• MURMAN PAPASHVILI Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Department of World History, Faculty of Humanities Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, №1 Chavchavadze ave, Tbilisi,


The aim of the paper is to analyze how the Georgian historical memory preserved the anticipation of the crusade of the salvation of the Eastern Christians by the Western Christians.  This issue has not been studied in the Georgian scientific literature since. There are not any Georgian sources about it.  One Italian source which is available to us, belonging to the Italian Dominican missionary Paolo Maria Cittadini from Faenza, clearly confirms the existence of this expectation in Georgia during this period, which even became a prophecy.

Paolo Maria Cittadini was in the Kingdom of Kakheti in June-July 1616. His purpose was to study the perspective of starting the activities of Catholic missionaries in Georgia. He was mainly in the Georgian clerical circle and recorded his observations in an extensive report, which was published in the form of a pamphlet in Rome in 1621. The author presented what he saw and heard mainly in the context of Georgian-Latin identity. This meant that he perceived the Georgian reality as a part of European civilization, and considered the Georgian church to be in accordance with post-Tridentine orthodoxy.

The analysis of the brief report brought by Paolo Maria Cittadini, which vividly illustrates the anticipation of the crusade in Georgia, gives us the basis to conclude: the Georgian Orthodox Church was the force that firmly preserved the liberating idea of the crusade, and it became a poem and a song among the people. This idea of liberation was connected with the spiritual guidance of Western Catholic Christianity under the leadership of the Pope. This hope was repeated in Georgian historical memory for centuries and it lived until the 20s of the 17th century. In the face of the destructive invasions of Shah Abbas I, the remaining Georgian clergy considered the Catholic fathers established in the Iranian empire to be a helping force in the task of saving Christianity. Georgian clerics understood well that by establishing Catholic missionaries in Georgia, they would be able to communicate with the Pope and through him with European missionaries. This could affect Iran and Ottoman relations with Georgia.

The Italian source gave us the opportunity to arise the mentioned problem as a fact and provided us with certain  knowledge about the anticipation of the crusade, preserved in Georgian historical memory. This creates a prerequisite for the further studying of the problem.

     Key words: Anticipation of the crusade; historical memory; Paolo Maria Cittadini; Catholic missionaries; Georgian-Latin identity.