By C’k’oni

In Laz there exists newly restored Zan variant mapa of Karto-Zan common root mepe (king). The word was almost lost in beginning of 20-th century, but it was preserved in hydronym mapatzk'ari [N. Marr: 1910].
mepe ascends to Karto-Zan common language period [G. Klimov: 1964; H. Fänrich, Z. Sarjveladze: 2000]. There exists regular phonetic equivalency between Kartian and Zan variants [e (Kartian) = a (Zan)]. In fact mepe originates from meupe [king, lord, sovereign, ruler]. This word is of very active use in old and modern Georgian.

For its turn, meupe is active voice participial form of the verb supeva [to rule over, dominate over, to wield power over; kingship, being lord: root is up-]. Compare synonymous meupeba and mepoba derived from participial forms of the same verbal up- root [meupe, mepe]. -eb-a and -ob-a are abstract term producing suffixes.

Georgian words derived from up- root

supeva [s-up-ev-a] – to rule over, dominate over, to wield power over; kingship, being lord

da supevay da qhelmtzipebay da simdidre meupebatay kueshe qovelsa tsasa mietsa tzmidata mag’lisata, da supevay misi supeva sauk’une, da qovelni mtavrobani da qhelmtzipebani mas hmonebden, akamomde dasasruli sit’quatay. [Daniel: 7.27, Oshki and Jerusalem manuscripts of Old Testament]
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. [Daniel: 7.27, King James Version of the Bible]

sasupeveli [sa-supev-el-i] – Place to perform power, kingdom. Produced with assignation circumfix sa-...-el – Future tense passive voice participle. Comp. sopeli [see below] and samepo (adgili) [place of kingship, kingdom]

…romelman ara sheitzqnaros sasupeveli g’mrtisay vitartsa qrmay… [Mark: 10.15, Khanmeti Texts]
…Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child… [Mark: 10.15, King James Version of the Bible]

sopeli [ – Place to perform power, rule; principality; princedom; world; earth. Produced with assignation circumfix sa-...-el, but this is more archaic derivation than sasupeveli, because here is used core of the verb [-up] in contrast with sasupeveli [
ray sargebel xeqos k’atssa, uk’uetu qoveli sopeli ... da suli twisi izg’vios, anu ray mixtses k’atsman natsvalad sulisa twisisa... [Matthew: 16.26, Khanmeti Texts]
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? [Matthew: 16.26, King James Version of the Bible]

soplivi – secular, world-

…soplivi k’rebay kalk’idonisay iqo… [For Father Gelas: Apophthegmata Patrum: Tbilisi 1974]
…World Council of Chalcedon was… [For Father Gelas: Apophthegmata Patrum: Tbilisi 1974]

msoplio – secular person [in old Georgian]; msoplio: world [in modern Georgian]

rametu ver-tsa msoplio vin-me da ver-tsa mokalake… ik’adrebda gandrek’ilad slvad [Kartlis Tskhovreba: Tskhovreba Mepet-Mepisa Davitisi]
Because neither villager nor citizen [city-dweller] could dare to step in wrong way [The Life [History] of Kartli: The Life of King of Kings Davit]

shen msoplio xar da amas imarxav, vin uk’ue gastzava shen esevitari sit’qwisgebay".
You are secular person and save that, who did teach you such an answer [Martyrdom of Luciane: Georgian Hagiographic Monuments. Vol II – Tbilisi 1946]

upali – owner, proprietor, possessor, lord, Christ, God.

…zetsisa upali… [Martyrdom of Cristinae: Khanmeti Texts]
…the Lord of Heavens… [Martyrdom of Cristinae: Khanmeti Texts]

iqhsnen mosavni sheni da atz miqhsnen chuen da ganmaz’lieren z’levad mt’erisa, romeli xar g’merti da upali…
You, who are God and Lord, rescue all the people hopeful of you and rescue us now and make stronger to overcome enemies… [tzamebay tzmidata motzameta mesukavetay: Materials on Georgian Hagiology – Moscow 1910]

