The Royal Lineage of
HSH Leonida Princess Bagration of Mukhrani
2. Descent of Princess Leonida from Konstantini II King of Georgia
3. How the kingdom of Georgia was split after the reign of King Konstantini I of Georgia
4. Detailed Genealogy of Konstantini II King of Georgia
5. Descendants of Alexander I King of Georgia (Rival claimants)
6. A Brief History of Georgia
In 1797 Emperor Paul I of Russia promulgated fundamental Laws regulating the succession to the throne. With subsequent additions by his successors, these laws required that succession to the Imperial throne passed by primogeniture to the senior male dynast with the proviso that, upon the death of the last male dynast of the House of Romanoff-Holstein-Gottorp, the succession would pass to his nearest female relative. A strict and unequivocal rule was also introduced to determine who could be regarded a dynast. A dynast had to contract an equal marriage with a member of another royal or sovereign house in order to pass dynastic eligibility to his children.
This rule posed no problem in the days of the Empire when the dynasty was flourishing and royal matches easily arranged. The fall of the monarchy in March 1917 and subsequent exile of the surviving members of the family led to an almost total abandonment of the rule, most of the dynasts contracting morganatic marriages which ipso fact excluded them from the dynasty. There was one exception.
As the reign of Nicholas II, last Emperor of Russia drew to its tragic close, the order of succession by primogeniture ran, firstly, from his only son, the Tsarevich Grand Duke Alexei, secondly, to his only living brother Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich and, thirdly, to his senior first cousin, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich. With the murders of the Emperor and the first two dynasts in July 1918, Kirill succeeded automatically as head of the imperial dynasty and proclaimed himself Emperor in exile. Kirill died in 1938 and was succeeded as head of the dynasty by his only son, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich. By 1989 the only other male dynasts* had died without heirs and with the death of Grand Duke Vladimir, the male dynastic line came to an end. This situation having been envisaged in the Russian Imperial Succession laws, the headship was inherited by the only eligible candidate, Grand Duke Vladimir's only child, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, now de facto Empress Maria I of Russia.
Doubt has been cast in some quarters on this rock solid lineage by assertions that Grand Duke Vladimir's marriage to Leonida Princess Bagration of Mukhrani was morganatic on the grounds that the princess did not belong to a royal house. This controversy is easily resolved from an examination of the genealogy of the House of Bagration.
In 1490 the Kingdom of Georgia broke up into the three kingdoms of Kartli (Karthlia), Kacheti (Kakhetia) and Imireti (Imertia). Konstantini II (Bagration) was the last king of a united Georgia by agnatic primogeniture (senior male succession) and became first King of Kartli. All the kings of Kartli and their descendants became extinct in the male line with the exception of the Princes of Mukhrani, who were equally direct descendants of King Konstantini II. The Bagration of Mukhrani line is therefore the senior succession to the 15th century kingdom of Georgia.
Princess Leonida's father, Prince George Bagration enjoyed agnatic primogeniture: he was the senior male descendant of King Konstantini II and thereby heir to the throne. There can be no doubt therefore that Princess Leonida belongs to a Royal House.
There is a complication in that the descendants of Alexander I, first King of Kacheti (1476-1511) made an attempt to reunite Georgia into one kingdom between 1762 and 1801. They succeeded but only under the vassalage of Russia, and thus were but nominal Kings of Georgia, the second of whom, George XIII, finally abdicating in favour of the Russian emperor in 1801. Nevertheless there are living descendants who claim the throne of Georgia.
Regardless as to which claim to the Georgian throne is the accepted one, the indisputable fact remains that both lines evidence legitimate direct descent in the male line from the 15th century kings of Georgia and therefore pertain to a Royal House. This proves that the marriage between Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich and Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani is an equal marriage in conformity with the Fundamental Laws of Russian Imperial Succession.
Consequently, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, as the only issue of the last dynastic heir to the Russian Imperial Throne, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich through his equal marriage to Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani, is the undoubted successor to the throne as de jure Empress Maria I of Russia. Similarly, Grand Duke Georgiy Mikhailovich is de jure Tsarevich Georgiy as the only son from the equal marriage of Empress Maria I of Russia to Prince Franz von Hohenzollern, Prince of Prussia, christened Mikhail Pavlovich into the Orthodox faith and created Grand Duke by the Head of the Imperial House, de jure Emperor Vladimir II of Russia.
