In the late seventh century, a new political and military power appeared on the international scene. United by a powerful religious message, Arab tribes proved to be a force to be reckoned with as they overrun the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire and Sasanid Persia and carved out their own domain. The first Arab raiding parties appeared in Georgia in 642-643 but, following the conquest of Armenia in 652, Arabs arrived in force. In 654, the Arab commander Habib ibn-Maslam negotiated a treaty of protection (datsvis sigeli) with Erismtavari Stefanoz II, who agreed to pay a jizya or protection tax levied on non-Muslim nations. Two years later, Iberian authorities took advantage of the internal dissension in the Caliphate to cease paying tribute. However, Arabs soon returned with a vengeance and began a systematic conquest of eastern Georgia in the 680s. In 685, the Byzantine Empire and the Caliphate agreed to share the tribute from Armenia and Kartli but the local population rose in rebellion in 686 and Erismtavari Nerseh of Kartli defeated the Arab forces in Armenia. Yet, in 697, the ruler of Egrisi, Sergi Barnukis-dze invited Arabs to western Georgia to help him fight the Byzantine forces; Arabs occupied the capital city of Tsikhegoji and other key fortresses but failed to firmly establish themselves in the region and soon withdrew.

Unlike western Georgia, Kartli remained under Arab domination and, starting in 704-705, Arabic coins were minted in Tbilisi. The Arabs treated Armenia and Georgia as a single frontier province and subjected it to heavy tributes. Discontented with new taxes and alien authorities, the local population rose in rebellions and the struggle against the Arabs soon assumed a popular character. In 681-682, Adarnase II of Kartli and Prince Grigor Mamikonian of Armenia held off the Arabs, but eventually perished in this struggle. In 689, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II forced the Arabs to cede Georgia and recognized Guaram II (684-693) as curopalates of Kartli. In 693, the Arabs recovered their possessions in Kartli and Armenia and the vicious circle of fighting began anew.

In the early eighth century, Iberians and Armenians organized several unsuccessful revolts against the Arabs. In 735, the Arab commander Marwan ibn-Muhammad led another punitive expedition into Kartli, sacking Tbilisi and capturing the fortresses of Tsikhegoji and Sukhumi in western Georgia. He left such devastation and desolation in his wake that his nickname Murwan Qru (Murwan the Deaf, i.e. deaf to pleas) still survives in popular tradition. A new Arab emirate led by the amir of Tbilisi was established in Kartli. In addition to jizya and kharaj (tax on land) taxes, Georgians were forced to provide troops for the Arab armies and a labor force for various projects. Conversion to Islam was widely encouraged and Christianity persecuted, producing many Christian martyrs, including Abo Tbileli, Princes David and Constantine of Argveti. As the Arab dominance intensified, the Georgian and Armenian forces often united under the banner of Christianity. The amirs of Tbilisi eventually became powerful enough to defy the Abbasid caliphs for decades. The caliphs finally tried to restore their authority in Georgia and, in 853, a large Arab army led by Bogha al-Kabir (Bugha Turki) ravaged Kartli and sacked Tbilisi on 5 August. However, in 914, another Arab expedition under command of Abu al-Kasim failed in subduing Kartli and proved to be the last such attempt on the part of the Caliphate. With the Abbasid Caliphate gradually declining, several semi-independent principalities emerged on the territory of Georgia. The Kingdom of Abkhazia covered most of western Georgia, the Bishopric of Kakheti and Principality of Hereti rose in the east and Tao Klarjeti dominion in the southwest.

Of the emerging Georgian principalities, Tao (known as Tao-Klarjeti in Georgian sources) proved to be the most important by far. Ruled by the Bagration (Bagrationi) princely family, Tao gradually expanded its sphere of influence. In the second half of the 10th century, during the rule of one of its greatest princes, David Curopalates, Tao turned into a large and powerful principality, whose borders reached Lake Van. The growth and consolidation of this realm contributed to closer cultural and economic ties with other kingdoms and principalities. The might of the new Georgian principality was clearly demonstrated in 979, when the Byzantine Emperor Basil, facing a large rebellion, appealed for help to David Curopalates. A Georgian expeditionary corps under Tornike Eristavi defeated the insurgents and restored authority to the emperor. Throughout his reign, David Curopalates pursued his great design of the political unification of Georgia. Supported by Ioane Marushisdze, a powerful eristavi of Kartli, he succeeded in having his grandson Bagrat placed on the throne of Kartli in 975 and of Abkhazia in 978. Following David’s death in 1001, King Bagrat III inherited Tao and later annexed Kakheti and Hereti in 1008-1010, thereby uniting eastern and western Georgia into a single state with a capital in Kutaisi. The united kingdom of Georgia was born.

