The Armenian and Georgian sources tend to combine into one account events from the first and second Mongol invasions, of 1220/21 and of 1236. Naxarar reaction seemingly was quite similar on both occasions, and almost identical with the reaction to Jalal al-Din. Some of the Armeno-Georgian forces fought, while others deserted and took refuge in their strongholds. Dissension and rivalries among the resisting troops are reported by the sources (292). Despite the numerical superiority of the Armeno-Georgian army, the Mongols were disciplined fighters. Their adversaries were not.
 Whatever the true sequence of events, by 1236, when the Mongols attacked the Caucasus a second time, bringing along sophisticated Chinese siege machinery (294), the Caucasian nobles had no intention of joint military resistance. Kirakos wrote:
...And since [the nobles] were unable to withstand that great blizzard [of Mongols] which had come, they all betook themselves to fortresses wherever they were able. The Mongols spread throughout the plains, mountains, and valleys like a multitude of locusts or like torrential rains pouring down on the land (295).
The queen of Georgia and Vahram of Gag fled to northwestern Georgia; Shahnshah fled to Acharia; and Awag secured himself into fort Kayean (296). Not only did the naxarars not fight,  but at least in one instance, the population of a city (Shamk'or) belonging to Vahram of Gag, was forbidden to resist, by Vahram himself (297).
 The common danger posed by the Mongols proved insufficient to unite the naxarars. The History of K'art'li describes the situation obtaining in Christian Caucasia on the eve of the princes' surrender:
When the country was subjected to such bitterness and wicked acts, the powerful erist'av of erist'avs and the veziers rose up against each other and became each other's murderers. For queen Rusudan was entirely settled on the far side of the Lixt mountains and was unable to cross to this side of Lixt; nor were the veziers on this side able to go to her, having no chance. They became wanderers. So they were disunited and imprudent. Thus Georgia's powerful and renowned ones became unable to fight the Tatars to save themselves (298).
When the naxarars realized the futility of resistance they began surrendering. The Mongols richly rewarded those submitting—an inducement to the hesitant—while simultaneously devastating the lands of recalcitrant lords. They demanded taxes, appointed guards for key areas, demolished the walls encircling fortresses which they considered potential bases of local resistance (299), and required the naxarars and their troops to participate in the subjugation of other areas. Frequently they obliged the Caucasians to fight as advance-attackers, to prevent their desertion (300).
 Indeed, it was during such Mongol campaigns—be they in the as yet unsubdued areas of eastern Armenia, or in those areas of western Armenia under Saljuqid rule—that the naxarars had the opportunity to display their martial prowess, their loyalty, and their greed. For there was much booty to be had, and this naturally appealed to the naxarars. Thus (in 1236) did the atabek Awag participate in the sack of Ani (the property of his cousin Shahnsah) and the looting of its churches (301). The city of Karin/Erzerum was sacked in 1242 (302). The naxarars are reported to have been  enriched specifically after crushing the Saljuqid sultan of Rum, Ghiyath al-Din Kai Khusrau near Erzinjan (1243/44) (303). Even when the sources do not specifically mention it, the naxarars, if not the common soldiers ordinarily received some share of the booty during the Mongol campaigns. Aknerc'i's account of the naxarars' behavior in the city of Mayyafarikin/Tigranakert (which was starved into submission) probably was typical of the naxarars' actions elsewhere in western Armenia (304).
