Associate Professor at the Faculty of Humanities, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia
Series: European Political, Economic, and Security Issues
This work presents the first monographic study of Tedo Zhordania’s life (1853 – 1916) as a scholar tirelessly exploring the history of Georgia, whose heritage presents a genuinely significant case of 19th century Georgian historiography.
Following the tendency practised in the 19th century, scholars exploring issues of Georgian studies did not observe thematic and chronological boundaries; therefore, the heritage of Zhordania is various and multicoloured. He was involved in studying manuscripts and sources as well as in exploring issues of social-political and Church history of the medieval period. This fact makes the description of the scholar’s heritage even more interesting as it gives the reader an opportunity to follow the development of research regarding the issues Zhordania was interested in from the 19th century up to 1900.
The monograph explains why historical studies should know more about the scholarly heritage of Zhordania and the methodology of his research. In addition, it substantiates the significance of the conclusions made by him from the modern standpoint and determines the extent of the impact on the enhancement of Georgian historical thought. In order to achieve this, the full picture of Zhordania’s life as a statesman and public figure has been confirmed. His contribution, both to the development of Georgian historical thought and maintaining and enhancing Georgian mentality whilst suffering Russian assimilatory politics has been revealed. Zhordania’s works have also been studied in order to reconstruct the process of work attached to him. The best way to explore Zhordania’s work is via notes made by the scholar in his writing pads, block notes as well as his inscriptions in the margins of books read by him and articles written by him or about him in the periodicals of the 19th century [such as “Iveria”, “Mtskemsi” (“The Shepherd”), “Tsnobis Purtseli” (“Information Leaflet”); “Kvali “ (“The Trace”),“Духовныйвестник Грузинского экзархата“ (“The Spiritual Herald of the Georgian Exarchate”), and “Кавказ“ ( “The Caucasus”)]. All were explored and analysed.
Due to the emerging and increasing interest in the development of general scholarly thought of the 19th century, this book is notable for readers interested in Georgian history. They can follow the development of Georgian historical science in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century when the Georgian in-group was being consolidated under the Russian colonial regime.
As is known, actualisation of the historical past acquired a special significance in that period. Thus, presenting the facts of social and scholarly work by Zhordania seems crucial for reconstruction of the full picture of this process. Due to the above-mentioned factors, the portrayal of a Georgian historian is equally interesting from the point of view of the history of the Georgian identity.
The scholarly heritage of Tedo Zhordania is explored in this monograph based on the comparative method. The previous research concerning the issues he worked on, his personal contribution and the development by subsequent Georgian researchers is taken into account.