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Georgia ( ; ( , ) is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Situated at the juncture of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Seamarker, to the north by Russiamarker, to the south by Turkeymarker and Armeniamarker, and to the east by Azerbaijanmarker. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 km² and its population is 4.3 million, largely ethnic Georgians.

The history of Georgia can be traced back to the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia, and it was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity as an official religion, early in the 4th century. During the reign of King David and Queen Tamar in 9th and 11th century, Georgia underwent its golden age and cultural Renaissance. However, numerous Mongol, Persian and Ottoman invasions left Georgia devastated and divided. At the beginning of the 19th century, Georgia was annexed by the Russian Empiremarker after its violation of the Treaty of Georgievsk. After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was invaded by Bolshevik Russia and forcefully incorporated into the Soviet Unionmarker in 1922. One of the most important Soviet leaders of Georgian ethnicity was Joseph Stalin.

The Independence of Georgia was restored in 1991. Like many post-communist countries Georgia suffered from the economic crisis and civil unrest during the 1990s. After the bloodless Rose Revolution, however, the new leadership has established efficient government institutions, reformed the economy and guided the country through a period of the fastest economic growth in its history.

Georgia is a representative democracy, organized as a secular, unitary semi-presidential republic; however, the idea to restore the constitutional monarchy is popular in certain circles, most notably in the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is currently a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the Community of Democratic Choice, and GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. The country seeks to join NATOmarker and, in the longer term, accession to the European Union.

In August 2008, Georgia engaged in an armed conflict with Russia and separatist groups from South Ossetiamarker and Abkhaziamarker. In the aftermath of the conflict, Russia recognized the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, but at present only Nicaraguamarker, the de facto independent republic of Transnistriamarker, and Venezuelamarker have followed suit. On August 28, 2008, the Parliament of Georgia passed a resolution declaring Abkhazia and South Ossetia "Russian-occupied territories".


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.

The native Georgian name for the country is Sakartvelo (საქართველო). The word consists of two parts. Its root, kartvel-i (ქართველ-ი), specifies an inhabitant of the core central-eastern Georgian region of KartliIberia of the Classical and Byzantine sources. By the early 9th century, the meaning of "Kartli" was expanded to other areas of medieval Georgia held together by religion, culture, and language. The Georgian circumfix sa-X-o is a standard geographic construction designating "the area where X dwell", where X is an ethnonym. (For another example, the Mingrelian minority in Georgia lives in Samegrelo.) The term Sakartvelo came to signify the all-Georgian cultural and political unity early in the 11th century and firmly entered regular official usage in the 13th century.

Ancient Greeks (Strabo, Herodotus, Plutarch, Homer, etc.) and Romans (Titus Livius, Cornelius Tacitus, etc.) referred to early eastern Georgians as Iberians (Iberoi in some Greek sources) and western Georgians as Colchians.

The origin of the name Georgia is still disputed and has been explained in the following ways:
  1. Linking it semantically to Greek and Latin roots ( , transliterated geōrgía, "agriculture", γεωργός, geōrgós, "tiller of the land", and γεωργικός, geōrgikós, , "agricultural").
  2. The country took its name from that of Saint George, itself a derivative of the aforementioned Greek root. Or, at the very least, the popularity of the cult of Saint George in Georgia influenced the spread of the term.
  3. Under various Persian empires (536 BC-AD 638), Georgians were called Gurjhān (Gurzhan/Gurjan), or "Gurj/Gurzh people." The early Islamic/Arabic sources spelled the name Kurz/Gurz and the country Gurjistan (see Baladhuri, Tabari, Jayhani, Istakhri, Ibn Hawqal, etc.). The contemporary Russian name for the country, "Gruziya," is similar. This also could evolve or at least contribute to the later name of Georgia. The Russian name was brought into contemporary Hebrew as גרוזיה ("Gruziya"). It coexisted with the names גיאורגיה ("Gheorghia" with two hard g's) and גורג'יה (Gurjia), when "Gruziya" took over in the 1970s, probably due to a massive immigration of bilingual Georgian-Russian Jews to Israel at that time. In August 2005 the Georgian ambassador to Israel demanded that Hebrew speakers refer to his country as "Gheorghia" and abandon the name "Gruziya". Consequently, Israelimarker authorities and most Hebrew newspapers in Israel changed their name preference.

The terms Georgia and Georgians appeared in Western Europe in numerous medieval annals including that of Crusaders and later in the official documents and letters of the Florentinemarker de’ Medici family. The French chronicler Jacques de Vitry and the English traveler Sir John Mandeville wrote that Georgians are called Georgian because they especially revere Saint George. Notably, in January 2004 the country adopted the five-cross flag, featuring the Saint George's Cross; it has been argued that the flag was used in Georgia from the 5th century throughout the Middle Ages.

Modern Georgian states have used differing names in different periods. The first modern Georgian state proclaimed on May 26, 1918 adopted the name Democratic Republic of Georgiamarker. As part of the USSRmarker from February 25, 1921, the country was called the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. When Georgia broke from the USSR on December 25, 1991, it adopted the name Republic of Georgia. Since it adopted its present constitution on August 24, 1995, the official name of the country is simply Georgia.




The territory of modern-day Georgia has been continuously inhabited since the early Stone Age. The classic period saw the rise of the early Georgian states of Colchis and Iberia. The proto-Georgian tribes first appear in written history in the 12th century BC. Archaeological finds and references in ancient sources reveal elements of early political and state formations characterized by advanced metallurgy and goldsmith techniques that date back to the 7th century BC and beyond. In the 4th century BC a unified kingdom of Georgia - an early example of advanced state organization under one king and the hierarchy of aristocracy, was established.

Christianity was declared the state religion as early as AD 337 proving a great stimulus to literature, arts and the unification of the country. Being at the crossroads of Christian and Islamic traditions, Georgia experienced the dynamic exchange between these two worlds which culminated in a true renaissance around 12-13th centuries.

The two early Georgian kingdoms of late antiquity, known to ancient Greeks and Romans as Iberia ( ) (in the east of the country) and Colchis ( ) (in the west), were among the first nations in the region to adopt Christianity (in AD 337, or in AD 319 as recent research suggests).In Greek Mythology, Colchis was the location of the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and the Argonauts in Apollonius Rhodius' epic tale Argonautica. The incorporation of the Golden Fleece into the myth may have derived from the local practice of using fleeces to sift gold dust from rivers. In the last centuries of the pre-Christian era, the area, in the form of the kingdom of Kartli-Iberia, was strongly influenced by Greece to the west and Persia to the east.

