Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Knight in the Panther's Skin” as Want to Read:
The Knight in the Panther's Skin
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Knight in the Panther's Skin

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,798 ratings  ·  87 reviews
The first English verse translation of the Georgian epic of adventure and romance written in 12th or 13th century. Urushadze has also produced a popular anthology of Georgian poetry in English. Her preface explains the original metrical structure, which is so complex that sometimes it requires rhyming words to the fourth syllable. She also includes a brief list of Georgian ...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published 1998 by Kroshka Books (first published 1205)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Knight in the Panther's Skin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Knight in the Panther's Skin

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,798 ratings  ·  87 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Knight in the Panther's Skin
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I wonder what kind of idiot would rate this masterpiece with less than 5 stars?!
Would anybody give Shakespeare 4 stars out of 5? or Byron, or Goethe?!
Rustaveli is the best in this list!

p.s. Yes, that's not an easy task to get Rustaveli, and besides the reading skills, it requires a lot more. And the fact, that you don't understand or can't get through it to the end, underlines your lack of knowledge and understanding of the world literature. That's what you've been rating here...
Don't go
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this beautifully illustrated book in a nice English book shop in Tbilisi, at the end of my trip through Georgia. As I'd seen the name Rustaveli everywhere (it seems like half the streets in the country are named after the guy) and the title intrigued me, I bought it. I have no regrets.

It's truly an epic poem: 12th century, super strong knights killing whole armies on their own, rescuing princesses, and "brotherly" love (the hero at one point basically leaves his fiancé because he loves t
Elene Jikia
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
in order to read and fully appreciate this book,georgian is worth learning.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know that in the end you will bless the course that I have taken.
A wise man cannot stand the thought his good friend will be forsaken.
Let me remind you of what Plato said to help us awaken:
'By lies and two-facedness, the body's hurt, the soul is shaken.'

This is the national epic of Georgia, admired by readers (and endured by bored students) across the country for centuries. At least according to the people who make these kinds of decisions, Rustaveli is so important that there are Rustaveli
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12th-century
Review so far:

The Book of Infinite Hyperbole, a.k.a. the Book of Crybabies.

No one is halfway affected or slightly emotional. Everyone is in a constant rage of passion or a life-threatening swoon in each and every instant of their lives. Every person is a moon and a sun, and every man is also a lion. All hair is jet, all eyelashes cut, all faces are devastatingly beautiful and more radiant than the sun. Did I mention the sun? It is often mentioned. The book is a constant torrent of tears, so muc
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it's like to listen Beatles translation.(reading it's translation)
but the main virtue is that its author was a real philosophical Constantinople.
he made the mixture of Christian, platonic and Arabic thoughts through the idea of humanism and this was a invention there you can see whole epic as fighting for love friendship and devotion

It took me into memories of persian literature that I have long forgotten. The names of places and characters sound familiar.
The amusing thing about the main characters is that they are religous but somewhat secular; quite interesting. There is intersting reference to Qais (referred to as Quaisi) the Majnoon of Laila. The book gets more and more interesting as you read on, starting in a rather not so obvious melancholy. But once you get to know the style of euology, it becomes interesting. Enjo
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Slowly making my way through the Georgian with a local friend.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
It's more than a book! It is a genuine masterpiece of philosophy of life! ...more
Der Recke im Tigerfell (The Knight in Tigerskin)
By Schota Rusthawelli – (about 1172 to 1216)
The 12th-century epic poem, originally composed in the Georgian Language, has in this edition been rewritten in its poetic verse form into the German Language, and in no ordinary way, but in exquisite meter and vocabulary, which in its own right is a masterpiece.
The poem itself is a curious mixture of cultural influences, Persian, Arabic, European knighthood and chivalry.
Rostewan the Arab king, is a her
Sara Dahabović
Apr 20, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: ebooks
Almost everyone says this is a masterpiece. I hope I can find it soon.
Uva Rossa
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A world class masterpiece
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you have rated this book with 5 stars – congratulations! You have undeniably high level of intelligence!

