824–1901), whose original creative work is imbued with a feeling of deep sympathy for the peasantry. The idea of the “To the People” movement attracted such Populist writers of the 1870’s and 1880’s as N. I. Lomouri (1852–1915), E. R. Gabashvili (1851–1938), S. Z. Mgaloblishvili (1851–1925), and I. S. Davitashvili (1850–87).

A. M. Kazbegi (1848–93) and Vazha Pshavela (1861–1915) made their triumphal entries into Georgian literature in the 1880’s. Kazbegi’s short stories, which are imbued with a deeply dramatic spirit, gave masterful literary expression to the life of the Georgian mountain dwellers and their integrity and purity, their readiness to sacrifice themselves, and their ardent patriotism (Elgudzha, 1881; Patricide, 1882; and Khevisberi Gocha, 1884).

The philosophical and ethical problems of the reality of Vazha Pshavela’s time, which were relevant for all of mankind, were reflected in the tragic fates of the heroes of his narrative poems (The Snake Eater, 1901; Guest and Host, 1893; Aluda Ketelauri, 1888; and Bakhtrioni, 1892) and in his lyrical and prose works. In the 1880’s Georgian drama and theater experienced noticeable growth, which was fostered by the work of D. G. Eristavi (1847–90) and A. A. Tsagareli (1857–1902) and by the particularly brilliant translations of Shakespeare’s works by I. G. Machabeli (1854–98), a prominent writer and public figure of that period.

The turn of the 20th century. Beginning in the 1890’s, in a situation marked by an upsurge of the proletarian revolutionary movement, the spreading of Marxist teachings, and the emergence of the first Social Democratic organizations, the problems of the class struggle and social reconstruction occupied the central place in Georgian literature. E. F. Ninoshvili (1859–94) created truthful pictures of the exploitation of the village poor (Gogia Uishvili, Lake Paliastomi, and others), the appearance in the villages of kulaks (prosperous peasants) and the mercenary-minded bourgeoisie (Simona), and the moral decay of bourgeois society (Kristine). D. S. Kldiashvili (1862–1931), in his novellas, short stories, and comedies, showed the economic impoverishment and moral emptiness of the nobility, as well as the cheerless life of the peasants (Samanishvili’s Stepmother and The Misfortunes of Kamushadze). In his psychological short stories and studies, Sh. Z. Aragvispireli (1867–1926) exposed the amoralism of bourgeois society and its suppression of the human personality. This was also the theme of short stories by V. Z. Barnovi (1856–1934), the author of widely known historical novels (The Fall of Armazi, Excruciating Love, The Younger Tamar, and The Dimmed Light).

Writers prominent at the turn of the 20th century included A. G. Eristavi-Khoshtaria (1868–1951), the author of social novels; D. F. Megreli (1867–1938); and Lalioni (A. Mamulashvili, 1866–1918). In the mid-1890’s, I. I. Ev-doshvili (1873–1916) became the first to write poetry about the life of the working class in Georgia, creating a portrait of the revolutionary proletarian. After the defeat of the first Russian Revolution (1905–07), the poetry of Evdoshvili and his followers from the school of “democratic poets,” including N. A. Chkhikvadze (1883–1920), G. A. Kuchishvili (1886–1947), V. A. Rukhadze (1874–1935), S. E. Tavadze (1890–1960), and Kh. I. Vardoshvili (1895–1970), took on a tone of disappointment and hopelessness. Ch. B. Lomtatidze (1878–1915) sketched a picture of the cruel reprisals taken against participants in the Revolution. During the years of reaction, antirealistic trends became widespread in Georgian literature, diverting it from the problems of social reality.

During World War I (1914–18). the Blue Horns, a group of symbolist poets (their first anthology appeared in 1916) who significantly renewed Georgian poetic culture, came to the fore. In the prerevolutionary years the realistic tradition in literature was carried on by Sh. N. Dadiani (1874–1959), the author of the plays In the Cave, When They Feasted, and The Ones From Yesterday; N. M. Lordkipanidze (1880–1944), who gave in his short stories an accurate description of the historical past of the Georgian people and life in the prerevolutionary countryside; and L. M. Kiacheli (1884–1963), who devoted the novel Tariel Goiua (1915) to an account of the heroic struggle of the Georgian people during the Revolution of 1905–07.

The children’s writers Sh. I. Mgvimeli (1866–1933) and N. I. Nakashidze (1872–1960) and the dramatists I. K. Gedevanishvili (1872–1939). T. M. Ramishvili (1875–1929). and P. A. Ireteli (1876–1931) worked in the realistic tradition. During the years of reaction and Menshevik rule the first generation of proletarian poets, including S. K. Euli (18901965), N. A. Zomleteli (1889–1938), I. L. Bakeli (born 1900). I. B. Lisashvili (born 1897), and P. S. Samsonidze (1897-1947), entered the literary world.

Soviet literature. The early period in the development of Soviet literature was distinguished by a clear-cut demarcation of literary forces and by an acute ideological struggle. Immediately after the triumph of the socialist revolution (1921), G. V. Tabidze (1892–1959), who had appeared on the literary scene in 1908, as well as Dadiani and Kuchishvili, chose the path of cooperation with Soviet power. Young forces entered literature en masse. Since they held divergent ideological and aesthetic views, they organized themselves into literary organizations and groups, including the Blue Horns, the extreme right-wing Academic Group and Arifioni, the Association of Proletarian Writers, and Levizna, a group of leftist futurists. In the second half of the 1920’s, the best representatives of these groupings aligned themselves with realistic art and assimilated the subject matter of socialist reality. The narrative poem Revolutionary Georgia (1931) and the lyric cycles The Epoch and Pacifism (1930) by G. V. Tabidze had the tone of a patriotic hymn to the Soviet fatherland. A. A. Mashashvili (A. Mirtskhulava; 1903–71) created models of political lyric poetry (The Jinricksha, 1927; March of the Shock Brigade, 1931; and The Laituri Komsomol Member, 1931). K. R. Kaladze (born 1904) sounded a fresh and original note.

The poets P. D. Iashvili (1895–1937), T. Iu. Tabidze (1895–1937), G. N. Leonidze (1899–1966). V. 1. Gaprin-dashvili (1889–1941), K. G. Nadiradze (born 1895), Sh. N. Apkhaidze (1894–1968), and R. M. Gvetadze (1897–1952) of the Blue Horns, abandoning the symbolist tendency, created several brilliant works that reflected Soviet reality. The poems “The Ushguli Komsomol Member” (1929) and “The Evening Faces You in Khakhmati” (1930) by S. I. Chiko-vani, which were marked by profound thought and innovative forms, depicted the far-reaching changes and renewal in the life of the Soviet people. The poets I. G. Grishashvili (1889–1965). A. V. Abasheli (1884–1954), S. I. Shanshia-shvili (born 1888), and K. A. Chichinadze (1891–1960), who had already developed before the Revolution, worked successfully, and the poets I. V. Abashidze (born 1909), A. K. Gomiashvili (born 1911). and G. V. Kachakhidze (born 1907) appeared on the literary scene.

The novels lurii Bogoliubskii (1926) by Dadiani and Sanavardo (1926) by D. K. Shengelaia (born 1896) testified to the rebirth of prose and the genre of the novel, which had almost disappeared in prerevolutionary Georgian literature. The novels Kvachi Kvachantiradze (1926) and Dzhakos Khiznebi (1924; in Russian translation. Collapse, 1925) by M. S. Dzhavakhishvili (1880–1937) and the novellas The White Collar and Givi Shaduri appeared. The novel Blood (1927) by Kiacheli and the novella From the Path to the Rails (1926) by L. M. Lordkipanidze were written on themes dealing with revolutionary history. The best work in Georgian literature dealing with World War I was the novel Ashes (1932) by S. D. Kldiashvili (born 1893). Gvetadze depicted the struggle for new human relations in the Novels Teo (1930) and Chiakokona.

The play In the Heart Itself (1928) by Dadiani laid the basis for Soviet Georgian comedial art. His play Tetnul’d (1929) revived the genre of tragedy in Georgian dramatic art. Other works included the dramas The Heroes of Ereti and Anzor (staged in 1928) by Shanshiashvili and the comedy Kvarkvare Tutaberi (staged in 1928) by P. M. Kakabadze (born 1895), which is still being staged in Georgian theaters.

In the 1933’s Georgian literature achieved ideological and artistic success. T. Iu. Tabidze created his poetic cycles In Armenia and Motherland, Iashvili depicted the life of a renewed Colchis and Samgori, and new books by Leonidze and S. I. Chikovani. the narrative poem Farewell to Tsulukidze by I. V. Abashidze, and a cycle of poems by Grishashvili devoted to the new Tbilisi appeared. Narrative poems by Mirtskhulava (Enguri), Kaladze (Uchardioni, 1933). and G. G. Abashidze (born 1914; Spring in the Black City and Georgii VI, 1942) testified to the development of epic poetry.

The novels Dawn in Colchis (separate edition. 1949) by K. A. Lordkipanidze (born 1905) and Gvadi Bigva (1938) by Kiacheli were the first important works about the kolkhoz village. In the novel Theft of the Moon (1935) K. S. Gam-sakhurdia (born 1891) sketched a picture of the downfall of the old world and the establishment of the new socialist life. His novel The Right Hand of the Great Master (1939). about the life of Georgia in the tenth and 11th centuries, was a major contribution to the development of the Soviet historical novel. After his novel Bata Kekia (1933). Shengelaia published the novels Sunrise (1940) and Inspiration (separate edition. 1949), which gave an account of the profound social changes of the 20th century. A. N. Kutateli (born 1897). in his novel Face to Face (books 1–4, 1933–43). gave expression to the effort by the Georgian people to overthrow the Menshevik dictatorship and establish Soviet power. The novels Ketskhoveli (1941) by Lisashvili and On the Banks of the Liakhvi by B. I. Chkheidze (born 1901) and the novellas by D. S. Suliashvili (1884–1964) were devoted to the history of the Bolshevik organizations of Georgia. The historical novel Arsen of Marabda by Dzhavakhishvili ranks among the finest works of Georgian prose in the 1930’s. The comedy Marriage in the Kolkhoz (staged in 1938) by Kakabadze and the plays A Generation of Heroes (1937) by S. D. Kldiashvili, Envy (1937) by Vakeli, The Dumb Began to Speak (1931) by G. D. Baazov, and Their Story (1943) by V. I. Gabeskiria (1903–64) disclosed the spiritual world of the Soviet man in truthful stage images. Episodes from the revolutionary struggle of the Georgian people at the turn of the 20th century were recreated in plays by Dadiani (From a Spark, 1937) and Baazov (Itska Rizhinashvili).

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) the epic poems Song About David Guramishvili (1944) by S. I. Chikovani and The Invincible Caucasus (1944) by G. G. Abashidze were written. Patriotic lyricism flourished in poems by G. V. Tabidze. Leonidze, S. I. Chikovani. I. V. Abashidze, Mirtskhulava, Kaladze, and D. A. Gachechiladze (born 1902). The historical dramas The Heroes of Krtsanisi (staged in 1942) by Shanshiashvili and Erekle 11 and David the Builder by L. P. Gotua (born 1905) appeared at this time. The struggle of the Soviet people against the fascist German invaders was the theme of the plays The Battalion Goes West (1941) and The Skies of Moscow by G. D. Mdivani (born 1905). Mountain of Meditation by G. I. Shatberashvili, and The Invincible Ones (1943) by Gotua.

