Georgian Chronicles and the raison d'être of the Iberian KingdomThis is a featured page






Franz Steiner Verlag
p. 177
Giorgi Leon Kavtaradze, Tbilisi

If in the physical world the process of emergence, growth and decomposition is submitted to a strictly fixed order, one part of the same world, the social life and its components, among them of such a complicated nature as a state, are also exposed to the regular circle of formation and development. As soon as mankind entered the rather complicated stage of social life, more and more it tried to perceive the character of the changes due to the flow of time. This had a practical meaning: the attempts to find the sense in the development of society was one of the main questions for the inquisitive mind of man; understanding this process it would be more possible to anticipate the future. After the Classical (Graeco-Roman) times a particularly great interest in this problem emerged during the last two centuries. The breakdown of the Communist system gave to the scientists of countries, belonging to this system, the possibility of using such ideas of our century which are far away from the dogmas of Marxism-Leninism and which sometimes were already rather out of date in other parts of the world.
One of the most prominent authors of this century whose heritage was studied in the communistic countries only in the negative sense is Arnold Toynbee. His understanding of the historical development was based on the conclusion that the process of the creation of civilisation, in the broadest meaning of this term, was connected with the reaction, Response, which was given to the society by the stimulus, Challenge, initiated in the natural or social environment. In his opinion, this model of Challenge-and-Response is as much in accordance with the emergence and development of civilisation as the environmental pressure becomes more important (of course untill it will not reach a certain limit). The stimulus created by external human environment are of two types: of a sudden blow and of a continuous pressure. After having received the stimulus of blow, the society is either annihilated, what happened rather seldom, or meets the heavy blow with redoubled moral strength and ____________________________________
* An article published in 1996 (Kavtaradze, G. L. Probleme der historischen Geographie Anatoliens und Transkaukasiens im ersten Jahrtausend v. Chr. in: Orbis Terrarum 2, 1996) is considered as ‘Caucasica I’ though it did not have that heading at the time of its publication.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Eckart Olshausen for his insightful suggestions as to my work and for his proposal to write this article for ‘Orbis Terrarum’ and to Dr. Gisela Burger who improved upon the phraseology and helped me constantly. 178

vigour; so, the society reacts to the heavy blow by an incredible outburst of purposeful energy.[1]
There are many such examples in the history of the medieval Caucasia. We can agree with the assumption that if the Seljuk phase in Transcaucasia crushed any hope for a revival of Armenian statehood, the surviving state, Georgia, in responding to this shock, underwent a remarkable recovery, and dominating the entire region, created a pan-Transcaucasian monarchy, for a brief period.[2]

In the case of A. Toynbee's second type of stimulus, the impact takes the form of a continuous pressure. In terms of political geography, the peoples, states and cities exposed to such a pressure belong for the most part to the general category of marches (boundary zones between different "civilisations"). As one of the most impressive examples of such a phenomenon, A. Toynbee considers the fact of the creation of the united commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania - Rech Pospolita by the Lublin treaty 1569 as a counter-stroke to the advance of the newly formed Russian state which pushed back the eastern frontier of Lithuania, formerly east of Smolensk, to a line running west of Polotsk on the Dvina. So, Rech Pospolita gained a new function - and, by it, a new vitality - as one of the marches of the Western world against a new pressure from Russia. Poland shared this new function with the kingdom of Sweden, and the pressure took the form of simultaneous Polish and Swedish counter-offensives. The Poles recaptured Smolensk and held even Moscow for a brief period, while the terms of the peace treaty with Sweden excluded Russia from all access to the Baltic. As to A. Toynbee, these misfortunes produced a profound psychological effect in the Russian Soul. The inward spiritual shock translated itself into an outward practical act of equivalent magnitude: the deliberate "Westernisation" of Russia by Peter the Great. By this act the continental frontier of the Western world suddenly shifted from the eastern borders of Poland and Sweden to China's frontiers. The Poles and Swedes thus found the ground cut from under their feet. Their function in the Western body social was snatched out of their hands, and the loss of the stimulus was followed by a swift decay - within little more than a century Sweden had lost to Russia all her possesions east of the Baltic, including Finland, while Poland had been wiped out from the political map. Thus, Poland and Sweden both flourished as long as they fullfilled the function of anti-Russian marches of the Western Society, and both began to decline as soon as Russia achived the tour de force of filching this function to them.[3] 179
The political history of the Georgian state, like of other Transcaucasian counries, was predetermined by the geographical disposition of Transcaucasia south from the Great Caucasian Ridge. The key importance of the location of the Caucasus was picturescuely stated by Pliny the Elder (Plinius Magnus), already in the first century, namely that the Caucasian Gates divides the world in two parts[4]. It seemed even for the powerful Pompeus to be impracticable to pursue Mithridates VI, the king of Pontus, after his defeat and successful Caucasian campaign, by the land route through the Caucasian mountains and passing the hostile tribes of the steppes beyond the Caucasus.[5] The concept of the world always needed its division: much more later, as to Roger Bacon the world was also divided into two parts: to the region of the Barbarians and that of the reasonable men[6].
By the statement of W. E. D. Allen and P. Muratoff, the Great Caucasian mountainous chain, one of the most important watershed system of the world, barred the descent of the Eurasiatic nomads into the civilised lands of the Middle East.[7] In the history of Pre-Hellenistic, Hellenistic and Post-Hellinistic Transcaucasia the systematic character of the invasions of the northern nomadic population - Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Huns, Bolgars, Khazars, Ossetians etc., side by side with the opposition between Anatolian-Mediterranean and Iranian-Mesopotamian powers, seems to have taken the form of the second model of the A. Toynbee's stimulus - the stimulus of continuous external pressure. For Georgia and, in general, for the whole of Caucasia, such a function of marches was not dictated by these tribes of Eurasian provenance, but inspired by nature. The intermediary position of the Caucasian region is explicitly depicted in the old Georgian and Armenian chronicles.

1 The Problem of Authenticity of Old Georgian Chronicles
The historical value of the old corpus of Georgian writings known under the name of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ [The Life (i.e. History) of K'art'li (Iberia, Eastern Georgia)],[8] representing the official corpus historicum of Georgia or Georgian Royal Annals, was intensively discussed already from the middle of the nineteenth century and 180 caused a great contradiction of judgements.[9] This corpus consists of thirteen distincts texts written between the ninth and fourteenth centuries.[10] The canonized text of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ was fixed by the commission appointed by King Vaxtang VI in the beginning of the eighteenth century.[11]
In the widespread opinion among scholars, it is rather difficult to discern by the content of the early medieval Georgian and Armenian chronicles what is the creation of the chronists and what the reflection of the historical reality; strict historical facts are often intermingled with mythical ones, though investigations revealed a number of coincidences with other sources historically known, among them by authors of the Classical period. The results of recent archaeological researches also prooved their trustworthiness. Therefore „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ is generally considered as a chronicle which arises quite a lot of enigmatic questions for historians, but which represents at the same time a significant source for them.[12]

The earliest manuscripts of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, The Queen Anne codex and The Queen Mary variant which survived, belong to the fifteenth (between 1479 and 1495) and seventeenth (between 1638 and 1645) centuries respectively.[13] But the Armenian translation of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, an abbreviated rendering of the original[14] in which some new, specifically Armenian, material was included and translated into classical Armenian by an unknown cleric already in the twelfth century,[15] is known by 181 the manuscript which belongs to the thirteenth century.[16] In the view of St. Rapp, the creation of the Armenian adaptation of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ which perhaps was already written in the first half of the twelfth century, was caused by the political situation of the epoch when, in the course of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Georgia emerged as a formidable empire, absorbing a great part of Armenia, Northern Caucasia and districts in Northern Iran and Eastern Anatolia.[17]

The first part of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, the chronicle: Life (i.e. History) of the Kings, and of the Kings, and of the Original Patriarchs and Tribes of K'art'li , or in the abbreviated form: The Life of the Kings (C'xovreba Mep'et'a), is attributed to the clerical author of the eleventh century, Leonti Mroveli, Archbishop of Ruisi, but there are indications that in reality Mroveli had only compiled or rewritten the older texts.[18] According to St. Rapp, internal criteria - which strongly urge a ca. 800 date for The Life of the Kings - and the establishment of Leonti Mroveli's floruit in the eleventh century together disqualify Leonti to be the original author; he, as the archbishop of Ruisi, could have presided over a major re-edition of the initial section of the text adding to it Biblical elements or could have sanctioned its edition.[19] In the opinion of some specialists, though Leonti Mroveli is the author of this part, he lived in reality in the eighth century, and the inscription of 1066, attributed to the person with the same name, must be explained by the homonymy of several bishops occupying at different times the same See.[20] 182

The Martyrdom of King Archil II, King of K'art'li, the fourth book of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ tells in its final parts that: "this book History of Georgians down to Vaxtang was composed at various times. From King Vaxtang down to here it was composed by Juansher Juansheriani, husband of a niece of St Archil" (I, 248)[21] what testifies that the text ascribed to Leonti Mroveli does not belong to the one and the same author. In the same part of The Martyrdom of King Archil, we have an indication that additions were made in formerly existing texts: "After this generations still to come will write down (events) as they see them..." (I, 248).[22] The Armenian translation of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ does not know such an author. „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ was only known in Armenian as The History of the Georgians ("Patmut'iwn Vrac'"), though A. Tiroyean, the editor of its "Venice edition" (1884), ascribed the whole text to Juansher Juansheriani (a Georgian chronicier, a contemporary of the king, Archil II, of the second part of the eighth century), the author of one of its parts.[23] By the information of an Armenian translation, the Georgian historian Juansher found the Georgian Chronicle which had been written only untill the reign of the Iberian king Vaxtang Gorgasali (fifth century), while the following events were added by Juansher himself.[24] Arseni Beri (Ikaltoeli), the author of the metaphrasical redaction of The Life of St. Nino and tutor of David the Restorer, knows „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ only under the name of The History of Kings (Hambavi Mep'et'a) i.e. the name of what subsequently was known as its first part - The Life of Kings of K'art'li. According to St. Rapp, this fact demonstrates that, even in the twelfth century, Arseni Beri's source was, in fact, the pre-Bagratid text of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“.[25]

The Life of the Kings consists of three main parts: 183

1. The description of the oldest period of history until Alexander the Great's times, influenced by the Holy Scriptures, especially in its attempt to attach the local eponymous genealogies to the Tabula Popularum of Genesis;[26]
2. The story of the legendary invasion of the Caucasus by Alexander and the chronicle of the kings itself.
3. The History of the Conversion of K'art'li.

The last two are connected with "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" (the "Conversion of K'art'li"). St. Rapp considers The History of the Conversion of K'art'li as a hagiographical embelisment of a brief Conversion of Kartli of the seventh century, only in the eleventh century joined to The Life of the Kings.[27]

According to St. Rapp, the medieval texts of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ can be divided into two groups representing distinct periods of Georgian historiographical evolution: pre-Bagratid and Bagratid.[28] In his opinion, the internal evidence of The Life of the Kings (which in reality terminates in the eve of king Mirian's Conversion to Christianity) and The Life of King Vaxtang Gorgasali dates their composition between ca. 795 and 813 and must be assigned to ca. 800.[29] St. Rapp attributes the emergence of local histories to the period of interregnum in Georgia, lasting from ca. 580 to 888 and coinciding with the time of analogous trends of the historiographical activity in neighbouring countries; he considers them as supplications for the restoration of the royal power - local historians glorified the Crown and appealed for its immediate reinstatement.[30]

The very strong Armenophile tendencies reflected by The Life of the Kings are hardly imaginable to have been expressed after the first quarter of the eighth century or after the unprecedented aggravation of the Armeno-Georgian religious relations which were already rather tense from the early seventh century when the Georgians finally accepted Orthodoxy as a result of the growing Persian influence on the monophysitic Armenian church,[31] and such tendencies are even more improbable in the epoch of the obvious political hegemony of the Georgian political formations in the tenth-eleventh centuries.[32] Also the fact of the absence of the term Ap'xazet'i 184 (Abkhazia) in the text, used already from the beginning of the eighth century to designate the western part of Georgia instead of Egrisi, should indicate the early eighth century as the latest possible date for the earliest parts of the text in discussion.[33] It must also be taken into consideration that in the text of The Life of the Kings there was nothing immediately borrowed from The History of the Armenians by Movses Xorenac'i, the text of which must be dated to the early eighth century, though numerous coincidences exist without any doubt. This fact is explained by the possible use of one and the same Armenian oral and written sources in both cases.[34]

The scepticism concerning „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ changed much after the discovery of the two Shatberdi and Chelishi manuscripts (palimpsests) of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" in 1888 and 1903, which belong to the late tenth (973) and fourteenth-fifteenth centuries, respectively.

The text of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" is included in „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, but at the same time the version preserved in the latter differs from both Shatberdi and Chelishi redactions and testifies to the existence of its more archaic redaction. The list of kings of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ is nearly identical with the list used in "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" and receives therefore the same confirmation by the data of foreign sources contemporaneous with the events mentioned as the latter (see below).[35]

Two unknown manuscripts of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" were recently discovered on the Mt. Sinai in the St. Catherine's monastery, together with more than a hundred of other Georgian manuscripts dated mainly to the ninth-tenth centuries. The first one is without a date, but paleographically there is no doubt that it precedes the Shatberdi manuscript. As the text of the second one begins almost precisely from the place where it ends in the first manuscript and because the donator of this manuscript is a certain Ioane, the same person who donated quite another manuscript to St. Saba monastery in the late ninth century, it must be dated to the very beginning of the tenth century. This manuscript offers much better readings than the Shatberdi and Chelishi redactions. These two facts, as to Z. Alexidze, the investigator of the Mt. 185 Sinai recension, suggests that we are faced with the protoredaction of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay", used by Leonti Mroveli.[36]

Though the scholars assign the compilation of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" to different periods from the fourth to the ninth century, most of them believe that it had a place in the seventh[37] or ninth centuries. "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" consists of two main parts: the Chronicle describing the history of Georgia from the beginning to the middle of the seventh century (663), the time of the rule of Step'anos II (the time of the invasion of Caucasia by Heraclius, the Emperor of Byzantine) and The Life of St Nino. The first part of the narrative is unified and regular, the language, if taken from the military field, is rich of short expressions and sentences of laconic brevity; the historical events, the live and actions of Erismt'avars (rulers) and Cat'olici (patriarchs) of Georgia are written in one sitting, clearly and vividly. These shortness and simplicity of the style is considered as a proof of its chronological closeness with the described events and may also be an indication of its creation in the fifth century.[38] The appendix contains the list of the rulers and Cat'olici from the second half of the seventh century to the turn of the ninth-tenth centuries, written in a matter-of-fact way.

The fact that the main text of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" records the history of the country only until the end of the first half of the seventh century and that the list of the persons living from that time till the ninth century appears only in the appendix, should testify that the chronicle was written in the middle of the seventh century and redacted in the early tenth century. In the opinion of M. Tarchnishvili, the chronicle was presumably used by the Armenian author, P'ilon Tirakac'i, in 686 or 696.[39] The existence of at least four significantly different redactions in the beginning of the tenth century, spread not only in Georgia but also far away from its frontiers, induces Z. Alexidze to support the opinion that the creation of the archetype of the narrative must be put back well before the ninth century; at the same time he considers the Chronicle and The Life of St. Nina as separate compositions, thematically combined with each other later on, perhaps in the ninth century.[40] It was suggested that the text of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" was compiled at that time, 186 though its sources go back to written material at least as early as the seventh century, judging by the use of the x- prefix, the interpolation of conjunctions between prefixes and verbs and the use of a pre-Arab lexicon.[41]

Even in the addition to the Shatberdi manuscript of the second part of the tenth century there is an indication of an older age of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay", telling us that "this book ("Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay") was found after many years of its creation".[42] We must be of course very cautious about the reliability of this information. As to P. Ingorokva, the narrative of the christened Jewish clerical author, Abiatar from Mcxet'a (the old capital of Iberia), The Life and Conversion of K'art'li was written in the fourth century and lost afterwards,[43] but we know that the evidences of the Georgian written language can be traced back only to the fifth century. The translations of Gospels and Jakob C'urtaveli's martyrdom of St. Šušanik as well as epigraphical data belong to the same century.[44] It was noticed that Georgians, in difference from Armenians, did not develop a historiographical tradition in quite the same way - as the hagiography became the most popular genre.[45] Often Georgian historiography is considered as being evolved from local hagiography.[46]

The lists of kings of the Chronicle of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" are very brief and chronologically defective, though they are supported by foreign sources; thus, in the opinion of researchers, some sixteen of the thirty-seven kings from the fourth century B.C. to the sixth century A.D., are known from such sources as Tacitus, Appian, Cassius Dio, Ammianus Marcellinus, Aelius Spartianus, Procopius and the Syriac Life of St. Peter the Iberian as well as epigraphical data of the fifth-century and they were together with some events orally transmitted through several centuries in a remarkably accurate fashion. At the same time, the story about the immigration of Kartvelians from their old homeland and the subsequent establishment of the Iberian monarchy as well as informations about the historical geography of Georgia of that period are considered to have been borrowed from ancient local historical 187 sources and traditions.[47] St. Rapp does not even exclude the possibilty of the existence of a local written sources of early Georgian history, now lost.[48] It was recently correctly noticed that without attempt to use Georgian historical records and to reconcile them with Classical evidence, the arguments of some scholars working in the Georgian historiography are weakened.[49]

The initial part of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay", the Chronicle of the Conversion of Iberia (K'art'li), containing the story of the invasion of Iberia (K'art'li) by Alexander the Great and the foundation of the first East Georgian state differs most of all in comparison with other parts of the text of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" included in „K’art’lis C’xovreba“. Therefore the source of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, very different from the initial parts of the above four manuscripts of Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay", should be considered as a quite independent version or even as a compilation of Leonti Mroveli who, together with the text of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay", presumably used data still unknown. Nevertheless, in any case the similarity of The Life of the Kings, the first part of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, to the Chronicle of the Conversion of Iberia (K'art'li) is so great that the problem of its authenticity, as a result of parallel studies of these two chronicles, should not be considered anymore as an urgent subject of contemporary researches. These both chronicles reveal traces not only of the creativity of the folk, but also the undoubtedly imprint of the repeated literary redactions.[50]

Beside the many other examples of the coincidence between the two chronicles importance must be attached to the information about Alexander the Great of Macedon, to whom the emergence of the Eastern Georgian, Iberian kingdom, is ascribed.

