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David Soslan
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David Soslan  

Ossetian Prince, military commander, Georgian Tsarina (Queen) Tamara's husband. 

 

The history of Georgian and Ossetian relations is far longer than just a century. They went through the most difficult transformation. This started when during the ancient times when Alans-the ancestors of the modern Ossetians (living in the foothills of the Caucasian mountains), frequently went through Darial gorge attacking the Kartly (Iberian) Reign. This ended in friendly, allied and even related dynastic relations between the two nations: Alania and Georgia. 

 

One of the best examples of this was in 1188. David Soslan -Tsarina Tamara’s second husband. Being her spouse gave him many opportunities to do a lot for the Georgian government. In 1191 a group of courtiers, disgruntled with the queen's policy, called Prince Yuri (the first husband of Tamar) back from Constantinople, where he had been staying, and stirred up a large-scale rebellion, in which the feudal lords of almost the entire Western Georgia were involved. Tsarina Tamara suppressed the rebellion and Prince Yuri was expelled from the country.  

 

Major successes in Georgia's foreign policy were seen at the end of the 12th century. Thanks to a strong and flexible military organization and the commander-in-chief David Soslan the Georgians undertook a massive offensive against the Turkish invaders. In 1195 the 400,000 Turks were crushed by 90,000 Georgians led by king David Soslan in the battle at Shamkor, and in 1203 at Basiani. The Georgian army marched to the southern coast of the Black Sea and won back the lands populated with Georgian tribes of the Laz and Chan. The Georgians captured Trebizond, Sinope, Cerasus, Kotyora and Heraclea. Queen Tamara and David Soslan formed the Kingdom of Trebizond incorporating all the territories. 

 

Empowered by his authority, David did a lot of good for the Georgian State. 

Soslan lived a life fulfilled with military battles, struggling with the enemies of Georgia.  

 

David Soslan also fought against the Seldzhuks’ expansion, protecting Georgian territories, as he would do for his own homeland. 

This powerful man was also highly educated and was distinguished by his many skills. Some historians say that David is the real author of the great epic poem "The Knight in the Panther's Skin” (which was officially written by Shota Rustavely.) 

The Ukrainian scientists proved the existence of many Iranian elements in this poem, using the method of linguistic comparison. They also found some omissions, intentionally made by late copyists of the poem. 

 

The skillful warrior was also a very educated man who cared a lot about the literal competence of his people. David is the author of many books. It is, without a doubt, possible that the information could have been received from the Alans themselves. The Georgian scientist Chichinadzae highlights the fact that the Alanian nobels were educated in Alanian schools.  

 

David Soslan died in 1207.  

His remains were discovered in the 1970’s in the chapel of Nuzal, North Ossetia. Using the skull structure, Russian scientist-gerontologist Herasimova created a mug shot sculpture of David Soslan. 

 

Translated by Dzera Koutchieva  

 

Additional information (in Russian):  

 

http://www.abkhazeti.ru/pub/geotoday/16_06_2002_19/ 

http://www.hrono.ru/biograf/bio_t/tamara.html 

http://www.abkhaziainfo.f2o.org/templ/EpVpyZZZlVqMJOhPWB.shtml 

 



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Outstanding Ossetians