Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)


Capital : Tbilisi (Tiflis)

Abkhaz Republic (Abkhazia), Adzhar Republic (Adzari), South Ossetia

Size: 26 900 sq m Popn: 5 471 000


Georgia was Christianized in the C4th and as the Persian and Byzantine empires weakened during the C7th, it became an independent kingdom. It was at its most powerful under the Bagration Dynasty from the C11th to C13th but then came under the control of a series of imperial powers - Persia, the Mongols and Ottoman Turkey - before it was annexed by Tsarist Russia in 1801. Tbilisi became an important centre of commerce but the Georgian language and church were gradually suppressed.

In 1918, during the confusion of the Bolshevik Revolution, Georgia declared itself independent but did not gain Western support and the rebellion was put down by the Red Army in 1921. Georgia joined the USSR as part of the Transcaucasian Federation with its southern neighbours Armenia and Azerbaijan and became a full republic in 1936. It was largely industrialised by the 1950s but there was resistance to the rural collectives and the 1930s saw purges ordered by police chief Lavrenti Beria. During the Second World War, the Soviet dictator, Stalin, had 200 000 Meskhetians, a people of Turkish descent, deported to Central Asia. They are still campaigning to be allowed to return to their homeland of Meskhetia on the border with Turkey.

The Georgian administration became increasingly corrupt and lax during the 1950s and 60s. Edward Shevardnadze, leader of the Georgian Communist Party, led a campaign against this from 1972-85 and the process of Russification was intensified, leading to mass demonstrations. In 1974, university lecturer Zviad Gamsakhurdia, founded the Initiative Group for the Defence of Human Rights in Georgia and nationalist feeling grew. It was given further strength when the policy of glasnost began in the late 1980s and a Georgian Popular Front and a separatist group, the National Democratic Party of Georgia, were founded in 1988, encouraging anti-Georgian feeling amongst the republic's minority groups in Abkhazia and Ossetia. In April 1989, the killing of peaceful pro-independence demonstrators by Soviet troops in Tbilisi fuelled the nationalist movement and in 1989-90, the GCP purged its old leadership and joined the secessionists. In Georgia's Supreme Soviet elections of October 1990, the Round Table-Free Georgia coalition of seven nationalist parties won easily and Gamsakhurdia was elected state president. In 1991, parliament voted to form a republican National Guard, ending conscription to the Soviet Army.

Georgia boycotted the all-USSR referendum on the constitution in 1991, holding its own plebiscite on independence, of which 99% of the voters were in favour. Independence was declared in April and a campaign of civil disobedience against Soviet interests began. Gamsakhurdia was the first republic president in the USSR to be directly elected in 1991, defeating five rivals and gaining 87% of the vote but his failure to strongly denounce the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in August led to the resignation of prime minister Tengiz Sigua. The GCP was banned but Gamsakhurdia grew increasingly dictatorial, arresting opponents and closing pro-opposition newspapers. After protests in which government troops fired on the crowds a state of emergency was imposed in September by which time most of Giorgi Chanturia's National Democratic Party had been arrested. As the power struggle intensified, Gamsakhurdia fled to Armenia in January 1992. These distractions may explain why Georgia did not join the Commonwealth of Independent States, formed in December 1991 to replace the USSR but it was admitted to the Conference of Security and Co-operation in Europe and joined the UN in July 1992. A military council led by prime minister Sigua crushed a rebellion in support of Gamsakhurdia but gave way to a new parliament elected in October and chaired by Shevardnadze. The -multi-party system became fragmented with over 100 different groups struggling for power and there was unrest in South Ossetia and Abkhazia which wanted autonomy.

Georgian Names

Russian influence upon personal names and customs has been strong.


Akakide Ameirin Avtandil
Badry Bagrat Demna
Giorgi Kakhi Ketevan
Murman Nino Ramaz
Ruslan Shota Tariel
Teimuraz Tengiz Vakhtang
Varlam Zeynab Zourab


Asmat Dularkukht Guliko
Iya Mariam Merab
Nina Rusudani Tamara
Tinatin Tornike Venera


Those ending in '-ov' or '-ev' are Russian forms.

