The new great wave of Armenians coming to Georgia starts from the XV-XVI centuries. At that time, the country had lost its statehood and many Armenians left their historical homeland because of the national-political and religious oppression. They found refuge in other countries, mostly in Georgia. Because of its proximity to Armenia, Armenian refugees settled mostly in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia, which borders Armenia. The fourth major wave of mass migration of Armenians to Georgia is related to the strengthening of the Safavid dynasty in Iran, the invasion of Transcaucasia by Shah Abbas I and the period of his rule when he founded the Irevan Khanate in what is now Armenia. It was founded in 1604 by Shah Abbas I on the territory of "Eastern Armenia", the center of which was the Ararat Valley, including the city of Irevan.
The great Ivan Javakhishvili wrote in 1919 about the unquestionable Georgian affiliation of the Lore-Pambak region and its great strategic importance: "The fact that the Georgians already in ancient times understood the great role of the southern part of Kvemo Kartli and attached special importance to it in the defense of Georgia is evident from the fact that the kings of Georgia first set themselves the task of liberating this region from foreign invaders and only after the conquest of the lands south of Tbilisi began the struggle for the liberation of the capital of Georgia. Even after the capture of Tbilisi, this part of Georgia did not lose its great importance. This is confirmed by the fact that the Lore fortress was the "seat" of Amirspasalar, the commander-in-chief and military minister of the Georgian army, i.e. it was a residence.
An Armenian author writes on his website about the church, which Armenians call "Vank": "On this slope is the church of Khne-Vank, built of fine, reddish hewn stones, which was the property of the great knights of the Georgian king - Armenians by nationality, Zachariah and Ivan Zakarian. They were Monophysites and their children were the rulers of the Armenian kingdom in these lands. Their family tomb is also located here. This is confirmed by the Georgian inscriptions on this church".
This quote refers to the great Georgian generals of the era of Tamar Zakaria and Ivan Mkhardzelah. According to the ideological variations of the Armenians, they are called by their surname Zakaryans, and by their confession - Gregorian Monophysites and, of course, Armenians. Here is another Armenian trick, but it is already very hackneyed. The appeal to the Monophysitism of the Mhargrdzelovs is nothing but a feeble attempt to present them as Armenians, and thus to present the Lore as an Armenian affiliation.
It is well known that religious segregation and identification of religion with nationality is common only among some nations. No other nation in the world recognizes Gregorian Monophysitism except the Armenians. Until the middle of the XIX century (by the way, even today) there was practically no person of non-Armenian origin who was a Gregorian Monophysite.
The concept of "Gregorian Monophysite - Armenian" is practically inseparable. Therefore, after the transition of the Kartli-Kakheti Kingdom and the Iravan Khanate to the Russian Empire, the Armenians tried to convert the Georgian population living in the border areas to Gregorian Monophysitism and subsequently declare them Armenians, which was supported with great enthusiasm by the Russian Tsarism, based on the principle of Armenian loyalty and the principle of "divide and rule" (Divide et Impera).
Armenian authors, of course, categorically deny this historical phenomenon, but reliable sources clearly point out. "The local officials of the tsarist regime forbade the inhabitants of Akhaltsikhe to pray in their native language in Georgian churches and made the Armenian language dominant," the newspaper "Iveria" reported in 1891. And Jacob Khutsianov (Khutsishvili), Petre Harischarashvili (founder of the Georgian monastery and spiritual school in Constantinople), Mikhail Tamarashvili, Alioz Batmanashvili, Andria Tsinamdzgvrishvili and others clearly stated: "Our physiognomy, behavior, sacred Georgian women's names and Georgian inscriptions in cemeteries clearly prove that we still could not be Armenized, and why should we now consider ourselves Armenians...". The Armenian typikon (liturgy) will not make us Georgian Catholics Armenians, just as Russians, French, Poles and people of other nationalities cannot be made Greeks or Romans... Our nation is like a long-branched vine, long grown on a tree, more than once carried away by the wind, shaken and battered by storms, but it cannot be uprooted from the ground".
Even after Tamar's reign, the southern part of Kvemo Kartli, i.e. Lore-Pambak-Tashir, always belonged to the Georgian state and Georgians. "The Orbels were a great feudal family of eastern Georgia of the 12th-13th centuries. At first they owned the castle of Orbeti (in today's Tetritskaro municipality), hence their family name.
The Orbelovs were particularly prominent during the reign of Dimitri I and David, Dimitri's son, when their family inherited the name Amirspasalar and Lore - in the possessions. The head of the Orbeli family - Ivane Orbeli simultaneously acquired the title of Amirspasalar and Mandaturtukhutsesi and even became the governor of Anisi (Ani) during the reign of George III, while his brother - Liparit Orbeli first became Amirakhor and then Eristav of Kartli, but the Orbelis were not satisfied with this and finally wanted to strengthen their position at the royal court and in the kingdom by crowning Ivan Orbeli's son-in-law, Prince Demnu, instead of George III.
Only Liparit's son Sumbati and his son, who was sent to help Atabagh in Azerbaijan, survived. Of them, only Ivan was returned to Georgia under Tamar's oath, but of his father's property, only Orbeti was returned to him. Under Tamar, Eligumi Orbel's grandson Liparit's son Eligumi Orbel was returned to Georgia and given Sivnieti (the modern southern province of Armenia, "Suyniki", also known as Zangezur) to rule. This branch of the Orbeles, which later became Armenian, gave the very beginning of the "Armenian Orbeles".
