About History – Ilia Chavchavadze
Ilia Chavchavadze is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern Georgia. Revered as Pater Patriae (Father of the Fatherland) of Georgia, he spearheaded the revival of the Georgian national movement in the second half of the 19th century.
Chavchavadze championed the revival of the use of the Georgian language, the cultivation of Georgian literature, and the revival of Georgian statehood, which had ended when the country became part of the Russian Empire.
Chavchavadze founded and edited the newspaper “Iveria”, which focused on the national liberation movement of Georgia in the late 19th century.
He was murdered in an ambush in 1907 whilst travelling from Tbilisi to Saguramo. A later investigation undertaken by Soviet authorities concluded that the Tsarist secret police had been involved in the assassination but recent archive discoveries suggest that it was a joint operation by both the Menshevik and the Bolshevik wings of the Social Democrats, due to Ilia’s condemnation of their revolutionary views.
He was canonized as Saint Ilia the Righteous (წმინდა ილია მართალი) by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 1987.
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