Tamar of Georgia

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Tamar (Georgian: თამარი, also transliterated as T'amar, Thamar or Tamari[1]) (c. 1160 – 18 January 1213), of the Bagrationi dynasty, was Queen Regnant of Georgia from 1184 to 1213. (Although she was a woman, she is always mentioned in Georgian history as King Tamar) The first woman to rule Georgia in her own right, Tamar presided over the "Golden age" of the medieval Georgian monarchy.[2]

Tamar was proclaimed heir apparent and co-ruler by her reigning father George III in 1178, but faced significant opposition from the aristocracy upon her ascension to full ruling powers after George's death. Nevertheless, Tamar was successful in neutralizing this opposition and embarked on an energetic foreign policy aided by the downfall of the rival powers of the Seljuqids and Byzantium. Supported by a powerful military élite, Tamar was able to build on the successes of her predecessors to consolidate an empire which dominated the Caucasus until its collapse under the Mongol attacks within two decades after Tamar's death.[3]

Tamar's association with this period of political and cultural revival, combined with her role as a female ruler, has led to her idealization and romantization. She remains an important symbol in Georgian popular culture and has also been canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church.[4]


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