The following genealogical tables show:
I. how Princess Leonida is descended from King Konstantini II of Georgia.
II. how the kingdom of Georgia was split after the reign of King Konstantini I
III. a detailed genealogy of all the descendants of King Konstantini II of Georgia.
IV. the descendants of King Alexander I of Kacheti
* There were also two female dynasts who were more distantly related to Emperor Nicholas II and Grand Duke Vladimir:
1.Vera Konstantinovna ROMANOFF-HOLSTEIN-GOTTORP, Princess of Russia (b. Pavlovsk 24.4.1906, d. New York City 11.1.2001 without issue)
2. Ekaterina Ivanovna, Princess Romanova (b. Pavlovsk 25.7.1915) who renounced
her right of succession when she
contracted a morganatic marriage in Rome on 15.9.1937 (sep. 1945) with Ruggero
Farace, Marchese di Villaforesta (b. London 4.8.1909, d. Roma 14.9.1970)
Senior Line and Ancestors of Princess Leonida
Rival claimants to Georgian throne
Extinct or female lines
I. Descent from Konstantini II King of Georgia
HM Konstantini II, King of Georgia 1478-1505, King of Kartli (1490-1505)
HSH Bagrat I, c.1487-1539/40, 1st Prince of Mukhrani (1512-39)
HSH Vakhtang I, c. 1510-1580, 2nd Prince of Mukhrani (1561-80), Regent of Kartli (1569-79)
HSH Bagrat II (Teimuraz), 1572-1625, 3rd Prince of Mukhrani (1605-1625)
HSH Konstantini I, 1618-1667, 7th Prince of Mukhrani (1658-67/68)
HSH Teimuraz II, 1649-1688, 8th Prince of Mukhrani ((1667/68-88)
HSH Konstantini II, 11th Prince of Mukhrani (1716), *ca 1676, +1716
HSH Konstantini III, 16th Prince of Mukhrani *ca. 1696 + 26.10.1755 (killed)
HSH Vano (Ivan), 1755-800, 18th Prince of Mukhrani
HSH Konstantini IV, 1782-7.9.1842, 19th and last Prince of Mukhrani
HSH Prince Irakly Bagration of Mukhrani, *17.7.1813 +1892
HSH Prince Alexander Bagration of Mukhrani *20.7.1853-30.10.1918
m. 25.10.1881 Maria Dmitrievna Golovachev *11.10.1855+10.11.1932
HSH Prince George (Giorgi) Bagration of Mukhrani, Head of the Royal House of Georgia, *St.Petersburg 16.7.1884, +Madrid 29.9.1957;
m.Tbilisi VII.1908 Helene Zlotnicki (*Tbilisi 29.3.1886, +Madrid 25.4.1979), a descendant of King Erekle II of Georgia
HSH Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani, *Tbilisi 23.9.1914;
1m: Nice 6.11.1934 (div 1937) Sumner Moore
2m: Lausanne 13.8.1948 HIH Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich de jure HIM Emperor Vladimir II of Russia (*30.8.1917 +21.4.1992)
HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna Romanov of Russia de jure HIM Empress Maria I of Russia *Madrid 23.12.1953.
m. Madrid 22.9.1976 Div. 19.6.1985 Prinz Franz von Hohenzollern *3.9.1943 created Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich
HIH Grand Duke Georgij Mikhailovich de jure Tsarevich Georgij *Madrid 14.3.1981.
II. The Division of Georgia into the Kingdoms of Kartli, Kacheti and Imereti after King Konstantine I of Georgia
Konstantine I, King of Georgia (1407-12)
A1. Alexander I "the Great", King of Georgia (1412-42) Abdicated in favour of his sons, Vakhtang IV and Giorgi VIII, 1442.
B1. Vakhtang IV, King of Georgia (1442-46)
B2. Demetre Bagrationi, de jure King of Georgia, Duke of Imereti, +1453 Appointed joint ruler by his father, 1442. Crowned as King of Imerati 1445.
