Georgians

The Georgians or Kartvelians (/kɑːrtvɛlɪɑːnz/; Georgian: ქართველები, translit.: kartvelebi, pronounced [kʰɑrtʰvɛlɛbi]) are a nation and Caucasian ethnic group native to Georgia. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, Turkey, Greece, Iran, Ukraine, United States, and to a lesser extent throughout the European Union.

Georgians arose from the ancient Colchian and Iberian civilizations. After Christianization of Iberia by Saint Nino they became one of the first who embraced the faith of Jesus in the early 4th century and now the majority of Georgians are Eastern Orthodox Christians and most follow their national autocephalous Georgian Orthodox Church. There are also small Georgian Catholic and Muslim communities in Tbilisi and Adjara, as well as a significant number of irreligious Georgians.

A complex process of nation formation has resulted in a diverse set of geographic subgroups of Georgians, each with its characteristic traditions, manners, dialects and, in the case of Svans and Mingrelians, own regional languages. The Georgian language, with its own unique writing system and extensive written tradition, which goes back to the 5th century, is the official language of Georgia as well as the language of education of all Georgians living in the country.

Located in the Caucasus, on the crossroads of predominantly Christian Europe and Muslim Western Asia, Georgian people formed a unified Kingdom of Georgia in the early 11th century and inaugurated the Georgian Golden Age, a height of political and cultural power of the nation. This lasted until being weakened by Mongol invasions, as well as internal divisions following the death of George V the Brilliant, the last of the great kings of Georgia. Thereafter and throughout the early modern period, Georgians became politically fractured and were dominated by the Ottoman Empire and successive dynasties of Iran. To ensure the survival of his polity, in 1783, Heraclius II of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti forged an alliance with the Russian Empire. The Russo-Georgian alliance, however, backfired as Russia was unwilling to fulfill the terms of the treaty, proceeding to annex the troubled kingdom in 1801, as well as the western Georgian kingdom of Imereti in 1810. Russian rule over Georgia was eventually acknowledged in various peace treaties with Iran and the Ottomans, and the remaining Georgian territories were absorbed by the Russian Empire in a piecemeal fashion in the course of the 19th century. Georgians briefly reasserted their independence from Russia under the First Georgian Republic from 1918 to 1921, and finally, in 1991 from the Soviet Union.

Georgians
ქართველები
Kartvelebi
Georgian flag (812)
Total population
4 million[a]
Regions with significant populations
 Georgia c. 3,223,600[1][a]
 Russia~157,803[2]
 Iran~100,000[3]
 Turkey~100,000[4][5]
 Ukraine~34,199[6]
 Greece27,400–34,000[7][8]
 Italy14,045–15,200[9]
 France10,000–17,145[10][11]
 United Kingdom10,000–15,000[12]
 Azerbaijan~9,900[13]
 Cyprus5,000–6,000[14]
 Germany4,500–5,000[15]
 Belarus3,700–4,000[16]
 Canada~3,155[17]
Languages
Georgian and other Kartvelian languages
Religion
Predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christian (Georgian Orthodox Church)[18]
Minority: Catholicism, Islam, Judaism

a. ^ The total figure is merely an estimation; sum of all the referenced populations only.
Stalin Full Image
Joseph Stalin - the most famous ethnic Georgian

Etymology

Georgians call themselves Kartvelebi (ქართველები), their land Sakartvelo (საქართველო), and their language Kartuli (ქართული). According to The Georgian Chronicles, the ancestor of the Kartvelian people was Kartlos, the great-grandson of the Biblical Japheth. However, scholars agree that the word is derived from the Karts, the latter being one of the proto-Georgian tribes that emerged as a dominant group in ancient times.[19] Ancient Greeks (Homer, Herodotus, Strabo, Plutarch etc.) and Romans (Titus Livius, Cornelius Tacitus, etc.) referred to western Georgians as Colchians and eastern Georgians as Iberians.[20]

The term "Georgians" is derived from the country of Georgia. In the past, lore based theories were given by the traveller Jacques de Vitry, who explained the name's origin by the popularity of St. George amongst Georgians,[21] while traveller Jean Chardin thought that "Georgia" came from Greek γεωργός ("tiller of the land"), as when the Greeks came into the region (in Colchis[19]) they encountered a developed agricultural society.[19]

However, as Prof. Alexander Mikaberidze adds, these explanations for the word Georgians/Georgia are rejected by the scholarly community, who point to the Persian word gurğ/gurğān ("wolf"[22]) as the root of the word.[23] Starting with the Persian word gurğ/gurğān, the word was later adopted in numerous other languages, including Slavic and West European languages.[19][24] This term itself might have been established through the ancient Iranian appellation of the near-Caspian region, which was referred to as Gorgan ("land of the wolves"[25]).[19]

Anthropology

In opinion of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, a German professor of medicine and a member of the British Royal Society, who came to be considered one of the founders of the discipline of anthropology, Georgians are the most beautiful race of people.

