Flag Coat of arms
principiality of Samtskhe-Saatabago in XV century
Capital Akhaltsikhe
Languages Georgian
Religion Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Government Principality
Prince of Meskheti
   1260-1285 Sargis I (first)
  1607–1628 Manuchar III (last)
Historical era Late Middle Ages
   Established 1266
  Vassal of Mongol Empire 1266-1334
  Reunited with Kingdom of Georgia 1334-1535
  annexed by Ottoman Empire 1555
   Disestablished 1625 1625
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Georgia
Childir Eyalet
Today part of

The Principality of Meskheti (Georgian: მესხეთის სამთავრო) or Principality of Samtskhe (Georgian: სამცხეს სამთავრო) was a Georgian feudal principality existing between 1268 and 1628. Its territory consisted of modern Meskheti and the historical region of Tao-Klarjeti.


Samtskhe-Saatabago was established after the expansion of the dukedom of Samtskhe. Dukes of Samstkhe were always distinguished by their longing for higher autonomy from the king of Georgia. After the Mongol invasion and their conquest of Georgia, Sargis I Jaqeli and David VII of Georgia rebelled against their Mongol overlords, but failed, and after a myriad of events Samtskhe-Saatabago was designated as a Khasinju, a territorial unit submitting only to the Khan, nominally being a Ulus. Samtskhe-Saatabago managed to remain a culturally developed part of Georgia as well as maintaining territorial integrity, sometimes even expanding along its borders. Samtskhe-Saatabago, which was fully independent at a time, was again incorporated in the Georgian Kingdom by George V of Georgia, who claimed maternal descent from the House of Jaqeli. George V made Samtskhe-Saatabago an integral part of Georgia once again. At the end of the 14th century, Timur's forces invaded Samtskhe-Saatabago several times. After the weakening of Georgian monarchy, the rulers of Samtskhe turned to separatism once more.

When Qvarqvare II's son Kaikhosro I died two years after he ascended the throne, and was succeeded by his equally pious brother Mzechabuk, the Iranian Safavids, led by the emerging Shah Ismail I were tempted to loot the feudal state, if only to distract himself from his main quarry; Shirvan.[1] In 1500, Shah Ismail inveigled the atabeg of Samtskhe, king Constantine II and king Alexander II of Imereti to attack Ottoman possessions nearby Tabriz.[2] As a precaution, Ismail had Aleksander send his son Demetre to the newly conquered region of Shirvan, where the prince negotiated a peace agreement. Ismail promised Constantine, once Tabriz was captured, to cancel the tribute he still paid the Ak Koyunlu Turcomans. Each Georgian ruler contributed 3,000 men to the existing Ismail's own 7,000.[3] By 1503 they enabled him to recapture Nakhchivan from the Ottomans, but Ismail broke his promise, and made Kartli and Kakheti his vassals.[4]

Princes of Meskheti


  1. "Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  2. "Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  3. "Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  4. "Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia". Retrieved 15 December 2014.

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