Born in 1160, Tamar (also known as Tamara) was the daughter to King Giorgi III. Amazingly, her father declared her co-ruler and heir apparent to avoid uprising from his nephew when he died. At the age of twenty-two she reigned with her father as co-ruler of Russian Georgia – which was between the Caspian and Black Sea. Her father died when she was twenty-eight making her Queen and sole ruler.
She developed a status of outstanding ruler. So much so that she was nicknamed by her people as “King of Kings and Queen of Queens”. During her rule, she brought almost every neighboring Muslim state under her authority.
There is a Russian poem that is believed to be about her: “A lion’s cubs are lions all, male and female alike.”
She was the commander of her army.
Her kingdom thrived and became a lucrative, political, and cultural strength.
In 1204 she helped found the Empire of Trebizond which was located on the Black Sea’s southern shore-which its capital is now the city of Trabzon. This was to make a shield state along Georgia’s southwestern borders.
She was forced to marry Prince Yuri of Rus, but divorced him in 1187. She then married Prince David Sostan and they had a son and daughter together. In appreciation she entitled him to be co-ruler but only pro tem. Both of her children ruled for a time after their mother’s death.
Her first ex-husband attempted to have her killed twice through a coup, but did not succeed. She reigned for thirty-four years and created a Russian dynasty that persisted for two and half centuries.
Tamar died in 1213. After her death, myths and legends evolved, and her Tamar’s reign became known as the Golden Age of Georgia. She was canonized as a saint by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Uppity Women of Medieval Times by Vicki Leon