The rise of the Georgian kingdom worried the Byzantine Empire. In the 1000s, its Emperor Basil II, despite Georgian military aid in 979, occupied Tao and the Georgian-Byzantine disputes over this region soon escalated into a war. King Giorgi I (1014-1027) initially defeated the imperial army but, once the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria was completed in 1018, Emperor Basil II diverted his resources against Georgia. In 1021-1022, his forces defeated King Giorgi I and his Armenian allies and occupied the provinces of Tao, Artaan and Javakheti. The new Georgian King Bagrat IV (1027-1072) continued the war but faced powerful opposition of feudal lords who refused to recognize his suzerainty and joined the Byzantine army in 1028; the lords of Kakheti and Hereti were particularly defiant and broke away from the Georgian kingdom. The Georgian-Byzantine war eventually ended in 1029 after the Georgian Queen Mariam visited Constantinople and negotiated a peace treaty with Emperor Romanus III. Bagrat IV then turned to internal problems subduing rebellious feudal lords, including the mighty Eristavis Rati and Liparit Baghvash of Kldekari. Bagrat was preparing for another campaign against the lords of Kakheti and Hereti when a more serious threat thwarted his plans.

In the early 11th century, the Seljuk tribes began massive migration to the Asia Minor and the Caucasus. After founding the Seljuk Sultanate in 1055, they expanded their sphere of influence to Iran, Iraq and Syria. In 1064, the Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan led a successful incursion into the southern regions of Georgia and, four years later, he ravaged eastern Georgia, even reaching Imereti in the west. In 1071, the Seljuk victory over the Byzantine army at the crucial battle of Manzikert opened the way for their systematic conquest of the Caucasus. In 1080, the so-called didi turkoba (‘the Great Turkish Troubles’) period began in Georgia when the Turkish tribes arrived in large numbers to settle on Georgian lands and turned the occupied territory into pastures, undermining the local agriculture and economy. King Giorgi II (1072-1089) was forced to recognize their supremacy and paid tribute to the Seljuk sultan.


Historical Dictionary of Georgia
by Alexander Mikaberidze (Author)
Series: Historical Dictionaries of Europe (Book 50)
Hardcover: 784 pages
Publisher: Scarecrow Press (March 16, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0810855809
ISBN-10: 0810855801

In the fourth century BCE, Georgian principalities found themselves involved in the whirlwind of Alexander the Great’s campaign in the east. There is no historical evidence that Alexander or his generals campaigned in the Caucasus, but Georgian chronicles describe ‘Greek’ troops reaching Iberia/Kartli, which they occupied and placed under the governorship of Azo (Azon). Greek authorities proved to be harsh and uncompromising which caused the local population to rebel. According to Georgian historical tradition, young Parnavaz, a nephew of the last ruler of Iberia who was assassinated by the Greeks, contacted Eristavi Quji of Egrisi and, with his support, launched a successful rebellion against Azo. Parnavaz, who married the daughter of Quji, thus controlled both the eastern and western Georgian principalities. He founded the Parnavazid dynasty and divided the kingdom into seven regions under governorship of eristavis and established Shida Kartli as a special region ruled by a spaspet. Despite the lack of tangible proof, King Parnavaz is often credited with the spreading of the Georgian alphabet throughout the kingdom and introducing the cult of Armazi and the goddess of fertility Zadeni. Archaeological evidence revealed the Iberian capital of Mtskheta as an advanced city with its own acropolis, baths and other amenities.

