Duchy of Kldekari

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Duchy of Kldekari
კლდეკარის საერისთავო
Duchy of the Kingdom of Georgia

The Kldekari fortress
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Principality of Tao-Klarjeti
Today part ofGeorgia

The Duchy of Kldekari (Georgian: კლდეკარის საერისთავო, romanized: k'ldek'aris saeristavo), sometimes also referred as County of Trialeti was a duchy (saeristavo) within the kingdom of Georgia from 876-1184. Ruled by a powerful dynasty of Liparitids-Baghuashi, the duchy existed in the south-western parts of modern Kvemo Kartli province, and, despite its small size, created problems for the Bagrationi kings as they sought to bring all Georgian vassals and principalities into a unified state.


The duchy was established in 876 by Liparit I of the Baghuashi, who had been expelled by the Abkhazian kings from his fiefdom of Argveti (in upper Imereti).[1] In their new fiefdom, the Liparitids accepted the suzerainty of David I of Iberia, a Georgian Bagratid prince of Iberia based in Tao-Klarjeti, and built a stronghold called Kldekari (Georgian: კლდე კარი; lit. the "rock gate", as this was a common naming scheme of border strongholds (see "Alan's gate") on a strategic mountain of the Trialeti Range to control the roads cut through the cliff connecting the regions of Eastern Georgia with the southern neighboring countries and the Byzantine Empire. This area lay in the possessions of David’s kinsman Guaram of Javakheti, and the move eventually led to a split among the Bagratids which concluded with the murder of David by his nephew (son of Guaram Mampali) Nasra in 881. In a civil war that ensued, Liparit supported David’s heir, Adarnase IV of Iberia, who was victorious and crowned, with the Armenian support, as King of the Iberians in 888. Thus, Liparit and his heirs secured a hereditary dukedom of Trialeti and Kldekari. They quickly rose in prominence, gaining more possessions and prestige and when, in the early 11th century, the Bagratid dynasty established the unified all-Georgian monarchy, the Liparitids were among its most powerful vassals and rivals.

Rise and fall[edit]

In the mid-eleventh century, the Liparitid house reached the apogee of their might and remained, for a century, leaders of the feudality in its struggle against the growing power of the kings of Georgia. In 1047, one of the most illustrious representatives of the family, Liparit IV became a regent for the young Georgian king Bagrat IV in the early 1030s, and even succeeded in temporarily driving King Bagrat IV into the Byzantine territory. The kings of Georgia had to concede more possessions and titles to the family in order to pacify a series of the Liparitid rebellions. Subsequently, relations between the two men deteriorated and flared into an armed conflict. With the military support from the Byzantine Empire, Liparit defeated Bagrat at the Battle of Sasireti in 1042, and became a virtual ruler of Georgia, but eventually was forced out by his own subjects in 1059. His son and heir, John, was allowed by the Georgian crown to succeed Liparit IV as a duke. In 1074, John revolted against King George II of Georgia and attempted to get Seljuk support. However, a Seljuk invasion force temporarily occupied the duchy and captured the ducal family.

David IV, a new and perhaps the most successful king of Georgia, forced the Liparitid-Baghuashi into submission in 1093 and checked their subsequent attempts to revolt. In 1103, David took advantage of the death of the last Kldekarian duke Rati III and abolished the duchy by incorporating the area directly into the royal domain.


Dukes Reign Titles
Liparit I 876–?
Liparit II 940–960
Rati I 960–988
Liparit III 988–1005
Rati II 1005–1021
Liparit IV 1021–1059 magistros (and possibly also curopalates).[2][3]
John 1059–1080
Liparit V 1080–1095
Tevdore 1094/5 mosakargave (a salaried governor)
Rati III 1095–1102
Vakhtang until 1178
Apridon 1178–1184 Msakhurtukhutsesi

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ (in Russian) Летопись Картли / Пер., введ. и примеч. Г. Цулаиа; [Ред. тома Ш. Бадридзе], Тб.: Мецниереба, 1982.
  2. ^ Paul A. Blaum (2005). Diplomacy gone to seed: a history of Byzantine foreign relations, A.D. 1047-57. International Journal of Kurdish Studies. (Online version) Archived 2008-04-30 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Seibt, Werner (2001). Liparites als „byzantinischer“ Familienname in der Komnenenzeit. In: Dedicatio. Ist'oriul-pilologiuri dziebani (= Festschrift Mariam Lortkipanidze). Tbilisi: 123-131