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First Data About Georgia and Mythos of Argonauts


From the ancient times, the uninterrupted chain of evolution can be observed on the territory of Georgia. The oldest fragments of human skeleton that are 1,600,000-1,800,000 years old and appear to be the most ancient of its kind in entire Eurasia were discovered near Dmanisi. Although the origin of Georgians is still a topic of discussion among the scientists, historic sources report on existence of Georgian tribes and the first signs of the national state entity as far back as in the second millennium BC. The famous ancient Greek myth of Argonauts dates back exactly to this period (XIV-XII centuries BC).






Georgian Alphabet



Creation of the Georgian alphabet that is one of the 14 original scripts in the world, is attributed to the first king of the Kingdom of Kartli Parnavaz (III century BC). There exist three types of Georgian alphabet, which were used for different purposes in different centuries. The modern Georgian script “Mkhedruli” consists of 33 letters: 5 vocals and 28 consonants.



Farnavaz I







Early Christianity



Georgia is one of the oldest Christian countries. Christianity started to spread on its territory in the 1st century AD. In the 4th century it was declared the state religion. Georgia is a predominantly orthodox country whose church enjoys autocephaly. Head of the Georgian church is Catholicos Patriarch.







Georgian Renaissance


From the beginning of the common era and to the 10th century Georgia became the arena of many invasions (Byzantines, Persians, Arabs etc.). The first king to start unification of Georgia was Bagrat III (X-XI AD). The process that was initiated by him was successfully accomplished during the reign of Davit Aghmashenebeli (Constructor) and continued by the active foreign policy during the reign of his successor Queen Tamar. This period of the history of Georgia was considered to be the Golden Age from all points of view: political, economic and cultural as well.


Davit Aghmashenebeli







Middle Ages


In the 13th century AD the new invaders – Mongols who caused political and economic destruction of the country came to Georgia. When Giorgi V became the king (XIV century AD), Georgia was at the edge of ceasing its existence. Giorgi Brtskinvale (Excellent) restored integrity of Georgia and improved the royal system of governance.  However, the situation during the times of his successor changed again. Georgia suffered the era of Tamerlan’s irruptions which were followed by strengthening of the Ottoman Empire and Persia. Meanwhile, Russia joined the forces that tried to claim control over the Caucasus.


Giorgi Brtskinvale







End of the Georgian Kingdom and Russian Empire


The orthodox Russia remained the only hope under the existing circumstances. In 1783, during in the period of the reign of Erekle II, Georgia and Russia signed the Georgievsk Treaty. After the death of Erekle II, in 1801, the Kingdom of Kartli and Kakheti was abolished and taken in into the Russian Empire. This was followed by annexation of the western Georgia and its later inclusion into the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.


Erekle II







Independence


Collapse of the soviet empire started in late 80-ies of the XX century. This was the period when national movement was especially strong in Georgia. In 1990, the power was transferred to the democratically elected government that passed the Act on Restoring the State Independence of Georgia. The first President of Georgia, who remained in power for only 11 months, was the famous dissident of the soviet times Zviad Gamsakhurdia. His government was forced to resign as a result of the civil war of January 1992, and he was replaced by the former foreign minister of the Soviet Union Eduard Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze retained the post of the president till November 23, 2003 when parliamentary elections of November 2, 2003 were followed by the mass riots and demand of resignation of the government and the president. On November 23 the president Shevardnadze resigned and a new political force stepped in. On January 5, 2004 Mikheil Saakashvili won presidential elections and became a new head of the country until October 2012. The events of November 2003 became part of history of Georgia under the name of the Rose Revolution.


Zviad Gamsakhurdia







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