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Battle of Krtsanisi

Battle of Krtsanisi Part of Persian invasions of Georgia

The Battle of Krtsanisi by Severian Maisashvili Date Location Result September 8-September 11, 1795 Krtsanisi, Tbilisi Qajars victory Tbilisi sacked Belligerents

as part of Qajar Emperor Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar's war in response to King Heraclius II of Georgia’s alliance with the Russian Empire. A limited Russian contingent of two infantry battalions with four artillery pieces arrived in Tbilisi in 1784. composed of the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti. However. had been under intermittent Iranian suzerainty since 1555. Background Eastern Georgia. In 1783. in 1787. but was withdrawn.Kartli-Kakheti Imereti Persian Empire * Ganja Khanate * Erivan Khanate Commanders and leaders Heraclius II Solomon II Agha Mohammad Khan Strength 3.000 Casualties and losses 4.000 2. 1795. a strong and united monarchy. into .000 35. despite the frantic protests of the Georgians.000 captives (civilians) about 15000 The Battle of Krtsanisi was fought between Qajars and Georgian armies at the place of Krtsanisi near Tbilisi. The battle resulted in the defeat of Georgians and complete destruction of their capital Tbilisi. with Russian protection. both kingdoms broke free of Iranian control and were reunited in personal union under the rule of the energetic king Heraclius II (Erekle) in 1762. Despite being left on his devices. from September 8 to September 11. Heraclius placed his kingdom under the protection of the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Georgievsk. Georgia. with the death of Nader Shah in 1747.000 dead 15. Heraclius still cherished a dream of establishing.

Agha Mohammad Khan. when a new dynasty. Heraclius II still rejected the Khan’s ultimatum.which the western Georgian Kingdom of Imereti and the lost provinces under Ottoman rule would all eventually be drawn. Nevertheless. Persian Invasion . Heraclius appealed then to his theoretical protector. but he was not listened. Their head. the Qajars. The consequences of these events came a few years later. Finding an interval of peace amid their own quarrels. resolved to bring the Caucasus once more under the Persian orbit. leaving Georgia to fend off the Persian threat alone. emerged victorious in the protracted power struggle in Persia. Empress Catherine II of Russia. the Persians demanded Heraclius II to renounce the treaty with Russia in return for peace and the security of his kingdom.

Heraclius II managed to mobilize around 5.Persian cavalryman In August 1795. including some 2.000 auxiliaries from neighbouring Imereti under its King Solomon II.000-strong army into the Caucasus. forcing the Khans of Ganja and Erivan into alliance. Having abandoned the siege of Shusha in the Karabakh Khanate.000 troops. After . and attacked the heavily fortified Georgian positions on the southwestern limits of the city. Agha Mohammad Khan marched directly on Tbilisi. The Georgians offered a desperate resistance and succeeded in rolling back a series of Persian attacks on September 9 and 10. Abandoned by several of his nobles. a member of the Georgian Bagrationi Dynasty and thus distantly related to Heraclius II. Agha Mohammad Khan led his 35.

History of Tbilisi The history of Tbilisi.that. shortly recalled it. By nightfall. but the new Tsar Paul I. Tbilisi has been an important cultural. The next three years were a time of muddle and confusion. Heraclius II returned to Tbilisi to rebuild the city. but the destruction of his capital was a death blow to his hopes and projects. it is said that some traitors informed the Persians that the Georgians had no more strength to fight and the Qajars army cancelled their plan of going back to Persia.000 captives. the Persians managed to cross the Kura River and outflanked the decimated Georgian army. To restore Russian prestige. Agha Mohammad Khan personally led an all-out offensive against the Georgians. which they previously had. Amid an artillery duel and a fierce cavalry charge. In a few hours. and the weakened and devastated Georgian kingdom. the Georgian forces had been exhausted and almost completely destroyed. with its capital half in ruins. the city has suffered many invasions. Early history . was easily absorbed by Russia in 1801. but he had to retreat to the last available positions in the outskirts of Tbilisi. the capital of Georgia. Heraclius II attempted to mount a counterattack. who succeeded Catherine in November. The last surviving Georgian artillery briefly held the advancing Persians to allow Heraclius II and his retinue of some 150 men to escape through the city to the mountains. political and economic center of the Caucasus region for most of its history. but also as the capital of various independent local states. Agha Mohammad Khan was in full control of the Georgian capital which was completely sacked and its population massacred. dates back to at least the 5th century AD. often served as the seat of foreign domination over the region. Aftermath On his return. The fighting continued in the streets of Tbilisi and at the fortress of Narikala. Agha Mohammad Shah was later assassinated while preparing a second expedition against Georgia in 1797 and the seasoned king Heraclius died early in 1798. The Persian army marched back laden with spoil and carrying off some 15. Catherine II declared war on Persia and sent an army under Valerian Zubov to the Qajar possessions on April of that year. Located on a crossroad of major trade routes. Early on September 11. Agha Mohammad was crowned Shah in 1796.

