|Demetre bids farewell to his people, by Henryk Hryniewski, c. 1910|
True Name: დემეტრე II თავდადებული
Surname: "The Self-Sacrificer"
Parents: David VII, king of Georgia, and Gvantsa Kakhaberidze
Date of Birth: 1259
Spouse: Theodora Megale Komnena, Solgar, and Natela Jakeli
Reign: 1270 – 1289
Predecessor: David VII
Summary: Demetre was raised in the royal house of his father, David VII, and was deprived of his mother at the age of two when Mongols killed her. He succeeded his father at eleven in 1270 but was too young to rule, so a regency was established under Sadun Mankaberdeli. He assumed his own rule in 1277.
In the early years of his personal reign, he joined Abaqa Khan's campaigns against Egypt, distinguishing himself in battle in 1281. His kingdom had significantly shrunk in recent years and, though he was titled "king of Georgia" he ruled only the eastern part of the historical borders. The western lands north of Armenia were ruled by the kings of Imerati, a cadet branch of the senior line of Bagrationi. Raised in a kingdom under heavy Muslim influence, it is no surprise that Demetre broke with tradition and married multiple wives. At the height of his heresy, he held three wives simultaneously, including the daughter of the emperor of Trebizond. It was with that wife that he produced his two heirs, David VIII and Vakhtang III. With his third wife, Natela, he produced a later successor, George V. Demetre failed in his vassal duties to the Persian Ilkhan. In 1288, Arghun Khan revealed a plot organized by Demetre's son-on-law, Buqa. The family was massacred and Demetre was called to the Mongol capital else Arghun invads Georgia. The king went there and was imprisoned. He finally was beheaded for treason in 1289. The Georgian Orthodox Church later colonized him for standing up to a Muslim emperor. He was succeeded by his cousin, Vakhtang II.
Date of Death: 12 March 1289
Successor: Vakhtang II
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