DIMITRI MEGHVINETKHUTSESISHVILI’STRAVELTOKARTLI (GEORGIA)

Ioseb ALIMBARASHVILI

This paper concerns Dimitri Megvinetkhutsesishvili’s trip through Georgia in 1848 – 1849 according to his diaries.

Dimitri's ancestors Toma and Paata Meghvinetkhutsesishvili were promoted to the court of King Erekle II of Kartl-Kakheti and held the name of Memandarbashi (their duty was to receive honorable guests, treet them and see them off at the royal court). The surname Meghvinetkhutsesishvili itself means the governor of the viticulture department and can be seen on the royal court of Georgia from the period of Queen Tamar (XII-XIII centuries). His duties included collecting wine taxes, monitoring the processing of vines (vineyards), and so on. Meghvinetkhutsesi was also entitled to state income from the described vineyards.

The trip diaries describe well-known churches and monasteries as well as relatively less explored sites. Dimitri megvinetkhutsesishvili does not describe just only churches, monasteries and holies protected there but often applies popular legends and traditions. The diaries are also enclosed with the author’s extensive comentaries and analysis based on the views of famous Georgian historiography scientists.

The main part of the paper is based on the materials protected at Georgin National Center of Manuscripts, in Dimitri Megvinetkhutsesishvili private collections and in the manuscript department at the Institute of Oriental Studies of St. Petersburg Academy of Science, in Mari Brosse collections.

Key words: D. Megvinetkhutsesishvili, M. Brosse, M. Vorontsov, D. Bakradze, Kartli, Tao - Klarjeti, ancient manuscripts, lapidary and fresco inscriptions