2 Apocryphal Alexander the Great and the Emergence of the Iberian Kingdom

As to "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay", Alexander the Great, after having arrived in K'art'li (Iberia), installed his close supporter Azo as a king in Mtskheta. Azo is a king's son of the country of Arian-K'art'li, and he took his country-men and idols Gac'i and Ga with him from his old homeland to Mtskheta. By the second part of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" - The Life of St. Nino - the idols Gac'i and Ga were deities of the ancestors of Georgians in Arian K'art'li. Arseni Beri explained this event in the following way, "We, Georgians are descendants of the newcomers from Arian-K'art'li, we speak their language and all the kings of K'art'li are descendents of their kings." 188

Nobody knows with certainty what was implied in Arian K'art'li of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" and where it was located[51] as the "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" does not give any explanation. But because by the data of The Life of the Kings, a new ruler of Iberia, king P'arnavas, after the defeat of Azon, made a raid on the frontier-province of Greeks with the aim to ruin the frontier regions of Pontus and to conquer Klarjeti,[52] Arian K'art'li of the Georgian chronicle, by the generally accepted opinion, must be located southwest of modern Georgia, in the historical south-west Georgia, in the northeastern part of modern Turkey.[53] This suggestion can be proved by the Anatolian character of the pantheon of deities of the Iberian royal court. In this connection certain attention must be also paid to the information by Menander the Guardsman of the late sixth century, namely that Iberia, alike Suania (Svaneti), was subject to Lazica (6, 1, 278-280).[54] No other episode is known from the sources about the subjection of Iberia to western or south-western Georgian political organisations before the sixth century, except the vague indications of the story of Azo of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay".

By the statement of the Georgian historian G. Melikishvili, this information of the Georgian chronicle reveals the active role which, according to Leonti Mroveli, the kingdom of P'arnavas (Iberia) played in the relationship between Greece and Assyria (i.e. between the Pontic and Seleucid kingdoms) which he consideres as a prove that the territory of the Iberians was extended to the southwestern direction in the third century B.C.[55] In the view of C. Toumanoff, the informations of the Classical authors about Seleucus I's project to dig a channel between the Black and the Caspian seas,[56] as well as the Caspian expedition of Patrocles in 283/282 B.C.,[57] seem to corroborate the Georgian tradition about the Seleucid suzerainty over the early Iberian monarchy.[58] St. Rapp underlines as well the connection between the Georgian tradition and the aspiration of Alexander's Hellenistic successors, 189 the Seleucids, to monopolize the strategic trade routes extending through Caucasia and ending at the Black Sea.[59]

As to The Life of the Kings, the name of Alexander the Great's close supporter is Azon and different from "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" he was installed by Alexander as a patrician:[60] "Alexander conquered all K'art'li... and left over them (the Iberians - G.K.) as patrician one Azon by name, son of Iaredos, a relative of his from the land of Macedon; and gave him 100,000 men from the land of Rome, which is called P'rotat'os. The P'rotat'oselni were strong and courageos men, who were oppressing the land of Rome. He brought them to K'art'li, gave them to the patrician Azon, and left Azon in K'art'li as erist'avi with those troops in order to subdue K'art'li" (I, 18). [61]

In Armenian translation of the twelfth century: "Over the country he appointed as patrician, which is 'elder', a Macedonian called Azon, and gave him 100,000 soldiers, who were the guard (p'rotitosik), very brave and strong fighters. They were seriously oppressing the Greeks in their own country, therefore he removed them from there and handed them over to Azon. Azon appointed from among them commanders throughout the whole land of Georgia."[62]

This information of The Life of the Kings is taken without any doubt from the "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay", where, in contrast to the first one, the name of Alexander's lieutenant is Azo and not Azon, and who besides did not take Roman soldiers, but his fellow countrymen and the idols Gaci and Ga with him from his old homeland, Arian K'art'li, to Mcxet'a (320).[63]

By the words of Movses Xorenac'i, author of The History of the Armenians: "...opposite the Caucasus Mountain as governor of the north he (king Valarshak of Armenia - G.K.) appointed... great and powerful family and called the title of their principality the bdeashkh of the Gugarats'ik; these were descended from Mihrdat, the satrap of Darius, whom Alexander brought and left as prince over the captives from among the Iberian peoples that Nebuchadnezzar had brought, as to Abydenus narrates in these terms: ""the powerful Nebuchadnezzar, who was mightier than Heracles, gathering an army, came and attacked the land of the Libyans and Iberians. Breaking their resistence, he subdued them. And part of them he led away and settled on the 190 right-hand side of the Pontus sea"". (And Iberia is on the edge of the world in the west)" (II, 8).[64]

The information concerning the resettlement of the population from Lybia (Africa) and Western Iberia (Iberian peninsula) by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II in the early sixth century B.C., was ascribed to Megasthenes (historian, Seleucus I's permanent ambassador in India at 304-297/293 B.C.),[65] already at the Classical times.[66] As it was noticed, the proof that Movses Xorenac'i, quoting this information from Eusebius,[67] used the Armenian version is given by his mistranslation of the name Megasthenes as an adjective ("powerful") describing Nebuchadnezzar.[68] Thus the indication of the possible connections of the earliest stages of the Iberian kingdom with the northeastern Anatolian, Pontic, area is also reflected by The History of the Armenians by Movses Xorenac'i.

In an another extract of The History of the Armenians Movses informed us that the king Artashes, grandson of Valarshak and son of Arshak, gave his sister Artasham "as wife to a certain Mithridates, great bdeashkh of Georgia, who was from the seed of Mithridates, satrap of Darius, whom Alexander had set over the prisoners from Iberia... And he entrusted him with the government of the northern mountains and the Pontic Sea" (II, 11).[69]

There is no doubt that Artashes is Artaxias of the Greek sources of the early second century B.C. (189-161 B.C.) and Mithridates - Mithridates VI, Eupator (111-63 B.C.) - father-in-low of the Armenian king Tigran II (95-55 B.C.). G. Melikishvili considers this Mithridates // Mihrdat as a representative of the Mithridatic dynasty of the Pontic kingdom who at the same time can be identified with Azo//Azon of the Georgian chronicles.[70] It must be also taken into account that Mithridates VI fostered a comparison of himself with Alexander the Great.[71] It is known that Mithridates VI, Eupator, like the various Mithridates of Pontus, claimed his provenance from one of the satraps of Darius, the great king of the Achaemenian Iran.[72]

Because of these data from the Georgian and Armenian chronicles the opinion prevails in the Georgian historiography that the origin of the Iberian kingdom must 191 be connected with the expansion of Hellenistic states of Asia Minor or of the South Georgian tribal societies.[73] Though The History of the Armenians, similar to the Georgian annals, attributes the foundation of the Iberian kingdom to Alexander the Great, it is evident that Alexander never marched towards the Caucasus. The informations of the Georgian and Armenian chronicles about Alexander's campaign to the Caucasus are apparently borrowed from the popular Alexander Roman ("Historia Alexandri Magni") of Pseudo-Callisthenes of the early medieval times (the narrative is probably of the fourth century) and connected with the widespread view ascribing the fortification of the Caucasian Gate (the same as Caspian Gate mentioned by some ancient authors)[74] to Alexander. The central pass through the Great Caucasian range was frequently mentioned by ancient authors as "pillars or stronghold of Alexander".[75]

At the same time, certain events seem to have really taken place in Central Transcaucasia in the late fourth - early third centuries B.C. It is impossibble to prove yet by whom they were caused, though Pliny and Julius Solinus mentioned the supremacy of Macedonians in Iberia.[76] Furthermore, stone cannon-balls of the catapult were detected in Samadlo I, Xovle gora III (the level of the fourth century B.C.), Up'liscixe, Urbnisi - in Central Transcaucasian sites of the Classical period, situated east of Gori and ca. 50 km north-west of Tbilisi.[77] As only the Macedonian army was equipped with such machines, in the opinion of G. Lordkipanidze, the raid of Alexander of Macedon or of his closest successors took place in the central part of Eastern Georgia.[78]

The information of Strabo that Menon was sent by Alexander with soldiers to Syspiritis near Caballa, where gold mines were,[79] in correlation with his remark that eastern Iberians are known under the same name as the western Iberians because of the golden mines in both countries,[80] obviously does not concern the Central Transcaucasian homeland of Iberians, but the southwesternmost part of their country, 192 Speri (modern Ispir in Turkey). From the tenth century church of Xaxuli (modern Turkish Haho), situated immediately east from Speri in the western part of the ancient Georgian province Tao, the heavenly representation of this pagan king is known, dated back to the fourteenth century. Alexander of Great was so much worshipped in Georgia that the most powerful Georgian king, David IV, Restorer, is called in Georgian annals the second or new Alexander.

The desire of the local rulers to connect their own aims with the interests of Alexander the Great and to use his power for their realisation, is reflected in The Campaign of Alexander by Flavius Arrian, the Roman writer and politician of the second century A.D., According to him, in 329-328 B.C. the king of Central Asian "Chorasmieans", Pharasmanes, came to Alexander on the bank of the Central Asian river Oxes (modern Amu Daria) and told him that he lived in the neighbourhood of the Colchians and Amazonians and offered his help if Alexander wished to conquer these tribes who lived in the region extended to the Pontus Euxinus (i.e. Black Sea).[81]

As I tried to point out in another place, this information must be connected with the data of Armenian and Georgian chronicles concerning the dependance of the Iberian ruler on Alexander the Great.[82] If on the one hand, the king of Chorasmieans, Pharasmanes, mentioned by Arrian, expected Alexander's help against his neighbours - Colchians and Amazoneans - on the other hand, by the information of Georgian and Armenian chronicles, Alexander the Great after his arrival in K'art'li (Iberia) installed his lieutenant as a ruler. As P'arnavas of The Life of the Kings, after the defeat of Azon (Azo), accomplished his raid to the south-west towards East Anatolia, and Mithridates (Mihrdat) of The History of the Armenians seems to be a representative of the Mithridatides dynasty of Pontus, I thought that exactly in this region - the northeastern part of Anatolia - not only Arian K'art'li mentioned in the Georgian chronicle but also the country of Pharasmanes, the enemy of the Colchians and Amazoneans, the name of whose country was presumably mixed up with the designation of the country in Central Asia - Chorasmii could be possible to locate.

In connection with the problem concerned, we paid attention to Strabo's information that Armenians enlarged their lands by cutting off from the Iberians the slopes of Pariadres Mountains and Chorzene, beside Gogarene.[83] Consequently, I 193 assumed that if in the text of The Campaign of Alexander by Flavius Arrian, under the name of the Chorasmiean's king Pharasmanes the ruler of the Iberian province of Chorzene was meant, then the above information of Arrian and the information of the Georgian chronicle about the son of the king of Arian K'art'li, Azo, who became king in Mcxet'a with the help of Alexander the Great, must have one and the same source.

We can only guess that the events of the late fourth - early third centuries B.C. were somehow connected with the processes which caused the emergence of the Iberian kingdom. That is quite clear from the whole context of the early history of Georgia; the data of Georgian and Armenian chronicles are only the reflection of this fact. As to C. Toumanoff, one can not fail to notice the essential authenticity of the evidence of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" and to postulate therefore the reliability and antiquity of its sources, especially when considering the actual connection between Alexander's conquest of the Achaemenid empire and the replacement of the pax achaemenia by the pax macedonica with the subsequent independence of the Georgians and the establishment of their monarchy which mark the beginning of both the historical memory and the unbroken organic socio-political and cultural development of the nation.[84]

The need to adjust Azo's personality of the "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" to the concept of The Life of the Kings about the authochtonity of Georgians and their first native king P'arnavaz induced, at the first glance, the author (or redactor) of this chronicle to replace Azo by Azon, "the Macedonian", and his (Azo's) countrymen from Arian K'art'li by Azon's supporter "Roman soldiers", p'rotat'oseans.[85] In the opinion of G. Melikishvili, it is possible that cycles about Azo (Mihrdat of The History of the Armenians) and P'arnavas existed initially separately or that they are even versions of the one and the same story about the origin of the Iberian kingdom and that they were obviously united in the later literary version by the author of The Life of the Kings.[86] But if the story about hundred thousand (?!- G.K.) Roman soldiers who were taken by Azon with him, a part of whom was later assimilated in the local population,[87] was wholly invented by the chronist and added to the story of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" about the first Iberian king, Azo, as it was assumed,[88] 194 for which reason they are called in the chroniclep'rotat'oselni?[89] what in Georgian means people of „P'rotat'o“ - p'rotat'oseans. Nobody knows exactly what this term („p'rotat'oselni“) means or where their (the people ofP'rotat'o“) homeland was located.

In the view of Y. Gagoshidze, the term „p'rotat'oselni“ could be derived from the Greek prόtaktoV with the meaning of advanced, in a first line, though the author of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ used it without understanding its sense.[90] It was recently also assumed that the term „p'rotat'oselni“ must be taken from the Greek πρό-τασις, πρό-τασσω with the meaning of advance-guard, used to designate the Greek military corps of Alexander the Great's time.[91]

The proposed explanation of the term p'rotat'oseans by the Greek word πρότασις, πρότασσω would become more credible if we would take into account the Attic form of the same Greek word: πρόταττω, more similar to the Georgian term P'rotat'os. As it is known, the Attic dialect was used by Macedonians already from the time of Alexander's father Phillip II, and widely spread throughout the Hellinistic world, resulting from the expansion of Alexander's army. As this word means in Greek a "place or post in front", "stand before one so as to protect",[92] it even expresses the historical destination of the Iberian kingdom and, generally, of the whole Transcaucasian area which, being located immediately south from the Caucasian Gates ( i.e. pillars of Alexander) and representing a part of one and the same Hellenistic world, defended the Mediterranean - Near Eastern οίκουμένη, the civilized world of common interests, from the invasion of the northern nomadic tribes.

But if the term p'rotadoseans of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ is now connected with the alleged expansion of the Macedonian army, it is evident that Alexander never marched towards the Caucasus. I believe that the connection of the name of Alexander the Great with the emergence of the Georgian statehood indicates only the raison d'ètre of this state, namely to be the outpost of the civilized world in its struggle with the realm of Gog and Magog which was located in the hyperborean waste beyond the Great Caucasian Ridge.[93]

In this connection we must pay attention to the statement of The Life of the Kings, that means that Alexander the Great, invading Iberia, "slaughtered all the mingled tribes living in K'art'li; ..also slew or took captive all the foreign tribes... But he spared the tribes descended from K'art'los" (I, 17),[94] i.e. the Georgians, and appointed for them a ruler and gave them an ideological basement - a necessary component of any state. He demanded the Georgians to worship the sun, the moon and the five stars as well as to serve the unvisible God, the creator of the universe (I, 18).[95] It should be pointed out that even today sun, moon and five stars, which can be traced back to 195 the legendary image of the great king are represented on the state emblem of the Republic of Georgia and under the hoofs of the horse of White Giorgi (the image of Georgia) the Caucasian mountains are depicted instead of the dragon of St.George's icon - a symbol of natural challenge of the country, a symbol of the connection of its destiny with one of the main markers of the geographical and political division of the world.

3 The Role of Caucasian Passes in the Early History of Transcaucasia

In "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" and The Life of the Kings, we have the description of the invasion of Georgia by Alexander the Great who saw there horrible barbarians, established on the Kura river (Mtkvari - in Georgian) and along its northern tributaries (flowing down from the mountains of the Great Caucasian Ridge), people who were called by Georgians "Bun-Turks and Kipchaks".[96] Alexander was astonished because no other people acted in such a disgusting way as they did. But they had strong towns and were fearless warriors. In Georgian annals the characterization of these barbarians is picturesquely expressed, though by the words of the chronicier: "the description of their way of life is inexpressible".[97]

It seems that the Bun-Turks, whose name is usually explained as original, fundamental, real Turks or as "Hun-Turks" and whom Alexander supposedly met in Central Transcaucasia, must have represented the population of northern provenance, broken through the south of the Caucasian mountains. This fact is in a certain degree confirmed by the information in The Life of the Kings, namely that Bun-Turks, surrounded by Alexander's forces in the stronghold of Sarkine, slipped through the hole in the rock and took shelter in the Caucasian mountains: "He (Alexander - G.K.) caused much hardship for the Sarkinelians, because he attacked them for eleven months. Secretly they began to hew out the rock and to drill through the cliff, which was soft and easily cut. The Sarkinelians escaped through the hole by night and fled to the Caucasus; they left the city empty. Alexander conquered all K'art'li" (I, 18).[98]

Arseni Beri, the Georgian author of the twelfth century, indicated the area where the Bun-Turks were resettled after Alexander having banished them from K'art'li, as a place situated outside of Ovseti (that means the country of Ossetians or "Alans").[99] By the words of Arseni Beri this place is a vaste country, rich in water, and where afterwards the great breed of Qipchaks lived. It is quite certain that Arseni Beri had the steppes of South Russia in mind.

