Vakhtang VI

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vakhtang VI


Born 1675; died March 1737 in Astrakhan. Vicegerent and later king of Kartli from 1703 to 1724 (from 1712 to 1719 he was ousted from power by the shah of Iran). Georgian writer, scholar, and political figure.

Following his predecessors in the sphere of foreign policy, Vakhtang VI continued the policy of orientation toward Russia. Under the direction of Vakhtang VI, the Code of Laws and a collection of directives and instructions on state government (Dasturlamali) were composed. In 1709 the first Georgian printing shop was opened on his initiative in Tbilisi. It published not only religious but also secular literature. (For example, in 1712 it issued the first printed edition of Sh. Rustaveli’s poem The Knight in a Tiger’s Skin, with scholarly commentaries by Vakhtang VI.) Vakhtang VI organized a commission of scholars to compose the history of 14th-18th-century Georgia and include it in the collection Kartlis Tskhovreba (The Life of Kartli). Deteriorating foreign and domestic conditions and the inability of Vakhtang VI to withstand Turkish aggression forced him to emigrate to Russia in 1724 with his family and a large retinue (about 1,400 persons). While an émigré, Vakhtang VI did not break his ties with Georgia, but nurtured a plan for its liberation. A patriotic content characterizes the poetry of Vakhtang VI (the lyrical poem “Madzhama”). Some of the poems bear the mark of mysticism and disillusionment with life. Vakhtang VI was also a lexicographer and translator. He produced two versions of a translation of the collection of fables Kalila and Dimna (1714-16).


Istoria Gruzii, vol. 1. Tbilisi, 1962. Pages 338-53.
Baramidze, A., Sh. Radiani, and B. Zhgenti. Istoria Gruzinskoi Literatury: Kratkii Ocherk. Tbilisi, 1958. Pages 82-84.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the past, it was fairly common for Georgian rulers to embrace Islam, the most notable example being King Vakhtang VI of Kartli.
The presented article describes development of chemistry, as of a science, in the epoch of King Vakhtang VI and depicts his attitude towards this science.
They attentively considered Orbeliani's proposal to send missioners to Georgia, to use the territory of Georgia as a trading road and in return to liberate Vakhtang VI. These proposals were acceptable for the French royal court, but they preferred to abstain from active actions.
After several years of imprisonment, Vakhtang VI, who had converted to Muslim, returned to Kartli in 1719.
Vakhtang VI chose Russia as an ally and with the army 40 thousand soldiers he set for Ganja (the town in Azerbaijan) and there he waited for Russian army.
Vakhtang VI tried his best, but couldn't get military help from Russia.
In parallel, Vakhtang VI was engaged in active scientific, literary and translation activities.
It should be noted, that editing and supplementing works for "The Life of Kartli" were directly led by Vakhtang VI. Vakhtang's remarks are preserved on the survived manuscripts (on the records of "The Life of Kartli").
The progressive ideas of educators began to spread throughout Georgia only after the end of XVIII century and therefore, they did not influence Vakhtang VI's thinking and creativity.
According to his opinion, Vakhtang VI had carried out each chemical experiment himself.
The content of some of the paragraphs show that Vakhtang VI had written sources apart from the oral ones.
The issue of reburial of remains of two Georgian Kings - Vakhtang VI and Teimuraz II from Astrakhan to