Heraclius II (Georgian: ?????? II), also known as Erekle II and The Little Kakhetian (Georgian: ?????? ???? [p'at'ara kakhi]) (7 November 1720 or 7 October 1721 [according to C.
Toumanoff] – 11 January 1798), was a Georgian monarch of the Bagrationi dynasty, reigning as the king of Kakheti from 1744 to 1762, and of Kartli and Kakheti from 1762 until 1798.
In the contemporary Persian sources he is referred to as Erekli Khan (????? ???), while Russians knew him as Irakly (???????).
His name is frequently transliterated in a Latinized form Heraclius because both names Erekle and Irakli are Georgian versions of this Greek name.From being granted the kingship of Kakheti by his overlord Nader Shah in 1744 as a reward for his loyalty, to becoming the penultimate king of the united kingdoms of Kakheti and Kartli in eastern Georgia, his reign is regarded as the swan song of the Georgian monarchy.
Aided by his personal abilities and the unrest in the Persian Empire, Heraclius established himself as a de facto autonomous ruler, unified eastern Georgia politically for the first time in three centuries, and attempted to modernize the government, economics, and military.
Overwhelmed by the internal and external menaces to Georgia's precarious independence and its temporary hegemony in eastern Transcaucasia, he placed his kingdom under the formal Russian protection in 1783, but the move did not prevent Georgia from being devastated by the Persian invasion in 1795.
Heraclius died in 1798, leaving the throne to his moribund heir, George XII.