The Kazbegi have been a very influential clan in the northeastern highlands of Georgia since ancient times. With a semi-mythical origin, this clan gained prominence during the reign of King Heraclius II (who ruled from 1762 to 1798). Then known as the Chopikashvili, the clan governed the town of Stepantsminda as mouravi (მოურავი). At the turn of the 18th century, Gabriel Chopikashvili received the title of aznauri (აზნაური). During this period, the Chopikashvili changed their surname to Kazbegi. Gabriel’s grandson was the famous Georgian writer Alexander Kazbegi (1848 – 1893).

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