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Georgian Literature in European Scholarship
Prof. Elguja Khintibidze
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Chapter Three: The Main Contents of the Monograph: On the Scholarly Value of Research on Georgian Literature in Europe.

The chronological review of research on Georgian literature in Europe points primarily to two facts: European scholarship gave attention to Georgian literature rather late, which was noticed by Western Kartvelologists. In 1951 Paul Peeters wrote that Western scholarship had for quite some time left Georgian literature in the web of "scandalous oblivion".(48) The second fact, which seems to be obvious from the indicated review, is that over the past two centuries scholarly work in Georgian literary criticism was not casual and fragmentary for Western researchers. It is a sphere of philological research that expanded and deepened from generation to generation as a continuous process. It is hard to overestimate the significance of this scholarly activity. Its primary value lies in the popularization of Georgian culture, and generally of the Georgian phenomenon. Beginning with the Western travellers of the first half of the 16th century, Theatine and Capuchin missionaries and ending with present-day German and English Kartvelologists who publish special monographs on Georgian literature,(49) Western intellectuals have shown Georgian literature to be an inalienable part of European civilization. This activity of Europeans was not due only to an exotic interest, nor was its result in relation to the Georgian people charitable -expressed in the popularization of Georgian literature. The activity of Western Kartvelologists was primarily directed at broadening the horizon of European literature. Acquaintance with Georgian literature brought into Europe new problems and themes, a peculiar world of literary thought and original literary characters. The high artistic value of Georgian literature - on the one hand, close to the Europeans, and on the other, rich in oriental emotionality - made for the translation of many specimens of Georgian literature into German, English and French.

Special note schould be taken of the translation into Western languages of specimens of Georgian folklore, and the popularity won by these translations in Europe. Furthermore, Georgian fairy-tales early attracted attention by their parallels with the mythos and folklore of European peoples. Thus, in 1880 A. Tsagareli published a Russian translation of a Megrelian fairy-tale ("The Fairy-tale of Sanartia") in St. Petersburg,(50) which was translated by M. Wardrop.(51) The tale soon attracted the attention of European scholars. At the end of the 19th century two essays were published in Berlin - by Wolfgang Goldher and Wladislaus Nehring,(52) duscussing the similarity of the Fairy-tale of Sanartia with the Niebelungenlied. In particular, two motifs were traced in Sanartia's adventures that follow the episodes of Siegfried's feats more or less exactly. The conclusions of the two scholars differed: in Goldher's view, the Georgian tale was of later date, resting on the adventures of Siegfried. Nehring did not rule out the common character of the subjects and an earlier relation of the episodes of Sanartia's adventures with the Niebelungenlied.

Most important in the work of European Kartvelologists is the scholarly value of their research. It is not easy to touch on all the problems discussed by European researchers in studying Georgian literature. I shall highlight several points.

1. European research brought to light the unique value of Georgian church writings in the study of medieval Christian culture in general, and Byzantinism in particular.

Interest in Old Georgian church literature, in particular in translated Christian writings, is seen at the turn of the present century in the studies of F. Conybeare and A. Harnack. Experts of the Translation of the Song of Songs of Hypolitus of Rome, considered lost in Byzantine Studies, were translated into German by N. Bonwetsch and into English by F. Conybeare. Work in this direction was given a strong impetus by research of the Belgian P.Peeters and the American R. Blake. K. Kekelidze's principle studies in which the significance of Old-Georgian translated literature for Byzantinism is highlighted, were translated into German by M. Tarkhnishvili and J. Assfalg, and into English by G. Peradze. All this created a solid foundation for Western Kartvelologists for further development of research in this direction. It is on this foundation that the work of J. Molitor, G. Garitte, N. Birdsall, M. van Esbroeck, B. Outtier, and other contemporary foreign Kartvelologists studying Old Georgian church writings in relation to their Greek originals and in context with other medieval translations rests.

II. Through its fifteen-century history Georgian literature has made its contribution to the literary process of neighbouring peoples. Especially important in this respect are Byzantine-Georgian literary contacts inasmuch as throughout the Middle Ages the Georgian world had very close contacts with Byzantium, the latter setting the fashion of the world process of Christian thinking in the early Middle Ages. Hence, Georgian contribution to the process of the shaping and development of Byzantine literature points to the role of the Georgian world in European civilization as well. From this point of view, the contribution of Western Kartvelologists in the development and maintenance of major theories and hypotheses is highly significant.

