Famous Georgian Women
Medea was the daughter of King Aeetes (Georgian Ayeti) of Colchis (Georgian Kolkheti), skilled
in magic and sorcery. She fell in love with Jason and helped him, against
the will of her father, to obtain the Golden Fleece, a symbol of the opening
of new trade routes. When Aeetes lost the Golden
Fleece, he lost also his kingship. Perses 3, his brother, could
depose him and became king in his stead.
When Jason left
Colchis, she fled with him and lived as his wife
for 10 years, bearing him twochildren.
Jason later wished to marry Creusa, daughter of King Creon of Corinth, but Medea sent her an
enchanted wedding gown that burned her to death.
The angered citizens of Corinth killed her two
tragic situation of Medea, abandoned in Corinth
by Jason, was the subject matter transformed by Euripedes
in his tragedy Medea,
first performed in 431 BCE).
Medea fled to Athens, where she married King Aegeus. They had one son: Medus. When Theseus returned to Athens,
Medea, with Medus, fled Athens and came incognito
in Aea, Colchis and, finding that
Aeetes had been deposed by his brother, slew
Perses 3 and restored the kingdom to her father.
death of King
Aeetes has not been reported, but he was
probably succeeded in the throne by Medus, the son of Medea.
Bagrationi was first Woman King
of the kingdom of Georgia
from 1184-1213. She ruled during what is
generally regarded as Georgia" s "golden
age" and gained a reputation as an
outstandingly successful ruler, dubbed "King
of Kings and Queen of Queens" by her
was born in 1160, the daughter of King Giorgi
III (1156-1184). Tamar's first husband
was the Russian prince Yuri
Bogolyubsky (in 1185-1186). She had no
children by Yuri. Then she selected her second
husband herself. He was the Ossetian prince David
Soslan of the Georgian Bagrationi
family, whom she married in 1188.
played an active military role as the commander
of an army. In 1193 the Georgian army marched to
Bardav. Following its triumphant return,
a new campaign was undertaken against Erzerum.
The army under Tamar and David attacked the Seljuks
(Turks) wintering on the banks
of the river Arax.
Atabag of Azerbaijan Abu-Bakr was given command
of the army of the coalition of Georgia's Muslim
opponents. A battle was fought near Shamkhor
in 1195 which ended in a Georgian victory.
Numerous prisoners and huge amounts of booty were
seized, including the Khalif's standard, which
Tamar donated to the Icon of Our Lady of Khakhuli.
The Georgians took the city of Shamkhori
and the adjoining regions, and the occupied lands
were turned over to the Shirvan-Shah
on terms of vassalage. From Shamkhori the
Georgian army marched to Gandza.
Georgian victories alarmed the Muslim rulers of
Georgia's neighbours, particularly Rukn ad-Din,
Sultan of the Seljuk state in Asia Minor. The
Sultan prepared for war in order to break the
might of Christian Georgia and fought a major
battle near Basiani in 1203.
Despite the huge size of the Seljuk army - said
to number more than 400,000 troops - the Georgian
army under Tamar and David won a famous victory.
Tamar's rule, Georgia became the strongest power
in the Near East and
expanded its territorial influence considerably
around the shores of the Black Sea.
In 1204, Tamar helped found the Byzantine Empire
of Trabizond on the southern shore of
the Black Sea (now the Turkish
province of Trabzon). This
so-called "empire" was populated mainly
by Lazi (Chani) Georgian tribes,
ruled by refugees from Constantinopole.
In 1206, Tamar's army occupied the city of Kars.
other medieval monarchs, Tamar played an active
role in promoting her country's religion and
culture, sponsoring the construction of numerous Georgian
Orthodox churches. The poet Shota
Rustaveli commemorated Tamar in his epic
poem The Knight in the Panther's Skin, in
which her coronation gave Rustaveli the
historical background for his sublime description
of the coronation of Tinatin.
Tamar died in 1213 and was canonized
by the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic
In the beginning of XVII century Kartli
and Kakheti (Eastern Georgia) were included into
the subject of Iran. The Leaders of Kakheti
showed their loiality to Shah but in real they
were preparing secretly insurrection. The leader of these venture
was Queen Ketevani.
Queen Ketevan Tsamebuli
("The Martyr") was
daughter of Ashotan
Kakhetian King Alexandre's eldest son's - David's
wife. David passed away in 1602. In spring
of 1606 according with Ketevan's demand Shah-Abbas affirmed Christian Teimuraz
II the King of Kakheti. He
was 16 and the kingdom was ruled by Queen Ketevani.
