George VII of Georgia

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George VII
გიორგი VII
King of Georgia
PredecessorBagrat V
SuccessorConstantine I
DynastyBagrationi dynasty
FatherBagrat V of Georgia
MotherHelena Megale Komnene
ReligionGeorgian Orthodox Church
KhelrtvaGeorge VII გიორგი VII's signature

George VII (Georgian: გიორგი VII, romanized: giorgi VII) (died 1405 or 1407) was king (mepe) of Georgia from 1393 to 1407 (alternatively, from 1395 to 1405).[1] Bagrat V's son and successor, George put up a stiff resistance and had to spend much of his reign fighting Timur and his Empire.

During his father's lifetime, he ruled over different parts of Georgia, and he is referred to as a king in the sources from that time. During the reign of George VII in 1394-1403, Timur invaded Georgia many times. During Timur's invasions on Georgia, his army brutally destroyed Hereti, Kakheti, Trialeti, Kvemo and Shida Kartli, Imereti. The main goal of Tamerlane was to conquer and convert the country to Islam. Despite the great cruelty, he was still unable to overcome the resistance of the Georgian people and capture King George.


Early life[edit]

George was the son of the king Bagrat V and his first wife Elene of Trebizond (died of bubonic plague, 1366).[2] Bagrat appointed him co-ruler in 1369.

When Tbilisi fell on 22 November 1386, its inhabitants were massacred and Bagrat fell into captivity. Timur's army spent the winter in Karabakh. To regain his freedom, Bagrat pretended to convert to Islam and Timur sent him back under surveillance of a 12,000 strong army which was to enforce Georgian Kingdom conversion to islam. Bagrat secretly informed his son George, who raised an army and destroyed the Timurid troops, and freeing Bagrat.[3]

in 1392, George I of Imereti was killed during campaign against Vameq I Dadiani. Kingdom of Western Georgia once again fell into chaos, allowing George to unite with the great feudal lords of the West Georgia and invade the rebellious territories. The Kingdom of western Georgia was once again annexed by Kingdom of Georgia, while the surviving members of the rebel family took refuge in the Caucasus Mountains.[4]


War against Timurids[edit]

In 1393, Bagrat died and George assumed full royal powers. He spent most of his reign fighting Timur who led seven more expeditions against the stubborn Georgian kingdom from 1387 to 1403, leaving the country in ruins.

While Tamerlane was campaigned in India in 1399, The Georgians took advantage, George VII and Sayyid Ali of Shaki attacked Timurid's forces besieging Alinja and rescued the daughter of Ahmad Jalayir the ruler of Jalayirid Sultanate.[citation needed]

This event prompted Timur to return in 1399. He captured Shaki and devastated the neighboring region of Hereti and Kakheti.[5] In the spring of 1400, Timur moved back to destroy the Georgian state once and for all. He demanded that George should hand over the Jalayirid Tahir but George refused with explanation that this would be against the Caucasian traditions[6] and met Timur at the Sagim River in Kvemo Kartli, but suffered a defeat.[7] After the war, of those who survived the fighting and reprisals, many thousands died of hunger and disease, and 60,000 survivors were enslaved and carried away by Timur's troops.[8]

In late 1401, Timur invaded the Georgia once again.[9] George VII had to sue for peace, and sent his brother Constantine with the contributions. Timur made peace with George on condition that the King of Georgia supplied him troops during his campaign against Ottoman Empire and granted the Muslims special privileges.[10] Once the Ottomans were defeated at the Battle of Ankara, Timur, back to Erzurum in 1402, decided to punish the George for not having come to present his congratulations on his victory. Historians reported that 700 towns were destroyed and their inhabitants massacred by Timurid forces.[11][8]

In the aftermath of Timur's death in February 1405 and the subsequent power struggles among his heirs, Timur's empire became fragmented as Miran Shah and his sons struggled over control of Persia. In the midst of this chaos, George, who had returned from Imereti, engaged in battles to regain lost territories. He managed to conquer Nakhchivan and Ganja while also causing destruction in places like Ani, Erzurum, and Tabriz. Despite commanding an army of merely 5,000 men, George succeeded in expanding Georgia's borders temporarily to their former extent.[12]