Under later Parnavazid kings, the kingdoms of Iberia and Colchis/Egrisis found themselves facing major change in the balance of power in Asia Minor. In 190 BCE, the Seleucid Empire fell to the Romans while the weakened Persia was unable to prevent the rise of the powerful Armenian kingdom under Artashes (Artaxias). Armenian rulers greatly expanded their territory that also incorporated some Georgian regions. After the death of King Parnajom of Iberia, the Armenian king Arshak took over his throne, establishing an Armenian hegemony over eastern Georgia. In the first century, Armenia reached its zenith under King Tigran II the Great, who allied himself to his father-in-law Mithradates Eupator of Pontus (111-63 BCE) against Rome. Western Georgians were also allied with Pontus, where Georgian tribes (Laz/Chan, Colchians, Chalybes, etc) constituted a large part of the population and served in the armies of King Mithradates in Greece and Asia Minor. In 65 BCE, the Roman General Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus defeated Pontus and marched against Iberia, where King Artag was forced to recognize Roman sovereignty, sending lavish gifts of gold and his children as hostages. Meanwhile, Pompeius crossed the mountains into Colchis, where he campaigned in search of the mythical Golden Fleece and chained titan Prometheus. Thus, Colchis-Egrisi and Kartli-Iberia were recognized as client states of Rome. The wealth and might of these principalities were attested by famous Greek scholar Strabo, who described eastern and western Georgian lands in his Geography.

Roman power was never firm in eastern Georgia, which remained under the Persian sphere of influence for the greater part of its existence. In 37-36 BCE, Iberians refused to participate in Emperor Marc Antony’s campaigns against Parthia and a large anti-Roman rebellion began in 36. The punitive expedition of Publius Canidus Crassus was the last Roman effort to conquer eastern Georgia. However, the western Georgian principality of Colchis/Egrisi remained under direct Roman administration and struggled for its independence. In 69 CE, a powerful insurrection, led by a former slave Anicetus, succeeded in temporarily driving the Romans out of Colchis but was later defeated. By the second century, several principalities (Lazica, Abasgia, etc.) emerged in western Georgia and recognized the sovereignty of Rome.

In the first-second centuries CE, the Kingdom of Kartli (Iberia) emerged as a relatively strong state as its rulers took advantage of the struggle between Rome and Parthia. King Parsman (Pharasmenes) actively interfered in the affairs of the neighboring Armenian kingdom, placing his brother Mithradates (35-51 CE) on the Armenian throne in the mid-first century, and skillfully maneuvering between the powerful empires of Rome and Parthia. The Iberian presence in Armenia weakened after the Treaty of Rhandeia of 63 CE between Rome and Parthia allotted the privilege of nomination to the Parthian Arsacids and the right of investiture to the emperor of Rome. The Roman emperors sought to gain the support of the kings of Kartli (Iberia) against the Parthians. Emperor Vespasian (69-79) had a wall erected in Mtskheta with inscription that King Mithridates (Mihrdat) of Kartli (Iberia) was “the friend of the Caesars” and the ruler “of the Roman-loving Iberians.” Another King Parsman (mid-second century) openly defied Rome and refused to pay homage to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138) during the latter’s visit of Roman provinces in Asia Minor, although the Roman emperor presented him with a war elephant and 500 troops. With the help of the Alans, Parsman attacked the Roman and Parthian vassal states in Albania, Armenia and Cappadocia. Under Hadrian’s successor, Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161), the relations between the Roman Empire and Kartli (Iberia) significantly improved and King Parsman, accompanied by a large retinue, visited Rome where he received a royal welcome; according to the Roman historian Cassius Dio, he was given the special privilege of offering a sacrifice on the Capitol and having his equestrian statue placed in the Temple of Bellona.

The fortunes of Kartli changed with the rise of the Sassanid kingdom in Persia in the third century CE, when the Iberian kings were forced to recognize the Sasanid supremacy; the Sasanid rulers appointed their viceroys (pitiaxæ/vitaxae) to keep watch on Georgian lands. The office of pitiaxæ eventually became hereditary in the ruling house of Lower Kartli, thus inaugurating the Kartli pitiaxæat, which brought an extensive territory under Sasanid control. In the third century, the Roman Empire briefly regained Kartli under Emperor Aurelian (270-275) but lost it a decade later. The Persians placed their candidate Mirian (Meribanes, 284-361) on the throne of eastern Georgia. Mirian’s reign proved decisive since he became the first Georgian ruler to adopt Christianity.

The rise and spread of Christianity, which continued for several centuries, had a profound effect on the Georgian principalities. Georgian tradition holds that two members of the Jewish community of Mtskheta were present at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and brought back a number of holy relics, including Christ’s chiton that was buried near Mtskheta. The Christian tradition also claims the allotment of the “Iberian” lands to Virgin Mary, who is, thus, considered the main protector and intercessor of Georgia. Georgian Orthodox Church credits the introduction of Christianity to Apostles Andrew the First Called, Simon the Canaanite, Mathias, Bartholomew and Thaddeus, who preached in western and southwestern Georgia in the first century.

