Tornike Eristavi

Tornike Eristavi ( Died in 985), Political and ecclesiastic figure. He was the commander of Georgian army during the times of Davit III Kuropalates and one of the builders of Georgian Monastery on Mt. Athos. Tornike was the son of Chordvaneli, a Tao nobleman. After taking the monastic vow, he was given the name of Ioane. He spent some time serving at the Lavra of Athansius the Great on Mt. Athos. In 979 the Byzantine Royal Court requested him to act as an intermediary between the Byzantine Empire and Davit Kuropalate. The rulers of Byzantine Empire intended to appeal to Davit Kuropalate to assist them in crushing the rebellion stirred up by Bardas Skleros. Davit Kuropalate persuaded monk Ioane (i.e. celebrated commander Tornike in secular life), to head the Georgian army, dispatched to Byzantine Empire. After defeating Bardas Skleros, Tornike received the booty according to the concord with the Byzantine rulers. He donated the portion of gained wealth to the Lavra of Athanasius and other Greek monasteries, while he spent the greater part of the loot on building the Iberian Monastery on Mt. Athos. Circa 980, the Caesar of Byzantine Empire granted him the highest ecclessistical title of Svingelos. On Tornike’s order copies of Oshki Bible (978) and list of Treasures by Cyril of Alexandria, were made.