1. In the first place we must touch upon the problem of the origin of the Greek redaction of Barlaam and Ioasaph, a masterpiece of medieval European literature. According to one of the major theories in Byzantine studies, this work must have been translated from the Georgian into Greek by Euthymius the Athonite. This view was first advanced by the English scholar Frederic Conybeare in his lecture "The Legends of Barlaam and Ioasaph in Old Georgian and Armenian Literature", delivered and published in 1896.(53) Interest in the authorship of the Greek "Barlaam and Ioasaph" began to grow after the publication of the cited study. It evoked N. Marr's review, latter developing into a special study. Then followed H.Zotenberg's monograph,(54) independently of Conybeare. The theory on the creation of the Greek Barlaam and Ioasaph through the Georgian medium has been best argued by Western Kartvelologists. In this respect P. Peeters' study published in 1931 in the journal Analecta Bollandiana is invaluable, for this theory gained ground in Western medieval studies thanks to the latter scholar's paper. Very significant at the second stage of the assertion of this theory (following F. Dölger's study(55)) was the contribution of D. Lang, F. Halkin, R. Blake, H. Musurillo, P. Devos, H. Gregoire, and other Western scholars.

2. Another major problem of Byzantine-Georgian philology, dealing with the identification of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite with Peter the Iberian, has been developed by the Western medievalist Ernest Honigmann. In 1942 the Georgian scholar Shalva Nutsubidze in his paper "The Mystery of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite" and, in 1952, the Belgian scholar Ernest Honigmann in his monograph "Peter the Iberian and the Writings of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite", independently of each other, arrived at the same conclusion: the mysterious author of the so-called Areopagitic writings that played an important role in the development of philosophical thought, first in the Middle Ages and then in the period of the Renaissance, was the well-known anchorite and saintly father of the 5th-century Byzantine empire, the Georgian Prince Peter the Iberian.(56) In Georgian scholarly circles this hypothesis is known under the name of the Nutsubidze-Honigmann hypothesis, while in European scholarship as the Honigmann hypothesis.

Whereas at the beginning Western Byzantinists hailed this hypothesis as an outstanding discovery, later they viewed it with scepticism, following the study by the German scholar Hieronimus Engberding.(57) He transferred the accent to the split between the Eastern and Western churches, drawing attention to the fact that, according to this theory, the Monophysite Peter the Iberian emerges as the author of the saintly Areopagitic books. This proved absolutely unacceptable to the ecumenical Diophysite church. The fact may also be considered symptomatic that in the 60s Rene Roques - the chief opponent of this theory - zealously attacked Honigmann's thesis on the preservation of several Monophysite statements in the Areopagitic corpus.(58)

At the present stage of research into this problem, on the one hand, scholars upholding the traditional church position are seem to look for facts that would allow to bring the Areopagitic writings close to the period of the Apostle Dionysius the Areopagite. On the other hand, Kartvelologists draw attention to new facts that bring the sphere of interests of Peter the Iberian's personality to the mysterious author of the Areopagitic writings. Noteworthy in this context is the conclusion arrived at by the Western Kartvelologist Michael van Esbroeck as the result of a study of the biography of Peter the Iberian. He believes that in the last period of his life Peter the Iberian may have altered his religious position in favour of Diophysitism, and hence his views may have been adopted and brought together as an Areopagitic corpus under the authoritative name of the Apostle, mainly in Ortodox rather than Monophysite circles.(59)

