With the exception of the life of St. Nino, none of the biographies here had been previously translated into English when this book was originally published in 1956. The lives of the Georgian saints are rich and many-sided, not dry chronicles of monkish trivialities. They contain vivid descriptions of life in the Caucasus, Byzantium and Palestine. They give the reader insight into the history and aspirations of an important branch of the Eastern Church and into its relationships with Zoroastrian Persia, the Arab Caliphate, the Imperial Court of Constantinople and the whole world of mediaeval Christendom.
Table of Contents
1. St. Nino and the Conversion of Georgia 2. The Nine Martyred Children of Kola 3. A Martyred Princess: The Passion of St. Shushanik 4. A Militant Ascetic: Peter the Iberian, Bishop of Mayuma by Gaza 5. A Forerunner of St. Francis: David of Garesja 6. The Passion of St. Eustace the Cobbler 7. The Martyrdom of Abo, the Perfumer from Baghdad 8. Gregory of Khandzta and the Georgian National Revival 9. The Georgian Athonites 10. The Passion of Queen Ketevan.
David Marshall Lang was appointed Acting British Vice-Consul in Tabriz in 1945. In 1946 he became a fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and lecturing in Georgian at SOAS London from 1949-52. From 1952-1953 he was senior fellow at the Russian Institute of Columbia University in New York. In 1958 he was appointed Reader in Caucasian Studies at SOAS. Visiting Professor of Caucasian Studies at UCLA from 1964-5, in 1965 he became Professor of Caucasian Studies at London University. He was Honorary Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1962-64 and held an Honorary Doctorate from Tbilisi University.
‘…His survey of the Georgian saints is simply and freshly written and he allows the biographers of the saints to tell most of the story by rendering into English texts which have been edited in several languages in books and periodicals often difficult of access. ‘ W. E. D. Allen, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies.
'They throw much light on the history of the Eastern Church...' The Times Literary Supplement
'Fascinating hagiography...' Church Times.