08 April 2003, 23:37

Besiki

Real name: Vissarion Zakharyevich Gabashvili.

Georgian poet and politician.

Born in Tiflis in 1750, in a family of czar's confessor and writer Zakhary Gabashvili. Educated at the court of Irakly the Second, czar of Kartli and Kakheti. Was a senior secretary of the Imeretin czar Solomon the First. In 1787, was dispatched to Russia as a head of a diplomatic mission in order to reach signing a treaty about Russia's patronage. As an ambassador, was with the field marshal G.A. Potemkin's quarters in the Ukraine and Moldavia (cities of Kremenchug, Chisinau, and Iasi).

Won popularity as a lyric poet and author of exquisite love songs: Beauty's Stature, Garden of Sorrow, I Understood Your Accusations, Two Thrushes, etc. Among his patriotic odes and messages, the distinctive one is the ode Aspindza written to commemorate the victory of the Georgian troops over the invaded Turkish hordes near the Aspindzi Cape in Southern Georgia in 1770. Besiki also wrote satiric poems and epigrams. A fine master of a verse and innovator in poetry composition, Besiki influenced Georgian poetry of the second half of 18th and early 19th centuries. A. Beliashvili's novel Besiki (1942-1947) is dedicated to Besiki's life and creations.

Died on January 24 (February 4), 1791, in Iasi, ibidem buried.

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