Jump to content

Demetrius II of Georgia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Demetrius II
დემეტრე II
A fresco of Demetrius II from the Udabno monastery.
King of Georgia
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
PredecessorDavid VII
SuccessorVakhtang II
Died12 March 1289(1289-03-12) (aged 29–30)
SpouseMegale Komnena
Natela Jaqeli
Among others
David VIII of Georgia
Vakhtang III of Georgia
George V of Georgia
Demetrius II the Self-Sacrificer
FatherDavid VII of Georgia
MotherGvantsa Kakhaberidze
ReligionGeorgian Orthodox Church

Demetrius II the Self-Sacrificer or the Devoted (Georgian: დემეტრე II თავდადებული, romanized: demet're II tavdadebuli) (1259–12 March 1289) of the Bagrationi dynasty, was king (mepe) of Eastern Georgia reigning from 1270 until his execution by the Mongol Ilkhans in 1289.

Early life[edit]

Demetrius, born in 1259, was the second son and third child of King David VII of Georgia. His mother was David's third wife Gvantsa née Kakhaberidze. He was 2 years old when Gvantsa was put to death by the Mongols as a reaction to David's abortive rebellion against the Ilkhan hegemony. David himself died in 1270.[1]

Demetrius had an elder half-brother George, an heir apparent, who died before his father's death in 1268, and an elder half-sister Tamar, whom Demetrius subsequently married off, with great reluctance, to a son of the Mongol official Arghun-Agha.[2]


He succeeded on his father's death in 1270, when he was 11 years old. He ruled under the regency of Sadun Mankaberdeli for some time, Sadun was the Atabeg and Amirspasalar, designated by the Mongols. It is for this reason that upon the death of Sadun in 1282, Demetrius refused the post of atabeg to his son Khutlubuga and made him a sworn enemy.

Although he continued to be titled "king of Georgians and Abkhazians, etc", Demetrius's rule extended only over the eastern part of the kingdom. Western Georgia is in the hands of the descendants of David VI Narin who proclaimed themselves kings of western Georgia, and the province of Samtskhe, governed by the independent prince Beka I Jaqeli, is directly subject to the Mongols.

Demetrius also participated in the Mongol campaigns in the Middle East against the Mamluks of Egypt and particularly distinguished himself with Beka I Jaqeli at the head of a Georgian army of 15,000 men under the orders of Möngke Temür, brother of Abaqa Khan, during of the Second Battle of Homs in 1281. Despite the defeat of the Mongol troops, the Georgians reported significant spoils.[3]

Demetrius behaved like a loyal subject of Ilkhan; he was a supporter of Tekuder (1282-1284), a Mongol converted to Islam, then of Arghun (1284-1291), brought to the throne in reaction by traditional Mongol Buddhist or Nestorian leaders. He developed friendly relations with the Mongolian nobility. Although he was already married to a Greek princess of Trebizond, he took the Mongolian princess Solghar as his second wife.

In 1288, on the order of Arghun, he subdued the rebel province of Derbent at the Caspian Sea. The same year, Arghun revealed a plot organized by his powerful minister Buqa, whose son was married to Demetrius's daughter. Bugha and his family were massacred, and the Georgian king, suspected to be involved in a plot, was ordered to the Mongol capital, or Arghun threatened to invade Georgia. Despite much advice from nobles, Demetrius headed for the Khan's residence to face apparent death, and was imprisoned there. He was beheaded at Movakan on 12 March 1289. He was buried at Mtskheta, Georgia, and canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church.

He was succeeded by his cousin Vakhtang II.

Marriages and children[edit]

Khutlubuga was Commander-in-Chief of the Georgian Army (Amirspasalar) for Demetrius II. Church of the Holy Sign. Haghpat Monastery, southern wall. Late 13th century.[4]

The first of Demetrius' wives was a Trapezuntine princess (She might have been a daughter of the emperor Manuel I of Trebizond), whom he married c. 1273–1274 or 1277.[1] By this woman, Demetrius had four sons and a daughter:[5]

  • David VIII, King of Georgia.
  • Vakhtang III, King of Georgia.
  • Prince Lasha
  • Prince Manuel, died in 1314.
  • Princess Rusudan

Demetrius' second wife was the Mongol woman Solghar, by whom he had two sons and a daughter:[5]

Demetrius married thirdly, c. 1280, Natela, a daughter of Beka I Jaqeli, Duke of Samtskhe and Lord High Steward of Georgia by whom he had a son:


  1. ^ a b Toumanoff 1976, p. 125.
  2. ^ "Chronicle of A Hundred Years", p. 613.
  3. ^ Baumer, Christoph (5 October 2023). History of the Caucasus: Volume 2: In the Shadow of Great Powers. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-7556-3630-3.
  4. ^ Hakobyan, Zaruhi A. (2021). "The Frescoes of the Haghpat Monastery in the Historical-Confessional Context of the 13th Century". Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art. 11: 265. doi:10.18688/aa2111-02-21.
  5. ^ a b "Chronicle of A Hundred Years", p. 622.
  6. ^ George Finlay, The History of Greece and the Empire of Trebizond, (1204-1461) (Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1851), p. 436
  • George Finlay, The History of Greece and the Empire of Trebizond, (1204-1461) (Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1851), p. 436 [wrong reference - the page number does not contain information about Jigda Khanun]


  • Toumanoff, Cyrille (1976). Manuel de Généalogie et de Chronologie pour l'histoire de la Caucasie chrétienne (Arménie, Géorgie, Albanie) [Manual of Genealogy and Chronology of Christian Caucasian History (Armenia, Georgia, Albania)] (in French). Rome: Edizioni Aquila.
  • Metreveli, Roin, ed. (2008). "„ასწლოვანი მატიანე"" [Chronicle of A Hundred Years] (PDF). ქართლის ცხოვრება [Kartlis Tskhovreba] (in Georgian). Tbilisi: Artanuji. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by King of Georgia
Succeeded by