Early Georgian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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Abstract

Contact between Georgia and the Holy Land persisted throughout the Byzantine and Early Muslim periods, regardless of the political situation in the Christian kingdoms of the Caucasus. This ongoing connection can be summed up briefly as a two-way pilgrims traffic between Georgia and the Holy Land, and a one-way transfer of manuscripts, from the Holy Land to Georgia. Georgian pilgrimages to the Holy Places of Palestine are recorded in historical sources: the vitae of the Georgian saints Peter the Iberian, David Garedjeli and Hilarion the Iberian. The archaeological evidences for Georgian pilgrimages, early graffiti written in ancient Georgian asomtavruli script, were discovered in Nazareth and Sinai. It can certainly be established that some of the pilgrims stayed in the Holy Land for a long period, and even for the rest of their lives, forming a core of the local Georgian monastic community. Pilgrims returning from the Holy Land brought back with them manuscripts that were produced in the Palestinian and Sinaitic scriptoria. A number of such manuscripts were preserved in the distant mountanous region of Svaneti in north-western Georgia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-471
Number of pages19
JournalLiber annuus - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum
Volume61
Issue number61
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Christian pilgrims and pilgrimages -- Eretz Israel -- History
  • Georgians (South Caucasians) -- Eretz Israel
  • Inscriptions, Georgian -- Eretz Israel

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