Shamkhor, Battle of (1195)

Major battle between the Georgian army and Atabeg Abu-Bakr of Arran in June 1195 near Shamkhor (present day-Shamkir, Azerbaijan). In the mid-1190s, a bitter struggle between Atabeg Abu Bakr of Azerbaijan and Sirvanshah Aghsartan led to the defeat of the latter. Aghsartan, enjoying close relations with the Bagration dynasty, appealed for help to Georgia. In 1195, Queen Tamar dispatched her army under King Consort David Soslan to Shirvan. Atabeg Abu-Bakr rallied the forces of the neighboring Muslim principalities and met the Georgians near Shamkhor in June 1195. In a skillfully executed maneuver, David Soslan directed his troops toward the city of Shamkhor, which was a diversionary move while his main forces made a flanking attack against the Muslim troops. The Atabeg’s forces were surrounded and routed, and the city capitulated some time later. Among the Georgian trophies was the standard of the caliph which was donated to the Kakhuli Monastery. The Georgians launched a vigorous pursuit, seizing the key fortress of Ganja. Queen Tamar restored Aghsartan in Shirvan under the terms of vassalage, thereby greatly expanding her sphere of influence.


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