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Born circa mid-1160’s; died 1207. Queen of Georgia from 1184 to 1207.
During Tamara’s reign, Georgia achieved great military and political successes. Georgian troops were victorious over the Azerbaijani atabeg Abu Bekr and his allies at Shamkhor in 1194 and over Sultan Ruknaddin of Konya (Rum) at Basiani in 1202. They seized Kars in 1204 and brought almost all of Transcaucasia under Tamara’s rule. The Empire of Trebizond arose on lands seized from Byzantium and long remained under Georgia’s political influence. The sultan of Erzincan, the emir of Erzurum, the sultan of Khlat, and northern Caucasian Gortsy rulers became vassals and tributaries of Georgia.
In the first years of Tamara’s reign, the major feudal lords were in favor of transferring legislative authority to an assembly of representatives of the upper strata of society, giving the queen only executive authority. As a result of negotiations, Tamara retained executive and legislative authority; however, she lost the prerogative of individual decision on state affairs, which were handled together with members of the supreme state council, the Darba-zi. The supremacy of the feudal nobility engendered discontent among the oppressed population. During her reign, Támara brutally suppressed uprisings of the Georgian Gortsy, who were opposed to the establishment of the feudal order.
During Tamara’s reign, roads, bridges, a caravansary, fortresses, churches, and monasteries were built. Támara was a patron of the sciences and arts. Odes by Chakhrukhadze and Shavteli and Sh. Rustaveli’s The Man in the Panther’s Skin were dedicated to her.
Tamara married Iurii, son of Prince Andrei Bogoliubskii, in 1185; they separated two years later. In 1189 she married David Soslani, a representative of the Ossetian branch of the Georgian Bagration dynasty.
REFERENCEIstoriia Gruzii. Tbilisi, 1975.
See also references under GEORGIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC.
M. D. LORDKIPANIDZE