In the postwar years, typical portraits of people who were engaged in peaceful, creative work were drawn in the narrative poems Portokhaia and Bershoula (1951) by Leonidze and the cycles of poems Harvest Song and Guriia Is Blooming by I. V. Abashidze. The lyrical cycles On the Polish Road and Spring on the Oder by S. I. Chikovani. Songs of Communism by R. A. Margiani (born 1916). and For Peace by I. E. Noneshvili (born 1918) reflected the aspirations of the Soviet people for a strengthening of peace and friendship between peoples. The lyrical cycles On the Southern Frontier (1949) and Lenin in Samgori (1950) by G. G. Abashidze were well received.

Georgian poetry was enriched by the poems of Kh. M. Berulava (born 1924), O. S. Chelidze (born 1924), A. P. Shengeliia (born 1914), M. S. Lebanidze (born 1922), Sh. Z. Amisulashvili (born 1915), and T. A. Dzhangulashvili (born 1923). all of whom appeared on the literary scene at the beginning of the postwar period. The novel Man of the Mountains (1948) by Kiacheli and the novella The Red Poppy (1949) by Shengelaia were devoted to the Great Patriotic War. The plays The Stationmaster (1947), The Sunken Stones (1949). His Star (1950), and Road to the Future (1953) by I. O. Mosashvili (1896–1954), the lyrical comedy Strekoza (1953) by M. G. Baratashvili (born 1908), and the plays The Hearth of Kharateli and Nikoloz Baratashvili by M. N. Mrevlishvili (born 1904) rank among the important works in Georgian dramatic art of the postwar period.

Prose, in which the subject matter of contemporary life dominated, occupied the leading place in Georgian literature of the 1950’s and 1960’s—the novels Flowering of the Vine (1956) by Gamsakhurdia and The Pass (1956), Rustavi (parts 1–2, 1959–60), and Shvidkatsi (1960–61) by A. I. Beliash-vili (1903–61). and the cycle of short stories by K. A. Lordkipanidze about the Great Patriotic War. The first book of Lordkipanidze’s novel The Magic Stone (1955–56) was devoted to the socialist village, as were the novels The Soldier’s Widow (books 1–2, 1960) by R. A. Dzhaparidze (born 1923) and On the Alazani River (1956) by T. G. Donzhashvili (born 1916). The historical past of Georgia was reflected in the trilogy David the Builder (books 1–4, 1946–58) by Gamsakhurdia and the historical novels The Long Night and Lasharela (book 1, 1957) by G. G. Abashidze. Besiki (1946) by Beliashvili, and The Destiny of Heroes (books 1–4, 1958–62) by Gotua. The novel New Horizons by V. Sh. Avaliani (born 1914) and books of novellas and short stories by O. R. Chkheidze (born 1920), G. K. Naroshvili (born 1910). G. S. Chikovani (born 1910), Mrevlishvili, Shatberashvili, A. I. Lomidze (born 1907). and M. V. Asatiani (1909–70) presented truthful portraits of contemporaries. The novels of the prose writers N. V. Dumbadze (born 1928; Grandmother, Iliko, Illarion, and I, I See the Sun, The Sunny Night, and Don’t Be Afraid, Mama!), A. S. Sulakauri (born 1927; The Golden Fish). O. Sh. loseliani (born 1931; Noon and The Winter Is Over), and E. L. Kipiani (born 1924; Red Clouds), and the works of R. K. Inanishvili (born 1926) gained a firm foothold in Georgian literature.

Georgian poetry of the late 1950’s and the 1960’s, freeing itself of excessive pomposity, rhetoric, and the tendencies of the 1930’s and 1940’s toward the writing of odes, penetrated more deeply the spiritual world of the Soviet man, reflecting many facets of his feelings and thoughts. The books of poems The Approach by I. V. Abashidze (and particularly the cycles In Rustaveli’s Footsteps and Palestine, Palestine, which re-created a portrait of the great Georgian poet), the last poetic cycles by Leonidze and S. I. Chikovani, the narrative poem Father by Kalidze, the books The Awakening by Margiani and Throughout the World by Noneshvili, and new poems by Gachechiladze and Gomiashvjli were revealing. In addition to the masters of the old generation, poets working actively include A. P. Kalandadze (born 1924), M. I. Machavariani (born 1929). O. I. Chiladze (born 1933), Sh. G. Nishnianidze (born 1929), Dzh. A. Charkviani (born 1931). F. I. Khalvashi (born 1925). M. G. Kvlividze (born 1925), V. S. Sulaberidze (born 1919), M. F. Potskhishvili (born 1930), and N. V. Gureshidze (born 1927).

Overcoming the negative influence of the theory of social harmony, Georgian dramatists created a number of interesting plays, including The Avalanche (1956) and The Ardent Dreamer (1961) by M. N. Mrevlishvili. My Kvavileti by Baratashvili, Mother and Journey Into Three Times by G. G. Abashidze. Fellow Countrymen (1956) by M. V. Dzhaparidze (1906–64), The Businessman by Vakeli, and The Mole and The Happy Unlucky Man by O. I. Chidzhavadze (born 1909). The historical dramas Tsitsamuri and Pirosmani by G. N. Nakhutsrishvili (born 1902) and plays by V. L. Kandelaki (born 1918), K. M. Buachidze (born 1914). and G. L. Kelbakiani (born 1910) appeared. Plays by G. M. Khukhashvili (born 1926), A. I. Getsadze (born 1929), and loseliani gained a prominent place in the repertoire of Georgian theaters.

Works written for children by Nakashidze. Maridzhan (M. M. Aleksidze; born 1890), A. A. Khakhutashvili, (1888–1960), I. L. Sikharulidze (1889–1963), L. I. Megrelidze (1883–1968), M. A. Mrevlishvili (born 1909). R. K. Korkia (born 1894), N. V. Chachava (born 1901), and A. S. Sulakauri (born 1927) are enjoying popularity.

Major works on the history of Georgian literature were written by the scholars and literary specialists K. S. Kekelidze (1879–1962), S. G. Kaukhchishvili (born 1895). P. I. Ingorokva (born 1893), S. I. Khundadze (1860–1928), V. I. Kotetishvili (1893–1937). G. D. Kikodze (1886–1960). A. G. Baramidze (born 1902), M. Z. Zandukeli (1889–1968), G. N. Abzianidze (born 1907), and L. N. Asatiani (1900–55). Literary specialists and critics working on problems in the development of Soviet literature include G. N. Dzhibladze (born 1913), S. E. Chilaia (born 1911), Sh. D. Radiani (born 1904), V. D. Zhgenti (born 1903), G. K. Natroshvili (born 1910), L. G. Kalandadze (born 1904), D. G. Benash-vili (born 1910), I. V. Tsulukidze (born 1899). E. D. Karelish-vili (born 1908), G. I. Merkviladze (born 1914), V. N. Zambakhidze (born 1902), G. G. Margvelashvili (born 1923). V. G. Machavariani (born 1906), G. Sh. Tsitsishvili (born 1929), G. L. Asatiani (born 1928), and G. E. Gverdtsiteli (born 1930).

During the years of Soviet power, the works of Georgian writers have been translated into the languages of many peoples of the USSR and of foreign countries. A complete Russian translation of Rustaveli’s The Man in the Panther’s Skin was made five times—by K. D. Bal’mont (published in parts in 1917, in full in 1933), P. Petrenko, G. K. Tsagareli, Sh. Nutsubidze, and N. A. Zabolotskii. Many Georgian poets can be read in Russian in translations by N. S. Tikhonov. B. L. Pasternak, P. G. Antokol’skii, A. A. Akhmatova, I. L. Sel’vinskii. V. K. Zviagintseva, M. A. Svetlov, A. P. Mezhirov, E. A. Evtushenko, B. A. Akhmadulina, and E. M. Vinokurov.

Georgian linguistics came into being at the turn of the 20th century (A. Tsagareli, N. Marr, and I. Dzhavakhishvili). The main problems being dealt with by Georgian linguists include an examination of the structure and history of the Kartlian languages, the structure of the languages of the Caucasian Gortsy (mountaineers), and problems in the theory of linguistics (A. Shanidze, G. Akhvlediani, and A. Chikobava). The most important centers for linguistics in Georgia are the Scientific Research Institute for Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, the respective subdepart-ments at the University of Tbilisi, the D. N. Gulia Abkhazian Institute of Language, Literature, and History of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, and the sub-departments of pedagogical institutions of higher learning of the republic.


Khakhanov. A. Ocherkipo istorii gruzinskoi slovesnost’, books 1–4. Moscow. 1895–1906.
Gruzinskie narodnye skazki. Edited by M. Chikovani. Tbilisi. 1956.
Skazaniia i legendy. Tbilisi, 1963.
Chikovani. M. Narodnyi gruzinskii epos o Prikovannom Amirani. Moscow. 1966.
Gruzinskii tumor. Tbilisi, 1967.
Kekelidze. K. Konspektivnyi kurs istorii drevnegruzinskoi literature. Tbilisi, 1939.
Kekelidze, K. Pamiatniki drevnegruzinskoi agiograficheskoi literatury. Tbilisi. 1956.
Baramidze, A., Sh. Radiani, and B. Zhgenti. Istoriia gruzinskoiliteratury. Tbilisi, 1958.
Kikodze, G. Gruzinskie klassiki. Tbilisi. 1942.
Gol’tsev. V. Gruzinskie pisateli XIX veka. Moscow, 1948.
Shaduri. V. Dekabristskaia literatura i gruzinskaia obshchestvennost’. Tbilisi. 1958.
Nikoladze, A. K. Russko-gruzinskie literaturnye sviazi (19 v.). Tbilisi. 1958.
Gamezardashvili, D. M. Stanovlenie kriticheskogo realizma v gruzinskoi literature. Tbilisi, 1959.
Gamezardashvili, D. M. Romantiki i realisty v gruzinskoi literatureXIX veka. Tbilisi. 1963.
Chilaia. S. Ocherki istorii gruzinskoi sovetskoi literatury. Tbilisi, 1966.
Margvelashvili, G. Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i. Tbilisi, 1958.
Asatiani. L. N. Druzhba bratskikh literatur. Tbilisi, 1958.
Surovtsev, Iu. O poetakh i poezii: Sb. st. Tbilisi. 1962.
Baramidze, A., and D. Gamezardashvili. Gruzinskaia literatura. Tbilisi, 1968.
K’arfuli xalxuri poeturi shemok’medeba, parts 1–2. Tbilisi, 1960–68.
Ch’ik’ovani. M. K’art’uli xalxuri sitqvierebis istoria. Tbilisi. 1956.
Ch’ik’ovani, M. K’art’uli xalxuri zgaprebi, vols. 1–3. Tbilisi, 1938— 52.
Sixarulize, K’. K’art’uli xalxuri sagmiro-saistorio sitqviereba. Tbilisi. 1949.
Virsalaze. E. K’art’uli samonadiro eposi. Tbilisi. 1964.
C’anava. A. K’art’uli mestviruli poezia. Tbilisi, 1953.
Umikashvili, P. Xalxuri sitqviereba. vols. 1–4. Tbilisi, 1964.
Xalxuri sibrzne, vols. 1–5. Tbilisi. 1963–65.
K’art’uli literaturis istoria. 6 tomad, vols. 1–3. Tbilisi, 1960–69.