As only in this part of The Life of the Kings, describing Alexanders campaign towards the Caucasus, the Bun-Turks are mentioned, though the text in connection 196 with earlier and later northern invaders speaks mainly of Khazars,[100] this fact must be considered as an additional proof of the borrowing of above part from "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" or from a third source, common for both these chronicles, unknown to us.

As Khazars are mentioned in The Life of the Kings describing events of pre-Alexander time, it becomes obvious that this ethnonym was used in the conventionl sense and implied nomadic tribes settled in the Northern Caucasia. By the information of The Life of the Kings, for example, long before king Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, Khazars invaded the Northern Caucasia: "At that time the Khazars grew strong and began to attack the peoples of Lek and Kavkas... and they requested help against the Xazars. All the peoples descended from T'argamos united, crossed the Caucasus mountain, ravaged all the territory of Xazaret'i, built cities at the entrance to Xazaret'i, and returned. After that the Xazars appointed a king; all the Xazars submitted to this king, their sovereign. They advanced and came out at the Pass of the Sea, which is now called Daruband. The descendants of T'argamos were unable to resist them, because the multitude of the Xazars was numberless. They plundered the land of the descendants of T'argamos, destroyed all the cities of Ararat and of Masis and of the north..." (I, 11-12).[101]

The information about the building of cities at the entrance to Khazaria seems to be the reflection of the permanent desire of the Transcaucasian population to fortify the entrances also at the northern edges of passes leading through the Caucasus. By the information of Georgian annals, Georgian kings used the Dariali Pass (Persian "Dar-i-alan", Gate of Alans) for their campaigns to the north of the Caucasus. The Life of King Vaxtang Gorgasali points out that: "Vaxtang set out and stopped in T'ianet'i. There all the kings of the Caucasus joined him, 50,000 cavalry. He advanced in the name of God and crossed the pass of Darialan. On his entry into Ossetia Vaxtang was 16 years old. Then the kings of Ossetia assembled their troops and were joined by a force from Xazaret'i. They met him on the river which flows from the Darialan and descends into the valley of Ossetia" (I, 151).[102]

In connection with David the Restorer The Life of David, the King of Kings informs us about the control of all passes leading through the Caucasus by David for the massing of northerners for his army: "They [King David and his chancellor Giorgi - G.K.] entered Ossetia, and were met by the kings of Ossetia and all their princes. Like servants they presented themselves before him; and hostages were given by both sides, Ossetes and Kipchaks. In this way he easily united the two nations, and made friendship and peace between them as (between) brothers. He took control of the fortresses of Darial and those of all the passes of Ossetia and of the Caucasus mountain. He created a safe passage for the Kipchaks, and brought through a very great multitude" (I, 336).[103] 197

The Life of the Kings mentions two routes of the invasion of Transcaucasia from the north and indicates simultaneously the approximate time of the creation of the above part of the text by calling the invaders - "Xazars": "The Xazars knew two roads, namely the Pass of the Sea, Daruband, and the Pass of the Aragvi, which is the Darial" (I, 14).[105]

The Life of the Kings ascribes the opposition to the Khazar invaders of the Persian military leader (erist'avi) Ardam: "He came to K'art'li, destroyed all the cities and castles of K'art'li, and killed as many Xazars as he found in K'art'li" (I, 13).[104] This is asserted for the epoch earlier than Alexander's fight with Bun-Turks and must therefore be considered as a later addition to the text comparable with "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay".

Also Movses Xorenac'i, the author of The History of the Armenians, called also the northern tribes, according to the realities of his time, "Khazars" and "Basiliks", who, passing the Daruband Pass ("Chor gate", Derbend), invaded the right bank of the River Kura: "...the hosts of the northern peoples united, I mean the Khazars and Basilik', and passing through the Chor gate under the leadership of their king, a certain Vnasep Surhap, they crossed to this side of the River Kura". Valarsh, the king of Armenians at first won and "pushed them back through the Chor pass". But the enemy was once again united and Valarsh in the subsequent battle was killed. His son, Khosrov, "gathered the Armenian army and passed across the great mountain to exact vengeance for his father's death. Routing those powerful nations with sword and lance, he took hostage one out of every hundred of all their active men, and as a token of his own authority he set up a stele with an inscription in Greek so that it would be clear that he owed allegiance to the Romans" (II, 65).[106]

This information must be connected with the data given in The History of the Armenians (§ 19) by Agathangelos, an author supposedly of the late fifth century A.D., about the population of northern origin who penetrated Transcaucasia from Dariali as well as from Derbend Gate (stronghold of the Chor), but following the invitation by the Armenian king: "...Khosrov king of Armenia began to raise forces and assemble an army. He gathered the armies of the Albanians and the Georgians, opened the gates of the Alans and the stronghold of the Chor; he brought through the army of the Huns in order to attack Persian territory and invade Asorestan as far as the gates of Ctesiphon".

The scale and importance of such possible northern invasions become obvious by the following words: 198 "He ravaged the whole country, ruining the populous cities and properous towns. He left all the inhabited land devasted and plundered. He attempted to eradicate, destroy completely, extirpate, and overthrow the Persian kingdom and aimed at abolishing its civilization".[107]

The same story is as well reflected in The Life of the Kings: "Kosaro was king in Armenia. This Kosaro, king of the Armenians, began to wage war on K'asre, king of the Persians. Asp'agur, king of the Georgians, helped him. Asp'agur opened the passes of the Caucasus and brought down the Ossetes, Leks, and Xazars; he joined forces with Kosaro, king of Armenia, in order to wage war on the Persians. In the very first attack on Persia K'asre, king of the Persians, drew up his line; but they put him to flight and destroyed his army. From then on no king of Persia was able to resist them, and they increased their attacks on Persia and their ravages in Persia... the Armenians, Georgians, and nations of the North had put the king of Persia to flight, and they had increased their attacks on Persia and their ravages of Persia, and the king of Persia was no longer able to resist" (I, 59-60).[108]

The policy of Armenians, as well as Georgians, towards northerners was ambivalent: if, on the one hand, it was necessary to defend the Caucasian passes from them, on the other hand it was a big temptation to use their forces against their own southern enemies. The Armenian king Trdat, according to Movses Xorenac'i, "with all the Armenians descended into the plain of Gargar and met northern /people/ in battle... in pursuit, chased them as far as the land of the Huns... Trdat took hostages from them according to ancestral custom and returned. Thus he brought together all the north, raised many troops, and bringing them together marched to Persia to attack Shapuh, son of Artashir" (II, 85).[109]

The last part of The Conversion of K'art'li by Nino informs us as well that: "In his time [Varaz-Bak'ar's, the king of Iberia - G.K.] the king of the Persians sent an erist'avi with a large army against the Armenians and Georgians in order to impose tribute. Then the Armenians dispatched an envoy to Varaz-Bak'ar, suggesting that they join forces, add troops from the Greeks, open the passes of the Caucasians, bring down Ossetes and Leks, and oppose the Persians. His nobles also urged opposition to the Persians" (I, 136).[110]

The idea of the joint Armeno-Iberian opposition to the Persians, so often appearing in old Armenian and Georgian chronicles, is easily understandable on the background of the fact that both these Transcaucasian countries constituted, in many quantifiable respects, a single social organism.[111]

But generally the interests of Georgian, Armenian and Persian monarchs were united in the defence of the Derbend Gate from the penetration of the northerners. The Life of the Kings mentions, that king Mirian who afterwards became the first Christian king of Georgia, was the most devoted follower of this policy: 199 "He began to wage war on the Xazars, and fought continuously. Sometimes the Leks defected from Mirian; and whenever they brought down the Xazars to help them, Mirian would encounter them in Heret'i or Movakan, and there they fought a battle. On other occasions the Durjuks and Didos joined forces and brought down the Xazars.Then they fought battles, and never did the Xazars win. Mirian was always victorious. Such was the frequent result of battle with the Xazars. He made most of his expeditions to Daruband. For the Xazars would come and besiege Daruband in order to capture it and open the broad pass, from where they began to invade Persia. But when the Xazars came to Daruband, then Mirian would march to aid Daruband. Sometimes without fighting the Xazars withdrew before Mirian, and sometimes he routed them in battle" (I, 66).[112]

The essence of king Mirian's struggle is peculiarly clear expressed in the words ascribed to him by the same chronicle: "...all my days I have been occupied in fighting the Xazars, often with my own blood have I saved Persia from the Xazars..." (I, 67).[113]

The Life of King Vaxtang Gorgasali shows the importance of the Derbend Gate for the operations of the northern tribes in Iberia: "When Vaxt'ang [the proper form is Vaxtang - G.K.] was ten years old, innumerable Ossete troops came down and ravaged K'art'li, from the source of the Mtkuari [the Kura river - G.K.] as far as Xunan. They devastated the plains, but left untouched the fortified cities, except for Kasp [the proper form is Kaspi - G.K.]... and went through the pass of Daruband because its inhabitants gave them passage. Then they returned victorious to Ossetia" (I, 145-146).[114]

Movses informs us too, that Shah "Shapuh son of Ormizd, established greater friendship toward our (Armenian - G.K.) King Tiran, even supporting and assisting him: he saved him from an attack of the northern nations who, having united, penetrated the pass of Chor and encamped on the borders of Albania for four years" (III, 12).[115]

As to an information by Movses about much earlier times when Arshak, the son of Valarshak, ruled over Armenia, "there was a great tumult in the zone of the great Caucasus Mountain in the country of the Bulgars. Many of them split off and came to our land and settled for a long time below of Kol (South-West Georgian province - Kola, the modern Turkish Göle, west of Kars - G.K.) in the fertile regions rich in wheat" (II, 9).[116]

It seems that the Bun-Turks of the Georgian annals and the Bulgars of the Armenian annal were one and the same tribe of northern origin. Their identification with each other becomes more plausible if we take into account the story about the "barbarous foreign race" in the text of Movses Xorenac'i preceding the passage dedicated to the Bulgars and whose characterization resembles some traits of the Bun-Turks and the territory of their inhabitation - Central Transcaucasia. By this information, Valarshak, father of aforementioned Arshak, 200 "summoned there (below of Kol, cf. II, 9 - G.K.) the barbarous foreign race that inhabited the northern plain and the foothills of the great Caucasus Mountain and the vales or long and deep valleys that descend from the mountain on the south to the great plain. He ordered them to cast off their banditry and of assassinations and to become subject to royal commands and taxes..." (II, 6).[117] It is obvious that Movses meant the same Bulgars in this connection. In the above paragraph[118] Movses Xorenac'i considers the upper Basiani (the territory between the upper flows of the Araxes and the Kura) as a colony of Vlendur Bulgar Vund who dwelt in the area which was called after his name Vanand (the district around Kars).

As we have seen, Movses refers several times to the barbarous races north of the Caucasus. It seems to be clear that in another aforementioned fragment of Movses' text concerning the fact of the entrusting the government of the northern mountains by the Armenian king to the ruler of Iberians, Mithridates,[119] we have an indication of one of the functions of the Iberian state, namely to defend the passes through these northern mountains (i.e. the Caucasus) from the penetration of northern barbaric tribes.

For the advanced societies of the Near East the fear of the invasion of northern tribes, "sinful tribes of Gog and Magog", from the Central Eurasia, at the time of the gradual increase of their activity, mainly that of the Hunns, became more and more dangerous. The Huns, as to Ammianus Marcellinus, "burn with an infinite thrist for gold".[120] By the characterization of the emperor of Byzans, Constantine II Porphyrogenetus, "all the tribes of the North have as it were implanted in them by nature, a ravening greed for money, never satiated, and so they demand everything and hanker after everything and have desires that know no limit or circumscription". Already in the third century B.C. a Chinese chronicle records that "the Barbarians of the West and of the North are ravenous wolves who cannot be satiated".

In his book, A History of the Georgian People, published 68 years ago and which as a epigraph has the phrase from the Decline of the West of Oswald Spengler, namely that "poetry and historical study are akin", W. E. D. Allen underlines the big difference between the areas north and south of the Caucasian mountains.[121] We can sum up that Georgia and Caucasia in general, localized to the contact zone of the two Worlds, distinguished by D. Sinor as Central Eurasia (the 201 same as Inner Asia) and as its periphery, were situated in the area exposed to the influences of A. Toynbee's second type of stimulus created by human environment - the stimulus of continuous external prressure. Such a position of the Caucasus was already noticed by Pliny, namely that the Caucasian Gate divides the world in two parts (see above). As to his information, the Caucasian Gate, together with the fortress of Kumania (to be identified with the Georgian fortress of Kumli), closed the entrance for the innumerable tribes living north from the Caucasus.[122]

At the time of the fall of the Roman empire Alexander the Great's name as a fighter against the northern nomadic tribes, as it was already underlined, became most glorious. He, the supressor of the barbarians, was, like the Egyptian sphinx, an effective remedy to terrify savage tribes, and a long time after his death, when the civilized world was threatened by their invasion, the old legend about the Iron Gate arranged by him against barbarians, was revived. It is quite logical that the Bun-Turks whom he met by the information of Georgian annals in K'art'li, are identical with the nomad, barbarous population broken into Iberia from the north through the Caucasian Pass, where the Iron Gate was established.

It deserves to be mentioned that by the information of Pliny the timber logs of the Caucasian Gate were covered by iron sheets.[123]

The so-called Caspian Gate was mainly characterized by the name of the Iron Gate, though it is well known that at different times this last name was given to various passes near the Caspian Sea. If by the name of Caspian Gate at first the ravine of Sidara (Firus-Kukh), localized to Western Iran, was known,[124] it already designated the Dariali Pass (the same as Caucasian Gate) in the first century A.D.; later this name was given to the Derbend Pass, on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. But we must take into account the fact, that the Derbend Gate could not be so 202 effective before the fifth century A.D. because of the earlier much higher sea level of the Caspian Sea (e.g. in the first century B.C.)[125] - the reason which seems to have determined the use of the term Caspian Gate in the meaning of the Dariali Pass. The Life of the Kings attributes to Ardam, the legendary Persian military leader of the pre-Alexander epoch, the fortification of the Derbend Gate: "This erist'avi Ardam built a city at the Pass of the Sea and he named it Daruband, which means 'he shut the gate' " (I, 13).[126] The Derbend Gate (the Arabian Bab-al-Abwab, "Gate of Gates"), designed to block the coastal pass to northern nomadic invaders, does not appear to have been founded prior to the sixth century when it was constructed by the Persian king Khosro Anushirvan (531-579). It seems that at that time the Caspian waters, once higher, gave way to a littoral pass, and a coastal fortification became necessary.[127] Tacitus gives the indication of the situation of earlier times. In the connection with the events of A.D. 32-37, he remarks in his Annals written in 109, that the pass along the west coast of the Caspian Sea, between the sea and mountains on the Albanian frontier, was not very appropriate because it was only in winter open when the south wind rolled the waves back and the sea was driven back exposing the shallows along the coast.[128]

However, the Iberian state suceeded not only in defending the Caucasian Gate but also in using this "Gate" for its own strategical aims: in case of necessity to mass the additional military forces from the north against Georgia's southern enemies. Already in connection with the Persian counter-offensive of legendary Ardam against the Khazars, The Life of the Kings reports about the collaboration of the North Caucasians (Ossetians) with the Georgians against the Persians: "They [the Georgians - G.K.] came to terms with the Ossetes. The Ossetes came down and found the erist'avi of the Persians outside on the plain. He insulted them, and they killed him. Whatever Persians they found, the Ossetes and Georgians slew them all. So the Georgians were liberated. But Ran and Heret'i were subject to the Persians" (I, 13-14).[129] As far as the Caucasian Gate has been in Iberian hands, the above information by Movses Xorenac'i, that the Armenian king "entrusted" the control of these mountains to the descendant of Alexander's Iberian protegée,[130] becomes understandable.

Pliny makes a very important remark, namely, that opposite the Caucasian gates the Iberian city Harmastus (the same as the old capital of Eastern Georgia, Kartli - Armazi) was situated.[131] This fact indicates that the function of Harmastus 203 was to bar the route for innumerable tribes from the North coming down along the Tergi (Terek) and Aragvi ravines from the Caucasian Gate or Dariali. It is interesting to notice that in the opinion of W. E. D. Allen, the next capital of Iberia, Mtzkheta, has replaced Armazi as a capital in the first century A.D. because of its greater strategic convenience during the war with the Alans.[132] It seems that the name of one of the fortresses of Mtzkheta which was a part of a general fortification system of the capital and barred its northern entrance - Beltis-tsikhe ("fortress of Belti") is based on the Aramean, or related to it, a word with the meaning of "fortress" - "birta".[133] In the opinion of Georgian archaeologists, already in the ruins of the citadel of Armazi Near Eastern (Urartian-Achamenian) architectural traditions are detactable.[134] Tbilisi (Tiflis), the capital of Eastern Georgia from the fifth century A.D., closing the ravine of Kura in the narrowest place of its middle flow, was in charge to control the route leading to the south-east, and therefore it was of principal importance for the Southeastern Transcaucasia and Iran.

