because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tamar the Great

A mural created in 1184 in the Kingdom of Georgia identifies one of the figures in it as "King of Kings of all the East, Tamar." What makes this particularly interesting, though, is that Tamar was actually a woman. The reason for this was that the Georgian language didn't gender words, so, since Tamar was the ruler of the Kingdom, she was called King. As simple as that.

Her father had named her Heir Apparent before his death, but there was much strong opposition and, had Tamar been less adept, she would not have been able to hold her position. As it was, her sharp mind, strength of character and general in-your-facedness -- backed up by a powerful military force, of course -- established what is still known today as The Golden Age in Georgia, which lasted throughout her reign.

Besides the flourishing of art and architecture, Tamar's reign was marked by the spread of the kingdom's influence in several directions. In fact, her power was so absolute that on coins and charters of the region, Tamar was called "by the will of God, King of Kings and Queen of Queens of the Abkhazians, Kartvelians, Arranians, Kakhetians, and Armenians; Shirvanshah and Shahanshah; Autocrat of all the East and the West, Glory of the World and Faith; Champion of the Messiah." Seems as if that should be enough for any woman, even one that's in-your-face, don't you think?