eISSN 2217-5563 ISSN (Print) 2217-5555

Ћирилица Latinica English

Biljana M. Đurašinović
Univerzitet Edukons
Fakultet za projektni i inovacioni menadžment – Biblioteka, Beograd

doi: 10.19090/cit.2022.40.26-38
No. 40 (May 2022), p. 26-38

Below the Caucasus Mountains: Georgian Book Culture
from Antiquity to Modern Times


The book culture of Georgia can be continually traced from the Middle Ages to our time. Its creations, especially from the 10th and 11th centuries AD, are very important as part of the common heritage of all Orthodox peoples because some transcripts of Greek and Roman works are saved only thanks to the efforts of Georgian monks. As part of activities of numerous monasteries, particularly in the Holy Land, at Sinai, and the Mountain Athos, as well as of academies established in Georgia and rooted in Byzantine learned thought, book collections of various types of libraries were growing through time. The largest collections were at monasteries. It could be said that cultures of writing, book and libraries in Georgia, in spite of many periods of foreign rules, were preserved thanks to the efforts of church high officials and kings who were their patrons. These cultures continued to grow only since the 19th century.
This work describes the manuscript and printed tradition of Georgia from the first written book until the modern age, with special attention to creation of manuscripts and libraries that existed in a wide area stretching from the Middle East to Eastern Europe. Among them the most important were Iviron on the Mountain Athos, Saint Catherine monastery, as well as the one near Jerusalem and the western province of middle age Georgia – Tao-Clarjeti, whose calligraphic school, as well as the one in Jerusalem was of special importance. They, along with the 12th century academies of Gelati and Ikalto were important educational centres for clerics.The age of printed books begins with the seventeenth century, though the chronology of the Georgian manuscript book because of specific cultural and historical moments goes into the 19th century.
Modern libraries and librarianship is described through the work of National Parliamentary Library of Georgia in which some of the oldest books written in the Georgian language are kept. Georgian Library Association has a special interest in the formation of library science, too, as well as other types such as like public, university and special libraries.


Georgia, book culture, medieval manuscripts, Iviron monastery, Saint Catherine’s monastery on Mountain Sinai, Tao-Clarjeti, medieval education, Gelati academy, Ikalto academy, printing, libraries, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, Georgian Library Association

Submitted: 3rd February 2022
Correction to the manuscript: 3rd March 2022
Accepted for publication: 2nd April 2022

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Below the Caucasus Mountains: Georgian Book Culture from Antiquity to Modern Times by Biljana M. Đurašinović is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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