Yuri Andreyevich Bogoliubsky

XII pageKyivan RusPrincely times

Yuri Andreyevich Bogoliubsky (birth place and date unknown – after 1191) – King of Georgia (ca 1185–1187, 1189–1190).

Grandson of Yuri Dolgoruky, son of Andrei Bogoliubsky, Prince of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality, and, possibly, of an Alanian Princess. After the death of his father took refuge probably in Alania, with his mother’s relatives. In the neighbouring country, Georgia, after the death of King George III his daughter Tamar ascended the throne (1184–1213). Two factions fought for the influence in her court: of Abusalan, Emir of Tbilisi, and Eristavi brothers Zakaria and Ivane Mkhargrdzeli, supported by Tamar’s aunt Rusudan, the widow of Iziaslav Mstyslavych. The faction of the Emir Abusalan won a victory and the Emir arranged the marriage of Tamar and Yuri. Soon it became clear that Yuri was a homosexual, and with the agreement of the clergy Tamar divorced him. With lavish gifts she sent him to Byzantium. However, the Emir’s faction brought Yuri back and a part of the Eristavi proclaimed him the king. Then the brothers Mkhargrdzeli and Rusudan arranged the second marriage of Tamar with the Alanian Prince David Soslan, a relative of the wife of Prince Vsevolod the Big Nest. David’s army defeated supporters of Yuri, and he was killed. The account of Georgian sources is beyond exception. The version that Yuri opposed forces that strove to disintegrate Georgia is unsubstantiated. M. Baumgarten held that Yuri was killed before 1180, and the marriage took place ca 1177, which cannot be accepted. The marriage took place after the death of George III, when Tamar was Queen. The divorce occurred in two years, while Tamar’s marriage with David happened two years later, that is ca 1189. Therefore, Yuri died not earlier than in 1189, shortly after 1191. He is buried in Tbilisi, in St. George’s Church.

Portrait (imaginary) of Yuri Bogoliubsky