a feudal state in southwestern Georgia that arose in the early ninth century A.D.
The founder of the Tao-Klardzheti Principality was Ashot Bagrationi, who rebuilt the fortress and city of Artanudzhi, which became a major trade and artisans’ center of Georgia and the Near East. The Bagrationi princes, with the support of Byzantium, quickly expanded their holdings and began the struggle for the liberation of the Georgian lands from the Arab yoke. The rulers of the Tao-Klardzheti Principality received Byzantine court titles. From the end of the ninth century they took the title of “king of the Georgians,” and the principality came to be called the Georgian Kingdom.
The Tao-Klardzheti Principality reached the height of its development during the reign of David III Kouropalate (died 1001). Major construction projects were carried out, and the network of churches and monasteries was greatly expanded. The principality became part of the united Georgian Kingdom, which was headed by Bagrat III of the Bagration family.