Caucasian variety – I have taken the name of this variety from Mount Caucasus, both because its neighborhood, and especially its southern slope, produces the most beautiful race of men, I mean the Georgian; and because all physiological reasons converge to this, that in that region, if anywhere, it seems we ought with the greatest probability to place the autochthones (original members) of mankind.[26]

Origins

Most historians and scholars of Georgia as well as anthropologists, archaeologists and linguists tend to agree that the ancestors of modern Georgians inhabited the southern Caucasus and northern Anatolia since the Neolithic period.[27] Scholars usually refer to them as Proto-Kartvelian (Proto-Georgians such as Colchians and Iberians) tribes.[28]

The Georgian people in antiquity have been known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Colchians and Iberians.[29][30] East Georgian tribes of Tibarenians-Iberians formed their kingdom in 7th century BCE. However, western Georgian tribes (Colchian tribes) established the first Georgian state of Colchis (circa 1350 BCE) before the foundation of the Iberian Kingdom in the east.[31] According to the numerous scholars of Georgia, the formations of these two early Georgian kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia, resulted in the consolidation and uniformity of the Georgian nation.[32]

The ancient Jewish chronicle by Josephus mentions Georgians as Iberes who were also called Thobel (Tubal).[33]

Diauehi in Assyrian sources and Taochi in Greek lived in the northeastern part of Anatolia, a region that was part of Georgia. This ancient tribe is considered by many scholars as ancestors of the Georgians. Modern Georgians still refer to this region, which now belongs to present-day Turkey, as Tao-Klarjeti, an ancient Georgian kingdom. Some people there still speak the Georgian language.[34]

Colchians in the ancient western Georgian Kingdom of Colchis were another proto-Georgian tribe. They are first mentioned in the Assyrian annals of Tiglath-Pileser I and in the annals of Urartian king Sarduri II, and are also included western Georgian tribe of the Meskhetians.[31][35]

Iberians, also known as Tiberians or Tiberanians, lived in the eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia.[31]

Both Colchians and Iberians played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the modern Georgian nation.[36][37]

According to the scholar of the Caucasian studies Cyril Toumanoff:

Colchis appears as the first Caucasian State to have achieved the coalescence of the newcomer, Colchis can be justly regarded as not a proto-Georgian, but a Georgian (West Georgian) kingdom ... It would seem natural to seek the beginnings of Georgian social history in Colchis, the earliest Georgian formation.[38]

Genetics

Old peasant with dagger and long smoking pipe, Mestia, Svanetia, Georgia (Republic)
Georgian peasant in Mestia, c. 1888

A study of human genetics by Battaglia, Fornarino, al-Zahery, et al. (2009) suggests that Georgians have the highest percentage of Haplogroup G (30.3%) among the general population recorded in any country. Georgians' Y-DNA also belongs to Haplogroup J2 (31.8%), Haplogroup R1a (10.6%), and Haplogroup R1b (9.1%).[39]

Culture

Language and linguistic subdivisions

Georgian is the primary language for Georgians of all provenance, including those who speak other Kartvelian languages: Svans, Mingrelians and the Laz. The language known today as Georgian is a traditional language of the eastern part of the country which has spread to most of the present-day Georgia after the post-Christianization centralization in the first millennium CE. Today, Georgians regardless of their ancestral region use Georgian as their official language. The regional languages Svan and Mingrelian are languages of the west that were traditionally spoken in the pre-Christian Kingdom of Colchis, but later lost importance as the unified Kingdom of Georgia emerged. Their decline is largely due to the capital of the unified kingdom, Tbilisi, being in the eastern part of the country known as Kingdom of Iberia effectively making the language of the east an official language of the Georgian monarch.

All of these languages comprise the Kartvelian language family along with the related language of the Laz people, which has speakers in both Turkey and Georgia.

Georgian dialects include Imeretian, Racha-Lechkhumian, Gurian, Adjarian, Imerkhevian (in Turkey), Kartlian, Kakhetian, Ingilo (in Azerbaijan), Tush, Khevsur, Mokhevian, Pshavian, Fereydan dialect in Iran in Fereydunshahr and Fereydan, Mtiuletian, Meskhetian and Javakhetian dialect.

Religion

Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi
The Bagrati Cathedral, The Cathedral of the Dormition, built during the reign of King Bagrat III, one of Georgia's most significant medieval religious buildings returned to its original state in 2012.