J1. Konstantini II, the last King of united Georgia (1478-90), first King of Kartli (1490-1505), *1447, +1505;
his issue were Kings of Kartli, for which see below
B3. Giorgi VIII, King of Georgia (1446-66), first King of Kacheti (1466-76)
C1. [1m.] Vakhtang Bagrationi, Duke
C2. [2m.] Alexander I, King of Kacheti (1476-1511), +1511; with descendants
his issue were Kings of Kacheti, who then tried to reunite Georgia into one kingdom between 1762 and 1801, but succeeded only under the vassalage of Russia, and thus were only nominally Kings of Georgia, the last of whom George XIII finally abdicated favour of the Russian emperor in 1801. For the descendants of Alexander I, See IV
C3. [2m.] Meriam
B4. David II, catholicos of Georgia (1426-30), +1430
B5. a daughter, +bef. 1438; m.1425 Emperor Ioannes IV of Trebizond
A2. Bagrat Bagrationi, Duke
A3. Giorgi Bagrationi, Duke, *1390, +1446;
B1. Bagrat VI, Duke of Kutaisi (1453-63), King of Imereti (1463-66), King of Georgia (1466-78), *1435, +1478,
C3. Alexander II, +1.4.1510, King of Imereti (1478-1510); his issue were Kings of Imereti
III. Detailed Genealogy of Konstantini II, King of Georgia
Konstantine II, King of Georgia (1478-90), King of Kartli (1490-1505), *1447, +27.4.1505; m.1473 Thamar N (+fl 1492);
King of the Abkhazis, Kartvelians, Ranians, Kakhetians and the Armenians, Shirvanshah and Shahanshah and Master of all the East and West.Appointed joint sovereign by his half-brother, King Bagrat VI, 1475. Expelled his nephew and established himself as King of Georgia, 1478. Recognised the independence of Kakheti in 1490 and Imerati in 1493. Thereafter, the extent of his kingdom was restricted to Kartli.
9-78), *1540, +1582; m.Elene of Kacheti
for his issue see below
Brought forward from E1:
Teimuraz II, 8th Prince of Mukhrani (1667-68), *1649, +1688; 1m: Anna N; 2m: Princess Kethevan Orbeliani; (all children from the 1st marriage)
A1. Konstantine II, 11th Prince of Mukhrani (1716), *ca 1676, +1716 m. Nino, daughter of Prince Davit Amilakhvari
B1. Konstantini III, 16th Prince of Mukhrani *ca. 1696 + 26.10.1755(killed) bur. Mtzkheta, Lord High Executioner, Lieutenant of the Kingdom, Governor
of Tiflis. 1m.Princess Kethavan. 2m. Princess Varvara +14th January 1790 o.s. daughter of Prince Bardzim Sidamoni, Duke of Aragvi. He d. at Gartiskar (k. by
the Lesguis?), 26th October 1755 o.s. (bur.
C1. Vano, 18th Prince of Mukhrani (1778-1801), *13.12.1755, +k.a. 1.10.1800; m.Kethevan daughter of H.M. Irakli II, King of Georgia (*1764,
D1. Konstantini IV, 19th and last Prince of Mukhrani (1800-01),(deposed by by the annexation of his principality by the Emperor of Russia) Commander-in-chief of Kartli Militia, Lt General, *1782, +7.9.1842; m. Princess Horeshan Zedginidze-Guramishvili (*1786, +21.11.1831)
E1. Prince Vano Bagration of Mukhrani (Bagration-Mouchranski), Lt General, Marshal of Tiflis nobility (1885-91), *7.12.1812, +11.3.1895; m.1836 Princess Nino Dadiani (*1816, +28.10.1886), daughter of Levan V of Megreli
