The Moorish Kings of Europe: King Mirian of Iberia, Georgia, Eastern Europe

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King Mirian’s fresco from Svetitskhoveli cathedral, Georgia

Historical Context:

According to the early medieval Georgian annals and hagiography, Mirian was the first Christian king of Iberia, a kingdom in modern Georgia. He converted through the ministry of Nino, a Cappadocian female missionary.

He is credited with establishment of Christianity as his kingdom’s state religion and is regarded by the Georgian Orthodox Church as saint.

His reign is said to fall either between the dates 268–345, or 284–361. He was well known to the contemporary Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus and the medieval Armenian chronicles

Professor Giorgi Melikishvili an eminent Georgian historian considers Mirian a representative of the local Iberian élite clan to whom the medieval tradition ascribed an exotic foreign royal ancestry to infuse him with more prestige.

Mirian established Christianity in Georgia, built up government administration through his contact with the hierachy of the Orthodox Church which sent him many clerics and teachers to uplift his subjects.

Oguejiofo Annu



Lang, David Marshall (1956), Lives and legends of the Georgian saints, pp. 13-39. London: Allen & Unwin

Lenski, Noel Emmanuel (2002), Failure of empire: Valens and the Roman state in the fourth century A.D., p. 157. University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-23332-8

Hamilton, Walter (1986), The Later Roman Empire (A.D. 354-378) By Ammianus Marcellinus, p. 215. Penguin Classics, ISBN 0-14-044406-8

Toumanoff, Cyril (1969), Chronology of the Early Kings of Iberia. Traditio 25: pp. 21-23.

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