3. Special note must be taken of the contribution made by European Kartvelology to the study of Rustaveli's "The Man in the Panther's Skin" - the acme of Georgian literature - and to the assigning of its due place in the process of world literary thought. It should be note from the outset that it was not easy for European literary criticism to recognize Rustaveli's work as a masterpiece of world literature. There were objective reasons for this. In general, Rustaveli's name was unknown to Europe till the 19th century. In one way or another, this poem became available to European literary critics from the end of the 19th century - after the translations of Arthur Leist and Marjory Wardrop. Naturally enough, a translation fails to give a full idea of high literary skill and poetic world of the work translated, which is most essential to Rustaveli's poetry. It also proved difficult for literary criticism to detect medieval Christian and Renaissance universal ideals which make for the originality of Rustaveli's thinking in a medieval romance created against the background of oriental traditions. This is why an understatement of Rustaveli's genius is clearly felt in the writings of some European men of letters. Occasionally this is not only felt but is the main idea of essays devoted to "The Man in the Panther's Skin". Thus, e.g. in 1886 an essay on Rustaveli and his poem was published in French by Mourier, an official of public education in Tbilisi, reprinted in Paris is 1887, and for the third time in Brussels in 1910.(60) The author does not conceal his negative attitude to the content and moral world of the poem. He is astonished at why the Georgians are so fond of Rustaveli and why they try to translate him into French, thereby showing them in the groundlessness of praising The Man in the Panther's Skin. Mourier is irritated by the characters of the poem: Tariel's madness, the "coldness and perfidy" of Avtandil, Nestan's "mercilessness", Patman's frivolous behaviour. The author of the essay takes exception on the hyperbolized tone of the poem, and the oriental style of the development of the subject. Thus, Mourier's views constitute the subjective impressions gained by a European reader as a result of acquaintance with the content of "The Man in the Panther's Skin" against the background of the 19th-century European novel. Mourier fails to view the poem from the position of a researcher-philologist: he does not concentrate on medieval problems, is not familiar with the oriental poetic style, and so on. However, it was natural for the European researcher's first impressions at acquainting himself with the poem to have been such, before these impressions reached the stage of studyng it by the principle of historicism. Mourier's view do not constitute an absolute exception. There are numerous more reserved, yet sceptical, attitudes to the highly artistic literary world of Rustaveli's poem in European literary criticism.(61)

Western Kartvelology has sacceeded in perceiving and duly appreciating the high poetic world of Rustaveli. Significantly enough, this was first done by the foreign translators of "The Man in the Panther's Skin" - by men who studied the poem in the original and attempted to render it in their own native language (Marie Brosset, Bertha and Arthur Suttners, Oliver and Marjory Wardrops, Konstantin Balmont, and Hugo Huppert).

The English literary critic Bowra set a new stage in the study of Rustaveli in Western Kartvelology. He considered the poem in the context of Eastern and Western literatures, against the background of the masterpieces of world literature.(62) He continued and developed the earlier attempts of the Western literary critic Karl Karst who sought parallels of Rustaveli in the works of Ariosto and Tasso, Dante and Bonaventura, and Wolfram von Eschenbach. However, he saw Rustaveli's originality and difference from the cited authors.(63) Robert Stevenson accentuated Rustaveli's originality largely in relation to Ariosto.(64)

IV. Western literary criticism has given a correct interpretation of the entire process of the centuries-old Georgian literature. European scholars noticed the main trends of Georgian literature both in the early period and in the 19th and 20th centuries. It has been indicated that two main lines dominate in Old Georgian literature: one following in the wake of Byzantine literature and creating a rich Christian literature, and the other creating secular literature on the original pattern. It is also pointed out - chiefly by literary critics of the second half of the 20th century - that Rustaveli combines two literary trends. The entry of European literary tendencies in the Georgian literary process of the 18th and 19th centuries has been perceived. The diversity of 20th-century Georgian literature has been correctly noted.

In Western literary criticism attention to Georgian literature was originally drawn mostly by Armenists, due to which Georgian literature was chiefly considered jointly with Armenian literature. The flawed interpation of the typological character of Old-Georgian literature was correctly noted by O. Hunser when he pointed out the originality of these two literatures.(65)

It has been noted in Western literary criticism that in the 16th-18th centuries the relation of Georgian literature to its Persian counterpart was not literary influence in the sense of imitation. Persian literature was a source of great poetic inspiration for Georgian literature - approximately of the kind it was for Goethe. Similarly to Goethe, who in his "Eastern-Western Divan" rendered specimens of Poetry in his native language, the Georgian poets did the same in their own language to the high poetic world of Firdausi and Nizami.(66)

Western literary criticism has brought to light highly significant typological parallels between Georgian and European literatures (A. Endler and R. Miller-Budnitskaya).

