Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 June 2019
Georgian culture is ancient and unique, stretching back for millennia. Poetry, music, and dance are integral parts of Georgian life. A strong literary tradition arises out of the Georgian language and alphabet. The world-renowned epic poem “The Man in the Panther’s Skin” was written by the medieval Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, and occupies a special place in Georgian culture: quotations are used as proverbs, characters have become role models, and the poem is still one of the most-read books in many Georgian families. Georgian people are also proud of their rich musical culture, which has its roots in ancient times. Throughout the history of Georgia, artists have always played a special role in the development of Georgian society and cultural identity. Despite repeated periods of foreign occupation, the distinctiveness of Georgian culture has been preserved, mainly because of a strong sense of national identity and unity forged by artists.