Prince El-Mirza of Kakheti

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El-Mirza or Elimurza (Georgian: ელ-მირზა, ელიმურზა; born before 1532 – 1580) was a Georgian prince (batonishvili) of the royal house of Kakheti, son of King Levan of Kakheti by his second wife, a daughter of Kamal Kara-Musel, shamkhal of Tarki. His attempt to seize the throne of Kakheti after Levan's death in 1574 was defeated by his half-brother, Alexander II. El-Mirza appears to have died during this fighting.


El-Mirza was born of Levan of Kakheti's second marriage to a daughter of Kamal Kara-Musel, the shamkhal of Tarki in Dagestan. After the death of Levan in 1574, El-Mirza put forward claims to the throne of Kakheti. His eldest brother and Levan's heir apparent, Prince Giorgi, had been killed in 1561 and his older half-brother, Alexander, had been disowned by Levan.[1]

On his father's death, El-Mirza and his brothers, Khosro and Vakhtang, seized control of Kakheti. Alexander quickly countermoved by having himself crowned as king at Bodbe with the help of the Upper Kakhetians. He further enlisted support of his in-laws from the neighboring kingdom of Kartli, whose ruler, Daud-Khan, sent in an army under the command of Prince Bardzim Amilakhori, Alexander's father-in-law, and Elizbar, Duke of Ksani. Facing the intervention, El-Mirza and his brothers saw their troops defecting to Alexander and had to rely on the support of the shamkhal and the Lesgians, but were beaten at the battle of Torga. According to the 18th-century Georgian historian, Prince Vakhushti, the three brothers were killed in this confrontation,[2][3] but El-Mirza appears to have died in 1580. El-Mirza was married to the certain Ketevan, by whom he had a son, Iovel (fl. 1580).[4]



  1. ^ Allen, William Edward David (1932). A History of the Georgian People: From the Beginning Down to the Russian Conquest in the Nineteenth Century. London: Kegan Paul (repr. Barnes & Noble, 1971). p. 152. ISBN 0-7100-6959-6. 
  2. ^ Allen, W.E.D., ed. (1970). Russian Embassies to the Georgian Kings, 1589-1605. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 363. 
  3. ^ Brosset, Marie-Félicité (1850). Histoire de la Géorgie depuis l'Antiquité jusqu'au XIXe siècle. IIe partie. Histoire moderne [History of Georgia from Antiquity to the 19th century. Part II. Modern History] (in French). S.-Pétersbourg: A la typographie de l'Academie Impériale des Sciences. pp. 153–154. 
  4. ^ Toumanoff, Cyrille (1990). Les dynasties de la Caucasie Chrétienne: de l'Antiquité jusqu'au XIXe siècle: tables généalogiques et chronologique [Dynasties of Christian Caucasia from Antiquity to the 19th century: genealogical and chronological tables] (in French). Rome. pp. 161–162.