David VI of Georgia

Davit VI redirects here. There was also a Caucasian Albanian Catholicos Davit VI, who ruled in 958–965.
David VI
დავით VI
King of Kings of Georgia

A 13th-century fresco of David VI Narin.
King of Georgia
Reign 1245–1259
Predecessor Rusudan
Successor David VII
King of Imereti
Reign 1259–1293
Successor Constantine I
Born 1225
Died 1293
Burial Gelati Monastery
Spouse Tamar Amanelisdze
Theodora Doukaina Palaeologina
Issue Constantine I
Vakhtang II
Full name
David VI the Junior
David VI Narin
Dynasty Bagrationi
Father Ghias ad-din
Mother Rusudan of Georgia
Religion Georgian Orthodox Church

David VI Narin (Georgian: დავით VI ნარინი) (also called the Clever) (1225–1293), from the Bagrationi dynasty, was king of Georgia in 1245–1293. From 1259 to 1293, he ruled the kingdom of Imereti under the name David I as a vassal state of Georgia.


The son of Queen Rusudan by her husband, Ghias ad-din, David was crowned at Kutaisi, as joint sovereign by his mother in 1230. Fearing that her nephew David VII Ulu would claim the throne at her death, Rusudan held the latter prisoner at the court of her son-in-law, the sultan Kaykhusraw II, and sent her son David to the Mongol court to get official recognition as heir apparent. She died in 1245, still waiting for her son to return. Since David was believed by the Georgian nobles to have disappeared, two years later, they proclaimed his cousin David VII Ulu, who had been freed on the death of Kaykhusraw, as king of Georgia. In 1248, David, son of Rusudan, was recognized by Güyük Khan as junior co-king to his cousin David. Thereafter known as David VI Narin (i.e. “the junior”) and David VII Ulu (i.e. “the senior”), the cousins ruled jointly until 1259, when the former rose, unsuccessfully, against the Mongol yoke and, then, fled to Kutaisi, from whence he reigned over western Georgia (Imereti) as a separate ruler. In 1261, he gave shelter to David VII Ulu, who in his turn had attempted to end the Mongol dominance. David Ulu made peace with the Mongols and returned to Tbilisi, eastern Georgia in 1262. Thus, Georgia split into two parts and both rulers continued to be titled king of Georgia. However, David Narin surrendered to Hulagu Khan thus becoming a nominal vassal of the Ilkhans in 1262.[1]

He developed friendly relations with the Golden Horde and Bahri dynasty of Egypt, and repulsed the Ilkhanate attacks. In 1269, David gave shelter to Teguder, relative of the Chagatai Baraq Khan, who had rebelled against the Ilkhan ruler Abaqa Khan. When Teguder’s force began terrorizing the Georgian population, David sided with Abaqa’s general Shiramun Noyan. Despite this, Abaqa attempted to overthrow David with the help of the renegade lord of Racha Kakhaber Kakhaberisdze, and sent two expeditions against Imereti in the 1270s. Nevertheless, David VI Narin succeeded in retaining his independence and attempted to restore Georgian influence in the Empire of Trebizond. For this purpose, he marched to Trebizond during Emperor John II Comnenus’ absence at Constantinople in April 1282; and although he failed to take the city, the Georgians occupied several provinces and helped John’s half-sister Theodora, daughter of Manuel I of Trebizond by his Georgian wife, Rusudan, seize the throne in 1285, only to be put suddenly to flight.[2]

He died at Kutaisi in 1293. David was succeeded by his elder son, Constantine I. David is buried within the chapel (eukterion) of St. Andrew at the Cathedral of Nativity of the Theotokos of Gelati, east of the southern entrance to the church.[3]

Marriage and children

He was married to Tamar, daughter of the Georgian noble Amanelisdze. In 1254, he married Theodora, daughter of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus.


  1. C.P.Atwood - Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, p.197
  2. William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era: 1204-1461, 1926 (Chicago: Argonaut, 1969), p. 30
  3. Skhirtladze, Zaza (2011). "Fresco of the King of the South-Eastern Chapel of the Main Church of Gelati Monastery Materials for Possible Identification". Humanitarian Studies. Tbilisi State University Press. 2: 223–255.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to David VI of Georgia.
Preceded by
King of Georgia
Succeeded by
David VII Ulu
Preceded by
King of Imereti
Succeeded by
Konstantini I
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