According to Orthodox tradition, Christianity was first preached in Georgia by the Apostles Simon and Andrew in the 1st century. It became the state religion of Kartli (Iberia) in 337.[40][41] At the same time, in the first centuries C.E., the cult of Mithras, pagan beliefs, and Zoroastrianism were commonly practiced in Georgia.[42] The conversion of Kartli to Christianity is credited to St. Nino of Cappadocia. Christianity gradually replaced all the former religions except Zoroastrianism, which become a second established religion in Iberia after the Peace of Acilisene in 378.[43] The conversion to Christianity eventually placed the Georgians permanently on the front line of conflict between the Islamic and Christian world. Georgians remained mostly Christian despite repeated invasions by Muslim powers, and long episodes of foreign domination.

As was true elsewhere, the Christian church in Georgia was crucial to the development of a written language, and most of the earliest written works were religious texts. Medieval Georgian culture was greatly influenced by Eastern Orthodoxy and the Georgian Orthodox Church, which promoted and often sponsored the creation of many works of religious devotion. These included churches and monasteries, works of art such as icons, and hagiographies of Georgian saints.

Today, 83.9% of the Georgian population, most of whom are ethnic Georgian, follow Eastern Orthodox Christianity.[44] A sizable Georgian Muslim population exists in Adjara. This autonomous Republic borders Turkey, and was part of the Ottoman Empire for a longer amount of time than other parts of the country. Those Georgian Muslims practice the Sunni Hanafi form of Islam. Islam has however declined in Adjara during the 20th century, due to Soviet anti-religious policies, cultural integration with the national Orthodox majority, and strong missionary efforts by the Georgian Orthodox Church.[45] Islam remains a dominant identity only in the eastern, rural parts of the Republic. In the early modern period, converted Georgian recruits were often used by the Persian and Ottoman Empires for elite military units such as the Mameluks, Qizilbash, and ghulams. The Georgians in Iran are all reportedly Shia Muslims today, while the Georgian minority in Turkey are mostly Sunni Muslim.

There is also a small number of Georgian Jews, tracing their ancestors to the Babylonian captivity.

In addition to traditional religious confessions, Georgia retains irreligious segments of society, as well as a significant portion of nominally religious individuals who do not actively practice their faith.[46]

Cuisine

Pirosmani. Family party
Georgians having a feast at Supra and Tamada making a toast. Painting by Niko Pirosmani.

The Georgian cuisine is specific to the country, but also contains some influences from other European culinary traditions, as well as those from the surrounding Western Asia. Each historical province of Georgia has its own distinct culinary tradition, such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, and Imeretian cuisines. In addition to various meat dishes, Georgian cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian meals.

The importance of both food and drink to Georgian culture is best observed during a Caucasian feast, or supra, when a huge assortment of dishes is prepared, always accompanied by large amounts of wine, and dinner can last for hours. In a Georgian feast, the role of the tamada (toastmaster) is an important and honoured position.

In countries of the former Soviet Union, Georgian food is popular due to the immigration of Georgians to other Soviet republics, in particular Russia. In Russia all major cities have many Georgian restaurants and Russian restaurants often feature Georgian food items on their menu.[47]

Geographic subdivisions and subethnic groups

Geographical subdivisions

The Georgians have historically been classified into various subgroups based on the geographic region which their ancestors traditionally inhabited.

Even if a member of any of these subgroups moves to a different region, they will still be known by the name of their ancestral region. For example, if a Gurian moves to Tbilisi (part of the Kartli region) he will not automatically identify himself as Kartlian despite actually living in Kartli. This may, however, change if substantial amount of time passes. For example, there are some Mingrelians who have lived in the Imereti region for centuries and are now identified as Imeretian or Imeretian-Mingrelians.

Last names from mountainous eastern Georgian provinces (such as Kakheti, etc.) can be distinguished by the suffix –uri (ური), or –uli (ული). Most Svan last names typically end in –ani (ანი), Mingrelian in –ia (ია), -ua (უა), or -ava (ავა), and Laz in –shi (ში).

