10 April 2003, 01:52

David the Builder

David the Fourth Georgievich (b. ca. 1073 ? d. Jan. 1125), Georgian czar (starting 1089) of the Bagrationi dynasty. Major statesman, succeeded in unification of the Georgian duchies into a united centralized state. In 1097, David the Builder discontinued paying tribute to the Seljuks and thus reinstated Georgia's independence; joined Kakheti and Ereti, as well as other lands, to his possessions (1104). In August 1121, the Georgian troops defeated a multitudinous army of a Muslim rulers' coalition in the battle of Didgor. In 1122, freeing Tbilisi, David the Builder transferred the nation's capital there from Kutaisi. Finding support in military noblemen and the higher levels of urban tradesmen and craftsmen, David the Builder struggled for power centralization. In 1118-1120, David the Builder created a regular army under the czar's command which operated along with citizens-in-arms. In 1123-1124, freed Shirvan and the city of Ani of Seljuks. David the Builder paid much attention to the construction of cities, roadways, bridges, palaces, and inns. An educated person and a book aficionado, David the Builder promoted education and founded Gelat Academy. For his activities, was nicknamed the Builder.

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