upleba, uplobameupeba [see below], shez’leba [to can, to be able], bat’onoba [to rule; to perform ones ownership over], t’eveba [to let, to permit], uplebis mitsema [to give a right]
upleba – ability, right, ownership, power

shen xar shvili tavta mat kartlisata, da shen gmartebs uploba chemi. [Kartlis Tskhovreba: leonti mrovelis matiane]
You are son of rulers of Kartli and you should be king of mine [The Life [History] of Kartli: Chronicle of Lenoti Mroveli]

mit zhamitgan ep’qra upleba kartlisa aznaurta [Kartlis Tskhovreba: Sumbat Davitis-dze- Tskhorebay da Utzqebay Bagratonianta]
From that time kept the right Aznaurs of Kartli [The Life [History] of Kartli: Sumbat Davitis-dze- The History of Bagrationi Dynasty]

ploba – to have power, to let, to permit, to empower, to give right

mieritgan mietsa ploba davits [Kartlis Tskhovreba: Jamtaaghmtzereli]
Then the power was given to Davit [The Life [History] of Kartli: Chronicle of Jamtaaghmtzereli]

meupe – king, lord, sovereign, ruler, Christ, God. Meaning is rather general than mepe has. meupe is as well as secular, so ecclesiastical [i.e. spiritual] and universal [i.e. God] king, lord, ruler, but mepe is only secular.

sada ars romeli igi ishva meupe huriatay? [Matthew: 2.2, Adishi manuscript of New Testament]
Where is he that is born King [i.e. Christ] of the Jews? [Matthew: 2.2, King James Version of the Bible]

meupeba – to have power of meupe; kingship. Comp. mepoba and upleba.

mas mietsa p’at’ivi da didebay da qovelta zeda meupebay…
And was given to him [i.e. Christ] the honour and the Glory and the Kingship over everything and everybody ["Hippolytus Romanus: De Christo et Antichristo"]

sameupo – assigned for meupeba or/and meupe; kingdom [of earth or heavens]. Future tense passive participle

da iqo shen gwirgwin sik’etis qhelsa uplisasa, da sharavand sameupo qhelsa g’mrtisa shenisasa. [Isaiah 62.3, Oshki and Jerusalem manuscripts of Old Testament]
Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. [Isaiah 62.3, King James Version of the Bible]

mepe – king

…p’eroz mepe...
…King Peroz… [Bolnisi Lapidary Inscription]

mepoba – to have power of mepe; kingship

da ara unda sxwisa natesavisa mepoba [Kartlis Tskhovreba: Mepeta Tskhovreba]
And didn’t want they kingship of other tribe [The Life of Kartli: The Life of the Kings]

samepo – assigned for mepoba or/and mepe; kingdom [of earth]. Future tense passive participle and assignation noun

…samepo chueni… [Kartlis Tskhovreba: Mepeta Tskhovreba]
…our Kingdom… [The Life of Kartli: The Life of the Kings]

All these words are used actively in modern Georgian as well.

Kingdom “omapo” and Kingship “mapoba” [?]

In short: In all Kartvelian languages future tense passive participle is produced via assignation circumfixes, prefix elements of which are: la-||le- [in Svan] – sa- [in Georgian] – o-||sa- [in Megrelian] – o- [in Laz].
In fact “sa-“ stems from l’a- archetype [H. Fänrich, Z. Sarjveladze: 2000], reflexes of which are:

Svanuri: la-: l’a->la-
Kartuli: sa-: l’a->ya->sa-||a-
Zanuri: o-: l’a->ya->yo->o-

In fact in Megrelian there is also sa- assignation prefix borrowed from Literary Georgian and it is very productive together with Zan “o-“ variant of it. Suffix elements of mentioned confixes are:

