The unification of the Georgian kingdoms

In 1008, the Bagrationi (Georgian Royal House) ruler Bagrat III of Georgia united the kingdoms of Abkhazia (Apkhazeti) and rest of Georgia into a single Georgian feudal state. The second half of the 11th century was marked by the disastrous invasion of the Seljuk Turks who by the end of 1040s succeeded in building a vast nomadic empire including most of the Central Asia and Iran. In 1071 Seljuk army destroyed the united Byzantine-Armenian and Georgian forces in the battle of Mantsikert, and by 1081, all of Armenia, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Syria and most of Georgia were conquered and devastated by the Seljuks.

The Anti-Seljuk struggle in Georgia was led by the young King David IV who inherited the throne in 1089 in the age of 16 after the death of his father George II Bagrationi. Soon after coming to power, David re-built regular army and created peasant militia in order to be able to resist Seljuk colonization of the country. The First Crusade (1096-1099) and Crusaders’ offensive against Seljuk Turks in Anatolia and Syria favored David’s attempts to re-conquer Georgian lands. By the end of 1099 David stopped paying tribute to the Seljuks and put most of Georgian lands except Tbilisi and Ereti under his effective control having Abkhazia and Svanetia as his reliable rear bases. In 1105–1124 Georgian armies under King David undertake a series of brilliant campaigns against the Seljuk Turks and liberate not only the rest of Georgia but also Christian-populated Ghishi- Kabala area in western Shirvan and a big portion of Armenia. During the same period of time, Georgian protectorate was established over Alania (1120) and Islamized eastern Shirvan (1124). Several months later, King David died (01/1125) leaving Georgia with the status of a strong regional power. In his country, King David is called Agmashenebeli. That can be translated into English as “the re-constructor” or “the restorer”

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