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Commendatory Foreword by Giorgi L. Kavtaradze [p. i] The monograph by Professor Vazha Kiknadze, "The Eurasian State of Georgia in the Fourteenth Century", prepared recently for publication in the United States of America by the Edwin Mellen Publisher, covers a period of Georgian history which has few written sources or other contemporary documentary materials. This was a very crucial time in Georgian history, the days of king George V the Brilliant, who released Georgia from Mongolian domination and reunited the country. In addition to the surviving Georgian and well-known foreign written sources, the author makes use of previously unknown manuscripts examined by him (Georgian synaxarions of the 13th and 14th centuries from the libraries of St Petersburg and the unpublished manuscripts of the most famous Georgian historian of the end of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, Ivane Javakhishvili). On the basis of these materials, first brought to light for scolarly analysis and interpretation by the author and using all existing primary sources together with materials of different types, Dr. Kiknadze restores the complex internal and external political processes that occurred in Georgia from the 1390s until 1490s the time of the invasions of Tamerlane, and puts forward a quite new vision of the events of historic character of this period. Dr. Kiknadze detected and added to scholarly circulation, among other documents, a letter of the year 1332 or 1333 of George V the Brilliant to the Valois king of France Philip VI (1328-1350) who planned together with Edward III of England, [p. ii] a crusade in 1332, which was never executed and an epistle of the year 1330 from the Catholic bishop of Sukhumi, Peter Gerald, to the Archbishop of Canterbury both in Latin. Remarkable is the fact that in the monograph the data concerning the events of the 14th century from the Geography of the Georgian kingdom by Vakhushti Bagrationi, which are based on the now lost Georgian written sources of the 13th-14th century, correlate the foreign sources such as that of Hafizi Abru and Abu Bakr al-Qutbi al-Ahri. This correlation proved the great importance of the data appearing in the work of Vakhushti Bagrationi. A comprehensive consideration and a new interpretation of the well-known European historical data, on the one hand, with that of the Middle East, on the
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other, permitted Dr. Kiknadze to adopt a thoroughly well-reasoned opinion that the unification of eastern and western Georgia took place in 1330 AD and that the final liberation of Georgia from the Mongolian domination was brought about between 1327 and 1335. This conclusion is a substantial contribution to Medieval history, not only of Georgia or Transcaucasia, but of the much wider Middle Eastern area. Dr. Kiknadzes study sheds light on the nature of relations between the Georgians and the Mongols; it gives us an opportunity to reconsider not only the time length, but as well the character of Mongolian dominance in Georgia. In the monograph, special focus is concentrated on the complicated numismatic situation of 14th century Georgia. The fact that Mongol coins were still struck in 14th century Georgia is generally explained in literature by the dominance of the [p. iii] Mongols in Caucasia at the time, but Dr. Kiknadze proofs that the Georgian king, George V the Brilliant (1318-1346) and his successor and descendant David IX (1346-1360), struck coins with the names of the puppet Ilkhanian khans, whose power in reality had diminished by that time to a mere formality, only with the aim to strengthen their economic interests and to gain more influence in the commercial world of the contemporary Middle East. Such a pragmatic use of coinage for commercial or political intentions was not rare in Transcaucasia of the Ilkhan period. We can recall the silver dirham struck in Tbilisi under the Mongol Ilkhans by Abaqa (1265-1282), son of Hulagu, in the name of the the Great Khan Khubilai, in the period of undoubted and strong Mongol dominance. While the obverse side of the coin has a legend and design in Uyghur, the reverse bears a Christian cross and an Arabic inscription: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Abaqa, son-in-law of the Byzantine emperor, Michael VIII Palaeologus, taking this step, hoped to form a coalition with Christian powers against the Muslims. The author has succeeded in correcting a whole range of historical dates, among them the years of the reign of various Georgian kings and political figures: George V the Brilliant, George VI the Small, Vakhtang III and Demetre, the unknown king of the 14th century, etc. Dr. Kiknadze based his research on the data of Anonymous Chronicler of the 14th century and of Vakhushti Bagrationi (1696-1757) and correlating them with the inscription in the church of Daba, near Borjomi, he [p. iv]
