Vakhtang VI of Kartli

Vakhtang VI
Vakhtang VI of Kartli (Eastern Georgia).jpg
Portrait in royal regalia c. early 1700s
King of Kartli
Reign1716 - July 1724
PredecessorHeraclius I
Born(1675-09-15)15 September 1675
Died26 March 1737(1737-03-26) (aged 61)
Governorate of Astrakhan, Russian Empire
Church of Assumption of Astrakhan
ConsortRusudan of Circassia
FatherLevan of Kartli
MotherTuta Gurieli
ReligionGeorgian Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic, Islam
KhelrtvaVakhtang VI's signature

Vakhtang VI (Georgian: ვახტანგ VI), also known as Vakhtang the Scholar, Vakhtang the Lawgiver and Ḥosaynqolī Khan (Persian: حسین‌قلی خان‎, translit. Hoseyn-Qoli Xān) (September 15, 1675 – March 26, 1737), was a Georgian monarch of the royal Bagrationi dynasty. He ruled the East Georgian Kingdom of Kartli as a vassal of Safavid Persia from 1716 to 1724. One of the most important and extraordinary statesman of early 18th-century Georgia, he is known as a notable legislator, scholar, critic, translator and poet. His reign was eventually terminated by the Ottoman invasion following the disintegration of Safavid Persia, which forced Vakhtang into exile in the Russian Empire. Vakhtang was unable to get the tsar's support for his kingdom and instead had to permanently stay with his northern neighbors for his own safety. On his way to a diplomatic mission sanctioned by Empress Anna, he fell ill and died in southern Russia in 1737, never reaching Georgia.

As a regent

Son of Prince Levan, he ruled as regent (janishin) for his absent uncle, George XI, and his brother, Kaikhosro, from 1703 to 1712. During these years, he launched a series of long-needed reforms, revived economy and culture, reorganised administration and attempted to fortify the central royal authority. In 1707–1709, he substantially revised the legal code (dasturlamali, aka “Vakhtang’s code”) which would operate as a basis for the Georgian feudal system up to the Russian annexation. He was summoned by the shah Husayn in 1712 to be confirmed as wali/king of Kartli. The shah would not grant the confirmation, except on condition of Vakhtang embracing Islam, which having refused to do, he was imprisoned,[1] and, after a brief regency of Prince Simon, his brother Jesse (Ali Quli-Khan), who complied with the condition, was put in his place in 1714. Jesse governed Kartli two years, during which he suffered from internal troubles and the inroads of the Dagestani tribes, otherwise known as Lekianoba.

During the years of captivity, Vakhtang requested aid from the Christian monarchs of Europe, particularly he sent his uncle and tutor, Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani, on a mission to Louis XIV of France. Later, in his last letters to the Pope Innocent XIII and Charles VI dated 29 November 1722 said Vakhtang that he was since years secretly Catholic, but he could't confess it in publicity "because of betraying people about me" and confirmed with it the reports of Capuchin missionaries from Persia. They claimed that Vakhtang became Catholic before he converted outwards to Islam and went there to Catholic mass. Politically went his efforts, however, in vain, and Vakhtang reluctantly converted in 1716, adopting the name of Husayn-Qoli Khan. Appointed sipah-salar[2] (commander-in-chief) of the Persian armies, he also served as beglerbeg (governor-general) of Azerbaijan for some time. He sent his son, Bakar to govern Kartli, whereas Jesse, having abjured Islam, had retired.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: VI Vaxtanq
català: Vakhtang VI
Deutsch: Wachtang VI.
հայերեն: Վախթանգ VI
ქართული: ვახტანგ VI
norsk nynorsk: Vakhtang VI av Kartli
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Vaxtang VI
polski: Wachtang VI
русский: Вахтанг VI
українська: Вахтанг VI