'Amiran Unbound': Christ's Last Foe in the Caucasus

Dr Nikoloz Aleksidze, History Faculty, Oxford
Event date
Event time
17:30 - 18:30
The Weston Library
Broad Street
Venue details

The Weston Lecture Theatre, Blackwell Hall

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Few may know that antiquity’s celebrated chained demigod has a literary and folk twin in the Caucasus – Amiran, an epic hero who was chained to a Caucasian rock for challenging his own godfather, Jesus Christ. Amiran’s adventures were first recorded in Georgian in the twelfth century and spread orally throughout the entire Caucasus. The 'Amiraniani' raises a perennial question - could the two, Prometheus and Amiran, be related, and if yes, then how? But apart from this vexed problem of mythology, the saga of Amiran and his brothers also acts as a literary witness to actual historical processes, be it the centralization of Georgia’s royal court, the confrontation of paganism and Christianity in the highlands, the formation of Caucasian identities, or the drama of nineteenth century Georgian national movement. Therefore, the lecture will attempt to illustrate the ways Amiran’s saga acts as a ‘memory-book’ of the nation.