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Born Nov. 7 (18), 1720, in Telavi; died there Jan. 11 (22), 1798. Georgian king, statesman, and general. Became king of Kakhetia in 1744 and of the Kartlian-Kakhetian Kingdom (Eastern Georgia) in 1762.
Erekle II was descended from the dynasty of the Kakhetian Bagrations. He sought to unite the separate Georgian domains into a centralized state, free from Iranian and Turkish domination, and to broaden the power of Georgia in Transcaucasia. He concluded the Georgievsk Treaty of 1783 which concerned Russia’s protectorate over eastern Georgia. Erekle H’s domestic policy was directed toward an increase in the productive forces of the country—toward the struggle against the system of large domains (the satavados) and toward the organization of defense, including the establishment in 1773 of a standing army, the morige. He paid particular attention to the Georgian countryside, the settlement of uninhabited districts, and the limitation of the tyranny of the feudal lords by the standards of law. Under Erekle II, the sale of peasants without land and of domestic serfs separate from their families was prohibited. State schools and seminaries were established in Tbilisi (1756) and in Telavi (1782). Because of the lack of material means and internal unity in the country, with the opposition of feudal reaction, this broad program for the revival of Georgia was not carried out.
REFERENCESKikodze, G. D. Iraklii Vtoroi, 2nd ed. Tbilisi, 1948. (Translated from Georgian.)
Gramoty i drugie istoricheskie dokumenty XVIII St., otnosiashchiesia k Gruzii, vols. 1–2 (fascs. 1–2). St. Petersburg, 1891–1902.
O. P. MARKOVA