2009 年 51 巻 2 号 p. 57-75
This paper examines the exact power the Safavid authority exercised over Georgia. Particular attention is paid to the activities of Papuna Tsitsishvili, a gholam who returned to Georgia and settled there. He served the Shah directly, but came back to Georgia around 1633 and recovered his fief. At the same time, he maintained the status of royal gholam with the special condition that King Rostom (Rostam Khan vali) of Georgia supervise him. He was receiving a stipend from neighboring Shirvan as a royal gholam.
The way he rehabilitated his domain in Georgia is worthy of attention. King Rostom reconciled him with his close kin and foe Manuchar Tsitsishvili and his brothers. The document recording the reconciliation was written in Georgian. Papuna describes in detail how he was forced to leave his native country and depart for “the land of Qizilbash”. Furthermore, to defend the privileges (people and land) given by Safavid Shahs he repeatedly sought their confirmation by the Safavid authority. The petitions of Papuna and his successor to the Shah mostly coincided with the changes of Georgian rulers. Thus they were mostly concerned with internal changes of the Georgian circumstance, but the supreme authority of the Safavid Shah was also needed.
These observations lead us to conclude that the internal dynamism of Georgian noble society was preserved under the supervision of the Safavid authority. However, there were many privileges given directly by the Safavid Shahs, especially at the times of the forceful reconstructions of the regional order by Shah Tahmasp and Shah Abbas I. Georgian nobility also exploited Safavid connections to preserve or broaden their interests. Thus on one hand, the institution of the royal gholam was a channel uniting the Safavid central court and the Georgian landed nobility. On the other hand, there was a vertain distance between the systems. It is clear that references to accumulated precedents were important, and mutilayered authorities functioned in Georgian society under Safavid suzerainty.