Vol. 41 (2021)
XIX Century: Epoch and Literature

About the One Line of Grigol Orbeliani’s Poem (“The gold chain is better than freedom!”)

Published 2021-12-20


  • Georgian Literature,
  • Georgian Romanticism,
  • Grigol Orbeliani

How to Cite

Beburishvili, L. (2021). About the One Line of Grigol Orbeliani’s Poem (“The gold chain is better than freedom!”). Literary Researches, 41, 70–76. https://doi.org/10.48614/lr.41.2021.70-76



Grigol Orbeliani is a very interesting and controversial figure of 19th century Georgian literature. The poet’s public work in the 19th century deserved conflicting assessments. To this day, there is controversy over Orbeliani’s political views. Some scholars do not forgive Grigol Orbeliani for the words “the golden chain is better than freedom!”, which they consider to be an expression of the poet’s political beliefs. The opposite view is developed around this issue by Prof. Lado Minashvili, who in his work “Ilia Chavchavadze’s Relation to Grigol Orbeliani” points out that the words from the poem “Answer to Children” – “Golden Chain is better than freedom” – has an ironic subtext and does not express Grigol Orbeliani’s beliefs. Despite the convincing argument of the researcher, the old view still prevails in modern literary circles (today this view is repeated by R. Chkheidze, A. Nikoleishvili, S. Sigua, L. Gigineishvili, etc.). In such a situation, we think it is necessary to take into account the first printed text of the poem – “Answer to the Unworthy Children” – “Tsiskari”, 1874, N 7-8), which reveals a slight variation with the main text and which assures us that Grigol Orbeliani’s words undoubtedly have an ironic connotation.