V. The review of Georgian literature both by Georgian and by foreign researchers was from the start characterized by the transfer of the main accent to medieval Georgian literature or, in Georgian terminology, Old Georgian literature. 19th century Western researchers studied Georgian literature chiefly through the consultation and help of the Georgian intelligentsia of the time. Hence, in reviews of Georgian literature of the period we find casual and schematic reference to Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, Rapiel Eristavi, Nikoloz Baratashvili, and other writers, i.e. to 19th-century Georgian literature. The attitude of Western researchers to the Georgian literature of the period had come up against obstacles. It should be said to the credit of modern European Kartvelologists that they have coped with these obstacles, turning the study of recent Georgian literature into a single line of research.

Interest in Europe in 20th-century Georgian literature arose from the acquaintance with the work of Grigol Robakidze, a major representative of 20th-century emigrant Georgian literature, at once attracted the attention of European intellectual circles. His Snake's Slough came out three times in Germany, in 1928-29. In 1932 Robakidze published his Caucasian Short Stories and Megi, a Georgian Woman. The translation of other specimens of 20th-century Georgian literature into German commenced in the late '40s. Recent Georgian literature - both prose and poetry - began to be translated and published in Germany from the 1970s.

Scholarly research into 20th-century Georgian literature in Europe commenced later. Iniatially Western literary criticism paid attention to the life and activities of the symbolists or representatives of the "Blue Horn" group. In the second half of the '30s Georgian symbolists (Paolo Iashvili, Titsian Tabidze, Valerian Gaprindashvili, and others) fell victim to the political repressions of the Soviet Cheka (secret police). Attention to this fact was drawn by the Georgian emigration. Research on the Georgian Blue Horns was raised to the highest level by the Italian Kartvelologist Luigi Magarotto.

An important novelty in the interpretation of the modern Georgian literary process is, on the one hand, the study of this literature in the single context of Soviet literature: parallels of separate passages, themes, and images of 20th century Georgian literature with the literary creations of well-known representatives of Soviet literature; on the other hand, study of the great literary canvases of the period through typological parallels with European literature. Such quests are especially notable with the studies of the Belgian Kartvelologist Goldie Blankoff-Scarr and the German Kartvelologist Steffi Chotiwari-Jünger.

Chotiwari-Jünger transfers parallels of 20th-century Georgian prose from the single cycle of Soviet literature to the level of European literature. She notes the close link of 20th-century Georgian prose with the common process of Soviet literature. At the same time she is observant of the specificity seen in separate specimens of Georgian literature (M.Javakhishvili's Arsena Marabdeli and A.Chaplygin's Stepan Razin; M.Javakhishvili's Kvachi Kvachantiradze and Ilf and Petrov's Ostap Bender; N.Dumbadze's The Law of Eternity and Ch.Aitmatov's The Day Lasts More than a Century; N.Dumbadze's I See the Sun and Ch.Aitmatov's Early Seagulls; M.Javakhishvili's Kvachi Kvachantiradze and Th.Mann's Bekenntnis des Hochstaplers Felix Krull and others).

Thus, the study of Georgian literature in Europe at the beginning of the '90s is at an absolutely new horizon. The subject of Western Kartvelology is no longer the popularization and reviewing of this literature. Western researchers study problems of Georgian literature in a novel way; new questions are asked and new theories are advanced.

Kartvelological research in Europe was not of regular nature; in a way it was even random. As shown by the foregoing review, interest in Georgian literature at various times was determined by the various interests of European intellectuals. At times it was an extention of missionary activity, at others it stemmed from the interests of Byzantine or Armenian Studies. Occasionally this literature became the object of curiosity of Europeans carried away by the exotics of Asian countries, and sometimes the sphere of political and ideological interests of students or Sovietologists of the former Soviet Union. Thus, research on Georgian literature in Europe was not an activity carried on solely in scholarly interests. And when the interests of scholars was indeed scholarly it was only in exceptional cases Kartvelological proper, Georgian literature serving as additional material to other scholarly disciplines. In such cases European research on Georgian literary criticism is not always competent or exempt from serious errors.