The Sasanid Empire and its Zoroastrian religion had a firm hold in eastern Georgia and delayed the spread of Christianity for another three centuries. In the early fourth century, Saint Nino of Cappadocia preached the Christian message in Iberia and succeeded in persuading King Mirian and his consort, Queen Nana, to proclaim it a state religion in Eastern Georgia around 337; although technically marking the start of conversion only in Iberia, this event is now considered as the official conversion of all of Georgia. However, Christianity was already well established in western Georgia and Bishop Stratophilus of Bichvinta had attended the first Ecumenical Council held in Nicea in 325. Sixty years later, western Georgian bishops were joined by Bishop Pantophilus of Kartli at the second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 381. The Georgian Orthodox Church was initially under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic See of Antioch, but became autocephalous (independent) in 466 when the Bishop of Mtskheta was elevated to the rank of Catholicos of Kartli. Another important development took place in the sixth century, when Georgian church leaders rejected Monophysitism (Armenia accepted it in 506 and the split with the Georgian church was complete by 607) and supported the Chalcedonian creed, drawing Georgia closer to the Byzantine Empire, and later to the Christian Europe, and further from SasanianPersia, that was more tolerant of the Monophysites.

Conversion to Christianity had long-lasting consequences for Georgia. Situated at the crossroads of the West and the East, Georgia now took political orientation towards the West/Europe and firmly tied its future and culture to Western civilization. The introduction of Christianity stimulated a vigorous development of arts and letters. Although pre-Christian Georgian literature seems to have been destroyed in the process, Georgia underwent a cultural transformation. Monasticism flourished and many important religious works were translated into Georgian. One of the earliest surviving examples of Georgian original hagiographic literature re the fifth century Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik and Life of Saint Nino. The widespread construction of churches promoted rapid improvement in architecture and gradually a unique cruciform style of church architecture was developed, evident in the basilica-type churches of Bolnisi and Urbnisi (fifth century) and the cruciform domed Jvari Church (late sixth century).

Christianity in Georgia was put to severe tests from the very beginning. Sasanian Persia promoted the teachings of Zoroaster and helped spread Mazdaism throughout eastern Georgia. Shah Yazdegerd II (438-457), convinced that a single religion would enhance the unity of his empire, endeavored to convert Georgians to Mazdaism and dispatched Zoroastrian magi to Kartli to take charge of the conversion. Many Georgian nobles submitted, but their commitment to the new faith proved shallow. Efforts to convert the common people were less successful since Christianity appeared to have struck deep roots among them.

In the fifth-sixth centuries, Christian Kartli (Iberia) struggled against Persian domination. This period produced King Vakhtang Gorgasali (452-502), one of the most colorful personalities in the history of Georgia. The son of King Mihrdat V, he was nicknamed Gorgasali (“wolf headed,” from the Persian Gorg-a-sar) because of the shape of his helmet. Married to a Persian princess, he extended his authority to the Byzantium-held Egrisi (Lazica) and Abasgia, subdued the warlike tribes of Alans (Oss, Ossetes) and secured the autocephalous status for the Georgian Orthodox Church. Married to an Iranian princess, Vakhtang participated in the Persian campaigns against the Byzantine Empire between 455 and 458 but later grew irritated with the Persian interference in his affairs. In 482, he, in alliance with the Armenians, led an uprising against Persia, but internal dissension and the failure to secure help from Byzantine Emperor Justinian doomed the rebellion; Georgia was ravaged by the Persian punitive expeditions in 483 and 484. In 502, Vakhtang led another uprising that proved to be more successful. The Georgians defeated Shah Kavad’s army on the Samgori Plains in Kartli, but King Vakhtang himself was mortally injured when one of his renegade servants betrayed him and wounded him through an armpit defect of his armor. One of his lasting legacies was the transferring of the capital from Mtskheta to the nearby small fortress of Tbilisi.