If you gave less than 5 stars, I give you credit for just reading this book – that is, actually, very brave thing to do... having that said - wake up!! Go to college, read some more books, get educated, try your best extending the maximum capacity of your brain and imagination… this book was written in 12th century (that’s 900 years ago - think about it!); and you know what – don’t be so s
Raughley Nuzzi
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most epically melodramatic stories I have ever read. And I loved every page of it! The nested-stories of Avtandil, Tariel, and Nestan-Darejan are captivating and wonderful. The tears that they shed for each other are ridiculous and lovely. The florid descriptions boggle my mind. It's an excellent adventure of several love-besotted knights whose bromance is the only thing stronger than their wistful love for their distant "suns."

But to be perfectly honest, I kind of expected m
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a reason exploring and analyzing this poem is its own profession.

I have, at some point, made fun of some parts of it. I've also bashed its raging fanboys and fangirls who shove it into everyone's nose whether it's called for or not and who don't want to admit that it's not for every reader and all tastes. I've criticized people for blind, fanatical sort of devotion to it. I have, therefore, been recognized as a hater who can't appreciate the masterpiece (at this point you may steal a gl
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How could I give this epic poem, pride of the land of Georgia, any less than 5 stars? Venera Urushadze's translation, however, is another story, another set of stars; and Kevin Crossley, Urushadze's editor ("Who has helped to render the translation more perfect by his much-appreciated assistance."), receives 5 thumps on the head.

A general introduction to the original work by David Lang, professor of Caucasian Studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, who died in
Moira Downey
I don't really have the capacity to give this any sort of starred rating, but I will say, it was a deeply interesting read. These things are always better appreciated in their language of origin, and, suffice it to say, I do not read Georgian. Moreover, I am entirely unfamiliar with the Persian epic tradition on which Rustaveli is drawing. The most resonant elements for me were the depictions of courtly, knightly affection, that bear some resemblance to the relationships described in some of the ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(Note: I just realized this is not the edition I read. Mine was 1995, translated by Katharine Vivian)

I have been reading a lot of epics lately, and this one is one of the best. It was a welcome relief after a lot of fight-heavy epics with its focus on friendship, love and loyalty, and its fair treatment of women. It aims to be a double love story, but it ends up being a tale of an epic friendship that doesn't only help love win in the end, but also makes three kingdoms find peace and unity. Grea
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Coffin has performed an amazing feat here in this translation of an epic poem from 12th century Georgia to verse that maintains the poetic meter and beauty of the original. I brought this book (ISBN 978-9941-0-7926-9) with me in my Christmas visit to family, and, as it seems to me that poetry is best when read aloud or heard, we took turns reading chapters to each other. It was a very memorable Christmas.
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Read this as part of my master's thesis. It's wunderbar. ...more
Karen Chung
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Georgia's greatest gift to world literature. ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
First thing first this is not the national epic of the Georgian people. Actually Rustaveli took the plot from a Persian story and rendered it in Georgian.

I’ve listened to the original Georgian audio version of this book and it was fascinating. Maybe because of the valuable influence that the poem has had on Georgian language, “The Knight In the Panthers skin” is a must-read if you are Georgian. But the story itself wasn’t really the best medieval romance or poem I have ever read. I mean no offe
David Jijelava
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They teach this at school, but they never tell children how big of an a**hole Tariel is! And his girlfriend is even worse. Avtandil is super cool dude though. Fortunately, my wife is a great connoisseur of all things Oriental. And, at some point, she started enlightening me every night, just before going to sleep, with the stories from the Knight in the Panther's Skin. There is no bedtime story that can match Shota's masterpiece!

