David III of Tao
David III Kuropalates or David III the Great known as David II, was a Georgian prince of the Bagratid family of Tao, a historic region in the Georgian–Armenian marchlands, from 966 until his murder in 1001. Kuropalates was a Byzantine courtier title bestowed upon him in 978 and again in 990. David is best known for his crucial assistance to the Byzantine Macedonian dynasty in the 976–9 civil war and his unique role in the political unification of various Georgian polities as well as his patronage of Christian culture and learning. Between 987 and 989, David joined his friend Bardas Phocas in a revolt against the Byzantine emperor Basil II, but was defeated and agreed to cede his lands to the empire on his death, yet he was able to secure for his heir, Bagrat III, an opportunity to become the first ruler of a unified Georgian kingdom. David was the younger son of Adarnase V, a representative of the Second House of Tao, a branch of the Kartli line of the Georgian Bagrationi dynasty which held sway over Tao since the extinction of the original Tao line in the 940s.
He succeeded his brother, Bagrat II, as a duke of Tao in 966, through his expansionist policy and flexible diplomacy began assembling a larger state. In order to enact his ambitious plans, David had to secure his independence from the Byzantine Empire, which would reach its greatest height under the emperor Basil II; the Byzantines' eastern neighbors – the fragmented Armenian and Georgian principalities – threatened the empire directly, but were of particular interest to Constantinople as they controlled strategic international trade routes that ran through their domains. The Byzantines had annexed the Armenian principalities of Taron and Manzikert and posed a potential danger to the constellation of several Georgian Bagratid principalities known as Tao-Klarjeti. However, the integrity of the empire itself was under serious threat after a full-scale rebellion, led by Bardas Skleros, broke out in 976. Following a series of successful battles the rebels swept across Asia Minor and threatened Constantinople itself.
In the urgency of a situation, the young emperor Basil requested aid from David of Tao, who promptly responded and sent 12,000 first-rate cavalry troops under the command of Tornikios to reinforce the defeated loyal Byzantine general Bardas Phokas, thereby contributing to the decisive loyalist victory at the Battle of Pankalia near Caesarea on 24 March 979. David's reward was the lifetime rule of key imperial territories in eastern Asia Minor, known to the contemporary Georgian sources as the "Upper Lands of Greece", consisting chiefly of northwestern Armenian lands: the city of Theodosiopolis or Karin, Hark, Mardali and Chormayri. On this occasion, he was granted the high Byzantine court title of kouropalates. Basil II rewarded the valor of David’s commander Tornikios by funding a Georgian Orthodox monastery on Mount Athos. Although populated now chiefly with Greek monks, it is to this day known as Iviron, "of the Iberians"; these formidable acquisitions made David the most influential ruler in the Caucasus, enabling him to interfere in and arbitrate dynastic disputes in both Georgia and Armenia.
The medieval Georgian authors call him "greatest of all the kings of Tao" and the eleventh-century Armenian chronicler Aristakes Lastivertsi describes him as: a mighty man, a builder of the world honorable, a lover of the poor, the definition of peace. For in his day it was as the prophecy states: everyone reposed under his vine and his fig tree. Being in control of important commercial centers, his principality profited from taxing the major trading routes running through southwestern Caucasus and eastern Anatolia. David invested these revenues in extensive building projects: constructing towns and churches, promoting Georgian monastic communities and cultural activities both in Georgia and abroad. Having no children of his own, David adopted his kinsman, the young prince Bagrat, heir to the Bagratid throne of Kartli, he did so at the request of the energetic Georgian nobleman Iovane Marushis-dze. Through his fortunate bloodlines Bagrat was destined to sit upon two thrones. Furthermore, through his mother Gurandukht, sister of the childless Abkhazian king Theodosius III, Bagrat was a potential heir to the realm of Abkhazia.
