In 1121, on this day invading Seljuk forces under the command of the famous General Ilghazi crushed King David IV's Georgian Army in an epic battle fought at the Gates of Muslim-held Tbilisi.
Seljuk Victory at the Battle of DidgoriAlthough the Kingdom of Georgia had been a tributary since the 1080s, an energetic leader - "David the Builder" - had risen during an intense period when it appeared that the once-Great Seljuq Empire was crumbling. After hiring Kipchak, Alan, and Frankish mercenaries he renounced the tribute before launching a strike at the ancient Georgian city of Tbilisi. By the time that Ilghazi arrived, the balance of power had been completely reversed, and the Muslim élite were being forced into paying a heavy tribute to the Georgians.
Not a man easily fooled, Ilghazi anticipated a surprise attack when David's son Demetrius led a force of men to negotiate terms. The psychological impact was crushing, and having lost all confidence in their paymasters, the mercenaries withdrew, leaving the Georgians to face the full might of the Seljuk Army.