Original literature first appeared among the indigenous population of Caucasia in the fifth century AD as a consequence of its Christianization. Though a number of Armenian histories were composed at this time, several centuries elapsed before the Georgians created their own. But how many centuries? Through a meticulous investigation of internal textual criteria, Studies in Medieval Georgian Historiography challenges the traditional eleventh-century dating of the oldest Georgian narrative histories and probes their interrelationships. Illuminating Caucasia’s status as a cultural crossroads, it reveals the myriad Eurasian influences – written and oral, Christian and non-Christian – on these “pre-Bagratid” histories produced between the seventh and the ninth century. Eastern Georgia’s place in the Eurasian world and its long-standing connection to the Iranian Commonwealth are specially highlighted. This volume also examines several related historical and historiographical problems of the early Bagratid period and supplies critical translations of six early Georgian histories previously unavailable in English.
Rapp, S.H. 2003. Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts. Peeters Publishers.
This collection of essays spans numerous disciplines, including urban planning, architecture, and history. The study focuses on the interrelated transitions of city culture and city planning in modern Georgia, establishing a field of connections between city culture and planning that is unsurpassed in breath and depth. The combination of well-established Georgian and international scholars allows for an in-depth analysis of this multiplicity of relations, an analysis that sheds new light on city planning, the role of knowledge, trust, networks, and heritage as it elucidates the shortcomings of ‘transition’ concepts in new ways. Concepts of identity occur over and over again in the essays, with city space appearing as an arena for identity politics. This book is timely, given the recently renewed history of conflicts in the Caucasus, and it contributes to scholarship in the area by detailing the difficulties of reshaping city and society when threats are imminent, resources are scarce, and democratic institutions are fragile.
Van Assche, K., Salukvadze, J., & Shavishvili, N. (Eds.). (2009). City Culture and City Planning in Tbilisi: Where Europe and Asia Meet. Edwin Mellen Press.
“The present book is the result of a visit which I made to Georgia in August 1920. Invited by the Social-Democratic Party of Georgia, I journeyed thence at the same time as the delegation of the Second International, which had been, asked to visit the country by the Georgian Government. Falling ill in Rome, I was only able to reach the country fourteen days after the delegation arrived, in fact, just at the time when the latter was returning. I remained a much longer time in the country, from the end of September until the beginning of January. In view of the state of my health and the unfavourable weather, I was prevented from visiting every part of the country like the delegation. To this must be added my ignorance of the Georgian language. Nevertheless, I was able to enter into direct contact with the people and to acquaint myself with their ideas. Likewise, the native literature relating to the country, both official and private was inaccessible to me because of the language difficulties, so far as I was not aided by translators. Thus I cannot pose as one who has investigated the country. Nevertheless, I have learned far more of it than an ordinary tourist…” Karl Kautsky.
Kautsky, K. (1921). Georgia: A Social-Democratic Peasant Republic, Impressions and Observations. translated by H. J. Stenning and revised by the Author. London: International Bookshops.
“Orientalism and Empire” sheds new light on the little-studied Russian empire in the Caucasus by exploring the tension between national and imperial identities on the Russian frontier. Austin Jersild contributes to the growing literature on Russian “orientalism” and the Russian encounter with Islam, and reminds us of the imperial background and its contribution to the formation of the twentieth-century ethno-territorial Soviet state. “Orientalism and Empire” describes the efforts of imperial integration and incorporation that emerged in the wake of the long war. Jersild discusses religion, ethnicity, archaeology, transcription of languages, customary law, and the fate of Shamil to illustrate the work of empire-builders and the emerging imperial imagination. Drawing on both Russian and Georgian materials from Tbilisi, he shows how shared cultural concerns between Russians and Georgians were especially important to the formation of the empire in the region.
Jersild, A. (2002). Orientalism and Empire: North Caucasus Mountain Peoples and the Georgian Frontier, 1845-1917. McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP.
This book examines how the Russian Empire expanded across the barrier of the Caucasus mountains to take control of the Georgian lands at the close of the 18th century. With no organized plan for conquest, imperial policy fluctuated based on personnel changes in the imperial government and strategic reevaluations of imperial interests. Particular attention is paid to the role of two significant individuals–Princes Potemkin and Tsitsianov–in pushing the Empire towards total incorporation..
Gvosdev, N. K. (2000). Imperial Policies and Perspectives Towards Georgia, 1760-1819. Macmillan.