Architecture. The most ancient settlements on the territory of Georgia date from the Aeneolithic period (the selishcha [sites of unfortified towns] of Shulaveris-gora and Imiris-gora). These settlements usually had round adobe houses roofed with false domes. Rectangular houses with flat roofs supported by a central post appeared at the same time. The selishche of Kvatskhelebi, near Gori, dates from the early Bronze Age; the gorodishche (site of a fortified town) of Natsar-gora. the Trialeti. Samtavro, and Samgori burial mounds, and the Abkhazia dolmens date from the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age.

The most ancient structured states (end of the first millennium B.C. to the first centuries A.D have left monuments that bear witness to well-developed construction methods: the acropolis of the ancient capital of Mtskheta, the gorodishche of Vani in western Georgia (both with large fortresses and palace and religious buildings), and cliff structures (the early premises of the cave city of Uplistsikhe). Literary sources describe various types of folk dwellings, in particular the darbazi—a rectangular house with a wooden, domelike stepped roof (gvirgvini). In the first half of the fourth century, with the adoption of Christianity and the beginning of the development of feudal relations, fortified cities began to be built (usually on mountain slopes), with a citadel, palace structures, and residential quarters surrounded by walls and towers (Udzharma and Tbilisi). Many churches have been preserved. A number of churches are a variation of a type of basilica found in other countries (the Bolnisi Sion, 478–93; the basilicas of the sixth and seventh centuries in Urbnisi; the Anchiskhati basilicas in Tbilisi, Tskarostavi, Vazisubani, and Khashmi; and the original three-parish basilicas of Dmanisi. Nekresi, and Zegani. in which the naves are divided by walls rather than columns). In the second half of the sixth century, churches topped by a central dome, usually with four apses, began to occupy a leading place (of quadrilateral plan: Dzveli Gavazi and Ninotsminda). This was most perfectly developed in the form of a building with four apses and a cupola supported by pendentives (the famous Dzhvari Church, 586/87–604, and churches of the Dzhvari type—Martvili. the Ateni Sion, and Shuamta—all in the seventh century); the round-domed churches of Bana and Ishkhani, which are tetrahedrons with an encircling lobby and galleries, are also of interest. The cupola-type church with four supporting pillars was represented by the Tsromi Church (626–34).

The second half of the sixth and the first half of the seventh century was the golden age of Georgian medieval architecture, which at that time was characterized by a severe style, symmetrical forms, and a careful, three-dimensional development of facades, which, like the interiors, were faced with smoothly hewn stone. The use of vaults and arches was widespread. Ornamentation was restricted to carved window arches and individual reliefs on the facades.

Construction, which was retarded by the Arab conquest, again began to develop in the eighth and ninth centuries in independent Georgian principalities and kingdoms (Tao-Klardzheti, Abkhazia, Kakhetia, and some parts of Kartli). Significant monuments, such as the cathedrals in Samshvilde and Tsirkoli, the Gurdzhaani and Vachnadziani churches, and the monasteries in southern Georgia, attest to the complex creative efforts of that time.

During the period of developed feudalism (mid-tenth century to the turn of the 14th century), architecture again attained a great renascence. New cities were constructed and old cities developed. Fortresses, great cathedrals, bridges, caravansaries, and various public buildings (such as hospitals), as well as monastic ensembles (with churches, refectories, sleeping quarters, and scriptoria), were built. Rectangular cruciform domed churches with an extended longitudinal axis, a high drum and dome supported on pillars, and a covering roof became the leading type of church architecture. In proportion a vertical tendency developed; ornamental arcading and splendid carving appeared on the facades, and in the interior the walls and vaults were completely covered with paintings. Notwithstanding an overall picturesque effect, the tectonic purity and clarity of the design were preserved—the churches in Kumurdo (architect Sakotsari) and the village of Oshki (both from the tenth century), the Bagrat Church in Kutaisi (tenth and 11th centuries), the Alaverdi Cathedral, the Svetitskhoveli Patriarchate Cathedral in Mtskheta (architect Arsukisdze), the Helati Monastery (early 12th century), and the Samta-visi (architect Marion Samtavneli), Nikortsminda, and Katskhi churches (all from the 1 Ith century). Churches of the 12th and early 13th century were smaller and more intimate but more heavily decorated with carving (Betania, Ikorta, Kvatakhevi, and Pitareti). In the 12th and 13th centuries the construction of splendid rock-cut monasteries (David Gardzha and Vardzia) continued. Among monuments of secular architecture, the ruins of the king’s palace in Geguti (built mainly in the 12th century) and the academies in Ikalto and Gelati (both of the 12th century) have been preserved.

Monuments from the 14th to 18th centuries that have been preserved include gorodishcha (Gremi, 16th century, in Kakhetia). churches, monasteries, feudal palaces and castles (Ananuri), fortresses erected in inaccessible places (Khertvisi and Kvarastsikhe), caravansaries, baths, and market areas. National traditions were preserved in plans and internal spatial design, but the artistic level declined; in eastern Georgia, brick construction became widespread.

After the annexation of Georgia by Russia, public buildings were constructed in the classical style, which also found its way into the architecture of residential buildings in the mountains, combining organically with traditional national elements.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Georgian architect S. G. Kldiashvili made his debut (residential houses and the nobles’ Gymnasium, today a building at the University of Tbilisi). The types of peasant dwellings were varied: darbazi houses in Kartli and Meskheti and houses of the odasakhlitype (rectangular wooden houses, with several rooms and a balcony along the entire facade, on a stone foundation) in western Georgia, and tower houses in mountainous sections. In the second half of the 19th century, eclecticism dominated urban architecture, and in the early 20th century some attempts were made to return to national architectural forms and designs (The Georgian Nobles’ Land Bank, today the K. Marx Library of the Georgian SSR in Tbilisi, 1912–16, architect A. N. Kal’gin).

During Soviet times, especially since the 1930’s, the implementation of plans for socialist industrialization has been accompanied by programs for reconstruction of cities (the first general plan for the reconstruction of Tbilisi was compiled in 1934 by the architects I. I. Malozemov, Z. A. Kur-diani, and G. A. Gogava) and resorts and for the construction of housing and public buildings. In the 1920’s and 1930’s buildings in the style of Soviet constructivism (sanatoriums and vacation hotels) were erected and national architectural traditions were followed (among the best examples are the Zemo-Avchala Hydroelectric Power Plant, 1927, architects A. N. Kal’gin, M. S. Machavariani, and K. A. Leont’ev; the facade of the Museum of Georgia, 1927–29, N. P. Severov; and Dynamo Stadium, 1933–37, A. G. Kurdiani). However, the desire to incorporate new content into architectural forms of the national past was reduced in some cases to a mechanical copying of the plans and ornamentation of medieval Georgian or classical architecture.

After the Great Patriotic War (particularly since the 1950’s) the reconstruction of old cities proceeded at an accelerated rate (Gori, architects L. Z. Sumbadze and B. V. Lordkipanidze; Tskhaltubo, architects V. A. Kedia and I. G. Zaalishvili), and new cities sprang up next to great industrial complexes (for example, the metallurgists’ city, Rustavi). Administrative buildings have been constructed in Tbilisi and other cities (the main building of the Government House of the Georgian SSR in Tbilisi, architects G. I. Lezhava and V. D. Kokorin, with the participation of V. D. Nasaridze), theaters, palaces of culture, schools, Gymnasiums, sanatoriums, and vacation hotels. Since the late 1950’s, both in Georgia and in other republics, industrialized construction methods have been widely introduced. New architectural forms and internal spatial arrangements are being created on the basis of new designs and materials. The structures of the 1960’s and the 1970’s included, in Tbilisi, the Palace of Sport (architects V. Sh. Aleksi-Meskhishvili and Iu. S. Kasradze; engineer D. I. Kadzhaia), the Iveriia Hotel (architect V. D. Kalandarishvili, with the participation of I. S. Tskhomelidze), the Georgian Agricultural Institute (architects V. Sh. Aleksi-Meskhishvili and G. R. Gabashvili), a new university building (architects S. M. Bezhanov, Sh. L. Kachkachishvili, M. K. Shavishvili, and M. S. Shubladze; designer V. I. Lomidze), and the philharmonic concert hall (architect I. N. Chkhenkeli, designer Sh. V. Gazashvili), and in Sukhumi, the Institute of Subtropical Agriculture (architects D. I. Kipshidze, O. V. Paichadze, and K. A. Tsulaia).

Housing construction has achieved tremendous advances. Entire districts of large apartment houses that are suited to local climatic conditions and have loggias, balconies, and cross ventilation are being constructed. General plans for large cities and resorts have been developed, and a new general plan for Tbilisi has been approved (1970; architects G. A. Dzhaparidze, A. V. Dzhibladze, I. Sh. Shavdia, and I. N. Chkhenkeli). A synthesis of architecture with sculpture and mosaic, painted, and metal decorative murals (the House of Weddings in Tbilisi, 1965, architects Sh. D. Kavlashvili and R. G. Kiknadze, sculptors G. A. and I. A. Ochiauri; the stations of the Tbilisi subway, beginning in 1966) is finding increasing use. The construction of health resorts (especially in Tskhaltubo and Pitsunda), as well as building activity in the villages, has burgeoned. Small-scale architectural projects (squares, kiosks, and obelisks) have been particularly successful.

Fine arts. The most ancient monuments of Georgian fine arts—artisans’ works in metal and ceramics with carved, molded, and painted ornaments—date from the Aeneolithic age. In the first half and toward the middle of the second millennium B.C. the fine arts were represented by gold, silver, and bronze artifacts from Trialeti that are ornamented with colored stones, pearls, or chased metal pictures of people and animals, as well as with black glazed ceramics. Bronze axes, badges, and belts of the so-called Koban-Colchis circle, decorated with stylized engravings of animals and cast metal figurines of people, date from the turn of the first millennium B.C. Tombs with rich stores of implements, including ornaments of gold set with garnets, bits of green glass, and cameos, executed in the local artistic traditions (using the techniques of casting, chasing, engraving, decorative golden granules, and colored inlays), and imported silverware, glassware, and ceramics (the Akhalgori treasure, Vani, Ar-maziskhevi, Kldeeti, Bori, Ureki, Samtavro, and Bagineti) have been preserved from the period of slaveholding states.

After the adoption of Christianity, new forms of fine art with a new figurative content came to Georgia from the Christian centers of the East and were transformed by the Georgian craftsmen, who created their own school. Medieval Georgian art is represented by decorative sculpture, chased metal (which is an important branch of Georgian plastic arts), wood carving, mural painting, mosaics, and miniature painting. Sculpture (reliefs on church facades, altar screens, and stone stelae) and casting evolved from a certain three-dimensional quality of forms inherited from Hellenistic art (some capitals of the Bolnisi Sion and the reliefs of the Dzhvari Cathedral) to flatness, linearity (although preserving a certain linear plasticity), and an ornamental quality, altering the proportions of the human figure to endow the work of art with expressiveness and an intensified decorative quality (relief from Opiza, ninth century; a stela from Usaneti, eighth to ninth centuries; and the chased metal icon The Transfiguration from Zarzma, 886, in the Museum of Art of the Georgian SSR in Tbilisi; and a carved wooden door from the village of Chukuli, in the Georgian Museum in Tbilisi).

