The 23 children of Darejan Dadiani

Painting of Darejan Dadiani

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:

  • Alexander
  • Anastasia
  • Archil (son)
  • Beri (son)
  • Ekaterine – the Georgian form of Katherine.
  • Elene – the Georgian form of Helen.
  • Ioane – the Georgian form of John.
  • Iulon
  • 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.
  • Maryam
  • Mirian (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Mihran/Mehran.
  • Parnaoz/Pharnaoz (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Farnavaz.
  • Salome
  • Solomon
  • Sophia/Sophie
  • 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.


3 thoughts on “The 23 children of Darejan Dadiani

  1. I have many friends who have at least 6 kids, some 8 some 20. I chuckle that by the time they hit the last kid (or two) the names go from the typical LDS unusual names and spellings to David, Alice, Julie, Mark as if mom just got tired of coming up with unique names or dad got tired of trying to remember them all or they both got tired of mixing them up when yelling for them and calling the kids all wrong names lol
    The year I had my son, in our ward 4 of us had kids. Jayden was my first (and only), another gal was on her second (Jillian), Another was on hr third (Garrett), the other mom was on her 5th (David). My dear friend named her 8th and final child (she passed from having too many in rapid succession) she named him Benjamin (Benji for short).
    Seeing all the names that woman came up with was amazing! I like several of them too! *types them on her list of names for characters lol*

  2. I can’t help but wonder if some of these were twin births. I wandered over to the wikipedia page and several births seemed almost impossibly close together. Were Salome and Beri twins, as both were born in 1761? They died in childhood and didn’t become well known as some of their siblings…

  3. @Christa L Gettys – Wow those are some big families! I feel like I’ve seen it the other way around, too — a family starts with traditional names, and by the time they reach #5 or #6 the names are more inventive.

    @AnotherCelestialOne – I had the same question! But none of the sources I checked had any conclusive answers, so I just left off the birth years altogether.

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