Abamelek Abamelik Abashidze
Abashize Abimelikov Abkhazi
Abkhazov Abuladze Agiashvili
Alavidze Amatuni Amilakhori
Amilakhvari Amilakhvarov Amirajibi
Amirajibov Anchabadze Andronikashvili
Andronikov Aragvis Aragvsky
Aravidze Arghutashvili Argutinsky
Artsruni Arveladze Avalishvili
Avalov Azarashvili Babadishev
Babadishvili Bagration Bagratoni
Barataev Baratashvili Barateli
Baratov Bebutashvili Bebutov
Begtabegishvili Begtabegov Bestavachvili
Bogolyubski Botsvade Chanishvili
Chavchavadze Cherkezi Cherkezov
Chichua Chijavadze Chikovani
Chikradze Chkheidze Chkhikvadze
Chkhotua Cholokaev Choloqashvili
Cristavi Dadeshkeliani Dadiani
Dadian-Mingrelsky Dadianov Davidov
Davitishvili Dgebuadze Diasamidze
Djidjishvili Dolgoruky Dzhugashvili
Emukhvari Emukhvarov Endronikashvili
Endronikov Eristavi Eristov
Gachechiladze Gamsakhurdia Gedevanishvili
Gedevanov Gelovani Godherdzeshvili
Gogichaishvili Gorlenko Gugunava
Guramishvili Guramov Gurgenidze
Gurieli Guriis Guriisky
Iashvili Inalipa Jamarauli
JambakurIan Jandieri Jandierov
Japaridze Javakhishvili Javakhov
Jeltkov Jorjadze Kakhiashvilis
Karalov Kavkasidze Kavkasidzev
Kergeais Ketsbiai Kherkheulidze
Khidirbegishvili Khidirbegov Khimshiashvili
Khimshiev Khojaminasishvili Khojaminasov
Khokhonichev Khokhonov Kinkladze
Kipiani Kobiashvili Kobulidze
Kobulov Korgay Ksansky
Ksnis Kurdanidze Kvabulidze
Lazarev Lionidze Lodjanidze
Lortkipanidze Machabeli Machabelov
Machavariani Machutadze Magalov
Maghalashvili Maisuradze Makaev
Makharadze Maksimenishvili Maksimenov
Mamarashvili Manvelishvili Manvelov
Maqashvili Marshania Meipariani
Melikishvili Melikov Metrovelli
Mikeladze Mingrelia Mingrelsky
Mkhargrdzeli Mkheidze Mkhetsidze
Mouravov Mukhran-Batoni Mukhransky
Nakashidze Nasaridzhe Nemsadze
Ninidze Nizharadze Orbeliani
Orbelianov Ordzhonnikidze Paghava
Paichadze Palavandishvili Palavandov
Pavlenishvili Pavlenov Qaralashvili
Qipiani Rachinsky Rachis
Ratiev Ratishvili Robitashvili
Robitov Rusidze Rusiev
Rusishvili Rustaveli Saakadze
Saginashvili Saginov Shalikashvili
Shalikov Shanidze Shekiladze
Shelia Shervashidze Shevadnadze
Sidamon Sikharulidze Siuga
Solaghashvili Solagov Sulakvidze
Sumbatashvili Sumbatov Svarudze
Taktakishvili Taktakov Tanishvili
Tarakhanov Tarkhan-Mouravi Tavdgiridze
Tavdshridze Tetradze Tsereteli
Tsitsianov Tsitsishvili Tskhadadze
Tsulukidze Tumanishvili Tumanov
Turkestanov Turkistanishvili Tusiev
Tusishvili Urushadze Vachnadze
Vakhvakhishvili Vakhvakhov Vezirishvili
Vizirov Yagorashvili Yashvili


Ainina Danana Itriyani      




Mepe king
Mtavari ruling prince
Tavadi subordinate prince
Eristavi duke

Bagration Dynasty

Name Reign Family
Bagrat III c 1008-11  
Basil II c 1021  
George II c 1089  
David III the Builder c 1089-1125 son of George II
Demetrius I 1125-55 son of David III
David IV 1155  
George III 1155-84  
Thamar 1184-1212 daughter of George III
George IV 1212-23 son of Thamar
Rusadan 1223- sister of George IV
Bagrat IV    
George V 1318-46  
Bagrat V c 1386  
Alexander I the Great -1442  

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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