At Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, traditionally, every Monday, representatives of departments - professors and teachers - present very interesting, informative and thematically diverse speeches to a wide audience. Today, on February 13, the members of the Department of Georgian Language and Literature - Doctor of Philology Professor Lela Khachidze, and Doctor of Philology Professor Khvtiso Zaridze gave their talks.
The topic of Mrs. Lela Khachidze’s speech was the Lenten Triodion by Saint Giorgi the Athonite. It is a noteworthy fact that, for the first time, the work of the greatest representative of the Apostolic Church of Georgia and Georgian culture, academically determined, according to the seven most important Georgian manuscripts of the 11th- 15th centuries, the text of the unique liturgical-hymnographic collection the Lenten Triodion was translated and edited by Saint Giorgi the Athonite. The collection contains Georgian translations of numerous hymns intended for Great Lent by prominent representatives, glorious saints of the Christian Church, which were translated from Greek by Saint Giorgi the Athonite or were edited by him. Another collection of similar completeness cannot be found in the Greek Lenten Triodions known today. In the same collection, more than 100 hymns of the great Georgian hymnographer of the 10th century Ioane Minchkhi are preserved. Saint Giorgi the Athonite’s edition presents a rich treasury of Christian poetry. This magnificent creation has imprinted an indelible mark in the history of Christian writing. These hymns are perfect examples of theology, liturgy and spirituality in general. The following words of the lawgiver of our Church Saint Giorgi the Athonite confirm that “Neither among the Greeks, nor among the Georgian writings can be found its equal.”
It has been more than four decades since Professor Lela Khachidze, Head of the Department of Georgian Language and Literature of the Theological Academy, started studying this unique collection and published many studies about it. The book was published in 2022 and dedicated to the 90th birthday of His Holiness and Beatitude,
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II. The book was printed with the support of the Research Center of Kartvelology of the Patriarchate of Georgia. Mrs. Lela noted with great gratitude that the support and help of Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze, Doctor of Theology, Philology and Political Sciences, was very important to her while working on the paper. Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor Khvtiso Zaridze read a report entitled, “The Martyrdom of St. Eustathius of Mtskheta” – “The Blessed Eustathius laughed...”
The scientist spoke extensively about the canon of hagiographic genre, similarities and peculiarities of Georgian and Byzantine hagiography. He noted that the first works of hagiographic literature were created in the Byzantine-Roman Christian environment (the 1st-4th centuries) and from there gradually spread to the rest of the Christian world, including Georgia. The origins of Byzantine and Georgian hagiography were different. The reason for the emergence of Georgian literary works dedicated to the martyrdom of Christians was not the country’s internal political and religious conflict, but the devotion and bravery shown in the battles against the Persians and Muslims for the protection of national and religious interests.
Mr. Khvtiso presented the features that distinguish Georgian works on martyrdom from the Byzantine writings of the corresponding era and genre, based on the 6th century anonymous author, “The Martyrdom of Saint Eustathius of Mtskheta”. The work of the conference was summarized by the Rector of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze. He cordially thanked the speakers for their important scientific research and teaching activities.