ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS ii. INTO GEORGIAN

was translated, not only to satisfy the literary and aesthetic needs of readers and listeners, but also to inspire the young with the spirit of heroism and Georgian patriotism.

 

ŠĀH-NĀMA TRANSLATIONS

ii. INTO GEORGIAN

One of the important research problems of Georgian humanities, to which scholars have devoted great attention, is the thorough study of Ferdowsi’s Šāh-nāma and its Georgian translations. Nikolaj Marr (1864-1934) and Justin Abuladze (1871-1962) laid the foundation of this research at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.

Names such as Spandiat (Av. Spəntō.dāta, NP Esfandiār), Thrithino (Av. qraētaona, NP Āfridun, Feridun), or Vaštašab (Av. and OP Vištaspa, NP Goštāsp) are mentioned in Old Georgian literature. Their occurrence suggests that the Georgians were well familiar with the ancient Persian legends. The names of many Šāh-nāma heroes, such as Rostom-i, Thehmine, Sam-i, or Zaal-i, are found in 11th- and 12th-century Georgian literature. They are indirect evidence for an Old Georgian translation of the Šāh-nāma that is no longer extant. The preserved translations of Šāh-nāma stories (dāstāns) originated between the 15th to 18th centuries. The versions in verse comprise Rostomiani (The book of Rostam), Zaakiani (The book of Żaḥāk), and Utrutian-Saamiani (The book of Otroṭ and Sām). Prose versions are Pridoniani (The book of Feridun), Utrutian-Saamiani, and Saam-palavani (The book of Sām the Pahlavān).

The Šāh-nāma was translated, not only to satisfy the literary and aesthetic needs of readers and listeners, but also to inspire the young with the spirit of heroism and Georgian patriotism. Georgian ideology, customs, and worldview often informed these translations because they were oriented toward Georgian poetic culture. Conversely, Georgians consider these translations works of their native literature. Georgian versions of the Šāh-nāma are quite popular, and the stories of Rostam and Sohrāb, or Bījan and Maniža became part of Georgian folklore.

All Šāh-nāma translations that originated before the 19th century are published (Abuladze, 1916; 1934; Kobidze, 1974). But even today sections of the Šāh-nāma are translated into Georgian. Among the 20th-century versions are the poetic renditions of the poetess and Iranologist Bella Šalvašvili (1976, 1978, 1979, 1987) particularly noteworthy.

 

Bibliography:

Šāh-nāma translations. Justin Abuladze, ed., Volume I, Tbilisi, 1916; contains a poetic version of Zaakiani (tr. Mamuka Tavakalašvili), a poetic version of Saamiani (tr. Bardzim Vačnadze), and the first part of Rostomiani (trs. Serapion Sabašvili and Khosro Turmanidze) Justin Abuladze, et al., eds., Volume II, Tbilisi, 1934; contains the second part of a poetic version of Rostomiani combined with the Georgian version of The book of Barzu (tr. Khosro Turmanidze), as well as fragments of a prose translation of the Šāh-nāma.

David Kobidze, ed., Volume III, Tbilisi, 1974; contains translations from the 16th to 18th centuries: a verse version of Utrutian-Saamiani (whose first part was published in volume I), as well as prose versions of Utrutian-Saamiani, Saam-palavani, and Baamiani (The book of Bahman).

Bella Šalvašvili, Manučari (Manučehr), 1976.

Eadem, Bežan-Maniže (Bijān and Maniža), 1978.

Eadem, Siavuši (Siāvoš), 1979.Eadem, Keykavusi (Kay-Kavus), 1987.

Studies. Alexander Baramidze, Pirdousi da misi Šahname (Ferdowsi and his Šāh-nāma), Tbilisi, 1934.

Idem, “Le Schah-Naméh de Ferdousi dans la litérature géorgien” in Sakartvelos sakhelmtsipo muzeumis moambe (Proceedings of the State Museum of Georgia) 9, 1936, pp. 141-144.

“Maʿṣumi: Šāh-nāma dar Gorjestān,” in Ḥasan Anuša, ed., Adab-e Fārsi dar Qafqāz, Dāneš-nāma-ye adab-e Fārsi 5, Tehran, 2003, pp. 318-20.

Jamšid Giunašvili, “Rewāyāt-e Gorji-ye Šāh-nāma,” Āyanda 6, 1980-81, pp. 863-65.

Alexander Gvakharia, Pirdousi (Ferdowsi), Tbilisi, 1963.

Korneli Kekelidze, Kartuli literaturis istoria II (A history of Georgian literature II), 2nd ed., Tbilisi, 1958, pp. 323-55; first published 1924.

Idem, “Šakh-name Firdousi v gruzinskoy literature” (Ferdowsi’s Šāh-nāma in Georgian literature), Etiudebi dzveli kartuli literaturis istoriidan (Studies of Old Georgian literature) 13, 1974, pp. 112-15.

David Kobidze, Šah-names kartuli versiebis sparsuli tsqaroebi (Persian sources of the Šāh-nāma’s Georgian versions), Tbilisi, 1959.

Idem, Sparsuli Literaturis istoria (A history of Persian literature), Tbilisi, 1975, pp. 202-08.

Akaki Šanidze, “Šah-names erti epizodi kartul polklorši” (One episode of a Šāh-nāma in Georgian folklore), Literaturuli memkvidreoba 1, 1935, pp. 177-95.

Magali Todua, “Tekstologiuri šenišvnebi : Šah-names kartuli versiebi (Textological notes: The Šāh-nāma’s Georgian versions),” Tbilisis universitetis šromebi 108, 1964, pp. 153-55.

Lili Žoržoliani, Zaakianis sparsuli da kartuli versiebi (Persian and Georgian versions of Zaakiani), Tbilisi, 2003.

June 24, 2005

(Jamshid Sh. Giunshvili)

Originally Published: June 15, 2005

Last Updated: June 15, 2005