The Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik
(also translated as The Passion of Saint Shushanik
: წამებაჲ წმიდისა შუშანიკისი დედოფლისაჲ, C’amebay C’midisa Shushanikisi Dedop’lisay
) is the first extant piece of Georgian
literature. Purported to have been written between 476
, the earliest surviving manuscript dates from the 10th century. The author is Iakob Tsurtaveli
(Jacob of Tsurtavi), a contemporary and participant of the events described in this hagiographic novel.The Armenian version that exists is a translation that was translated 400 years after Tsurtaveli wrote the masterpiece.
The novel describes the martyrdom of Saint Shushanik
, an Armenian noblewoman, at the hand of her spouse, bidaxae (high prince) Varsken, who had renounced Christianity
and embraced Zoroastrianism
. Shushanik, whose father was the sparapet
(military leader) of the Christians in Armenia, refused to follow him, and died as a martyr
after years of imprisonment and tortures.
The work was first published in 1882
. It has been translated into Russian
. In 1979, UNESCO
marked the 1500-anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik.
- Bart D Ehrman, Andrew Jacobs, editors, Christianity in Late Antiquity, 300-450 C.E: A Reader, Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0-19-515461-4 pages 499-504
- Donald Rayfield, A History, Routledge (UK) ISBN 0-7007-1163-5 page......