E1. Prince Konstantine Bagration of Mukhrani, Colonel, jegermeister, Marshal of Tiflis nobility (1895-1901), *14.12.1838, +2.5.1903 sp; m. Princess Elisaveta Nikolaievna Palavandishvili (*1.7.1840, +20.12.1916)
E2. Prince Irakly Bagration of Mukhrani, *17.7.1813, +1892; m.1848 Princess Ekaterina Ivanovna Mkhargrdjeli-Argutashvili (*1830, +1880), allegedly a descendant of the Karin-Pahlavid dynasty
F1. Prince Alexander Bagration of Mukhrani, Lt General *Mtchadisjavari 20.7.1853, +executed at Pyatigorsk 30.10.1918; m.Tbilisi 25.10.1881 Maria Dmitrievna Golovachov (*Tbilisi 11.10.1855, +Nice 12.7.1932)
G1. Prince George (Giorgi) Bagration of Mukhrani, *St.Petersburg 16.7.1884, +Madrid 29.9.1957; m.Tbilisi VII.1908 Helene Zlotnicki (*Tbilisi 29.3.1886, +Madrid 25.4.1979), a descendant of King Irakli II of Georgia
H1. Prince Irakli Bagration of Mukhrani (Erekle), *Tbilisi 21.3.1909, +Madrid 30.11.1977, bur Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta; 1m: (div) Maria Belyayev; 2m: Rome 20.6.1940 Contessa Maria Antonietta Pasquini (*San Angelo in Vado 26.4.1911, +Rome 22.2.1944); 3m: San Sebastian 29.8.1946 Maria Mercedes de Baviera y de Borbon (*3.10.1911 +11.9.1953); 4m: 19.10.1961 Maria del Pilar Pascual y Roig (+1994)
I1. [2m.] Prince George Bagration of Mukhrani, Head of the Royal House of Georgia *Rome 22.2.1944; 1m: Nice 11.3.1968 (div) Maria de las Mercedes Zornoza y Ponce de Leon (*Madrid 14.8.1942); 2m: Madrid 8.9.1982 Nuria Llopis y Oliart (*Barcelona 14.11.1953)
J1. [1m.] Prince Irakli, Head of the Royal House of Georgia *Madrid 26.8.1972
J2. [1m.] Prince David, *Madrid 24.6.1976
J3. [1m.] Princess Maria Antonietta, *Madrid 21.6.1969; m.1996 Jaime Gaixas
J4. [2m.] Prince Guram Ugo, *Madrid 14.2.1985
I2. [3m.] Prince Bagrat Juan Marie Bagration y de Baviera *Madrid 12.1.1949; m.Madrid 12.11.1976 Maria del Carmen Ulloa y Suelves (*Madrid 6.5.1953)
J1. Prince Juan Jorge, *Madrid 12.8.1977;
J2. Prince Ines, *Madrid 4.12.1980
I3. [3m.] Princess Maria Victoria Tamara Elena Antonietta, *Madrid 27.6.1947; 1m: Madrid 24.10.1968 (div 1977) Jose Luis Blanco y de Briones (*Madrid 23.12.1935, +Harare 22.7.1985); 2m: Tomas Ortiz y Valero
H2. Princess Mariam Bagration of Mukhrani, *Tbilisi 13.10.1911, +Tbilisi 10.8.1992, bur Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta; 1m: (div) Alexander Ivanovich Smirnov (*1908); 2m: (div 1932) Pavel Platonovich Domershchikov; 3m: Solomon Bagratovich Virsaladze; 4m: Vasily Ivanovich Korganashvili
H3. Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani, *Tbilisi 23.9.1914;
1m: Nice 6.11.1934 (div 1937) Sumner Moore Kirby (*Wilkes-Barre 5.9.1895, +Leau bei Bernburg 7.4.1945);
2m: Lausanne 13.8.1948 HIH Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia, de jure HIM Emperor Vladimir III of Russia (*30.8.1917
I1. HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna Romanov, de jure HIM Empress Maria I of Russia *Madrid 23.12.1953.
m. Madrid 22.9.1976 div. 19.6.1985 HRH Prinz Franz von Hohenzollern *3.9.1943 cr Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich
J1.HIH Grand Duke Georgij Mikhailovich de jure HIH Tsarevich Georgij *Madrid 14.3.1981.
