Principality of Kakheti

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Principality of Kakheti
კახეთის სამთავრო
Capital Ujarma
Languages Georgian
Religion Orthodox Christianity
Government Monarchy
Prince (Chorepiscope)
 •  787–827 Grigoli (first)
 •  1010–1020s
King of Kakheti-Hereti in c.1020–1037
Kvirike III (last)
 •  Established 787
 •  Conquered by Bagrat III, king of Georgia 1009–1014
 •  Union of Kakheti and Hereti 1020s
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Principality of Iberia
Kingdom of Kakheti-Hereti
Today part of

The Principality of Kakheti (Georgian: კახეთის სამთავრო; Kakhetis Samtavro) or the Diocesan Episcopate of Kakheti was a feudal political unit in the Eastern Georgia which was established in the second half of the 8th century. According to Vakhushti it was seceded from the Principality of Iberia in 787.

Establishment of the principality[edit]

After forming the Kingdom of Iberia the historical region of Kakheti had always been a part of united Georgian state before the repeal of the institute of king by the Sasanians. It has also been a part the Principality of Iberia after its formation in c.550. But in the second half of the 8th century, in some Arab sources Kartli and Tzanaria (in which Kakheti is meant) are already mentioned separately.


Governance and the chorbishops[edit]

There is an opinion that the first prince of the Tzanars (Kakhetians) chorbishop Grigol (787-827) was from the Bagrationi dynasty. After him the Donauri family (883-881) from the Gardabanian community are coming to power, but the representatives of the Arevmaneli clan are taking their place already in 881–1037 years. There is another opinion saying that Padla I, the first Arevmaneli prince was a descendant of Grigol and therefore he was Bagratid too. Afterwards the last Arevmaneli monarch Kvirike III (1010-1037) his sisters's son Gagiki is becoming the king and this time the Kvirikids become the rulers, this dynasty ends with Aghsartan II after whom the Kingdom of Kakheti-Hereti gets annexed by the United Kingdom of Georgia. The last ruler who was bearing the title of chorepiscope was David and the following rulers are already titled as "The king of Kakheti and Hereti".

Geography of the state[edit]

Territorially the principality of Kakheti didn't match neither the complete region of the Kingdom of Kakheti from the late middle ages, nor the Eristavate ("duchy") of Kakheti which was one of the duchies in the ancient Kingdom of Iberia, the principate included the historical regions of Kakheti, Kukheti and Gardabani. According to the 11th-century Georgian chronicler Leonti Mroveli Kakheti was bounded by the Caucasus Mountains in the north; in the west by riv. Aragvi and in the east by Hereti and its political center was the city of Cheleti. Kukheti was bounded by Aragvi river and Hereti and its center was Rustavi. Mtkvari and Berduji rivers were bounding the regions of Gardabani, its administrative center was Khunani. All those three provinces were bordering each other with their Georgian population so that their unification in one principality was absolutely natural. Unification of the states of Kakheti and Hereti took place in the beginning of the 11th century.

First Kakheti and Kukheti got united and the center became Ujarma but then when Gardabani was added to the union, the capital moved into Tianeti, the new capital was located on the upper part of river Iori and it was also much better protected. In the 11th century when the Principality of Kakheti annexed the Kingdom of Hereti capital of the state got changed once again and this time it moved into Telavi, it was caused by both on account of the economic advancement of this region rather than the mountainous region of Tianeti and because of its geographical location. This choice has been successful - the city is the administrative center of the region so even today.


Rulers from the Bagrationi dynasty[edit]

Rulers from the Donauri family[edit]

Rulers from the Arevmaneli clan[edit]

Rulers from the Kvirikiani dynasty[edit]


  • Lortkipanidze M, Mukhelishvili D, Metreveli R. History of Georgia, Vol. 2 - Georgia in the IV-XIII centuries. Tbilisi, 2012. (in Georgian)

External links[edit]