Old Georgian language

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Old Georgian
ენაჲ ქართული
Georgian inscription at Bir El-Qutt, 430 AD.jpg
Old Georgian of Bir El Qutt inscriptions
Native to Colchis, Kingdom of Iberia, Kingdom of Georgia
Region Transcaucasus
Era 5th to 11th centuries
  • Old Georgian
Georgian script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 oge
Linguist list
Glottolog oldg1234[1]

Old Georgian (Georgian: ძველი ქართული ენა) was the literary language of Georgia beginning in the 5th century.[2][3] The language remains as the only liturgical language of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Spoken Old Georgian gave way to what is classified as Middle Georgian in the 11th century, which in turn developed into the modern Georgian language in the 17th century.

Fähnrich (1994) distinguishes three stages of Old Georgian: Chanmeti (4th to 7th centuries), Haemeti (7th and 8th centuries) and Sani (9th to 11th centuries), noting grammatical difference between the extant texts of these stages. The texts of the Chanmeti and Haemeti stages (also known as "Early Old Georgian") are almost exclusively religious in nature, but from the 9th century (Sani, also known as "Classical Old Georgian"), there was a literary tradition with a wider scope, including philosophical and historiographical documents.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Old Georgian". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Tuite, Kevin (2008). "Early Georgian". In Woodard, Roger D. The Ancient Languages of Asia Minor. Cambridge University Press. p. 146. ISBN 9780521684965. 
  3. ^ Childers, Jeff W. (2012). "The Georgian Version of the New Testament". In Ehrman, Bart D.; Holmes, Michael W. The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research Essays on the Status Quaestionis. Brill. p. 295. ISBN 900423604X. 
  • Fähnrich, H. (1994). Grammatik der altgeorgischen Sprache. Hamburg: Buske.