The Subject of Holiness in Georgian Hagiographic Texts

Maka Elbakidze


The subject of our interest is consideration of the issue of sainthood in Georgian hagiographic texts, particularly in the classical specimen of Georgian literature—The Life of St. Gregory of Khandzta from A.D. 951, which manifests four essential components of the hagiographical pattern: 1. Distinctiveness of a saint; 2. Consideration of the saint’s artistic image as a “spiritual hero” (In this case special attention is paid to artistic and aesthetic function of the miracle); 3. The main aspects of ascetic life; 4. The saint’s self-sacrifice, which once more approves the idea of the triumph of good over evil. The juxtaposition of The Life of St. Gregory of Khandzta with Byzantine or Roman hagiographic texts leads one to the conclusion that definite stereotypes of the compositional pattern took shape at the dawn of Christian literature, with the Bible being their source.


Georgian literature; hagiography; genre of the “Lives”; compositional pattern; saint; asceticism; miracles

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236