After the Roman Empire completed its conquest of the Caucasus region in 66 BC, the kingdom was a Roman client state and ally for nearly 400 years. In AD 330, King Mirian III's acceptance of Christianity ultimately tied the kingdom to the neighboring Byzantine Empire, which exerted a strong cultural influence for several centuries.

Known to its natives as Egrisi or Lazica, Colchis was often the battlefield and buffer-zone between the rival powers of Persia and Byzantine Empire, with the control of the region shifting hands back and forth several times. The early kingdoms disintegrated into various feudal regions by the early Middle Ages. This made it easy for Arabs to conquer Georgia in the 7th century. The rebellious regions were liberated and united into a unified Georgian Kingdom at the beginning of the 11th century. Starting in the 12th century, the rule of Georgia extended over a significant part of the Southern Caucasus, including the northeastern parts and almost the entire northern coast of what is now Turkeymarker.

Although Arabs captured the capital city of Tbilisi in AD 645, Kartli-Iberia retained considerable independence under local Arab rulers. In AD 813, the prince Ashot I also known as Ashot Kurapalat became the first of the Bagrationi family to rule the kingdom: Ashot's reign began a period of nearly 1,000 years during which the Bagrationi, as the house was known, ruled at least part of what is now the republic.

Western and eastern Georgia were united under Bagrat V (r. 1027-72). In the next century, David IV (called the Builder, r. 1089-1125) initiated the Georgian golden age by driving the Seljuk Turks from the country and expanding Georgian cultural and political influence southward into Armenia and eastward to the Caspian Sea.

Middle Ages

Queen Tamar as depicted on a mural from the Vardzia monastery
Kingdom of Georgia at peak of its military dominance, 1184-1225
The Georgian Kingdom reached its zenith in the 12th to early 13th centuries. This period has been widely termed as Georgia's Golden Age or Georgian Renaissance during the reign of David the Builder and Queen Tamar. This early Georgian renaissance, which preceded its European analogue, was characterized by the flourishing of romantic- chivalric tradition, breakthroughs in philosophy, and an array of political innovations in society and state organization, including religious and ethnic tolerance. The Golden age of Georgia left a legacy of great cathedrals, romantic poetry and literature, and the epic poem "The Knight in the Panther's Skin". The struggle against the Seljuk invaders was led by David the Builder, who employed tens of thousands Kipchak soldiers and settled them, in 1118, in his kingdom.

The revival of the Georgian Kingdom was short-lived however, in 1226 Tblisimarker was captured by Mingburnu and the Kingdom was eventually subjugated by the Mongols in 1236 (see Mongol invasions of Georgia). Thereafter, different local rulers fought for their independence from central Georgian rule, until the total disintegration of the Kingdom in the 15th century. Georgia was subjected, between 1386 and 1404, to several disastrous invasions by Timur. Neighbouring kingdoms exploited the situation and from the 16th century, the Persian Empire and the Ottoman Empire subjugated the eastern and western regions of Georgia, respectively.

The rulers of regions which remained partly autonomous organized rebellions on various occasions. Subsequent Persian and Ottoman invasions further weakened local kingdoms and regions. As a result of wars the population of Georgia was reduced to 250,000 inhabitants at one point. Eastern Georgia, composed of the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakhetimarker, had been under the Persian suzerainty since 1555. However, with the death of Nader Shah "The Persian Napoleon" in 1747, both kingdoms broke free of the Persian control and were reunified through a personal union under the energetic king Heraclius II in 1762.

Georgia in the Russian Empire

In 1783, Russia and the eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti signed the Treaty of Georgievsk, according to which Kartli-Kakheti received protection by Russia. Despite Russia's commitment to defend Georgia, it rendered no assistance when the Turks and Persians invaded in 1785 and again in 1795 completely devastated Tbilisi and massacred its inhabitants. This period culminated in the 1801 Russian violation of Treaty of Georgievsk and annexation of entire Georgian lands, followed the deposing of the Bagrationi dynasty and suppression of the Georgian church.

On December 22, 1800, Tsar Paul I of Russia, at the alleged request of the Georgian King George XII, signed the proclamation on the incorporation of Georgia (Kartli-Kakheti) within the Russian Empiremarker, which was finalized by a decree on January 8, 1801, and confirmed by Tsar Alexander I on September 12, 1801. The Georgian envoy in Saint Petersburgmarker reacted with a note of protest that was presented to the Russian vice-chancellor Prince Kurakin. In May 1801, Russian General Carl Heinrich Knorring dethroned the Georgian heir to the throne David Batonishvili and instituted a government headed by General Ivan Petrovich Lasarev.

The Georgian nobility did not accept the decree until April 1802 when General Knorring compassed the nobility in Tbilisi's Sioni Cathedralmarker and forced them to take an oath on the Imperial Crown of Russia. Those who disagreed were arrested temporarily.

In the summer of 1805, Russian troops on the Askerani River near Zagam defeated the Persian army and saved Tbilisimarker from conquest.

Western Georgian principalities of Mingrelia and Guria assumed the Russian protection in 1800s. Finally in 1810, after a brief war, the western Georgian kingdom of Imereti was annexed by Tsar Alexander I of Russia. The last Imeretian king and the last Georgian Bagrationi ruler Solomon II died in exile in 1815. From 1803 to 1878, as a result of numerous Russian wars against Turkeymarker and Iranmarker, several territories were annexed to Georgia. These areas (Batumimarker, Akhaltsikhemarker, Potimarker, and Abkhaziamarker) now represent a large part of the territory of Georgia. The principality of Guriamarker was abolished in 1828, and that of Samegrelo (Mingrelia) in 1857. The region of Svanetimarker was gradually annexed in 1857–59.

Declaration of independence

Democratic Republic of Georgia, 1918-1921
Declaration of independence by the Georgian parliament, 1918
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia declared independence on May 26, 1918 in the midst of the Russian Civil War. The parliamentary election was won by the Georgian Social-Democratic Party, considered to be pro-Mensheviks, and its leader, Noe Zhordania, became prime minister. In 1918 a Georgian–Armenian war erupted over parts of Georgian provinces populated mostly by Armenians which ended due to British intervention. In 1918–19 Georgian general Giorgi Mazniashvili led a Georgian attack against the White Army led by Moiseev and Denikin in order to claim the Black Seamarker coastline from Tuapsemarker to Sochimarker and Adler for independent Georgia. The country's independence did not last long, however. Georgia was under British protection from 1918-1920.

