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Saint Grigol Peradze 2nd International Scientific Conference
Dedicated to the 900th Anniversary of the Battle of Didgori
Tbilisi, Georgia September 20 – 21, 2021
Grigol Peradze is a great Georgian scholar canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church as a saint martyr. Still very young, he was forced to leave Georgia (to avoid the Bolshevik regime) and found refuge in Europe. While abroad, Grigol Peradze began an active scientific research, he searched everywhere and collected Georgian manuscripts and studied them. After a divine vision, he gave up secular life and became a monk. Unfortunately, the totalitarian regime did not allow him to live in peace even in Europe. When Nazi Germany occupied Poland, he was there. Grigol Peradze as a foreigner could leave the country, but he did not. He did not cooperate with the Nazis and tried to protect Jews from Nazi repressions. Therefore, he was soon confined in a concentration camp and ended his life in a gas chamber. According to the statement, St. Grigol Peradze entered the cell instead of one Jew who had many children in order to save human life and not to bow to evil.
In 2019 the Georgian society celebrated the 120th anniversary of this great Georgian figure. There was held the scientific conference dedicated to this event. It was decided to organize the St. Grigol Peradze conferences regularly every two years.
The 2021 conference, organized by Institute of History and Ethnology of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Centre for East European Studies of the Warsaw University, Research Center for Cooperation with Eurasia, Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa of the Sapienza University of Rome, Georgian National Academy of Sciences, and Society of Saint Archimandrite Grigol Peradze, continues the 2019 initiative. This year’s conference is dedicated to the most important event in the medieval history of Georgia – the Battle of Didgori, which took place on August 12, 1121. In the battle against the Seljuks, the Georgians were commanded by the Great King – David the Builder canonized by the Georgian Church as a saint. David the Builder comprehended the battle from the very beginning as an integral part of the great narrative of the clash of good with evil. The ideological background of this battle is well illustrated by the inscription on David’s coin “Sword of the Messiah”, which implies the fulfillment of the mission of Christ by David and the Georgians. Thus, despite a great chronological distance and specific circumstances in which the confrontations of St. Grigol Peradze to Nazis and Saint King David’s struggle against the Seljuks had developed, these two facts are compatible: both can be viewed as representations of the permanent struggle between good and evil.
Georgian victory in the battle of Didgori conditioned the political strengthening of Georgia and creating a Georgian state with pan-Caucasian ambitions. The political process was accompanied by in-group mobilizations within the Georgian community and the formation of a pre-modern Georgian nation. The development of Georgian culture reached its peak. As a result, King David’s period had been identified as a golden age of Georgian history. Today, despite the past 900 years, the battle of Didgori still represents one of the most visited topics of Georgian identity narrative; it retains an important role in strengthening Georgian national consciousness.
The Conference will be held on September 20 – 21, 2021. Plenary sessions will take place at the Tbilisi State University and the Georgian National Academy of Sciences. If epidemic situations allow, the organizers plan to conduct sectional sessions at the Institute of History and Ethnology. Alternative way to conduct sectional sessions is Zoom format.
The interdisciplinary conference in humanities covers the period from the Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, specifically, the 4th – 15th centuries.
The conference has four thematic focuses:
The first topic is relatively narrow. It deals with the history of Georgia and its specific period – the era of David the Builder. However, scientific profile of the conference papers can be very diverse. Except historians, researchers of the various humanitarian fields can submit papers, although this is still an area of research for Georgian Studies. As for the other three themes, they are open for humanitarians from any field. The above listed topics can be explored on the basis of different case studies; limitations concern only the chronological terms.
The conference working languages are Georgian and English. The session presenters will be given 15 min speeches.
The abstract should not be less than 1000 and more than 2000 words. With the filled registration form it should be sent before June 21, 2021 to the following e-mail address: email@example.com
The deadline of abstract notification via e-mail is July 21, 2021. The abstracts e-book with the conference program will be sent to the participants before the conference.
The full texts of the conference papers through the peer review procedures will be published after the conference in the scientific journals of the Institute of History and Ethnology: “Georgian Source-Studies” and “Chronos”.
There is no conference fee. The Organizing Committee offers free social program. The participants receive the printed version of the abstracts book as well as the above-mentioned scientific journals in which conference papers will be published for free. As for reimbursement of accommodation expenses, this issue will be considered by the Organizing Committee later. The participant is responsible to cover costs of international or in-country travel.