Making a plan for the creation of an all-Georgian state, David occupied Kartli for his foster-son in 976 and repulsed the troops from the easternmost Georgian kingdom of Kakheti, which had occupied the western sector of Kartli with its rock-hewn city of Uplistsikhe. Two years in 978, David and Marushis-dze secured the crown of Abkhazia for Bagrat by displacing Theodosius III. David’s good fortunes changed in 987 when he, anxious to make his extensive possessions a hereditary Bagratid domain, joined his long-time friend Bardas Phokas in a rebellion against the emperor Basil. Once the rebels were defeated by the Byzantine-Rus' forces in 989, Basil dispatched a strong force under John of Chaldea to punish the Georgians, David had to submit. Reconciled with the emperor, he was granted, in c. 990, the title of kuropalates again in return for his promise that upon his death the lands placed under his sovereignty would revert to the Byzantine Empire. Another problem arose around the same year, when Bagrat of Abkhazia planned a punitive expedition against the non-submissive duke Rati of Kldekari in Low
The term eunuch refers to a man from antiquity, castrated in order to serve a specific social function. In Latin, the words eunuchus and castratus were used to denote eunuchs; the earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 21st century BC. Over the millennia since, they have performed a wide variety of functions in many different cultures: courtiers or equivalent domestics, treble singers, religious specialists, royal guards, government officials, guardians of women or harem servants. Eunuchs would be servants or slaves, castrated in order to make them reliable servants of a royal court where physical access to the ruler could wield great influence. Lowly domestic functions—such as making the ruler's bed, bathing him, cutting his hair, carrying him in his litter, or relaying messages—could in theory give a eunuch "the ruler's ear" and impart de facto power on the formally humble but trusted servant. Similar instances are reflected in etymology of many high offices.
Eunuchs did not have loyalties to the military, the aristocracy, or to a family of their own, were thus seen as more trustworthy and less interested in establishing a private'dynasty'. Because their condition lowered their social status, they could be replaced or killed without repercussion. In cultures that had both harems and eunuchs, eunuchs were sometimes used as harem servants or seraglio guards. Eunuch comes from the Greek word eunoukhos, first attested in a fragment of Hipponax, the 6th century BC comic poet and prolific inventor of compound words; the acerbic poet describes a certain lover of fine food having "consumed his estate dining lavishly and at leisure every day on tuna and garlic-honey cheese paté like a Lampsacene eunoukhos". In ancient classical literature from the early 5th century BC onward, the word designates some incapacity for or abstention from procreation, whether due to natural constitution or to physical mutilation. For instance, Lucian suggests two methods to determine whether someone is a eunuch: physical inspection of the body, or scrutiny of his ability to perform sexually with females.
The earliest surviving etymology of the word is from late antiquity. The 5th century Etymologicon by Orion of Thebes offers two alternative origins for the word eunuch: first, to tēn eunēn ekhein, "guarding the bed", a derivation inferred from eunuchs' established role at the time as "bedchamber attendants" in the imperial palace, second, to eu tou nou ekhein, "being good with respect to the mind", which Orion explains based on their "being deprived of male-female intercourse, the things that the ancients used to call irrational". Orion's second option reflects well-established idioms in Greek, as shown by entries for noos and ekhein in Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, while the first option is not listed as an idiom under eunē in that standard reference work. However, the first option was cited by the late 9th century Byzantine emperor Leo VI in his New Constitution 98 banning the marriage of eunuchs, in which he noted eunuchs' reputation as trustworthy guardians of the marriage bed and claimed that the word eunuch attested to this kind of employment.
The emperor goes further than Orion by attributing eunuchs' lack of male-female intercourse to castration, which he said was performed with the intention "that they will no longer do the things that males do, or at least to extinguish whatever has to do with desire for the female sex". The 11th century Byzantine monk Nikon of the Black Mountain, opting instead for Orion's second alternative, stated that the word came from eunoein, thus meaning "to be well-minded, well-inclined, well-disposed or favorable", but unlike Orion he argued that this was due to the trust that certain jealous and suspicious foreign rulers placed in the loyalty of their eunuchized servants. Theophylact of Ohrid in a dialogue In Defence of Eunuchs stated that the origin of the word was from eunoein and ekhein, "to have, hold", since they were always "well-disposed" toward the master who "held" or owned them; the 12th century Etymologicum Magnum repeats the entry from Orion, but stands by the first option, while attributing the second option to what "some say".