IV. Descendants of Alexander I, King of Kacheti
Alexander I, King of Kacheti (1476-1511), *1445/57, +murdered 27.4.1511; 1m: Princess Ana Cholokashvili; 2m: Tinatin N;
Erekle I, King of Kartli and Kacheti had the following issue:
� A1. David II (Imam-Kuli-khan), King of Kacheti (1703-22), *Tbilisi 1678, +2.11.1722, bur Qum; m.Jatri-Djahan-begum of Jerevan
o B1. Levan (Mahmad-mirza), +k.a. 1734
� C1. Asan-mirza
o B2. Alexander III (Ali-mirza), King of Kacheti (1735-37), +23.11.1737 sp; m.Princess Mariam Eristavi of Ksani
� A2. Teimuraz II, King of Kacheti (1732-44), King of Kartli (1744-62), *1680/95, +St.Petersburg 8.1.1762; 1m: (div 1710) Princess Kethevan Eristavi of Aragvi; 2m: Tbilisi 2.2.1712 Thamar of Kartli (*1696, +12.4.1746); 3m: 19.8.1746 Princess Ana Baratashvili (*1734, +1784)
o B1. [2m.] Erekle II, King of Kacheti (1744-62), King of united Georgia under the vassalage of Russia (1762-98), -cr Tbilisi 1745, *Telavi 7.11.1720, +Telavi 11.1.1798, bur Mtskheta; 1m: 1739 Princess Kethevan Mkheidze (+1744, bur Alaverdi); 2m: 1745 Princess Ana Abashidze (*1730, +Tbilisi 6.12.1749, bur Mtskheta); 3m: 1750 Princess Darejan Dadiani (*20.7.1734, +St.Petersburg 8.11.1808, bur Mtskheta)
� C1. [1m.] Vakhtang, Duke of Aragvi 1747, *1742, +Tbilisi 1.2.1756; m.Kethevan of Muchrani (*20.2.1744, +4.3.1808)
� C2. [2m.] Giorgi XII, the last King of Georgia under the vassalage of Russia (1798-1800), -cr Tbilisi 5.12.1799, *10.10.1746, +Tbilisi 28.12.1800, bur Svetitskhoveli Cathedral; 1m: 1766 Princess Kethevan Andronikashvili, allegedly from a cadet branch of the Komnenoi family (*1754, +Tbilisi 23.4.1782); 2m: 13.7.1783 Princess Mariam Tsitsishvili (*Tbilisi 9.4.1768, +Moscow 30.3.1850, bur Mtskheta)
� D1. [1m.] David (XII), Regent of Georgia (1800-01), *Tbilisi 1.7.1767, +St.Petersburg 25.5.1819, bur Alexandro-Nevsky Monastery; m.Tbilisi 9.1.1800 Princess Elene Abamelik (*Tbilisi 21.5.1770, +St.Petersburg 20.5.1836)
� D2. [1m.] Ioani, Head of the 2nd Royal Family of Georgia (1819-39), *Tbilisi 16.5.1768, +St.Petersburg 15.2.1839, bur Alexandro-Nevsky Monastery; m.1787 Princess Kethevan Tsereteli (*1772, +Sachkeri 10.12.1832)
� E1. Prince Grigol of Georgia, Lt Colonel, proclaimed King of Georgia 1812, *Astrakhan VII.1789, +St.Petersburg 21.9.1830, bur Alexandro-Nevsky Monastery; m.28.1.1824 Varvara Fyodorovna Bukrinsky (*Tbilisi 10.12.1810, +St.Petersburg 29.11.1876)
� F1. HSH Prince Ioani of Georgia, Head of the 2nd Royal Family of Georgia (1839-80), *24.6.1826, +St.Petersburg 15.9.1880; m.15.9.1850 Countess Ekaterina Pavlovna Pahlen
� F2. HSH Princess Kethevan of Georgia, *1830, +1891; m.1849 Prince Mikeli Sumbatashvili (*5.2.1822, +23.9.1886)
� D3. [1m.] Bagrat, chamberlain 1818, senator 1821, *8.5.1776, +St.Petersburg 8.5.1841; m.Pss Kethevan Cholokashvili (*1781, +St.Petersburg 30.6.1831)
� E1. Prince Nikolaoz of Georgia, *1810, +1833 sp
� E2. HSH Prince David of Georgia, Head of the 2nd Royal Family of Georgia (1880-88), *30.4.1819, +Moscow 24.9.1888, bur Intercession Monastery; m.Anna Alexeievna Mazurin (*Moscow 11.1.1824, +Moscow 10.8.1866)
� F1. HSH Prince Spiridone of Georgia, *1860, +1861
� E3. HSH Prince Alexander of Georgia, *1820, +1865, bur Mtskheta; 1m: 1851 (div) Princess Elene Tarhan-Mouravi (*7.7.1831, +Tbilisi 1903); 2m: Princess Kethevan Andronikashvili; all children from the 1m.