Georgia in the Soviet Union

Soviet Invasion In Georgia (Feb.
- Mar.
13) 1921

In February 1921 Georgia was attacked by the Red Army. The Georgian army was defeated and the Social-Democrat government fled the country. On February 25, 1921 the Red Army entered capital Tbilisimarker and installed a Moscow directed communist government, led by Georgian Bolshevik Filipp Makharadze. Nevertheless the Soviet rule was firmly established only after a 1924 revolt was brutally suppressed. Georgia was incorporated into the Transcaucasian SFSR uniting Georgia, Armeniamarker and Azerbaijanmarker. The TSFSR was disaggregated into its component elements in 1936 and Georgia became the Georgian SSR.

Ioseb Jughashvili (ethnic Georgian), better known by his nom de guerre Stalin (from the Russian word for steel: сталь) was prominent among the Bolsheviks, who came to power in the Russian Empire after the October Revolution in 1917. Stalin was to rise to the highest position of the Sovietmarker state.

From 1941 to 1945, during World War II, almost 700,000 Georgians fought in the Red Army against Nazi Germany. (A number also fought on the German side.) About 350,000 Georgians died in the battlefields of the Eastern Front.

The Dissidential movement for restoration of Georgian statehood started to gain popularity in the 1960s. Among the Georgian dissidents, two of the most prominent activists were Merab Kostava and Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Dissidents were heavily persecuted by Soviet government, and their activities were harshly suppressed.

On April 9, 1989, a peaceful demonstration in the Georgian capital Tbilisi ended in a massacre in which several people were killed by Soviet troops. Before the October 1990 elections to the national assembly, the Umaghlesi Sabcho (Supreme Council) — the first polls in the USSR held on a formal multi-party basis — the political landscape was reshaped again. While the more radical groups boycotted the elections and convened an alternative forum with alleged support of Moscow (National Congress), another part of the anticommunist opposition united into the Round Table—Free Georgia (RT-FG) around the former dissidents like Merab Kostava and Zviad Gamsakhurdia. The latter won the elections by a clear margin, with 155 out of 250 parliamentary seats, whereas the ruling Communist Party (CP) received only 64 seats. All other parties failed to get over the 5%-threshold and were thus allotted only some single-member constituency seats.

Georgia after restoration of independence

April 9 Poster
On April 9, 1991, shortly before the collapse of the USSR, Georgia declared independence. On May 26, 1991, Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected as a first President of independent Georgia. Gamsakhurdia stoked Georgian nationalism and vowed to assert Tbilisi's authority over regions such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia that had been classified as autonomous oblasts under the Soviet Union. However, he was soon deposed in a bloody coup d'état, from December 22, 1991 to January 6, 1992. The coup was instigated by part of the National Guards and a paramilitary organization called "Mkhedrioni" or "horsemen". The country became embroiled in a bitter civil war which lasted almost until 1995. Eduard Shevardnadze returned to Georgia in 1992 and joined the leaders of the coup — Kitovani and Ioseliani — to head a triumvirate called the "State Council".

In 1995, Shevardnadze was officially elected as president of Georgia. At the same time, simmering disputes within two regions of Georgia, Abkhaziamarker and South Ossetiamarker, between local separatists and the majority Georgian populations, erupted into widespread inter-ethnic violence and wars. Supported by Russiamarker, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, with the exception of some "pockets" of territory, achieved de facto independence from Georgia. Roughly 230,000 to 250,000 Georgians were expelled from Abkhaziamarker by Abkhaz separatists and North Caucasians volunteers (including Chechens) in 1992-1993. Around 23,000 Georgians fled South Ossetiamarker as well, and many Ossetian families were forced to abandon their homes in the Borjomimarker region and move to Russia.

In 2003, Shevardnadze (who won reelection in 2000) was deposed by the Rose Revolution, after Georgian opposition and international monitors asserted that the November 2 parliamentary elections were marred by fraud. The revolution was led by Mikheil Saakashvili, Zurab Zhvania and Nino Burjanadze, former members and leaders of Shevardnadze's ruling party. Mikheil Saakashvili was elected as President of Georgia in 2004.

Following the Rose Revolution, a series of reforms was launched to strengthen the country's military and economic capabilities. The new government's efforts to reassert Georgian authority in the southwestern autonomous republic of Ajaria led to a major crisis early in 2004. Success in Ajaria encouraged Saakashvili to intensify his efforts, but without success, in the breakaway South Ossetiamarker. These events along with accusations of Georgian involvement in the Second Chechen War, resulted in a severe deterioration of relations with Russia, fuelled also by Russia's open assistance and support to the two secessionists areas. Despite these increasingly difficult relations, in May 2005 Georgia and Russia reached a bilateral agreement by which Russian military bases (dating back to the Soviet era) in Batumimarker and Akhalkalakimarker were withdrawn. Russia fulfilled the terms, withdrawing all personnel and equipment from these sites by December 2007, ahead of schedule.

2008 military conflict with Russia

In July 2008, hostilities escalated between Georgia and its breakaway state of South Ossetiamarker, with increases in missile bombardment of Georgian villages by Ossetian separatists. Russia and Georgia had each amassed larger military forces near their respective borders with South Ossetia. After the Georgian bombing of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvalimarker in the late evening of August 7, Georgian armed forces began pushing into South Ossetia, supported by their artillery and multiple rocket launcher fire. Russia reported that several Russian peacekeepers stationed in South Ossetia were killed. At dawn of August 8 forces of the Russian 58th Army entered South Ossetia through the Russian-controlled Roki tunnelmarker, and the Russian air-force launched a series of coordinated air strikes against multiple targets within Georgian territory. As justification for their invasion and air strikes, Russia also claimed the Georgian army was responsible for killing 1,600 South Ossetian civilians. However, these allegations have not been substantiated, and Human Rights Watch investigators in South Ossetia accused Russia of exaggerating the scale of such casualties.

