Akaki Tsereteli

Count Akaki Tsereteli (Georgian: აკაკი წერეთელი) (1840–1915), often mononymously known as Akaki,[1] was a prominent Georgian poet and national liberation movement figure.

Georgian poet Akaki Tsereteli, c. early 1900s in Tbilisi, full image.jpg
BornJune 21, 1840
Skhvitori, Imereti, Georgia (Country)
DiedJanuary 26, 1915 (aged 74)
Resting placeMtatsminda Pantheon
ChildrenAlexey Tsereteli
Akaki's signature.svg

Early life and educationEdit

Tsereteli was born in the village of Skhvitori, Imereti region of western Georgia on June 9, 1840, to a prominent Georgian aristocratic family. His father was Prince Rostom Tsereteli, his mother, Princess Ekaterine, a daughter of Ivane Abashidze and a great-granddaughter of King Solomon I of Imereti.

Following an old family tradition, Tsereteli spent his childhood years living with a peasant’s family in the village of Savane. He was brought up by peasant nannies, all of which made him feel empathy for the peasants’ life in Georgia. He graduated from the Kutaisi Classical Gymnasium in 1852 and the University of Saint Petersburg Faculty of Oriental Languages in 1863.

Career and legacyEdit

Tsereteli was a close friend of Ilia Chavchavadze, a Georgian progressive intellectual youth leader. The young adult generation of Georgians during the 1860s, led by Chavchavdze and Tsereteli, protested against the Tsarist regime and campaigned for cultural revival and self-determination of the Georgians.

He is an author of hundreds of patriotic, historical, lyrical and satiric poems, also humoristic stories and autobiographic novel. Tsereteli was also active in educational, journalistic and theatrical activities.

The famous Georgian folk song Suliko is based on Tsereteli’s lyrics. He died on January 26, 1915, and was buried at the Mtatsminda Pantheon in Tbilisi. He had a son, Russian opera impresario Alexey Tsereteli. A major boulevard in the city of Tbilisi is named after him, as is one of Tbilisi's metro stations.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sometimes mistakenly rendered in Russian as Akakiy. Georgian spelling Akaki and Russian spelling Akakiy are both derived from the Greek name Akakios/Acacius, anglicanized as Agathius


  • Georgian Information Portal biography
  • Donald Rayfield (2000), The Literature of Georgia: A History, pp. 159–168: "The luminaries: Ilia Chavchavadze & Akaki Tsereteli", ISBN 0-7007-1163-5.
  • Tsereteli, Akaki (2012). The Story of My Life. Translated by Rayfield, Donald. Ilia State University Press. ISBN 978-9941-18-103-0.