Adarnase II of Iberia

A bas-relief from Mtskheta depicting Adarnase II (or Adarnase I) praying before Jesus.

Adarnase II (Georgian: ადარნასე II), of the Chosroid dynasty, was a presiding prince of Iberia (Kartli, eastern Georgia) from c. 650 to 684/5. He is presumably the Iberian patricius mentioned in the 660s letter of Anastasius Apocrisarius pertaining to the martyrdom of Maximus the Confessor, and the prince Nerses whose revolt against Arabs is reported by the Armenian chronicler Hovannes Draskhanakertsi.[1]

Adarnase succeeded his father Stephen II and ruled as a vassal of the Caliphate. In 681/2, however, he joined the Armenian and Albanian princes in a general uprising against the Arab hegemony. He held off the Arab attacks for three years – until the Khazars entered the fight. Adarnase/Nerses was killed, and the Arabs installed Guaram II of the rival Guaramid Dynasty in Iberia.[2]

The exterior stone plaque of the church of the Holy Cross at Mtskheta, Georgia, mentions the principal builders of this church: Stephanos the patricius, Demetrius the hypatos, and Adarnase the hypatos who have traditionally been equated by the Georgian scholars with Stephen I, son of Guaram; Demetre, brother of Stephen I and Adarnase I. However, an opinion expressed by Professor Cyril Toumanoff disagrees with this view by identifying these individuals with Stephen II, Demetre (brother of Stephen I), and Adarnase II, respectively.[3] He had a son, Stephen.


  1. Toumanoff, Cyril (1963). Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p. 398. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
  2. Suny, Ronald Grigor (1994), The Making of the Georgian Nation: 2nd edition, pp. 26-27. Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-20915-3
  3. Rapp, Stephen H. (2003), Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts, p. 344. Peeters Bvba ISBN 90-429-1318-5.
Preceded by
Stephen II
Prince of Iberia
c. 650–684/5
Succeeded by
Guaram II

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