The strategic importance of the central part of Iberia - K'art'li - is underlined in connection with the story of the Georgian's attempt to gain the support of the Persian king of the late third century: "...the Persian king asked about the city of Mc'xet'a, and they [the Georgians - G.K.] described its size and strength and its proximity to the Xazars and Ossetes...[135] This well pleased the Persian king and he accepted the Georgians' request, since he himself decided it was best to appoint his own son as king of Mc'xet'a [king Mirian - G.K.]. For of all the cities of Armenia and of K'art'li, of Ran and its surrounding territory, he deemed it the best and the strongest and closest to his northern enemies; from there he could wage war on them and control all the Caucasians. He carried out all that the Georgians asked, and gave in oath and promise for everything" (I, 63-64).[136]

The importance of the Caucasian passes were crucial for the Arabs, too. Their aspiration to gain the control over these passes are depicted in Georgian annals. The Life of King Vaxtang Gorgasali informs us about the destruction of the cities and the subjection of nearly the whole the Caucasus including both main Gates through the Great Caucasian Ridge: "All the mt'avaris, pitiaxses, and the relatives of the erist'avis and nobles took refuge in the Caucasus and hid in the forests and caves. Qru came to all the Caucasus; he seized the Passes of Dariel and of Daruband, and destroyed all the cities and innumerable fortresses in every region of K'art'li" (I, 234).[137] 204

Much more complicated is the information of The Book of K'art'li narrating about the unordinary measures of the Arab military leader in connection with the northern enemies of the Arabs: "He [Turk Bugha, the Arab military leader - >G.K.] opened the Pass of Daruband, and brought through 300 Xazar households. These he settled at Šank'or. From Darialan he brought through about one hundred Ossete households, and these he settled at Dmanisi. In the summer he wished to attack Ossetia. But when the amir-mumin became aware that he was negotiating with the Xazars, his clansmen, he sent word to Bugha that he should leave K'art'li to Humed, son of Xalil" (I, 256-257).[138]

It appears that measures taken by Turk Bugha, of Turkish origin, to settle „his clansmen“ in Transcaucasia cause the suspicion of the Arab leadership. This attempt of Turk Bugha seems to have been stipulated by the nessecity to weaken the ability of the native Transcaucasian population to mass the northern tribes and to direct them against the southern intruders. Already Tacitus noticed that Iberians were „masters of the various positions“ and could suddenly „pour“ the mercenaries from across the Caucasus against their southern enemies.[139]

* * *

Regardless of the fact that we haven't any proof of the invasion of Central Transcaucasia by the Macedonians, the considerable interest of the Hellenistic states of the Near East in Iberia seems to have been doubtless. For the rulers of the states of the Eastern Mediterranean-Near Eastern area in all periods because of the necessity of the effective control of the Caucasian Gate which blocked up the way of the nomads, the availability in the Central Transcaucasia, in Iberia, of the political organisation with the sufficient strength to fullfill such a function - to be able to control the main pass through the Caucasus was desirable.

4 The Iberian Kingdom and Orbis Terarrum

Although Georgian and Armenian chronicles attribute the foundation of the Iberian kingdom to the apocryphal invasion of Alexander the Great, two moments are not quite understandable in the text of The Life of the Kings from the point of view of the above discussed identification of the p'rotat'oseans with the Greek military corps of Alexander's time.[140]

Firstly, it is not at all understandable that Azon's troops are designated as Roman soldiers. For the author of The Life of the Kings as well as for the whole Georgian literature of the Early Middle Age, the distinction between the Romans (Hromi) and Greeks (Berdzeni) is very well known. In this connection the text of an Armenian translation of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ is of a certain interest: 205 "Over the country he [Alexander - G.K.] appointed as patrician, which is "elder" Macedonian called Azon, and gave him 100,000 soldiers, who were the guard, very brave and strong fighters. They were seriously oppresing the Greeks in their own country, therefore he removed them from there and handed them over to Azon" (20).[141]

It seems that the Armenian translator, feeling the logical discrepancy of the Georgian text by which the Roman troops of an unimaginable quantity (100,000 soldiers) were included in Alexander's army, identifed them with the Greeks; there is no one word about their belonging to the Romans, though the Armenian text knows the designation "Romans". At the same time the word „p'rotat'oselni“ is translated into Armenian as „p'rotitosik“ = "guard". In the opinion of R. W. Thompson, the word cannot derive from Greek πρότακτος as suggested by A. Tiroyean, the editor of the 1884 (Venice) edition of the Armenian text, since p' renders φ, and not π (as in patrik, see above).[142] H. Acharean connects this word with Greek φρούρα (with the meaning, "guard") or with a word derived from it: φρούρητός, which would give in Armenian p'rotitosik because of the similarity of Armenian letters ւ, ր on the one hand, and տ on the other, and conjectures the correction of „p'rotitosik“ (փրոտիտոսիկ) to „p'roiritosik“ (փրուրիտոսիկ), but it does not explain the term „p'rotat'oselni“ (ფროტათოსელნი) used in the original Georgian text.[143]

Secondly, the term πρότασσω or πρόταττω with its meaning, indicating its defensive character (see above), hardly corresponds to the political situation of Alexander the Great's time as well as to the time of his immediate successors, and is even more in accordance with the period of the Roman empire. As it is known, Central Transcaucasia had a central part of the Roman's defensive designs concerning their eastern provinces.

After the death of Mithridates VI Eupator and the capitulation of the king of Armenia, Tigranes II, - both events took place in 66 B.C. - the Romans strove for the widening of their influence in Transcaucasia. This region had an exceptionally great strategic importance as a defensive barrier against the penetration of the northern nomadic tribes. The key importance of the location of the Caucasus, except the above mentioned words of Pliny that the Caucasian Gate divides the world in two parts,[144] was vividly stated by Strabo, namely that Iberia was situated on the route running from the north and naturally blocked it. As to him, "from the country of the nomads on the north there is a difficult ascent into Iberia requiring three days' travel; and after this ascent comes a narrow valley on the Aragus River, with a single file road requiring a four days' journey. The end of the road is guarded by a fortress which is hard to capture... before the two rivers meet, they have on their banks fortified cities that are situated upon rocks, these being about sixteen stadia distant from each other - I mean Harmozice on the Cyrus and Seusamora on the other river" (XI, 3, 5).145] 206 Also by the words of Dio the fortress (Acropolis, citadel of Armaz) had been built in order to guard the pass at the narrowest point where the Cyrus flows on the one side and the Caucasus is situated on the other one.[146]

At the same time, Transcaucasia connected trade routes with the Northern Pontic area on the one hand, and with Central Asia, India and China on the other hand. Already a member of the Pompey the Great's (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, 106-48 B.C.) first Transcaucasian expedition (65 B.C.), Marcus Varro (116-27 B.C.), informed as to Pliny that at the time of this expedition a trade route coming from India and passing Bactria along the rivers Bactrus and Oxus to the Caspian Sea and afterwards upstream of the Kyrus (the Kura) to Phasis on the Pontus (the Black Sea)[147] had been fixed. Pompey's expedition repeated the old transit trading route leading from the Black Sea littoral to the Caspian - a circumstance which is indicative of the interest of the Romans in this route.[148] As we know from Plutarch, Pompey was eager to advance with his forces upon the Caspian Sea but was forced to retreat at a distance of three days' march from it because of the number of venomous serpents.[149] The urgent need to find new routes leading to the east is generally explained by the unparalleled strengthening of the contemporaneous Parthian state which blocked the earlier existing ways from the Mediterranean to India and Far East for the Romans.[150]

The strategical importance of Iberia, located in the central part of Transcaucasia, can be deduced from the fact that Pompey set off from Armenia, at first conquered Iberia, afterwards Colchis, situated to the west of it, and only then Albania, the eastern neighbour of Iberia, but this time passing Armenia.[151] It seems that campaigns to the western and eastern parts of Transcaucasia without a subjection of Central Transcaucasia which naturally controlled the most important pass through the Caucasus, the Caucasian Gate, were not quite save. Dio remarks that Pompey was compelled to fight first with the Iberians, quite contrary to his earlier purpose.[152]

After the King of Iberia, Artag, and the chief of the Albanian tribes, Orois, had been defeated in Pompey's campaign, they were declared by the Romans as their "friends and allies";[153] but this "friendship" did not last a long time. Already in 36 B.C., at the time of Marcus Antonius' (83-30 B.C.) Parthian expedition, Roman troops with Canidius (Publius Canidius Crassus) were sent against the Iberians[154] 207 and Albanians.[155] The victory over the Iberian king Pharnabaz (Pharnavaz II) and the Albanian king Zober and their attraction to the unity and "friendship" with Romans encouraged Antonius.[156] The reason for this encouragement was probably the role of the mountain passes through the Caucasus which were controlled by both these kingdoms and due to which it was possible to use the nomadic tribes from beyond the Caucasus for the Roman interests, against the Parthians.[157] Tacitus is right stating that the Iberians dominated many passes and could successfully convey the northerners across the Caucasus to the south by the Caspian route to use them according to the political aims of Iberia (see above p. 204).

The folllowing hundred years was the time of the strengthening of the Iberian kingdom. The Iberians succeeded not only in expelling the Parthians from Armenia but also in replacing them with the support of the Romans and the warlike nomad forces which they (Iberians) took from the north via the Dariali pass. Under Tiberius (14-37), the Romans, using effective diplomacy, induced Iberia and Albania to attack Parthia with the participation of Sarmatians but without an active support by the Roman army. Pharasmanes I of Iberia captured the capital of Armenia, Artaxata, and installed his brother, Mithridates, on the Armenian throne (35-52); from this throne Mithridates was afterwards overthrown by his nephew and Pharasmanes’ son Radamistus (Tac. Ann. VI, 31-6; XI, 8-9; XII, 44-51; XIII, 5-6, 37; XIV, 26; Plin., n. h. XV, 83; Dio LVIII, 26, 3; LX, 8; Jos., Ant., 18, 97).[158]

At the end of his reign (in 66-67) Nero (54-68) initiated a grandiose plan for a new Caucasian expedition.[159] It is not excluded that, at this time, it was intended to cross the Caucasus (the Dariali pass).[160] As to Tacitus’ information, there were also many detachments from Germany, Britain, and Illyria summoned and sent on by Nero to the Caspian passes, in the expedition which he was preparing against the Albanians („quos idem Nero electos praemissosque ad claustra Caspiarum et bellum quod in Albanos parabat“) (Hist. 1,6,2).[161] We can not exclude that Albania, at that time, was under the control of the Alans; different from Iberia Albania did not assist Romans in 208 the course of their recent campaigns.[162] In such a case, Th. Mommsen’s conjecture of the Albanians of the above fragment of Tacitus to the Alans would have only the factual indication of the real state of affairs.[163] In Tacitus’ information, citing the words of the Iberian king, Pharasmanes I, there was a war among Iberia and Albania in the middle of the first century A.D.[164] Pharasmanes, who showed himself as a skillfull diplomat, seems ultimately to have succeeded in the deterioration of the Roman-Albanian relations, forcing the latters to change their pro-Roman orientation because of his aggressive policy towards them.

If we would also take into account the fact that relations of Rome with Parthia simultaneously improved as never before, then an explanation of the expectation of a threat coming from the north for the eastern regions of the empire in the nearest future and, correspondingly, Nero's preventing measures would be most plausible. Whatever may have been the nature of the projects conceived and then abandoned by Nero, they would have more likely involved an action together with Parthia than against it - the common interest in the preservation of peace was now cemented by a common danger coming from beyond the Caucasus.[165] Already Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, 39-65) mentioned Alans in connection with the Caspian Gate:

"And you, ye Parthians, if when I sought
The Caspian gates, and on th' Alaunian tribes
Fierce, ever-warring, pressed, I suffered you
In Persian tracts to wander, nor compelled
To seek for shelter Babylonian walls"
(The Civil War, VIII, 222-225).[166] 209

The Alans, striving for the lands south of the Caucasian Mountains, posed a grave threat to the stability in Transcaucasia, and the Roman military strategy demanded the participation in the defence of this area.[167] The danger of the intrusion of the northerners seems to have been actuall enough; Flavius Josephus (37 - after 93), concerning the events which took place immediately after Nero, informs us that: "a nation of the Alans, which... where as being Scythians and inhabiting at the lake Meotis... laid a design of falling upon Media, and the parts beyond it, in order to plunder them; with which intention they treated with the king of Hyrcania; for he was master of that passage which king Alexander shut up with iron gates. This king [of Hyrcania - G.K.] gave them leave to come through them; so they came in great multitudes, and fell upon the Medes unexpectedly, and plundered their country... and... nobody durst make any resistance against them... These Alans therefore plundered the country without opposition, and with great ease, and proceeded as far as Armenia, laying all waste before them. Now Tiridates was king of that country, who met them, and fought them, but had like to have been taken alive in the battle; for a certain man threw a net over him from a great distance, and had soon drawn him to him, unless he had immediately cut the cord with his sword, and ran away, and prevented it. So the Alans, being still more provoked by this sight, laid waste the country, and drove a great multitude of the men, and a great quantity of the other prey they had gotten out of both kingdoms, along with them, and then retreated back to their own country" (The Jewish War, 7, 7, 4).[168]

This information is connected with the report of Cassius Dio, namely that Vologaeses, the king of Parthia, intensively sought the cooperation of Vespasian (69-79), the successor of Nero, against the Alans, though without success.[169] The enhancement of the Cappadocian province by two legions and a governor of the rank of a consular at the time of Vespasian because of the constant offensives by barbarians[170] is usually ascribed to these events.

But there are also some facts reflecting a more complicated picture of this period: the armed confrontation between Romans and Parthians.[171] It seems that the relations between Rome and Parthia drastically changed under Vespasian, who, 210 in contrast to Nero,[172] was not eager to have common defensive projects with the Parthians and prefered to have plans not only independent of them, but even predeterminated by the need to overcome the traditional, though not always quite evident, Parthian opposition in the east. Everything was done by Romans to create a solid barrier to eastern enemies and to encourage a pro-Roman orientation of Iberia and Albania.[173]

At the same time, the concentration of the Roman forces on the eastern frontier and even outside of their genuine outlines, must be explained not only by the need to defend eastern provinces, but also in the context of their main political task to have an advantage as to the intensity of the pressure on the Caucasus - on the area which had a key-importance because of immense military resources beyond of it, potentially ready for the involvement. These forces could anytime threaten the geopolitical status quo in the Near Eastern - Eastern Mediterranean area. The control of the Caucasian passes would have given the most favourable opportunity for the foundation of Pax Romana in the Near East. In the view of N. Debevoise, the fact that almost every Roman campaign in Mesopotamia began with an expedition into Armenia disproves the belief that Roman interest in Caucasia was not military, but commercial.[174] I am of the opinion that the main task of the Romans in Transcaucasia was not only to block the penetration of the northern barbarians via the Caucasus, but also to have a possibility to direct them according their own strategical interests. Even only the existence of such a threat was an important weapon in the Roman hands against their eastern adversaries.

The manipultion of such hardly manageable forces as the northern nomads was an extremely difficult and dangerous task and required the involvement of the Roman military detachments in the area. The army units were needed in Cappadocia as well as the garrisons in Transcaucasian sites as a guarantee of the realisation of the Roman designs. The availability of the allied regional power would be of a certain significance. From this view-point the attraction of the Iberians has a paramount implication. The Iberians, having the supremacy over the Caucasian Gate, had at the same time traditionally strong ties with Alano-Sarmatian nomadic tribes - a favourable circumstance for both sides and which was maintained throughout the whole Medieval epoch with a certain success.

