Parsadan Gorgijanidze

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P'arsadan Gorgijanidze (Georgian: ფარსადან გორგიჯანიძე; or Giorgijanidze, გიორგიჯანიძე) (1626 – c. 1696) was a Georgian factotum and historian who served at both the Georgian and Persian courts and is principally known for his informative chronicles The History of Georgia (საქართველოს ისტორია, sak’art’velos istoria).


Originally from the town of Gori, Gorgijanidze was brought up at the court of the pro-Persian Georgian ruler Rostom of Kartli in Tbilisi and engaged in Georgian-Persian diplomacy early in his career. In 1656, he was appointed, through the recommendation of Rostom, as a darugha (prefect) of the Persian capital, Isfahan. Gorgijanidze had to become a Muslim on this occasion and was to spend four decades in the service of the shahs Abbas II and Suleiman I.

Shortly after his appointment as prefect of the capital, Parsadan's administrative rearrangements and new laws raised him opposition and led the Isfahanians into rebellion. Through the intervention of the shah's vizier, Mohammad Beg, Parsadan was removed from his post and appointed an eshik-agha (Master of Ceremonies) of the royal court. Parsdan's family remained in Georgia, but several of its members were also active in Persia. Thus, one of Parsandan's brothers, Alexander, served as the zarabibash (chief of the Shah's mint) of Isfahan;[1] another, Melik Sadat-Bek, was yuzbash (lieutenant) of the shah’s army. Parsadan's son, David, was trained as an officer of the shah's guard (ghulam). Gorgijanidze found himself involved in the incessant intrigues in the Safavid administration and twice fell in disfavor with the shah. His post also allowed Gorgijanidze to intervene in the domestic politics in his native Georgia. His antagonism with Rostom's successor to the throne of Kartli, Shah Navaz Khan (Vakhtang V) undermined his position and Gorgijanidze was exiled, from 1666 to 1671, to Shushtar, the governor of which, Vakhushti Khan, was a close relative of Shah Navaz Khan's wife Rodam.[2]


A manuscript of Gorgijanidze's untitled chronicle was discovered by the Georgian scholar Platon Ioseliani in 1841 and was conventionally named The History of Georgia by the 19th-century scholars of Georgia Marie-Félicité Brosset and Teimuraz Bagrationi. It is voluminous work which seems to have been completed by the author by 1694 or 1696. The chronicle relates the Georgian history from the ascension of Christianity in Georgia in the 4th century down to the late 17th century. Gorgijanidze's account of his contemporary events is of special value. He made extensive use of foreign, primarily Persian, historical works in order to confirm or supplement information from native Georgian sources.[3] The chronicles contain also autobiographic information and is written in vernacular Georgian apparently because of the author's poor knowledge of the contemporary standards of Georgian literary language. Gorgijanidze also translated a book of Muslim law into Georgian and composed a trilingual Georgian-Arabic-Persian dictionary.[4]


  1. ^ I. Paghava, S. Turkia & A. Akopyan (2010), "The cross-in-circle mark on the silver coins of the Safavid ruler, Sultān Husayn, from the Iravān mint", p. 22. Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society 202
  2. ^ (Japanese) Maeda, Hirotake (2007), "Parsadan Gorgijanidze's Exile to Shushtar: A Biographical Episode of a Georgian Official in the Service of the Safavid Shahs". The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies, 25, pp. 125-136.
  3. ^ Keith Hitchins, Georgia VI: Iranian studies and collections in Georgia. Encyclopædia Iranica Online Edition. Accessed on February 25, 2008.
  4. ^ (Russian)(English) Alasania, G. (ed.), Парсадан Горгиджанидзе, История Грузии (Parsadan Gorgijanidze, History of Georgia)/Russian translation by R. Kiknadze and V. Puturidze; English summary by R. Kiknadze. Tbilisi: Metsniereba, 1990.

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