Zurab I, Duke of Aragvi

Zurab Araghvis Eristavi, also known as Sohrab Araghvis Eristavi (b. 1591 — d. 1630), was a Georgian duke (eristavi) of the Duchy of Aragvi (1619—1629), who initially served the Safavids, and played a leading role in Georgian politics in the first decades of the 17th century. Later, he joined Giorgi Saakadze's (Murav Beg) anti-Persian uprising in 1625—26, switched sides to join Teimuraz I of Kakheti (Tahmuras Khan) against Saakadze, but was eventually murdered by his new ally.


Zurab Erietavi was amongst the highest ranking Georgian nobles at the time. He had one older brother named Baadur (Bahadur).[1] In 1619, together with the help of the Safavid troops and the Safavid-appointed ruler in Tiflis, Semayun Khan (Simon II), Zurab managed to drive his elder brother Bahadur out of Bazaleti.[1] Through the marriage of his daughter to Giorgi Saakadze, the latter was the son-in-law of Zurab Eristavi.[2] Zurab himself was the son-in-law of Teimuraz I, through his marriage to Darejan in 1623.[3][4] When in 1624 then incumbent Safavid king Abbas I (r. 1588—1629) decided to marry his granddaughter to Semayun Khan, the Safavid ruler of Kartli, Sohrab Eristavi entertained the guests on the order of Murav Beg.[5] During the Battle of Martqopi, Zurab and Giorgi Saakadze led the Georgian troops.[6] Zurab led a charge with his main forces after Qarachaqay Khan and the other Safavid Iranian commanders had been killed by Saakadze and his son Avtandil (supported by his Georgian escorts), which resulted in the virtual annihilation of the leaderless Iranian troops.[6] When in the summer of 1626 the final "rupture" between Teimuraz I and Giorgi Saakadze occurred, Zurab Eristavi joined the side of the former.[7] In 1630, he and Teimuraz I had the Safavid ruler of Kartli, Semayun Khan assassinated,[8] but was killed himself on the orders of Teimuraz later that same year.



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