Civil War[edit]

In 1396, Constantine took advantage of Timurid invasions of Georgia and the death of Vameq I Dadiani and returned to Imereti. Constantine took advantage of the situation to organize a new rebellion against George. Constantine was the younger brother of the pretenders Alexander I of Imereti and George I of Imereti, and had been exiled to North Caucasus after the conquest of 1392.[4]

Without much resistance, the new rebel captured numerous fortresses and had himself crowned Constantine II, but failed to unite with the region's great feudal lords. After demanding the vassalization of the dukes of Svaneti, Mingrelia and Guria, but he was killed in 1401. As Constantine was childless, the crown of western Georgia was to be passed on to his young and weak nephew, Demetrius, George took advantage of a temporary ceasefire with Tamerlane to invade western Georgia and once again put an end to the separatist kingdom.[13]


According to Vakhushti, He was killed in battle against the Turkmen nomads, apparently of the Kara Koyunlu clan. Today, some historians consider this information of Vakhushti doubtful and claim that George VII died of natural causes.[14]

George VII may have died childless, as his brother Constantine I became the next king.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kʻartʻuli diplomatiis istoriis narkvevebi (in Georgian). Tʻbilisis universitetis gamomcʻemloba. 1998. pp. 530–543. ISBN 978-5-511-00896-7.
  2. ^ Ivane Javakhishvili, The History of the Georgian Nation, vol. 3, Tbilisi, 1982, p.180
  3. ^ Baumer 2023, p. 75.
  4. ^ a b Brosset 1856, p. 248.
  5. ^ Hodong Kim, "The Early History of the Moghul Nomads: The Legacy of the Chaghatai Khanate." The Mongol Empire and Its Legacy. Ed. Reuven Amitai-Preiss i David Morgan. Leiden: Brill, 1998.
  6. ^ Anchabadze 2014, p. 48.
  7. ^ Mirza Muhammad Haidar. The Tarikh-i-Rashidi (A History of the Moghuls of Central Asia). Traduit per Edward Denison Ross, editat per N. Elias. Londres, 1895.
  8. ^ a b Minorsky, Vladimir, "Tiflis", in: M. Th. Houtsma, E. van Donzel (1993), E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, p. 757. Brill, ISBN 90-04-08265-4.
  9. ^ Beatrice Forbes Manz, The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1989. ISBN 0-521-63384-2
  10. ^ Sicker, Martin (2000), The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to Siege of Vienna, p. 155. Praeger, ISBN 0-275-96892-8.
  11. ^ The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asi
  12. ^ Rayfield 2012, p. 152.
  13. ^ Brosset 1856, p. 249.
  14. ^ Tavadze, L. (2008) About the reasons of Georgian King George VII death, Studies in the Middle Ages History of Georgia, Vol. IX. p. 41–45 ISBN 978-9941-12-174-6


Further reading[edit]

  • ჯავახიშვილი ივ., ქართველი ერის ისტორია, წგ. 3, თბ., 1982 (თხზ. თორმეტ ტომად, ტ. 3).
  • კაციტაძე დ., საქართველო XIV–XV საუკუნეთა მიჯნაზე, თბ., 1975;
  • ტაბატაძე კ., ქართველი ხალხის ბრძოლა უცხოელ დამპყრობთა წინააღმდეგ XIV–XV საუკუნეების მიჯნაზე, თბ., 1974;
  • ოდიშელი ჯ., აღმოსავლეთ საქართველოს პოლიტიკური ისტორიისათვის (XIV–XVII სს.), კრ.: XIV–XVIII სს. რამდენიმე ქართული ისტორიული დოკუმენტი, თბ., 1964;
  • გვრიტიშვილი დ., ნარკვევები საქართველოს ისტორიიდან (XIII–XIVსს.), თბ., 1962;
  • გაბაშვილი ვ., თათართა შემოსევები საქართველოში (ბაგრატ V და გიორგი VI), თბ., 1943;
Preceded by King of Georgia
Succeeded by