The struggle of the Georgian people against the Turks was of great importance for Shirvan. The joint struggle of the Georgians and Shirvanis ensured Shirvan's independence of the Seljuks. In 1124 King David annexed Shirvan to Georgia.
The king and his army participated in the struggle for the liberation of the Armenian people. In 1123 he took a number of Armenian fortresses. Representatives of Anis appealed to the king to take the town into his possession. In 1124 King David, at the head of 60,000 men captured Anis. During the reign of David's successor Demetré I (1125-1156) the Seljuk Turks made several attempts to recover Anis. The Georgians had to make concessions and conclude a treaty with the Turks, according to which Anis was ceded to the Moslem ruler but on terms of vassalage. In 1138 the Georgians took Gandza (Ganja), and to commemorate the victory they brought the fortress gate to Georgia. Under King Giorgi III (1156-1184) struggle against the Seljuks gained momentum. In 1161 Giorgi III took Anis, joining it to his kingdom, and in 1162 he captured Dvin. In 1167 in response to an appeal of Aghsartan the Shirvan-shah, a vassal of Georgia, King Giorgi's troops undertook a military expedition to Shirvan, as a result of which Sharuban and Daruband were recovered.
In 1177 the nobles, headed by loané Orbeli and Prince Demna (Demetre), rose against King Giorgi III. The king quelled the rebellion , and in 1178 ceded the throne to his only daughter and heiress Tamar. However, Giorgi remained coregnant until his death in 1184. In the same year, in compliance with the demand of the highnobles, Tamar was enthroned for a second time. This ceremonial was arranged in such way as to emphasize the role of noble houses in investing an heir to the throne with royal power.
Thus emboldened, the nobility began to "revise" the policy of the royalSee court. Vizirs originating from among the commoners - the amirspasalar Qubasar and the msakhurtukhutsesi (master of the royal household)- Apridon were removed from office. At that a group of opponents, headed by the mechurchletukhutsesi (minister of finance), raised their voice in demanding that along with the king's Darbazi (a council of representatives of the higher temporal and spiritual aristocracy), a Karavi (a parliament) be also instituted, and that this karavi be vested with executive power. This demand was not met, but the queen was obliged to reckon with the upper strata, granting them greater rights.
Then the problem of an heir to the throne, i.e. the marriage of the Queen, arose. On the decision of the darbazi Queen Tamar married Prince Yuri Bogolyubsky, son of the Grand Duke of Suzdal Andrei Bogolyubsky (1185). The Prince consort Yuri became involved in the inner-class struggle that developed at the Georgian royal court. Two and a half years later Queen Tamar dissolved her marriage to Prince Yuri, and in 1189 married David Soslan. But in 1191 a group of courtiers, disgruntled with the queen's policy, called Prince Yuri back from Constantinople, where he had been staying, and stirred up a large-scale rebellion, in which the feudal lords of almost the entire Western Georgia were involved. Queen Tamar suppressed the rebellion and Prince Yuri was again expelled from the country.
The end of the 12th century saw major successes in Georgia's foreign policy. Thanks to a strong and flexible military organization the Georgians undertook a massive offensive against the Turkish invaders. In 1195 the 400,000 Turks were crushed by 90,000 Georgians leaded by king David Soslan in the battle at Shamkor, and in 1203 at Basiani. The Georgian army marched to the southern coast of the Black Sea and won back the lands populated with Georgian tribes of the Laz and Chan. The Georgians captured Trebizond, Sam sun, Sinope, Cerasus, Kotyora and Heraclea, and Queen Tamar formed the Kingdom of Trebizond incorporating all the territories.
In the first decade of the 13th century the Sultan of Erzink and the Emir of Arzrum became Queen Tamar's vassals. In 1208-1209 Tamar subjugated Archesh, and in 1210 the Georgian army took the towns of Marand, Tabriz, Miyaneh, Zenjan and Kazvin, laying them under tribute. Transcaucasian mountaineers placed themselves under Queen Tamar unconditionally swore allegiance to her. Queen Tamar's policy was continued by her son and heir Giorgi IV Lasha (1213- 1223). By the 1220s Georgia was a politically and economically powerful feudal monarchy.See
Centralized royal power contributed to the strengthening of cities and towns, and development of trade and crafts brought about a considerable increase of the urban population. Towns, in their turn, were interested in doing away with feudal isolation and came out in support of unification of the country. Tbilisi and Kutaisi held a leading position in the economy of Georgia at that period. Rustavi, Samshvildé, Dmanisi, Ateni, Gori, Zhinvali, Artanuji, Akhaltsikhé, Khunani, Khornabuji, Telavi and other towns also prospered. The beginning of the 11th century marked an up-growth of cities and towns. Crafts became detached from agriculture, their wares being in high demand with the population. Manufacture of earthenware (ketsi) and tinware, perfumes, blacksmithing, carpentry, baking of bread, book-binding, copying, etc. developed vigorously.
History of Georgia
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