In the late 12th century, Eustathius of Thessalonica offered an original derivation of the word from eunis + okheuein, "deprived of mating". In translations of the Bible into modern European languages, such as the Luther Bible or the King James Bible, the word eunuchus as found in the Latin Vulgate is rendered as officer, official or chamberlain, consistent with the idea that the original meaning of eunuch was bed-keeper. Modern religious scholars have been disinclined to assume that the courts of Israel and Judah included castrated men though the original translation of the Bible into Greek used the word eunoukhos; the early 17th century scholar and theologian Gerardus Vossius therefore explains that the word designated an office, he affirms the view that it was derived from eunē and ekhein. He says the word came to be applied to castrated men in general because such men were the usual holders of that office. Still, Vossius notes the alternative etymologies offered by Eustathius and others, calling these analyse
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
The Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia known as Bagratid Armenia, was an independent state established by Ashot I Bagratuni in the early 880s following nearly two centuries of foreign domination of Greater Armenia under Arab Umayyad and Abbasid rule. With the two contemporary powers in the region, the Abbasids and Byzantines, too preoccupied to concentrate their forces in subjugating the people of the region and the dissipation of several of the Armenian nakharar noble families, Ashot was able to assert himself as the leading figure of a movement to dislodge the Arabs from Armenia. Ashot's prestige rose as he was courted by both Byzantine and Arab leaders eager to maintain a buffer state near their frontiers; the Caliphate recognized Ashot as "prince of princes" in 862 and on, king in 884 or 885. The establishment of the Bagratuni kingdom led to the founding of several other Armenian principalities and kingdoms: Taron, Kars and Syunik. Unity among all these states was sometimes difficult to maintain while the Byzantines and Arabs lost no time in exploiting the kingdom's situation to their own gains.
Under the reign of Ashot III, Ani became the kingdom's capital and grew into a thriving economic and cultural center. The first half of the 11th century saw the decline and eventual collapse of the kingdom. With emperor Basil II's string of victories in annexing parts of southwestern Armenia, King Hovhannes-Smbat felt forced to cede his lands and in 1022 promised to "will" his kingdom to the Byzantines following his death. However, after Hovhannes-Smbat's death in 1041, his successor, Gagik II, refused to hand over Ani and continued resistance until 1045, when his kingdom, plagued with internal and external threats, was taken by Byzantine forces; the weakening of the Sassanian Empire during the 7th century led to the rise of another regional power, the Muslim Arabs. The Umayyad Arabs had conquered vast swaths of territory in the Middle East and, turning north, began to periodically launch raids into Armenia territory in 640. Theodore Rshtuni, the Armenian Curopalates, signed a peace treaty with the Caliphate although the continuing war with the Arabs and Byzantines soon lead to further destruction throughout Armenia.
In 661, Armenian leaders agreed to submit under Muslim rule while the latter conceded to recognize Grigor Mamikonian from the powerful Mamikonian nakharar family as ishkhan of Armenia. Known as "al-Arminiya" with its capital at Dvin, the province was headed by governor. However, Umayyad rule in Armenia grew in cruelty in the early 8th century. Revolts against the Arabs spread throughout Armenia until 705, when under the pretext of meeting for negotiations, the Arab ostikan of Nakhichevan massacred all of the Armenian nobility; the Arabs attempted to conciliate with the Armenians but the levying of higher taxes, impoverishment of the country due to a lack of regional trade, the Umayyads' preference of the Bagratuni family over the Mamikonians made this difficult to accomplish. Taking advantage of the overthrow of the Umayyads by the'Abbasids, a second rebellion was conceived although it too was met with failure because of the frictional relationship between the Bagratuni and Mamikonian families.
The rebellion's failure resulted in the near disintegration of the Mamikonian house which lost most of the land it controlled. A third and final rebellion, stemming from similar grievances as the second, was launched in 774 under the leadership of Mushegh Mamikonian and with the support of other nakharars; the Abbasid Arabs, marched into Armenia with an army of 30,000 men and decisively crushed the rebellion and its instigators at the battle of Bagrevand on April 24, 775, leaving a void for the sole intact family, the Bagratunis, to fill. The Bagratuni family had done its best to improve its relations with the Abbasid caliphs since they took power in 750; the Abbasids always treated the family's overtures with suspicion but by the early 770s, the Bagratunis had won them over and the relationship between the two drastically improved: the Bagratuni family members were soon viewed as leaders of the Armenians in the region. Following the end of the third rebellion, which the Bagratunis had wisely chosen not to participate in, the dispersal of several of the princely houses, the family was left without any formidable rivals.
Any immediate opportunities to take full control of the region was complicated by Arab immigration to Armenia and the caliph's appointment of emirs to rule in newly created administrative districts. But the number of Arabs residing in Armenia never grew in number to form a majority nor were the emirates subordinate to the Caliph; as historian George Bournoutian observes, "this fragmentation of Arab authority provided the opportunity for the resurgence" of the Bagratuni family headed by Ashot Msaker. Ashot began to annex the lands that belonged to the Mamikonians and campaigned against the emirs as a sign of his allegiance to the Caliphate, who in 804 bestowed upon him the title of ishkhan. Upon his death in 826, Ashot bequeathed his land to two of his sons: the eldest, Bagrat Bagratuni received Taron and Sasun and inherited the prestigious title of ishkhanats ishkhan, or prince of princes, whereas his brother, Smbat the Confessor, became the sparapet of Sper and Tayk; the brothers, were unable to resolve their differences with one another nor able to form a unified front against the Muslims.