In the tenth and 11th centuries, the search for a three-dimensional shaping of form and the rendering of correct proportions of the human figure marked a new phase in the development of Georgian sculpture. The works of this time include processional crosses of chased gold from Ishkhani, Brila (Master Asat), and Breti; a chalice from Bedia; the icon of the Pieta from Zarzma, and a round panagia from Gelati depicting St. Mamai (all in the Art Museum of the Georgian SSR); stone reliefs on churches in Kumurdo, Oshki, Svetitskhoveli (in Mtskheta), and Nikortsminda; and stone reliefs on altar gates, which are distinguished by their fine sculptural expressiveness (from Sapara and Khovle—in the Art Museum of the Georgian SSR). Chased articles from the 12th and 13th centuries are splendidly ornamented with floral designs and colored details (in enamel and niello; the famous Khakhuli diptych, with numerous enameled elements; and the works of Bek and Beshken Opizari—all in the Art Museum of the Georgian SSR). Objects whose backgrounds were decorated with engravings of minute plant designs set with colored precious stones appeared in the 16th century.

The earliest preserved monuments of mural painting in Georgia are in the style of other Christian monuments of the Near East (the mosaic floors of the church in Pitsunda, fourth to fifth centuries). Later, a departure from Hellenistic principles manifested itself (mosaic on the altar in Tsromi, seventh century), and the figures became flat and linear (the murals in the Dodo Monastery church in the David Garedzha complex).

Mural painting rose to brilliant heights in the tenth to 13th centuries, when murals covered all the interior walls and vaults of the churches. There were depictions of the lives of local saints and portraits of historical characters (Tsar Geor-gii III and Tsaritsa Tamara in the churches of Vardzia, Be-tania, and Kintsvisi; Tsar David the Builder in Gelati; and Tsar Dimitrii in Matskhvarishi); important examples of the iconography of Byzantium were creatively transformed. Georgian murals of this period were characterized by restrained and softly harmonized color and by the linear quality of the painting. The development proceeded from the strict monumentality of the tenth and 11th centuries (murals in the Ateni Sion) to dynamic and decorative refinement of drawing and color in the painting of the early 13th century (murals in the Church in Kintsvisi).

In addition to the metropolitan school that included the frescoes mentioned above, there were also local schools—in Racha Province in Svaneti (artists Tevdore and Mikel Mag-lakeli, late 11th to second half of the 12th century) and in the churches of the Gelati Monastery (12th century).

Two distinct tendencies existed in the art of miniature painting (the earliest date from the ninth and tenth centuries): the first, which was characterized by drawing in a linear style (the Mtskheta Psalter, tenth century, at the Institute of Manuscripts of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, in Tbilisi), was inspired by local artistic traditions; the second followed the methods of Byzantine illuminated manuscripts, adopting the technique of multilayered painting and the use of gold (the miniatures of the Second Dzhruchi Gospel and the Gelati Gospel, 11th—12th centuries, Institute of Manuscripts of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR). The most interesting of the 17th-century manuscripts with miniatures are those on secular subjects, especially the copies of The Man in the Panther’s Skin.

The decorative and applied arts of medieval Georgia were represented by enamel inlay (which was developed in the sixth to 15th centuries), decorated pottery (it flourished in the 11th to 13th centuries, and Tbilisi and Dmanisi were large centers for its production; ornamented majolica began to appear in the 15th century), embroidery on silk and velvet, and carved seals.

In the 19th century, contact with Western European and Russian art was important. Painting, mainly portraiture, developed. The first artist to paint realistic portraits was G. I. Maisuradze, who graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.

Democratically oriented artists—R. N. Gvelesiani and A. L. Beridze, G. I. Gabashvili (who painted portraits, landscapes, and genre pictures); and G. N. Tatishvili, the first Georgian engraver and woodcut artist—made their debut in the 1880’s and 1890’s. At the turn of the 20th century, artists who were sympathetic to the peredvizhniki (“the wanderers,” a progressive art movement) and who addressed themselves to subjects of everyday life and to social problems came to the fore. This group included the painters A. R. Mrevlishvili and M. I. Toidze and the graphic artist A. I. Gogiashvili. At the turn of the 20th century the founder of modern Georgian sculpture, Ia. I. Nikoladze (portraits and tombstones), and the talented, self-taught primitive artist Niko Pirosmanashvili entered the art world.

The Tbilisi Academy of Arts and the M. I. Toidze people’s art studio (which existed until 1929) were organized in 1922. The creation of Georgian Soviet art was part of the struggle for socialist realism. In the 1920’s and the 1930’s, well-developed genres included landscapes (A. G. Tsimakuridze, D. N. Kakabadze, E. D. Akhvlediani, and V. N. Dzhaparidze), portraiture (P. M. Bletkin, K. K. Magalashvili, and K. B. Sanadze), and subjects dealing with industrialization and the transformation of the villages. L. D. Gudiashvili developed legendary and fantastic subjects. In the 1930’s particular attention was devoted to historical and revolutionary themes (M. I. Toidze, I. M. Toidze, A. K. Kutateladze, and V. V. Sidamon-Eristavi) and the old and new life-styles (U. M. Dzhaparidze). Book graphic arts developed successfully (I. A. Sharleman’ and V. D. Grigolia). The art of illustration was practiced by L. D. Gudiashvili, S. S. Kobuladze, T. G. Abakeliia, and I. M. Toidze; I. I. Gabashvili illustrated children’s books. Graphic arts (etching, woodcuts, and lithography) were devoted mainly to the people’s revolutionary struggle (D. E. Kutateladze) and to socialist construction (V. F. Kutateladze).

Portrait sculpture held a leading place (Ia. I. Nikoladze, N. P. Kandelaki, and N. D. Tsereteli); monumental sculpture (K. M. Merabishvili, V. B. Topuridze, Sh. V. Mikatadze, S. Ia. Kakabadze, and R. M. Tavadze), including narrative reliefs (T. G. Abakeliia and G. D. Sesiashvili), was also developing.

The artists I. I. Gamrekeli, D. N. Kakabadze, P. G. Otskheli, E. D. Akhvlediani, V. V. Sidamon-Eristavi, S. S. Kobuladze, and S. B. Virsaladze worked in the theater.

During the Great Patriotic War, graphic arts as an instrument of agitation, particularly poster art (I. M. Toidze and others), developed extensively. In painting and sculpture, portraits of war heroes and pictures on historical, military, and patriotic subjects were created. Interest in these subjects has been sustained in the postwar years. However, pompous, superficial works also appeared.

In the late 1950’s, creative efforts became more profound, and interest in specific methods in visual arts was intensified. Striking compositions and sometimes exaggerated expression were typical. Artists working in the area of narrative paintings include R. I. Sturua, Zh. K. Medzmariashvili, G. D. Gelovani, and K. M. Makharadze, who lean toward decorative and monumental solutions, and G. K. Totibadze, D. G. Khakhutashvili, T. R. Mirzashvili, G. U. Narmania, and R. T. Tordia; in addition to artists of the older generation, the painters A. M. Bandzeladze, E. L. Kalandadze, and Z. A. Nizharadze are appearing as portraitists. In the field of book illustration, the works of V. D. Grigolia, A. M. Bandzeladze, D. V. Eristavi, T. L. Kubaneishvili, and D. G. Lolua are outstanding; in graphic arts, those of D. M. Nodia, R. G. Tarkhan-Mouravi, and A. V. Shalikashvili; and among theatrical designers, those of D. M. Tavadze and P. G. Lapiashvili. Active contributors to monumental sculpture include E. D. Amashukeli (the symbolic statue Mother Georgia and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasal in Tbilisi), M. I. Berdzenishvili (the monument to Rustaveli in Moscow and the monument to D. Guramishvili in Tbilisi), G. V. Kordzakhia (the monument to V. V. Mayakovsky in Moscow in front of the poet’s house museum), M. K. Merabishvili (monuments to A. S. Griboedov in Tbilisi and Erekle II in Telavi), and D. Sh. Mikatadze (the statue Mzechabuki in Tbilisi). I. V. Okropiridze, B. G. Avalishvili, T. G. Asatiani, T. K. Gviniashvili, A. M. Gorgadze, V. S. Oniani, and G. A. and I. A. Ochiauri are working in the field of decorative plastic arts. The art of metal chasing was revived by I. A. Ochiauri, G. Z. Gabashvili, K. E. Guruli, and I. D. Koiava, and that of ceramics by Z. P. Maisuradze and R. I. Iashvili.

The V. I. Lenin Georgian Polytechnical Institute in Tbilisi is training future architects, and the Tbilisi Academy of Arts is training artists and architects. In 1933 the Artists’ Union of the Georgian SSR was organized, followed by the Architects’ Union of the Georgian SSR in 1934.


Ars Georgica: Razyskaniia Instituta istorii gruzinskogo iskusstva, vols. 1–5. Tbilisi, 1942–59; [vol.] 6–A, 1963; [vol.] 6–C (questions of new and Soviet art), 1964 (articles in Georgian and Russian).
Amiranashvili, Sh. Ia. Istoriia gruzinskogo iskusstva. Moscow, 1963.
Chubinashvili, G. N., and N. P. Severov. Puti gruzinskoi literatury. Tbilisi, 1936.
Dzhandieri, M. I., and G. I. Lezhava. Arkhitektura gornykh raionov Gruzii. Moscow, 1940.
Severov, N. P. Pamiatnikigruzinskogo zodchestva. Moscow, 1947.
Lezhava, G. I., and M. I. Dzhandieri. Arkhitektura Svanetii. Moscow, 1958.
Dzhanberidze, N., and S. Kintsurashvili. Arkhitektura Sovetskoi Gruzii. Moscow-Tbilisi, 1958.
Chubinashvili, G. N. Arkhitektura Kakhetii, vols. 1–2. Tbilisi, 1959.
Beridze, V. Gruzinskaia arkhitektura s drevneishikh vremen do nachala XX veka. Tbilisi, 1967.
Zakaraia, P. Drevnie kreposti gruzii. Tbilisi, 1969.
Amiranashvili, Sh. Ia. Isioriia gruzinskoi monumental’noi zhivopisi, vol. I. Tbilisi. 1957.
Chubinashvili. G. N. Gruzinskoe chekannoe iskusstvo, vols. 1–2. Tbilisi, 1959.
Gordeziani. B. Gruzinskaia grafika. Tbilisi, 1963.
Shervashidze, L. A. O gruzinskoi svetskoi miniatiure. Tbilisi, 1964.
Amiranashvili, Sh. Ia. Gruzinskaia miniatiura. Moscow, 1966.
Mkheidze. L. Skul’pturnyi portret v Gruzii. Tbilisi. 1967.
Ch’ubinashvili, G. K’art’uli xelovnebis istoria, vol. 1. Tiflis, 1936.
Maisuraze. Z. K’art’uli mxatvruli keramika: Xl-Xll ss. Tbilisi, 1953.
Adamia, I. K’art’uli xalxuri xurot’mozgvreba, books 1–2. Tbilisi.1956–68.
Berize, V. Zveli k’art’veli ostatebi. Tbilisi, 1967.
V. V. BERIDZE and T. B. VIRSALADZE (medieval art)

The earliest evidence available on Georgian folk music dates from the eighth century B.C. In contrast to the monophonic songs of the other peoples of Transcaucasia, Georgian folk songs are characterized by a multipart (most typically three-part) choral mold, with a rich modal, rhythmic-melodic, harmonic, and polyphonic structure, as well as by a great variety of forms, genres (work, ritual, dance, cradle, lyrical, and comic), and styles; at the same time, each of its ethnographic branches has distinguishing features.

