Georgian and Italian Dictionary


Published in Rome in 1629, this Georgian-Italian dictionary was the first book printed in Georgian using moveable type. The dictionary was compiled by an Italian, Stefano Paolini, with the assistance of Niceforo Irbachi Giorgiano, the Georgian ambassador in Rome. It contains 3084 words, printed in three columns: Georgian words in the left column; Italian transliterations (with accents marked) in the middle column; and an explanation of the meaning of each word, in Italian, in the right column. The Georgian alphabet and the Latin equivalents of each of its letters appear on pages 1–2. The dictionary was published by the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, which was established in Rome in the early 17th century for the purpose of spreading Catholicism in non-Catholic countries. Beginning in 1628, the congregation sent missionaries to Georgia, and the dictionary was intended for use by missionaries who needed to learn Georgian. 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 7th century, but has never been subject to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Sagra Congregatione de Propaganda Fide, Rome

Title in Original Language

Dittionario giorgiano e italiano

Type of Item

Physical Description

[8], 128, [42] pages : illustrated (woodcuts) ; 23 centimeters

Last updated: February 23, 2015