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately
George I of Georgia
There was a Giorgi I, Catholicos of Kartli who ruled in 677–678. Giorgi I, of the House of Bagrationi, was the king of Georgia from 1014 until his death in 1027, he spent most of his thirteen-year-long reign waging a bloody and fruitless territorial war with the Byzantine Empire. Giorgi was born in 998 or, according to a version of the Georgian chronicles, 1002, to King Bagrat III. Upon his father’s death on 7 May 1014, he inherited the kingdoms of Abkhazia and Kakheti united into a single state of Georgia; as his predecessor, Giorgi continued to be titled as King of the Georgians. Contemporary sources, however omitted one of the two components of this title when abbreviating it; the new sovereign’s young age was exploited by the great nobles, suppressed under the heavy hand of Bagrat. Around the same year, the easternmost provinces of Kakheti and Hereti, not acquired by Bagrat, staged a revolt and reinstated their own government under Kvirike III, who incorporated a portion of the neighbouring Arran, allowing him to claim the title of King of the Kakhetians and Ranians.
Giorgi was unable to prevent the move and sought an alliance with this kingdom, rather than attempting to reincorporate it into the Georgian state, thus leaving a long-standing claim to Kakheti and Hereti to his successors. The major political and military event during Giorgi’s reign, a war against the Byzantine Empire, had its roots back to the 990s, when the Georgian prince David III Kuropalates, following his abortive rebellion against Emperor Basil II, had to agree to cede his extensive possessions in Tao and the neighbouring lands to the emperor on his death. All the efforts by David’s stepson and Giorgi’s father, Bagrat III, to prevent these territories from being annexed to the empire went in vain. Young and ambitious, Giorgi launched a campaign to restore the Kuropalates’ succession to Georgia and occupied Tao in 1015–1016, he entered in an alliance with the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, Al-Hakim, that put Basil in a difficult situation, forcing him to refrain from an acute response to Giorgi’s offensive.
Beyond that, the Byzantines were at that time involved in a relentless war with the Bulgar Empire, limiting their actions to the west. But as soon as Bulgaria was conquered, Al-Hakim was no more alive, Basil led his army against Georgia. An exhausting war lasted for two years, ended in a decisive Byzantine victory, forcing Giorgi to agree to a peace treaty, in which he had not only to abandon his claims to Tao, but to surrender several of his southwestern possessions to Basil, to give his three-year-old son, Bagrat, as hostage. Following the peace treaty, Constantinople was visited by Catholicos-Patriarch Melchizedek I of Georgia, who gained Byzantine financial aid for the construction of "Svetitskhoveli", a major Orthodox cathedral in the eastern Georgian town of Mtskheta. Afterwards, Basil kept the peace with Georgia, permitting prince Bagrat to return home two years later: but the new emperor, Constantine VIII, who succeeded upon the death of Basil, decided to bring Bagrat back to Constantinople.
However, the imperial courier could not overtake the prince – he was in the Georgian possessions. The Byzantine-Georgian relations subsequently deteriorated after a conspiracy, organized by Nikephoros Komnenos, the katepano of Vaspurakan, involving Giorgi I, was brought to light. Giorgi was evidently preparing to take revenge for his defeat, but he died in Trialeti on 16 August 1027, he was buried in the Bagrati Cathedral in his capital Kutaisi. A discovered grave robbed in the 19th century, is proposed to have belonged to Giorgi I. Giorgi I was married twice – first to the Armenian princess Mariam of Vaspurakan with whom he had a son called Bagrat and daughters: Guarandukht and Kata; the most important representation of Giorgi I in historical fiction is in Konstantine Gamsakhurdia's magnum opus, The Hand of the Great Master. The author has noted that he has been interested in George's character and historical figure for a long time, as well as his reign full of turmoil and turbulence. In the story, the king is portrayed as a philanderer who enjoys feasting in low-class taverns with his comrades disguised as random peasants.
