KAY-ḴOSROW KHAN (b. 1 January 1674; d. Kandahar, 26 October 1711), Georgian royal prince of the Kartlian branch, also known as Ḵosrow Khan. He was the eldest son of Prince Levan (Šāhqoli Khan) and the nephew of Giorgi XI (Gorgin Khan, q.v.). His activities were well recorded by Sekhnia Chkheidze, a Georgian chronicler in the service of Prince Levan, who described himself as having been brought up with Kay-Ḵosrow Khan (Chkheidze, 1854, p. 312; idem, 1857, p. 15; idem, 1976, p. 14).

In 1704, during his father’s absence, Kay-Ḵosrow Khan acted as the chief justice (divānbegi, q.v.) (Chkheidze, 1854, p. 320; idem, 1857, p. 24; idem, 1976, p. 23; Zhordania, III, pp. 6-7). Vakhushti Bagrationi wrote (p. 477; see also Brosset, II/1, p. 98 and II/2, p. 504) that Kay-Ḵosrow Khan had been appointed the prefect of police (dāruḡa [see CITIES iii]) of Isfahan in the previous year, 1703. However, according to Chkheidze (1854, p. 320; idem, 1857, p. 24; idem, 1976, p. 23), at that time this post should have been occupied by the Kakhetian Prince Kostantine (Maḥmud-qoli). In the summer of 1707 Kay-Ḵosrow Khan, having been appointed the prefect of police of Isfahan by Shah Solṭān-Ḥosayn (r. 1694-1722), Ïwas sent there from Mashad to quell the bread riots (Chkheidze, 1854, p. 322-23; idem, 1857, pp. 26-27; idem, 1976, p. 25-26; Lockhart, pp. 49-50).

In the summer of 1709, Kay-Ḵosrow Khan succeeded Giorgi XI as the ruler (wāli [see CITIES iii) (mepe)of Kartli and became the commander-in-chief (sepahsālār) with the governorship of Tabriz and Barda. His half-brother, Iese (ʿAliqoli Khan), became the governor (beglerbegi, q.v.) and his of Kermn and illegitimate half-brother Rostom (Rostam) the prefect of police of Isfahan (Chkheidze, 1854, p. 325; idem, 1857, pp. 30-31; idem, 1976, p. 29; Vakhushti Bagrationi, p. 485; Brosset, II/1, pp.103-104; Mostowfi, pp. 116-17). Kay-Ḵosrow Khan’s brother Vakhtang VI (later ḤÅosaynqoli Khan) continued to rule Kartli on his behalf and sent him 1,500-men army reinforcements. In November 1709 Kay-Ḵosrow Khan led the Georgian and Persian army to Kandahar to avenge his uncle Gorgin Khan, who had been killed by the Afghans earlier that same year (Lockhart, pp. 87-88).

However, the army was said to have suffered from food shortages and low morale among the qezelbāš (q.v.) troops. After five months of besieging Kandahar, Kay-Ḵosrow Khan was forced to retreat. He was attacked and killed (or made a suicide attack with 200 of his men) on 26 October 1711 (Chkheidze, 1854, pp. 325-26; idem, 1857, pp. 31-32; idem, 1976, p. 29; Vakhushti Bagrationi, p. 489; Brosset, II/1, p. 108; Kavtaria, p. 205; Lang, 1952, pp. 532-34; idem, 1957, pp. 101-2). According to J. T. Krusinski, although they had lost the war, the bravery of the Georgians was highly admired by the Afghans: “that the Persians were but Women compar’d with the Aghvans, and the Aghvans but Women compar’d with the Georgians.” Krusinski also wrote that the death of Kostrow-Khan (i.e., Kay-Ḵosrow Khan) “was the most considerable Loss that Persia sustain’d on this Occasion” (Krusinski, I, p. 198). It is not appropriate to attribute the failure of the expedition solely to the “anti-Georgian sentiment” inside the central court represented by Fatḥ-ʿAli Khan Dāgestāni (Lang, 1957, p. 101; idem, 1952, p. 533), for the latter was the brother-in-law of Prince Davit (Emāmqoli) from the Kakhetian Bagratids (Brosset, II/1, p. 182; Puturidze, 1955, pp. 430-31). Fatḥ-ʿAli Khan married one of his daughters to Rostam, the uterine brother of Kay-Ḵosrow Khan also married one of his daughters to Rostom, natural brother of. The Kartlian Bagratids continued to maintain relations with the North Caucasian principalities, too, with a complicated network of alliances and strategies. It can be safely assumed that the double-edged struggle for power was pursued inside the Safavid court and across the whole Caucasus simultaneously.