Svanuri: -a; -al; -ar; -el; -ir; -e; -el; -ia; -sh
Kartuli: -e; -o; -ar; -el; -ur; -ia; -is||-s
Margaluri: -e; -u; -al; -ur; -o; -ar; -el; -ia; -ish||-sh (with various combinations: -ash||-esh||-ush)
Lazuri: -e; -u; -o; -al; -ur; -on; -sh (with various combinations: -ash||-esh||-ush)

o-...-o circumfix is almost extinct in Laz and it is preserved in toponyme o-nt’op-o. Same toponyme is in Samegrelo as well: ont’opo [in Abasha District]. t’op-i is sort of a fish [comp. Georgian t’ob-i - same sort of a fish]. Aside from functional equivalency, o-...-o circumfix is an absolutely regular phonetic equivalent of Georgian sa-...-o [a (Kartian) = o (Zan); o (Kartian) = o (Zan): Comp. H. Fänrich, Z. Sarjveladze: 2000]

Kingdom: samepo [Georgian: sa-mep-o] – samapo [Megrelian: sa-map-o] – omapo [Laz: o-map-o]

Abstract nouns’ formant from noun roots: -ob [Svan] – ob-a [Georgian] – ob-a [Megrelian] – ob-a [Laz].

Kingship: mepoba [Georgian: mep-ob-a] – mapoba [Megrelian: map-ob-a] – mapoba [Laz: map-ob-a]


1. Bolnisi Lapidary Inscription [5-th century]
2. Khanmeti Texts from the Old Georgian Palimpsest [7-th century A.D.]
3. The Old Georgian Text of the Old Testament [Oshki Manuscript] – 978 A.D.
4. The Old Georgian Text of the Bible [Adishi Manuscript] – 10-th century A.D.
5. The Old Georgian Text of the Old Testament [Jerusalem Manuscript] – 11-th century A.D.
6. The Old Georgian Translation of "Hippolytus Romanus: De Christo et Antichristo" – (net’arisa ip’olit’es tkumuli ag’sasrulisatwis zhamtaysa, tkumuli tzigntagan tzmidata krist’estwis daant’ekrist’estwis”) [Traités d’Hippolyte sur David et Goliath, sur le Cantique des cantiques et sur l’Antéchrist, version géorgienne éditée par Gérard Garitte, Louvain 1965 (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, 263 / Scriptores Iberici, 15), pp. 71-116.]
7. tzamebay tzmidata motzameta mesuk’avetay: A. Khakhanov [Khakhanashvili], Materials of Georgian Hagyology [on the basis of Georgian manuscripts of X century] – Moscow 1910
8. Old Georgian Translations of Medieval Novels II [Apophthegmata Patrum: For Father Gelas] – Tbilisi 1974
9. Martyrdom of Luciane (simqhne da mog’uatzebay tzmidisa motzamisa luk’ianozisi romeli itzama kalaksa shina balbaks) [Georgian Hagiographic Monuments. Vol II – Tbilisi 1946]
10. Life of Kartli: [kartlis tsxovreba: – The Life of Kartli [text based on all the main manuscripts] – Tbilisi 1955]
11. King James Version of the Bible
12. A. Shanidze: “Basic Grammar of Georgian Language” – Tbilisi 1973
13. I. Qipshidze: “Grammar of Iverian (Megrelian) Language” [in Russian] – Sanct-Petersburgh 1914
14. Arn. Chikobava: “Grammatical Analysis of Chan” [in Georgian] – Tbilisi 1936
15. N. Marr: “Grammatical Analysis of Chan (Laz)” [in Russian] – Sanct-Petersburgh 1910
16. Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani: “Lexicon of Georgian” – compiled in 1685-1716 A.D. – Tbilisi 1966
17. Arn. Chikobava: Chanian-Megrelian-Georgian Comparative Vocabulary - Tbilisi 1938
18. I. Abuladze: “Vocabulary of old Georgian language” – Tbilisi 1973
19. G. Klimov: Etymologic Dictionary of Kartvelian languages [in Russian] – Moscow 1964
20. V. Topuria, M. Kaldani: “Svan Vocabulary” – Tbilisi 2000
21. Z. Sarjveladze: “Vocabulary of Old Georgian language” - Tbilisi 2000
22. H. Fänrich, Z. Sarjveladze: “Etymologic Dictionary of Kartvelian Languages” - Tbilisi 2000
O. Kajaia: “Megrelian-Georgian Dictionary” (vol.1-3) - Tbilisi 2000-2002
24. Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text- und Sprachmaterialien [TITUS

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