Princess Ketevan of Georgia

Ketevan (Georgian: ქეთევანი; 1764 – 5 July 1840) was a Georgian princess royal (batonishvili), a daughter of Heraclius II, the penultimate king of Kartli and Kakheti, and the wife of Ioann, Prince of Mukhrani. Like her sisters, Mariam and Thecla, Ketevan was a poet of some talent and wrote in the spirit of early Romanticism.


Princess Ketevan was born in 1764 in the family of Heraclius II and his third wife Darejan Dadiani. She married, c. 1781, Ioane, Prince of Mukhrani (1755–1801), a prominent military and political figure of that time.[1] After the Georgian kingdom was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1801, Ketevan was dispossessed of a hereditary village, Karaleti, near Gori. She was suspected by the Russian commander in Georgia, Prince Pavel Tsitsianov, of being implicated in the 1804 rebellion raised by the members of the ousted royal family of Georgia. The Russian agents, further, intercepted the letters (firman) sent by the Fath Ali Shah of Persia and addressed to the Georgian dignitaries, including Ketevan's son Konstantin.[2] As a result, Tsitsianov had Ketevan briefly arrested in 1805. During her imprisonment the princess wrote a lyric, "Alas how shall I say?" (ჰოი, ვითარ ვსთქვა), which uses Romanticist imagery to represent the collapse of the Georgian monarchy: she sees "a little cloud darkening Asia's stars, lying waste happy palaces, not letting beautiful gardens boom."[3]


Ketevan had 7 children of her marriage to Ioann, Prince of Mukhrani. These were:

Burke's Peerage's version of Ketevan's second marriage to Prince Abel Andronikashvili[1] is not accepted as credible by more recent genealogies of the Georgian royal house.[4]



  1. 1 2 Montgomery, Hugh, ed. (1980). Burke's Royal Families of the World, Volume 2. London: Burke's Peerage. pp. 63, 66. ISBN 0850110297.
  2. Kartveladze, Zurab (8 August 2012). ""დაუმორჩილებელი ქართული პოეზია" - ერეკლე მეფის ქალიშვილები" ["Indomitable Georgian poetry" — Daughters of King Heraclius] (in Georgian). Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  3. Rayfield, Donald (2000). The Literature of Georgia: A History (2nd, revised ed.). Richmond, England: Curzon Press. pp. 133–134. ISBN 0 7007 1163 5.
  4. Dumin, S.V., ed. (1996). Дворянские роды Российской империи. Том 3. Князья [Noble families of the Russian Empire. Volume 3: Princes] (in Russian). Moscow: Linkominvest. p. 69.
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