Bakur the Great: the Khurtsilava-Codoñer Theory on the Authorship of the Georgian Asomtavruli (Majuscule) Script

Niko Nikolozishvili

Abstract


The paper discusses a new theory on the dating and authorship of the Georgian script. In his dissertation on Religious Belief and Worldview of Iberia in the Early Christian Period, defended on February 15, 2016, a historian Besik Khurtsilava argues that the Georgian asomtavruli (majuscule) script was created on the basis of the Greek alphabet after the establishment of Christianity in Georgia. The principal novelty of Khurtsilava’s research is that he attributes the creation of the asomtavruli script to Bakur the Great, a public figure of the late 4th century, who is well known from Greek and Roman sources. Bakur first served in the Roman military and later in mid-390s ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Kartli (Iberia). This question is discussed in Khurtsilava’s monographs published in 2002, 2005 and 2009. In 2014, Juan S. Codoñer, Professor of Valladolid University, came to the same conclusion independently from Besik Khurtsilava’s works. In particular, he suggests that asomtavruli must have been created in Palestine in a circle of Georgian monks under the guidance of Bakurius, who at that time served as dux Palestinae. These parallel but independent findings by the two scholars, which we could jointly call the Khurtsilava-Codoñer theory, provide solid grounds for the further study of the birth and authorship of the asomtavruli script.

Keywords


the Georgian Asomtavruli

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