As Russia and Georgia both sent troops into South Ossetia, the conflict between Georgia on the one side and Russia, Ossetian, and later, Abkhazian separatists on the other quickly escalated into the full scale 2008 war. Due to the intensive fighting in South Ossetia there were many disputed reports about the number of casualties on both sides, which targets had fallen under aerial attacks, the status of troop movements, and the most current location of the front line between the Georgian and Russian-Ossetian combat units.After a few days of heavy fighting Georgian troops were driven from South Ossetia. The advance of Russian forces from South Ossetia into undisputed Georgia territory was accompanied by unverified reports of looting, burning, and killing of civilians by Russian military and accompanying irregulars. By August 11, Russian military troops in Abkhaziamarker, the other separatist Georgian province, executed a second invasion and seized additional territory in Western Georgia. On August 12, President Medvedev announced an intent to halt further Russian military operations in Georgia.

Geography and climate

Georgia is in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, straddling Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Georgia's northern border with Russiamarker roughly runs along the crest of the Greater Caucasus mountain range – a commonly reckoned boundary between Europe and Asia. In Philip Johan von Strahlenberg's 1730 definition of Europe, which was used by the Russian Tsars and which first set the Uralsmarker as the eastern border of the continent, the continental border was drawn from the Kuma-Manych Depression to the Caspian Seamarker, including Georgia (and the whole of the Caucasus) in Asia.

Mountains are the dominant geographic feature of Georgia. The Likhi Rangemarker divides the country into eastern and western halves. Historically, the western portion of Georgia was known as Colchis while the eastern plateau was called Iberia. Due to a complex geographic setting, mountains also isolate the northern region of Svanetimarker from the rest of Georgia.

The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range separates Georgia from the North Caucasian Republics of Russiamarker. The main roads through the mountain range into Russian territory lead through the Roki Tunnelmarker between South and North Ossetia and the Darial Gorgemarker (in the Georgian region of Khevi). The Roki Tunnel was vital for the Russian military in the 2008 South Ossetia War.

The southern portion of the country is bounded by the Lesser Caucasus Mountainsmarker. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range is much higher in elevation than the Lesser Caucasus Mountainsmarker, with the highest peaks rising more than above sea level.

The highest mountain in Georgia is Mount Shkharamarker at , and the second highest is Mount Jangamarker (Jangi-Taumarker) at above sea level. Other prominent peaks include Kazbegimarker (Kazbekmarker) at , Tetnuldi ( ), Shota Rustaveli ( ), Mt. Ushbamarker ( ), and Ailamamarker ( ). Out of the abovementioned peaks, only Kazbegimarker is of volcanic origin. The region between Kazbegimarker and Shkharamarker (a distance of about along the Main Caucasus Range) is dominated by numerous glaciers. Out of the 2,100 glaciers that exist in the Caucasus today, approximately 30% are located within Georgia.

The term, Lesser Caucasus Mountainsmarker is often used to describe the mountainous (highland) areas of southern Georgia that are connected to the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range by the Likhi Range. The area can be split into two separate sub-regions; the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, which run parallel to the Greater Caucasus Range, and the Southern Georgia Volcanic Highland, which lies immediately to the south of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The overall region can be characterized as being made up of various, interconnected mountain ranges (largely of volcanic origin) and plateaus that do not exceed in elevation. Prominent features of the area include the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau, lakes, including Tabatskuri and Paravani, as well as mineral water and hot springs. The Southern Georgia Volcanic Highland is a young and unstable geologic region with high seismic activity and has experienced some of the most significant earthquakes that have been recorded in Georgia.

The Voronya Cavemarker (aka Krubera-Voronia Cave) is the deepest known cave in the world. It is located in the Arabika Massif of the Gagra Range, in Abkhaziamarker. In 2001, a Russian–Ukrainian team had set the world depth record for a cave at . In 2004, the penetrated depth was increased on each of three expeditions, when a Ukrainianmarker team crossed the mark for the first time in the history of speleology. In October 2005, an unexplored part was found by the CAVEX team, further increasing the known depth of the cave. This expedition confirmed the known depth of the cave at (± ).

Two major rivers in Georgia are the Rioni and the Mtkvari.


The Aragvi River Gorge
The landscape within the nation's boundaries is quite varied. Western Georgia's landscape ranges from low-land marsh-forests, swamps, and temperate rain forests to eternal snows and glaciers, while the eastern part of the country even contains a small segment of semi-arid plains characteristic of Central Asia. Forests cover around 40% of Georgia's territory while the alpine/subalpine zone accounts for roughly around 10% of the land.

Much of the natural habitat in the low-lying areas of Western Georgia has disappeared over the last 100 years due to the agricultural development of the land and urbanization. The large majority of the forests that covered the Colchis plain are now virtually non-existent with the exception of the regions that are included in the national parks and reserves (e.g. Paleostomi Lake area). At present, the forest cover generally remains outside of the low-lying areas and is mainly located along the foothills and the mountains. Western Georgia's forests consist mainly of deciduous trees below above sea level and comprise of species such as oak, hornbeam, beech, elm, ash, and chestnut. Evergreen species such as box may also be found in many areas. Ca. 1000 of all 4000 higher plants of Georgia are endemic in this country. The west-central slopes of the Meskheti Range in Ajaria as well as several locations in Samegrelo and Abkhaziamarker are covered by temperate rain forests. Between above sea level, the deciduous forest becomes mixed with both broad-leaf and coniferous species making up the plant life. The zone is made up mainly of beech, spruce, and fir forests. From , the forest becomes largely coniferous. The tree line generally ends at around and the alpine zone takes over, which in most areas, extends up to an elevation of above sea level. The eternal snow and glacier zone lies above the 3,000 meter line.

Eastern Georgia's landscape (referring to the territory east of the Likhimarker Range) is considerably different from that of the west. Although, much like the Colchis plain in the west, nearly all of the low-lying areas of eastern Georgia including the Mtkvari and Alazanimarker River plains have been deforested for agricultural purposes. In addition, due to the region's relatively drier climate, some of the low-lying plains (especially in Kartli and south-eastern Kakhetimarker) were never covered by forests in the first place. The general landscape of eastern Georgia comprises numerous valleys and gorges that are separated by mountains. In contrast with western Georgia, nearly 85% of the forests of the region are deciduous. Coniferous forests only dominate in the Borjomi Gorge and in the extreme western areas. Out of the deciduous species of trees, beech, oak, and hornbeam dominate. Other deciduous species include several varieties of maple, aspen, ash, and hazelnut. The Upper Alazanimarker River Valley contains yew forests. At higher elevations above above sea level (particularly in the Tushetimarker, Khevsuretimarker, and Khevi regions), pine and birch forests dominate. In general, the forests in eastern Georgia occur between above sea level, with the alpine zone extending from to . The only remaining large, low-land forests remain in the Alazanimarker Valley of Kakhetimarker. The eternal snow and glacier zone lies above the line in most areas of eastern Georgia.