Name Name in Georgian Geographical region Dialect or Language
Adjarians აჭარელი achareli Adjara Adjarian dialect
Gurians გურული guruli Guria Gurian dialect
Imeretians იმერელი imereli Imereti Imeretian dialect
Javakhians ჯავახი javakhi Javakheti Javakhian dialect
Kakhetians კახელი kakheli Kakheti Kakhetian dialect
Kartlians ქართლელი kartleli Kartli Kartlian dialect
Khevsurians ხევსური khevsuri Khevsureti Khevsurian dialect
Lechkhumians ლეჩხუმელი lechkhumeli Lechkhumi Lechkhumian dialect
Megrelians მეგრელი megreli Samegrelo Megrelian language
Meskhetians მესხი meskhi Meskheti (Samtskhe) Meskhian dialect
Mokhevians მოხევე mokheve Khevi Mokhevian dialect
Pshavians ფშაველი pshaveli Pshavi Pshavian dialect
Rachians რაჭველი rachveli Racha Rachian dialect
Svans სვანი svani Svaneti Svan language
Tushs (Chagma) თუში tushi Tusheti Tushetian dialect

The 1897 Russian census (which accounted people by language), had Imeretian, Svan and Mingrelian languages separate from Georgian.[48] During the 1926 Soviet census, Svans and Mingrelians were accounted separately from Georgian.[49] Svan and Mingrelian languages are both Kartvelian languages and are closely related to the national Georgian language.

Outside modern Georgia

Laz people also may be considered Georgian based on their geographic location and religion. According to the London School of Economics' anthropologist Mathijs Pelkmans,[50] Lazs residing in Georgia frequently identify themselves as "first-class Georgians" to show pride, while considering their Muslim counterparts in Turkey as "Turkified Lazs".[51]

Subethnic groups Georgian name Settlement area Language
(dialect)
Number Difference(s) from mainstream Georgians
(other than location)
Laz people ლაზი lazi Chaneti (Turkey) Laz language 1.6 million Religion: Muslim majority, Orthodox Minority
Fereydani ფერეიდანი Pereidani Fereydan (Iran) Pereidnuli dialect 100,000 +[52] Religion: Muslim[52]
Chveneburi ჩვენებური chveneburi Black Sea Region (Turkey) Georgian language 91,000[53]–1,000,000[54] Religion: Muslim[53]
Ingiloy people ინგილო ingilo Saingilo Hereti Zaqatala District (Azerbaijan) Ingiloan dialect 12,000 Religion: Muslim majority,[55]
Orthodox minority[56]
Imerkhevians

(Shavshians)

შავში shavshi Shavsheti (Turkey) Imerkhevian dialect Religion: Muslim majority.
Klarjians კლარჯი klarji Klarjeti (Turkey) Imerkhevian dialect

Extinct Georgian Subdivisions

Throughout history Georgia also has extinct Georgian subdivisions

Name Name in Georgian Geographical location Dialect or Language
Dvals დვალები dvalebi Russian Federation North Ossetia Dval dialect Ossetic dialect

