ʿALĪ-QOLĪ KHAN, later known as MOṢṬAFĀ PASHA (ca. 1091-1139/1680-1727), Safavid (later Ottoman) wālī or viceroy of Kʿarṭʿli (Georgia), residing at Tiflis. Originally a Georgian Orthodox Christian named Prince Iese Bagrationi, ʿAlī-qolī Khan was a son of Prince Levan (Šāh-qolī Khan) of Kʿarṭʿli by his second wife, Ṭʿinaṭʿin Avalishvili. Levan himself served Shah Solṭān Ḥosayn as dīvānbegī or lord chief justice of Iran. In 1127/1715, having become a Muslim, ʿAlī-qolī Khan married Princess Elene Bagrationi, daughter of King Erekle I of Georgia. In all he had eight legitimate offspring, one of whom became the Orthodox religious leader, educator, and writer Catholicos Antoni I of Georgia (pontificate: 1744-55, 1764-88). Following the death in battle of the Georgian Bagratid prince Kʿaikhosro in 1123/1711, the rightful ruler of eastern Georgia was ʿAlī-qolī Khan’s half brother, King Vakhtang VI (b. 1086/1675). However, Vakhtang resisted Shah Solṭān Ḥosayn’s order to adopt Islam and in 1124/1712 was summoned to Isfahan, where he was kept under house arrest. ʿAlī-qolī Khan had been appointed tūpčī-bāšī or general in charge of artillery; in 1126/1714, he was sent to Tiflis as wālī in place of Vakhtang. But he soon proved to be incompetent and addicted to alcohol; in 1128/1716 the shah dismissed him. After the Afghan invasion and the collapse of the Safavid dynasty in 1134/1722, Tiflis was occupied by the forces of the Ottoman sultan Aḥmad III, and King Vakhtang VI was forced to go into exile in Russia. ʿAlī-qolī Khan changed his maḏhab from Shiʿite to Sunni and ruled at Tiflis with the name Moṣṭafā Pasha until his death in 1139/1727. 


D. M. Lang, “Georgia and the Fall of the Safavi Dynasty,” BSOAS 14, 1952, pp. 523-39.

Idem, The Last Years of the Georgian Monarchy, 1658-1832, New York, 1957.

V. Minorsky, “Tiflis,” EI1 IV, pp. 752-63.

I. M. Tabaghua, Sakʿarṭʿvelo-Sapʿrangeṭʿis urṭʿierṭʿoba. XVIII saukunis pirveli meoṭʿkhedi, Tiflis, 1972.

Prince Vakhushti Bagrationi, in: Kʿarṭʿlis Tskhovreba, ed.

S. Qaukhchishvili, IV, Tiflis, 1973.


(D. M. Lang)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 2, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 874

Cite this entry:

D. M. Lang, “ʿALĪ-QOLĪ KHAN (MOṢṬAFĀ PASHA),” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/8, p. 874, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ali-qoli-khan-1 (accessed on 30 December 2012).