Ilia Chavchavadze’s ‘Iveria’ was the first printed newspaper in Georgia in the 19th century aimed at making the press a means for forging of national identity as far as “newspapers and magazines were a part of printed media distributing ideas and knowledge. To observe and explain our and foreign peoples’ ways of lives – this is the program of our newspaper.”
Ilia Chavchavadze viewed the realization of the program as the future, based upon mutual respect and concord of the publishers and readers of the newspaper. With this, he made media an ethics a subject of daily concern. This was the only way how, in his opinion, he could attract readers and, with them, to discuss the problems, without forming of common public opinion concerning it, forging of national identity would become an unrealized goal.
The paper addresses the sociolinguistic problems, having be dealt with through the pages of ‘Iveria’, concerning the roles of the Georgian language in the shaping of Georgian national identity process. It discusses how the notion ‘Georgian’ was conceptualized; how Ilia Chavchavadze’s ‘Three Divine Treasures’ related to the Georgian past, and how what were the opportunities to realize it in Georgia of the time. ‘Iveria’ always paid attention to the issues associated with teaching of Georgian in various regions of Georgia, among them in its re-integrated parts, also the hierarchy of teaching of literacy in various languages, and grammatical problems of the Georgian literary language.
(The present project has been fulfilled by financial support of Foundation for Georgian Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences (Rustaveli Foundation) (Grant N G – 02 – 08). Any idea in this publication is possessed by the author and may not represent the opinion of Foundation for Georgian Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences (Rustaveli Foundation) itself.)