A.D. 77, the date of the displacement of the Roman legion, Legio XVI Flavia Firma, from Syria to Satala, Armenia Minor,[175] and its unification with Legio XII Fulminata in the M. Hirrius Fronto's expedition corps is considered as an indication 211 of the date of the invasion of Alans, and, at the same time, of the Roman counter-offensive. This date finds a confirmation and can be even fixed more precisely by the time when the Romans helped the Iberians to fortify Harmosike (in Georgian - Armazc'ixe)[176] which was afforded in 75, independently of the fact whether it took place as a precaution against attacks of enemies or only as a consequence of their attacks.[177] As to H. Halfmann, this fact means that in 75 Roman troops and engineers were already in Iberia and that therefore Fronto's expedition should have begun before this date.[178] The information about the activity of the Romans in Iberia was taken from a Greek inscription found in the vicinity of Mc'xet'a, the capital of Iberia: "Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus..., Imperator Titus Caesar, son of Augustus..., and Domitianus Caesar, son of Augustus..., strengthened walls for Mithridates, king of Iberians..."[179] It is interesting that Vespasian is known in The Life of the Kings, though in connection with his campaign to Jerusalem: "During their [the kings of Iberia, Bartom and K'art'am - G.K.] reign Vespasian, the emperor of the Romans, captured Jerusalem. From there refugee Jews came to Mc'xet'a and settled with the old Jews. Among them were the sons of Barabbas, whom the Jews had released at the crucification of the Lord in place of our Lord Jesus" (I, 44).[180]

The fact that the stone inscription was found 7 km south from Mc’xet’a and not in the neighbourhood of the Dariali pass must of course by no means exclude the possibility that the defensive constructions were built against Alans, as it was by M. Heil suggested.[181] As to A. Bosworth, the diplomatic language of the inscription must not obscure the fact that Roman military troops were stationed in Iberia and that Nero's plans which were frustrated by the outbreak of a revolt in the west, have been adopted and largely fulfilled by Flavian emperors. In his opinion, Roman troops in 212 Iberia, represented by legionaries from XII Fulminata or XVI Flavia, were under the control of the legate of Cappadocia.[182] At the same time, an inscription of Marcus Hirrius Fronto Neratius Pansa found at Saepinum (Sepino in Terravecchia), informs us about his post as „leg(atus) pr(o) pr(aetore) [imp(eratoris) Caesaris Vespasiani Aug(usti) exercit]us qui in A[---]“. As we have here the expression: "exercitus qui in... est" and not the formula usually used: "exercitus qui est in...", M. Torelli assumed that, in this case, it has no connection with the normal commanders of exercitus on the frontiers. In his opinion, Hirrius Fronto's post, taking into account the approximate date of the inscription (A.D. 75) - the time of the incursion of the Alani into Parthia and the erection of a defensive wall for the Iberian king - as well as Fronto's particular experience of political and military affairs in the East, must be interpreted as that of a commander of an eastern expedition, and the text could be completed by the following form: „leg(atus) pr(o) pr(aetore) [imp(eratoris) Caesaris Vespasiani Aug(usti) exercit]us qui in A[rmeniam Maiorem or in A[lanos or in A[lbanos missus est---]“.[183]

Two kings of K'art'li, ruling simultaneously, Azorki in Armazi and Armazeli in Mc'xet'a, are placed by the Georgian annals at the time approximately contemporary to Mithridates of the inscription. Therefore scholars think that it was Mithridates II of Iberia who was mentioned by both these names, Azorki and Armazeli. As to G. Melikishvili, it is possible that some Iberian kings have had two names, one for a local use and a second, Mithridates, which represented the dynastic name of the Iberian kings and had been known already from The History of Armenians of Movses Xorenac'i, was used only in the outside world.[184] Armazeli in Georgian means "of Armazi", and it seems possible that it was not at all the name of a king, but a territorial epithet applied to the name Azorki who, as to the text, ruled in Armazi. The name Azorki, on its part, is undoubtedly related with the name of the first Iberian king, Azo, who (alike Azorki?) is also known, from The History of Armenians, as Mihrdat/Mithridates.[185] In the view of Toumanoff, this polyonomy must have caused the anonymous author of the source of Leonti Mroveli to split one king into two, connected, at first, with a brief division of the country between two kings, one a Roman and the other one an Iranian vassal in the years 370-378, and, secondly, by the existence of the institution of the vitaxa of Iberia in the mid-first - mid-second century.[186] The Life of the King dates this division to the first century A.D.: "In the first year of his [Aderki, king of Iberia - G.K.] reign was born 213 our Lord Jesus Christ in Bethlehem of Judaea" (I, 35)[187] and even gives us a concrete indication about the territory of both Iberian kingdoms: "Now Aderki had two sons who were called, one Bartom and the other K'art'am. Between them he divided all his territory. The city of Mc'xet'a and the land on the Mtkuari, Inner K'art'li, the land by Muxnar and all K'art'li north of the Mtkuari, from Heret'i as far as the entrance to K'art'li and Egrisi, all this he gave to his son Bartom; whereas the land by Armazi, K'art'li south of the Mtkuari, from Xunan as far as the head of the Mtkuari, and all Klarjet'i, he gave to his son K'art'am. Then Aderki died" (I, 43).[188]

By the data of The Life of the King, Bartom and K'art'am have been grandfathers of Armazeli and Azorki.

Flavius Josephus' information about the invasion of the Alans in Armenia has, at the same time, a corroboration in „K’art’lis C’xovreba“'s story about Azorki and Armazeli: "These kings [Azorki and Armazeli - G.K.] were courageous and decisive men. They conspired together and planned to recover the borders of K'art'li... [they] summoned the Ossetes and Leks. The kings of the Ossetes, two gigantic brothers called Bazuk and Abazuk, came forth with the army of Ossetia. They brought with them Pacaniks and Jik's. The king of the Leks came forth, bringing Durjuks and Didos. The kings of Georgia gathered their troops; and this entire numberless host assembled. Skilfully and secretly they joined forces. Before the Armenian troops had gathered, they invaded Armenia unexpectedly, and plundered Sirakuan and Vanand as far as Bagrevand and Basian. They turned and ravaged the Plain as far as Naxcevan. They took numberless captives and plunder; and filled with all this wealth they went off by the road of P'arisos... all these Northerners had crossed the Mtkuari and reached Kambec'oan. They were camped on the Iori and were dividing the prisoners and booty" (I, 45-46).[189] 214

As to the camping-place on the river Iori, cf. Priscus of Panium[190] and John Lydus[191] mentioning together with the Caspian Gates the fortress of Iouroeipaach or Biraparach, which can be possibly located on the lower flow of the Iori in Udabno where recently a big fortificated complex dated from the Late Bronze Age till the Early Medieval times was detected. The above-mentioned Abazuk of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ (in Armenian translation - Anbazuk), one of the two brother-kings of Ossetes, seems to be the same as Ambazoukes of The History of Wars of Procopius of Caesarea (c. 500-562+). Ambazoukes, a friend of the Romans and of the emperor Anastasius I (c. 430-518), though a Hun by blood, wanted to give the stronghold at the Caspian Gate which he owned to the Romans[192] before the war with Persia began in 502. The "division" in two of his name in „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, Bazuk and Abazuk, was caused probably by the association with biblical Gog and Magog.

This story of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ about the joint Iberian - North Caucasian campaign in Armenia presumably dated in the second half of the first century A.D. is also by Movses Xorenac'i vividly described in The History of Armenians, though he considers only half of Georgia as allies of the Alans (cf. above, about the partition of the Iberian kingdom in two parts p. 212): "At that time Alans, having united with all the mountain peoples and having brought over to their side also half the land of Georgia, spread out over our land in a great host. Artashes also gathered the mass of his troops, and there was war between these two valiant nations skilled in archery. The nation of the Alans gave a little ground, passed over the great river Kura, and encamped on the northern bank of the river. Artashes came up and encamped to the south, and the river divided them" (II, 50).[193] The following parts of the same story bear undoubtedly the marks of the folklore creativity.

In the opinion of specialists of Caucasian history, these data of the Georgian and Armenian chronicles are comparable with the above information of Flavius Josephus, and thus they use them as a proof of the Caucasian route of the invasion through the Dariali Pass.[194] It must be noticed that Flavius Josephus is known in The History of David, King of Kings, of the first part of the twelfth century, under the name of Hebrew Josephus: 215 "When I come to begin my story, I consider worthy of lamentation those narrators, I mean the Hellenes Homer and Aristobulus, and also the Hebrew Josephus. The first of these composed the accounts of the Trojans and of Achilles - how Agamemnon and Priam, or Achilles and Hector, or again Odysseus and Orestes fought, and who defeated whom. The second described the victories of Alexander, his valiant exploits and triumphs. While the third put in writing the affliction wrought on his fellow-countrymen by Vespasian and Titus" (I, 342).[195]

Movses Xorenac'i has retained the version of the story of Flavius Josephus given in the Josephus’ following fragment about the rescue of the Armenian king, Tiridates, from the Alanian captivity: "Now Tiridates was king of that country, who met them, and fought them, but had like to have been taken alive in the battle; for a certain man threw a net over him from a great distance, and had soon drawn him to him, unless he had immediately cut the cord with his sword, and ran away, and prevented it. So the Alans, being still more provoked by this sight, laid waste the country, and drove a great multitude of the men, and a great quantity of the other prey... along with them, and then retreated back to their own country".[196] Though, in The History of Armenians this narrative about king Tiridates (Trdat) is connected with the invasion of another northern people, the people of Basilk's, and, at the same time, the final result of the fight is described in a quite different way as if the author, having before him Josephus’ text, would have changed it with intention: "King Trdat with all the Armenian descended into the plain of Gargar and met the northern [people] in battle... the king of the Basilk approached the king [Trdat - G.KK.]. Drawing from his horse's armor a strap of sinew wound around with leather and forcefully throwing it from behind, he skillfully caught him on the left shoulder and the right armpit, for he [Trdat] had raised his arm to strike someone with his sword; he was, however, wearing chain armor, which arrows could not pierce. And because he was unable to dislodge the giant [Trdat] with his hand, he grasped his horse's chest. The giant was quick, not so much to spur his horse as to grasp the sinew in his left hand and draw it to himself with a violent pull. He agilely wielded his two-edged sword and cut his opponent through the middle, also splitting the head and reins of his horse. The whole army, seeing their king and general cut in half by such a fearsome arm, turned in flight. Trdat, in pursuit, chased them as far as the land of the Huns" (II, 85).[197] 216

„K’art’lis C’xovreba“ also mentions the fact of the strengthening of the castles at the time of Azork and Armazeli, but only after the defeat of the northern coalition by the Armenians: "Both Georgian kings wounded, took refuge in Mc'xet'a. Then Sumbat [the leader of the Armenians - G.K.] victoriously entered K'art'li. He ravaged K'art'li, whatever he found outside the castles and cities. But he did not attack the fortified cities because he was not prepared, owing to the suddenness of his invasion... Now these kings of Georgia, Arzok and Armazel, in the hardness of their hearts were not afraid, but fortified their castles and cities..." (I, 47).[198]

At the same time we are not quite sure if the fortification of the walls of Armazc'ixe by Vespasian was intended exclusively against the Alans. As it is known, the stone with Vespasian's inscription has been found near the railway bridge close to the Hydroelectrical station on the right side of the Kura,[199] the best place to close the entrance of Armazc'ixe from the south-south-east direction.[200] It must be also taken into account that in one of the Aramaic inscriptions of the Armasc'ixe necropolis of the time of Mithridates (an ally of Vespasian), the victories of an Iberian vitaxa's, Šaragas', in Armenia are mentioned;[201] As to C. Toumanoff, Mithridates attempted at least to continue his father's, uncle's, and brother's Armenian policy.[202] N. Debevoise underlines, that while these precautions (the strengthening of the castles by the Romans in Iberia) were ostensibly for the purpose of curbing Alani, they might also have been directed against the Parthians; as it is known, in 76 M. Ulpius Trajan, the father of the future emperor, received triumphal insignia for some diplomatic victory over the Parthian king, Vologaeses I.[203]

The presence of the Roman troops in central and eastern parts of Transcaucasia was not, as it seemed, a short-termed event (not to speak about its western part which was nearly constantly under their authority). In the poem Silvae of Statius (45-96), composed in 95,[204] the Caspian Gate is represented as the natural sphere of operations of the Cappadocian army.[205] An additional evidence of the late Flavian's presense in Transcaucasia is given by another inscription, found in Gobustan, south-west of Baku and two miles from the Caspian, between the Great Caucasian 217 Range and the Caspian Sea: "Imp(eratore) Domitiano Caesare Aug(usto) Germanic(o) L(ucius) Iulius Maximus (centurio) leg(ionis) XII Ful(minatae)". It was cut on a rock of Beyük Dash ("Big Stone") and must be dated after 84, as the title Germanicus of the emperor indicates.[206] Already half a century ago, L. Elnitskij proposed that L. Iulius Maximus of the detachment of XII legio belonged to the Roman garrison of Absarus, Phasis or Harmosike.[207] Though in Iberia the units of Roman armed forces could only stay with the approval of the Iberian authorities, in contrast that of Colchis which was part of the Roman empire. The fact that the Iberian monarchs bear the title of the Great King witnesses the significant potential of the Iberian kingdom. Among other Iberian great kings mentioned in the Greek and Aramaic (of the Armazic type) inscriptions of the graves of the Armazis-c'ixe necropolis, king Mithridates, whom Flavians helped to strengthen fortresses, is called: "King Mithridates, Great King, son of King P'arasmanes, Great King".[208]

XII Fulminata was also mentioned on a stone, now lost, of the left bank of the Araxes at Karjagino.[209] The Greek epitaph found at Büyük Degne apparently belongs to the second century A.D.[210] A strange inscription is depicted under the bas-relief of a rosette on a huge bloc of sandstone which is inserted in the wall of Ninocminda of the church of the sixth century near Sagarejo (40-45 km east of Tbilisi). As it seems, this stone, characterisic of the same region, has been afterwards used once more at the time of the building of the church. This undeciphered inscription, though having some Latin letters, undoubtedly is not Latin. Maybe it was used by Roman soldiers as a secret script.

The existence of the Latin and Greek inscriptions in the territories between the Caspian Sea and Iberia is presumably connected with the aforementioned Roman and Iberian common strategical interests in the controlling of the passes located in this area.The extention of domains of the Iberian king to the east, what was simultaneously the guarantee of the expansion of their political power and the achievement of the superiority over their eastern adversaries, would be of course in the interest of the Roman empire. Therefore the participation of the detachment of Legio XII Fulminata in the campaign of the Iberian king against Albania, an ally of Parthians, seems to be very likely.[211]

A bilingual epitaph of a mid-second century A.D. found in Mc'xet'a in Greek and Aramaic, gives an additional proof about the long-term stay of the Romans or their descendants in Iberia. The Aramaic version which is slightly different from the Greek reads: 218 "I am Serapit, daughter of Zewah the younger, pitiax of Parsman the king, wife of Yodmangan - both victorious and having wrought many victories as chief of the court of Hsepharnug the king - son of Agrippa, chief of the court of Parsman the king."[212]

The Greek text contains the entire form of the name of Serapit's father-in-law: Publicius Agrippa. In the opinion of A. Bosworth, this personality cannot have been an Iberian noble who received the Roman citizenship because grants to distinguished members of client kingdoms would have been conferred by the emperor, and we should expect the recipient to bear an imperial nomen, though his son, Yodmangan, seems to have been already a wholly Iberian.[213]

Only one Roman name, Flavius Dades, depicted on a silver bowl, is attested in the Iberian royal house. It seems that its owner was a native whose ancestors was given the citizenship by a Flavian emperor as a privilege. Though the Flavians have been more active in Iberia than their descendants, a Trajanic date for Dades is considered most improbable. The context of the grave witnesses that it cannot have been deposited earlier than A.D. 251, while the shape and decoration of the bowl suggest that it is very similar to silver bowls of the mid-third century.[214]

The evidence about the interrelations between and Rome under Trajan is represented by the epitaph found in Rome where the brother of the Iberian king, Mithridates, Amasaspus, killed in Nisibis by Parthians (A.D. 115), is mentioned: "The illustrious king's scion, Amazaspus, the brother of King Mithridates, whose native land lies by the Caspian Gates, Iberian, son of Iberian, is buried here by the sacred city which Nicator built around the olive-nurturing stream of Mygdon. He died companion to the Ausonian leader, going for the lord to Parthian battle... "

It was assumed that Amazaspus was at the head of the Iberian forces coming to Nisibis to fight for Trajan.[215] The friendly relations between Rome and Iberia were retained also in the following centuries. Cassius Dio immortalized such an episode dated to the early years of the reign of Antonius Pius (138-161): „When Pharasmanes the Iberian came to Rome with his wife, Antonius increased his domain, allowed him to offer sacrifice on the capital, set up an equestrian statue in the temple of Bellona and viewed an exercise in arms in which this chieftain, his son, and the other prominent Iberians took place“ (LXIX, 15, 3).[216]

All these above facts indicate not only the existence of the close collaboration between the Romans and the Iberians founded on the coincidence of their strategical interests in the Caucasia, but also the real integration of some Romans in the kingdom of Iberia. 219 Iberia was not powerful enough to follow its political aims quite independently, too many interests of different countries were overlapping each other in the central part of Transcaucasia - immediately to the south of the main pass through the Caucasus. In the opinon of C. Toumanoff, the Iberian claim for the Caucasian οίκουμένη and a perdurable Pan-Caucasian cosmocratic tradition of their monarchy, was strengthened by the victory over a neighbouring Armenian cosmocracy when in A. D. 35, Pharasmanes I of Iberia, the ally of Rome, captured the Armenian capital, Artaxata.[217] It seems that from the Roman times the long-termed aspiration of the Georgian kingdom to unify under its sovereignity all existing passes from the Black Sea to the Caspian begins which, at the same time, is expressed by the formula of its territorial integrity: "from Nikopsia till Daruband", i.e. emphasizing especially the northern borderline from c. Tuapse on the Black Sea to Derbend on the Caspian, the defence and/or control of which represented the main function of that Medieval kingdom.

