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Culture of Georgia

Language and Script

Georgian language belongs to the Iberian – Caucasian group of languages.
There are 3 dialects in Georgian (Kartvelian) language (Georgian, Svan and Mengrelo – Laz dialects). Georgian alphabet is one of the 14 existing alphabets in the world. It consists of 33 letters. Many scientists believe that Georgian alphabet was derived from one of the Semitic alphabets around 6th – 5th century BC. The alphabet has been modernized during centuries, but keeps the original roots. One Georgian historian informs us that Georgian script was created in the 3rd c. BC by Georgian King Parnavaz. The mosaic inscription in the Judean desert in Palestine is known as the oldest Georgian
inscription ever found. It dates back to the 433 AD. Bolnisi Sioni Church, situated south of Tbilisi, also has one of the oldest (493 AD) inscriptions in Georgian. The oldest manuscript (864 AD) is kept in St. Catherine’s Monastery on the Sinai Peninsula.
Georgian literature has ancient and remarkable history. The
oldest known literacy work "The Martirdom of Shu
shanik" was written in 476 – 483 AD by Iakob Tsurtaveli. "The Knight in the Panther Skin" created by Shota Rustaveli at the end of the 12th century is the most brilliant literacy work in Georgian
literature. This poem has been translated into many languages of the world



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