Stephen H. RAPP JR., Studies in medieval Georgian historiography: Early texts and Eurasian contexts. Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, 601; Subsidia, 113 [Book Review]

Byzantinische Zeitschrift 98 (2):601-603 (2006)
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Abstract

Stephen RAPP has embarked on a very ambitious project – to investigate Georgian cultural contacts with the Byzantine and Iranian worlds through Georgian historial writing from its beginnings to medieval times. This involves nothing less than a presentation in English of all the relevant texts, save where a recent translation has already made them accessible, a survey of modern scholarship in Georgian as well as western languages, and a critical assessment of the dates of composition of the various works, their motivation and reception. The volume under review is the first of a planned trilogy. Based on research dating back over a decade, it concentrates on those texts in the Georgian “Chronicles” which predate the political unification of the country. The second volume will tackle the literary dimension of Georgia's conversion to Christianity, the invention of a native script, and the beginnings of ecclesiastical literature; while the third volume will study the reorientation of the Georgian élite from their original Iranian background towards the Byzantine world as this is reflected in local historiography. All in all, this massive undertaking will update, expand and carry forward the work of Cyril TOUMANOFF reflected in his Studies in Christian Caucasian History, which was published exactly forty years before R.'s first volume appeared

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