Many erroneous views have been expressed in Western literary criticism with regard to Georgian literature. But one part of these wrong conceptions have taken shape in scholarly circles that have a reputation. Therefore, I believe it is necessary to single out several critical views advanced in Western literary criticism on questions of Georgian literature and to discuss them specially.

I. In the first place, the views expressed in Western scholarly literature regarding Georgian-Armenian literary coincidences stand in need of a special scrutiny and assessment.

In my view, several mistakes or misunderstandings occur with European scholars in questions of Georgian-Armenian contacts which should be pointed out and explained.

1) Occasionaly one may come across a curious report or view from the angle of our interest in Western scholarly literature. Thus, e.g. one may find myths on the Georgian language having originated from Armenian, or that it resembles Armenian,(67)on that Georgian literature is part of Armenian literature.(68) Georgian poetry stems from Armenian, the metre of the Georgian verse is Armenian, it is asserted. (69) I believe it is superfluous to look for the sources of these casual stories. It is common knowledge that Georgian does not belong to the family of Indo-European languages whose member Armenian is. It is also impossible to speak of any serious contact of Georgian poetry with its Armenian counterpart. Magnificent secular poetry came into being in the 12th century in Georgian, like which is in general not to be found in Armenian literature.

2) Of the erroneous conceptions prevalent in Western scholarly literature in the sphere of Armenian-Georgian literary contacts the problem of the origin of the Georgian alphabet is most in need of explanation and interpretation.

The theory of the origin of the Georgian alphabet from Armenian rests on The Life of Mesrop Mashtots by the 5th-century Armenian writer Koryun. Mesrop Mashtots was the enlightener of the Armenians. He is credited with the creation of the Armenian alphabet early in the 5th century A.D. According to Koryun's work, after creating the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop moved to Iberia and Albania and created alphabets for their peoples. As an important historical source, The Life of Mesrop-Mashtots claimed the attention of Armenists at an early period. Thence it entered into the sphere of interests of paleographists, and in Europe too, from the inception of Kartvelology, Mesrop-Mashtots was proclaimed the creator of the Georgian alphabet. This theory was shared in Georgia too. In particular, it is to be found in the first (1923) edition of K.Kekelidze's History of Georgian Literature. Naturally, this story is to be found not only in the accounts of European travellers about Georgia but in European Kartvelological literature and, generally, in histories of literature as well.(70)

At the present level of the development of Kartvelology the theory on the Armenian origin of the Georgian alphabet is considered a past stage. Scholarly consideration and rejection of this theory commenced with Ivane Javakhishvili's monoghraph Georgian Palaeography, first published in 1929. Today the truth of the report of Koryun's work is refuted.(71)

3) The next important question calling for an explanation of the same order is the relation of the Georgian biblical text to Armenian. Fr. Alter was the first foreign student to touch on the question of the oldest translation of the Georgian Bible.(72) In his well-known monograph, published in 1798 in Vienna, he juxtaposed the Georgian biblical text with its Armenian, Greek and Slavic counterparts. In Alter's conclusion, the Georgian Bible was translated from a Greek Septuagint redaction, and was later amended according to the Slavic text. It should be noted here that the scholar apparently had the Georgian Bible issued in 1743 in Moscow, which was indeed amended according to the Slavic text in the course of its preparation its for publication. The derivation of the Georgian Bible from the Greek Septuagint was upheld by M. Brosset in the 1820s.(73) Since then there has been much discussion of the question.

