Orbeliani, Sulkhan Saba

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Orbeliani, Sulkhan Saba


Born Oct. 25 (Nov. 4), 1658, in the village of Tandzia, in what is now Bolnisi Raion, the Georgian SSR; died Jan. 26 (Feb. 6), 1725, in Moscow. Georgian writer, scholar, and political figure.

The son of a judge in Kartli, Orbeliani was an advocate of enlightened absolutism and fought for the liberation of Georgia from foreign enslavement.

In 1698, after the defeat of Georgii XI in the struggle against Iran, Orbeliani became a monk and took the name of Saba. He resumed political activity under the rule of his pupil Vakhtang VI, whom he accompanied to Iran in 1712. Orbeliani served in diplomatic missions in Paris and Rome from 1713 to 1716, and in 1724 he emigrated to Russia with Vakhtang VI.

Orbeliani’s many-sided literary and scholarly activity influenced the development of progressive social ideas in Georgia. He is the author of a collection of fables and parables, On the Wisdom of the Imagination (or On the Wisdom of the Lie), in which he expresses his Enlightenment views and harshly condemns the vices of feudal society. The collection is distinguished by its high artistic merit and precise, vivid language. Orbeliani also wrote the book Journey to Europe and a number of works on religious subjects and compiled a dictionary of the Georgian language. The formation of the modern literary Georgian language is associated with Orbeliani’s literary activity.


[Orbeliani, S.-S.] T’xzulebani ot’x tomad. Tbilisi, 1959–66.
Mogzauroba evropashi. Tbilisi, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Mudrost’ vymysla. Tbilisi, 1959.
Puteshestvie v Evropu. Tbilisi, 1969.


S. S. Orbeliani, 1658–1958: Iubileinyi sb. Tbilisi, 1959.
Menabde, L. Sulxan-Saba Orbeliani. Tbilisi, 1953.
Baramize, A. Sulxan-Saba Orbeliani. Tbilisi, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?