The death of King Vakhtang seriously weakened Kartli (Iberia) and exposed it to Persian encroachment. In 523, King Gurgen rose in rebellion but was defeated; Kartli was occupied and the Iberian monarchy was later abolished. Persian officials introduced heavy taxation and Mazdaizing policies. Having subdued Kartli, Persia moved into Western Georgia, where it clashed with the Byzantine Empire. In the mid-520s, King Tsate of Lazica broke his alliance with Persia and supported the Byzantine rulers, who deployed their forces at Tskhisdziri (Petra). The rulers of Egrisi/Lazica tried to use the hostility between Byzantium and Persia to their own advantage, but the war devastated western Georgia. Persia invaded Lazica several times but the alliance between the rulers of Lazica and Constantinople endured. However, in 554, King Gubaz of Egrisi was assassinated by Byzantine officials on the Khobistskali River. In response, the dismayed population of Egrisi summoned a national assembly, where two notables, Aietes and Phartazes, gave their famed speeches on whether to continue supporting Byzantium or turn to Persia. In the end, Egrisi sided with the Byzantine Empire, feeling cultural and religious affinity with it. By 562, the joint efforts of Egrisi and Byzantium culminated in the expulsion of Persia from western Georgia. Lazica became a province of the Byzantine Empire.

The Byzantine-Persian rivalry had serious consequences for Iberia. Sasanid rulers held eastern Georgian under their suzerainty while local princes led by mamasakhlisi (prince-regent) of Kartli/Iberia) ran the government. When the Byzantine Emperor Maurice attacked Persia in 582, Georgian nobles supported him in hopes of restoring the kingdom of Iberia. Iberian autonomy was restored in 588, but Emperor Maurice appointed a curopalates (presiding prince) instead of a king. The first curopalates, Guaram (588-602) and his heirs were caught between the warring Persia and Byzantium. In 591, Constantinople and the Sasanid Empire agreed to divide Iberia between them, with Tbilisi remaining in Persian hands and Mtskheta, the old capital, under Byzantine control. In the early seventh century, the truce between Byzantium and Persia collapsed and Erismtavari Stepanoz I of Iberia (ca. 590-627) succeeded in reuniting the eastern Georgian territories. As the war between the Byzantine and Sasanid empires continued, Georgian principalities were often turned into battlegrounds. In 627-628, the campaigns of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius ensured Byzantine predominance in western Georgia and significantly weakened Iberia/Kartli, exposing it to the arrival of the new conqueror.


Historical Dictionary of Georgia
by Alexander Mikaberidze (Author)
Series: Historical Dictionaries of Europe (Book 50)
Hardcover: 784 pages
Publisher: Scarecrow Press (March 16, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0810855809
ISBN-10: 0810855801

Georgians are believed to derive from indigenous inhabitants of the Caucasus. Historical and archeological evidence indicates that humans inhabited this region since primordial times. The oldest traces of human habitation, dating back 1.77 million years, were found near Dmanisi, in eastern Georgia, and provided tantalizing insights into the development of homo erectus. In the later periods, humans settled in the Trancaucasian region more frequently and ancient stations were found throughout the country, notably at Yashtkhva, Rukhi, Katskhi and Lashebalta. During the Mousterian period (100,000 to 35,000 years ago), the human population grew on the Black Sea coast and in the Rioni-Kvirila basin, where archeologists found traces of human habitation in the Jruchi, Sagvarjile and Chakhati caves. Late Paleolithic period stations were unearthed at Devis Khvreli and Sakazhia, and the discoveries from the Neolithic era were made at Anaseuli, Gurianta, Khutsubani, Odishi, Kistriki, Zemo Alvani, etc.


Rise of Societies And States

Between ca. 11000 and 9000 BCE, hunters and gatherers established permanent settlements in Southern Caucasia. In the Chalcolithic period (ca. 6400–3800 BCE), Shulaveri-Shomu culture flourished using obsidian for tools, raising animals and growing crops, including grapes. The fourth and third millennia BCE saw gradual development of agriculture and cattle breeding. From ca. 4000 to 2200 BCE, the Kura-Araxes (Early Transcaucasian) culture pervaded Southern Caucasia and the Armenian Plateau, producing distinctive handmade pottery with burnished black exteriors and red interiors, portable andirons of clay and new kinds of bronze tools and weapons. It gradually broke up but survived in some places until as late as ca. 1500 BCE. In the Bronze Age, several highly developed cultures developed on the territory of Georgia that are represented in the large barrows in Trialeti (ca.2200-1500) which produced four-wheeled wooden carriages, precious goblets and silverware.