The thesis of the Armenian provenance of the Georgian Bible took shape in the scholarly circles at the end of the 18th century (A. Tsagareli, D. Bakradze). An attempt at its scholarly argumentation was made by N. Marr. Its main point is the Armenian forms of proper names, words and phrases, and Armenian textual variant found in the Georgian Bible. Further scrutiny of the texts of the Georgian Bible put such a conclusion in doubt. The point is that Armenian words occasionally occur in the Georgian Bible in cases in which they are absent in the respective paragraphs of the Armenian Bible. In general, the bulk of Armenisms in Georgian biblical texts refers to words of common Georgian and Armenian usage, or to Armenisms established in the Georgian language of this period. Alongside, there are numerous Grecisms in evidence in the Georgian Bible, calling for a deeper philological analysis. The oldest redactions of the Georgian, Armenian, Syriac and Greek biblical texts have to be established and juxtaposed. The research should deal with each biblical book separately, as biblical books were not translated into Georgian simultaneously, and all may not have been translated from a single language. Such study of the Georgian Biblical texts has been started by the collaborators of the K. Kekelidze Institute of Manuscripts of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. The texts studied to date show that Georgian and Armenian biblical texts stem from various redactions. In particular, the Georgian text largely tends to the Lucian redaction, and the Armenian to that of Origen. The trace of Armenian is indeed noticeable in Georgian biblical books, but the date of this trace has to be determined. Some researchers take a rather simple view, arguing that after the split between the Georgian and Armenian churches the Georgians would not amend a biblical text by recourse to Armenian, hence the Armenian trace is original. But the question arises as to whether the period of the union of the Georgian and Armenian churches (end of the 5th and the 6th century) the stage of the creation of the Georgian biblical texts. Should it not be assumed that by this time (end of the 5th) century the Georgian biblical texts had already been translated, and only afterwards they began to be corrected according to the Armenian version.

4) Some European authors' evidence on Shushanik, a saint of both the Georgian and Armenian churches, and on the first Georgian original hagiographic work - Iakob the Priest's Passion of Shushanik - stand in need of a comment.

In Paolo Ananyan's article on St. Shushanik in volume XII of Biblioteca Sanctorum reference to the saint is only by the name established in the Armenian church, viz. Susana. The fact is passed over in silence that, besides being a saint of the Armenian church, Shushanik is a saint of the Georgian church as well. No mention is made of the Georgian and Armenian hagiographic writings on the passion of Shushanik.

More significant is the erroneous view expresed by the well-known Kartvelologist Paul Peeters regarding the relationship of the Georgian and Armenian redactions of The Passion of Shushanik. This view is entered in his study S. ouanik, martyre en Arméno-Géorgie, together with a Latin translation of the Georgian text.(74) The interrelationship of the Georgian and Armenian redactions of The Passion of St. Shushanik have been studied in Georgian scholarship - both textually and in the area of the historical and church relations of the period.(75) It has been established that the extant Georgian long redaction of The Passion of St. Shushanik was written by Iakob, the priest of St. Shushanik in 475-484. After the split of the Armenian and Georgian churches, the Armenian long redaction of the Passion was written on the basis of the Georgian text. The short synaxarial redaction was created later on the basis of the Armenian version. The synaxarial redaction was translated into Georgian.

II. Errors occur in Western literary criticism when reference is made to Georgian literature, which stand in need of correction.

It should be noted in the first place that histories of world literature of the turn of the present century the type of the Georgian literature is generally interpreted erroneously. Occasionally it is discussed in conjunction with Turkish literature, and sometimes it is considered as a part of Armenian literature (J. Scherr, P. Wiegler).

There are fairly popular reviews of Georgian literature in Europe in which gross errors occur not only in reviewing the literary process but also in interpreting separate problems. Such in the first place is Franz Nicolaus Fink's Modern Culture whose section of "Eastern Luteratures" features a review of Georgian literature.(76) The book was rather popular in 1925 and was reprinted in the same year. Many researchers interested in Georgian literature based themselves on it. Unfortunately, the author of the work had very meagre information about Georgian writers; he had an erroneous view on the Georgian literary process, and which is most important, he commented hard-to-explain factual errors. He names works of 12th-16th-century Georgian literature that are generally unknown to Georgian and any other sources.

One more typical flaw occurs in the discussion of Goegrian literature by foreign researchers. In this case various tendencies come into play. Occasionally a foreign researcher selects Georgian writers for study according to his personal liking.

