Prof. George Hewitt

Review of Tamila Mgaloblishvili (ed.) Ancient Christianity in the Caucasus

Hewitt, G. (2001). Ancient Christianity in the Caucasus. Iberica Caucasica I. Edited by Tamila Mgaloblishvili. pp. xvi, 272. Richmond, Curzon, 1998. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 11(3), 377-379.

The majority of articles in this volume were written for presentation at a conference entitled "Early Christianity and Georgia" which was to be held in Tbilisi in October of 1991. It never took place because of civil strife. The submitted talks were simply gathered together here for publication without "significant"(?) alteration, this core being supplemented by three "classic papers" and a bibliography of recent works (mostly in Georgian) that is thematically divided into: i. art-history, ii. history (from which I would recommend excising Zurab Ratiani's brochure - by definition, any work from a KartveUan source with "Apswa" = "Abkhazian" in the tide is designed merely to insult the Abkhazians rather than as a contribution to serious scholarship), and iii. language and literature. For unexplained reasons the notes and references to Ernst Bammel's "Die Ausbreitung des Christentums in Georgien" could not be incorporated, though the book does yield a fair harvest of typos with occasional peculiarities in translated material (K'onst'ant'ine Ts'ereteli's paper being especially badly served in both regards). As is regularly the case with conference-collections, the individual chapters vary considerably in content and interest without getting into a coherent whole - indeed, some sections here have hardly any relevance to the Caucasus (let alone Georgia).

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