Vladimer (Lado) Aghniashvili

Translated by Ketevan Ivanashvili – ნათარგმნია ქეთევან ივანაშვილის მიერ

      Vladimer (lado) Aghniashvili (7.II.1860, Shilda, present-day district of Kvareli, 23.IV.1904, Tbilisi) was a Georgian public figure, teacher, ethnographer, folklorist… He finished the Telavi ecclesiastical school, then – craftsman seminary in Gori (1881). He tought in the school for the nobility in Tbilisi and also in the parish school of Georgian Catholics. In 1883 he published a book named “First steps to study language (Russian) for Georgian primary schools”.


      Aghniashvili founded Georgian singers’ assembly (“Kartuli Khoro” (Georgian Choir) by choirmastering of I. Ratil, 1885-86) which played a big historical role in Georgian cultural life – it laid solid foundations to renascence of Georgian national singing creativity, it’s propaganda and future development. “Georgian book-publishing commandership” was founded with an active participation of Aghniashvili and it played a special role in the history of Georgian book-publishing. In the same year Aghniashvili published Russian-Georgian “Pocket Dictionary”. He also published a collection of Georgian folk fairy-tales, which laid a foundation to “Georgian folk fairy-tales”, translated into English by Marjory Wardrop (1894). In 1892-93 Aghniashvili published 8 booklets called “Akhali Anbani” (“New Alphabet”) for extra-curricular reading. In 1894 he set off to Persia to get to know the life of Georgian people, who were exiled there by Shah Abass. In 1896 Aghniashvili’s ethnographic-folkloric work was published in the journal called “Moambe” (№ 2-8). The name of that work was “Persia and Georgians who live there” and there was told about the lifestyle of Persia, it’s economic-cultural situation, also there was described the morals and customs of Georgians who lived in Fereidani. (Georgian Soviet ancyclopedia, second volume).

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      On November 8, 2006, I set off to Kvareli region, to the village Shilda, with the aim of collecting additional information about Lado Aghniashvili. I knew that there was Aghniashvili’s ancestral house in Shilda. As you know, November 8 is the birthday of Ilia Chavchavadze, So people in Saguramo and Kvareli were celebrating 169th anniversary after this great patriot’s birth. Because of it secondary and musical schools, named after brother Aghniashvilis were closed. So I went to Aghniashvilis’ ancestral house, where Lado Aghniashvili’s nephew, owner of an orden of a dignity, agriculturist Mr. Archil (Kokhta) Aghniashvili lives with his family – wife and two sons.

      Aghniashvilis’ house used to be a kind of a shelter in the times of Lezghin invasions. It’s a bit strange to hear that one of the pitchers here was always full of water, but if considering that Daghestan is only 14 kilometres far from here, everything becomes clear…


      While speaking to them I found out that many family relics – books, pictures and other documents were scattered among the guests who had visited that family…


      Aghniashvili family respectfully speaks about Mrs. Tsiuri Beridze – a teacher of fourth secondary school in Rustavi, who researched from archives such kind of information, which was unknown even for the family of Lado Aghniashvili.
      I told them that I had sent a letter to a Mayor of Tbilisi with the request of giving Lado Aghniashvili’s name to one of the streets of Tbilisi. Mr. Archil Aghniashvili answered that in 1960 there was held Lado Aghniashvili’s 100th anniversary in the big concert hall of conservatoire and there was made a decision about it, but nothing had been done…

      I want to say thank to Mrs. Lia Sokhadze for giving unique photographs of Vladimer (Lado) Aghniashvili.

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Ketevan Ivanashvili – Born on May 8,1990. The student of Tbilisi State University.

ქეთევან ივანაშვილი – დაბადებული 1990 წლის 8 მაისს, თბილისის ივანე ჯავახიშვილის
სახელობის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტის სტუდენტი.