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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces from c.400 to 1000 CE the evolution of early Georgian literature from translation of Byzantine scriptural and liturgical texts to original composition, exploring and expanding the genres of hymnography and hagiography, and then the development of prose narrative first into patristics and chronicles and finally, as native Caucasian and oriental influences begin to overlay Byzantine ones, into prose fiction. The literary process mirrors a political one, beginning with the invasion by Roman legions in the first century CE, followed by Byzantine Christianity competing for dominance with Iranian influences, first Zoroastrian, then Islamic, as Georgia shifts spheres, from the former Roman to the future Iranian.

Keywords: Georgia, Caucasus, Byzantine Christianity, Hymnography, Hagiography, Chronicles

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