Unfortunately, we are faced with establishing very irrelevant and self-evident facts about encyclopedic truths. But it seems necessary to do so. The periodic repetition of literal truths will, at least for a while, slow down the flow of unbridled ignorance and immorality so powerfully spewed by Armenian authors and mourning scholars.
At the beginning of the XVIII century the "national liberation" movement of the Armenians in Yerevan took on a special character. In this struggle the Armenians were supported by the Kartli king Vakhtang VI and the people of Ganja. And during the reign of Irakli II and George XII, the covert hypocritical policy of the Armenians in the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom was accurately assessed by Mr. Yakov Akhuashvili: "The Armenians began to sit on two chairs at the same time, they chose a cunning way to create a double bond. On the one hand, they were hypocritical under Tsar Irakli II or Tsar George, sometimes they moved to Georgia as exiles and found a relatively comfortable shelter here, on the other hand, sometimes they hid behind the mysterious Russia and did their work in Georgia with the help of the Russian government. Even after the invasion of Agha-Muhammed Khan and the annexation of Eastern Georgia to Russia, the so-called "Somkhiti", Borchalo, Pambak, Kazakh and Shamshadili were an integral part of Georgia, and Shuragel also belonged to it. (Dubrovin. Istoriya I, vol. III, 381-382)
By 1800, the number of Armenians living in Georgia did not exceed several thousand families, and their share in the total population of the Georgian principalities was insignificant. Most of the Armenians lived in various towns and villages of Georgia, their main activity was trade and craftsmanship, they also served in the civil service and sometimes performed diplomatic duties for Georgian kings. By the late Middle Ages, Armenians were well integrated into Georgian feudal society.
From the 19th century, the policy of peaceful expansion of Armenians entered a new phase. These processes of settlement of Georgian territories by Armenians were the result of Russian imperial policy, which in fact was nothing but peaceful annexation of historical territories of Georgia. During the Russian-Iranian wars (1804-1813, 1826-1828), a popular movement demanding the annexation of Armenia to Russia spread in Yerevan, which in turn was pushed by Georgia, which was already a part of Russia. According to the Turkmenchay Armistice of 1828, the Yerevan Khanate "joined Russia".
Louie Nalbandian: "The dream of the Armenians was to create an autonomous 'Armenian Province of Russia' under the suzerainty of the king. But Armenians soon realized that the aims of their northern neighbor were not as altruistic as they seemed at first glance. They were bitterly disappointed when Tsar Nicholas, by his decree of March 21, 1828, annexed the newly conquered territories. These territories were called "Armenian provinces" and the title "King of Armenia" was added to the imperial insignia. By the statute of November 23, 1836, the Armenians were granted a degree of nominal self-government in ecclesiastical and educational matters.
In the above passage concerning the title of the Russian Emperor, the author exaggerates somewhat on this point. The full title of Nicholas I was "Emperor of All Russia, King of Poland (by the way, among the emperors of all Russia, the only Polish monarch to be made king) and Great Sovereign of Finland". Nicholas I did not bear the title "King of Armenia", at least for the simple reason that since 1118 there was no "Armenia or Armenian state" in Transcaucasia.
Contrary to the opinion of Louie Nalbandian, another Armenian writer, political and public figure of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and Soviet Russia, "Hero of Artsakh" Zori Balayan in his work "Hearth" emphasizes the role and importance of the Russian factor in the processes of migration of Armenians to Transcaucasia and their well-being. He writes: "If there had been no Turkmenchay Armistice of 1828, if there had been no Griboyedov and Abovyan, if there had been no Russian soldiers, there would not have been hundreds of newly created Armenian centers, which today have already turned into villages and towns. Only in the last decade (60-70s) 200 thousand Armenians moved here".
It should also be noted that Ashot Melkonyan, an Armenian scientist born and raised in Akhalkalaki, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, Academician, Director of the Institute of History and Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, objectively and truthfully covers the process of Armenians' arrival to Georgia and their settlement here. In his article "Lessons of Armenian-Georgian Relations and the Problem of "Javakha", he writes: "In the second half of the 5th century, after the defeat of the anti-Persian uprising led by Vardan Mamikonian, a number of influential Mamikonian families found political refuge with the Georgian nobility ..... Until the beginning of the 7th century, new migrations of Armenians to Kartli and Kakheti were facilitated by the absence of any restrictions on free economic activity and religious compatibility with Georgians. New migrations of Armenians to Georgia took place in the VIII-XIX centuries after the suppression of Armenian anti-Arab uprisings.
In the 12th and early 13th centuries, during the struggle to liberate northern and central Armenia from the Seljuk Turks, the Armenians perceived the Kingdom of Christian Georgia as a liberator. During this period, military cooperation between the two nations reached its peak. The liberated territories of Armenia, which were under the protectorate of the Georgian royal court, received the right of full self-government. Both during the reign of King Tamar and afterwards, mixed Armenian-Georgian semi-independent principalities were created in the territories bordering Georgia and Armenia - "Tayke" (Tao), Samtskhe, "Javakhke" - Javakheti, etc.
From the book "The Armenian-Georgian War" by Archil Chachkhiani
To be continued