The Georgians ( georg. ქართველები / Kartwelebi ) are in the broader sense, the inhabitants of the Caucasian State of Georgia and in the narrower sense, the largest population group in the country, the spokesman for the Georgian language. The Latin name is derived from the Saint George. The Georgian name Kartweli ( Georgians ) is derived from Kartli, a region in central Georgia. Another version goes back to Kartlos, the son of Targamos, the great-grandson of Noah, the founder of the Georgian people. According to this legend the name of Kartli in Central Georgia Kartlos of stems, as was buried after his death in this principality.


Approximately 3.9 million Georgians living in Georgia (about 83 % of the population ), another 90,000 in Turkey ( there especially in the former Georgian provinces of Tao Klardscheti ), 60,000 in Iran and about 16,300 in Azerbaijan. Another 200,000 Georgians living in other countries, including Russia, the USA, France, Ukraine, Germany and the Netherlands.

Race and History

The Georgians are believed to have originated from the fusion of different südwestkaukasischer tribes. They were from the 4th century by a Cappadocian preacher, later St. Nino, Christianized, however ( eg the Adjarians ) Islamized part later. Approximately 900-1801 all Georgian tribes were ruled by the Georgian Bagratidendynastie. As of 1801 the area of the Georgians was annexed gradually from Russia. 1918 an independent republic was established, but this was just three years later annexed by the Soviet Union. 1991 Georgia declared its independence.


The Georgian language belongs to the southern branch of the Caucasian languages ​​and is closely related to the Mingrelian, Laz and Svan language. The kinship with other Caucasian languages ​​is controversial, as the Mingrelians be counted in censuses to the Georgians. The Georgians use for their own language characters, the Georgian writing, which is one of the oldest scriptures in the world.

Famous Georgians

  • Nino Ananiashvili, prima ballerina in the Bolshoi Theatre
  • Alexander Toradse, Pianist
  • Tamas Gamqrelidse, linguist, orientalist
  • Boris Akunin ( Grigory Chkhartishvili ), Russian-speaking writers
  • George Balanchine ( Balantschiwadse ), choreographer and co-founder of the New York City Ballet
  • Lawrenti Beria, Soviet politician and head of the security services of the Soviet Union
  • Alexander Borodin ( Gedevanischwili )
  • Paata Burchuladze, Opera Singer
  • Anna Dogonadze, Olympic medalist for Germany
  • Otar Iosseliani, director
  • Kacha Kaladse, football player
  • Alexander Kartweli, aircraft designer of the United States
  • Dawit Lortkipanidse, paleoanthropologist and discoverer of the "Homo georgicus "
  • Katie Melua, singer
  • Merab Ninidze, lead actor "Nowhere in Africa "
  • Grigol Ordzhonikidze, Soviet politician
  • Zachary Paliashvili, composer
  • Grigol Robakidze, writer
  • Eduard Shevardnadze, the former foreign minister of the Soviet Union and President of Georgia
  • John M. Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. armed forces
  • Josef Stalin ( Iosseb Bessarionis dse Dschughaschwili ), the first minister and dictator of the Soviet Union
  • Maia Tschiburdanidse, former world chess champion
  • Dito Tsintsadze, Film Director
  • Elisso Virsaladze, pianist