Bakar Batonishvili (Bagrationi)

Bakar’s Bible

Bakar Batonishvili (Bagrationi) (1700-1750), Principal of Georgian Township in Moscow, sponsor of Georgian printing house, translator, Lieutenant General of Russian army, son of Vakhtang VI, King of Kartli (East Georgia). He was educated at the Royal Court of his father; his tutors were Georgian scholars and Catholic missionaries. In 1724, together with his father King Vakhtang VI, Baqar left for Moscow. In 1725 he moved to St. Petersburg. In 1727, Bakar was granted the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed to the post of the Head of Artillery Office of Moscow district. He was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, the highest award of Russian Empire. In 1730, he built a Palace for himself in Presnya area and settled down there, in Gruzino. Starting from 1735, Bakar was engaged in an intensive activity directed at founding of Georgian typography, publishing Georgian text books, preparing of the text of Georgian-language Bible and drawing of the map of Georgia. Under Bakar’s direction, Archbishop of Novgorod Joseph (Komelashvili) set up a Georgian typography in Moscow, where a number of text books and religious literature was published. In 1743, at the expense of Bakar, the same printing house published the Georgian Bible. This edition of the Bible is known as ‘Bakar’s Bible’. In 1748, Bakar officially applied to the Imperial Court, requesting the Emperor’s permission for his return to Georgia. The permission was granted but his return to the homeland was delayed. Bakar fell ill and died.

Bakar was buried at the Don Monastery in Moscow.