Tashir (historical region)

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Tashir (Armenian: Տաշիր, Georgian: ტაშირი) is a historical region in the South Caucasus, part of the marchlands between Armenia and Georgia since ancient times, and still divided between the two countries, in the Armenian Lori Province and the Georgian region of Kvemo Kartli.

The name of Tashir, or Tashiri in Georgian, has designated since Antiquity the high plain between the Upper Debeda and the Pambaki rivers. The region is first mentioned, by the Armenian historian Moses of Chorene, in the 5th century, as one of the apanages of the lords of Gugark (or Gogarene), a former province of Greater Armenia, which had become part of the Kingdom of Iberia (one of the Georgian kingdoms). Both Armenian and Georgian lords already had pretention over the land of Tashir, and it passed hands following the political fortunes of each.

In the following centuries, the area was ruled mostly by Armenian lords. When the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia fell apart in the 10th century, the region was the basis of the Kingdom of Lori, or Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget (978-1118). It was conquered at the beginning of the 12th century by David IV of Georgia. It remained Georgian land until the Mongol invasions devastated it and weakened the Georgian state. From then on, the region suffered many other invasions, lost much of its population and importance. It belonged to the domains of the noble House of Orbeliani and was part of the Persian Empire until the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. The name of Tashir declined in use, and was replaced by that of Lori.

Between 1918 and 1921, the region was again disputed between the newly independent states of Georgia and Armenia. Georgian troops briefly occupied it. After the Soviet invasion of 1921 however, most of it became part of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and thus today of the independent country of Armenia.

The town of Tashir (Armenia) is named after the historical region.

References[edit]

  • Cyril Toumanoff, "The Armeno-Georgian Marchlands", in Studies in Christian Caucasian History (Georgetown, 1963), pp. 437–499. Accessible at [1].