Shota Rustaveli

Shota Rustaveli

2 Mikheil Zandukeli St, T'bilisi, Georgia

Shota Rustaveli (1160 – 1220), known simply as Rustaveli, was a medieval Georgian poet. He is considered to be the pre-eminent poet of the Georgian Golden Age and one of the greatest contributors to Georgian literature. Rustaveli was the author of ‘The Knight in the Panther’s Skin’, which is considered to be a Georgian national epic poem.

The Knight in the Panther’s Skin has been translated into many languages. It was first printed in 1712 in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. The manuscripts of The Knight in the Panther’s Skin occupy an important place among the works produced in Georgia. Two folios of this text, dating from the 16th century, are located in the Institute of Manuscripts of Georgia in Tbilisi, and some lines of the poem from the 14th century are also held there. All other copies of the poem date from the 17th century.

Little, if anything, is known about Rustaveli from contemporary sources. He is assumed to have been born between 1160 and 1165. He started serving Queen Tamar as a Minister of Finance in 1191. His poem itself, namely the prologue, provides a clue to his identity: the poet identifies himself as a certain Rustveli, a name that is preserved on a fresco and a document from the formerly Georgian Monastery of the Holy Cross at Jerusalem.

Actor: David Beshitaishvili
Actor: Nika Gordeziani
Written by: Ekaterine Togonidze
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