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Constantine II (Georgian: კონსტანტინე II, Konstantine II) (c. 1447 – 1505), of the Bagrationi dynasty, was a king of Georgia since 1478. Early in the 1490s, he had to recognise the independence of his rival rulers of Imereti and Kakheti, and to confine his power to Kartli.

He was the son of Demetre, son of the king Alexander I of Georgia. In 1465, together with his uncle, the Georgian king George VIII, Constantine was taken prisoner by the rebel prince Qvarqvare II Jakeli, atabeg of Samtskhe (principality in southern Georgia). He managed, however, to escape the captivity, and taking opportunity of the Imeretian king Bagrat VI’s absence at the campaign in Kartli, vainly attempted to seize control of the Imeretian capital Kutaisi. Despite the failure, he considered himself king and later won some power in Kartli. However, only with Bagrat’s death in 1478 was Constantine able to drive out Bagrat’s son, Alexander II, and become king of Georgia, though already fragmentised and torn apart with the bitter civil wars. In 1483, he was defeated by Qvarqvare II of Samtskhe at the Battle of Aradeti. Alexander took advantage and established himself in Imereti but lost Kutaisi to Constantine again in 1484. In the winter of 1488, the Ak Koyunlu Turkomans led by Halil Bey attacked Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, and took the city after a long-lasted siege in February 1489. Though the foreign occupation of the capital did not last long, the situation was immediately exploited by Alexander who seized control of Kutaisi and the rest of Imereti. From 1490 to 1493, Constantine was compelled to de jure recognise his cousin Alexander I of Kakheti and Alexander II of Imereti as independent sovereigns and to grant Qvarqvare II significant autonomy. Constantine himself was left with Kartli as the extent of his kingdom. Thus, by the end of the 15th century, Georgia was divided into three independent kingdoms (Kartly, Kakheti, and Imereti) and five autonomous principalities (Samtskhe, Mingrelia, Guria, Abkhazia, and Svaneti).

Between 1492-1496, Constantine attempted to win an international support to reunite the country and defend it against the increasingly aggressive Muslim empires of Ottoman Turkey and Persia. For this purpose, Georgian ambassadors were sent to the Burji sultan of Egypt Qaitbay, and also to Pope Alexander VI and Isabella of Castile. The embassies, however, proved to be fruitless.

He died on April 27, 1505, leaving the throne to his son, David X.

Marriage and children

He married in 1473 Thamar (died c. 1492) who bore him seven sons:

External links

Preceded by
Alexander II
King of Georgia (Kartli)
1478-1505
Succeeded by
David X
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