Due to its high landscape diversity and low latitude Georgia is home to a large number of animal species, e. g. ca. 1000 species of vertebrates (330 birds, 160 fish, 48 reptiles, 11 amphibians). A number of large carnivores live in the forests, e. g. Persian leopard, Brown bear, wolf, and lynx. The species number of invertebrates is considered to be very high but data is distributed across a high number of publications. The spider checklist of Georgia, for example, includes 501 species. Non-marine molluscs of Georgia also include high diversity.


The local climate is excellent for wine-making and there are 500 different kinds of wine in Georgia
The climate of Georgia is extremely diverse, considering the nation's small size. There are two main climatic zones, roughly separating Eastern and Western parts of the country. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range plays an important role in moderating Georgia's climate and protects the nation from the penetration of colder air masses from the north. The Lesser Caucasus Mountains partially protect the region from the influence of dry and hot air masses from the south as well.

Much of western Georgia lies within the northern periphery of the humid subtropical zone with annual precipitation ranging from . The precipitation tends to be uniformly distributed throughout the year, although the rainfall can be particularly heavy during the Autumn months. The climate of the region varies significantly with elevation and while much of the lowland areas of western Georgia are relatively warm throughout the year, the foothills and mountainous areas (including both the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains) experience cool, wet summers and snowy winters (snow cover often exceeds 2 meters in many regions). Ajaria is the wettest region of the Caucasus, where the Mt. Mtirala rainforest, east of Kobuletimarker receives around of precipitation per year.

Eastern Georgia has a transitional climate from humid subtropical to continental. The region's weather patterns are influenced both by dry, Central Asian/Caspian air masses from the east and humid, Black Sea air masses from the west. The penetration of humid air masses from the Black Sea is often blocked by several mountain ranges (Likhimarker and Meskheti) that separate the eastern and western parts of the nation. Annual precipitation is considerably less than that of western Georgia and ranges from . The wettest periods generally occur during Spring and Autumn while Winter and the Summer months tend to be the driest. Much of eastern Georgia experiences hot summers (especially in the low-lying areas) and relatively cold winters. As in the western parts of the nation, elevation plays an important role in eastern Georgia where climatic conditions above are considerably colder than in the low-lying areas. The regions that lie above frequently experience frost even during the summer months.


Map of Georgia with the autonomous republics of Abkhazia (de facto independent) and Adjara, and South Ossetia (de facto independent region, officially termed Tskhinvali region by the Georgian authorities)
Georgia is divided into 9 regions and 2 autonomous republics. These in turn are subdivided into 69 districts.

Main cities

The main cities of Georgia include:


Regions of Georgia

Autonomous republics

Currently, the status of South Ossetiamarker, an autonomous administrative district (also known as the Tskhinvalimarker region), is being negotiated with the Russian-supported separatist government. Recently, these negotiations have broken down in light of Russia's decision to reinforce the region militarily and give Russian passports to South Ossetians. The government of Georgia has expressed that it views these moves as attempts by Russia to annex the region effectively. The Georgian government levels the same criticism against Russian involvement in Abkhaziamarker, another breakaway region; Abkhazia has the status of an autonomous republic, but operates as a de facto state. This condition follows the ethnic cleansing of at least 200,000 Georgians in the War in Abkhazia in 1992-1993. Adjara gained autonomy unilaterally under local strongman Aslan Abashidze with help from a Russian military brigade located on a base in Adjara. Current Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili restored the region to Georgian control after a local uprising against Abashidze's perceived corruption.

Government and politics

Parliament of Georgia
Georgia is a democratic semi-presidential republic, with the President as the head of state, and Prime Minister as the head of government.

The executive branch of power is made up of the President and the Cabinet of Georgia. The Cabinet is composed of ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, and appointed by the President. Notably, the ministers of defense and interior are not members of the Cabinet and are subordinated directly to the President of Georgia.

Mikheil Saakashvili is the current President of Georgia after winning 53.47% of the vote in the 2008 election. Lado Gurgenidze has been Prime Minister since November 22, 2007. On November 1, 2008, Gurgenidze was replaced by Grigol Mgaloblishvili and since February 6, 2009 Nikoloz Gilauri has been the new prime minister of Georgia.

The Parliament of Georgia session hall

Legislative authority is vested in the Parliament of Georgia. It is unicameral and has 150 members, known as deputies, from which 75 members are proportional representatives and 75 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies. Members of parliament are elected for 5 five-year term.

Five parties and electoral blocs had representatives elected to the parliament in the 2008 elections: the United National Movement (governing party), the Electoral Bloc The Joint Opposition, the Christian-Democrats, the Labour Party and Republican Party.

Official Residence and Principal Workplace of the President of Georgia

Despite considerable progress made since the Rose revolution Georgia is still not a full-fledged democracy. Political system remains in the process of transition, with frequent adjustments to the balance of power between the President and Parliament, and proposals ranging from transforming the country into parliamentary republic to re-establishing the monarchy. Observers note the deficit of trust in relations between the Government and the opposition. Different opinions exist regarding the degree of political freedom in Georgia. President Saakashvili believes that the country is essentially free, many opposition leaders claim that Georgia is a dictatorship, and Freedom House puts Georgia in the group of partly free countries, along with countries like Turkeymarker and Bosniamarker.

Foreign relations

Georgia maintains good relations with its direct neighbours Armeniamarker, Azerbaijanmarker and Turkeymarker and participates actively in regional organizations, such as the Black Sea Economic Council and the GUAM. Georgia also maintains political, economic and military relations with Japanmarker, South Koreamarker, Israelmarker, Ukrainemarker and many other countries. The growing US and European Union influence in Georgia, notably through proposed EU and NATO membership, the US Train and Equip military assistance program and the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, have frequently strained Tbilisi's relations with Moscow. Georgia's decision to boost its presence in the coalition forces in Iraq was an important initiative.

