Epitaph Of Elene, Daughter Of Kvirike King Of Rans And Kakhs

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Aleksandre Boshishvili
Leri Tavadze
Eka Kvirkvelia
Akaki Chikobava


On August, 2017 during restoration and rehabilitation work (performed by the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia) in St. John the Baptist Three-Church Basilica of Kalauri located in Gurjaani Municipality Region of Kakheti the royal tomb was discovered. St. John the Baptist Basilica of Kalauri contains the royal tomb and unknown inscription
engraved on the same tomb. Both, tomb and inscription, were completely unknown to the public. The part of the inscription is damaged but the context is clear. According to the inscription the royal tomb belongs to Elene, the daughter of Kvririke king of Rans and Kakhs (“Rans”, inhabitants of “Rani”, the population of Kingdom of Hereti; “Kakhs”, inhabitants of “Kakheti”, the
population of Kingdom of Kakheti. Hereti and Kakheti were part of a single kingdom during the rule of Kvirike III the Great from 1014 to 1039. Thus, the title “king of Rans and Kakhs” means the rule over Kakheti-Hereti Kingdom). Based on the context of the inscription, it is an epitaph of Elene. She is named the Queen, as she was a daughter and a royal heir of Kvirike III the Great. According to the inscription, Queen Elene had a husband, Prince Demetre. Presumably, they were heirs of Kvirike III the Great before Elene passed away.

Published: Aug 25, 2021

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