(Gorgasal). Year of birth unknown; died 502. Tsar of Iberia (Kartli).
Vakhtang I fought for the centralization of state power. During his reign most of Tbilisi was rebuilt, so that the state’s capital could be moved there from Mtskheta. Vakhtang I carried on a prolonged struggle with Sassanid Iran for the independence of Kartli. In 484 he led the great anti-Sassanid uprising of Georgians and Armenians. The treachery of the Georgian and Armenian feudal lords doomed the uprising. The Persians called him “Gorgasal”—“Wolf’s Head”—because he wore a helmet on which a wolf’s head was depicted. He was killed in battle with the Persians. The Georgian people composed songs and verses in honor of Vakhtang I.
REFERENCESIstoriia Gruzii, vol. 1. Tbilisi, 1962. Pages 92-99.
Ocherki istorii SSSR, III-IX vv. Moscow, 1958. Pages 250-51.
M. D. LORDKIPANIDZE