Georgia is currently working to become a full member of NATOmarker. In August 2004, the Individual Partnership Action Plan of Georgia was submitted officially to NATO. On October 29, 2004, the North Atlantic Council of NATO approved the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) of Georgia and Georgia moved on to the second stage of Euro-Atlantic Integration. In 2005, by the decision of the President of Georgia, a state commission was set up to implement the Individual Partnership Action Plan, which presents an interdepartmental group headed by the Prime Minister. The Commission was tasked with coordinating and controlling the implementation of the Individual Partnership Action Plan.

On February 14, 2005, the agreement on the appointment of Partnership for Peace (PfP) liaison officer between Georgia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organizationmarker came into force, whereby a liaison officer for the South Caucasus was assigned to Georgia. On March 2, 2005, the agreement was signed on the provision of the host nation support to and transit of NATO forces and NATO personnel. On March 6-9, 2006, the IPAP implementation interim assessment team arrived in Tbilisimarker. On April 13, 2006, the discussion of the assessment report on implementation of the Individual Partnership Action Plan was held at NATO Headquarters, within 26+1 format. In 2006, the Georgian parliament voted unanimously for the bill which calls for integration of Georgia into NATO. The majority of Georgians and politicians in Georgia support the push for NATO membership. Currently, it is expected that Georgia will join NATO in 2009.

George W. Bush became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the country. The street leading to Tbilisi International Airportmarker has since been dubbed George W. Bush Avenue.

From the European commission website: President Saakashvili views membership of the EU and NATOmarker as a long term priority. As he does not want Georgia to become an arena of Russia-US confrontation he seeks to maintain close relations with the United Statesmarker and European Union, at the same time underlining his ambitions to advance co-operation with Russia.

On October 2, 2006, Georgian and the European Union signed a joint statement on the agreed text of the Georgia-European Union Action Plan within the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). The Action Plan was formally approved at the EU-Georgia Cooperation Council session on November 14, 2006 in Brusselsmarker.

On February 2, 2007, Georgia officially became the most recent regional member of the Asian Development Bank. They currently hold 12,081 shares in the bank, 0.341 percent of the total.


Georgian Special Forces
Georgia's military is organized into land, air, maritime, special forces and national guard branches. They are collectively known as the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF). The mission and functions of the GAF are based on the Constitution of Georgia, Georgia’s Law on Defense and National Military Strategy, and international agreements to which Georgia is signatory. They are performed under the guidance and authority of the Ministry of Defense.

Since coming to power in 2004, Saakashvili has boosted spending on the country's armed forces and increased its overall size to around 45,000. Of that figure, 12,000 have been trained in advanced techniques by U.S. military instructors, under the Georgia Train and Equip Program. Some of these troops have been stationed in Iraqmarker as part of the international coalition in the region, serving in Baqubahmarker and the Green Zonemarker of Baghdadmarker. In May 2005, the 13th "Shavnabada" Light Infantry Battalion became the first full battalion to serve outside of Georgia. This unit was responsible for two checkpoints to the Green Zone, and provided security for the Iraqi Parliament. In October 2005, the unit was replaced by the 21st Infantry Battalion. Soldiers of the 13th "Shavnabada" Light Infantry Battalion wear the "combat patches" of the American unit they served under, the Third Infantry Division.


Archaeological research demonstrates that Georgia has been involved in commerce with many lands and empires since the ancient times, largely due its location on the Black Seamarker and later on the historical Silk Road. Gold, silver, copper and iron have been mined in the Caucasus Mountainsmarker. Wine making is a very old tradition.

Throughout Georgia's modern history agriculture and tourism have been principal economic sectors, due to the country's climate and topography.

For much of the 20th century, Georgia's economy was within the Sovietmarker model of command economy.

Since the fall of the USSRmarker in 1991, Georgia embarked on a major structural reform designed to transition to a free market economy. However, as with all other post-Soviet states, Georgia faced a severe economic collapse. The civil war and military conflicts in South Ossetiamarker and Abkhaziamarker aggravated the crisis. The agriculture and industry output diminished. By 1994 the gross domestic product had shrunk to a quarter of that of 1989.

The first financial help from the West came in 1995, when the World Bank and International Monetary Fundmarker granted Georgia a credit of USD 206 million and Germanymarker granted DM 50 million.

As of 2001 54% of the population lived below the national poverty line but by 2006 poverty decreased to 34%. In 2005 average monthly income of a household was GEL 347 (about 200 USD).

Rkinis Rigi (iron row) in Old Tbilisi

Since early 2000s visible positive developments have been observed in the economy of Georgia. In 2007 Georgia's real GDP growth rate reached 12%, making Georgia one of the fastest growing economies in Eastern Europe. The World Bank dubbed Georgia "the number one economic reformer in the world" because it has in one year improved from rank 112th to 18th in terms of ease of doing business. However, the country has high unemployment rate of 12.6% and has fairly low median income compared to European countries.

IMF 2007 estimates place Georgia's nominal GDP at US$10.3 billion. Georgia's economy is becoming more devoted to services (now representing 65% of GDP), moving away from agricultural sector ( 10.9%).

The country has sizable hydropower resources.

The 2006 ban on imports of Georgian wine to Russia, one of Georgia's biggest trading partners, and break of financial links was described by the IMF Mission as an "external shock", In addition, Russia increased the price of gas for Georgia. This was followed by the spike in the Georgian lari's rate of inflation. The National Bank of Georgia stated that the inflation was mainly triggered by external reasons, including Russia’s economic embargo. The Georgian authorities expected that the current account deficit the embargo would cause in 2007 would be financed by "higher foreign exchange proceeds generated by the large inflow of foreign direct investment" and an increase in tourist revenues. The country has also maintained a solid credit in international market securities.

Georgia is becoming more integrated into the global trading network: its 2006 imports and exports account for 10% and 18% of GDP respectively. Georgia's main imports are natural gas, oil products, machinery and parts, and transport equipment.

Since coming to power Saakashvili administration accomplished a series of reforms aimed at improving tax collection. Among other things a flat income tax was introduced in 2004 As a result budget revenues have increased fourfold and a once large budget deficit has turned into surplus.

Georgia is developing into an international transport corridor through Batumimarker and Potimarker ports, an oil pipeline from Bakumarker through Tbilisimarker to Ceyhanmarker, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) and a parallel gas pipeline, the South Caucasus Pipeline.

