Vakhtang Laws

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vakhtang Laws


a code of Georgian feudal law composed in 1705-08 under the direction of the king of Kartli Vakhtang VI, with the participation of representatives of the highest religious and secular aristocracy.

The Vakhtang Laws consist of extracts from the Bible, Byzantine, Armenian, and Georgian laws, and Vakhtang’s own ulozhenie (code). The codification of the laws was evoked by the growing demands of judicial practices in connection with the intensification of class conflicts, as well as by the goal of strengthening royal power in the struggle with the great feudal barons. The laws gave serfdom a legal status.

The ulozhenie of Vakhtang VI was actually in effect throughout Georgia, and some laws remained in effect even after Georgia became part of Russia. During the 18th century the Vakhtang Laws were disseminated in manuscript. The first edition of the Vakhtang Laws in Georgian was published in 1846 in St. Petersburg, and the last critical edition in Tbilisi in 1963. The first complete edition in Russian translation came out in St. Petersburg in 1828 (Collection of Laws of the Georgian King Vakhtang VI). The second edition was published in Tiflis in 1887 under the editorship of D. Z. Bakradze.


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