The Kartlian-Kakhetian songs of eastern Georgia are distinguished by their epic majesty and stateliness; their melodies are broad, of the improvised-recitative type, richly ornamented, and with a distinct modal foundation. As a rule, the two upper voices lead, alternating with each other; the bass voices function as the pedal point. Songs for one or two voices, which are distinguished by an archaic severity, are especially in the mountainous settlements of Pshavetia and Khevsuretia. The songs of western Georgia, especially the Gurian and Mingrelian songs, are distinguished by explosive dynamics, by great mobility and virtuosity of all voices, including the basses, and by complex contrapuntal devices and masterful vocal technique. The upper voice, which performs technically highly complex melodies in falsetto, is unique to the Gurian krimanchuli (winding voice) songs. Songs for one voice, including the Urmuli cart song, the Orovela threshing song, and the Zari ritual song, are widespread. Popular folk dances include the kartuli, perkhuli, tseruli, and khorumi.

Folk instruments, including the chonguri, panduri, and changi (plucked strings), the chuniri (bowed string), the gudastviri (bagpipes), the salamuri (a quill), the soinari or larchemi (a multipiped flute, similar to Pan’s), the knari (lyre), the hitki (trumpet), the sakviri (a small signal horn), the doli (double-headed drum), and the daira (tambourine), have been in use since earliest times. The lyrical songs of western and eastern Georgia are sung to the accompaniment of the chonguri and panduri.

Various diatonic modes are used in the music of Georgian folklore; in the mountain songs of eastern Georgia the Psha-vian mode (the Phrygian mode with a raised sixth) is used. The movement of voices in triads and in parallel fourths and fifths is typical for choirs. In the songs of western Georgia the contrapuntal development of the voices is more active and free and the harmony sharper at times.

The fourth century A.D. saw the birth of Georgian church music, which was greatly influenced by polyphonic folk music (the collection of hymns of Mikel Modrekili, tenth century). The early examples of professional Georgian choral compositions are written in ancient Georgian notation, which at present is being deciphered by scholars.

The 18th century saw the emergence of the musical culture of the urban population, mainly artisans; in addition to Georgians, other nationalities of Transcaucasia, as well as of the Near East, were part of this population. Monophonic songs performed to the accompaniment of plucked stringed instruments (the tari and saz), wind instruments (the duduki and zurna), and percussion instruments were widespread in urban folklore. Karachokheli, lyrical songs of the artisans, gained popularity.

Permanent ties with Russian and European musical cultures were established after the annexation of Georgia to Russia in the 19th century. In 1851 an opera house opened in Tbilisi, and concerts of chamber and symphonic music were held. Interest in the national musical culture increased among the Georgian public. In 1873 choral schools, and later music schools (after 1886, a musical college), were organized in Tbilisi on the initiative of the singer Kh. I. Savaneli and the pianist A. O. Mizandari. M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov and N. S. Klenovskii taught and gave performances.

Great interest arose in the collecting and examination of the music of Georgian folklore. In 1885, Lado Agniashvili organized the first Georgian national choir. F. Ia. Koridze. I. G. Kargareteli. Z. I. Chkhikvadze, and A. S. Benashvili. and later Z. P. Paliashvili and D. I. Arakishvili, the founder of the scholarly study of the music of Georgian folklore, collected and published folk songs. Russian musicians (Kh. A. Grozdov and A. N. Koreshchenko) also studied Georgian folk music. In the 1880’s and 1890’s, M. A. Balanchivadze and I. G. Kargareteli composed the first Georgian art songs. Balanchivadze was also the author of the first Georgian opera. Crafty Tamara (Tamar Tsbieri; staged, in excerpts, in St. Petersburg, 1897). The second Georgian opera. The Little Kakhetian by N. P. Sulkhanishvili, which was begun at the same time, remained incomplete. The Georgian Philharmonic Society, which produced operas by Russian and Western European composers, was established in 1905. The first Georgian symphonic picture. Hymn to Ormuzd by D. I. Arakishvili. was performed in 1911. A conservatory opened in Tbilisi in 1917. The opera Kristine by R. Gogniashvili was staged in 1918 through the efforts of the Georgian Club. In 1919, the Georgian operas The Legend of Shota Rustaveli by D. I. Arakishvili, Abesalom and Eteri (an epic operatic legend by E. P. Paliashvili), and Keto and Kote (a comic opera by V. I. Dolidze) appeared for the first time on the operatic stage. The first Georgian opera studio was opened in 1919.

The great upsurge in national musical culture began after the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia (1921). A system of popular musical education was introduced. In 1922 a second conservatory was opened in Tbilisi (in 1924 it was combined with the first conservatory).

National opera began to develop in the 1920’s. Z. P. Paliashvili composed the operas Daisi (premiere 1923) and Latavra (premiere 1928). In 1926 a new version of M. A. Balanchivadze’s opera Tamar Tsbieri was presented (third version, 1936, entitled Daredzhan Tsbieri [Crafty Dared-zhan]). Georgian children’s operas were composed by Sh. M. Taktakishvili. The operas Life Is Joy {Dinara. 1926) by D. I. Arakishvili and Leila (1922) and Tsisana (1929) by V. I. Dolidze brought to a culmination the first classical period of Georgian opera. In addition to opera, the art song was developed as a genre, particularly by D. I. Arakishvili.

The Society of Young Georgian Musicians, under whose auspices a symphony orchestra and string quartet were organized in 1924. was formed in 1922. In the late 1930’s the symphonic form became the leading genre in Georgian music. Among the first major works were the symphonic poems Gandegili (The Hermit, 1937) by G. V. Kiladze and Zviadauri (1940) by Sh. M. Mshvelidze and the first symphony of A. M. Balanchivadze (1940). Works composed in the last years of the 1940’s and during the 1950’s include the first symphony (1949) and piano concerto (1951) of O. V. Taktakishvili (the author of the anthem of the Georgian SSR, 1946) and the violin concerto of A.D. Machariani (1950). Symphonies, symphonic poems, instrumental concerti. and suites were written by D. I. Arakishvili. V. I. Dolidze. K. V. Megvinet-Ukhutsesi, A. K. Andriashvili. I. R. Gokieli, A. P. Kereselidze, R. K. Gabichvadze. A. V. Shaverzashvili, D. A. Toradze, R. I. Lagidze, S. F. Tsintsadze, M. Sh. Davitashvili, N. D. Svanidze, B. A. Kvernadze. S. I. Nasidze, O. M. Gordeli, F. P. Glonti, N. L. Mamisashvili, N. K. Gabuniia, G. A. Kancheli, and V. Sh. Azarashvili. Symphonic composition in the second half of the 1950’s and in the 1960’s was characterized by a great interest in a new melodic and harmonic language and a striving for mastery of the most complex musical methods.

Chamber music for instrumental ensembles developed in various directions, the founders of which were Sh. M. Tak-takishvili (the author of the first string quartets and cello pieces), I. I. Tuskiia (violin pieces and a string quartet), and A. M. Balanchivadze (piano pieces). S. F. Tsintsadze was a leading composer in this genre, writing seven string quartets and many minor quartets and cello pieces. Fruitful work in the field of chamber music for instrumental ensembles was also done by N. I. Gudiashvili, A. V. Shaverzashvili, R. I. Lagidze, T. L. Bakradze, B. A. Kvernadze, S. I. Nasidze, N. K. Gabuniia, N. M. Vatsadze, O. M. Gordeli, and V. Sh. Azarashvili.

In the 1940’s the first operas were composed on themes from contemporary life (The Deputy by Sh. M. Taktakishvili and Motherland by I. I. Tuskiia; produced in 1940), the peasant uprising (The Brigand Kako by A. K. Andriashvili), and the past revolutionary movement (Lado Ketskhoveli by G. V. Kiladze; produced in 1941), as well as on plots involving patriotic heroism (The Little Kakhetian, 1943, by I. P. Gokieli, and Mother and Son by A. D. Machavariani, produced in 1945). The operas The Call of the Mountains by D. A. Toradze (1947; the first Georgian opera about the Great Patriotic War of 1941–15), Mziia by A. M. Balanchivadze, and To Marine by A. V. Shaverzashvili (produced in 1954) were also composed on contemporary themes. A. K. Andriashvili, Sh. I. Azmaiparashvili, and others also wrote operas.

Important works in Georgian musical theater were the epic opera The Legend of Tariel by Sh. M. Mshvelidze (premiere 1946), based on Sh. Rustaveli’s poem The Man in the Panther’s Skin; the historical and patriotic Bashi-Achuki by A. P. Kreselidze (premiere 1946); and the children’s opera The Uninvited Guests by A. I. Bukiia (premiere 1950). The opera Bride of the North by D. A. Toradze (premiere 1958) was devoted to Russo-Georgian friendship. The creative energy and love of freedom of the Georgian people found embodiment in the opera The Right Hand of the Great Master by Sh. M. Mshvelidze (premiere 1961), which was based on the novel of the same name by K. S. Gamsakhurdia. The opera-poem Mindiia by O. V. Taktakishvili, based on motifs from the work of Vazha Pshavela, was presented in 1961. In 1967, O. V. Taktakishvili wrote an operatic triptych made up of the operas Two Verdicts and The Soldier (based on the short stories by M. S. Dzhavakhishvili) and the oratorio Raise the Banners Higher! (based on the poetry of G. V. Tabidze). A number of operas for children appeared, including The Red Poppy (produced in 1958) and The Crystal Shoe (produced in 1965) by I. R. Gokieli and Kadzhana by M. Sh. Davitashvili (premiere 1966).

Georgian composers wrote a number of national ballets on heroic-romantic subjects (A. M. Balanchivadze), heroic-patriotic subjects (D. A. Toradze), legendary-fantastic themes (G. V. Kiladze), and historical-revolutionary plots (F. P. Glonti). Classics of world literature (A. D. Machavariani, S. F. Tsintsadze, A. M. Balanchivadze, and R. K. Gabichvadze) were adapted for the first time to the ballet stage (see below: Dance and ballet).

The cantata and oratorio genre, which emerged during the period of Soviet power, has its roots in the Georgian choral folk epic. The first Georgian cantatas were written by M. A. Balanchivadze (Glory to the Zemo-Avchala Hydroelectric Power Plant, 1927) and Z. P. Paliashvili (Devoted to the Tenth Anniversary of October, 1927). N. I. Gudiashvili and N. V. Narimanidze wrote oratorios and cantatas in the 1940’s. Sh. M. Mshvelidze composed the monumental oratorio Kavkasioni (1949). Themes of contemporary life and patriotism were treated with clarity and originality in The

Heart of Kartli by A. I. Chimakadze (1952) and The Day of My Motherland by A. D. Machavariani (1954). The oratorios Glory to October by A. V. Shaverzashvili (1959), My Motherland by S. I. Nasidze (1967), and Revolutionary Georgia by T. L. Bakradze (1967) were written in the 1960’s. Depth and epic majesty are the distinguishing features of O. V. Taktakishvili’s oratorios In Rustaveli’s Footsteps (1964), based on the cycle of the same name by I. V. Abashidze, and Baratashvili (1970), based on the poems by N. M. Baratashvili.

The emergence of the genre of the musical comedy in Georgia was closely associated with the activity of the V. Abashidze Tbilisi Theater of Musical Comedy (founded 1934). Those working in this genre have included Sh. E. Milorava (the author of 15 musical comedies, including the popular Song of Tbilisi, 1958), G. G. Tsabadze (author of ten musical comedies, including The Magnificent Three, 1963, and My Crazy Brother, 1965), A. P. Kereselidze, R. I. Lagidze, S. F. Tsintsadze, N. I. Gudliashvili, D. A. Toradze, Sh. I. Azmaiparashvili, R. K. Gabichvadze, V. G. Tsagareishvili, V. G. Kurtidi (the author of one of the first Georgian musical comedies), Sh. E. Dzhodzhua, L. M. Iashvili, I. A. Gedzhadze, V. Sh. Azarashvili, N. K. Gabuniia, S. I. Nasidze, and B. A. Kvernadze.

