GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2003-03 > 1047917553
From: (Igor Sklar)
Subject: Re: Bagrat IV to Habsburgs, was: Palaiologos descents for John of Gaunt
Date: 17 Mar 2003 08:12:33 -0800
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"Pierre Aronax" <> wrote in message news:<3e74cd18$0$6615$>...
> "Igor Sklar" <> a ecrit dans le message de news:
> > "Pierre Aronax" <> wrote in message
> > > There is more problems here: all what is known of Aspae was that she was
> > > relative of Katae of Georgia...
> > What is the exact word? anepsios? Anyway, the relation should be close
> > enough to be noted.
> The source is much less explicit than you seem to imagine: speaking of his
> ancestors the sebastos Konstantinos [Keroularios] and his wife, the poet
> Ioannes Tzetzes said that this wife was the servant of the empress Maria "of
> Alania", but indicates that she was so in an honourable way, because she was
> also the relative of the empress. In a scolia to this poetic text, he takes
> a comparison in contemporary living people, and say that she was her servant
> like Aspae, wife of Palaiologos, is for Katae. The commentators conclude
> that this comparison make sense only if Aspae was a relative (wife of the
> porphyrogenetos Alexios)e of Katae.
Thank you. This is kinda helpful. I was puzzled how an Ossetian
princess could get to Georgia. Now I see. We know that Ossetian girls
lived at the court of their relatives kings of Georgia (see Rafal
Prinke's article for sources). Apparently Aspa accompanied Kata on her
journey to Byzantium, and met her future husband there.
> > The 1st cousin is the most plausible solution.
> Why? Nothing in the source gives any indication of the degree of
> relationship! Why not second cousin, or aunt and niece? I don't see how you
> are jumping to this conclusion.
If Aspa was a paternal relative of Kata, then she was a Bagratid in
male/female line, and that's exactly what we want to establish.
That Aspa was a maternal relative of Kata is highly improbable,
because her mother was not an Ossetian. She could not be an Ossetian
because intermarriage between Bagratids and Ossetians had been already
too frequent. Kata's aunt and brother married Ossetians, and her niece
Thamar was the wife of David Soslan. If Kata's mother was also an
Ossetian, then it would lead to forbidden degrees of consanguinity for
the marriage of Thamar and David. Three Ossetian marriages for three
consecutive generations is too much!
All we know for sure is that Aspa was an Ossetian relative of Kata. I
suggested their *most probable* relation. But even if it's wrong
(which is doubtful), it doesn't mean that the whole route is wrong. I
firmly believe that any Ossetian princess of that time had a Bagratid
1. According to Georgian tradition, contemporary Ossetian princes were
a cadet branch of the Bagratids. Demetre anti-king of Georgia is
regarded as their author, because his mother was an Ossetian princess,
purportedly the last representative of native dynasty. Demetre's
daughter (Empress of Byzantium) is attested in Greek sources as Maria
of Alania, i.e. of Ossetia.
2. There is absolutely no contemporary record of Ossetian rulers'
genealogy. We know that many Ossetians married to Bagratids, because
Georgians kept such records. I find it very probable that Bagratid
princesses married to the House of Ossetia as well but these marriages
Anyway, we know that Kata's aunt married David of Ossetia, and we know
that Kata's relative was Aspa of Ossetia. What can be better? Do you
expect that sources would call Aspa the 1st cousin of Kata? Your head
must be working a bit to fill in such gaps.
> > > making her a daughter of David of Ossetia is only an hypothesis.
> > As I pointed out previously, Aspa is an Iranian name. The only
> > Iranian-speaking Christian country is Ossetia. Ossetian rulers are
> > said to be a cadet branch of Bagratids. That's one. The only Ossetian
> > relation of Kata was her paternal aunt, the wife of Ossetian prince.
> > That's two.
> According to J.-F. Vannier in his article which I quoted previously, even if
> rare, the name was not unknown in the Georgian aristocracy: he mentiones the
> wife of Liparit of Siounia (+ 1263) and his granddaughter (+ 1312). He
> suggests also that the name can come from Alania.
Alania is the other name for Ossetia. The name 'Aspa' doesn't make any
sense in Georgian. Until I know where Siounia is, I prefer to believe
that Liparit's wife was an Ossetian.
> > So we may safely conclude that Aspa was the daughter of
> > this marriage.
> If one can concludes that, that is certainly not "safely"!
> > In fact, I see no other possibilities, other relatives of Kata being
> > Muslims, Georgians, or Greeks. To my knowledge no women called Aspa
> > have been attested in Georgia, Greece, or Azerbaijan so far.
> See above.
> > > And the identification of his husband Palaiologos with Georgios
> > > Palaiologos is probable, but not proven at all.
> > IIRC you used to say it was *very* probable.
> But not proven. And even if that case, that will not prove that Georgios had
> not a second wife!
People like Palaiologoi married women from families of their rank.
Their descendants were eager to add mother's surname to their own. So
if Alexios' mother were a Byzantine we may expect that he would add
her surname to his own. It's also remarkable that marriages of
Georgios' father and son are recorded. The very lack of info about
Georgios' wife implies that she was a foreigner. If he had a noble
Byzantine wife, the imperial Palaiologoi would advertise this
connection like they advertised their descent from Komnenoi, Angeloi,
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