The Georgian Chronicles (Georgian: ქართლის ცხოვრება) is a conventional English name for the principal compendium of medieval Georgian historical texts Kartlis Tskhovreba (Georgian: ქართლის ცხოვრება), literally "life of Kartli", Kartli being a core region of ancient and medieval Georgia, known to the Classical and Byzantine authors as Iberia. The chronicles are also known as The Georgian Royal Annals, for they were essentially the official corpus of history of the Kingdom of Georgia
The Chronicles consist of a series of distinct texts dating from the 9th to the 14th century. The dating of these works as well as the identification of their authors (e.g., Leonti Mroveli and Juansheriani) have been a subject of scholarly debates. Although many scholars in Georgia still propose an 11th-century dating for the first redaction of the corpus, the increasing number of modern experts has accepted Professor Cyril Toumanoff's hypothesis that the earliest texts of Kartlis Tskhovreba were composed c. 800. The latest texts were added in the 14th century. A “canonized” version was edited by a special commission appointed and chaired by King Vakhtang VI of Kartli early in the 18th century.
During the 11th century, the first three works – the "History of the Kings and Patriarchs of the Georgians", the "History of King Vakhtang Gorgasali", and the "Martyrdom of Saint Archil" – already made up a first corpus which covered the Georgian history from the earliest times through the reign of Vakhtang I Gorgasali (r. 452–502/22) down to the death of Vakhtang's descendant Archil (786). In the middle of the 12th century, two texts were added: the "Chronicle of Kartli" – which records the Georgian history from the late 8th century through the reign of the first all-Georgian king Bagrat III (r. 1008-1014) to the early regnal years of George II (r. 1072-1089) – and the "History of the King of Kings David" – which continues the story and focuses on the reign of David IV (r. 1089-1125)
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