A new stage in the development of the Georgian art song began in the late 1940’s with the creative work of A. D. Machavariani, A. I. Chimakadze, R. I. Lagidze, and R. K. Gabichvadze. Cycles for combined symphony orchestra and vocal ensembles to texts of the classics and modern works of Georgian poetry were created by O. V. Taktakishvili and A. D. Machavariani (texts by Vazha Pshavela) and G. V. Tabidze.

Composers of various generations participated in the creation of the genre of the Soviet Georgian popular song, including I. I. Tuskiia, G. V. Kiladze, Sh. M. Mshvelidze, A. M. Balanchivadze, G. I. Kokeladze, V. G. Tsagareishvili, A. P. Kereselidze, R. K. Gabichvadze, and R. I. Lagidze. Music for films, the variety stage, and the dramatic stage played an important role in the development of the song (R. I. Lagidze, A. P. Kereselidze, G. G. Tsabadze, S. F. Tsintsadze, A. I. Chimakadze, D. A. Toradze, A. P. Mirianashvili, L. M. Iashvili, and O. L. Tevdoradze).

Music for children has occupied an important place. Works in various genre were created which, in addition to the children’s operas mentioned above, included the ballet The Treasure of the Blue Mountain by S. F. Tsintsadze (premiere 1956); piano concerti by A. M. Balanchivadze, N. L. Mamisashvili, and D. D. Chkheidze; piano pieces in various forms by T. A. Shaverzashvili (the founder of this genre in Georgian music), V. G. Tsagareishvili, V. G. Kurtidi, and E. G. Eksanishvili; and children’s songs by M. Sh. Davitashvili.

Among the composers who have earned the title of People’s Artist of the Georgian SSR are Z. P. Paliashvili, D. I. Arakishvili, M. A. Balanchivadze, and K. G. Pottskhverashvili. People’s Artists of the USSR are A. M. Balanchivadze and A. D. Machavariani, and People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR are A. I. Bukiia, R. G. Gabichvadze, I. R. Gokieli, A. P. Kereselidze, R. I. Lagidze, Sh. M. Mshvelidze, L. P. Paliashvili, O. V. Taktakishvili, D. A. Toradze, I. I. Tuskiia, S. F. Tsintsadze, and A. P. Marianashvili.

The founders of the Georgian national vocal art are People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR V. P. Saradzhishvili and O. A. Bakhutashvili-Shul’gina and People’s Artist of the USSR A. I. Inashvili. Outstanding singers of Georgia include People’s Artists of the USSR P. V. Amiranashvili, D. Ia. Andguladze, and Z. I. Andzhaparidze; People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR N. G. Kumsiashvili, E. T. Sokhadze, N. A. Tsomaia, M. P. Nakashidze, N. V. Kharadze, M. P. Amiranashvili, L. G. Chkoniia, L. M. Gotsiridze, N. S. Tugushi, D. G. Badridze, D. A. Gamrekeli, B. I. Kraveishvili, G. M. Grigorashvili, D. S. Mchedlidze, N. A. Belakneli, N. D. Andguladze, T. V. Mushkudiani, I. L. Shushaniia, and Sh. A. Kiknadze. Among Georgian conductors are People’s Artist of the Georgian SSR I. P. Paliashvili, Honored Art Workers of the Georgian SSR E. S. Mikeladze and Sh. I. Azmaiparashvili, People’s Artist of the USSR O. A. Dimitriadi. and People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR D. L. Mirtskhulava and V. P. Paliashvili; and G. V. Azmaiparashvili, L. G. Kiladze, D. I. Kakhidze, Z. Z. Khurodze, and D. I. Gokieli. Pianists include the founders of the national school. People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR A. D. Virsaladze and A. I. Tulashvili, and E. K. Virsaladze, M. V. Mdivani, M. D. Chkheidze. T. K. Amiradzhibi. N. K. Gabuniia, and A. Sh. Nizharadze; among violinists are People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR M. L. Iashvili, L. A. Isakadze, and N. L. Iashvili; and among the cellists are G. K. Barnabishvili. A. I. Chidzavadze. T. B. Gabarashvili, and E. A. Isakadze.

Among the groups working in Georgia are the Z. P. Paliashvili Tbilisi Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet (with a branch in Kutaisi), the V. Abashidze Tbilisi Theater of Musical Comedy, a symphony orchestra (1933; the first director was the conductor E. S. Mikeladze); the string quartet of Georgia (1930), the Georgian Philharmonic Society and choir, the Rero stage band, and the Orera variety vocal-instrumental ensemble. The V. Saradzhishvili Conservatory, three musical colleges, the Central Music School, and 17 music schools are located in Tbilisi. Musical colleges are in operation in Kutaisi, Sukhumi, Batumi, Tskhinvali, Telavi, Poti, Gori, Borzhomi, Signakhi, and Rustavi. There are music schools in all the cities and raion centers of the republic.


Arakishvili, D. I. Kratkii ocherk razvitiia gruzinskoi, kartelinokakhetinskoi narodnoi pesni, s prilozheniem notnykh primerov i 27 pesen v narodnoi garmonizatsii. [Moscow] 1905.
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Arakishvili. D. I. Gruzinskoe narodnoe muzykal’noe tvorchestvo. Moscow, 1916.
Arakishvili. D. I. Kratkii istoricheskii obzor gruzinskoi muzhyki. Tbilisi. 1940.
Steshenko-Kuftina, V. K. Drevneishie instrumental’nye osnovygruzinskoi narodnoi muzyki. [Tbilisi, 1936.]
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Archaeological and literary sources show that the forerunner of the Georgian art of dance was evidently the people’s dance of the hunt, performed in honor of the god of fertility, the moon. The development of agriculture and livestock raising engendered rites with ritualistic dances (complicated versions of the round dance, including the mperkhaobis dge, perkhuli, chveniereba, adrekila, and berikaoba). One of the oldest of the dances for men is the fundruki, a dance of the hunt (it was eventually supplemented by gymnastic exercises). The bellicose nature of some of the dances for men evolved from situations of actual war; such warriors’ dances included the khorumi, lazuri, idumala, and mtiuluri, the athletic and gymnastic fartsakttku, the khandzhluri dance with daggers, and the mkharuli horseman’s dance. Portrayals of a dancing female figure, which testify to the fact that ritualistic dances were also performed by women, have been preserved (on an ivory plate and the kolkhidka coin of the sixth century B.C.). Ancient dances that are known include the samaia, which accompanied the ritual of childbirth; the mdzimuri, the dance of women who had taken refuge in monasteries from foreign conquerors; the gogmani, which was derived from the totemic dance in imitation of birds; and the kvantsva, a dance based on expressive movements of the hands.

The process of development of the dance involving two partners was associated with the rituals honoring the cult of the gods of agriculture, melia-telepia; the dance subsequently became a part of the sakhioba spectacle (beginning in the 11th and 12th centuries). Dances involving two partners—the rokva, shushproba, mgera, and tamashoba—were in the form of a dialogue. With time this form disappeared and was replaced by the group form of dance, the oldest of which is the samaia; the davluri and kartuli are later versions. Among the other dances involving two partners are the arira, mokheuri, mtiuluri, gandagan, and svanuri.

At present, new forms of the Georgian dance have also appeared. The new forms include dances related to the process of work, such as the kolkhoz dance, dances for the tea and tangerine harvests, the kalmakhoba (trout fishing), and the mtskemsuri (shepherd’s dance), and sporting dances, including the parikaoba and kechnaoba (which retain elements of Khevsuri fencing), the dogi-marula (steeplechase), the lakhtis-tsema (a duel with belts), and the chidaoba (Georgian wrestling).

Georgian dances are complicated and diverse. Almost every one has its own devices and characteristics, usually a forward movement consisting of three steps (forward, backward, and to the side) performed by both partners. The male role is rich in sliding and rhythmic movements (steps), leaps, running, and turns on the toes.

There are more than 200 dance ensembles in Georgia, including the Honored Academic Folk Dance Ensemble of the Georgian SSR (founded in 1945), the dance group of the Honored Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of the Georgian SSR (founded in 1885), and folk dance ensembles of Adzharia and the cities of Rustavi and Kutaisi.

The first ballet company in Georgia began to take shape in 1852, when the ballet artists T. Chesnova, A. P. Pavlova, and V. Panov performed for the first time on the stage of the opera house in Tbilisi in the ballets La Péri by N. Burgmül-ler (1852) and Giselle by A. Adam (1853). Artists who later worked at the opera house at various times included the choreographers K. Sh. Bekkefi, A. A. Romanovskii, and S. F. Vakarets and the artists A. G. Aleksidze, M. I. Perini, E. S. Lenchevskaia, and M. V. Bauer. Ballets by P. 1. Tchaikovsky. A. K. Glazunov, and A. Adam were presented, and the work on these productions had a decisive influence on the formation of Georgian ballet. Leading roles were often performed by touring artists, including M. M. and V. P. Fokine, E. V. Gel’tser, O. I. Preobrazhenskaia, and M. F. Kshesinskaia. The composer T. N. Vakhvakhi-shvili made the first attempts to create a national ballet {Iranian Pantomime, 1914, and Love Potion, 1920). M. M. Mordkin headed the ballet company from 1920 to 1922. In 1921, with a group of professional dancers as its basis, a national ballet theater was finally formed as an independent artistic endeavor. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, ballets were presented by M. M. Mordkin, S. N. Sergeev, I. I. Arbatov, V. R. Gamsakhurdia, L. I. Lukin. V. I. Tsaplin, and V. A. Kononovich.

In 1936 the dancer and choreographer V. M. Chabukiani presented the first important national ballet, Mzechabuki by A. M. Balanchivadze (a later version was performed in 1938 under the title Heart of the Mountains). In 1938. Maltakva, a ballet based on a theme from contemporary life, was composed by Sh. M. Taktakishvili (choreographers D. L. Dzha-vrishvili and V. K. Litvinenko).

Since 1941, Chabukiani, the chief choreographer and leading dancer, has headed the theater’s company. He is responsible for the presentation of nearly all the classical and national ballets, including Sinatle by G. V. Kiladze (1947; 2nd ed. 1965), Gorda by D. A. Toradze (1949), Othello by A. D. Machavariani (1957). and Hamlet by R. K. Gabichvadze (1941). Individual productions were mounted by G. I. Davitashvili (Doctor Aiholit by I. V. Morozov. 1949, and others), A. I. Tsereteli, T. G. Sanadze, R. V. Dolidze (Treasure of the Blue Mountain by S. F. Tsintsadze. 1956), Z. M. Kikaleishvili (Choreographic Short Stories by B. A. Kvernadze, 1964), R. A. Tsulukidze (Mtsiri by A. M. Balanchivadze, 1964). and A. V. Chichinadze (Poem by S. F. Tsintsadze, 1964). Among the artists who have worked in the theater at various times are the People’s Artists of the USSR V. M. Chabukiani, N. Sh. Ramishvili, I. I. Sukhishvili, and V. I. Vronskii (Nadiradze): People’s Artists of the Georgian SSR E. L. Gvaramadze, V. V. Tsignadze, M. V. Bauer, Z. M. Kikaleishvili. T. M. Chabukiani. I. A. Aleksidze. D. K. Bagrationi. and E. S. Gelovani; Honored Artists of the Georgian SSR E. G. Chikvaidze, M. I. Kazinets, G. V. Bar-khudarov, V. K. Litvinenko, S. G. Gorskii, S. G. Bekua, V. A. Ivashkin. K. M. Nadareishvili, R. R. Magalashvili, E. V. Chabukiani. G. M. Pataraia, and K. E. Loladze. Among the members of the ballet company of the theater in the 1970’s are Honored Artists of the Georgian SSR L. I. Mitaishvili, A. V. Dvali. I. A. Dzhandieri. V. V. Gunashvili, B. G. Monavardisashvili. and T. G. Sanadze.

