Son of King David VII and his wife Gvantsa, Demetrius was only 2 years old when his mother was killed by the Mongols in 1261. He succeeded on his father's death in 1270, when he was 11 years old. He ruled under the regency of Sadun Mankaberdeli for some time. In 1277–1281, he took part in Abaqa Khan's campaigns against Egypt and in particularly distinguished himself at the Second Battle of Homs, (29 October 1281). Although he continued to be titled "king of Georgians and Abkhazians, etc", Demetrius’s rule extended only over the eastern part of the kingdom. Western Georgia was under the rule of the Imeretian branch of the Bagrationi dynasty.

King Demetrius was considered quite a controversial person. Devoted to Christianity, he was criticized for his polygamy.[citation needed] In 1288, on the order of Arghun Khan, he subdued the rebel province of Derbend at the Caspian Sea. The same year, Arghun revealed a plot organized by his powerful minister Buqa, whose son was married to Demetrius's daughter. Bugha and his family were massacred, and the Georgian king, suspected to be involved in a plot, was ordered to the Mongol capital, or Arghun threatened to invade Georgia. Despite much advice from nobles, Demetrius headed for the Khan’s residence to face apparent death, and was imprisoned there. He was beheaded at Movakan on 12 March 1289. He was buried at Mtskheta, Georgia, and canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church.

He was succeeded by his cousin Vakhtang II.

 

After the long period of Russian annexation and eventual abolition of Georgian monarchy and autocephalous status of the Georgian church by the Russian empire, Georgia plunged into cultural and national disintegration. Georgian churches and monasteries were governed by the Russian clergy who outlawed the Georgian liturgy and desecrated medieval Georgian frescos on various churches all across Georgia. Between the years of 1855 to 1907, the Georgian patriotic movement was launched under the leadership of Prince Ilia Chavchavadze, world renowned poet, novelist and orator. Chavchavadze financed new Georgian schools and supported the Georgian national theatre. In 1877 he launched the newspaper Iveria which played an important part in reviving Georgian national consciousness. His strive for national awakening was welcomed by the leading Georgian intellectuals of that time, Giorgi Tsereteli, Ivane Machabeli, Akaki Tsereteli, Niko Nikoladze, Alexander Kazbegi, Iakob Gogebashvili, etc.

The Georgian inteligencia made the statement which supported Prince Chavchavadzes aims for Georgian independence by declaring: "Our patriotism is of course of an entire different kind: it consists solely in a sacred feeling towards our mother land: ... in it there is no hate for other nations, no desire to enslave anybody, no urge to impoverish anybody. Out patriots desire to restore Georgia's right to self-government and their own civic rights, to preserve their national characteristics and culture, without which no people can exist as a society of human beings."

The last decades of the nineteenth century witnessed a Georgian literary revival in which there emerged writers of a stature unequalled since the Golden Age of Rustaveli seven hundred years before. Ilia Chavchavadze himself excelled alike in lyric and ballad poetry, in the novel, the short story and the essay. Apart from Ilia, the most universal literary genius of the age was Akaki Tsereteli, known as "the immortal nightingale of the Georgian people." Along with Niko Nikoladze and Iaskog Gogebashvili, these literary figures of Georgia contributed significantly in national revival and of the Georgian culture therefore designated by the people as the founding fathers of modern Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

Monument of Ilia Chavchavadze und Akaki Tsereteli in Tbilisi 

 

                              Georgian states between CA. 1450 and 1515, Andrew Andersen

 

In 15th century the whole area changed dramatically in all possible aspects: linguistic, cultural, political, etc. During that period the Kingdom of Georgia turned into an isolated, fractured Christian enclave, a relic of the faded East Roman epoch surrounded by Muslim, predominantly Turco-Iranian-Arabic world.

By the middle of the 15th century, most of Georgia’s old neighbor-states disappeared from the map within less than a hundred years. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 sealed the Black Sea and cut the remnants of Christian states of the area from Europe and the rest of the Christian world. Georgia remained connected to the West through contact with the Genoese colonies of the Crimea.