The Roman involvement in Central Transcaucasia was also revealed on a large scale by the archaeological excavations. Quite recently, 1996, during the archaeological excavations in Mtskheta, a pedestal of a quadrangular form (70 cm x 70 cm, h - 32 cm) was found in the territory of Armaztsikhe (Bagineti), in the centre of a temple of the first century A.D. It is made of a monolith stone and has a decoration of a classical style in the form of the „Ionic“ colonnade on the frieze. On its surface the pedestal has hollows in the form of human feet, undoubtedly belonging to a statue. In the opinion of some scholars, the statue belonged to a Roman Emperor (Vespasian, Titus or Domician) and was erected by the contemporary Iberian king who was the ally of Rome and got, together with the name of Flavius, the citizenship of Rome.[218]

All these data give us the possibility to assume that the story about the p'rotadosean followers of Azon, the ruler of Iberia installed by Alexander the Great of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“,[219] must be connected with the Roman times. As it was already above underlined, Azon's troops are designated not as Macedonians, but as Roman soldiers by the text of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“. Only in the middle of the second part of the first century A.D., the necessity of the involvement of Roman troops in Central Transcaucasia to prevent an undesirable offensive from the north, as well as the pretensions of the south-easterns powers to extend their control of the area emerged.

As the word „p'rotadoselni“ of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“[220] cannot be derived from Greek πρότακτος - Georgian p' renders Greek φ, not π ( see above), it would not be less plausible to propose the connection of the word „p'rotado-selni“, which means people of P'rotado,with the name of M. Hirrius Fronto, a presumable commander of an eastern expedition under Vespasian ( see above); at the same time it could be a possible proof that Fronto received such an appointment. It is known that, even if military units had a permanent title, they could still, for convenience 220 or for flattery, be called by the name of their commander.[221] Maybe the term under discussion designating initially the army unit under the command of Hirrius Fronto, was afterwards understood (already before the compilation of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“) as the Greek expression, πρόταττω, with the meaning of "place or post in front" (see above).[222] At the same time, the title of Azon of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ - the commander of the p’rotat’oseans - „patrik“,[223] translated by R. W. Thomson as patrician,[224] is maybe the reflection of Hirrius Fronto’s title adlectio inter patricios, received by him in 73/74,[225] i.e. immediately before his eastern expedition.

If we take into account the traditional opposition of Albanians to Romans and the location of the inscriptions of Beyük Dash and Karjagino (see above) which mentioned Legio XII Fulminata in the former Albanian territory, then the campaign of Hirrius Fronto’s expedition against Albanians, and consequently the completion of the important lacuna in the Saepinum inscription[226] by adding Albanos to the end (exercit]us qui in A[lbanos), would become most plausible.[227]

* * *

From the viewpoint of the Roman - Iberian relations the character of the supreme deity of Iberia, Armazi, who, though obviously of Anatolian provenance, reveales some traits typical of the most important god of the Roman empire - Juppiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus should be taken into account. At the same time, The Life of the Kings considers Armazi as the Persian name of king P'arnavaz: 221 "This same P'arnavaz made a great idol named after himself. This is Armazi, because P'arnavaz was called Armaz in Persian. He erected this idol Armazi at the entrance to K'art'li, and from then on it was called Armazi because of idol. And he celebrated a great feast of dedication for the idol which had been erected" (I, 25).[228]

In the view of C. Toumanoff, this information reflects the fact that P'arnavaz's name is derived from Avest. xarenahvant with the meaning "brilliant", "splendid"[229] or from the epithets attributed to the Hittite version of Tešub and that, in spite of the unquestionably lunar character of Armaz and his connections with the Hittite lunar god - Arma -,[230] by no means it should have been needed to exclude his essential identity with Teshub, because, as it is known, storm, rain and fertility - Tešubs domain - can be easily associated with the lunar religion, while the bull's horns also serve to symbolize the moon.[231]

In the text of The Conversion of K'art'li by Nino, the second part of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, the Iberian idol, Armazi, is described as "...a man of bronze standing; attached to his body was a golden suit of chain-armour, on his head a strong helmet; for eyes he had emeralds and berils, in his hands he held a sabre glittering like lightning, and it turned in his hands... Furthermore, to his right was a man of gold whose name was Gac'i; and to his left a man of silver whose name was Gaim. These the people of K'art'li regarded as gods" (I, 89-90).[232] The same text in the Armenian adaptation is represented in the following way: "..a man attired in a bronze breast-plate and a golden helmet, the two eyes adorned with emeralds and beryl, holding a sword in his hand like a rod of lightning. He moved this, striking terror into the crowd... To his right stood a gold image named Gac', and to his left the silver image called Gayim" (47).[233]

The "rod of lightnings", "swords" and „armours“ („flaky-armours“ or "breast-plates"), together with the Phrygian cap, are attributes of the god of Roman militaries (and not only of them) Iuppiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus who had, like Armazi, his rootes in the god of storm of the Hittite religious pantheon. As soon as Iuppiter Dolichenus, the Syrian god Hadad of Doliche (modern Dülük, north of Gaziantep in south-east Turkey), began to dominate the Roman conquerors when they annexed 222 Syria in 64 B.C., he acquired the name of Roman supreme god - Iuppiter Optimus Maximus - and personified not only Oriental, buttt also Greek imaginations. Iuppiter Dolichenus, was the „preserver of the whole world“, the main supporter of the Roman rule and Roman emperor and, at the same time, the promoter of the Roman power extending it to the East.[234]

Especially interesting is the description of Armazi’s headdress as a „stabile coul or hood“ (ჩაბალახი მყარი) and not as a „strong hamlet“ as translated in English (see above, p. 225[235]). The adjective „stabile“ (მყარი) would be expected in connection with Armazi’s headdress if it represented something like a Phrygian cap because a coul of the Georgian type is in reality a quite „unstabile“ piece of a cloth with a triangulary shaped upper part (like a Phrygian cup) and long sleeves surrounding breast and back. The gold and silver images to the right and left hand of Armazi, Gac'i and Gaym („Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay“ cites Gac’i and Ga), perhaps representations of solar and lunar deities, have parallels in Apollo Citharoedus and Diana Lucifera, deities of the Dolichenian pantheon. It was suggested that Diana was the lunar partner of a solar Apollo and that they had a permanent precise doctrinal position in the theology of Iuppiter Dolichenus.[236] The distinctly portrayed subordinate position of the deities of sun and moon to Iuppiter Dolichenus is to be detected on the bronze slab from Doliche where both these deities are placed beneath the feet of Iuppiter Dolichenus who was surrounded by stars. The frequent representation of other deities together with Iuppiter Dolichenus, not only of Appolo and Diana, but also of Hercules and Minerva, Isis and Serapis, the divine twins, dioscuri - Casstor and Pollux, Juno Dolichena and Asclepius etc. was one of the most peculiar manifestations of the cult of Dolichenus.[237] According to the scholars, Gac'i and Ga (Gaym) correspond to the Anatolian deities Attis and Kibela, while the second god of the Iberian religious hierarchy, Zaden, was nobody else than Šandaš/Šantaš, the Hittite divinity of vegetation and fertility.[238] It seems that the Iberian religious pantheon consisted mainly of the deities of the syncretic nature and that the characteristics of these deities were afterwards enriched by some traits typical of the Roman period. The intensity of the Roman involvement in Central Transcaucasia could put its imprint on locally existing religious cults.

To sum up, we should assume as to the problem of the implication of the information about the first Iberian king, Azo or Mihrdat/Mithridates, of the Georgian and Armenian chronicles, that certain events seem to have really taken place 223 in Central Transcaucasia in the late fourth - early third centuries B.C. which were sommehow connected with the processes which caused the emergence of the statehood in Iberia (Eastern Georgia). The data of „Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay“ and The History of Armenians are genuine witnesses of these events, the initial stimulus of which has been given by Alexander the Great's conquest of the Achaemenid empire and which was connected with the emergence of the Iberian (East Georgian) statehood in post-Alexander's times.

On the other hand, the narrative about the first Iberian king in the story of Azon of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“, the Macedonian conqueror of Iberia, seems to have been mixed with a still unknown source which was dedicated to Roman activities, presumably to those of the Flavian period (A.D. 69-96) in Central Transcaucasia. The control of the Caucasian passes could give the most favourable opportunity of the preservation of Pax Romana in the Near East. The military units in Cappadocia and the garrisons in Transcaucasian sites served as a guarantee for the fulfilment of Roman plans. The Iberians, having the supremacy over the Caucasian Gate, were the most important ally of the Romans in the region. The close collaboration between the Romans and the Iberians, based on their joint strategical interests as parts of one and the same orbis terarrum, required the integration of Roman military contigents in the Iberian society. In my opinion, the information of „K’art’lis C’xovreba“ about the dissolvement of the p'rotodoseans in the Georgian society should be explained exactly by this fact.

The quite obvious tendency of The Life of the Kings,expressed in opposition to the mixing of the Georgians with the Persians, should be considered as an indirect proof of such a possibility. The chronicle preserved the attitude of Georgian aristocracy with regard to the forced invitation of the Persian king's son in his position of a king of Iberia (the future king Mirian) and of the husband of princess Abeshura - the sole representative of the Georgian royal family: "...we shall ask him [the Persian king - G.K.] to preserve the religion of our fathers, and request no mixing of Persians with us, and that our treatment be as nobility..." otherwise "...death is better for us than the sight of such a state of affairs. We would occupy our castles and cities, and perish all together" (I, 63).[239]

It must be also taken into consideration that nearly in whole the text of The Life of the Kings the tendency of the opposition to the Persian monarchy is quite obvious. The origin of such feelings after the capitulation of the Persians to the Arabs in the middle of the seventh century is hardly imaginable. Even in connection with the constant Arian-Turanian struggle the sympathy of the Georgian chronicier is on the side of Turks who already before the time of Alexander arrived in Mc'xet'a searching a refuge after they had been defeated by the Persians. In his words: "The Turks and Georgians joined in a willing alliance. While waiting for the arrival of the Persians, they fortified the castles and cities. At that time whoever came from Greek territory for reason of persecution, or fled from Syria or from Xazaret'i, the Georgians befriended them all for the sake of their help against the Persians" (I, 15).[240] 224

The quite obvious opposition to the eastern political formations and pro-western orientation revealed by the above mentioned Classical written and epigraphical sources and Georgian chronicles was a leitmotiv of the whole history of Georgia, beginning already from pre-christian times, and it was maybe the main reason of the christianization of Iberia in the first half of the fourth century.

5 The Caucasus as a Marchland

Today, after the annihilation of the communistic system and the crucial changes in most of the parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, we must await the re-evaluation of the role and importance of the countries which represented earlier the marches of both, the Western and the Eastern Worlds.

From the point of view of A. Toynbee's theory of marches, the situation observed by D. Sinor deserves attention, namely, that the boundaries of the former Communist countries mainly coincided with the zone of habitation of the nomad tribes of Inner Asia or, more correctly, Central Eurasia, covering the area from the western boundaries of Poland and Finland to the Pacific Ocean and from the Northern Ocean to the Caucasus. This heartland of the huge Eurasian continent - the homeland of the Iranians, Slavs, Uralians and Sino-Tibetians - was mainly based on stock-breeding, while the countries of the so-called free-market economy are located in the Eurasian periphery, in the place of old sedentary civilisations of Europe, of the Middle East and Southeast and East Asia set up on agricultural economy. Of the latter a unique combination of cultural features was characteristic.[241]

But two exceptions are in the aforementioned scheme, Transcaucasia and South China, which, instead of the Central Eurasian heartland, were included in the external boundaries,[242] in spite of their obvious connection with the Central Eurasian Communist World (D. Sinors work was published in 1987, two years before the breakdown of the communistic system). What could be the reason of such a neglect of the state borders of the Soviet Union and China, two of the most important communist countries?

If we recall the words of D. Sinor, that "particularly artificial are distinctions made (between the countries - G.K.) on the basis of, often ephemerical, political arrangements which are given priority in defining an area over more lasting, deeply rooted national or cultural traits",[243] it becomes obvious that the main reason why Transcaucasia was not included in Central Eurasia, but in its periphery, can be revealed in the long history of this region, predetermined by the geographical disposition of Transcaucasia south of the Great Caucasian Ridge.

D. Sinor's assumption coincides with H. Mackinder's old scheme as to which the Pivot Area comprises the territory of the Russian empire and Nortern Iran, 225 excluding the regions of north, west and south of Moscow and Western Caucasia. The latter, together with Europe, the Near East, India and China compile the Inner or Marginal Crescent different from the Outer or Insular Crescent which include America, Africa, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and Russian Far East.[244]

It seems that because of the determining role of one of the world's most important mountaneous chains as the Caucasus was and still is, it would be very difficult to replace Transcaucasia from the external zone (a disposition dictated by the nature itself) to the Central Eurasian heartland, located north of the "Caucasian Chain". Other Central Eurasian boundaries were more unstable and varied from time to time, shifting between its own population and that of the surrounding, sedentary civilisations according to the balance of power. In the opinion of D. Sinor, the Roman province of Pannonia and the Greek territories in Asia Minor and Northern China became for a while "Inner Asia" when they were occupied by the Huns, the Seljuk Turks and the Kitans, Mongols or Manchus respectively.[245] In the conflict between the peoples of both these areas the Central Eurasian population had usually played the role of the aggressor.

D. Sinor supposes that the main case of the conflict was not the rivalry between the nomads and sedentary farmers, but between "haves" and "have nots", the conflict thus being economically motivated: one group trying to improve its living conditions on the expense of the other one; the attacks of outsiders being stopped or repulsed by insiders. The main reason of this conflict was the absence of substantial farming caused by a combination of physical-geographical factors of Central Eurasia, first of all by the climate being too cold and too dry for a thriving agriculture.[246]

The picturesque image of the population of the northern provenance under the name of Qipchaks was retained in the Georgian folk ballad "I Came Across a Qipchak" which can be considered as dating from the twelfth-thirteenth centuries, the only period of the residence of the Qipchaks in Georgia, sheltered by the Georgian king, David the Restorer, and used as mercenaries against the invasions of Seljuk Turks. The ballad contains such verses:

"I came across a Qipchak,
On the road at the edge of the Mukhrani,
He asked me for bread and I fed him bread,
I offered him wheat-flour bread.
He asked me for meat and I fed him meat,
I offered him pheasant.
He asked me for wine and I gave him wine,
I offered him Badaga [boiled grape-juice] wine.
He asked me for my wife and I couldn't give her,
. . .
I cut down horse and man..."[247] 226

The provision of food could avert invasions of the impoverished population and in many occasions even did. The merits and demerits of providing "foreign aid" for impoverished nations is nowadays a circumstance which, in the opinion of D. Sinor, must induce us to view with some indulgence the efforts made by previous populations to solve an insoluble problem; with the sudden outbursts of activity and lulls, mostly due to exhaustion, these conflicts have continued until modern times, in some aspects, perhaps, even to soothing this very days. There was always a need for a barrier to be erected between two Worlds such as the Greater Wall of China or Adrian's Wall (Roman Limes). They had the same function as the Caucasian Gate for Transcaucasia. But we must agree with D. Sinor that such constructions can be crumbled or taken by assaults, whereas a moral barrier - a dam in the hearts of men - can resist the ravages of time and neutralize the assaults even of the common sense.[248] A permanent hostility towards the outsider, presents in D. Sinor’s opinion, the added advantage of strengthening the bonds of solidarity, holding the polity together and making it more amenable to a government which alone is capable of protecting the population against the enemies of all others (sui generis) - the barbarians. As to him, the banishment of the Barbarian beyond the borders of οίκουμένη or orbis terarrum and the prevention of further intrusions was the spirit which prompted Alexander of Great of the legend to shut beyond the Iron Gates and set into impenetrable mountains the impure people of Gog and Magog, the mythical embodiment of the quintessential Barbarians - a foremost duty of the ruler was to combaat the Barbarians.[249]

The above scheme, worked out on the base of the written sources of the Classical and Mediaeval writers, has, as it was pointed out, parallels in the history of Caucasia, particularly of Georgia and Armenia.

In the history of the Mediaeval Transcaucasia the invasions of a certain part of Central Eurasian population - Turk-Seljuks, Khoresmenians, Mongols, Tatar-hordes of Tamerlan, herdsmen tribes of Ak-Koinlu and Kara-Koinlu should, at the first glance, be ascribed to the first model of A. Toynbee's stimulus which was created by human environment and expressed in the form of the sudden external blow, but the systematic character of the invasions of Central Eurasian populations seems to take the form of his second model - the stimulus of continuous external pressure. In that case the function of the marches, the main decisive factor of this model, was divided not only between the north and the south but also between the east and the west. In other words, the main part of these invasions had taken place not only from the north as it was at earlier times in connection with other Central Eurasian nomadic tribes, like Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Huns, Bolgars, Khazars, Ossetians etc., but also from the south or south-east direction.

The interest of the Near Eastern-Mediterranean societies in Transcaucasia was inevitable as Transcaucasia because of its location in the edge of the civilized and barbarian worlds, was an area of influences of the two opposite models of the 227 Caucasica II historical development, but the factor of the Great Caucasian Ridge, as we already underlined, determinated its destination to be the outpost of the highly developed Eurasian periphery against Central Eurasia, characterized by a slow rate of development, or in other words, to be the stronghold of the civilized South and West against the barbarian North and East.

