may contain unique data, facts, fundamental works are not analyzed by the specialist
of history of astronomy. Georgian astronomical manuscripts often are of mixed type
and involve some mixture of astronomy and astrology. Majority of them are not deciphered
and elaborated from the viewpoint of comparative astronomy. Correspondingly, they
are unknown for a wide circle of scholars. It should be mentioned here that such
manuscript are protected abroad as well, namely, if France, Egypt, Greece, Russia,
probably anywhere else. It is necessary to arrange wide discussion of their data.
In the National Centre of Manuscripts more than 50 Arabic and Persian astronomical
manuscripts are preserved (XVI-XIX cc), which involve the works of medieval classics:
XIII century outstanding Muslim scholar and scientist Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, XV century
renowned central Asian astronomer Ulug Beg, Al-Balkhi (XVI c) and others.
The Georgian depositories preserve translation of oriental sources and works built
on famous oriental schemes: XII century astrological treatise conducted from the
Arabian source “Etlta da shvidta mnatobtatvis” (A-65), Tusi’s “Strolabis sastsavlebeli
tsigni”, translations of Ulug Beg’s “Zijj” done by Vakhtang VI and other astronomical
collections of works.
Absolute majority of mentioned Georgian and Arabic/Persian manuscripts have not been
studied by the specialists of old astronomy.
Today with the new technological method through study of those astronomical manuscripts
is ongoing in the world of manuscripts, which belong to European, Oriental-Islamic
and other schools, to earlier Middle Ages, Renaissance, or Enlightenment. The newly-discovered
data of Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Latin, etc. manuscripts astonishes the scientific
community with original theories, unique data and exactness of description and strict
All said above clarifies the topicality of problems and the ways for settling them.
It’s clear that old Georgian, Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the Georgian
depositories and unstudied from the astronomy viewpoint, need urgent systematization,
research and stage-by-stage publication. This is multi-aspect issue, which implies
interdisciplinary (astronomy, codicology-textology, lexicology, etc.) and continuous
research. Its settlement is possible only with the interrelated inter-filling steps,
using latest modern scientific methods and technologies.
The project “Astronomical manuscripts in Georgia”, funded and supported by the Shota
Rustaveli National Science Foundation (2012-2014), is implemented by specialists
of the National Centre of Manuscripts and Ilia State University:
Irakli Simonia – Director of the Project, Ilia State Universiti;
Tamar Abuladze - National Centre of Manuscripts;
Nestan Chkhikvadze - National Centre of Manuscripts;
Liana Samkurashvili - National Centre of Manuscripts;
The main aims of this project are:
Research of unstudied or partially studied Georgian, Persian, and Arabic astronomical
manuscripts and determination of their significance;
Study of the yet unknown astronomical manuscripts disclosed in the process of research;
Cataloging of astronomical manuscripts with interactive data-base.
The project aims are also systematization of the part of world scientific heritage
– astronomical manuscripts preserved in Georgia and beyond its territory – and putting
their data in scientific circulation through interactive catalogue, web-site and