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Georgia and Iran: Three Millennia of Cultural Relations An Overview

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When Georgia was incorporated into the Russian Empire, the rich background of interaction with Persian culture, the result of centuries of contact, was lost to the scholar whose interest in Georgian history came to depend on Russian historiography with its focus on the period under Russian rule and its misreading of anything prior to that. Western scholarship, often oblivious of the far reach of Persian culture, devoted too little attention to the subject or gave it short shrift. Owing largely to the recent work of Georgian scholars, a century of neglect is now being reversed, but an overall picture of the breadth and depth of Georgian-Iranian interaction is still lacking. This paper proposes to offer a general overview from the third millennium BCE to the Russian conquest of Georgia, when Persian influence began its decline.


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