In 1902. A. G. Aleksidze organized and headed a Georgian dance studio (he directed it until 1934; since 1917 it has been known as the Studio of Georgian National Dance). In 1916, M. I. Perini created the first ballet studio, which in 1921 was made into a ballet school under the auspices of the Theater of Opera and Ballet. In 1934 the school was reorganized into the Choreographical Studio. Since 1935 it has been known as the State Choreographical School, and since 1951, V. M. Chabukiani has been its director and leading teacher.


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Egaze. O. K’art’uli baleti. Tbilisi, 1961.

Archaeological finds and ancient cultural monuments attest to the existence of a theatrical culture in Georgia in the fifth century B.C. Folk theater developed rapidly, in particular the berikaoba, the ancient improvised theater of masks, with progressive, radical, and anticlerical tendencies, and keenoba, the people’s carnival festival, which gave expression to the deeply patriotic spirit of the people. The sakhioba, a unique form of theatrical art in which masks were worn and musical accompaniment was provided, including recitation and performances by acrobats and jugglers, developed as early as the slaveholding era. The sakhioba as palace theater reached its highest point of development in the Middle Ages, and it existed until the 18th century. The secular motifs ingrained in it. together with its satirical elements, earned the sakhioba the hostility of the church. In the 1766’s to 1780’s, theater emerged in the schools, and in the 1790’s a secular theater, headed by the dramatist G. I. Avalishvili. formed at the court of Erekle II. In 1795 nearly all the actors from this theater perished in battle during the invasion of Tbilisi by the hordes of Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar.

The annexation of Georgia to Russia played a great role in the development of the Georgian theater. In 1845 a Russian dramatic theater was founded in Georgia. For the most part, theatrical activity in Georgia during the first half of the 19th century was carried on by amateur circles.

The emergence of the realistic trend in Georgian literature contributed to the growth of the first professional theater in Georgia, the founder of which in 1850 was the dramatist G. D. Eristavi (the theater was closed in 1856). In 1879, under the influence of the ideas of the national liberation movement, the writers I. G. Chavchavadze and A. R. Tsereteli once again organized professional theaters—in Tbilisi, and later in Kutaisi—in which the plays of Eristavi, Chavchavadze, Tsereteli, A. A. Tsagareli. and A. M. Kazbegi and the classics of Russian and foreign drama were staged. A group of actors of the realist trend developed here, including V. A. Abashidze, V. S. Aleksi-Meskhishvili. N. M. Gabuniia, M. M. Saparova-Abashidze. K. D. Kipiani, K. S. Meskhi, V. L. Gunia, and E. A. Cherkezishvili, and later Sh. N. Dadiani, N. P. Chkheidze, and A. S. Im-edashvili, as well as the directors K. A. Mardzhanishvili, V. I. Shalikashvili. A. R. Tsutsunava. and M. F. Koreli.

During the years of the proletarian liberation movement the popular theaters, with their social orientation and revolutionary enthusiasm, developed in Georgia. A revolutionary spirit marked the activity of the Kutaisi Theater, which from 1897 to 1906 was headed by the actor and popular leader V. S. Aleksi-Meskhishvili. At performances of this theater during the Revolution of 1905–07, meetings sprang up and orators called for a struggle against the autocracy. Progressive figures of the Georgian realist theater tried to defend the progressive and democratic traditions of national art during the years of political reaction (1907–10) as well. Plays with revolutionary content were staged (When They Feasted by Sh. N. Dadiani, Who ¡s to Blame? by N. I. Nakashidze, and The Neighbors by T. M. Ramishvili), as were the plays of M. Gorky (The Lower Depths, 1908, Tbilisi; The Last Ones, 1910. Kutaisi). L. N. Tostoy, and A. P. Chekhov.

The triumph of Soviet power in Georgia (1921) brought a renewal of the theater, enriching it with new content and placing before it goals of the highest order. The Soviet Georgian theater was headed by K. A. Mardzhanishvili, who was its founder and reformer. The turning point in the life of the Georgian theater was his presentation of the play The Sheep Well by Lope de Vega (1922) at the Shota Rustaveli Theater, which had been organized in 1921. The degree to which this production was in keeping with the revolutionary times, its emphasis of the theme of the role of the people, its heroic and romantic spirit, and its high professionalism made it a significant event in the history of the Soviet theater. Later, The Eclipse of the Sun in Georgia by Z. N. Antonov (1923), The Partition by G. D. Eristavi (1923), and Hamlet by Shakespeare (1925), as well as works by Soviet Georgian dramatists, including Sh. N. Dadiani, A. I. Shanshiashvili, and P. M. Kakabadze, were staged.

The actors T. I. Chavchavadze, V. I. Andzhaparidze. U. V. Chkheidze, A. A. Khorava, A. A. Vasadze. G. M. Davitashvili, N. S. Gotsiridze, A. M. Zhorzholiani, E. E. Apkhaidze, Ts. R. Tsutsunava, and Sh. K. Gambashidze and the directors A. V. Akhmeteli, D. K. Antadze, and K. E. Pataridze began their creative careers in the 1920’s.

In 1928 a new theater, the Second State Drama Theater, was organized in Kutaisi under the direction of K. A. Mardzhanishvili (in 1930 the theater was transferred to Tbilisi, and in 1933 it was named in honor of its founder). Mardzhanishvili staged productions of In the Heart Itself by Sh. N. Dadiani (1928), Kvarkvare Tutaberi by P. M. Kakabadze (1929), The Rails Hum by V. M. Kirshon (1929), Khatidzhe by K. R. Kaladze (1930), Poem About an Axe by N. F. Pogodin (1931), Fear by A. N. Afinogenov (1932), and Shine, Stars by I. K. Mikitenko (1931). In 1929 he staged one of his best creations, a production of Uriel Acosta by K. F. Gutzkow. The presentations of the K. A. Mardzhanishvili Theater are distinguished by psychological profundity and humanity and by vivid theatrical imagery.

The Sh. Rustaveli Theater (directed by Mardzhanishvili’s successor, A. V. Akhmeteli, from 1926 to 1935) is characterized by the animated and monumental style of its presentations. It is dominated by the heroic and romantic trend and heroic characters, as was revealed with particular force in its productions of The Break by B. A. Lavrenev (1928), Anzor by A. I. Shanshiashvili (1928; based on motifs from the play Armored Train No. 14–69 by Vs. Ivanov), and The Robbers by F. Schiller (1933).

Theatrical figures who gained prominence in the late 1920’s and the 1930’s include the actors S. D. Takaishvili, V. D. Godziashvili, S. A. Zakariadze. G. V. Shavgulidze, A. L. Kvantaliani. T. G. Tsulukidze, P. K. Kobakhidze. A. A. Omiadze, and G. I. Sagaradze and the directors A. A. Va-sadze, V. P. Kushitashvili, A. A. Takaishvili, D. A. Alek-sidze. Sh. P. Agsabadze. N. A. Godziashvili, P. Ia. Pran-gishvili, G. B. Zhuruli, A. E. Chkhartishvili, S. F. Chelidze. and V. V. Tabliashvili.

Portraits of contemporaries were created in the productions of Platón Krechet by A. E. Korneichuk (1935) and A Generation of Heroes by S. D. Kldiashvili (1937) at the Sh. Rustaveli Theater and of Distant Point by A. N. Afinogenov (1936), Marriage of a Kolkhoz Farmer by P. M. Kakabadze (1938). and Envy by I. L. Vakeli (1938) at the K. A. Mardzhanishvili Theater. In the 1940’s the Georgian theater approached the solution of a complex task—the portrayal on stage of V. 1. Lenin. Among those who played the part of Lenin were P. K. Kobakhidze (The Kremlin Chimes by Pogodin. 1941, at the K. A. Mardzhanishvili Theater) and K. K. Miufke (Man With a Gun. 1938; The Kremlin Chimes. 1940; and The Third Pathétiqtie. 1958, by Pogodin. at the A. S. Griboedov Russian Drama Theater).

The heroic and romantic tendency of Georgian theater was manifested with particular clarity during the Great Patriotic War (1941–15) and in the immediate postwar years. The plays that were staged dealt with the heroic struggle of the Soviet people against the German invaders (The Battalion Goes West. The Skies of Moscow, and The Partisans by G. D. Mdivani, The Deer Ravine by S. D. Kldiashvili, The Victors by B. V. Chirskov. Wait for Me by K. M. Simonov, Mountain of Meditations by G. I. Shatberashvili. The Invincible Ones by L. P. Gotua, and The Stationmaster by I. O. Mosashvili) and plays dealing with themes from history (King Erekle by L. P. Gotua, Georgii Saakadze and The Heroes of Krtsanisi by A. I. Shanshiashvili. Bagrationi by A. A. Samsoniia. Kikvidze by V. A. Daraseli, and Oleko Dundich by M. A. Kats and A. G. Rzheshevskii).

The classical works of national drama have been staged. The K. A. Mardzhanishvili Theater presented Guriia Ni-noshvili by Sh. N. Dadiani (1934; after E. F. Ninoshvili), The Demolished Bridge by I. G. Chavchavadze (1935), Times Have Changed by A. A. Tsagareli (1935). and The Shepherd (1948; after A. M. Kazbegi). The Sh. Rustaveli Theater presented The Autumn Nobility (1936; after D. S. Kldiashvili), The First Step (1948: after G. E. Tsereteli), Otar’s Widow (1952; after I. G. Chavchavadze). and Bakhtrioni (1960; after Vazha Pshavela).

The theaters have staged Russian classics, including the works of A. S. Pushkin, M. Iu. Lermontov, N. V. Gogol, A. N. Ostrovskii, and A. V. Sukhovo-Kobylin. A production of The Inspector-General by Gogol (1951, K. A. Mardzhanishvili Theater) was particularly successful. Plays by M. Gorky, including The Enemies (1951), The Lower Depths (1957 and 1968), and The Philistines (1968), were presented.

