Four Georgian Illustrated Letters kept in the Ireland National Library

The Georgian language is a South Caucasian or Kartvelian language spoken by about 4.1 million people, mainly in Georgia itself. Georgian is written in its own writing system, with the Georgian alphabet among the world’s 14 individual alphabets, the Georgian one consisting of 33 letters.

According to the head of Georgia’s Arts Palace, Giorgi Kalandia, four illustrated Georgian letters are being kept in the National Library of Ireland. He was given copies of the unique illustrations of several letters in the Georgian alphabet. These letters are T, M, C and I, which were copied in 1724 from a dictionary by Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani. In 1970 W. Allen published copies of the illustrations and they were taken to Cambridge. Kalandia states he showed copies of the illustrations to the Georgian Manuscripts Institue while he worked there.

I showed them to the institute staff and they also claimed to be unfamiliar with them. Our inquiry to Oxford Library has also yielded nothing – these manuscripts are not part of Oliver and Marjory Wardrop Collection; the British Museum possesses no information on them, either. Therefore, we have no idea where the original manuscripts might be. The only clue that they still exist is the aforementioned 1970 publication.” Kalandia stated.

 According to the head of Art Palace, in Orbeliani’s dictionary, the lists of words and their definitions begin with an illustrated letter. So far only four of the illustrations have been found and they will be displayed for visitors to see.

resource Georgianjounal

Nina Ioseliani

07 September 2015 18:41