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came to the conclusion that the year of the accession of George V the Brilliant to the throne was 1318 and not 1314, as was traditionally thought, and that the years of his reign shoud be therefore recorded as from 1318 to 1346. The author suggests that in the information about George V the Brilliants struggle with the Mongol noyans of Azerbaijan in the 1330s, in reality was meant the invasion of Chobanid Hasan Kk. The author gives a detailed analysis of the article dedicated to George V the Brilliant by the well-known British scholar, David M. Lang. Through a detailed study of documentary material and by discussing nearly all arguments put forth by Dr. Lang, Dr. Kiknadze makes it obvious that the main conclusions reached by the British scholar are not entirely accurate. A separate chapter is devoted in the book to the problem of identifying the Anonymous Chronicler of the 14th century. A close examination of the Chronicle allows the author to consider the Chronicler as a contemporary of the events described and even as an eyewitness. Moreover, in the person mentioned in the same Chronicle and referred to as Hieromonk (Priestmonk) Moses, who accompanied the Georgian king Demetre II the Martyr (1270-1289) to the Mughan Valley and who was present at the time of his execution there on March 12, 1289, Dr. Kiknadze believes that the Chronicler himself must be meant. The author pays especial attention to the specifying of the reasons contributing to the country's political integrity; as well as to the understanding of the causes, which helped Georgia to [p. v] regain its sovereignty in the background of GeorgianIlhanian relations and to free the country from the Mongolian yoke. Moreover, the various aspects of the political development of Georgia are discussed constantly as a background to the main stages of the state development of Ilhanian Iran itself. From the author's view-point, as in the Middle Ages a strong royal power was a helpful circumstance for the creation of a powerful state, all measures taken by George V the Brilliant, including the bloody oppression of his opponents, ought to be considered as a favourable precondition for his future successful fight against his countrys conquerors the Mongols. Dr. Kiknadze critically analyses the objective causes which helped Georgia to regain its independence: George V the Brilliants successful energetic activities,
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both within the country, as well as abroad and the decline and powerlessness of the Ilkhanian state. Special attention is given to the great importance of what remained from the period of pre-Mongolian Georgia, i.e. the substrata of the system of feudal state organization. The monograph includes a separate chapter dedicated to the material and spiritual heritage dating from 14th century Georgia, showing the continuity of the local cultural traditions and the high level of cultural development of Georgia, despite all the cataclysms characterizing this epoch: invasions, foreign rule, earthquakes and devastating epidemcs. Taking into consideration the vastness of the territory conquered by the Mongols from Japan to Egypt and from [p. vi] Indochina to Poland and the significant role they played in the history of the whole of Eurasia, we hope that the Englishspeaking reader will be interested in becoming acquainted with the topic of Mongol rule in Georgia. It is also very interesting which model of rule the Mongols were using in Georgia and whether it was or was not unique; when and how the Mongols ran out of power in Georgia, and what factors determined the country's liberation from their oppressors. This monograph provides in this regard a new and well substantiated viewpoint, based on extensive evidence which is partially unknown in scholarly literature and which was subjected to a thorough and scrupulous analysis. Professor Vazha Kiknadze has actually managed to restore our past, the period of the history of Georgia most shrouded in mist. This past has a special value for us, it determines the subsequent development of the Georgian state; the author has succeeded in running back the pages of history, which were considered as forever lost, not only to history, but also to a wide circle of readers. Giorgi Leon Kavtaradze (Dr. habil., Ph.D.) Chief Researcher in the Ivane Javakhishvili Institute of History & Ethnology Tbilisi, Georgia Founder of the Kavtaradze Centre of Caucasian & Anatolian Studies

