Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Battle of Didgori in 1121

The first Christian colonies appeared as far back as the 1st century AD and like the representatives of other religions they were not persecuted. The country had to meet new challenges in the 4th century AD, after the official adoption of Christianity in 326.

With the adoption of Christianity as the official religion, Georgia found itself in a difficult position: the collapse of Byzantium turned the Christian country into the only outpost in a Muslim milieu. For that reason it was troubled endlessly by the Arab, Persian and Turk invaders.

On August 12, 1121, in the Didgori battle near Tbilisi, Georgian troops of 56 000 warriors defeated a 300,000 strong Moslem coalition army. Georgia repelled an invasion by Seljuk Sultan of Baghdad (subordinate to the Eastern Great Seljuks) at Didgori, and acquired Tbilisi.

In Georgian history it is known as dzleva sakvirveli the “wonderful history”. Five hundred citizens were tortured to death, and much of the city burned. Tbilisi became a royal town, the capital of Georgia and in time los its self-governing status.

The capture of Tbilisi by David IV the Builder in 1121 constituted one of the most significant events in Georgian history. The significance of the liberation of this major east-Georgian city from the five-century-long Muslim domination was not limited to the mere territorial expansion, but heralded quite unequivocally Georgia’s de-facto status of the major3 Christian nucleus of power in the Caucasus, at times providing “the second front” diversion for the Crusaders’ foes in Palestine and Syria.

 David the Builder died in 1125, leaving Georgia as a great power. His successor Demetrius I (1125-1156) maintained it as such, but followed a status quo policy.
The Battle of Didgori in 1121

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