Pagan Pantheon of Old Kartli And its Defeat by Christianity According to Life of Saint Nino

Keti Goderdzishvili


According to the oldest Georgian writings and other sources of material culture, it is evident, that Christianity appears in Georgia with the background of historically existing religion imaginations. These imaginations arent alike: this is Georgian paganism, idolworship or luminary-worship, which is confluence with fire-worship, Mazdaism. Supposedly, Mazdaism was the official religion of the Royal Court in Kartli, when Christianity appeared there. The evidence of this fact is the existence of pantheon of Georgian pagan gods in Life of St. Nino. Gods, which are presented in this work (Armaz, Zaden, Gaz, Gaim, Ainina, Danina, Itrujan), have some resemblance with Zoroastrian deities and their worship in Georgian reality was confirmed since earlier time. It is obvious, that Christianity, from the moment of appearance in Georgia, at the same time opposed with these two sorts of Paganism: Georgian Paganism and Persian Mazdaism. That is why the elements of polemics toward these two religions seemed to appear together and by the same way.
According to Life of St. Nino, after rising up a Christian cross in Kartli by St.Nino, pagan idols were destroyed by wind and thunder. It is remarkable, that the defeat of paganism in Georgia occurred according to the Christian thinking of the Middle Ages.

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