Tourism is an increasingly significant part of the Georgian economy. About a million tourists brought US$313 million to the country in 2006. According to the government, there are 103 resorts in different climatic zones in Georgia. Tourist attractions include more than 2000 mineral springs, over 12,000 historical and cultural monuments, four of which are recognised as UNESCOmarker World Heritage Sites (Bagrati Cathedralmarker in Kutaisi and Gelati Monasterymarker, historical monuments of Mtskhetamarker, and Upper Svanetimarker).


Grapevine Cross of Saint Nino from the 4th century
Georgian youth in traditional costumes
Ethno-linguistic groups in the Caucasus region 2009.
Georgians are about 83.8%, of Georgia's current population of 4,661,473 (July 2006 est.). Other major ethnic groups include Azeris, who form 6.5% of the population, Armenians - 5.7%, Russians - 1.5%, Abkhazians, and Ossetians. Numerous smaller groups also live in the country, including Assyrians, Chechens, Chinese, Georgian Jews, Greeks, Kabardins, Kurds, Tatars, Turks and Ukrainians. Notably, Georgia's Jewish community is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world.

Georgia also exhibits significant linguistic diversity. Within the South Caucasian family, Georgian, Laz, Mingrelian, and Svan are spoken. South Caucasian groups other than ethnic Georgians often speak their native languages in addition to Georgian. The official languages of Georgia are Georgian and also Abkhaz within the autonomous region of Abkhaziamarker. Georgian, the country's official language, is spoken by 71% of the population, 9% speak Russian, 7% Armenian, 6% Azeri, and 7% other languages. Georgia's literacy rate is said to be 100%.

In the early 1990s, following the dissolution of the Soviet Unionmarker, violent separatist conflicts broke out in the autonomous regions of Abkhaziamarker and South Ossetiamarker. Many Ossetians living in Georgia left the country, mainly to Russia's North Ossetiamarker. On the other hand, more than 150,000 Georgians left Abkhaziamarker after the breakout of hostilities in 1993. Of the Meskhetian Turks who were forcibly relocated in 1944 only a tiny fraction returned to Georgia as of 2008.

The 1989 census recorded 341,000 ethnic Russians, or 6.3% of the population, 52,000 Ukrainians and 100,000 Greeks in Georgia. Since 1990, 1.5 million Georgian nationals left. At least one million immigrants from Georgia legally or illegally reside in Russiamarker. Georgia's net migration rate is -4.54, excluding Georgian nationals who live abroad. Georgia has nonetheless been inhabited by immigrants from all over the world throughout its independence. According to 2006 statistics, Georgia gets most of its immigrants from Turkeymarker and People's Republic of Chinamarker.

Today most of the population practices Orthodox Christianity of the Georgian Orthodox Church (81.9%). The religious minorities are: Muslim (9.9%); Armenian Apostolic (3.9%); Russian Orthodox Church (2.0%); Roman Catholic (0.8%). 0.8% of those recorded in the 2002 census declared themselves to be adherents of other religions and 0.7% declared no religion at all.


Georgian culture evolved over thousands of years with its foundations in Iberian and Colchian civilizations, continuing into the rise of the unified Georgian Kingdom under the single monarchy of the Bagrationi. Georgian culture enjoyed a golden age and renaissance of classical literature, arts, philosophy, architecture and science in the 11th century. The Georgian language, and the Classical Georgian literature of the poet Shota Rustaveli, were revived in the 19th century after a long period of turmoil, laying the foundations of the romantics and novelists of the modern era such as Grigol Orbeliani, Nikoloz Baratashvili, Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, Vazha Pshavela, and many others. Georgian culture was influenced by Classical Greece, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, and later by the Russian Empiremarker which contributed to the European elements of Georgian culture.

Georgia is well known for its rich folklore, unique traditional music, theatre, cinema, and art. Georgians are renowned for their love of music, dance, theatre and cinema. In the 20th century there have been notable Georgian painters such as Niko Pirosmani, Lado Gudiashvili, Elene Akhvlediani; ballet choreographers such as George Balanchine, Vakhtang Chabukiani, and Nino Ananiashvili; poets such as Galaktion Tabidze, Lado Asatiani, and Mukhran Machavariani; and theatre and film directors such as Robert Sturua, Tengiz Abuladze, Giorgi Danelia and Otar Ioseliani.

Architecture and arts

Georgian architecture has been influenced by many civilizations. There are several different architectural styles for castles, towers, fortifications and churches. The Upper Svanetimarker fortifications, and the castle town of Shatilimarker in Khevsuretimarker, are some of the finest examples of medieval Georgian castle architecture.

Georgian ecclesiastic art is one of the most fascinating aspects of Georgian Christian architecture, which combines classical dome style with original basilica style forming what is known as the Georgian cross-dome style. Cross-dome architecture developed in Georgia during the 9th century; before that, most Georgian churches were basilicas. Other examples of Georgian ecclesiastic architecture can be found outside Georgia: Bachkovo Monasterymarker in Bulgaria (built in 1083 by the Georgian military commander Grigorii Bakuriani), Iviron monasterymarker in Greece (built by Georgians in the 10th century), and the Monastery of the Crossmarker in Jerusalem (built by Georgians in the 9th century).

Other architectural aspects of Georgia include Rustaveli avenue in Tbilisimarker in the Hausmann style, and the Old Town District.

The art of Georgia spans the prehistoric, the ancient Greek, Roman, medieval, ecclesiastic, iconic and modern visual arts. One of the most famous late nineteenth/early twentieth century Georgian artists is the primitivist painter Niko Pirosmani. Pirosmani's works can also been seen as early impressionistic, due to the fact that his work inspired Lado Gudiashvili and Elene Akhvlediani, who represent the more mainstream impressionism of the twentieth century. Gigo Gabashvili, a Georgian painter and educator from the same period as Pirosmani, is considered to be the founder of Georgian realism. Contemporary Georgian surrealism is represented by Ramaz Razmadze and Rezo Kaishauri.



Georgian cuisine and wine have evolved through the centuries, adapting traditions in each era. One of the most unusual traditions of dining is Supra, or Georgian table, which is also a way of socialising with friends and family. The head of Supra is known as Tamada. He also conducts the highly philosophical toasts, and makes sure that everyone is enjoying themselves. Various historical regions of Georgia are known for their particular dishes: for example, Khinkali (meat dumplings), from eastern mountainous Georgia, and Khachapuri, mainly from Imeretimarker, Samegrelo and Adjara.