See also

References

  1. ^ Ethnic Georgians form about 86.8 percent of Georgia's current population of 3,713,804 (2014 census). Data without occupied territories—Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region.
  1. ^ Total population by regions and ethnicity
  2. ^ "Итоги Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года в отношении демографических и социально-экономических характеристик отдельных национальностей". Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b Rezvani, Babak (Winter 2009). "The Fereydani Georgian Representation". Anthropology of the Middle East 4 (2): 52–74. doi:10.3167/ame.2009.040205.
  4. ^ The Other Languages of Europe: Demographic, Sociolinguistic, and Educational Perspectives, p. 420, at Google Books
  5. ^ Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook, p. 291, at Google Books
  6. ^ "Всеукраїнський перепис населення 2001 – English version – Results – Nationality and citizenship – The distribution of the population by nationality and mother tongue – Selection:". Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ ქართველები საბერძნეთში State Ministry on Diaspora Issues of Georgia
  9. ^ [1] ISTAT
  10. ^ https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/dossiers-pays/georgie/presentation-de-la-georgie/
  11. ^ http://france.mfa.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=FRA&sec_id=1226&info_id=24240
  12. ^ http://diaspora.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=GEO&sec_id=64&info_id=177
  13. ^ http://pop-stat.mashke.org/azerbaijan-ethnic2009.htm
  14. ^ http://diaspora.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=GEO&sec_id=64&info_id=130
  15. ^ http://diaspora.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=GEO&sec_id=64&info_id=113
  16. ^ http://diaspora.gov.ge/?p=7820
  17. ^ [2] 2016 Canadiian Census
  18. ^ "საქართველოს მოსახლეობის საყოველთაო აღწერის საბოლოო შედეგები" (PDF). National Statistics Office of Georgia. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d e Mikaberidze, Alexander (2015). Historical Dictionary of Georgia (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 3. ISBN 978-1442241466.
  20. ^ Braund, David. Georgia in Antiquity: A History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia, 550 BC-AD 562, pp. 17–18
  21. ^ Peradze, Gregory. "The Pilgrims' derivation of the name Georgia". Georgica, Autumn, 1937, nos. 4 & 5, 208–209
  22. ^ Hock, Hans Henrich; Zgusta, Ladislav (1997). Historical, Indo-European, and Lexicographical Studies. Walter de Gruyter. p. 211. ISBN 978-3110128840.
  23. ^ Mikaberidze, Alexander (2015). Historical Dictionary of Georgia (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 3. ISBN 978-1442241466. However, such explanations are rejected by the scholarly community, who point to the Persian gurğ/gurğān as the root of the word (...)
  24. ^ Boeder; et al. (2002). Philology, typology and language structure. Peter Lang. p. 65. ISBN 978-0820459912. The Russian designation of Georgia (Gruziya) also derives from the Persian gurg.
  25. ^ Rapp Jr., Stephen H. (2014). The Sasanian World through Georgian Eyes: Caucasia and the Iranian Commonwealth in Late Antique Georgian Literature. Ashgate Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-1472425522.
  26. ^ Blumenbach, De generis humani varietate nativa (3rd ed. 1795), trans. Bendyshe (1865). Quoted e.g. in Arthur Keith, '"Blumenbach's Centenary", Man (journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland), v. 40, pp. 82–85 (1940).
  27. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p 19
  28. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p 66
  29. ^ Georgia A Sovereign Country of the Caucasus, Roger Rosen, p 18
  30. ^ The Making of the Georgian Nation, Ronald Grigor Suny, p.4
  31. ^ a b c Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p 80
  32. ^ Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p. 58
  33. ^ The Complete Works, Jewish Antiquities, Josephus, Book 1, p 57
  34. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p. 58
  35. ^ The Georgians, David Marshal Lang, p 59
  36. ^ Charles Burney and David Marshal Lang, The Peoples of the Hills: Ancient Ararat and Caucasus, p. 38
  37. ^ Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p. 57
  38. ^ CToumanoff. Cyril Toumanoff, Studies in Christian Caucasian History, p 69,84
  39. ^ Battaglia V, Fornarino S, Al-Zahery N, et al. (June 2009). "Y-chromosomal evidence of the cultural diffusion of agriculture in southeast Europe". European Journal of Human Genetics. 17 (6): 820–30. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2008.249. PMC 2947100. PMID 19107149.
  40. ^ Toumanoff, Cyril, "Iberia between Chosroid and Bagratid Rule", in Studies in Christian Caucasian History, Georgetown, 1963, pp. 374–377. Accessible online at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ Rapp, Stephen H., Jr (2007). "7 – Georgian Christianity". The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-4443-3361-9. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  42. ^ "GEORGIA iii. Iranian elements in Georgian art and archeology". Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  43. ^ "The Making of the Georgian Nation". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  44. ^ 2002 census results – p. 132
  45. ^ Thomas Liles, "Islam and religious transformation in Adjara", ECMI Working Paper, February 2012, [3], accessed 4 June 2012
  46. ^ Caucasus Analytical Digest No.20, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, 11 October 2010
  47. ^ Mack, Glenn R.; Surina, Asele (2005). Food Culture in Russia And Central Asia. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-32773-4.
  48. ^ (in Russian) Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи 1897 г.
  49. ^ (in Russian) ССР ГРУЗИЯ (1926 г.)
  50. ^ "Dr Mathijs Pelkmans". Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  51. ^ Pelkmans, Mathijs. Defending the border: identity, religion, and modernity in the Republic of Georgia. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2006, pg. 80
  52. ^ a b Rezvani, Babak (Winter 2009). "The Fereydani Georgian Representation". Anthropology of the Middle East. 4 (2): 52–74. doi:10.3167/ame.2009.040205.
  53. ^ a b "The Other Languages of Europe". Guus Extra & Durk Gorter. Google Books. Retrieved 26 May 2014. About 91,000 Muslim Georgians living in Turkey.
  54. ^ "Türkiye'deki Yaşayan Etnik Gruplar Araştırıldı". Milliyet (in Turkish). 6 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  55. ^ Ramet, Sabrina P. (1989). Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and East European Politics. Durham: Duke University Press. p. 187. ISBN 9780822308911.
  56. ^ Friedrich, Paul (1994). Encyclopedia of World Cultures: Russia and Eurasia, China (1. publ. ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall. p. 150. ISBN 9780816118106. A part of the Ingilo population still retains the (Orthodox) Christian faith, but another, larger segment adheres to the Sunni sect of Islam.
Abkhazia

Abkhazia ( (listen); Abkhazian: Аҧсны́, translit. Apsny [apʰsˈnɨ]; Georgian: აფხაზეთი Apxazeti [ɑpʰxɑzɛtʰi]; Russian: Абха́зия, tr. Abháziya, IPA: [ɐˈpxazʲɪjə]), officially the Republic of Abkhazia, is a de facto and partially recognized republic on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, south of the Greater Caucasus mountains, in northwestern Georgia. It covers 8,660 square kilometres (3,340 sq mi) and has a population of around 240,000. Its capital is Sukhumi and it is recognised as a state by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government and most United Nations member states consider Abkhazia legally part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.