� F1. HSH Prince Ilia of Georgia, *13.9.1854, +Batumi 4.8.1885 sp
� F2. HSH Prince Petre of Georgia, chamberlain, Head of the 2nd Royal Family of Georgia (1888-1922), *26.4.1857, +3.2.1922; m.Princess Thamar Dekanozishvili (*1897 +1977)
� G1. HSH Prince Konstantini of Georgia, Head of the 2nd Royal Family of Georgia 1922, *1915, +1939
� G2. HSH Prince Petre of Georgia, prominent poet, Head of the 2nd Royal Family of Georgia (1939-84), *28.3.1920, +13.8.1984; m.1939 (div) Kethevan Siradze (*9.4.1915); 2m: Liya Mgeladze (*19.8.1926)
� H1. [1m.] HSH Princess Dali of Georgia, *Tbilisi 17.10.1939; 1m: Bruno Babunashvili (*15.11.1938, +1993); 2m: Zurab Kurashvili (*14.5.1950)
� H2. [2m.] HSH Prince Nugzar of Georgia, director of Tbilisi theatre of cinema artists, Head of the 2nd Royal Family of Georgia 1984, *Tbilisi 25.8.1950; m.10.2.1971 Leila Kipiani (*Tbilisi 16.7.1947)
� I1. HSH Princess Anna of Georgia, *Tbilisi 1.11.1976
� I2. HSH Princess Maya of Georgia, *Tbilisi 2.1.1978
� H3. [2m.] HSH Princess Mzevinar of Georgia, *15.9.1945, lives in Moscow
� F3. HSH Prince Giorgi of Georgia, *25.4.1858, +1922
� F4. HSH Prince Mikeli of Georgia, *10.2.1860, +Tbilisi 1935; m.Pss Sofia Sumbatashvili (*24.9.1869, +4.10.1943)
� G1. HSH Prince Alexander of Georgia, *1894, +Toulon 18.11.1931; m.Tbilisi 21.1.1920 Princess Mariam Tumanishvili (*18.7.1892, +Nice 24.1.1943)
� G2. HSH Prince Elizbar of Georgia, *1900, +1926
� G3. HSH Princess Elene of Georgia, *6.4.1896, +8.6.1966; m.1895 Prince Iesse Tsereteli (*16.3.1894, +1924)
� G4. HSH Princess Nino of Georgia, *1900, +16.6.1974; 1m: (div 1923) Prince Peter Mkheidze (*21.12.1892, +1972); 2m: 1923 Vano Gvelesiani
� E4. HSH Princess Varvara of Georgia, *1804, +1870; m.17.7.1820 Prince Demetre Orbeliani (*29.6.1798, +24.9.1868)
There are others.
A Brief History of Georgia
Georgia existed as a kingdom for 2,000 years. Its earliest name was Karthli or Karthveli from Karthlos, an eponymous king, whose son Mtskhethos founded Mtskhetha, the modern Mtskhet; the Persians knew it as Gurjistan, the Romans and Greeks as Iberia, though the latter placed Colchis also in the west of Georgia. Kakhetia and Karthli formed the nucleus of a kingdom which varied much, including at different times Guria, Mingrelia, Abkhasia, Imeretia and Daghestan. Georgia was conquered by one of Alexander's generals, but Pharnavaz or Pharnabazus (302 to 237 B.C.) shook off the Macedonian yoke. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the last Pharnavazian prince was dethroned by his own subjects and the crown given to Arsaces, king of Armenia, thus founding the Arsacid dynasty. The Romans under Pompey in 65 B.C. and under the emperor Trajan, A.D. 114 invaded the country with little success.
The Sassanian dynasty began with Mirhan or Mirian (265-342), son of a Persian king and a princess of the Arsacid dynasty. Christianity was introduced and the first church erected at Mtskhet. In 379 a Persian general built Tphilis (Tiflis) as a counterpoise to Mtskhet. Tiridates (393-405) freed the country from Persian rule. In 446-499 Vakhtang, surnamed Gurgaslan or Gurgasal (the �wolf lion"), established a patriarchate at Mtskhet and made Tphilis his capital. After conquering Mingrelia, Abkhasia, the Ossetes and part of Armenia, he joined Persia in an attack on India. His son Dachi or Darchil (499-514) permanently transferred the seat of government to Tphilis (Tiflis).
