Folklore and Literature Studies

At the Department of Caucasus Studies

Knowledge about mythology, folklore and literature of the different ethnic groups form the Caucasus is an important learning outcome for students of Caucasus Studies for several reasons:

  • The literature traditions in the Caucasus reach back more than 1 500 years and thus have a long history.
  • The Caucasus is home to a rich variety of circulating myths and mythological imaginations that are shared across many parts and people. Among the most prominent mythical figures are the North Caucasian Nart Epics, Caucasian variants of Prometheus such as the Georgian hero Amirani and the Armenian national epic Daredevils of Sassoun.
  • Caucasian oral literature represents a synthesis of Western and Eastern themes and topics. At the same time, the Caucasus has experienced a birth of new literatures amid the alphabetization process of non-written languages in the 20th century.

Next to aspects related to literary studies and folklore and oral literature studies, both the primary sources and secondary literature transmit significant knowledge about the political, social, religious and cultural life in the Caucasus. They are helpful to understand the entire context and background behind particular areas of life.

Teaching at our institute includes methods of digital humanities. Students have access to a rich library of literary works and secondary literature both in original languages as well as their German, Russian and English translations.


Exemplary courses

  • The Caucasus as reflected in the literature
  • Mythology, oral literature and folklore studies
  • Comparative narratology and digital methods
  • Contemporary literature from the Caucasus


Contact person

  • Elguja Dadunashvili



  • Dadunashvili, Elguja. 2019. Konzept für den digitalen Ausbau der typologisch-vergleichenden Märchenforschung. Zeitschrift für digitale Geisteswissenschaften.  
  • Dadunashvili, Elguja. 2017. Spätmittelalterliche Graffiti-Striche aus Swanetien. Georgica, Zeitschrift für Kultur, Sprache und Geschichte Georgiens und Kaukasiens. 38, 61-86.
  • Dadunashvili Elguja; Korn Agnes. 2007, 2012: Weise Frauen und geheimnisvolle Zeichen: Texte zum Volksglauben Georgien. Ausgewählt, übertragen und kommentiert von Elguja Dadunashvili und Agnes Korn. Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden.
  • Dadunashvili, Elguja. 2012. Die Sage vom Selbstmord des Ingenieurs. Journal of Folktale Studies. 52 (3/4).
  • Dadunashvili, Elguja. 2011. Volksreligiöse Praktiken bei den Swanen. Ökumenisches Forum für Glauben, Religion und Gesellschaft in Ost und West. 6, 24-26.
  • Dadunashvili, Elguja. 2007: Typologie des georgischen Zaubermärchens. Schneider Verlag Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler.


Ethnographic films


Databases and archives