) (died March 27, 1184), of the Bagrationi
dynasty, was king of Georgia
from 1156 to 1184. His reign, and that of Tamar
, are seen as the 'golden age' of Georgian history, the era of empire, diplomatic success, military triumphs, great learning, cultural, spiritual, and artistic flowering.
He succeeded on his father Demetrius I
's death in 1156.
He changed his father's defensive policy into a more aggressive one and resumed offensive against the neighboring Seljuk
rulers in Armenia
. With his ascent to the throne, Giorgi III launched a successful campaign against the Seljuk
sultanate of Khlat
State) in 1156. Giorgi took and annexed the Armenian cities of Ani
in 1161-1162. However, the Seljuk counterattacks made the King to cede Ani to a Muslim
ruler on the terms of vassalage. The city was finally incorporated into the Georgian Kingdom in 1173. Throughout this period, the Georgian army was swelling with Armenian volunteers, enthusiastically participating in the Iiberation of their country. In 1167, he marched to defend his vassal Shah Aghsartan of Shirvan
against the Khazar
assaults and strengthened the Georgia
dominance in the area.
In 1177, the nobles of the realm rose against the king and declared Prince Demna
(Demetrius) a "true and lawful King of Georgia". Being a son of Giorgi III's late elder brother David V
, Demna was considered by many as a legitimate pretender to the Georgian throne.... Read More