Michael of Imereti

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Fresco of King Michael
King of Western Georgia
PredecessorConstantine I
SuccessorBagrat I
IssueBagrat I
FatherDavid VI of Georgia
MotherTamar Amanelisdze
ReligionGeorgian Orthodox Church

Michael (Georgian: მიქელი, Mik'el) (died 1329), from the Bagrationi dynasty, was king of Western Georgia from 1327 to 1329. He claimed the throne of Western Georgia (Imereti) when his brother Constantine I came to power in 1293, but only obtained it after a civil war lasting nearly 35 years in 1327.


Early life and Rebellion[edit]

Michael was a son of the Georgian king David VI Narin and his wife, Tamar Amanelisdze,[1] or a Palaeologian princess. In the latter case, Michael might have been named after his Byzantine ancestor, the Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.[2] Little is known about the life of Michael only appears in history from his brother's reign in Imereti.

Michael opposed accession of his elder brother, Constantine I, on the death of their father in 1293. In a subsequent internecine war, Michael seized control of the provinces of Racha, Lechkhumi, and Argveti.[1][3] On several occasions, talks were held to bring about an end to hostilities, but nothing was achieved and the conflict continued for the remainder of Constantine's reign. The Georgian Chronicles even report that the powerful nobles did what they could to reconcile the two brothers.[4]

But all these greats hardly fought for peace in Kingdom of Western Georgia. Thus, the conflict created by Michael's usurpation also caused significant noble problems in Imereti. Giorgi I Dadiani took advantage of this to seize the territories of the Duchy of Tskhumi, thus extending his territories throughout the northeast of the Black Sea as far as Anakopia. The Sharvashidzes took possession of the rest of Abkhazia, while Guria and Svaneti in turn obtained de facto independence.[4]


The conflict continued until 1327, when Michael succeeded on the death of the childless Constantine as king of Imereti,[1][3] although he had claimed the title earlier, as in the 1326 charter[2] sanctioning a reparational payment (sasiskhlo, a Georgian equivalent of weregild) by a certain Gogitashvili to Mikeladze.[5]

Michael sought to resubjugate to the crown the great nobles and provincial dynasts (eristavi), who had asserted greater autonomy for themselves in the reign of Constantine I. His efforts were of limited success; all he could achieve was the pledge from the eristavi to pay tribute and provide troops for a royal army.[3]

Michael died in 1329. He was succeeded by his son, Bagrat I, who, owing to his minority, never firmly sat on the throne of Imereti and was reduced to the position of a vassal duke by the resurgent King George V the Brilliant, in 1330.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d Rayfield, Donald (2012). Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia. London: Reaktion Books. pp. 132, 139–140. ISBN 978-1780230306.
  2. ^ a b Toumanoff, Cyril (1949–51). "The Fifteenth-Century Bagratids and the Institution of Collegial Sovereignty in Georgia". Traditio. 7: 173.
  3. ^ a b c d Bagrationi, Vakhushti (1976). Nakashidze, N.T. (ed.). История Царства Грузинского [History of the Kingdom of Georgia] (PDF) (in Russian). Tbilisi: Metsniereba. p. 41.
  4. ^ a b Marie-Félicité Brosset, Histoire de la Géorgie, partie II, p. Missing parameter/s! (Template:P.)245
  5. ^ Taqaishvili, Ekvtime (1909). საქართველოს სიძველენი, ტომი II [Antiquities of Georgia, Vol. 2] (PDF) (in Georgian). Tiflis: Georgian Society of History and Ethnography. pp. 33–34.
Preceded by King of Imereti
Succeeded by