The status of Abkhazia is a central issue of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict and Georgia–Russia relations. The region had autonomy within Soviet Georgia at the time when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the late 1980s. Simmering ethnic tensions between the Abkhaz—the region's "titular ethnicity"—and Georgians—the largest single ethnic group at that time—culminated in the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia which resulted in Georgia's loss of control of most of Abkhazia, the de facto independence of Abkhazia, and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from Abkhazia. Despite the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the dispute remains unresolved. The long-term presence of a United Nations Observer Mission and a Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force failed to prevent the flare-up of violence on several occasions. In August 2008, Abkhaz forces fought against Georgian forces during the Russo-Georgian War, which led to the formal recognition of Abkhazia by Russia, the annulment of the 1994 ceasefire agreement, and the termination of the UN mission. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia declared Abkhazia a Russian-occupied territory, a stance supported by the vast majority of the international community.

Abkhaz–Georgian conflict

The Abkhaz–Georgian conflict involves ethnic conflict between Georgians and the Abkhaz people in Abkhazia, a de facto independent, partially recognized republic. In a broader sense, one can view the Georgian–Abkhaz conflict as part of a geopolitical conflict in the Caucasus region, intensified at the end of the 20th century with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The conflict, one of the bloodiest in the post-Soviet area, remains unresolved. The Georgian government has offered substantial autonomy to Abkhazia several times. However, both the Abkhaz government and the opposition in Abkhazia refuse any form of union with Georgia. Abkhaz regard their independence as the result of a war of liberation from Georgia, while Georgians believe that historically Abkhazia has always formed part of Georgia. Georgians formed the single largest ethnic group in pre-war Abkhazia, with a 45.7% plurality as of 1989 but as of 2014 most Georgians left in Abkhazia want to remain independent of Georgia. Many accuse the government of Eduard Shevardnadze (in office 1992-2003) of the initiation of senseless hostilities, and then of ineffective conduct of the war and post-war diplomacy. During the war the Abkhaz separatist side carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign which resulted in the expulsion of up to 250,000 ethnic Georgians and in the killing of more than 15,000. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conventions of Lisbon, Budapest and Istanbul have officially recognized the ethnic cleansing of Georgians, which UN General Assembly Resolution GA/10708 also mentions. The UN Security Council has passed a series of resolutions in which it appeals for a cease-fire.

Colchis

In pre-Hellenistic Greco-Roman geography, Colchis was an exonym (foreign name) for the Georgian polity of Egrisi (Georgian: ეგრისი) located on the coast of the Black Sea, centred in present-day western Georgia.

It has been described in modern scholarship as "the earliest Georgian formation" which, along with the Kingdom of Iberia, would later contribute significantly to the development of the medieval Georgian statehood and the Georgian nation.Internationally, Colchis is perhaps best known for its role in Greek mythology, most notably as the destination of the Argonauts, as well as the home to Medea and the Golden fleece. It was also described as a land rich with gold, iron, timber and honey that would export its resources mostly to ancient Greece.Colchis was populated by Colchians, an early Kartvelian-speaking tribe, ancestral to the contemporary western Georgians, namely Svans and Zans. Its geography is mostly assigned to what is now the western part of Georgia and encompasses the present-day Georgian provinces of Samegrelo, Imereti, Guria, Adjara, Abkhazeti, Svaneti, Racha; modern Russia’s Sochi and Tuapse districts; and present-day Turkey’s Rize, Trabzon and Artvin provinces.

Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia

The ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia, also known as the massacres of Georgians in Abkhazia and genocide of Georgians in Abkhazia (Georgian: ქართველთა გენოციდი აფხაზეთში) (according to Georgian sources) — refers to the ethnic cleansing, massacres and forced mass expulsion of thousands of ethnic Georgians living in Abkhazia during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict of 1992–1993 and 1998 at the hands of Abkhaz separatists and their allies (possibly, including volunteers from Russia). Armenians, Greeks, Russians and opposing Abkhazians were also killed. Roughly 200,000 to 250,000 Georgian civilians became Internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The ethnic cleansing and massacres of Georgians has been officially recognized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conventions in 1994, 1996 and again in 1997 during the Budapest, Lisbon and Istanbul summits and condemned the "perpetrators of war crimes committed during the conflict." On May 15, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted (by 14 votes to 11, with 105 abstentions) a resolution A/RES/62/249 in which it "Emphasizes the importance of preserving the property rights of refugees and internally displaced persons from Abkhazia, Georgia, including victims of reported "ethnic cleansing", and calls upon all Member States to deter persons under their jurisdiction from obtaining property within the territory of Abkhazia, Georgia in violation of the rights of returnees". The UN Security Council passed a series of resolutions in which it appealed for a cease-fire.