the date medieval Georgian chronicles assign to the founding of the city by King Vakhtang I Gorgasali of Iberia (or Kartli. Archaeological studies of the region have however revealed that the territory of Tbilisi was settled by humans as early as the 4th millennium BC. when a fortress was built during King Varaz-Bakur's reign (ca. or rebuilt parts of the city (such as Abanotubani. The name Tbili or Tbilisi ("warm location") therefore was given to the city because of the area's numerous sulfuric hot springs. but archaeological evidence show that Vakhtang revived. The king's falcon caught a pheasant. Towards the end of the 4th century the fortress fell into the hands of the Persians.Legend has it that the present-day territory of Tbilisi was uninhabited and covered by forest as late as 458 AD. According to one account King Vakhtang Gorgasali (r. present-day eastern Georgia). meaning warm. where his statue now stands) but did not found it. This mythical foundation account is still popular. The earliest written accounts of settlement of the location come from the second half of the 4th century AD. which are still heavily exploited. Capital of Iberia . or the Metekhi palace. but both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died. 364). 447-502) went hunting in the heavily wooded region with a falcon. in the Abanotubani district. King Vakhtang was so impressed with the discovery that he decided to build a city on this location. but was recaptured by the kings of Kartli by the middle of the 5th century. The name Tbilisi derives from the Old Georgian word "Tpili". notably for public baths.

During his reign. Tbilisi mostly remained under Sassanid (Persian) control. In the second half of the 6th century. the son and successor of Vakhtang Gorgasali.The Anchiskhati Basilica. this location was also strategic from the political point of view. and most major regional powers would struggle during the next centuries for its control. Persia and the Byzantine Empire were the main contenders for such hegemony over the Caucasus. from the 6th century King Dachi (beginning of the 6th century). and the kingdom of Iberia was abolished around 580. Dachi also finished the construction of the fortress wall that lined the city's new boundaries. In 627. Tbilisi started to grow at a steady pace due to the region's favorable location. Tbilisi's oldest surviving church. is said to have moved the capital of Iberia from Mtskheta to Tbilisi to obey the will left by his father. Beginning from the 6th century. which placed the city along important trade and travel routes between Europe and Asia. Tbilisi was sacked by the allied Byzantine and Khazar armies. In the 6th century. However. .

1890-1900 Around 737. In 853. Tbilisi was once again sacked by the Khazars. Arab rule brought a certain order to the region and introduced a more formal and modernized judicial system into Georgia. the armies of Arab leader Bugha al-Kabir ("Bugha the Turk" in Georgian sources) invaded Tbilisi in order to bring the emirate . The Arab conquerors established the Emirate of Tbilisi. The emirate became an influential local state. while Tbilisi prospered from the trade with the whole Middle East. Few Georgians converted to Islam during this time.Emirate of Tbilisi The old city of Tbilisi and the ancient Narikala fortress. and repeatedly tried to gain independence from the caliphate. The Arab rule heavily influenced the cultural development of the city. view ca. while still under Arab control. but Tbilisi became a mainly Muslim city. In 764. Arab armies entered the town under Marwan II Ibn-Muhammad.