Shah-Abbas decided to solve Georgia's
problem at last. He intended to break Georgian's resistance. At
first he decided to break the Georgian's morally and demanded
from Ketevani to convert to Muslim. Queen Ketevani was famous and
influential. Shah-Abbas knew if she converted to Muslim it will
be his greatest victory. Terrible Shah could not force her
convert in any way.
12 September, 1624, Queen
Ketevani was put to death. She was martyred for speaking
out of turn to the Persian court in Shirazi.
Picture of beauty Queen was tormented with red-hot-iron in
public. During torment Georgian Queen was very firmly.
Ketevan Tsamebuli was
canonized by the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic
King Teimuraz II
dedicated to mother the poem "Martyr of Queen
of World Beauty contest. Original model of Coco
Upon his arrival in Georgia (1912), Nicholas
II of Russia
was introduced to many Georgian ladies. Unable to
conceal his admiration, the Emperor exclaimed,
What beauties! and then addressed one of
them directly, It is sinful to be so
These words were addressed
soon to be the Emperers mothers maid of
honour. As her father, an Abkhazian prince, the
was a member of the Russian State Duma (State
Council), the family lived in Petersburg.
After Meris father
died the family mainly lived in Kutaisi.
In 1918, Meris fiance, Gigusha Eristavi, aide-de-camp to
Nicholas II came to Kutaisi from Petersburg and they
In 1921, when the
independence of Georgia was nearing its last days,
she calmly and legally boarded a ship sailing from
Batumi. She was traveling to France, joining her
husband in Constantinople, Turkey on the way. It was
here that Meri took part in a beauty contest and won.
You got married
that night, Meri... Nobody knows
precisely who this poem was dedicated to. Every
Georgian associates the image of Galaktions Meri with Meri
remembered as being tall, well-built with dark
straw-coloured eyes and chestnut coloured hair, never
laughing, only smiling. She had a very narrow
circle of friends but everyone who knew her noted her
modesty, humbleness and gentleness.
In Paris, Meri Shervashidze
settled down in the prestigious sixteenth district in
the Rue de La Tour near Boulogne forest. For a while
the family endured hardships. Meris
her twin sisters, Elene and Tamar lived together with Meri. Nino
began to work at one of the famous sewing workshops.
After some time the family managed to open a saloon
of their own. At this time Meri Shervashidze became
the Coco Chanel model. The worldly Parisians
particularly noted Meris style of dress as well
as her ability to manifest the beauty bestowed on her
by God. Meris portrait, painted by the famous
Sorin, hangs in
the palace of the Prince
of Monaco (even
though the painter had dedicated the picture to the
In 1935, in France, Galaktion Tabidze happened to see Meri Shervashidze by
chance. She was sitting in a park in front of the
Louvre and was even more beautiful than ever. After
this, the poet dedicated a number of poems to Meri
Gigusha Eristavi passed away
at an early age, leaving Meri with no heirs so she
raised her sisters children, Constantine and
Meri Shervashidze spent the
last years of her life in a nursing home. Meri died
at the age of 97, retaining her beauty, nobleness and
stateliness until the last day of her life.
The Queen of
Georgian and Russian romance
Georgian singer hols the key to Russian romances. There are lots
of Russian-born romance singers, of course, but none of them will
Full of royal dignity, with
irreproachable manners and taste, she conveys the very soul of
the romance as perhaps no one else does"- Nina
Nani Georgievna Bregvadze was born On July 21, 1938 in Tbilisi, Georgia. She grew up in a family where music was much loved and esteemed.
"I've been signing ever since I
learnt to speak. At six I sang the romance "Kalitka".
How the adults laughed! I understood not a word in Russian but
intended to "put all my soul into it". My future
profession was in my genes".
After ending of musical school has
arrived in musical technical school, and then became the student
of the V.Saradzhishvili Tbilisi State Conservatory on a class of
a piano (1958-1963).
1956 - solist of Orchestra of Tbilisi
1959-1964 - soloist of the Tbilisi State
1964 - 1980 soloist of the rocking vocal
Later Nani made separate careers. She
became the popular Russian romance singer of Georgian descent. Incidentally, Nani's daughter Eka Mamaladze followed in her mother's footsteps and probably
so will her granddaughter.
Nani Bregvadze is the People's
Artists of the USSR (1983) and the People's
Artist of Georgia (1974). Memorial stars in her honour
were unveiled on the Star Square near the Kremlin in Moscow and
in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
The Queen of Chess
was born on May 3, 1941, in Zugdidi, in Georgia.
She became the Women's World Champion in 1962,
when she won the title from Elizaveta
Bykova by a score of 9-2.
Gaprindashvili went on to dominate the women's
international chess scene, and remained Women's World
Champion for 16 years! She finally lost the title to
another Georgian, 17-year-old Maia
Chiburdanidze, in 1978, losing by the
score 8-1/2 to 6-1/2.