The Georgian theater of the Soviet era is a theater of great passions, broad involvement with society, and brilliant romantic portrayals. The plays of Shakespeare, Schiller, Moliere, Lope de Vega, Goldoni, and Shaw occupy an important place in the repertoire. Productions of Othello by Shakespeare (1937. with A. A. Khorava as Othello and A. A. Vasadze as lago), The Spanish Curate by J. Fletcher (1954), and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (1956, with A. A. Khorava and S. A. Zakariadze, and E. A. Mandzhgaladze as Oedipus) by the Sh. Rustaveli Theater and of Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare (1951, with V. I. Andzhaparidze as Cleopatra), Maria Stuart by Schiller (1955), and Richard III by Shakespeare (1957, with V. D. Godziashvili as Richard III) by the K. A. Mardzhianishvili Theater were important events in the theatrical life of Georgia. Plays by contemporary foreign dramatists, including B. Brecht, J. Priestley, and J. Anouilh, have been staged. The best productions of the 1950’s and 1960’s include To Marine (Strekoza) by M. G. Barata-shvili (1950), His Star by I. O. Mosashvili (1951), Secretary of the Raion Committee by R. Sh. Tabukashvili (1954), The Avalanche by M. N. Mrevlishvili (1956), Grandmother. Iliko, Illarion, and I (1960) and / See the Sun (1962) by N. V. Dumbadze and G. D. Lordkipanidze, Saints in Hell by A. I. Getsadze (1967), and The Theft of the Moon by K. S. Gamsakhurdia (1968) at the K. A. Mardzhanishvili Theater; Children of the Sea by G. Khukhashvili (1962), A Man is Born Once by O. Sh. Ioseliani (1962), and The Sunny Night by N. V. Dumbadze (1967) at the Sh. Rustaveli Theater; Dawn in Colchis by K. A. Lordkipanidze and Boundless Distances by N. E. Virta (both 1959) at the Kutaisi Theater; The Bathhouse by V. Mayakovsky (1959) at the Sukhumi Theater; and Saints in Hell by A. I. Getsadze (1967) at the Sukhumi, Batumi, and Zugdidi theaters.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s the theater was replenished with a new stock of artist, who played an important role in contemporary drama, including the actors M. V. Chakhava, M. S. Tbileli, S. A. Kancheli, N. G. Chkheidze, E. V. Kipshidze, E. A. Mandzhgaladze, G. V. and M. V. Gegechkori, K. I. Makharadze, la. V. Tripol’skii, E. A. Magalashvili, M. V. Dzhaparidze, D. V. Chichinadze, B. P. Kobakhidze, R. G. Chkhikvadze, G. G. Sagaradze, and T. I. and E. S. Sak-varelidze and the directors M. A. Tumanishvili, L. K. Ioseliani, A. A. Dvalishvili, G. D. Lordkipanidze. Iu. S. Ka-kuliia. and T. P. Kandinashvili.

In 1970, 22 professional dramatic theaters were in operation in Georgia, including the Sh. Rustaveli and K. A. Mardzhanishvili theaters, the Georgian and Russian young people’s theaters, the Georgian Puppet Theater, the A. S. Griboedov Russian Drama Theater, and the S. Shaumian Armenian Drama Theater in Tbilisi. There are also theaters in Kutaisi (the L. Meskhishvili Theater and a puppet theater), Sukhumi (Georgian and Abkhazian companies), Batumi (the I. Chavchavadze Theater), Rustavi, Gori, Tskhinvali (Georgian and Ossetian companies), Chiatura. Telavi, Poti, Makharadze, Zugdidi, and Akhaltsikhe.

The Sh. Rustaveli Georgian State Theater was founded in Tbilisi in 1939, and the Georgian Theatrical Society was formed in 1945.


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Gugushvili. E.. and D. Dzhanelidze. Gruzinskii gos. dramaticheskii teatr imeni Kote Mardzhanishvili. Tbilisi, 1958.
Shapatava, E. Thilisskii Gosudarstvennyi teatr russkoi dramy im. A. S. Griboedova. Tbilisi, 1958.
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Circus. Tightrope-walkers, acrobats on stilts, jugglers, and horseback riders have long appeared in Georgia on city squares, at outdoor fetes, and at festivals in castles.

The professional Georgian Circus Group was created in 1957 and had its premiere in Tbilisi in 1958; since 1968 it has been an honored group of the Georgian SSR and has toured outside the country. Among the circus artists of the republic are Honored Artists of the Georgian SSR G. A. Agdgome-lashvili, A. A. Dadeshkeliani. G. G. Garsevanishvili. N. S. Matsaberidze, G. I. Natroshvili. and A. Z. Tediashvili.

The first films in Georgia were shot in 1908–10 by V. Ia. Amashukeli and A.D. Digmelov. In 1912, Amashukeli filmed the short subject The Journey of Akakii Tsereteli Through Racha and Lechkhumi, which was the first significant work of Georgian documentary cinema. In 1916. A. R. Tsutsunava started work on filming the first narrative film Khristine (after E. Ninoshvili), which was shown in 1917.

The real development of national cinematography began after the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia. The first Soviet Georgian historical and revolutionary narrative film, Arsen Dzhordzhiashvili (directed by I. N. Perestiani. script by Sh. N. Dadiani), was shown in 1921. Georgian cinema in the 1920’s was characterized by the production of films based on literary works, including The Surami Fortress (1923, after D. Chonkadze, directed by I. N. Perestiani), At the Pillory (1924, after A. Kazbegi. directed by A. I. Bek-Nazarov). Three Lives (1925. after G. Tsereteli, directed by I. N. Perestiani), and Samanishvili’s Stepmother (1927, after D. Kldiashvili. directed by Z. I. Berishvili and K. A. Mardzhanishvili); films were made based on the novella A Hero of Our Time by M. Iu. Lermontov (Beta, Princess Mary, and Maxim Maximych, all in 1927. directed by V. G. Barskii). The greatest work of the first half of the 1922’s was the first Soviet heroic-adventure film. The Red Imps (1923, directed by I. N. Perestiani. script by P. A. Bliakhin). devoted to the Civil War of 1918–20. The charming and courageous young heroes of the film enjoyed viewers’ favor for many years. Artists appearing in Georgian films of this period included N. G. Vachnadze, M. G. Gelovani, M. E. Chiaureli, Z. I. Berishvili, A. S. Imedashvili, and K. A. Mikaberidze.

In the second half of the 1922’s. young, creative minds began working in Georgian cinema, bringing to national cinematography their knowledge of related fields of art; among them were M. E. Chiaureli. N. M. Shengelaia, D. E. Rondeli, M. K. Kalatozov (Kalatozashvili), L. D. Esakia. and S. V. Dolidze. In his film Eliso (1928. after A. Kazbegi), N. M. Shengelaia stressed the solidarity of the peoples who had been oppressed by the tsarist autocracy. Poetic images, innovative settings, masterful acting, and the subordination of all components of the film to its main idea placed this film in the ranks of the best works of the Soviet silent cinema.

An increasing amount of attention was devoted to contemporary life in films in the late 1920’s. M. G. Gelovani made the satirical comedy Youth Triumphs (1929), which dealt with the struggle of Komsomol members against the old custom of blood revenge. Contemporary life was also the subject of L. D. Esakia’s Astride Khol’t (1929) and D. E. Rondeli’s Uguhziara (1930). The theme of the struggle of the new and old resounded with particular force in M. E. Chiaureli’s films Saba (1929), which castigated remnants of the past in the life of the workers, and Khabarda (1931), a satirical and grotesque comedy, which ridiculed the representatives of the beauty-loving nobility. In his films Chiaureli made conscious use of the tradition of Georgian folk painting. The films Until We Meet Again Soon (1934, directed by G. A. Makarov), which fused in original fashion motifs of satirical and grotesque comedy with those of social drama (the story of a Georgian revolutionary’s escape from prison), and the comedy The Dowry of Zhuzhuna (1934, directed by S. D. Pala-vandishvili) were also shown. In 1930 the director and cameraman M. K. Kalatozov made the film The Salt of Svanetia, a documentary short subject about the life in an area in the mountains of Georgia that was holding on to ancient customs.

The first Georgian sound film was Shakir (Rote Fane, 1932, directed by L. D. Esakia). Revolutionary history became the most important subject matter in the Georgian cinema of the 1930’s; the films The Last Masquerade (1934) and Arsen (1937; both directed by M. E. Chiaureli) and S. V. Dolidze’s The Last Crusaders (1934) and Dariko (1937) were prominent. The tradition of Georgian comedy was developed by the director D. E. Rondeli (Paradise Lost, 1938. and The Tardy Fiancé, 1940). N. M. Shengelaia made the film The Golden Valley (1937), about a kolkhoz village. The production of Georgian cartoons began in the mid-1930’s (V. la. Mudzhiri’s The Argonauts, Chiora, and The Scoundrel).

The films Georgii Saakadze (parts 1–2, 1942–43, directed by M. E. Chiaureli). In the Black Mountains (1941, directed by N. M. Shengelaia), and The Shield of Dzhurgai (1944. directed by S. V. Dolidze and D. E. Rondeli) were made during the Great Patriotic War. Actors appearing in the films included A. A. Khorava, A. A. Vasadze, S. A. Zakariadze, Sh. K. Gambashidze. Ts. Tsutsunava. T. I. Tsitsishvili, S. L. Bagashvili. A. M. Zhorzholiani, and D. P. Tserodze. Georgian documentary specialists worked in groups at the front and participated in the creation of a chronicle of the Great Patriotic War; the documentaries The End of the German Adventure in the Caucasus and The First Spring at the Front were filmed.

A new stage in the development of the Georgian cinema began in the mid-1950’s, when the production of films was increased and their subject matter broadened. Together with the films of the well-known directors— Keto and Kote (1948. V. V. Tabliashvili and Sh. M. Gedevanishvili). Strekoza (1954, S. V. Dolidze). and They Have Come Down From the Mountains (1955, N. K. Sanishvili)—interesting works of young directors appeared, including Lurdzha Magdany (1956. T. E. Abuladze and R. D. Chkheidze), Our Yard (1957. R. D. Chkheidze), and Other Peopled Children (1958) and The Entreaty (1968, T. E. Abuladze). An important work of Georgian film-makers was The Father of a Soldier (1965, directed by R. D. Chkheidze. with S. A. Zakariadze in the leading role). Other films included The Secret of Two Oceans (1957. directed by K. K. Pipinashvili). Bashi-Achuki (1957. L. D. Esakia). Otar’s Widow (1958, M. E. Chiaureli), The Last One From Sabudar (1958, Sh. I. Managadze), The Interrupted Song (1960. N. K. Sanishvili), The Last Day, the First Day (1960, S. V. Dolidze), Paliastomi (1963, S. V. Dolidze), Grandmother, Iliko, Illarion, and I (1962, T. E. Abuladze), The White Caravan (1963, E. N. Shengelaia and T. G. Meliava), The Wedding (1964, M. G. Kobakhidze), I See the Sun (1965, L. L. Gogoberidze). Ballad of Khevsuri (1965. Sh. I. Managadze), Meeting With the Past (1967, S. V. Dolidze). Tariel Golua (1968, L. I. Khotivari). The Unusual Exhibit (1968. E. N. Shengelaia), The Fall of the Leaves (1968. O. D. loseliani). The Great Green Valley (1968. M. A. Kokochashvili), Well, That’s Youth (1969, R. D. Chkheidze), Pirosmani(\969, G. N. Shengelaia), Light in Our Windows (1969, K. G. Mgeladze), and The Right Hand of the Great Master (parts 1–2, 1970–71, V. V. Tabliashvili).

Feature films are made at the Gruziia-fil’m studio. A number of important pictures were made at the Georgian studio of chronicle-documentary and popular scientific films by the cameraman and director G. I. Asatiani (Many Levels of America and Munich Twenty-five Years Later) and the directors D. A. Abashidze, I. I. Kandelaki, Sh. T. Chaguna-va, O. S. Gurgenidze, R. M. Chiaureli, G. D. Chubabriia, and Sh. I. Khomeriki. Directors working in cartoons, including V. D. Bakhtadze and A. N. Khintibidze, have achieved success.

A studio that makes films for television (Serenade, directed by K. L. Khotivari, and The Jug, directed by I. M. Kvirikadze) has been established. The Film-makers’ Union of the Georgian SSR was founded in 1957. In 1971 there were 1,826 motion-picture projection units in Georgia.

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