At the end of the third millennium, the Hittites established their state in eastern Anatolia and had considerable influence on the neighboring proto-Georgian tribes. Two major cultures existed on the territory of Georgia, the Western Georgian, also known as Colchian (Kolkhuri) and the Eastern Georgian or Iberian. There was also a number of proto-Georgian tribes in Asia Minor which had close interaction with major powers of the ancient Near East, especially with the Hittites and Assyria. Assyrian inscriptions from the 11th century BCE describe proto-Georgian tribes of Kashkai, Mushki and Tubal that lived in eastern Anatolia. Georgian tribes of the early Bronze Age were well known for their sophisticated metallurgy. The Bible makes mention of Thubals/Tubalcain as one of the pioneers in metalworking.

The increasing sophistication of these early Georgian cultures led to the emergence of the tribal confederations of Diauchi (Diauehi, Daiaeni, Tao) and Colchis (Kolkha) at the end of the second millennium BCE in southwestern and western Georgia respectively. Diaochi was engaged in a war with the powerful kingdoms of Assyria and Urartu and the inscriptions of the Urartu kings Menua (ruled 810-786 BCE) and Argishti (786-764) reveal the wealth and power of this early confederation. In his Odyssey, Homer mentions King Aietes and his mighty kingdom of Colchis while Apollonius of Rhodes, in his Argonautica of the third century BCE, left a detailed account of the legendary expedition of Argonauts to seize the famed Golden Fleece.

In the mid-eighth century BCE, the Diaochi confederation was destroyed and part of its territory was annexed by the neighboring Colchis, which now found itself facing the hostile Urartu. The Urartian King Sardur II (764-735) led several campaigns against Colchis around 750-741 BCE, significantly weakening and exposing it to the attacks of northern tribes. By 720 BCE, the Cimmerian incursions from the north destroyed Colchis and significantly affected local society and culture. Some Georgian tribes were scattered into remote regions of south Caucasia and others found themselves subjected by the Medes and Persians. In the subsequent century, new tribal confederations were established, the most important of them being Speri (Sasperi) in the upper reaches of the Chorokhi River and the new kingdom of Colchis, known as Egrisi, in Western Georgia. Egrisi enjoyed close relations with the newly established Greek colonies - Phasis (in the vicinity of present-day Poti), Gyenos (Ochamchire), Dioscurias (Sukhumi), Anakopia (Akhali Atoni) and Pitius (Bichvinta) - on the Black Sea coast and the Greek sources provide fascinating insights into ancient Western Georgian society. Excavations at Vani, Dablagomi and Sairkhe in western Georgia revealed a sophisticated and urbanized society which struck its own silver coins known as the Colchian white (kolkhuri tetri) that were widely circulated in the Transcaucasia.

By the seventh century BCE, the Georgian principalities were affected by the rise of powerful Median and later Persian kingdoms. Herodotus informs us that the proto-Georgian tribes of Tibarenes, Mossinikoi, Macrones, Moschi, and others made up the 18th and 19th satrapies of the Achaemenid Persia. While most Persian subjects paid taxes, Colchians were exempt from them but delivered a tribute of 200 girls and boys every five years. The Greek and Persian presence in the Transcaucasia exposed Georgian societies to thriving commerce, economic and commercial ties with other regions and considerably affected the socio-economic development of the region. The period saw the consolidation of Eastern Georgia (Iberia) and the migration of some Georgian tribes, the most important of them being Moschi/Meskhi from the Asia Minor, which settled in the central Kartli and founded the future Iberian capital of Mtskheta (city of Meskhi). By the time the famous Greek general Xenophon marched with his 10,000 soldiers through Asia Minor in 401-400 BCE, the Colchians and other proto-Georgian tribes had freed themselves from the Persians. Xenophon’s Anabasis described in detail the tribes of Chalybes, Taochi, Phasians, Mossynoeci and others the Greeks encountered. These proto-Georgians lived in communal societies and often warred with one another.


Historical Dictionary of Georgia
by Alexander Mikaberidze (Author)
Series: Historical Dictionaries of Europe (Book 50)
Hardcover: 784 pages
Publisher: Scarecrow Press (March 16, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0810855809
ISBN-10: 0810855801