was burnt. The city. Shota Rustaveli worked in Tbilisi while writing his legendary epic poem. During Queen Tamar's reign. however. David moved his residence from Kutaisi (Western Georgia) to Tbilisi. the troops of the King of Georgia David the Builder entered Tbilisi. the city was once again sacked. making it the capital of a unified Georgian State. only this time by the Seljuk Turks under Sultan Alp Arslan. Mongol domination and the following period of instability . The Knight in the Panther's Skin.000 Turks. By the end of the 12th century. Arab rule in Tbilisi continued until the second half of the 11th century. the emirs held less and less power. However. and the "council of elders" (a local merchant oligarchy) often assumed power in the city. Georgian reconquest and Renaissance In 1122.000. military attempts by the new Kingdom of Georgia to capture the city were long unsuccessful. shrank in size. From the 12th-13th centuries. whose population was then predominantly Muslim. This period is widely known as "Georgia's Golden Age" or the Georgian Renaissance. The emirate. The city also became an important literary and a cultural center not only for Georgia but for the larger civilized world as well. after heavy fighting with the Seljuks that involved at least 60.back under the control of the Abbasid Caliphate. Tbilisi became a dominant regional power with a thriving economy (with well-developed trade and skilled labor) and a well-established social system/structure. the population of Tbilisi had reached 120. and 500 citizens tortured to death. After the battles for Tbilisi concluded.000 Georgians and up to 300. In 1068. the survivors were allowed to retain their faith and keep living in the city.

An outbreak of the plague struck the city in 1366. In 1444. which led to a more complete loss of independence than had been the case in the past centuries. the Mongols were forcefully expelled from Georgia and Tbilisi became the capital of an independent Georgian state once again. but Tbilisi was strongly influenced by the Mongols for the next century both politically and culturally. Erekle sought the help of Russia. Tbilisi came under Persian control but was later freed in 1524 by King David X of Georgia. In 1386. In 1522. In the 1320s. many parts of Tbilisi were reconstructed and rebuilt. Tbilisi came under the rule of various foreign invaders once again and on several occasions was completely burnt to the ground. Tbilisi once again became the object of rivalry only this time between the Ottoman Turks and Persia. as witnessed by Jean Chardin during his travels in 1672. after suffering crushing defeats to the Mongols. From 1477 to 1478 the city was held by the Ak Koyunlu tribesmen of Uzun Hassan. 1671 Tbilisi's Golden Age did not last for more than a century. believing that Georgia could not hold up against Persia alone. the city was invaded and destroyed by Jahan Shah (the Shah of the town of Tabriz in Persia). Georgia came under Mongol domination. The Kings of Kartli held court in Tbilisi under Persian patronage.View of Tbilisi as per French traveller Jean Chardin. From the late 14th until the end of the 18th century.. During this period. At this point. Tbilisi under Russian control . From the 17th-18th centuries. King Erekle of Georgia tried on several occasions to free Tbilisi from Persian rule. The nation itself maintained a form of semi-independence and did not lose its statehood. but also to the progressive transformation of Tbilisi into a European city. but Tbilisi was burnt to the ground in 1795 by Shah AghaMohammad Khan during a punitive Persian expedition. Tbilisi was invaded by the armies of Tamerlane (Timur). In 1236.

New buildings. Akaki Tsereteli. after the Georgian kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti was incorporated into the Russian Empire. Baku. Tbilisi became the center of the Tiflis Governorate. The likes of Ilia Chavchavadze. and Yerevan. Alexander Griboedov and many other statesmen. The city was visited on numerous occasions by and was the object of affection of Alexander Pushkin.The coat of arms of Tiflis under Russian rule Metekhi cliff and the surroundings as depicted by Nikolay Chernetsov. and artists all found their home in Tbilisi. The main new artery . poets. Poti. the Romanov Family and others. were erected throughout the town. New roads and railroads were built to connect Tbilisi to other important cities in Russia and other parts of Transcaucasia such as Batumi. 1839 In 1801. By the 1850s Tbilisi once again emerged as a major trade and a cultural center. Iakob Gogebashvili. mainly of European style. From the beginning of the 19th century Tbilisi started to grow economically and politically. Mikhail Lermontov. Leo Tolstoy.

economic and cultural role of Tbilisi with its ethnic. confessional and cultural diversity was significant not only for Georgia but for the whole Caucasus. Tbilisi took on a different look. Throughout the century.  Military Cathedral (site of the Parliament building) . on which the Viceroys of the Caucasus established their residence. the political.built under Russian administration was Golovin Avenue (present-day Rustaveli Avenue). belonging to Tbilisi) culture. Hence. It acquired different architectural monuments and the attributes of an international city. as well as its own urban folklore and language. and the specific Tbilisuri (literally.

