KING VAKHTANG THE THIRD AND IERUSALEM ST. GROSS MONASTERY (1300 y. January)
There have been various scientific studies on Georgians, striving to make names for themselves in Jerusalem. Since Muslims had dominated the holy land, Georgian politicians and religious leaders constantly raised a subject on liberation of Jerusalem with European countries and promised allies their support. Georgia’s effort especially was apparent during the ruling of king Lasha Giorgi the IV (1213-1223), when he intended to participate in the fifth crusade and even had the route for the attack to allies of Egypt drawn up. Alas, his plans had to be altered because of the Mongolian invasion in Georgia. He died after he had been wounded gravely in the battle. After the Mongolian occupation, Georgian rulers tried to take advantage of Mongolian and Egyptian war and free the holy land ( they had been trying to return Jerusalem to its rightful Christian owners for twenty years with Armenian kings of Cilicia). The article claims that the St. Cross Monastery book recording of funeral prayers ( Aghapi) gives us the information on King Vakhtang the third ( 1298 or 1302-1308) and Mongolian army were in Jerusalem and at St. Cross monastery, near Jerusalem in December, 1299 and in January 1300. The recording tells us that the king gave significant donation to monks, who used the income to do some renovations of the monastery. Thus, this claim elucidates quite remarkable facts that Georgian and Armenian kings among Mongols were in Jerusalem in January 1300. (although, some European and Georgian scholars show skepticism to the information).
Key words: Jerusalem, Mongols, Vakhtang the third, Aghapi, Egypt.