The Campaigns of Alp Arslan in Georgia

Alp Arslan's campaigns in Georgia happened in 1064 and 1068. The invasions of the Seljuk Empire were led by Sultan Alp Arslan (1063–1073).

From the beginning of the 11th century, the Seljuk army constantly raided the countries of the South Caucasus. Alp Arslan invaded Georgia for the first time in June-July of 1064. Governors of Arran, Shirvan and other regions also participated in this campaign. Alp Arslan arrived in Akhalkalaki. The Meskhetians put up a relentless resistance, but in the end were defeated in an unequal battle. The population took refuge in the mountains. Alp Arslan demanded tribute from Georgians. Bagrat IV was ready to make some concessions to save the country, but he decided against paying the tribute. In 1068, Alp Arslan invaded Georgia for the second time, conquered Kakheti and took a lot of wealth. Aghsartan I of Kakheti promised obedience to the Sultan, presented him with a huge gift, converted to Islam and paid tribute. Then, Alp Arslan, who was accompanied by Aghsartan I, the Armenian king Kvirike and the Emir of Tbilisi, invaded Kartli and destroyed it. Georgia was filled with marauding Seljuks. The strong resistance of the Georgians near the Sveri Fortress stopped the enemy from advancing in western Georgia. On his way back, Alp Arslan gave Khornabuji, Aradeti, Gagi, Agarani, Kavazni and others, which were under the influence of the Seljuks as a result of these campaigns, to Fadl ibn Shavur. He also granted the power over Tbilisi and Rustavi to him.

After the departure of Alp Arslan, Bagrat IV regained the lost lands through battles.

Literature: შენგელია ნ., სელჩუკები და საქართველო XI საუკუნეში, თბ., 1968; ჯავახიშვილი ივ., ქართველი ერის ისტორია, წგ. 2, თბ., 1983 (თხზ. თორმეტ ტომად, ტ. 2). 

N. Shengelia