The author seems to be emphasizing on the king's human, fleshly wishes and desires despite his position on the social ladder, such as lust, love and compassion
Ardahan is a city in northeastern Turkey, near the Georgian border. The first surviving record about this region is attributed to Strabo, who calls it Gogarene and mentions that it was a part of the Armenia, taken away from the Kingdom of Iberia. In the Middle Ages Ardahan served as an important transit point for goods arriving from the Abbasid Caliphate and departing to the regions around the Black Sea. During the 8th to 10th centuries the region was in hands of the Bagrationi princes of Tao-Klarjeti, part of Kingdom of Georgia between 11th to 15th centuries. According to the Arab historian Yahya of Antioch, the Byzantines razed Ardahan and slaughtered its population in 1021; the Mongols took hold of the city in the 1230s but the Georgian princes of Samtskhe were able to recapture it in 1266. In 1555, by the Peace of Amasya, the western part of the principality of Samtskhe was annexed by the Ottoman Empire, Ardahan was included into the sanjak of Ardahan; the Ottomans constructed a substantial fortress at Ardahan.
The Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi visited Ardahan in the 1640s and gave the following description: "The fortress of Ardahan sits atop an inaccessible cliff. It is square-shaped and sturdy... This fortress has a cold climate and, because of this, there are no orchards. Fruits arrive from the fortress at Ajara and Tortum." Before 1829 Ardahan was recorded to have had 400 households, the great majority of them Armenian. Many of them immigrated to the Russian Empire. During the Russo-Turkish War it was an important road junction connecting the border fortress of Akhaltsikhe to the Kars-Erzerum road; the town passed into the hands of Russia following the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War and was made a part of the Kars Oblast. The majority of the town was made up of Armenians, while other ethnic groups included Georgians, Pontic Greeks, Caucasus Jews, Kurds and Yazidis; the town flourished economically under Russian rule, exporting fruits, smoked lamb meat and wood. New roads were constructed, linking Ardahan to Akhalkalak and Oltu.
On December 25, 1914, in the early months of the First World War, the Ottoman army occupied Ardahan and massacred many of its Armenians, Pontic Greeks, Georgians. The Russians, with the help of Armenian and Pontic Greek militias, captured the town on January 3, 1915, allowing some of the original inhabitants who had fled to return; as Russian forces withdrew from the front following the October Revolution, a small Armenian volunteer force took up positions to defend the town from the approaching Ottoman Army. On March 6, 1918 the Ottoman army, along with the help of the town's Muslims, overwhelmed Ardahan's Armenian garrison and retook the town; the British occupied Ardahan after the end of the First World War and handed control over it to the Democratic Republic of Armenia. When the Turkish Nationalists captured Ardahan in November 1920, the town's remaining Armenians, Pontic Greeks, Georgians fled to Armenia, northern Greece, Georgia; the Treaty of Moscow, signed the following year between the Soviets and the Turks, confirmed Ardahan as a part of Turkish territory.
In 1986 a brief description of the fortress was published. The original late antique/medieval walls of Ardahan Kalesi were extensively rebuilt several times and in the 19th they were adapted to accommodate small cannons. In 1960, Ardahan's population was populated by both Kurds and Turks. Ardahan is one of the small provincial capitals in Turkey and was until 1993 a small town in the province of Kars. In 1993 the district was made a province, with Ardahan as its regional capital; this resulted in new investment in government buildings and services, but life in mountains that spend half the year under snow is still a struggle. Kars Kafkas University has an institute in Ardahan. There is a substantial military presence in the town; the army no longer occupies the Ottoman fortress and it is accessible to visitors. The civil servants and military officers stationed in Ardahan help to support the local economy; these people have their own clubs and guest houses, as in many Turkish towns. The region is renowned for its hard yellow kaşar cheese, its cattle markets, its geese.
Province is home to various infrequent and endangered wildlife, such bears and chamois. Ardahan has a warm summer humid continental climate under the Köppen classification, bordering on an alpine subarctic climate under the Köppen classification, a cool summer continental climate under the Trewartha classification, with warm and brief summers with cool nights and cold winters. Like in other parts of Eastern Anatolia, the climate turns subalpine on the hillsides. Major cities and towns have been situated on lower elevations for milder climatic conditions, as much as possible, therefore the city and the main towns have less characteristics of subalpine climate in comparison to the province in general. Winters are snowy with snow cover lasting from late October to mid April. Although sometimes it snows in September and May, it doesn’t remain on the ground for long. On rare occasions it can snow in summer months early and late summer, such as the August 2013 incident; however strong snowfall was recorded in July in the past.
Average annual temperaure is 3.8 °C. The highest recorded temperature was 35 °C on 29 August 1998; the lowest recorded temperature was −39.8 °C on 21 January 1972. The highest recorded snow thickness was 113 cm on 30 January 1968. Twin towns—Sister citiesArdahan is twinned with: Akhaltsikhe, Georgia Gr