It seems quite obvious that there was an interconnection between the formation of the royal power in Iberia and the emergence of the Iberian state as well as of the urgent need to defend the Caucasian Gate from the penetration of northern tribes. It was stated that Georgians of the mountains, living along the Dariali Pass and who spoke a curiously mediaeval dialect, claimed to descend from the old garrisons of the Georgian kings.[250] The interpolation to the The Life of King Vaxtang Gorgasali (Tkn) attributes this function of the Georgian mountain-dwellers to king Vaxtang: "So he subdued the Ossetes and Kipchaks. And he built the gates of Ossetia, which we call Darian. Above them he built high towers, and he posted the neighbouring mountain people to guard them. The great nations of the Ossetes and Kipchaks cannot pass through them without the permission of the king of the Georgians" (I, 156).[251]

Such a destiny of the Georgian state can be observed in the course of its history. The poem known as The Mourning of the King Heraclus II is included in the Georgian folk poetry of the end of the eigtheenth - beginning of the nineteenth century, the time of the annexation of the East Georgian (K'art'l-Kaxet'ian) kingdom by the Russian empire. It runs:

"Oh, Georgians, you don't understand
That your iron gate is opened;
You have no more the king Heraclus,
Of the house of Bagrationi;
You have no more your banners,
And your canons became silent;
. . .
You mustn't betray one another
Or your enemy will scratch out your eyes."[252]

In this poem our attention is attached to the words, "Oh, Georgians, you don't understand that that your iron gate is opened." From the first glance it is posible to think that the iron gate was used in the poetry in a transferred sense, illustrating the decline of power of the country; but if we recall the fact that the Dariali Pass, crossing the central part of the Great Caucasian Ridge, was known as the "Iron Gate" at ancient times, it would be possible that these words reflect the concrete fact of the loss of one of its function of the Georgian state - the ability to defend its northern gate - Dariali Pass. Thus the concept of the "Iron Gate" can rightly be applied to the Caucasian or Dariali Gate as the reflection of the concrete political function of the 228 Georgian statehood - the control of one of the most importaant strategical passes of the world.

This function of the state seems to have been one of the main decisive factors which challenged the emergence of Georgian state in the central part of Transcaucasia in the later part of the first millennium B.C. The location of Georgia in the contact zone of Central Eurasia and its Periphery predetermined its belonging to the second model of A. Toynbee's impulses created by the human environment: the continual external pressure the Challenge of which was followed by the Response which, for its part, caused the creation of the statehood in Central Transcaucasia - the Iberian kingdom. The raison d'ètre of this state was to be the stronghold of the civilized world (οίκουμένη, orbis terarrum) in its struggle with the barbarian Realm of Darkness beyond the Caucasian Gate. At the same time, the rulers of the Iberian kingdom permanently and successfully used the favourable strategical location of their country to balance the pressure of the powers coming from all sides of the world. The constant opposition between the barbarian and civilized peoples, appropriators and producers, brigands and creators, were two firestones with the help of which the fire of the statehood south of the central part of the Great Caucasian Ridge, in the Eastern Georgian or Iberian kingdom was lighted.

As we can judge, the above discussed factors of the geopolitical character not only cause the emergence of the statehood in Central Transcaucasia at the Classical epoch but also stipulated its historical development at the subsequent time. This theme however does not belong to the scope of interest of this article.


N. 1:"წიგნი ესე ქართველთა ცხოვრებისა ვიდრე ვახტანგისამდე აღიწერებოდა ჟამითი-ჟამად. ხოლო ვახტანგ მეფისა ვიდრე აქამომდე აღწერა ჯუანშერ ჯუანშერიანმან, ძმისწულის ქმარმან წმიდისა არჩილისმან (I, 248)".
N. 2: "მიერითგან შემდგომი მომავალთა ნათესავთა აღწერონ ვითარცა იხილონ... (I, 248)".
N. 3: "დაიპყრა ალექსანდრე ყოველი ქართლი... და დაუტევა მათ ზედა პატრიკად სახელით აზონ, ძე იარედოსისი, ნათესავი მისი ქუეყანით მაკედონით, და მისცა ასი ათასი კაცი ქუეყანით ჰრომით, რომელსა ჰქჳან ფროტათოს. ესე ფროტათოსელნი იყვნეს კაცნი ძლიერნი და მჴნენი, და ეკირთებოდეს ქუეყანასა ჰრომისასა. და მოიყვანნა ქართლად, მისცა აზონს პატრიკსა. და დაუტევა ქართლს ერისთავად აზონ, და მის თანა სპანი იგი, მპყრობელად ქართლისა (I, 18)".
N. 4: "დაიპყრა ალექსანდრე ყოველი ქართლი, და მოსრნა ყოველნი იგი ნათესავნი აღრეულნი ქართლს მყოფნი, და უცხონი იგი ნათესავნი მოსრნა და დაატყუევნა... და დაუტევნა ნათესავნი ქართლოსიანნი (I, 17)".
N. 5: "და უბრძანა ალექსანდრე აზონს, რათა პატივსცემდნენ მზესა და მთოვარესა და ვარსკულავთა ხუთთა, და ჰმსახურებდენ ღმერთსა უხილავსა, დამბადებელსა ყოვლისასა (I, 18)". 229
N. 6: "ხოლო სარკინელთა შესჭირდა, რამეთუ ჰრბძოდა თერთმეტ თუე. იწყეს ფარულად კლდესა კაფა, და განჴურიტეს კლდე იგი, რომელი ლბილ იყო და ადვილად საჴურეტელი. და განკრბეს ჴურელსა მას სარკინელნი ღამე, და შეივლტოდეს კავკასიად, და დაუტევეს ცალიერად ქალაქი (I, 18)''.
N. 7: "მას ჟამსა შინა განძლიერდეს ხაზარნი და დაუწყეს ბრძოლად ნათესავთა ლეკისათა და კავკასიოსთა... და ითხოვეს შუელა ხაზართა ზედა. ხოლო შეკრბეს ყოველნი ნათესავნი თარგამოსიანნი, და გარდავლეს მთა კავკასია. და მოტყუენეს ყოველნი საზღვარნი ხაზარეთისანი, და აღაშენნეს ქალაქნი პირსა ხაზარეთისასა, და წარმოვიდეს. ამისსა შემდგომად ხაზართა იჩინეს მეფე, და დაემორჩილნეს ყოველნი ხაზარნი მეფესა მას ჩინებულსა მათსა. და წარმოიძღუანეს იგი და გამოვლეს ზღჳს-კარი, რომელსა აწ ჰქჳან დარუბანდი. ვერ წინააღუდგეს თარგამოსიანნი, რამეთუ იყო სიმრავლე ურიცხჳ ხაზართა, წარტყუენეს ქუეყანა თარგამოსიანთა, და შემუსრნეს ყოველნი ქალაქნი არარატისანი და მასისისანი და ჩრდილოსანი...(I, 11-12)".
N. 8: "წარვიდა ვახტანგ და დადგა თიანეთს. და მუნ მიერთნეს ყოველნი მეფენი კავკასიანნი ორმოცდაათი ათასი მჴედარი. და წარემართა სახელსა ზედა ღმრთისასა, განვლო კარი დარიალანისა. შესლვასა მისსა ოვსეთად იყო ვახტანგ წლისა თექუსმეტისა. მაშინ მეფეთა ოვსეთისათა შეკრიბნეს სპანი მათნი და მოირთეს ძალი ხაზარეთით, და მოეგებნეს მდინარესა ზედა, რომელი განვლის დარიალანსა და ჩავლის ველსა ოვსეთისასა (I, 151)".
N. 9: ''შევიდეს ოვსეთს და მოეგებნეს მეფენი ოვსეთისანი და ყოველნი მთავარნი მათნი, და ვითარცა მონანი დადგეს წინაშე მისსა. და აღიხუნეს მძევლნი ორთაგანვე, ოვსთა და ყივჩაყთა, და ესრეთ ადვილად შეაერთნა ორნივე ნათესავნი. და ყო შორის მათსა სიყუარული და მშჳდობა ვითარცა ძმათა. და აღიხუნა ციხენი დარიალასა და ყოველთა კართა ოვსეთისათა და კავკასიისა მთისათანი. და შექმნა გზა მშჳდობისა ყივჩაღთათჳს, და გამოიყვანა სიმრავლე ფრიად დიდი (I, 336)''.
N. 10: "მოვიდა ქართლად და შემუსრნა ყოველნი ქალაქნი და ციხენი ქართლისანი. და მოსრა ყოველი რაოდენი ხაზარი პოვა ქართლსა შინა (I, 13)".
N. 11: "და ისწავეს ხაზართა ორნივე ესე გზანი, რომელ არს ზღჳს-კარი დარუბანდი და არაგჳს-კარი, რომელ არს დარიალა (I, 14)".
N. 12: "ხოლო სომხითს მეფე იქმნა კოსარო. და ამან კოსარო მეფემან უწყო ბრძოლად ქასრე მეფესა სპარსთასა, და შეწეოდა მას ასფაგურ, მეფე ქართველთა, და ამან ასფაგურ განუხუნის კარნი კავკასიანთანი და გამოიყვანნის ოვსნი, ლეკნი და ხაზარნი, და მივიდის კოსარო მეფისა თანა სომეხთასა ბრძოლად სპარსთა. და პირველსავე შესვლასა სპარსეთად ეწყო ქასრე, მეფე სპარსთა და აოტეს იგი და მოსრეს სპა მისი. და მიერითგან ვერღარა წინააღუდგა ამათ მეფე იგი სპარსთა, და განამრავლეს შესვლა სპარსეთად და ტყუენვა სპარსეთისა... ვითარ იოტეს სომეხთა და ქართველთა და ჩრდილოსა ნათესავთა მეფე სპარსთა, და განამრავლეს შესვლა სპარსეთს და ოჴრება სპარსეთის; და ვერღარა ოდეს წინააღუდგა მეფე სპარსთა (I, 59-60)".
N. 13: "ამის-ზე გამოგზავნა სპარსთა მეფემან ერისთავი სპითა დიდითა სომეხთა და ქართველთა ხარკისა დადებად. მაშინ სომეხთა მოგზავნეს ვარაზ-ბაქარისსა მოციქული და რქუეს, რათა შეკრბენ და მოირთონ ძალი ბერძენთაგან, და განახუნენ კარნი კავკასიანთანი, და გამოიყვანნეს ოვსნი და ლეკნი, და წინააღუდგენ სპარსთა. და წარჩინებულნი თჳსნიცა ეტყოდეს წინააღდგომასა სპარსთასა (I, 136)". 230
N. 14: "და იწყო ბრძოლად ხაზართა, და მარადის ჰბრძოდის: ოდესმე გააგდიან მირიანს ლეკნი და მათ გამოიყვანიან რა ხაზარნი თანაშემწედ მათდა, მიეგების მათ წინა მირიან ჰერეთს ანუ მოვაკანს და მუნ ეწეჳს მათ; და ოდესმე დურძუკთა და დიდოთა მოირთნიან და გამოიყვანიან ხაზარნი, მაშინ ეწყჳს და ვეროდეს სძლეს ხაზართა, და ყოვლადვე მირიან სძლის. და ესრეთ მრავალგზის გადაიჴადა წყობა ხაზართა. და უფროსი ლაშქრობა მისი იყვის დარუბანდს. რამეთუ მოვიდიან ხაზარნი და მოადგიან დარუბანდს, რათამცა წარიღეს და განაღეს კარი ფართო, და მუნით იწყეს გასლვად სპარსთა ზედა. ხოლო ოდეს მოვიდიან ხაზარნი დარუბანდს, მაშინ წარვიდის მირიან შუელად დარუბანდისა: ოდესმე უომრად მიჰრიდიან ხაზართა მათ მირიანს, და ოდესმე ბრძოლითა აოტნის (I, 66)".
N. 15: "მუნ ყოველნი დღენი ჩემნი დამიყოფიან ბრძოლასა შინა ხაზართასა, და მრავალგზის სისხლითა ჩემითა დამიცავს სპარსეთი ხაზართაგან (I, 67)".
N. 16: "მაშინ ვითარ იქმნა ვახტანგ წლისა ათისა, გარდამოვიდეს ოვსნი სპანი ურიცხუნი და მოტყუენეს ქართლი თავითგან მტკურისათ ვიდრე ხუნანამდე, და მოაოჴრნეს ველნი არამედ ციხე-ქალაქნი დაურჩეს, თჳნიერ კასპისა... და განვლეს კარი დარუბანდისა, რამეთუ თჳთ გზა სცეს დარუბანდელთა, და შევიდეს ოვსეთს გამარჯუებულნი (I, 145-146)".
N. 17: ამან არდამ ერისთავმან აღაშენა ქალაქი ზღჳს-კარს, და უწოდა სახელი დარუბანდი, რომელი ითარგმანების "დაჴშა კარი (I, 13)".
N. 18: "ეზრახნეს ოვსთა, გარდამოიყვანეს ოვსნი და პოვეს ერისთავი სპარსთა ველსა გარე, და კნისობდა, და მოკლეს იგი. და რომელ პოვეს სპარსი, ყოველი მოსწყჳდეს ოვსთა და ქართველთა, და განთავისუფლდეს ქართველნი, ხოლო რანი და ჰერეთი დარჩა სპარსთა (I, 13-14)".
N. 19: "ხოლო გამოიკითხა სპარსთა მეფემან პირველად ქალაქისა მცხეთისა, და უთხრეს სივრცე და სიმაგრე მისი და მახლობელობა ხაზართა და ოვსთა... კეთილად სთნდა სპარსთა მეფესა, და შეიწყნარა ვედრება ქართველთა. რამეთუ თჳთცა უკუთესად გამოარჩია მცხეთას დასუმა ძისა მისისა მეფედ. რამეთუ ყოველთა ქალაქთა სომხითისა და ქართლისათა, რანისა და მის კერძოთა, ყოვლისა უფროსად და უმაგრესად გამოარჩია და მახლობელად ჩრდილოთა მტერთა, რათა ჰბრძოდეს მათ მუნით და იპყრობდეს ყოველთა კავკასიანთა. აღუსრულა ყოველი იგი სათხოველი ქართველთა, და მისცა ყოველსა ზედა ფიცი და აღთქმა... და მისცა ქართლი, სომხითი, რანი, მოვაკანი და ჰერეთი... (I, 63-64)".
N. 20: "და ყოველნი მთავარნი და პატიახშნი, ნათესავნი ერისთავთა და წარჩინებულთანი შეიმეოტნეს კავკასიად, და დაიმალნეს ტყეთა და ღრეთა. და მოვლო ყრუმან ყოველი კავკასია, და დაიპყრა კარი დარიელისა და დარუბანდისა, და შემუსრნა ყოველნი ქალაქნი და უმრავლესნი ციხენი ყოველთა საზღვართა ქართლისათა (I, 234)".
N. 21: ''განაღო კარი დარუბანდისა და გამოიყვანნა ხაზარნი, სახლი სამასი, და დასხნა იგინი შანქორს. დარიალანით გამოიყვანნა ოვსნი ვითარ სახლი ასი, და დასხნა იგინი დმანისს, და ენება ზაფხულის შესვლა ოვსეთად. ხოლო ამირ-მუმნმან ვითარ ცნა, ვითარმედ ხაზართა, ტომთა მისთა, ზრახავს, მოუვლინა ბუღას, რათა დაუტეოს ქართლი ჰუმედს, ხალილის ძესა (I, 256-257)". 231
N. 22: "და მეფობდეს შემდგომად მისსა ძენი მისნი. ხოლო ამათსა მეფობასა უესპასიანოს ჰრომთა კეისარმან წარმოტყუენა იერუსალემი, და მუნით ოტებულნი ურიანი მოვიდეს მცხეთას და დასხდეს ძუელთავე ურიათა თანა, რომელთა თანა ერთნეს შვილნი ბარაბასნი, რომელი ჯვარცმასა უფლისასა განუტევეს ურიათა უფლისა ჩუენისა იესოს წილ (I, 44)".
N. 23: "ვითარცა იტყჳს ესაია: აღიღე და წარწყმიდე ყოველი წული მათი, ტიტოს და სპასიანოსის მიერ. (I, 164)".
N. 24: "ხოლო პირველსავე წელსა მეფობისა მისისა იშვა უფალი ჩუენი იესო ქრისტე, ბეთლემს ურიასტანისასა (I, 35)".
N. 25: "ხოლო ამას ადერკის ესხნეს ორნი ძენი, რომელთა ერქუა სახელად ერთსა ბარტომ და მეორესა ქართამ. და ამათ განუყო ყოველი ქუეყანა თჳსი: მისცა ქალაქი მცხეთა და ქუეყანა მტკუარსა შიდა ქართლი, მუხნარით კერძი ქალაქი და ყოველი ქართლი მტკუარსა ჩრდილოეთი, ჰერეთითგან ვიდრე თავადმდე ქართლისა და ეგრისისა - ესე ყოველი მისცა ბარტომს ძესა თჳსსა, ხოლო არმაზით კერძი ქალაქი, მტკუარსა სამხრით ქართლი, ხუნანითგან ვიდრე თავადმდე მტკურისა, და კლარჯეთი ყოველი მისცა ქართამს ძესა თჳსსა. და მოკუდა ადერკი (I, 43)."
N. 26: "ესე მეფენი არმაზელ და აზორკ იყვნეს კაცნი მჴნენი და შემმართებელნი. და შეითქუნეს ესენი და განიზრახეს ძიება საზღვართა ქართლისათა... ამათ მეფეთა ქართლისათა აზორკ და არმაზელ მოუწოდეს ოვსთა და ლეკთა, და გარდამოიყვანნეს ოვსთა მეფენი, ძმანი ორნი გოლიათნი, სახელით ბაზუკ და აბაზუკ, სპითა ოვსეთისათა. და მათ გარდამოიტანნეს თანა პაჭანიკნი და ჯიქნი. და გარდამოვიდა მეფე ლეკთა და გარდამოიტანნა დურძუკნი და დიდონი. და ამათ მეფეთა ქართლისათა შემოკრიბნეს სპანი თჳსნი და შეკრბა ესე ყოველი სიმრავლე ურიცხჳ. და სიმარჯჳთ ფარულად შეკრბეს, ვიდრე შეკრბებოდეს სპანი სომეხთანი. და შევიდეს ესენი სომხითს და უგრძნეულად წარმოსტყუენეს შირაკუანი და ვანანდი ბაგრევანამდე და ბასიანამდე, და შეიქცეს და ჩატყუენეს დაშტი ვიდრე ნახჭევანამდე, და აღიღეს ტყუე და ნატყუენავი ურიცხჳ, და აღივსნეს ყოვლითავე ხუასტაგითა, და გამოვლეს გზა ფარისოსისა... ესე ყოველნი ჩრდილონი განსრულ იყვნეს მტკუარსა და მისრულ იყვნეს კამბეჩოანს, და დაებანაკათ იორსა ზედა, და განიყოფდეს ტყუესა და ნატყუენავსა (I, 45-46)".
N. 27: ''ხოლო ამად რა თხრობად მოვიწიე, ვაებისა ღირსად შევრაცხენ დიდნი იგი და სახელოვანნი გამომეტყუელნი, ვიტყჳ უკუე უმიროსსა და არისტოვლის ელინთა, ხოლო იოსიპოს ებრაელსა, რომელთაგანმან ერთმან ტროადელთა და აქეველთანი შეამკვნა თხრობანი, თუ ვითარ აღამემნონ და პრიამოს, ანუ აქილევი და ეკტორი, მერმეცა ოდისეოს და ორესტესი ეკუეთნეს, და ვინ ვის მძლე ექმნა; და მეორემან ალექსანდრესნი წარმოთქუნა მძლეობანი, სიმჴნენი და ძლევა-შემოსილობანი; ხოლო მესამემან ვესპასიანე ტიტოს-მიერნი მეტომეთა თჳსთა-ზედანი ჭირნი მისცნა აღწერასა (I, 342)".
N. 28: "...შემოიხუეწნეს ორნივე მეფენი ქართლისანი მცხეთას, მოწყლულნი. მაშინ სუმბატ გამარჯუებული შემოვიდა ქართლად, და მოაოხრა ქართლი, რომელი პოვა ციხეთა და ქალაქთა გარე; ხოლო ციხე-ქალაქთა არა ჰბრძოდა, რამეთუ არა მზა იყო მსწრაფლ გამოსვლისაგან... ხოლო მეფენი ესე ქართლისანი, არზოკ და არმაზელ, სიფიცხლითა გულისა მათისათა არა შეუშინდეს, არამედ განამაგრნეს ციხენი და ქალაქნი თჳისნი..." (I, 47). 232
N. 29: მანვე მოზღუდა მცხეთა ქალაქი ქჳთკირითა. და აქამომდე არა იყო ქართლსა შინა საქმე ქჳთკირისა. და ამის გამო დაისწავლეს ქჳთკირი. ამანვე არდამ მოჰკიდა კირი-ზღუდე ციხესა არმაზისასა და აქათ მტკურამდის, და წარმოზღუდა ცხჳრი არმაზისი ვიდრე მტკურამდე (I, 13)".
N. 30: "და ამანვე ფარნავაზ შექმნა კერპი დიდი სახელსა ზედა თჳისსა: ესე არს არმაზი, რამეთუ ფარნავაზს სპარსულად არმაზ ერქუა. ამართა კერპი იგი არმაზი თავსა ზედა ქართლისასა, და მიერითგან ეწოდა არმაზი კერპისა მისთჳს. და ქმნა სატფურება დიდი კერპისა მისთჳს აღმართებულისა (I, 25)''.
N. 31: "...დგა კაცი ერთი სპილენძისა, და ტანსა მისსა ეცუა ჯაჭჳ ოქროსი, და თავსა მისსა ჩაბალახი მყარი, და თუალნი ესხნეს ზურმუხტი და ბივრილი, და ჴელთა მისთა აქუნდა ჴრმალი ბრწყინვალე, ვითარცა ელვა, და იქცეოდა ჴელთა შინა... და კუალად იყო მარჯუენით მისსა კაცი ოქროსი და სახელი მისი გაცი; და მარცხენით მისსა უდგა კაცი ვეცხლისა, და სახელი მისი გაიმ, რომელნი-იგი ღმერთად უჩნდეს ერსა მას ქართლისასა (I, 89-90)'''.
N. 32: "ვითხოვოთ მისგან დამჭირვა სჯულსა ზედა მამათა ჩუენთასა, და ვითხოვოთ ჩუენ თანა არა აღრევა სპარსთა და წარჩინეულად პყრობა ჩუენი. ნუ უკუე შეიწყნაროს ვედრება ესე ჩუენი... მაშინ სიკუდილი უმჯობეს არს თავთა ჩუენთათჳს ვიდრე მონახვასა ესევითარისასა. დავსხნეთ თავნი ჩუენნი ციხეთა და ქალაქთა შინა და მოვსწყდეთ ყოველნი (I, 63)''.
N. 33: "და იყვნეს ესე თურქნი და ქართველნი ნებისმყოფელ ერთმანერთისა, მოელოდეს მოსლვასა სპარსთასა, ამაგრებდეს ციხეთა და ქალაქთა. მას ჟამსა შინა სადათაც ვინ მივიდის ძჳრის-მოქმედთაგან საბერძნეთით, გინა ასურით ოტებული, გინა ხაზარეთით, ყოველივე დაიმეგობრიან ქართველთა შემწეობისათჳს სპარსთა ზედა (I, 15)''.
N. 34: ''ხოლო დაიმორჩილა ოვსნი და ყივჩაყნი, და შექმნა კარნი ოვსეთისანი, რომელთა ჩუენ დარიანისად უწოდთ. და აღაშენა მას ზედა გოდოლნი მაღალნი, და დაადგინა მცველად მახლობელნი იგი მთეულნი. არა ჴელეწიფების გამოსლვად დიდთა მათ ნათესავთა ოვსთა და ყივჩაყთა თჳნიერ ბრძანებისა ქართველთა მეფისა (I, 156 ჩანართი თკ)''.
N. 35: "ვერ გაგიგიათ ქართველნო, შაგეხსნათ რკინის კარია, მეფე აღარ გყავსთ ერეკლე, ბაგრატიონთა გვარია, აღარ გაქვსთ ბაირახები, აღარ სჭექს ზარბაზანია, . . . ერთმანეთს ნუ უღალატებთ, მტერმა არ გთხაროსთ თვალია".


