Ivane Javakhishvili Ivane Javakhishvili

Historian, Founder of Tbilisi State University Historian, Founder of Tbilisi State University

1876-1940 1876-1940
Tbilisi, 1876. On April 11 (23), Ivane Javakhishvili was born to a family with a strong moral conviction. The whole family thought that the book was their most devoted friend, that Georgians should speak and write in Georgian language and that the love of the motherland does not hinder the love of humanity. In July, 1895, Ivane Javakhishvili graduated from Tbilisi's first gymnasium and at that same year, joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the St. Petersburg University. This was the only faculty where the Cathedra of Georgian culture was functioning. Upon entering the university, Ivane Javakhishvili headed the Georgian Students’ Diaspora, whose members were trying to restore the humiliated positions of Georgian language and culture. This happens at that very time when students were forced to sign written acknowledgement, pursuant to which they would not join any social organization. In 1901-1902, Ivane Javakhishvili was invited to the University of Berlin to listen the lectures. During his stay in Germany, he translated in German language “Martyrdom of Evstati Mtskheteli” and “Martyrdom of Abo Tbileli”. Professor A.Harnack was enamoured with Ivan's deep knowledge and asked him to stay at the University of Berlin for work, but Ivane returned to his homeland.

In 1906, Ivane Javakhishvili married to Anastasia Jambakur-Orbeliani, a descendant of Erekle II, she was the first professional violinist in Georgia and a student of Paganini. Anastasia gave birth to three children: Natela, Kakha and Alexandre.
February 8




On May 12, 1917, at the meeting summoned by the National Committee, the issue of establishment of the first university was discussed. On January 26, 1918, the first university was unveiled. In the first years of the university, Ivane was the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy. On October 12, 1919, after resignation of Petre Melikishvili, on December 17, Ivane Javakhishvili was appointed as a Rector. In February 1921, when the democratic republic of Georgia was invaded by the Soviet troops, Ivane Javakhishvili expressed his firm solidarity to the independent Georgian government and addressed to students with a breathtaking speech: "Children, My duty is to call you for the books and the pen, but there are the moments in the life of the nation when you need to move everything aside and meet the enemy with armed hands. And here, I am calling you today for weapons."
On February 17, 1933, Javakhishvili returned to the university. During this period, a ruthless struggle against Ivane was renewed. Actually, his reared "children", including Niko Berdzenishvili and Simon Janashia hold a scientific court against him. They criticized his works, opinions and accused him. Culmination was a strict criticism towards Javakhishvili by the rector of the University of Carlo Oragvelidze.

The end

November 18, 1940. Ivane Javakhishvili was conducting a lecture at the Art Workers' House. In the middle of his speech he groaned quietly, unfinished sentence was left on his lips, but the person is recognizable even in death - he tried not to lose control over himself. The audience was confused, at the beginning they could not even dare to help him. Akaki Shanidze was the first who rushed on the stage. Great life came to the end. Four days later, the sea of tears of whole motherland was accompanied him.

The question regarding where the Georgian nation's eternal son should be buried is needless, where if not the most valuable place for him; the place that would not be existed without him- the yard of Georgian University.