Cover Osteuropa 7-10/2015

In Osteuropa 7-10/2015

Far Away and Yet So Close
Europe’s Image in Georgia: The History of an Idea

Adrian Brisku

Deutsche Fassung


The idea of Europe came to Georgia from Russia. In the first half of the 19th century, Georgian aristocrats in the Tsar’s service began to read works of German idealism and Romantic poetry in Russian translation. These texts brought the national idea to Georgia. For the national movement of the 1870s-1890s, Russia was also the gateway to Europe. In the early 20th century, for the first time ever, poets from the symbolist group “Blue Horns” spoke not of a move towards a modern Europe, but of Georgia’s “return” to European civilisation. After the establishment of Soviet rule in Georgia, the official doctrine for 70 years was that the socialist future lies in Asia. Only with Perestroika did the idea of a return to the common European home once again emerge. However, in the past two decades, Russia has lost its role as the mediator of European ideas. Today, it is the opponents of a European Georgia who look to Moscow.

(Osteuropa 7-10/2015, pp. 515–529)