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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

000 dead 15. from September 8 to September 11. with Russian protection. Heraclius placed his kingdom under the protection of the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Georgievsk. A limited Russian contingent of two infantry battalions with four artillery pieces arrived in Tbilisi in 1784.000 Casualties and losses 4.000 2. 1795. Despite being left on his devices. 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. 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. Georgia. a strong and united monarchy. 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. with the death of Nader Shah in 1747. composed of the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti.000 35. However. The battle resulted in the defeat of Georgians and complete destruction of their capital Tbilisi. in 1787. into . had been under intermittent Iranian suzerainty since 1555.Kartli-Kakheti Imereti Persian Empire * Ganja Khanate * Erivan Khanate Commanders and leaders Heraclius II Solomon II Agha Mohammad Khan Strength 3. Background Eastern Georgia. but was withdrawn. Heraclius still cherished a dream of establishing. In 1783.

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

After . and attacked the heavily fortified Georgian positions on the southwestern limits of the city.Persian cavalryman In August 1795. 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. forcing the Khans of Ganja and Erivan into alliance.000 auxiliaries from neighbouring Imereti under its King Solomon II. including some 2. Agha Mohammad Khan marched directly on Tbilisi. a member of the Georgian Bagrationi Dynasty and thus distantly related to Heraclius II. Agha Mohammad Khan led his 35.000-strong army into the Caucasus. Heraclius II managed to mobilize around 5. Having abandoned the siege of Shusha in the Karabakh Khanate.000 troops.

but the destruction of his capital was a death blow to his hopes and projects. Heraclius II attempted to mount a counterattack. but also as the capital of various independent local states. was easily absorbed by Russia in 1801. Agha Mohammad Khan was in full control of the Georgian capital which was completely sacked and its population massacred. Agha Mohammad Shah was later assassinated while preparing a second expedition against Georgia in 1797 and the seasoned king Heraclius died early in 1798. In a few hours.000 captives. To restore Russian prestige. Amid an artillery duel and a fierce cavalry charge. The fighting continued in the streets of Tbilisi and at the fortress of Narikala. The next three years were a time of muddle and confusion. History of Tbilisi The history of Tbilisi. which they previously had. Heraclius II returned to Tbilisi to rebuild the city. Located on a crossroad of major trade routes. Tbilisi has been an important cultural. 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. Early on September 11. often served as the seat of foreign domination over the region. Aftermath On his return. Catherine II declared war on Persia and sent an army under Valerian Zubov to the Qajar possessions on April of that year. and the weakened and devastated Georgian kingdom.that. 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. Early history . but the new Tsar Paul I. with its capital half in ruins. dates back to at least the 5th century AD. shortly recalled it. Agha Mohammad Khan personally led an all-out offensive against the Georgians. the Georgian forces had been exhausted and almost completely destroyed. The Persian army marched back laden with spoil and carrying off some 15. who succeeded Catherine in November. but he had to retreat to the last available positions in the outskirts of Tbilisi. the capital of Georgia. the city has suffered many invasions. the Persians managed to cross the Kura River and outflanked the decimated Georgian army. Agha Mohammad was crowned Shah in 1796. By nightfall.

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

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

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

David moved his residence from Kutaisi (Western Georgia) to Tbilisi. Shota Rustaveli worked in Tbilisi while writing his legendary epic poem.000 Turks.back under the control of the Abbasid Caliphate. after heavy fighting with the Seljuks that involved at least 60. Arab rule in Tbilisi continued until the second half of the 11th century. making it the capital of a unified Georgian State. and 500 citizens tortured to death. the population of Tbilisi had reached 120. military attempts by the new Kingdom of Georgia to capture the city were long unsuccessful. and the "council of elders" (a local merchant oligarchy) often assumed power in the city. The city also became an important literary and a cultural center not only for Georgia but for the larger civilized world as well. The city. From the 12th-13th centuries.000. however. shrank in size. the survivors were allowed to retain their faith and keep living in the city. was burnt.000 Georgians and up to 300. the troops of the King of Georgia David the Builder entered Tbilisi. the emirs held less and less power. Mongol domination and the following period of instability . In 1068. Georgian reconquest and Renaissance In 1122. The Knight in the Panther's Skin. By the end of the 12th century. However. This period is widely known as "Georgia's Golden Age" or the Georgian Renaissance. Tbilisi became a dominant regional power with a thriving economy (with well-developed trade and skilled labor) and a well-established social system/structure. After the battles for Tbilisi concluded. whose population was then predominantly Muslim. The emirate. only this time by the Seljuk Turks under Sultan Alp Arslan. During Queen Tamar's reign. the city was once again sacked.

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

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

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

 Tatar bazaar and Metekhi palace .

Metekhi cliff .

Kura River  .

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

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

Since 2003. decreasing crime rates.from December 1991 – January 1992 (when pro-Gamsakhurdia and Opposition forces clashed with each other). 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. 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. Tbilisi has experienced considerably more stability. Mass protests took place in November 2003 after falsified parliamentary elections forced more than 100. improving economy. and a booming tourist industry similar to (if not more than) what the city experienced during the Soviet times. Even during the Edvard Shevardnadze era (1993–2003). crime and corruption became rampant at most levels of society. .