In many 20th-century reviews of Georgian literature, found in Western literature, Georgian writers are not represented according to the literary merits of their works. At any rate, in reviewing Georgian poetry the accents are frequently misplaced, even to the length that Galaktion Tabidze, the greatest representative of 20th-century Georgian poetry, is even not mentioned in some histories of literature and encyclopaedias, though many other modern Georgian poets are reviewed and others mentioned.(77)

III. Western Kartvelological literature has one more shortcoming: advances in scholarship are reflected in it with great difficulty and late. This is undesirable especially because the centuries-old Georgian literature has been studied at fairly high scholarly level. Many reasons must be taken into consideration to account for this, of which some are objective: the language barrier and unavailability of scholarly literature. But I believe, subjective reasons are more essential: sometimes foreign researchers have an inner mistrust of Georgian scholars. On the one hand, this is because of their having been trained in the Soviet scholarly school. On the other hand, because of their tendentious attitude to Kartvelological problems due to their being Georgians. These subjective factors are not without reason. In different countries and periods charlatans and dilettantes become attached, with more or less intensity, to the ranks of scholars. The Soviet period created a fertile soil for this. Patriotic bias is characteristic of all branches of scholarship, in particular branches of national trend. Neither are Georgian scholars exempt from this disease. However, it is impossible to ascribe the above first or second shortcoming to all Georgian scholars. Georgian scholarship has always had and still has an highly skilled elite of flawless scholarly ethic. This elite of Georgian scholarship does find recognation in Western Kartvelology - but with considerable delay. The situation is more complex in European non-Kartvelological literature in which some Kartvelological problems form the object of study. This, too, has its reasons. The points of contact of medieval Georgian literature, and culture in general, with Byzantine and European culture are the object of future research. Scholarly study of these problems commenced several decades ago. The belated interest of European scholarship in the Georgian Middle Ages, and a certain distrust of Georgian sources caused Georgian scholarship to assume a similar attitude to its European counterpart. It was due to this that the contact of European and Georgian scholars on problems common to Kartvelology and Byzantinism started with a polemic.(78) It is unfortunate that essential questions of Kartvelology were posed by Sh. Nutsubidze to European scholarship against the background of this polemic: the identification of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite with Peter the Iberian, the authorship of Barlaam and Ioasaph, and the problems of the Georgian Renaissance. Naturally enough, European scholarship did not place trust in Nutsubidze - a scholar of great erudition, deep insight and broad range, on the one hand, and a researcher of polemic style, weak philological argumentation and lover of unstable hypotheses, on the other. And which is most deplorable, the distrust of Nutsubidze's method of research was transferred to the problems he posed, and to the entire Kartvelological scholarship. This, too, is one of the reasons of a certain distrust over the past decades on the part of Byzantinism with regard to the research of Georgian scholars. This is clearly noticeable in the new hypotheses advanced in Byzantinism in the late 1980s on the problem of the authorship of Barlaam and Ioasaph.(79) Regrettably, in this case the above-cited reasons for distrust in Kartvelological research hamper not only the study of problems of Georgian literature in Europe but also the solution of one essential problem of Byzantinism and the level of research of European medievalism.

Thus, the research on Georgian literature in Europe is characterized by certain shortcomings as well, which are being gradually removed by European Kartvelology.

Today European researchers of Georgian literature face new tasks. European textual criticism in this field has passed the stage at which Georgian literature was subjected to study alone. Today European Kartvelology should determine the place of Georgian literature in the development of European theological, philosophical and literary thought, assess all gains of Kartvelological scholarship in this direction, place correct accents when separating biased sources from unbiased ones on cardinal questions of Georgian culture, distinguish scholarly from patriotic-dilettantish reasoning on questions of Georgian literature, thereby bringing to light the genuine contribution of Georgian scholarship to research in a major sphere of Kartvelology.

Georgian literature contains important material for the study of European civilization. This conclusion is drawn on the basis of the religious, literary and historical writings identified to date in Georgian sources. At the same time, it may be said a priori that medieval Georgian literature has not yet been brought to light in full. The hard history of the Georgian people in the early and late Middle Ages, and then in the new period, destroyed Georgian material culture. We now judge of old Georgian literature, and culture in general, on the basis of what has survived the vicissitudes of the country. It should also be bonre in mind that in the centuries-old contacts of the Georgian people with her neighbour states: Persia, Arabia, Byzantium and Turkey, Georgian literature must have gone beyond the borders of the country. From this point of view the great libraries of the world and cultural centres both in the East and in the West are almost unstudied. Georgian material should be sought not only in the form of Georgian-language writings but primarily in the form of foreign-language information on Georgia and Georgian literature. It is the task of European Kartvelology to launch broad-scale work in this direction.

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