Eristavi ( _ka. ერისთავი; literally, “head of the people”) was a Georgian
feudaloffice, roughly equivalent to the Byzantine " strategos" and normally translated into English as " duke". In the Georgian aristocratic hierarchy, it was the title of the third rank of prince and governor of a large province. Holders of the title were ex-officiocommanders of a military 'banner', wore a distinctive dress, ring, belt and spear and rode a particular breed of horse.
Some high-ranking eristavis were also titled as eristavt-eristavi (ერისთავთ-ერისთავი), i.e. "duke of dukes", but it is improbable that the holder of the title had any subordinate eristavis. Erismtavari (ერისმთავარი; literally, "chief of the people") was a similar title chiefly endowed upon the pre-Bagratid rulers of Iberia (Georgia) and later used interchangeably with the "eristav"i.
The title gave origin to the surname of a Georgian noble family, Eristavi, who had once served as eristavis of the Aragvi and Ksani gorges under the kings of Georgia.
Eristavi of Aragvi
Eristavi of Ksani
Eristavi of Racha
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