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Friday, June 13, 2008

Ancient Map of Georgia, Venice 1775.

Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress: Ancient map of Georgia published in Venice in 1775 by Joseph Nicolas de l'Isle, depicts not only Georgia with all its internal ethnic complexities, but also Armenia, among the myriad lesser- and better-known countries and ethnicities in eighteenth-century Anatolia and the Caucasus: Georgia, stretching from the verdant Caucasus Mountains in the north to the Kura River in the south, and Armenia, from the lesser Caucasus mountains in the north through the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the south, have been witness to the appearance and disappearance of a host of peoples throughout the ages, all of whom both influenced the Armenians and Georgians and were influenced by them. They included Hittites and Urartians; Persians; Greeks; the Romans and Parthians; Turks and Mongols; and Russians and Europeans. All passed through these land bridges between north and south and east and west. To study the literary, historical, and cultural records of Armenia and Georgia is to cast your net into the sea of all these people. Vital to understanding these lands is knowledge that all Armenian and Georgian literature is essentially Christian literature. Both alphabets were created in the fifth century A.D. chiefly as vehicles to propagate the Christian faith. Much of the Near East collections, then, have to do with Christianity and with the Armenian and Georgian churches: