ʿABBĀS-QOLĪ KHAN, Persian viceroy in eastern Georgia, 1099-1105/1688-94, under the Safavid shahs Solaymān and Solṭān Ḥosayn. ʿAbbās-qolī Khan’s ill-starred intervention in Georgian affairs arose from the Persian court’s desire to achieve direct control over the Georgian vassal provinces. This action involved a policy of divide and rule and the exploiting of dynastic feuds between the local Georgian Bagratid rulers of Kartli, residing in Tiflis, and the related Bagratid kings of neighboring Kakheti. In 1099/1688 the king of Kartli, Giorgi XI (Gorǰīn Khan), headed an unsuccessful conspiracy against the Persian governor of Kakheti. This led to Giorgi’s deposition by Solaymān, who sent the Kakhetian Bagratid prince Erekle I to Tiflis as vassal king of Kartli. The prince had adopted Islam, taking the name Naẓar-ʿAlī Khan. To buttress Erekle’s authority, the shah appointed ʿAbbās-qolī Khan as Persian viceroy in Kakheti (residing at Qarā-Aḡāč); until then the khan was beglerbeg of Ganǰa, a man well known for his wealth and opulence. ʿAbbās-qolī Khan failed to prevent Giorgi XI from staging a comeback in 1102/1691 and blockading Erekle (Naẓar-ʿAlī Khan) in Tiflis castle. In 1105/1694, following the death of Solaymān, ʿAbbās-qolī Khan’s patron, the khan was accused by his rivals of supporting Giorgi XI against Erekle, the Persian nominee. In the same year Solṭān Ḥosayn ordered Erekle to arrest ʿAbbās-qolī Khan, confiscate his possessions, and send him under guard to Isfahan. Qalb-ʿAlī Khan was appointed ʿAbbās-qolī Khan’s successor as Persian governor of Kakheti. ʿAbbās-qolī Khan’s later fate is not recorded in the Georgian sources.
For the histories of Kartli and Kakheti by Prince Vakhushti (18th cent.) and the Georgian history by Parsadan Giorgijanidze, see M.-F. Brosset, Histoire moderne de la Géorgie, St. Petersburg, 1856-58, part II, fasc. 1-2 and table of contents.
See also original Georgian text of Vakhushti, in Kartlis tskhovreba (“The life of Georgia”), ed. S. Qaukhchishvili, Tiflis, 1973, IV, pp. 469-72, 606-07.
For historical background, see D. M. Lang, The Last Years of the Georgian Monarchy, 1658-1832, New York, 1957, pp. 98-99.
(D. M. Lang)
Originally Published: December 15, 1982
Last Updated: July 13, 2011
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Vol. I, Fasc. 1, pp. 84-85