Prince Alexander Chavchavadze
St Petersburg, Russia
|Died||6 November 1846|
|Years of service||1811–1846|
|Unit||Imperial Russian army|
|Battles/wars||War of the Sixth Coalition, Russo-Persian War, 1826-1828, Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829, Caucasus War|
|Awards||Order of St. Anna, Order of St. Vladimir, Légion d'honneur|
Imperial Russian service.
- Early life 1
- Military and political career 2
- Writings 3
- Honours and awards 4
- See also 5
- References 6
- External links 7
He was born in 1786, in
- (Russian) Марков, Александр (Международная Лермонтовская Ассоциация, 2006). Грузинский князь Александр Чавчавадзе
- Kveselava, M (2002), Anthology of Georgian Poetry, The Minerva Group, Inc., ISBN 0-89875-672-3, p. 181
- New York: Barnes & Noble, p. 234.
- Blanch, L (1995), Sabres of Paradise, Carroll & Graf Publishers, ISBN 0-88184-042-4 , p 54.
- Goldstein, D (1999), The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-21929-5, p. 53.
- Suny, RG (1994), The Making of the Georgian Nation: 2nd edition, Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-20915-3, p. 124
- Gamezardashvili, DM (2001), Georgian Literature, The Minerva Group, Inc. ISBN 0-89875-570-0, p. 50
- Rayfield, D (2000), The Literature of Georgia: A History, Routledge (UK), ISBN 0-7007-1163-5, p. 148
- Chavchavadze, Georgian surname
- Order of St. Anne, 1st Class
- Order of Vladimir, 2nd Class
- Order of the White Eagle
- Legion of Honour (France)
Honours and awards
Chavchavadze also composed a historic work, "The Short sketches of the history of Georgia from 1801 to 1831."
After 1832, his perception of the national problems became different. The poet unambiguously pointed out those positive results which had been brought about by the Russian annexation, though the liberation of his native land remained to be his most cherished dream. Later, his poetry became less romantic, even sentimental, but he never abandoned his optimistic steak that makes his writings so different from those of his predecessors. Some of the most original of his late poems are, Oh, my dream, why have you appealed to me again (ეჰა, ჩემო ოცნებავ, კვლავ რად წარმომედგინე), and The Ploughman (გუთნის დედა) written in the 1840s. The former, a rather sad poem, surprisingly ends with hope for the future in contemplation of the poet. The latter combines Chavchavadze’s elegy for his past years of youth with calm humorous farewell to lost sex-life and potency.
.The damage which Russia has inflicted on our nation is disastrous. Even Persians and Turks could not abolish our Monarchy and deprive us of our statehood. We have exchanged one serpent for another In one of the letters he states:  In his
Chavchavadze’s contradictory career – his participation in the struggle against the Russian control of Georgia, on one hand, and the loyal service to the tsar, including the suppression of Georgian peasant revolts, on the other hand – found a noticeable reflection in his writings. The year 1832, when the Georgian plot collapsed, divides his work into two principal periods. Prior to that event, his poetry was mostly impregnated with laments for the former grandeur of Georgia, the loss of national independence and his personal grievances connected with it; his native country under the Russian empire seemed to him a prison, and he pictured its present state in extremely gloomy colors. The death of his beloved friend and son-in-law, Griboyedov, also contributed to the depressive character of his writings of that time.
Chavchavadze’s influence over Georgian literature was immense. He moved the Georgian poetic language closer to the vernacular, combining the elements of the formal wealth and somewhat artificial antiquated "high" style inherited from the 18th-century Georgian Renaissance literature, melody of Persian lyrical poetry, particularly Hafiz and Saadi, bohemian language of the streets of Tiflis and the moods and themes of European Romanticism. The subject of his works varied from purely anacreontic in his early period to deeply philosophic in his maturity.
Chavchavadze was survived by a son, David, who was also a lieutenant general in the Russian service during the Caucasus Wars, and three daughters, Nino, Catherine, and Sophia.
In 1846, Alexander Chavchavadze fell victim to an accident, under somewhat mysterious circumstances: while returning to his palace in Tsinandali at night, somebody from the nearby woods approached him and splashed hot water while he was galloping on his horse. He lost the control of the horse and crashed into the ditch nearby. He died from the resultant severe head injuries. Although the tragedy was most likely an accident, it was rumoured that he was killed by Russian assassins. He was buried at the Shuamta Monastery in Kakheti, Georgia.
He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1841, and continued his service in the Caucasus, briefly as head of the civil administration of the region from 1842 to 1843. In 1843, he fought in his last war, commanding a successful punitive expedition against the rebellious Dagestani tribes. Later, he was appointed a member of the Council of the Chief Administration of Transcaucasus.
Despite his loyal service to the Russian crown, Chavchavadze’s nostalgia for Georgia’s lost independence, monarchy, and the North Caucasus tribes.
At his 
Back in Georgia, Alexander enjoyed overwhelming popularity among the Georgian nobility and people. He was highly respected by his fellow Russian and Georgian officers. At the same time, he was regarded as Georgia’s most refined, educated and wealthy 19th-century aristocrat, fluent in several Alexander Griboyedov married his 16-year-old daughter Nino, whom the famous Russian poet had tutored in music during his brief stay in Tiflis. Another daughter, Catherine, married David Dadiani, prince of Mingrelia, and inspired in Nicholas Baratashvili the hopeless love that made him the greatest poet of Georgian Romanticism.
In 1817, Prince Chavchavadze became a colonel of the Russian army. Promoted to Kurds and his forces surged into Anatolia, taking control of the whole pashate of Bajazet from the Turkish forces from 25 August to 9 September 1828. In 1829, he was dispatched as an administrator of the military board of Kakheti, where his patrimonial estates were located.
Military and political career
During the War of the Sixth Coalition (1813-4) against Napoleon I of France, he served as an aide-de-camp to the Russian commander Barclay de Tolly and was wounded in his leg at the Battle of Paris on 31 March 1814. As an officer in the Russian expeditionary forces, he stayed in Paris for two years and the restored Bourbon dynasty awarded him for his service with a Légion d'honneur. Open to new ideas, in particular to the early French Romanticism, he was impressed by Lamartine and Victor Hugo, as well as Racine and Corneille, whose writing entered Georgian literature through Chavchavadze.
Following a year’s exile in Tambov, Chavchavadze reconciled with the new regime and entered a hussar regiment. Ironically, he fought in the Russian ranks under Marquis Paulucci when the next anti-Russian rebellion broke out in 1812 in Kakheti. In the same year, he married a Georgian princess Salome Orbeliani, a prominent noble family with familial ties to the Bagrationi royal line.
Alexander’s early education was Russian. He first saw his native Georgia at the age of 13, when the family moved back to Besiki or of the French French Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, sung in Tiflis and elsewhere in Georgia.