In 571 the Georgians, while Persia was being attacked by Turks and Byzantine Greeks, appealed to the Byzantine emperor, Justin II, who placed Guaram, a prince of the Bagratid family of Armenia on the throne. The Bagratid dynasty ruled until 1803. Byzantine influence was strong in the Georgian church until the Arab invasions in the 7th and 8th centuries, when Islamism was repeatedly imposed on the Georgians at the point of the sword. Under Bagrat III, who built in Kutais in 1003 a fine cathedral, peace was restored and his kingdom extended from the Black Sea to the Caspian. In the 11th century the Seljuk Turks overran the country, but David II (1089-1125), the Renovator, with the help of the Kipchak Mongol horde, forced them back over the Armenian Mountains. Under George III (1156-1184), Armenia was in part conquered and Ani, one of its capitals taken. His daughter Tamara or Thamar succeeded him and extended her power over Trebizond, Erzerum, Tovin and Kars, while her son George IV (1212-1223) conquered Ganja and repulsed the Persians. In 1220 and 1222 the Mongol hordes under a son of Genghiz Khan overran the country and under his sister Rusudan, Tiflis was twice captured by the Persians. In 1236 Georgia was devastated by the Mongols. After a recovery under George V (1318-1346), who reconquered Imeretia, the Mongols under Timur (Tamerlane) laid the country waste in 1403. Alexander I (1413-1442) freed the country from the Mongols, but divided it among his three sons, whom he made sovereigns �of Imeretia, Kakhetia and Karthli (Georgia) respectively. Imeretia remained a separate state till its annexation by Russia (1810).
In 1492, the king of Kakhetia sought the protection of Ivan III against the Turks and Persians. In the 17th century, Theimuraz (1629-1634), king of Georgia, appealed to Michael first of the Romanov tsars of Russia, against Shah Abbas of Persia as did Imeretia and Guria. In 1638 the prince of Mingrelia t�ook the oath of allegiance to the Russian tsar, and in 1650 the prince of Imeretia took the same step. Vakhtang VI of Georgia put himself in the 18th century under the protection of Peter the Great. After the 18th century Afghan conquest of Persia, the Turks captured Tiflis and compelled Vakhtang to abdicate, but in 1735 withdrew their claim. Peter the Great in 1722 extorted from Persia her prosperous Caspian provinces, but left her the predominating power in Georgia. Heraclius II of Georgia (1783) declared himself a vassal of Russia and in 1795 appealed to Russia for help against Agha Mohammed, shah of Persia who had laid Tiflis in ruins. George XIII, the next king of Georgia, renounced his crown in favour of the tsar and in 1801 Georgia became a Russian province. Guria submitted to Russia in 1829.
Under the tsars Georgia was divided between the Russian provinces of Tiflis and Kutais. After the October 1917 revolution a period of civil war followed in Georgia, which ended in 1921, upon the creation of the Georgian A.S.S.R. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia regained her independence.
Her language is of the Asianic group, and has a sacer�dotal and an ordinary alphabet. The extant version of the Georgian bible dates from the eighth century, and the famous national poem "The man clothed in the panther's skin," by Roustaveli, memorized by many Georgians to-day, dates from the reign of Queen Tamara in the 11th century. An English translation of it bas been published by the Royal Asiatic Society.
Brosset, M.F : Histoire de la G�orgie (5 vols. 1849-58)
Buyers, Christopher: The Bagrationi (Bagration) Dynasty http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Georgia/mukhrani.htm
Buxton, H: Transcausasia (1926)
Ferrand, Jacques: Les Familles Princi�res de l'Ancien Empire de Russie Recueil G�n�alogique, 2�me �dition [Paris 1998]
Gentizon, P: La R�surrection g�orgienne (1921)
Gambashidze, D: The Caucasus, its People, History, etc. (1918), and Mineral Resources of Georgia and Caucasia (1919)
Kautsky, K: Georgia: A social democratic, peasant republic (1921)
Kenn, O: In the land of the Golden Fleece (1924)
Khakhanoff: Histoire de la G�orgie (1900)
Klupt, V. S: Transcaucasia (in Russian, with a Russian bibliography, 1927), Georgia and the Georgian Race (1919)
Kuhne, E: La G�orgie libre (1920)
Tamarati: L'�glise g�orgienne (1910)
Tcherkesoff, V: La G�orgie (1919)
Tseretelli, I: S�paration de la Transcaucasie
Woytinsky, W: La D�mocratie G�argienne (1921)