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Welcoming Remarks

Third International Napoleonic Society Congress

Tbilisi, Georgia

12-18 June, 2000

By J. David Markham

David Markham welcomes delegates to the Congress

INS Executive Vice-President J. David Markham welcomes participants to the congress.

The International Napoleonic Society held its third International Congress at Tbilisi State University from June 12-18, 2000. Scholars from Georgia, Israel, and the United States gave a series of excellent papers that covered a variety of Napoleonic topics. This congress was also the first meeting of the Napoleonic Society of Georgia. It was organized by their President, Alexander Mikaberidze, who is to be congratulated for the outstanding success of both the congress and his new organization. Mikaberidze has been accepted into the doctoral program at the Institute on the French Revolution and Napoleon at Florida State University.

As always, the papers dealt with several approaches to the study of Napoleonic history. Napoleon's image in literature was considered by Innes Merabishvili, who is President of the Byron Society of Georgia, as well as by Ivane Menteshashvili. Alexander Mikaberidze discussed the various factors that led to the rise of Napoleon, while Dimitry Tsiskarishvili presented a paper on Napoleon as a psychologist.

Military matters are always a primary topic at these congresses. Some papers were presented on Napoleon's successes such as Marengo (Mikheil Gachechiladze), Toulon (Amiran Nikuradze) and the Battle of Cacoon (Allon Klebanoff). The less successful 1812 campaign was discussed by David Markham and Jerry Gallaher, and Gega Khubashvili and Gabriel Shaliashvili discussed the campaign in the middle east.

All the papers were presented in English and Georgian with simultaneous translations available in both languages. One of the high points of the congress was the excellent, often passionate, discussion of issues raised by the papers. There were many people in the audience, including students from the university, and the knowledge and interest exhibited was truly outstanding.

Innes award

Professor Innes Merabishvili, President of the Byron Society of Georgia, is made an INS Fellow by David Markham.

INS Executive Vice-President J. David Markham awarded Fellowships to Innes Merabishvili, Dimitry Tsisharishvili, Ivane Menteshashvili, Merab Kalandadze and Giogi Demetradze. All the new Fellows are professors at Tbilisi State University. Mr. Tsiskarishvili wrote the first biography of Napoleon in the Georgian language. Several students were given special awards for their outstanding paper presentations. Some of these awards were books provided by David Markham, who also contributed several books and journals to the University Library.

Hregional Government

International participants had the opportunity to meet with several important Georgian political leaders. Here Mr. Mirza Korkashvili, Governor of the Tskaltubo region, gives his best wishes to Allon Klebanof, David Markham, Doug La Follette, and Gerry Gallaher.

After the conclusion of the papers, the international participants were given a tour of important museums and other historical sites in Georgia, including a death mask of Napoleon and other Napoleonic artifacts at the Ethnological Museum of Zugdidi. They also had an opportunity to meet with Governor Mirza Korkashvili of the Tskaltubo Region, and Governor Teimuraz Shashiashvili of the Imereti Region.

The media took a great interest in this Congress. Articles appeared in three newspapers in Georgia, including the official newspaper of the government, one in Georgian and one in Russian. In addition, there were two television programs on the official channel that broadcast information about the Congress.

Several of the participants enjoyed a visit to the Black Sea

Several of the participants enjoyed a visit to the Black Sea.

This congress was a tremendous success. Visitors from outside of Georgia were delighted with the generous hospitality, excellent food and wine, and beautiful and historically interesting countryside. Our thanks go to Alexander, his family, and all others who made this congress an exceptional memory for all who attended.

List of Papers Presented to the INS Congress in Tbilisi, Georgia

J. David Markham, Napoleon's Russian Campaign: A Legacy of Missed Opportunities and Fatal Errors.

Dimitry Tsiskarishvilli, Napoleon as a Psychologist.

Innes Merabishvili, Byron, Prometheus and Napoleon.

Ivane Menteshashvili

Ivane Menteshashvili presents his paper on Russian poetry. He also served as one of the interpreters.

Ivane Menteshashvili, Napoleon in Russian Poetry of the 19th Century.

Merab Kalandadze, Georgian Napoleoniada.

Allon and Alexander enjoy another fine Georgian tradition!

Allon and Alexander enjoy another fine Georgian tradition!

Alexander Mikaberidze, Contributors to the Rise of Napoleon.

Bakur Mgeliashvili, Battle of Marengo.

Jerry Gallaher, Vandamme, Jerome, and the Invasion of Russia, 1812.

Gabriel Shalibashvili, Egyptian Campaign: Prelude to the Rise of Napoleon.

Allon Klebanoff of Israel presents his paper

Allon Klebanoff of Israel presents his paper.

Allon Klebanoff, Battle of Cacoon.

Irakli Shvelidze, The Siege of Toulon.

Giorgi Gvimradze, The French Revolution and Napoleon.

Gega Khubashvili, Napoleon and Nelson.

Mikheil Gachechiladze, Marengo.


Welcoming Remarks to the International Napoleonic Society Congress

Tbilisi State University
Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
12 June 2000

By J. David Markham
Executive Vice-President and Editor-in-Chief
International Napoleonic Society

Group on stage

Some participants in the Congress pose after what all agreed had been an exciting Congress.

Mayor Zodelava of Tbilisi, distinguished scholars and guests, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the International Napoleonic Society, I welcome you to our Third International Napoleonic Congress.

I also bring you the personal greetings and best wishes of our President, Ben Weider.

It is a great honor and pleasure to be here today. I am pleased to have brought with me two very dear friends: the distinguished Napoleonic scholar Jerry Gallaher and the Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette. I am also pleased to welcome another dear friend and Napoleonic scholar, Allon Klebanoff of Israel.

Three years ago, I had the pleasure to open a congress in Italy. Last summer I had the same pleasure in Israel. In September, I attended a conference in Borodino, Russia. Today I am in Tbilisi, and next week I will be at Austerlitz in the Czech Republic. At all of these locations, I have met with people from around the world who share my interests in history.

Gerry Gallaher and Alexander Mikaberidze

Gerry Gallaher of the US and Alexander Mikaberidze of Georgia listen to the program.

One person brings all of these people together: Napoleon Bonaparte. This extraordinary man has brought together people from across the globe to study and honor him, including people from nations such as England and Russia who used to fight against him. This week we will learn more of his accomplishments, of his mistakes, and of his influence in many non-military areas such as literature. Few people in history have had that kind of influence, which continues even 200 years after his time on earth.

Home meal

The Mikaberidze family honored the international participants with a meal in their home. Seated are Doug La Follette, Gerry Gallaher, Tamuna Mikaberidze (AlexanderÕs cousin), Levan Mikaberidze Jr. (brother), Levan Mikaberidze (Father), Marina Mikaberidze (Mother), Dali Mikaberidze (Aunt), Alexandre Mikaberidze (Uncle), Alexander, and Allon Klebanoff.

Today I want to recognize another very special young man. Several years ago, Alexander Mikaberidze and I became friends through email. I was so impressed with him that I insisted he attend the INS Congress in Israel. This congress here today is justification for my faith in him, and I thank him, and all those who helped him, for all of their fine efforts. I am pleased to tell you that Alexander has been accepted to the doctoral program at the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution at Florida State University.

Members of the organizing committee enjoy yet another meal

Members of the organizing committee enjoy yet another meal, which is one of the great Georgian traditions!

Ladies and gentlemen, through the efforts of many people, we are assembled for what I am sure will be an excellent Congress. I thank you for your attendance and for your attention, and hope that you will all enjoy the program in the days to come.



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