 In theory as well as in practice, the Mongols regarded all conquered lands as their own property. They did not hesitate to favor submissive princes or punish the recalcitrant by giving lands or taking them away. The Mongols were adroit at exploiting antagonisms existing within branches of the same family. Thus, when Awag (ca. 1243), harried by the Mongols' excessive demands, fled to the court of queen Rusudan (herself a fugitive from the Mongols), Kirakos noted that the Mongols gave his land to Shahnshah because of the latter's greater faithfulness (306). Another striking example of precedence manipulation within a single family concerns the Georgian royal Bagratids themselves. The Mongol commander Baiju, furious with Rusudan for not surrendering to him, enthroned her co-opted son, David Rusudanean (307). Eventually sanctioning two monarchs, the Mongols effectively divided the kingdom and the royal treasury, expropriating one third of it for themselves (308). But following Rusudan's death (ca. 1247) and before the enthronement of the two rulers, the Mongols again manipulated the precedence of the lords to suit their principal aim, namely of encouraging centrifugation. The History of K'art'li, after noting Georgia's rulerless condition, continues:
 Consequently, each one [prince] arranged matters individually and concerned himself with his own affairs. Each prince attached himself to a noyin and the Tatars appointed a Ten Thousander officer for them, whom they called dumnapet. Princes were chosen by them [the Mongols]. First was Egarslan Bakurc'isxeli, a very eloquent man, but not one with a respectworthy behavior. They bestowed on him the army of Heret'i, Kaxet'i, and Kambechovani above to Tiflis and to Mt. Shamaxi. They entrusted to Shahnshah his own and Awag's properties; to Varham Gageli all of Somxit'i; to Grigor Surameli, K'art'li; to Torel-Gamrekeli, [still] a youth like Egarslan, Javaxet'i, Samc'xe, and above to the city of Karin; to C'otne Dadiani and the duke of Rach [Kaxaberi, father of Gonc'a Kaxaberije-Awagean], all of the kingdom on the other side (309).
Prior to the return of Awag and the two Davids from a sojourn in the Far East, Egarslan Bakurc'isxeli's power was permitted to grow, until:
...he became so very powerful that he almost dared to be called king. The entire Georgian people was subject to his command, as to a king's including the great and honorable mandat'urt'-uxuc'es Shahnshah, Varham Gageli, and all the other princes (310).
Upon Awag's return from the Far East, Egarslan was expelled from the country, as the Mongols looked on approvingly. In the late 1250's, the Mongols attempted to elevate Sargis Jaqeli-C'ixisjvareli for saving Hulegui-Khan's life during battle. Their actions, and the reaction of the Georgian Crown show very well the divisiveness engendered by Mongol policy:
 ...Now [the Khan] gave to king David and his soldiers great honor and numerous gifts, so much so that he granted by yarligh the city of Karin and the surrounding lands to Sargis Jaqeli. At that time some foes envied [Sargis] and said to the king: 'Now why do you not give Sargis your kingdom, too, since the Khan has strengthened him so much that he will no longer be subject to your rule'. The king believed this, because he was untried and credulous of both good and evil words. At night he went to the noyin and explained: 'If the Khan gives Sargis the city of Karin, he also gives the kingdom'. Elgon noyin was astonished and replied: 'The Khan gave it to him because of his activity with you, but if it bothers you, he will not give it. In battle you Georgians do nothing good for the brave warriors. Don't you know that Sargis saved the Khan from the enemy, and offered a tough and noteworthy fight?'
The noyin went and informed the Khan of the entire conversation, and [as a result] he did not give the city of Karin. When Sargis heard about this he was stunned and grumbled against his lord. That winter the king was kept in Partaw while the disgruntled Sargis went to Samc'xe (312).
In the 1260's and 1270's the Mongols furthered the territorial and political ambitions of the Orbeleans and the Arcrunid/Mahkanaberdelis, at the expense of the Zak'arids and Georgian Bagratids, but as is noted (Appendix B) the consistent contradictions in the sources obscure the picture somewhat. Finally, at the end of the 13th century  and the beginning of the 14th, the Mongols elevated a Jaqeli to the throne (313).
Another method of manipulating naxarar prededence involved detaching certain prominent princes from economic and political connection with the Georgian Crown(s). The best known example of this involves the Armenian Orbeleans of Siwnik'. Smbat Orbelean was granted inju status in 1252 on a trip to the Far East:
...[Mongke-Khan] readily accepted these words [of counsel] and then entrusted Smbat to his mother named Suraxt'ambek, saying: 'This particular ark'ayun we shall keep for ourselves and not allow any other [person] authority over him'. And they styled him ench'u, that is, teruni. They ordered him to remain at court for some days and instructed the officials to provide him with a daily stipend from the court...Furthermore they removed Smbat['s name] from the dawt'ars of the Georgians and others (314).