Giorgi L. Kavtaradze speech delivered at the presentation of the book launch of Vazha Kiknadze, The Eurasian State of Georgia in the Fourteenth Century (the Mongol Era and Its End), held on 21th of March, 2013 at the Ilya Chavchavadze National Parlamentary National Library of Georgia in Tbilisi: Ladies & Gentlemen, I belong to people who believe that some events in our life are predetermined by our fate. Now I would like to recall an episode from my childhood. I was about 10-12 years old when the greatest pleasure for me was reading books on the history, instead of doing my homework. My grandfather (Giorgi Leonidze), bringing my grandmother and mother to fury, strongly eJncouraged my passion, choosing me the books which I needed according to his opinion, among them were books of the so-called anti-Soviet character, too. He spent much time with me, explaining their meaning and discussed various aspects of the Georgian and not only of the Georgian history. He used to say, that there is a lack of evidence about the time of king Giorgi the Brilliant and therefore the circumstances of the end of Mongol rule in Georgia are the least known. To do everything possible to end the foreign domination was for the Georgians always the most desirable type of activity. I think now that he had in his mind the words of Niccolo Machiavelli:Everyone who wants to know what will happen ought to examine what has happened: everything in this world in any epoch has their replicas in antiquity. He demanded of me to try to fill this gap, if I would become a historian. But at that time, when I became a historian, I was very impressed by the problems of ethnogenesis, so my grandfathers request, and even the memory about it, was completely erased from my mind. But from your fate there is no escape! Last summer, I received a very honorable to me offer from Professor Vazha Kiknadze to write the Commendatory Foreword to his monograph, The Eurasian State of Georgia in the Fourteenth Century (the Mongol Era and Its End). The monograph by Professor Kiknadze namely covers a very crucial time in Georgian history, the days of king Giorgi V the Brilliant, who released Georgia from Mongolian domination and reunited the country, so I finally got a chance to go a little closer to the time of king Giorgi the Brilliant. Dr. Kiknadzes book was published this January in the United States of America by Edwin Mellen Publishers and Im very glad that I now have the opportunity to say a few words about it. The fourteenth century AD is a period of Georgian history which has few written sources or other contemporary documentary materials. In addition to the surviving Georgian and well-known foreign written sources, Professor Kiknadze makes use of previously unknown manuscripts examined by him (i.e. Georgian synaxarions of the 13th and 14th centuries from the libraries of St Petersburg and the unpublished manuscripts of the most famous Georgian historian of last century, Ivane Javakhishvili). On the basis of these materials, first brought to light for scholarly analysis and interpretation by the author and using all existing primary sources together with materials of different types, Dr. Kiknadze restores the complex internal and external political processes that occurred in Georgia since the late 13th century to the late 14th century the time of the invasions of Tamerlane, etc., and puts forward a quite new vision of the events of historic character of this period.
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The author has actually managed to restore our past, the period of the history of Georgia most shrouded in mist; he has succeeded in running back the pages of history, which were considered as forever lost, not only to history, but also to a wide circle of readers. This past has a special value for us, it explaines not only our history, but determines the subsequent development of our state, which is once again on the verge of two very different worlds Central Eurasia and its periphery, also referred to as the Inner Crescent already Pliny the Elder (Plinius Magnus), in the first century, mentioned that the Caucasian Gates (i.e. Darial Gorge) divides the world in two distinct parts (NH, VI, XII, 30). It should be noted that Kiknadzes book came at the most right time. By the opinion of our colleagues: as the collapse of the Soviet system and the historical methodologies it had promoted and enforced left a vacuum in the successor states, it became obvious that new approaches, rethinking and interpreting of national narratives were needed (Eka Avaliani) Vazha Kiknadzes work fully meet these requirements. Quite recently, Professor Kiknadzes monograph has been awarded by The Adle Mellen Prize for its distinguished contribution to scholarship. This book is rated as the first and only detailed study of Fourteenth Century Eurasia, an often neglected period in history. By the way, the monograph of Professor Kiknadze is the first book published in the United States by a professional Georgian historian. The significance of this fact is difficult to overestimate. Taking into consideration the vastness of the territory conquered by the Mongols from Japan to Egypt and from Indochina to Poland and the significant role they played in the history of the whole of Eurasia, I think that the English-speaking reader will be interested in becoming acquainted with the topic of Mongol rule in Georgia. I would like to express as well the hope that in the future as Professor Kiknadze, so other his Georgian colleagues, will have again and again new opportunities to present a long and rich history of Georgia to the interested readers around the world.
Read by Dr. Nino Lazrishvili

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