Fereydunshahr

Fereydunshahr (Persian: فریدون‌شهر‎, Georgian: მარტყოფი "Martqopi") is a city and capital of Fereydunshahr County, about 150 kilometres west of the city of Isfahan in the western part of Isfahan Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 14,007, in 4,062 families.Fereydunshahr is situated inside the Zagros mountain range. It has one of the country's largest population of ethnic Georgians (ფერეიდნელი). People from Fereydunshahr speak a Georgian dialect along with Persian. The Georgian alphabet is also used.

Georgia (country)

Georgia (Georgian: საქართველო, translit.: sakartvelo, IPA: [sɑkʰɑrtʰvɛlɔ] (listen)) is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia, such as Colchis and Iberia. The Georgians adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. The common belief had an enormous importance for spiritual and political unification of early Georgian states. A unified Kingdom of Georgia reached its Golden Age during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 12th and early 13th centuries. Thereafter, the kingdom declined and eventually disintegrated under hegemony of various regional powers, including the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire, and successive dynasties of Iran. In the late 18th century, the eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti forged an alliance with the Russian Empire, which directly annexed the kingdom in 1801 and conquered the western Kingdom of Imereti in 1810. Russian rule over Georgia was eventually acknowledged in various peace treaties with Iran and the Ottomans and the remaining Georgian territories were absorbed by the Russian Empire in a piecemeal fashion in the course of the 19th century. During the Civil War following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Georgia briefly became part of the Transcaucasian Federation and then emerged as an independent republic before the Red Army invasion in 1921 which established a government of workers' and peasants' soviets. Soviet Georgia would be incorporated into a new Transcaucasian Federation which in 1922 would be a founding republic of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian Federation was dissolved and Georgia emerged as a Union Republic. During the Great Patriotic War, almost 700,000 Georgians fought in the Red Army against the German invaders. After Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a native Georgian, died in 1953, a wave of protest spread against Nikita Khrushchev and his de-Stalinization reforms, leading to the death of nearly one hundred students in 1956. From that time on, Georgia would become marred with blatant corruption and increased alienation of the government from the people.

By the 1980s, Georgians were ready to abandon the existing system altogether. A pro-independence movement led to the secession from the Soviet Union in April 1991. For most of the following decade, post-Soviet Georgia suffered from civil conflicts, secessionist wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and economic crisis. Following the bloodless Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia strongly pursued a pro-Western foreign policy; aimed at NATO and European integration, it introduced a series of democratic and economic reforms. This brought about mixed results, but strengthened state institutions. The country's Western orientation soon led to the worsening of relations with Russia, culminating in the brief Russo-Georgian War in August 2008 and Georgia's current territorial dispute with Russia.

Georgia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained very limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and most of the world's countries consider the regions to be Georgian territory under Russian occupation.

Georgian Americans

Georgian Americans (Georgian: ამერიკელი ქართველები, translit.: amerik'eli kartvelebi) are Americans of full or partial Georgian ancestry. They encompass ethnic Georgians who have immigrated to the U.S. from Georgia, as well as other areas with significant Georgian populations, such as Russia.

The precise number of Americans of Georgian descent is unknown. This is because 19th and 20th century U.S. immigration records often did not differentiate between various ethnic groups originating from the Russian Empire, of which Georgia was part until 1918.

Georgian diaspora

The Georgian diaspora refers to both historical and present emigration from Georgia. The countries with the largest Georgian communities outside Georgia are Turkey and Russia.

Georgians in Canada

Georgians in Canada may refer to people born in or residing in Canada of Georgian national background or descent.

The Georgian community in Canada is a total of 3,155 based on the Canadian Census 2011, having an increase compared to the 2006 Census. Most Georgian-Canadians reside in larger metropolitan areas across the country.

Georgians in Germany

Ethnic Georgians in Germany number between 4500 and 5000.

These figures do not include a number of Georgians from Iran and the larger number of Georgians from Turkey.

St. King Vakhtang Gorgasali Georgian Orthodox Church serves the Georgian community of Munich and St. Anthim the Iberian Georgian Orthodox Church serves Düsseldorf.

Georgians in Turkey

Georgians in Turkey (Georgian: ქართველები თურქეთში) refers to citizens and denizens of Turkey who are, or descend from, ethnic Georgians.

