The Knight in the Panther’s Skin




The Knight in the Panther’s Skin

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

“The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” is a 12th Century epic poem written by Georgian poet Shota Rustavelli. (“Rustvelli” means someone from Rustavi, a town near the Georgian capital Tblisi.). According to Wikipedia:

(Vepkhvistkhaosani) describes the adventures of Avtandil, a young Arab nobleman, and his friend Tariel, an Indian prince. Avtandil is sent by his beloved, Tinatin, the newly crowned ruler of Arabia, on the mission to find a mysterious and elusive Knight clad in a tiger’s skin. Avtandil finds the knight, who turns out to be Prince Tariel, grieving over the disappearance of the beautiful Nestan-Darejan, daughter of his sovereign, King of India. Avtandil befriends Tariel and helps him to find Nestan-Darejan, who has been held captive by evil spirits (kajebi) in their impenetrable fortress.

In the poem, Rustaveli talks about Medieval European humanistic ideals: chivalry, feelings of love, friendship, courtly love, courage and fortitude. The heroes of the poem are brave, philanthropic, and generous. The heroes of the poem are not restricted to Georgian nationality. The regions of Arabia, China, and India all figure in the poem.

The poem was translated to many languages, including Hebrew, Russian (five different translations), Polish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic and English. The poem was also translated to most of the languages spoken in the former Soviet Union and the languages of the former socialistic block.

Some more interesting stuff:

In the poem, Rustaveli talks about Medieval European humanistic ideals: chivalry, feelings of love, friendship, courtly love, courage and fortitude. The heroes of the poem are brave, philanthropic, and generous. The heroes of the poem are not restricted to Georgian nationality. The regions of Arabia, China, and India all figure in the poem.

Hey, speaking of Georgia… probably the world’s most famous Georgian was Josef Stalin, who didn’t learn to speak Russian until he was eight or nine years old. I have heard (though I can’t now find the reference) that most Soviet citizens during World War II were unaware that their leader was not Russian until he gave a radio address late in the war, and they heard his heavy Georgian accent, which he had never lost.

Info, quotes & image from Wikipedia.

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One Response to “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin”

  1. irakli Says:

    It is the greatest poem inthe whole world and we must save this carefuly
    I am Georgian and in Georgia it is most espected book
    Irakli Grigalashvili

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