Ivane Javakhishvili

When Petre Meliskishvili completed his term as the first Rector of the first Georgian University, Ivane Javakhishvili, recognized as the co-founder with Meliskishvili, became Rector on December 17, 1919.
Javakhishvili was born in Tbilisi on April 11, 1876 and successfully completed his studies at the first Gymnasium of Tbilisi in 1895.  He graduated from the faculty of Oriental Studies at the St. Petersburg University in 1899 where he specialized in Armenian, Georgian and Persian/Farsi languages.   Later in 1901, I. Javakhisvili  left to  pursue his doctoral studies at the University of Berlin and later  undertook study of ancient medieval Georgian  manuscripts at Mount Sinai with his advisor Nicko Mari in 1902.
Ivane Javakhishvili became an Associate Professor at the St. Petersburg University (1903-1917) where he continued to write and publish several volumes of History of the Georgian Nation along with monographs in fields of Georgian law, paleography, and other topics about Georgian and Caucasian history.   
After the Revolution, in 1917, I. Javakhishvili returned to Georgia along with other Georgian scholars – I. Kipshidze, A. Shanidze, Sh. Nutsubidze, and P. Meliskishvili -  to  establish the first institution of higher education  in Georgia,  a goal that had often been thwarted by authorities in the Imperial government.   Their efforts were successful for on  26th of January, 1918  the Georgian University was founded, with Petre Melikishvili appointed as the first Rector and I. Javakhishvili became the  Dean of the Department of Philosophy.
Ivane Javakhishvili was elected as the 2nd Rector of Tbilisi State University in 1919.  During his term of office, I. Javakhishvili continued his scientific and public activities by serving as  chairperson of the Ministry of Education committee devoted to writing textbooks and methodology issues in education.  In addition, he served as a deputy chairperson of Georgian State Council of Science and as a chairperson of the Society for History and Ethnography.  
On March 30, 1923, the Board of Professors re-elected Ivane Javakhishvili as the Rector for the second term. Unfortunately, he was subjected to the most vicious calumny by the Soviet government and his fellow professors for his non-Marxist historical views.  Following this vitriolic attack, I. Javakhishvili was removed as Rector on June 23, 1926 and replaced by T. Ghlonti.
Between 1926 and 1931, I. Javakhishvili continued to serve at Tbilisi State University as the head of the faculty of Georgian History and maintained his interest in history by writing and publishing two books on History of Georgian Law.  On February 17, 1933, he was appointed the head of the faculty of Ancient History where he served until 1935.  During this period of time, the ruthless criticism against I. Javakhishvili was renewed.  This renewal of unrelenting censure persuaded I. Javakhishvili to resign from the university.  He announced his decision by sending a letter to the People’s Commissar on April 10, 1936.  After his resignation, the personal attacks against him subsided and later his educational contributions to the Georgian nation were more fully appreciated.
On November 18, 1940 I. Javakhishvili died of a heart attack while giving a lecture. On November 21, he was interred in the university garden next to the first Rector of the university – Petre Melikishvili.    In 1988, Tbilisi State University was re-named  I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University to honor the name of its founder.