Abbas I's Kakhetian and Kartlian campaigns

Abbas I's Kakhetian and Kartlian campaigns refers to the four campaigns Safavid king Abbas I led between 1614-1617,[6] in his East Georgian vassal kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti during the Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–18). The campaigns were initiated as a response to the shown disobedience and subsequent staged rebellion by Abbas' formerly most loyal Georgian ghulams, namely Luarsab II of Kartli and Teimuraz I of Kahketi (Tahmuras Khan). After the complete devastation of Tbilisi, the quelling of the uprising and the deportation of between 130,000 - 200,000 Georgian captives to mainland Iran, Kakheti and Kartli were decisively brought under the Iranian sway.

Abbas I's Kakhetian and Kartlian campaigns
Part of Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–1618)
Result Decisive Safavid victory
  • Tbilisi recaptured and sacked.
  • Uprising staged by Luarsab II and Teimuraz I suppressed
  • Kartli and Kakheti firmly brought under the Iranian sway.
  • Mass deportations of Georgians
Safavid Empire Coat of arms of Kartli Georgia.png Kingdom of Kartli
Coat of arms of Kingdom of Kakheti.svg Kingdom of Kakheti
Commanders and leaders
Shah Abbas I
Giorgi Saakadze (Mūrāv-Beg)
Ganj Ali Khan
Coat of arms of Kartli Georgia.png Luarsab II  Surrendered
Coat of arms of Kingdom of Kakheti.svg Teimuraz I
Casualties and losses

100,000 Georgians killed.[1]

130,000[2] - 160,000[3] - 200,000[1][4][5] Georgian captives moved to mainland Persia.



Tensions between Georgia and the Shah rose in 1612 as Teimuraz and Luarsab refused the Shah's summons and executed pro-Iranian nobility[1] including the governor of Karabakh. In the spring of 1614 war broke out. This event brought an end to the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha.

Massacres and deportationsEdit

In 1616, Shah Abbas I dispatched his troops to Georgia. He aimed to suppress the Georgian revolt in Tbilisi, however the Safavid soldiers met heavy resistance by the citizens of Tbilisi. The Shah ravaged Kakheti and Kartli as Teimuraz and Luarsab retreated to the Kingdom of Imereti. Luarsab surrendered to the Shah and was imprisoned, but Teimuraz's continued resistance enraged the Shah, who continued a campaign of massacres and deportations among the Georgians. Kartli was partially spared due to its allegiance to the Shah, while Kakheti lost the majority of its population.[1]

These deportations marked another stage in the Safavid policy of resettling huge amounts of Georgians and other ethnic Caucasian groups such as the Circassians and Armenians, to mainland Persia.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Rayfield, Donald (2012). Edge of Empires. London: Reaktion Books Ltd. p. 191. ISBN 978 1 78023 030 6.
  2. ^ Eskandar Beg, pp. 900-901, tr. Savory, II, p. 1116
  3. ^ Blow 2009, p. 174.
  4. ^ Mikaberidze 2015, pp. 291, 536.
  5. ^ Malekšāh Ḥosayn, p. 509
  6. ^ Mikaberidze 2015, p. 31.