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E00107: The Conversion of Georgia written in Georgian, possibly in the 7th c., recounts the death of *Nino (Enlightener of Georgia, S00072) in Mcxeta and her burial in Bod (i.e. Bodbe).

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posted on 2014-10-29, 00:00 authored by naleksidze
The Conversion of Georgia

The Life of Nino, an independent work incorporated into the Conversion of Georgia, culminates in her death:

მაშინ შეიძრნეს ორნი-ვე ესე ქალაქნი: მცხეთაჲ და უჟარმოიჲ, და ერთობილი ქართლი სიკუდილისა მისისათჳს, მოვიდეს და დაჰკრძალეს ძლევით შემოსილი გუამი მისი ადგილსა-ვე თჳსსა ბოდს, სოფელსა კუხეთისასა, და ვითარ შესაძლებელ არს თქუმად, თუ რაოდენთა ცრემლთა ანუ რაოდენთა გოდებათა სალმობიერთა აღმოიტყოდეს მეფე და დედოფალი?!

ხოლო მეფე არა განეშორა საფლავსა მისსა წმიდასა ვიდრე ბანაკითურთ მისით, ვიდრე შჳდ დღემდის. და იყო კრებაჲ დიდძალი, რამეთუ კურნებანი მრავალნი აღესრულებოდეს მადლითა ქრისტესითა. და ნეტარ არიან, რომელნი აღასრულებდნენ ჴსენებასა მისსა, რამეთუ დიდსა მადლსა ღირს იქმნებიან. ხოლო მეშჳდესა დღესა შეწირეს ჟამი საფლავსა ზედა მის წმიდისასა.

'Then both of these cities, Mcxeta and Ujarma, and the entire Kartli [Georgia] were shaken by her death. Multitudes came and buried her invincible body in Bod, a village in Kuxeti. How shall we narrate the amount of tears shed and painful mourning pronounced by the King and Queen?!

But the king had not separated from the grave of the saintly one, neither did his army, for seven days. A great multitude assembled for numerous healings were performed through Christ's grace. Blessed are those who commemorate her, for they shall be worthy of great grace. On the seventh day they performed a liturgy on the grave of the holy one.'

Text: Abuladze 1963, 90-91. Translation: N. Aleksidze.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Nino, enlightener of Georgia : S00072

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives of saint Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • Georgian

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Mcxeta მცხეთა Mcxeta Mtskheta

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult Activities - Miracles

Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Crowds Women


The Conversion of Georgia is considered one of the earliest pieces of Georgian historical writing, composed, most probably, in the 7th century. The Life of Nino, inserted in the middle of the narrative, is the so-called short version of the saint's life, further expanded in a lengthier narrative known as the Life of Nino. The latter received its final shape in the 9th century and was also incorporated into the Conversion of Georgia. The narrative recounts the central episode of the Conversion, the conversion of the Georgian royal family by Nino who is here presented as a companion of Hripsimē and Gayanē.


The place of Nino's burial is mentioned in a number of sources, including the Conversion of Georgia, The Lives of the Georgian Kings, and an anonymous Life of Nino (12th c.). In oral traditions and contemporary ecclesiastical tradition the village of Bod, where Nino was buried, is usually identified with the modern village of Bodbe located in eastern Georgia's Kakheti region. The identification of Bod and Bodbe remains controversial. S. Kakabadze, for example argued that Nino must have died and been buried in a region slightly west of contemporary Bodbe, in a village nowadays called Ninocminda, literally 'St Nino'. The Church of Ninocminda is dated to the sixth century and was renovated multiple times, first in the 11th century and again in the 18th. There exists yet another toponym in eastern Georgia with a similar name: Bodavi, a small village in the eastern Georgian highlands. Several scholars suggest that Nino was initially buried there and only in the 6th century were her relics translated to contemporary Bodbe, where in the same century an episcopal see was founded. The village of Bodbe still remains one of the principal sites of pilgrimage in Georgia among Orthodox Christians.


Edition: Abuladze, I., ძველი ქართული აგიოგრაფიული ლიტერატურული ძეგლები [Monuments of Old Georgian Hagiographic Literature] (Tbilisi, 1963). Studies: Akinean, N., Die Einführung des Christentums in Armenien und Georgien (Vienna: Mechitarist Press, 1949). Aleksidze, Z., “Four Versions of the ‘Conversion of Georgia’.” in W. Seibt (ed.), Die Christianisierung des Kaukasus/The Christianisation of Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania). Referate des Internationalen Symposions (Wien, 9.-12. Dezember 1999) (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2002), 9-16. Aleksidze, Z., „წმინდა ნინოს ცხოვრებათა უძველესი ვერსიები, მათი თავდაპირველი სახელწოდება და სტრუქტურა“, [The Oldest Versions of the Life of St. Nino, their Initial Titles and Structure], in R. Siradze (ed.), Saint Nino (Tbilisi: Artanuǯi, 2008), 132-138. Gippert J., “Marginalien zur Nino-Tradition, Stimme der Orthodoxie“, Festschrift für Fairy von Lilienfeld 3, 1997. Horn, C., "St. Nino and the Christianization of Pagan Georgia,” Medieval Encounters 4:3 (1998), 243-264. Kauchtschischvili, N., “Santa Nino e la donna a nel mondo bizantino,” Santa Nino e la Georgia (Rome, 2000), 51-60. Kiknadze, Z,. “Die folkloristischen Varianten der ‘Bekehrung Georgiens’”, Bedi Kartlisa 42 (1984), 222-231. Lerner, C.B., The Wellspring of Georgian Historiography: The Early Medieval Historical Chronicle the Conversion of Kartli and the Life of St. Nino (London: Bennet and Bloom, 2004). Mahé J.-P., "Die Bekehrung Transkaukasiens: eine Historiographie mit doppeltem Boden," in: W. Seibt (ed.), Die Christianisierung des Kaukasus/The Christianisation of Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania). Referate des Internationalen Symposions (Wien, 9.-12. Dezember 1999) (Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2002), 107-125. Peeters, P. “Les débuts du christianisme en Géorgie d'après les sources hagiographiques,” Analecta Bolandiana 50 (1932), 5-58.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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