George IV of Georgia
Fresco of George IV Lasha
|King of Georgia|
|Reign||18 January 1213 – 18 January 1222/23|
|Coronation||1207 as co-king|
|Died||18 January 1222/23 (aged 31)|
|Issue||David VII (illegitimate)|
|Mother||Tamar of Georgia|
|Religion||Georgian Orthodox Church|
A son of Queen Regnant Tamar and her consort David Soslan, George was declared as a coregent by his mother in 1207. He had princely domain in Javakheti, centered at Alastani, for which he was known by the title of javakht' up'ali, i.e., "the Lord of the Javakhians" as suggested by a type of silver coins struck in his name.
George IV continued Tamar's policy of strengthening of the Georgia feudal state. He put down the revolts in neighbouring Muslim vassal states in the 1210s and began preparations for a large-scale campaign against Jerusalem to support the Crusaders in 1220. However, the Mongol approach to the Georgian borders made the Crusade plan unrealistic. The first Mongol expedition defeated two Georgian armies in 1221–1222 and left through Inner Caucasus. Georgians suffered heavy losses in this war and the King himself was severely wounded. King Georgi IV went to Bagavan, Armenia, to secure his sister's marriage to the Shah of Shirvan and ensure her succession. Lasha George became an invalid and died prematurely in Bagavan at the age of 31. He was succeeded by his sister Rusudan.
George Lasha was known as an open minded person and met much criticism from a conservative feudal society. The nobles and Christian clergymen rejected his wife and failed to recognize her as queen. She was a girl from a family of commoners. Ultimately, the King had to compromise and divorced her formally, refusing, however, to marry anyone else.
- Halfter, P. "Die militärischen Triumphe der Georgier und ein wenig beachtetes Erdbeben an der Grenze Armenisch-Kilikiens (c. Ende August 1213)," Le Muséon, 122,3-4 (2009), pp. 423–447.
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