Vakhtang VI

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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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. Under Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (RA), al-Tiflis (Tbilisi) developed as an important city due to its close proximity to both the Arab lands and Europe.