Another prince who apparently received inju status was Hasan Jalal. Around 1257, Hasan accompanied the new Khan of the North, Sartakh, on a trip to the Great Khan  Mongke:
...With Sartakh was the pious prince of Xach'en, Jalal, who had gone to reveal to his supreme lord the diasters he had borne from governor Arghun, from whom he had barely escaped death, thanks to the Tachiks. And he gave him a document [entitling him] to rule his principality independently, and to fear no one. For Sartakh liked Jalal on account of the prince's Christianity, since he too was Christian (315).
Apparently, around 1273 Sargis Jaqeli also received inju status (316). During the same decade the cities of Kars, T'elavi, Belak'an "and many other lands" were separated from royal control and given by the Mongols to Sadun Arcruni/Mahkanaberdeli (317).
 Co-optation of allegiance, a corollary of the manipulation of naxarar precedence, occurred as a natural consequence of Mongol policies. This involved more than simply the extension of one lord's boundaries at the expense of another's. The Mongols attempted to incorporate certain prominent naxarars into their own court and administration, and thereby created conflicts of loyalty. They further sought to bind naxarars to themselves by providing them with Mongol wives. The sources mention such co-optation beginning after 1256, the year in which Hulegu became Il-Khan in Iran:
When Hulegu saw the Georgian nobility which had come before him, he received them affectionately and armed [them] to take them to battle with him. Some he appointed uldach, that is, sword-bearing palace guards; some were designated sak'urch', that is, those who hold above the Khan s head a parasol with a rounded end, like a flag; and only those from the Khan's relatives had the right to fan; others were appointed ghubch'ach' —keepers of the wardrobe and shoes (bashmagh); others, evd[a]rch', bodyguards; and one group also was designated ghorch'—holders of arrows and quivers. Thus did the Khan bestow these mean honors on the great princes of Georgia, and he considered each honored (318).
 Some naxarars—notably those enjoying inju status- became pillars of Mongol administration in the Caucasus. Smbat Orbelean and Sadun Arcruni/Mahkanaberdeli are particularly good examples. In the early 1260's Smbat was deputized Hulegu's overseer of construction for the new Il-Khanid summer residence of Ala-Tagh to the east of Lake Van (319). Step'annos added:
...Hulegu so heeded his words that [Smbat] could have killed whomever he chose, or granted life to whomever he wanted. Consequently, everyone quaked with fear because of him, and everyone's eyes were upon him (320). Sadun, according to Aknerc'i, was to be allowed pardons for up to nine crimes, so much was he cherished by Hulegu (321). Tarsayich Orbelean, following in his brother Smbat's steps, was designated for extra special honors:
...So respected was he before Abaqa-Khan that on numerous occasions the latter removed from his person his own royal garments and clothed Tarsayich in them from head to toe, and girdled him with a belt of pure gold studded with costly gems and pearls...(322).
The loyalty and support of the mecatuns, or wealthy merchants who formed an important part of the new nobility of the 13th century were actively sought after by the Mongols from the first. In 1242, when the city of Karin/Erzerum was taken and its population massacred or enslaved, special consideration was shown to wealthy Armenians there (323). According to Vardan Arewelc'i,  Hulegu utilized Armenian merchants as emissaries (324).
Finally, co-optation of allegiance was furthered by intermarriage with the naxarars. The Christian Caucasian literary sources alone mention eight examples of intermarriage between the Mongols (or officials in the Il-Khanid administration) and the Christian Caucasian nobility: Awag himself was given a Mongol bride named Eslom (325); Hasan Jalal's daughter Ruzuk'an was wed to Chormaghun's son Bora noyin (326); Xosak Awagean was married to the sahibdiwan  Shams ad-Din Juvaini (327); king David Lashaean married Xawand Esugan, a relative of Chormaghun (328); king Demetre's sister Tamar was married to emir Arghun's son (329); Demitre's daughter Rusudan, to the son of Buqa (330); king Vaxt'ang married Arghun-Khan's sister, Oljat (331), who subsequently was wed to Vaxt'ang's successor king David (332). Cilician sources mention a number of Cilician Armenian notables also who had Mongol spouses, and most likely the Armeno-Saljuq nobility similarly intermarried with Mongol noyins (333).
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