On a more serious note, this is pure genius! But there is no way a
Reading a mediaeval Georgian verse epic in modern English prose is hardly fair – but it’s the best I can do in the circumstances. I tried learning Georgian many, many years ago and never progressed beyond Lesson Four, the point at which all languages seem to become hopelessly difficult. I still remember how to say “here is a violet” in Georgian, but have never yet found occasion to put this knowledge to practical use…

Yet even in prose translation, The Knight in Panther Skin is a surprise – and
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-tour
Romances in the chivalric tradition, involving knights on a quest, heroic battles and beautiful women, were common in mediaeval times. This one was written by a Georgian courtier (possibly based on a now lost Persian folk tale) and is regarded as the national epic.
It was written in verse, but I read a prose translation, so cannot comment on the poetry. (The edition is not available on Goodreads.) As a story it is better than most chivalric romances; the characters, including the female ones, are
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanticism, love, poetry
The height of hyperbole, the extremes of emotion and the salience of the sun

Written around 1200, this is reportedly one of the most appreciated Georgian works, so much so that once upon a time, brides received a copy of this upon moving to a new home. Then the Church happened and a copy of it was recovered squirreled away behind the appendix of a theological work and it was finally published in 1712.

The work is a striking hybrid of West and East. On one hand, the chivalry of Avt'handil and Tari
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This fairy-tale poem is apropriate for botj kids and grown-ups. Loved it!
Øystein Brekke
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable read! Reading 13th century epic poetry is sometimes more for the curiosity factor or the historical value, and not so much for entertainment - and by all means, there is a lot of that here, but I was also actually entertained!

The Knight in the Panther's Skin is, I suppose, something of a national epic of Georgia, written in verse in the 13th century. But it doesn't actually take place in Georgia, in fact I don't think the name 'Georgia' appears anywhere in it - it is set ma
This 12th century work is considered the Georgian epic. Written in poewtry, this version is rendered into prose by translator Katharinew Vivian, which I think is essential for the modern reader.
In 200 pages, we read a tale that makes one think of the Arabian Nights, medieval works of courtly love, fairy tales and the Odyssey. Certainly its location meant that the Georgiasns had much contact with Pesians, Arabs, Greeks and others.
As a 21st century reader, I felt it was long enough. Although it's
This is a beautiful edition of a great epic. Coffin's translation tries to imitate the Georgian poetic form; some of the rhymes feel more than a little forced, but it ceases to be distracting as one grows accustomed to it, and that consistent rhythm does evoke the stylistic beauty of the original. The afterward by Levan Gigineishvili is also well worth the read. ...more
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
love the knight in the panther's skin 3 41 Oct 08, 2016 03:55PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • დიდოსტატის კონსტანტინეს მარჯვენა
  • კაცია-ადამიანი?!
  • იგი
  • ჯაყოს ხიზნები
  • ოთარაანთ ქვრივი
  • შუშანიკის წამება
  • მგზავრის წერილები
  • კაცი, რომელსაც ლიტერატურა ძლიერ უყვარდა
  • ხევისბერი გოჩა
  • Three Poems: Host and Guest / Aluda Ketelauri / The Snake-Eater
  • სამანიშვილის დედინაცვალი
  • Я, бабушка, Илико и Илларион
  • Hellados
  • დათა თუთაშხია
  • ჯინსების თაობა
  • Я вижу солнце
  • შელოცვა რადიოთი
  • დავითიანი
See similar books…
Shota Rustaveli (Georgian: შოთა რუსთაველი) (born approx. c. 1160 – died after c. 1220), was a Georgian poet of the 12th century, and one of the greatest contributors to Georgian literature. He is author of "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" (ვეფხისტყაოსანი, Vepkhistkaosani), the Georgian national epic poem.
Little, if anything, is known about Rustaveli from contemporary sources. His poem itself, na

News & Interviews

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
28 likes · 4 comments
“Know that a rose without thorns has never been plucked” 24 likes
“That which we give makes us richer, that which is hoarded is lost” 21 likes
More quotes…