Mirvan I NEBROT'IANI, King of Iberia
(-Abt 109 BCE)


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Unnamed P'ARNAVAZIANI, Princess of K'art'li

Mirvan I NEBROT'IANI, King of Iberia

  • Married:
  • Died: Abt 109 B.C.E.

  Orthographic variations: Mirian, Meribanes

  Research Notes:

Iranian (possibly an Orontid or a Mihranid) son-in-law and adopted son of Sauromaces I and cousin of his wife. Duke of Samshvilde before ascending the throne. He is traditionally assigned a reign of 50 years. During it, 'the kingship of Antiochus passed away in Babylon' (...miic'uala antiok'isa mep'oba babilons), which evidently refers to the capture of Mesopotamia from the Seleucids by the Arsacids in 141... Meribanes I married his daughter to Artaxias (Arshak), son of the King of Armenia, who was most likely Artavasdes I. 1


When Saurmag, the second king of Iberia, died without a male heir, the dynasty survived in the female line through the marriage of Saurmag's daughter to Mirian, who is referred to as Nebrot'iani..., which means the "race of Nimrod" a generic term applied to the ancient Iranian nobility. The dynasty that Mirian ruled is thus referred as the Nimrodid or second Pharnavazid dynasty. Mirian had his daughter married to the Artaxiad prince Artaxias, whose father Artavasdes I (r. 160–115 BC) was the incumbent king of Armenia. In c. 120 BC, Mirian most likely became a vassal of the Parthian Empire. Massive circulation of Parthian coins into Iberia, along with Armenia and Caucasian Albania, indicates that these kingdoms had been swayed by the influence of the Parthians.

Mirian is further reported to have defeated a mountaineers' invasion of the province of Kakheti, and is credited with the fortification of the Daryal Pass as well as to contributing to the cult of Ainina and Danina. 2


Mirian I (assumed to have reigned from 159 to 109 BC) suppressed a Dzurdzuk invasion of Kakhetia, crossed the Caucasus and ravaged Chechnya: he fortified Daryal Pass against further invasions. But Mirian could not halt the expansion of Pontus and Armenia. In 111 BC, Mithridates VI Eupator became king of Pontus and began the absorption of all but the north of Colchis into his empire. Worse, Mithridates VI sought an alliance with Armenia, putting Iberia in double jeopardy.

Mirian I was succeeded by his son Parnajom, who reigned over Iberia from 109 to 90 BC.... 3

  Marriage Information:

Mirvan married an unnamed daughter of Saurmag I P'ARNAVAZIANI, King of K'art'li.


1 Chronology of the Early Kings of Iberia, Cyril Toumanoff, p. 9, in Traditio, Vol. 25 (1969), pp. 1-33.

2 Wikipedia article, Mirian I of Iberia, citing Olbrycht, Marek Jan (2009). "Mithridates VI Eupator and Iran". In Højte, Jakob Munk (ed.). Mithridates VI and the Pontic Kingdom, pp. 163–190; Rapp, Stephen H. (2003). Studies in Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts and Eurasian Contexts, passim; Toumanoff, Cyril (1969). "Chronology of the early kings of Iberia". Traditio. Cambridge University Press. 25: 1–33.

3 Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia, Donald Rayfield, 2013, p. 25.

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