Iberian or Georgian Alphabet with Prayers


Alphabetum ibericum, sive georgianum: cum Oratione (Iberian or Georgian alphabet with prayers) is one of the first two books printed in Georgian using moveable type. In the 1620s, the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, the body of the Roman Catholic Church established in the early 17th century for the purpose of spreading Catholicism in non-Catholic countries, began to train monks going to Georgia for missionary work. The monks were taught Georgian by Niceforo Irbachi Giorgiano, the ambassador of the Georgian king, Teimuraz I, in Rome. The sacred congregation’s printers cast the Georgian type and published several books in Georgian in 1629, including a Georgian–Italian dictionary and this small volume of prayers and devotions. The book includes a table with the Georgian alphabet and the sounds signified by its letters and their Latin equivalents, followed by the texts in Georgian of the Pater noster (Lord’s Prayer), Ave maria (Hail Mary), the Credo, and other basic texts. Christianity began its spread into Georgia in the early centuries of the first millennium AD. The resulting Georgian Orthodox Church, founded in the fourth century AD, has been in communion with the Orthodox churches since the first decade of the seventh century, but it has never been subject to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, Rome

Title in Original Language

Alphabetum ibericum, sive georgianum : cum Oratione dominicali, Salutatione angelica, Symbolo fidei, Præceptis Decalogi, Ecclesiæ Sacramentis, & Operibus miseracordiæ

Type of Item

Physical Description

[32] pages : illustrated (woodcuts) ; 17 centimeters

Last updated: May 26, 2017