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[1] Toynbee 1956, 31, 101, 208ff.
[2] Golden 1983, 67.
[3] Toynbee 1956, 112, 175ff., 181. The same is true as it was observed by A. Toynbee in connection with the Danubian Hapsburg monarchy. The raison d'etre of which was to serve as a march of the Western Society against another universal state, the Ottoman Empire.It was called into existence at a moment when the Ottoman pressure upon the Western world became really formidable and it remained in the first rank of the Great Powers of Europe as long as the Ottoman pressure remained at its height; Austro-Hungary finally fell to pieces in the First World War (1914-1918) when the Ottoman Empire received its coup de grâce (Toynbee 1956, 177, 181).
[4] Plin. n.h. 6,30.
[5] Cf. Sherwin-White 1984, 199f.
[6] Opus majus 1,301.
[7] Allen/Muratoff 1953, 7.
[8] After the unification of the Western and Eastern parts of Georgia at the very beginning of the eleventh century, the term K'art'li or Sak'art'velo (country of K'art'velians) designates the whole territory of Georgia (v. Javakhishvili 1914, 286).
[9]As to M. Brosset, J. Sen-Marten, D. Bakradze, M. Janashvili, P. Ingoroqva, G. Tsereteli, G. Melikishvili, these annals are convincing, while K. Patkanov, I. Javakhishvili and K. Kekelidze are much more sceptical.
[10]Rapp 1998, 14.
[11]Qaukhchishvili 1955, 024ff.
[12]E.g. Pätsch 1985, 14; Schyboll 1998, 946. In the opinion of C. Toumanoff, its testimony has stood well the scrutiny of scholarship and can be given our credence (Toumanoff 1963, 443).
[13]Qaukhchishvili 1955, 015; v. also Toumanoff 1947, 340-344.
[14]St. Rapp remarks that it is a translation, an adaptation, and an abbreviation and at the same time an inexact rendition of a now-lost Georgian exemplar (Rapp 1998, 31).
[15]Thomson 1996, v.; Rapp 1998a, 3. The Armenian version must be dated without any doubt from 1125 to 1270 - or the last event mentioned in its text (it must also be taken into account that the author of the Armenian adaptation claims personal acquaitance with the most famous Georgian king of the late elevanth - early twelfth century, David IV, the Restorer, who died in 1125) and the first direct quotation from the text by Vardan Arewelc'i - but the internal evidencies demonstrate that it was plausibly translated in the first half of the twelfth century. The earliest Armenian historian known to have been familiar with "K'art'lis C'xovreba" is Mxit'ar of Ani whose own History went down to 1187 (Thomson 1996, xlii, xliv, l). In the opinion of C. Toumanoff and R. Bedrosian, he used the chronicle in its Armenian version (Toumanoff 1943, 161; Bedrosian 1991).
[16]The earliest manuscript has reached us in a copy made between 1279 and 1311 (v. Abuladze 1953, 020). As no Georgian manuscript of "K'art'lis C'xovreba" dated before the fifteenth century survived, the Armenian version has a special importance for the reconstruction of its initial content and authenticating its earlier provenance (cf. Melikishvili 1989, 22). According to St. Rapp, the Armenian translation which is a rather faithful rendition of the Georgian historical traditions is insofar crucial as it represents the most compelling proof of the medieval provenance of the structure of the initial section of "K'art'lis C'xovreba" (Rapp 1998a, 18).
[17]Rapp 1998, 18.
[18]Melikishvili 1959, 29-31; Rapp 1998, 20.
[19]Rapp 1998, 20.
[20]Tarchnishvili 1957, 86-89; Toumanoff 1969, 1n3. C. Toumanoff believes, that he is, at all events, anterior to 973 (Toumanoff 1963, 24).
[21]Thomson 1996, 255. For the original text see Appendix, N. 1. Here and subsequently concerning the pages of "K'art'lis C'xovreba" which are noted in brackets, see, Qaukhchishvili 1955.
[22]Thomson 1996, 255. For the original text see Appendix, N. 2.
[23]Thomson 1996, v, xxxviii. In reality the Armenian translation comprises six works by four authors and goes down to the time of the death of David the Restorer or 1125. As to R. W. Thomson, the new title of the Armenian translation, The Georgian Chronicles, gives a wrong impression, failing to distinguish the part from the whole, as it comprises only a small part of the total number of such works written in Georgian (Thomson 1996, xxxviii).
[24]Kekelidze 1958, 208; Melikishvili 1959, 30. In R. W. Thomson's translation: "This abbreviated history was found in times of trouble and placed in this book called "K'art'lis C'xoreba" which means "History of K'art'li". Juansher found it composed up to King Vaxt'ang, and himself continued it up to this point" (104) (Thomson 1996, 255). In the square brackets of R. W. Thompson's translation the pages of the Venice 1884 edition of the Armenian version of "K'art'lis C'xovreba" are indicated.
[25]Rapp 1998a, 1.
[26]Allen 1932, 16; Toumanoff 1943, 166.
[27]Rapp 1998, 25f.
[28]Rapp 1997, v. Rapp 1998, 22.
[29]Rapp 1998, 18.
[30]Rapp 1998, 23f.
[31]The Armenian Church condemned Georgians at the Third Council of Dwin in 608/609, though the schism was formalized in 726 at the Armenian Council of Manazkert (v. Sarkissian 1965, 2, 206n1, 215; Garsoian 1985, 236f.; Rapp 1998, 17).
[32]Melikishvili 1989, 24, 26. At the beginning of the eleventh century in the Georgian ecclesiastical literature there were not only lacunae in the translations of the Church Fathers being filled, but also new versions of the biblical, liturgical, and hagiographical texts, then in use in Constantinople, were written (Thomson 1996, xxxvii; cf. Tarchnishvili 1955).
[33]Kekelidze 1923, 53ff.; Ingorokva 1941; Melikishvili 1959, 31f.
[34]Melikishvili 1989, 26. The manuscript tradition of The History of the Armenians by Movses Xorenac'i does not predate the fourteenth century, though it is well known that many Classical (Graeco-Roman) texts are also preserved only in medieval redactions (Rapp, 1998, 15).
[35]Besides some details, given only in "K'art'lis C'xovreba", have parallels to the texts of Tacitus, Cassius Dio etc. (Toumanoff 1943, 169; cf. Janashvili 1905, 216-220).
[36]Alexidze 1995.
[37]E.g. Taqaishvili 1909, 16; Thomson 1996, xxxviii; Toumanoff 1943, 149.
[38]Tarchnishvili 1955, 87f., 406.
[39]Tarchnishvili 1947, 33ff.; Tarchnishvili 1955, 87.
[40]Alexidze 1995. The text of the Conversion appears to be substantally a variation of the story basing on Rufinus' "De Conversione Gentis Iberorum per Captivam Facto" of the end of the fourth century (Taqaishvili 1900, 80, 93, 104; Toumanoff 1943, 151).
[41]V. Rayfield 1994, 49.
[42]Taqaishvili 1890, xviii-xx, xlv-lxxix.
[43]The information about the existence of such a narrative is included as an additional remark in the earliest manuscript of "K'art'lis C'xovreba" which survived, The Queen Anne codex of the fifteenth century (Ingorokva 1939, 107f., 137f.; Ingorokva 1941a, 283f.). At the same time, as the whole of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" is full of Grecisms, this fact is believed to indicate that its composition, at least in its original stages, can possibly be ascribed to a period anterior to the fifth century and the rise of a fully developed national feudal-ecclesiastical literature (v. Toumanoff 1943, 151f.).
[44]E.g. Toumanoff 1943, 148f.; Fähnrich 1986, 12.
[45]Thomson 1996, xxxvii; Rapp 1998, 9.
[46]Rapp 1998, 19.
[47]Toumanoff 1943, 150f.; Melikishvili 1959, 47-62; Rapp 1998, 24.
[48]Rapp 1998, 24.
[49]Rapp 1998, 17.
[50]Melikishvili 1989, 25; Melikishvili 1989a, 255.
[51]The most widespread theory explains "Arian K'art'li" as the Persian (i.e. Arian from Old Persian ariyana) or Achaemenidian part of K'art'li, located in its southwesternmost part (Melikishvili 1959, 278). Arian K'art'li was also considered to be the same as Αράνη of Ptolemy (V, 6, 18) and the Harrana of the Hittites, lying in Armenia Minor and close to Thogorma/Tegaramma/Til Garimu (Tseretheli 1935, 50-54; Toumanoff 1963, 90n124).
[52] I,23.
[53]The same conclusion can be deduced from the indirect information of The Life of King Vaxtang Gorgasali by Juansher (Qaukhchishvili 1955, 139-244), see, Kavtaradze 1996, 205ff.
[54]Blockley 1985, 68f.
[55]Melikishvili 1959, 47-50, 276-283, 291.
[56] Plin., n. h. 6,12,31.
[57] Strabo 2, I, 2-7; Plin., n. h. 2,67,167-168; 6,21,58.
[58]Toumanoff 1963, 81n104.
[59]Rapp 1998, 24.
[60]G. Lordkipanidze considers patrik of the text as a derivative from the Greek πατρικός with the meaning of "forefather", see, Lordkipanidze 1998, 160. In R. W. Thomson's translations of both texts (the Georgian original and the Armenian version) this word is translated as patrician (20) (Thomson 1996, 25).
[61]Thomson 1996, 23, 25f. For the original text see Appendix, N. 3.
[62] Thomson 1996, 25f.
[63] Here and subsequently concerning the pages of "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" which are noted in brackets, see, Gigineishvili & Giunashvili 1979. As to The Life of St. Nino - the second part of the chronicle "Mok'c'evay K'art'lisay" - the idols Gaci and Ga were in Arian K'art'li deities of the ancestors of Georgians (Gigineishvili & Giunashvili 1979, 335).
[64] Thomson 1980, 140f.
[65] Cf. Olshausen 1979, 292.
[66] Euseb., Praep. Evang., 9,41,I; Chron., I; cf. Josephus, Con. Apion., I; Strabo 15,1,6.
[67] Euseb., Chronicle: Aucher, I: 58-9.
[68] Thomson 1980, 141n.14.
[69] Thomson 1980, 147.
[70]Melikishvili 1959, 39 and n.95.
[71] McGing 1986, 44.
[72] As it was indicated by R. W. Thomson, Moses is confusing the claim of these princes to descent from the Iberian Mihrdat with the various Mithridates of Pontus (Thomson 1980, 147f.n.7).
[73] Melikishvili 1959, 47-50, 233, 283.
[74] It is known also as Dariali, Ossetian, Sarmatian, Iberian or Aragvian Gate.
[75] