Tamar the Great
Timeline: Great Empires

Queen Tamar
Mosaic of Queen Tamar

Queen regnant of Georgia, Queen of Queens
1178 – 1188

Predecessor George III
Successor Rusudan

Empress regnant of the Roman Empire
1188 – 1230

Predecessor Isaac II Angelos
Successor Rusudan

1188 – 1191

Predecessor Clement III
Successor Celestine III
Born 1160
Died 1230
Spouse Yuri Bogolyubsky

David Soslan

Royal House Bagrationi
Father George IV
Mother Burdukhan
Issue George IV


Religion Christianity
We have to stay true to our convictions, no matter how high the price
~ Tamar
Queen Tamar the Great (birth name: Tamar Bagrationi) was the greatest of all rulers of both the Georgian and Roman Empires. She merged the Georgian and Byzantine Empires and brought it to its Golden Age.


Queen Tamar is also known as Tamara, her Latin name. Tamar used the name Tamara Johanna Georgia in her term as Pope, she was later also known as the legendary Pope Joan.


Early life

Tamar Bagrationi was born as the daughter of King George III by his consort Burdukhan. Tamar's youth co-incided with a major upheaval in Georgia. In 1177, her father, George III, was confronted by a rebellious faction of nobles. The rebels intended to dethrone George in favor of the king's fraternal nephew, Demna, who was considered by many to be a legitimate royal heir of his murdered father, David V. Demna's cause was little but a pretext for the nobles, led by the pretender's father-in-law, the amirspasalar ("constable") Ivane Orbeli, to weaken the crown.George III was able to crush the revolt and embarked on a campaign of crackdown on the defiant aristocratic clans. Ivane Orbeli was put to death and the surviving members of his family were driven out of Georgia. Prince Demna, castrated and blinded on his uncle's order, did not survive the mutilation and soon died in prison. Once the rebellion was suppressed and the pretender eliminated, George went ahead to co-opt Tamar into government with him and crowned her as co-ruler in 1178. By doing so, the king attempted to preempt any dispute after his death and legitimize his line on the throne of Georgia. At the same time, he raised men from the gentry and unranked classes to keep the dynastic aristocracy away from the center of power.

Queen of Georgia

Tamar was good at diplomacy and politics and soon she would overshadow her father in the government. Her father let her do all the hard work and Tamar was the most powerful person in the kingdom. She set up new laws for more equality and less corruption in the kingdom. The kingdom flourished and grew into a mighty nation. Tamar had great ambitions and invaded the Byzantine Empire,instead of taking all cities she went straight to the city of Constantinople. After five months during a siege,Tamar conquered the city and the Byzantine Empire collapsed into anarchy. She went to the Hagia Sophia and proclaimed herself "Empress regnant of the Roman Empire". The surrounding kingdoms acknowledged Tamar as their ruler and were incorporated into the empire. However Pope Clement III refused to formally crown her empress. Tamar warned the Pope that if he continued to behave in such an arrogant manner there would be consequences. The Pope still refused and Tamar marched to Rome with her army to personally demand it from the Pope. The Pope once again refused and demanded from Tamar to bow before him and to apologize. Tamar interpreted this as an insult and she removed him from office and made herself Pope instead. She was coronated by herself in the St Peters Basilica on November 18. Future Popes have tried to "erase her from Papal history" (damnatio memoriae) but failed. She was later used in the legend of Pope Joan and historians have concluded that Tamar is the mythical Pope Joan.

Empress of Rome

Tamar reunited the Orthodox and Catholic Churches who split up in the Great Schism of 1054. She continued to hold this title until she voluntarily abdicated in 1191. She continued to expand the empire until it stretched from Italy to Georgia. She also built many churches to convert many people and spread Christianity.


She died in 1230 at the age of 70, not living long enough to see to Mongols arrive to ravage her empire.


Tamar is credited for rebuilding the Roman Empire and making it a world power again. She started a golden age for the Kingdom of Georgia and Roman Empire. She was a capable politician and diplomtist. She was a devoted Christian and is credited for reunifying the splintered Orthodox and Catholic Churches. She was so vital for the empire that after her death the empire declined into a fragile state and was almost destroyed by the Mongol Empire. Today she is a very respected person in the empire and a Christian saint.

Pope Tamara

Tamar as Pope


  • Tamar was a very devoted Christian and was later canonized as Saint Tamar.
  • Tamar was one of the two female popes in history.
  • Tamar was the first Roman Empress regnant since Theodora who was co-regent with her husband Justinian I.
  • While walking in the Secret Archives of Rome during her term as Pope, Tamar discovered an old, forgotten manuscript which turned the whole philosophy of the Christian upside down. She discovered that Mary Magdalene was the 13th apostle and she was Jesus' fiance. The manuscript describes her as Jesus's most trusted and closest disciple. It also describes her as the actual founder of Christianity. Tamar demanded the Church for an explanation for this act of secretion, the church responded that if these secrets would have been revealed,then the whole society would have collapsed. Tamar from then on allowed women to be ordained and hold offices in the clergy. Although women may be elected as Pope, none have been elected after Tamar. Women were viewed from then on as equal in Europe and received all rights and benefits that men had. Recent documents have also proved the Mary Magdalene was actually the first Pope.
Preceded by:
Isaac II Angelos (as Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire)
Empress regnant of Rome
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
George III
Queen regnant of Georgia
Succeeded by:
None (kingdom reformed into empire)
Preceded by:
Clement III
Succeeded by:
Celestine III