In addition to traditional Georgian dishes, the foods of other countries have been brought to Georgia by immigrants from Russiamarker, Greecemarker, and recently Chinamarker.


The education system of Georgia has undergone sweeping modernizing, albeit painful and controversial, reforms since 2004. The adult literacy rate in Georgia is given as 100%. Education in Georgia is mandatory for all children aged 6–14.

The school system is divided into elementary (6 years; age level 6-12), basic (3 years; age level 12-15), and secondary (2 years; age level 15-17), or alternatively vocational studies (2 years). Students with a secondary school certificate have access to higher education. Only the students who have passed the Unified National Examinations may enroll in a state-accredited higher education institution, based on ranking of scores he/she received at the exams. Most of these institutions offer three level studies: a Bachelor's Programme (3–4 years); a Master's Programme (2 years), and a Doctoral Programme (3 years). There is also a Certified Specialist's Programme that represents a single-level higher education programme lasting for 3–6 years. As of 2008, 20 higher education institutions are accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. Gross primary enrollment ratio was 94% for the period of 2001-2006.


According to the Constitution of Georgia, religious institutions are separate from government and every citizen has the right of religion. However, most of the population of Georgia (82%) practices Orthodox Christianity and the Georgian Orthodox Church is an influential institution in the country.

The Gospel was preached in Georgia by the Apostles, Andrew the First Called, Simon the Canaanite, and Matthias. Iberia was officially converted to Christianity in 326 by Saint Nino of Cappadociamarker, who is considered to be the Enlightener of Georgia and the Equal to Apostles by the Orthodox Church. The Georgian Orthodox Church, once being under the See of Antiochmarker, gained an autocephalous status in the 4th century during the reign of King Vakhtang Gorgasali.

Religious minorities of Georgia include Russian Orthodox (2%), Armenian Christians (3.9%), Muslims (9.9%), Roman Catholics (0.8%), as well as sizeable Jewish Communities and various Protestant minorities.

Despite the long history of religious harmony in Georgia, there have been several instances of religious discrimination in the past decade — such as acts of violence against Jehovah's Witnesses and threats against adherents of other "nontraditional faiths" by followers of the defrocked Orthodox priest Vasil Mkalavishvili.


Among the most popular sports in Georgia are football, basketball, rugby union, wrestling, hockey and weightlifting. Historically, Georgia has been famous for its physical education; it is known that the Romans were fascinated with Georgians' physical qualities after seeing the training techniques of ancient Iberia. Wrestling remains a historically important sport of Georgia, and some historians think that the Greco-Roman style of wrestling incorporates many Georgian elements. Within Georgia, one of the most popularized styles of wrestling is the Kakhetian style. However, there were a number of other styles in the past that are not as widely used today. For example, the Khevsuretimarker region of Georgia has three different styles of wrestling. Other popular sports in 19th century Georgia were polo, and lelo, a traditional Georgian game later replaced by rugby union.

Gallery of Georgia

File:DSCN3638.jpg| Mountain landscapeFile:JvariAugust2008.jpg|4th century Jvari monasterymarker in Mtskheta]]File:Gremi.jpg| Gremi Fortress and ChurchFile:Ananuridc.jpg| Ananuri Fortress and churchFile:GWS Versuchsweinberge.JPG| Famous Georgian vineyards in KakhetiFile:Tbilis view11.jpg| TbilisiFile:Svanetiskt torn.jpg|The Ushgulimarker is dominated by typical Svanmarker defensive towers, most dating back to the 9th-12th centuriesFile:5463456.jpg| GagraFile:Building of the City Council.jpg| SokhumiFile:724900.jpg| 12th century Fortress of VardziaFile:Bakuriani Winter.jpg| GudauriFile:VittfarneGeorgien 155.jpg| Northern GeorgiaFile:Bagrati cathedral, georgia.jpg|11th century King Bagrat's ChurchFile:Shiomgvime Monastery, Georgia2.JPG|Shiomgvime MonasteryFile:David Gareja (3).jpg|8th century Davidgareja Monastery Complex located in KakhetiFile:Gremi Kakheti01.jpg|Gremimarker KakhetiFile:Village Soli.jpg|Soli, SvanetiFile:Sighnaghi.jpg|Sighnaghi, Kakheti

See also



  • Anchabadze, George: History of Georgia: A Short Sketch, Tbilisi 2005 ISBN 99928-71-59-8
  • Avalov, Zurab: Prisoedinenie Gruzii k Rossii, Montvid, S.-Peterburg 1906
  • Gvosdev, Nikolas K.: Imperial policies and perspectives towards Georgia: 1760-1819, Macmillan, Basingstoke 2000, ISBN 0-312-22990-9
  • Lang, David M.: The last years of the Georgian Monarchy: 1658-1832, Columbia University Press, New York 1957
  • Suny, Ronald Grigor: The Making of the Georgian Nation, (2nd Edition), Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1994, ISBN 0-253-35579-6
  • Rapp, Stephen H. (2003), Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts. Peeters Publishers, ISBN 90-429-1318-5

Further reading

  • Braund, David (1994) Georgia in Antiquity: a History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia 550 BC – AD 562 Clarendon Press, Oxford ISBN 0-19-814473-3
  • Brook, Stephen Claws of the Crab: Georgia and Armenia in Crisis
  • Burford, Tim Bradt Guide: Georgia
  • Goldstein, Darra The Georgian Feast: the Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia
  • Karumidze, Zurab & Wertshtor, James V. Enough!: The Rose Revolution in the Republic of Georgia 2003
  • Kurtsikidze, Shorena & Chikovani, Vakhtang, Ethnography and Folklore of the Georgia-Chechnya Border: Images, Customs, Myths & Folk Tales of the Peripheries, Munich: Lincom Europa, 2008
  • Lonely Planet World Guide: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan
  • Nasmyth, Peter Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry
  • Rosen, Roger Georgia: A Sovereign Country in the Caucasus
  • Russell, Mary Please Don't Call It Soviet Georgia: a Journey Through a Troubled Paradise
  • Shelley, Louise; Scott, Erik & Latta, Anthony, eds. Organized Crime and Corruption in Georgia Routledge, Oxford.
  • Steavenson, Wendell Stories I Stole

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