Georgian–Armenian War

The Georgian–Armenian War was a short border dispute fought in December 1918 between the newly-independent Democratic Republic of Georgia and the First Republic of Armenia, largely over the control of former districts of Tiflis Governorate, in Borchaly (Lori) and Akhalkalaki.

In March 1918, Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and in doing so agreed to return to the Ottoman Empire territory gained during the 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War. These territories were, however, no longer under the functional control of the Russian central government; rather, they were being administered collectively by the Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis through the Transcaucasian Sejm. The Trebizond Peace Conference aimed to resolve the dispute, but when the conference failed to produce a resolution, the Ottomans pursued a military campaign to control the disputed territories. Under persistent attack, the Transcaucasian collective eventually dissolved with the Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis declaring independent nation states in quick succession in late-May 1918. On 4 June, the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Batum with each of the three Transcaucasian states, which brought the conflict to an end and awarded the southern half of the ethnically-Armenian Lori Province and Akhalkalaki district to the Ottomans. Against the wishes of Armenia, Georgia, supported by German officers, took possession of northern Lori and established military outposts along the Dzoraget River.

When the Ottomans signed the Armistice of Mudros in October, they were subsequently required to withdraw from the region. Armenia quickly took control of territory previously controlled by the Ottomans, and skirmishes between Armenia and Georgia arose starting on 18 October. Open warfare began in early December, after diplomatic efforts failed to resolve the issue of the disputed border, and continued until 31 December, when a British-brokered ceasefire was signed, leaving the disputed territory under joint Georgian and Armenian administration.

Iranian Georgians

Iranian Georgians (Georgian: ირანის ქართველები; Persian: گرجی‌های ایران‎) are Iranian citizens who are ethnically Georgian, and are an ethnic group living in Iran. Today's Georgia was a subject to Iran from the 16th century till the early 19th century, starting with the Safavids in power. Shah Abbas I, his predecessors, and successors, relocated by force hundreds of thousands of Christian, and Jewish Georgians as part of his programs to reduce the power of the Qizilbash, develop industrial economy, strengthen the military, and populate newly built towns in various places in Iran including the provinces of Isfahan and Mazandaran. A certain amount, amongst them members of nobility, also migrated voluntarily over the centuries, as well as some that moved as muhajirs in the 19th century to Iran, following the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. The Georgian community of Fereydunshahr have retained their distinct Georgian identity until this day, while having to adopt aspects of Iranian culture such as the Persian language and Twelver Shia Islam in order to survive in the society.

Islam in Georgia (country)

Islam in Georgia was introduced in 654 when an army sent by the Third Caliph of Islam, Uthman, conquered Eastern Georgia and established Muslim rule in Tbilisi. Currently, Muslims constitute approximately 9.9% of the Georgian population. According to other sources, Muslims constitute 10-11% of Georgia's population.In July 2011, Parliament of Georgia passed new law allowing religious minority groups with “historic ties to Georgia” to register. The draft of the law specifically mentions Islam and four other religious communities.Mosques in Georgia operate under the supervision of the Georgian Muslim Department, established in May 2011. Until then the affairs of Georgia's Muslims had been governed from abroad by the Baku-based Caucasus Muslims Department.In 2010, Turkey and Georgia signed an agreement by which Turkey will provide funding and expertise to rehabilitate three mosques and to rebuild a fourth one in

Georgia. While Georgia will rehabilitate four Georgian monasteries in Turkey. The Georgia-Turkey agreement will allow the reconstruction of the historical Azize mosque in Batumi, Ajaria demolished in the middle of the last century. Turkey will rehabilitate the mosques at Samtskhe-Javakheti and Akhaltsikhe regions, Kobuleti District, build the Azize mosque burned down in 1940 and restore the Turkish bathhouse in Batumi.

Kingdom of Iberia

Kingdom of Iberia may refer to:

Kingdom of Iberia (antiquity), 302 BC to AD 580

Kingdom of Iberia (Middle Ages), AD 888 to 1008Also identified as "Kingdom of Iberia" or "Iberian kingdom" may refer to:

Kingdom of Kartli, 1460s to 1762

Kingdom of Georgia, 1008 to 1490/1

List of Georgians

This is a list of notable Georgians.

Manchester Football League

The Manchester Football League is a football league in England, affiliated with Lancashire FA, covering a 30-mile radius from Manchester Town Hall. It was formed in 1893, although play ceased between 1912 and 1920. Currently it consists of five divisions, with the Premier division being at level 11 of the English football league system.

Peoples of the Caucasus

For caucasian in the racial sense, see Caucasian race.The peoples of the Caucasus are diverse comprising more than 50 ethnic groups throughout the Caucasus region.

Sir George Williams University

Sir George Williams University was a university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It merged with Loyola College to create Concordia University on August 24, 1974.

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