Genealogy of the Georgians
Leonti Mroveli’s legend
Let us initially say the fact that the Armenians, Georgians, Rans, Movaknels, Herethians, Leks, Megrels and Caucasians had one father named Thargamos, son of Tharshi, son of Gamer, son of Japheth, son of Noah. He was a brave, gigantic man. At the time of the destruction of the Tower [of Babel] and the division of tongues and the dispersion of mankind throughout the world, Thargamos came and settled between the Ararat and Masis mountains. He had many women; sons and daughters of his sons and daughters were born, and he lived for six hundred years. But the country did not suffice for the multitude of his folk.
Therefore, they spread out and enlarged their boundaries: from the Pontic sea (West) to the sea of Gurgen (East), from the Oreth sea (South) to the mountains of the Caucasus (North).
They selected eight of the bravest and most renowned of his sons. First was Haos, second Qarthlos, third Bardos, fourth Movakan, fifth Lek, sixth Heros, seventh Caucas, and eighth Egros. These eight men were heroes, but Haos was the strongest and bravest. There was no one like him on earth, neither before the deluge nor after it, to the present.
Due to the country of the Ararat and Masis could not provide more living-place Targamos divided his land among them: half he gave to Haos and half to the seven sons, according to their merit. To Qarthlos he gave the Herethi land of the north, [with borders] in the east by the Berdujisi River, in the west the Pontic Sea and from the Mtkvari area by the Caucasus Mountains, by Klarjethi and Tao as far as Likhi. . .
Now Qarthlos went to the mountain called Amrazi and built there his home and fortress; and his entire land from Khunani to the sea of Speri was called Qarthli after him. He constructed Orbethi, now called Shamshvilde and the brick-built fortress Khunani. After living many years, he died leaving five brave sons: Mtskhethos, Gardabos, Kakhos, Kukhos and Gachios. All of them were heroes; however Mtskhethos was up most heroic.
Notes for our foreign readers:
The legend above is narrated in the compilation of the medieval Georgian chronicles ‘Karthlis Tskhovreba’ which taken down from oral tradition by Leonti Mroveli in the 11th century. He is usually credited by some historians to have written several pieces of old Georgian chronicles included in Kartlis Cxovreba, while others consider him to have been just a compiler. Even though these genealogies of Georgian chronicles are legendary and cannot be considered reliable for a serious historic research, they are anyway valid to trace the origin of the Georgians.
A favourite legend of the Georgians: The legend relates how God came upon the Georgians only after he had parcelled out all the countries of the world to other nationalities. The Georgians were having a party in a typically festive mood and invited the Creator to join them in wine and song. The Lord so enjoyed himself that He decided to give these merry and carefree people the one spot on the earth that He had reserved for Himself – the valleys and hills that lie to the south of the great Caucasus Mountains.