In 1750, Georgian noblewoman Darejan Dadiani married the twice-widowed Georgian king Erekle II (who, at that time, ruled the historical region of Kartli).
From the 1750s to the early 1780s, Darejan gave birth to 23 children (though some sources say it was just 19).
Here are the names of 22 of those 23 children, listed alphabetically:
- Archil (son)
- Beri (son)
- Ekaterine – the Georgian form of Katherine.
- Elene – the Georgian form of Helen.
- Ioane – the Georgian form of John.
- Ketevan (daughter) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Katayoun.
- Khoreshan (daughter)
- Levan – the Georgian form of Leon.
- Luarsab (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Lohrasp, which is a form of Aurvataspa, which means “swift horse” in Avestan.
- Mirian (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Mihran/Mehran.
- Parnaoz/Pharnaoz (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Farnavaz.
- Soslan-David – Soslan is the name of a hero/trickster god of the Nart sagas (Caucasian mythology).
- Tekle – the Georgian form of Thekla.
- Teimuraz (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Tahmuras, which is a form of Takhma Urupi, a character in the Avesta (the Zoroastrian religious text). The name means “strong body” in Avestan.
- Vakhtang (son) – a form of the name Warkhtanag (“wolf-bodied”), a character in the Nart sagas.
(Wikipedia says the 23rd child was a boy named Aslamaz-Khan, but I can’t find any sources to back that up.)
Darejan’s own name also has an interesting history: it comes from the literary name “Nestan-Darejan,” which was coined by Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for the name of a fictional princess in his epic poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin (ca. 1200). The name was based on the Persian phrase nest andare jehan, meaning “unlike any other in the world” or “no such beauty in the world.” Both components — Nestan and Darejan — are now used as given names in Georgia.
- Behind the Name
- Chikovani, Guram. “Dialectological Material as a Source to Study Central Asian Arabs’: History, Ethnography and Culture,” Lisan Al-Arab: Studies in Arabic Dialects, edited by Hafid I. Alaoui, Muntasir Fayez Faris Al-Hamad, Rizwan Ahmad, Zurich: Lit Verlag, 2017, pp. 135-150.
- Darejan Dadiani – Google Arts & Culture
- Darejan Dadiani – Wikipedia