Lecture Friday 25th May 2012: The Times of the Blood Rains – Georgia in Shakespearian Times

At 4pm this Friday, 25th May 2o12, our lectures on the history of Georgia in Shakespearian times by Giorgi Akhvlediani continue!

The Times of the Blood Rains

Georgia in Shakespearian Times


Giorgi Akhvlediani

 The dramatic lives of two Royal families, rulers of the partitioned Georgian kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti include all the elements of a tragic drama. Having become the battlefield of two great empires long ago, the Georgian kingdoms applied their traditional policy of balancing between war and peace, satisfying both Ottoman and Persian interests. The Kakhetian king Alexandre was successful in this policy for two decades by accepting Ottoman suzerainty. But the policy came under increasing tension as each time the Ottoman-Persian wars would have a different outcome. Fate lured king Alexandre and three of his sons into a bloody family conflict followed by Persian intervention, which turned the rich and peaceful small kingdom into a dead land with two thirds of population killed or deported.

As opposed to the Kakhetian kingdom, Kartli was at war and largely survived owing to the personal bravery of king Luarsab and his elder son Simon “the Mad” who replaced his father after Luarsab’s strange death foreshadowed by his own dream. A number of great historical characters, the morals and manners of the century placed in an extraordinary political situation, all mixed up with destiny and meanness make the picture of The Times of the Blood Rains unforgettable for its spirit and the tragic reality of survival.

Giorgi Akhvlediani (also known as Aka Morchiladze) is the bestselling Georgian novelist with a background in history. Some of his novels, which include the Travel to Karabakh, The Others, the Madatov Trilogy, Santa Esperanza, Maid in Tiflis and Mamluk earned him the name of the most widely-read and celebrated Georgian author alive. Currently he resides and writes in London. In three lectures he will be presenting probably the most dramatic and tragic century of Georgian history.

Venue: Faculty Room (3d floor), Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane OX1 2LE, Oxford.

Friday, 25 May, 16:00.

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