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George (son of David VII of Georgia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
FatherDavid VII of Georgia
Jigda-Khatun (step-mother)
ReligionGeorgian Orthodox Church

George, (Georgian: გიორგი, romanized: giorgi) (1250–1268) was a Georgian royal prince (batonishvili) of the Bagrationi dynasty. He was the first child and the eldest son of David VII Ulu, by whom he was designated as heir apparent to the throne. In the early 1260s, he was held as a hostage at the Mongol Ilkhan court of Hulegu Khan and later served with his father in the Mongol military ranks. He died at the age of 18 in 1268, preceding his father by two years.


George was born in 1250[1] to Georgian King David VII Ulu and the Alan woman Altun, whom the king took as a temporary wife because he had no children by his Queen Jigda-Khatun and whom he agreed to dismiss after the birth of an heir. The marriage was, in fact, repudiated after the birth of the second child, a daughter, Tamar. George was adopted by Jigda-Khatun, who died shortly afterwards.[2] George, along with his father, step-mother, and the uncle David VI Narin, is mentioned in a church inscription from Abelia in the south of Georgia.[3]

In 1262, David's rebellion against the Ilkhan hegemony ended in failure and he had to agree to peace terms offered by Hulegu Khan, envisaging, among other things, sending George as a hostage to the Ilkhan court. David acceded and the boy-prince George, under protection of the Christian man called Enuk Arkun, traveled to the khan's court in Iran, where he was treated with honor.[4][5]

At one point, when the peace between Hulegu and David was about to collapse, the khan contemplated to put George to death, but the prince's life was saved through the intervention of Hulegu's Christian wife Doquz Khatun.[6][7] Within a year or so, George was allowed to return to Georgia, where he joined his father in the exhausting service along the defensive lines in Shirvan, which had been erected by Hulegu against the rival Mongol khan Berke. It was where George contracted a severe bowel disease, which eventually took his life in 1268 at the age of 18.

Vakhushti of Kartli recounts the king's mourning in the following terms:

When he was told of his son's death, he immediately fell half-dead. It is said that the king was gripped by unbounded grief; the anguish of his father's love was compounded by the memory of the marvellous beauty of an 18-year-old boy, his bravery and his military prowess. He broke into heart-rending sobs and cried out to death when he saw the charming remains of his child, of his George, lying lifeless, discoloured, bathed in the tears of the people".

His body was briefly rested at the Sioni cathedral in Tbilisi and then buried at Mtskheta. The sorrowful king David VII died within two years, leaving his troubled kingdom to Demetrius, a younger son of his third marriage to Queen Gvantsa.[6]



  1. ^ Brosset 1849, p. 553.
  2. ^ "Chronicle of A Hundred Years", p. 581.
  3. ^ Silogava, Valeri. "არსენ მანგლელი (Arsen Mangleli)". ქართველი ისტორიული მოღვაწენი (Georgian historical figures) (in Georgian). National Center of Manuscripts. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Chronicle of A Hundred Years", p. 588.
  5. ^ Howorth 1888, p. 191.
  6. ^ a b "Chronicle of A Hundred Years", p. 589.
  7. ^ Howorth 1888, p. 192.