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The Bagratids (also called Bagrationi or Bagratuni) were a Royal family in Transcaucasia. Branches of the Bagratid family have ruled both Armenia and Georgia.


Early history

The Bagratid family first emerged as naxarars , members of the hereditary nobility of Armenia. Their holdings were in the region of Speri , in the Chorokhi valley. As early as 288-301, the Bagratid prince Smbat held the hereditary Armenian titles of Master of the Horse and t'agatir, or coranant of the King.

In the eighth century, a later Bagratid prince (also named Smbat) revolted against the Arab Caliphate. The revolt was defeated, but was successful enough to set the stage for Georgian and Armenian independence.

The Bagratids claimed descent from King David and King Solomon of the Hebrew Bible. The claim is given no credence by modern scholarship, but was accepted in its day and lent prestige to the family.

Bagratids in Armenia

Ashot I the Great (Ashot I Kurapalate) was the first Bagratid King, the founder of the Royal dynasty. He was recognized as prince of princes by the court at Baghdad in 861, which provoked war with local Arab emirs. Ashot won the war, and was recognized as King of the Armenians by Baghdad in 885. Recognition from Constantinople followed in 886.

The Armenian Bagratids built as their capital the city of Ani, now famous for its ruins. They kept power by playing off the competition between Byzantium and the Arabs. Their rule ended in 1045 with the conquest of Ani by the Byzantines. The Rubenids , believed to be a branch of the Bagratids, later took the throne of an Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia.

  • Ashot Mshter (son of Sembat Bagratuni, see Bagratuni) great prince 806-826
  • Sembat Bagratuni Ablabas (son) 826-854
  • Bagrat Bagratuni (brother, great prince in Khoit, Sasin and Taron) 830-851
  • Achot I Bagratuni (son of Sembat) 854-890
  • Sembat I Nahadak (son) 890-914
  • Achot II Erkath (son) 914-918/929
  • Abas I first king (brother) 928/929-953, father of Mouchel, first king of Kars
  • Achot III Olomurdz (son) 953-977
  • Sembat II Tiezerakal (son) 977-989
  • Gagik I of Ani (brother) 989-1020
  • Hovhannes I of Ani (son) 1020-1040/1041
  • Achot IV Qadj (usurper) 1021-1039/1040
  • Gargis of Ani (usurper) 1040/1041-1042
  • Gagik II of Ani (son of Achot IV) 1042-1045
  • To Byzantium 1045

Achot , son of Hovhannes (son of Gagik II) was later governor of Ani under the Shaddadid dynasty

Bagratids in Georgia

The Bagratid family in Georgia began with the migration of one prince Ashot (780-826) from Armenia. He settled in the Armeno-Georgian marchlands at Artanuji (part of the Georgian Principality of Tao-Klarjeti, now in the territory of Turkey.)

In 888, Adarnase II (888-923) revived the monarchy of Iberia and assumed the title King of the Georgians. Through marriage, inheritance, and conquest, his descendents gained control of what is today Georgia. The greatest representatives of this dynasty were David the Builder and Tamar of Georgia. Last King from the dynasty of Bagrationi was a King of Imereti, Solomon II (1789-1810). In 1801 the Tsarist Russian Empire occupied and annexed the Kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti (Eastern Georgia), in 1810 the Kingdom of Imereti (Western Georgia).

Having survived for a full millennium, the Bagrationi were among the longest-lasting ruling families in history.

Primary sources for the history of the dynasty of Bagrationi include the following Georgian chronicles of the 10th - 18th centuries: chronicle of Sumbat Davitis dze , "Moktsevai Kartlisai", "Tskhovreba Kartvelta Mepeta", "Matiane Kartlisa".

Kings of the united Georgian Kingdom (888-1466)

Kings of the united Georgian Kingdom were:

  • Adarnase II (888-923)
  • David II of Georgia (923-937)
  • Bagrat I (937-945)
  • Ashot IV (945-954)
  • Sumbat I (954-958)
  • Bagrat II (958-978)
  • David III (978-1001)
  • Gurgen (1001-1008)
  • Bagrat III (1008-1014)
  • Giorgi I (1014-1027)
  • Bagrat IV (1027-1072)
  • Giorgi II (1072-1089)
  • David IV the Builder (1089-1125)
  • Demetre I (1125-1155, 1156)
  • David V (1155)
  • Giorgi III (1156-1184)
  • Tamar of Georgia (1184-1213)
  • Giorgi IV Lasha (1213-1223)
  • Rusudan (1223-1245)
  • David VI Narin (1245-1293)
  • David VII Ulu (1247-1270)
  • Demetre II (1271-1289)
  • Vakhtang II (1289-1293)
  • David VIII (1293-1299, 1300-1308)
  • Giorgi VI (1308-1313)
  • Giorgi V (1299, 1314-1346)
  • David IX (1346-1360)
  • Bagrat V (1360-1393)
  • Giorgi VII (1393-1407)
  • Konstantine I (1407-1411)
  • Alexander I the Great (1412-1442)
  • Vakhtang IV (1442-1446)
  • Giorgi VIII (1446-1466)

See also


  • Kartlis Tskhovreba, vol. I-IV, Tbilisi, 1955-1973 (in Georgian)
  • Pavle Ingorokva. Giorgi Merchule (a monograph), Tbilisi, 1954 (in Georgian)
  • Ekvtime Takaishvili. "Georgian chronology and the beginning of the Bagratid rule in Georgia".- Georgica, London, v.I, 1935
  • The Georgians, David Marshall Lang, New York, 1966

Last updated: 02-16-2005 08:50:03
Last updated: 05-03-2005 02:30:17