 Tatar bazaar and Metekhi palace .

Metekhi cliff .

Kura River  .

in the spring of 1918. Tbilisi functioned as the capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia until 25 February 1921. a long-time dream of the Georgians banned by the Imperial Russian authorities for several decades.Golovin Avenue Independence: 1918–1921 The 11th Red Army of the Russian SFSR occupies Tbilisi. Armenia and Azerbaijan – was declared on May 26 to 28 1918. Under the national government. 25 February 1921 After the Russian Revolution of 1917. where the independence of three Transcaucasian nations – Georgia. Since then. On 25 . the city served as a location of the Transcaucasus interim government which established. It was here. From 1918 to 1919 the city was also a home to the German and British military headquarters consecutively. in the former Caucasus Vice royal Palace. the shortlived independent Transcaucasian Federation with the capital in Tbilisi. Tbilisi turned into the first Caucasian University City after the Tbilisi State University was founded in 1918.

and St. Shota Kavlashvili. etc. After a brief Civil War which the city endured for two weeks . Tbilisi during the Soviet period In 1921. the Sports Palace in 1961. New standardized residential areas (typical microdistricts) were built from the 1960s: Gldani. which regrouped the three Caucasian republics. Varketili. After the break-up of the Soviet Union Since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Petersburg. the Red Army invaded the Democratic Republic of Georgia from Russia. Tbilisi was the seat of the Transcaucasian SFSR. where some residential buildings were demolished to uncover the 18th century city wall. which opened in phases from 1966. Tbilisi's population grew significantly. Tbilisi remained the capital city of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic until 1991. In 1936. the official Russian name of the city was changed from Tiflis to Tbilisi. To link them all with the old city center. During Soviet rule. Many religious buildings were destroyed during anti-religious campaigns. 1978 (in defense of the Georgian language) and 1989 (the April 9 tragedy). the city became more industrialized and came to be one of the most important political. leading to dozens of deaths. With the expansion of the city came new places for culture and entertainment.February 1921.[6] Tbilisi witnessed mass anti-Soviet demonstrations in 1956 (in protest against the antiStalin policies of Nikita Khrushchev). the Bolshevist Russian 11th Red Army entered Tbilisi after bitter fighting at the outskirts of the city and declared Soviet rule. Kiev. Tbilisi has experienced periods of significant instability and turmoil. The reconstruction started from the side of Baratashvili Avenue. Both 1956 and 1989 demonstrations were repressed in a bloody way by the authorities. such as the Vank Cathedral. which led to a progressive change of name for the city in most foreign languages. wanted to make the center look like in the 19th century. but most ancient neighborhoods retained their character. a Metro system was developed. on the model of other Soviet metropolises: Vake Park was inaugurated in 1946. and a Bolshevik regime was installed in Tbilisi. In the 1970s and the 1980s the old part of the city was considerably reconstructed. After its dissolution. and cultural centers of the Soviet Union along with Moscow. Between 1922 and 1936. social. Stalinist buildings such as the current Parliament of Georgia were built on the main avenues. the architect who planned the reconstruction.

improving economy. Average citizens of Tbilisi started to become increasingly disillusioned with the existing quality of life in the city (and in the nation in general). . Many segments of society became impoverished due to a lack of employment which was caused by the crumbling economy. Since 2003. decreasing crime rates. Tbilisi became the scene of frequent armed confrontations between various mafia clans and illegal business entrepreneurs.000 people into the streets and concluded with the Rose Revolution.from December 1991 – January 1992 (when pro-Gamsakhurdia and Opposition forces clashed with each other). Even during the Edvard Shevardnadze era (1993–2003). and a booming tourist industry similar to (if not more than) what the city experienced during the Soviet times. Mass protests took place in November 2003 after falsified parliamentary elections forced more than 100. Tbilisi has experienced considerably more stability. crime and corruption became rampant at most levels of society.