Vakhushti Bagrationi, “Aghtsera samepˊosa Sakžartˊvelosa” (Description of the Georgian Kingdom), in Kžartˊlis tsˊkhovreba (Life of Georgia), vol. IV, ed. S. Qaukhchishvili, Tbilisi, 1973.

M.-F. Brosset, ed. and tr., Histoire de la Géorgie depuis l’antiquité jusqu’au XIXᵉ siècle, 2 vols. in 3 parts, St. Petersburg, 1849-57.

Sekhnia Chkheidze, “Sakˊartˊvelos tsˊkhovreba Sekhnia Chˊkheidzisa” (Life of Georgia by Sekhnia Chkheidze), in Kartˊlis tsˊkhovreba: dasabamitˊ-gan meattsˊkhramete saukunemdis, natsili meore. Akhali motˊkhroba, 1469 tslidgan, vidre 1800 tsladamde (Life of Georgia: from the beginning to the 19th century, part II, The New Tales, from 1469 to 1800), ed. M. Chubinov (Chubinashvili), St. Petersburg, 1854, pp. 307-42; French translation: “Chronique de Géorgiepar Sekhnia Tchkhéidzé,” in Histoire de la Géorgie depuis l’antiquité jusqu’au XIX siècle, vol. II/2, St. Petersburg, 1857, pp. 1-54; Russian translation: Istoriya Gruzii: Zhizn’ tsareĭ (History of Georgia: Life of the Tsars), tr. N. T. Nakashidze, Tbilisi, 1976.

M. Kavtaria, “Bagrationtˊa Kˊartˊl-Kakhetˊis samepˊo sakhlis genealogia da kˊronologia (XVII-XVIII ss.)” (Genealogy and Chronology of the Kartli-Kakheti Kingdom of Bagrationi Family, 17-18th Centuries), Mravaltavi 5, 1975, pp. 198-225.

Judasz Tadeusz Krusinski, The History of the late Revolutions of Persia, 2 vols., London, 1733, 1740; repr. of the 1740 edition, New York, 1973 (cited).

D. M. Lang, “Georgia and the Fall of the Safavid Dynasty,” BSOAS 14, 1952, pp. 523-39.

Idem, The Last Years of Georgian Monarchy 1658-1832, New York, 1957.

L. Lockhart, The Fall of the Safavi Dynasty and the Afghan Occupation of Persia, Cambridge, 1958.

Moḥáammad-Moḥásen Mostowfi, Zobdat-al-tawāriḵ-ò, ed. Behruz Gudarzi, Tehran, 1996.

V. Puturidze (ed.), Kartˊul-sparsuli istoriuli sabutˊebi (Georgian-Persian Historical Documents), Tbilisi, 1955.

Tedo Zhordania, Kˊronikebi da skhva masala Sakartˊvelos istoriisa da mtserlobisa, shekrebili, kˊronologiurad datsqobili da akhsnili Tˊ Zhordanias mier (Chronicles and Other Materials of Georgian History and Literature, collected, chronological order, and explained by T. Zhordania), 3 vols., Tbilisi, 1892-1967.


April 7, 2008

(Hirotake Maeda)

Originally Published: May 31, 2013

Last Updated: April 7, 2008

This article is available in print.
Vol. XVI, Fasc. 2, pp. 145-146