During her career Gaprindashvili successfully
competed in men's tournaments, winning (amongst
others) the Hastings Challengers tournament in 1963/4
and tying for first place at Lone Pine in 1977. In
1978 she became the first woman to
be made an (unqualified) International
Grandmaster having been a Women's
Grandmaster since 1962.
Gaprindashvili is one of only a few women who
could compete realistically in top level tournaments
dominated by male grandmasters.
One of the
Greatest Ballerinas of all time. Prima-balerina
of American Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and etc.
Ananiashvili was born on March 28,
1963 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her father, Gedevan, and
two older brothers, George and Levan, are geologists.
Her mother, Lia
Gogolashvili, is a
philologist. Because Nino was often sick as a child,
her parents decided to enroll her in figure skating
lessons in order to improve her health. By the time
she was six years old, Nino was a ranked skater, and
at ten became Georgia State champion in the junior
In 1969 Ananiashvili entered the
Georgia State Choreographic Institute. Tamara
Vykhodtseva was her first teacher there. The great
Vakhtang Chabukiani also took little Nina under his
wings. Her progress was so impressive that it drew
the attention of teachers from the Moscow
Choreographic Institute, who convinced her parents to
allow Nina to continue her studies there. In 1976
Nino was accepted at the Moscow State Choreographic
In 1980 she won the Gold Medal (junior group) at
the 10th International Ballet Competition in Varna,
Bulgaria. In 1981, dancing with Andris Liepa,
Ananiashvili won the Grand Prix (junior group) at the
IV International Ballet Competition in Moscow.
Nino Ananiashvili graduated from the Moscow
Choreographic Institute in 1981 and was accepted into
the Bolshoi corps de ballet.
During the 1983-87 seasons
Ananiashvili added Giselle, The Nutcracker, Don
Quixote, Raymonda, Le Spectre de la Rose and Romeo
and Juliet to her repertoire.
In 1985 she won the Gold Medal (senior group) at
the Vth International Ballet Competition in Moscow
and was made a principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet
the same year.
In 1986, Nino Ananiashvili and Andris Liepa were
awarded the Grand Prix at the IIIrd USA International
Ballet Competition at Jackson, Mississippi, USA.
In 1988, Ananiashvili and Liepa became the first
Soviet dancers to be invited to guest with the New
York City Ballet. There, Nina danced the lead in Raymonda
Variations, Apollo and Symphony in C.
Nino Ananiashvili didnt forget her native
city either. She first danced in Tbilisi in 1983
while only a soloist with the Bolshoi, appearing in Swan
Lake and in Chabukianis version of Don
Quixote partnered by Yuri Vasyuchenko. Later she
danced Giselle, La Sylphide, and other
ballets with the Tbilisi company.
While performing with the Royal Ballet at Covent
Garden, Ananiashvili worked closely with Kenneth
MacMillan, dancing in his Prince of the Pagodas
and Romeo and Juliet. In London she also
performed Symphony in C, The Nutcracker,
Ashtons La Fille Mal Gardee and Cinderella,
Fokines Firebird, among others.
Ananiashvili has appeared as a guest artist with
the Rome Opera Ballet, La Scala Ballet, Royal Swedish
Ballet, Ballet de Monte Carlo, Birmingham Royal
Ballet, Boston Ballet, Munich Ballet, Tokyo Ballet,
with the National Theaters of Norway, Finland,
Portugal, with Belgrade Ballet, Sofia Ballet,
Hungarian National Ballet and with Goteborg Ballet.
In 1993, Nino Ananiashvili became a principal
dancer with American Ballet Theater.
In 1999, Ananiashvili became a principal of
Houston Ballet where she danced in Manon and
in Ben Stevensons Three Preludes and The
On Ninos initiative, the Bolshoi acquired an
evening of Balanchine ballets in 1999. At the
premiere of the Balanchine programme at the Bolshoi,
she danced both Mozartiana and the second
movement of Symphony in C.
In 2000, Ananiashvili and Fadeyechev established
their own company, the Moscow Dance Theater.
Nino has decided to cancel all her
performances for the rest of 2005.
Now she is an artistic director of
State Ballet of Georgia
Leila Abashidze, Elene Akhvlediani, Sofiko Chiaureli, Lia
Eliava, Tamar Gverdtsiteli, Sofo Khalvashi, Liana
Isakadze, Medea Japaridze, Keti
Melua, Nino Machaidze, Leila
Meskhi, Tamara Tumanishvili, Nino Ramishvili, Rusudan Petviashvili, Salome Zurabishvili,
E-mail: [email protected]