It is known that Georgians, one of the ancient peoples of the Caucasus geography, have a history dating back to ancient times. Georgian society worshiped various divine beings before accepting Christianity in the 4th century AD. It is seen that Georgians formed a pantheon of gods, especially by accepting celestial bodies as divine beings. Georgian folk beliefs consist of layers of different historical periods. Therefore, it contains anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and astral divine beings. As the patrons of Georgian families and individuals, these gods have become the organizers of religious and social life in the historical process. Georgians have been under the influence of the surrounding cultures due to their geographical location. The Georgian tribes, which came under the control of the Urartian’s, Hittites, and Medes, came under the rule of the Persian Empire from the 550s on. In the following period, with the invasion of the region by Alexander the Great, they were under the rule of the Greeks, then the Romans, and later the Arabs and the Turks. This situation has led to a change and an interaction in Georgian society's socio-cultural and religious structure. The gods in the Georgian pantheon, which was formed in the ancient times when the polytheistic religious structure was in question, were shaped under the influence of the surrounding cultures.
We can consider the gods in the Georgian Gods Pantheon as primary and secondary god(s). In this context, Morige Gmerti, accepted as the creator of existence, is in the first place in the Georgian Pantheon. In fact, although Gmerti is accepted as the chief god, there are two more divine beings who are next to him and in a secondary position. The chief god Gmerti carries out all his affairs with the hands of these assistants. For this reason, in Georgian society, these two auxiliary gods were respected and honored rather than Gmerti. In this context, although Gmerti is accepted as a chief god, there is a triple god system. It is seen that there is more than one divine being under this triple divine being. These secondary gods are associated with natural events. Therefore, the rain, the abundance of the harvest, or the success of the hunt are directly related to the glorification and offerings to these minor gods.
As mentioned above, an important part of the divine beings in the Georgian Pantheon of Gods seems to have been shaped under the influence of the surrounding cultures. In addition, the positions of the gods in the pantheon have undergone some changes as a result of the intervention of the kings who ruled the Georgians. For example, Georgian King Farnavaz I had carried out a reform by placing Armazi at the top of the pantheon instead of Gmerti. Like Gmerti, Armazi was regarded as a moon god, and placed at the top of the Georgian pantheon of gods. The main purpose of this reform was to ensure the political unity of the Georgian society. Therefore, it did not matter much whether Armazi, whom Farnavaz brought to the head of the pantheon, was a local god or not. The pantheon of gods, which Farnavaz have shaped by being influenced by various cultures, had survived until the 4th century AD, that is, until the official acceptance of Christianity in the region. Nonetheless, the belief in the sun and moon gods have survived in some rural parts of Georgia until today. With the emergence of Christianity and reaching as far as the Caucasus, this new religion started to gain prevalence among the Georgian society. Over time, the myths in the Georgian belief were influenced by Christian thought. As a result of long-term contact with Christianity, many divine beings in the Georgian ancient faith were Christianized.
This article discusses various views about the gods in the Georgian Pantheon of Gods with an analytical method. While doing this, it is tried to reveal the projections of the legends about gods and demigods in Georgian folk legends in the surrounding cultures. In addition, the formation of the Georgian pantheon of gods and the characteristics of the divine beings in the pantheon are examined. In this context, this study on the ancient beliefs of the Georgians, one of the Caucasian peoples, will contribute significantly to the History of Religions literature in Turkey.