Major battle between the Georgian army led by Ivane Mkhargrdzeli and the Khwarazmean forces of Jalāl al-Dīn. The Khwarazmean forces were displaced by the Mongol invasion of Central Asia, which claimed the powerful Empire of Khwarazm. After escaping to India and then eastern Persia, Jalāl al-Dīn rallied his forces, but instead of engaging the Mongols, he led them against neighboring Georgia. In the summer of 1225, his army of more than 100,000 men (some estimates place its strength at 200,000 men) approached the Georgian borders in Armenia, where Ivane Mkhargrdzeli gathered about 70,000 men. The Georgian advance guard was composed of the Meskhian troops under Lords Shalva and Ivane Akhaltsikheliwhile the main forces were deployed on the hills near Gahrni.
The battle started with the attack of the Georgian advance guard but feuding among the Georgian commanders predetermined the battle outcome. Despite repeated pleas from the Akhaltsikheli brothers, Ivane Mkhargrdzeli refused to commit his forces in support of his rivals and watched as the Khwarazmean troops slaughtered the Meskhs. Ivane Akhaltsikheli fell on the battlefield, while Shalva was captured and later executed. The battle had a tremendous impact on Georgia, which had not experienced foreign invasions for almost a hundred years. The battle effectively signaled the end of the Golden Age of Georgia and the start of a long twilight. Jalāl al-Dīn soon captured Tbilisi and ravaged the country for the next five years until the arrival of the Mongols.
Decisive battle between the Georgians and the Seljuk Turks of Rüm near Basian, in the vicinity of Erzurum (in modern Turkey); the date is usually given as 1203 but recent research suggest that the battle was fought in the summer of 1202. Under the rule of Kings David IV Aghmashenebeli and Giorgi III, Georgia emerged as one of the most powerful states in the Near East. The reign of Queen Tamar (1178–1213) further underscored Georgian might after a large Islamic coalition was crushed in the battle of Shamkhor in 1195. Alarmed by the Georgian success, Sultan Rukn ad-Din Suleiman Shah of Rüm (1196–1204) rallied the forces of the Muslim principalities against Georgia. The massive Islamic army (estimates range between 150,000–400,000 men) advanced toward the Georgian borders in 1203 and was met by the 90,000-strong Georgian army under David Soslani at Basian. The Georgian army was deployed with western (apkhazni da imerni) and eastern (amerni da her-kakhni) Georgian troops on flanks and some 40,000 men under Shalva and Ivane Akhaltsikheili in the center while Zakaria Mkhagrdzeli led the advance guard.
The Georgians initially made an unexpected attack with their advance guard on the Muslim army and spread confusion among the enemy troops. Sultan Rukn ad-Din Suleiman managed to rally his forces and counterattacked but was surprised by coordinated flanking attacks which routed his forces. Still, both sides suffered heavy casualties in the bitterly contested battle. The victory at Basian secured the Georgian preeminence in the region. Exploiting her success in this battle, Queen Tamar annexed Arran and Duin in 1203 and subdued the Emirate of Kars, Armen-Shahs and the emirs of Erzurum and Erzinjan. The Georgians then carried war into Azerbaijan and advanced as far as Ardabil and Tabriz in 1208 and into Qazvin and Khoy in 1210. These victories brought Georgia to the summit of its power and glory, establishing a pan-Caucasian Georgian empire that extended from the Black Sea to the Caspian and from the Caucasus Mountains to Lake Van.
Major battle between the Georgian army and Atabeg Abu-Bakr of Arran in June 1195 near Shamkhor (present day-Shamkir, Azerbaijan). In the mid-1190s, a bitter struggle between Atabeg Abu Bakr of Azerbaijan and Sirvanshah Aghsartan led to the defeat of the latter. Aghsartan, enjoying close relations with the Bagration dynasty, appealed for help to Georgia. In 1195, Queen Tamar dispatched her army under King Consort David Soslan to Shirvan. Atabeg Abu-Bakr rallied the forces of the neighboring Muslim principalities and met the Georgians near Shamkhor in June 1195. In a skillfully executed maneuver, David Soslan directed his troops toward the city of Shamkhor, which was a diversionary move while his main forces made a flanking attack against the Muslim troops. The Atabeg’s forces were surrounded and routed, and the city capitulated some time later. Among the Georgian trophies was the standard of the caliph which was donated to the Kakhuli Monastery. The Georgians launched a vigorous pursuit, seizing the key fortress of Ganja. Queen Tamar restored Aghsartan in Shirvan under the terms of vassalage, thereby greatly expanding her sphere of influence.
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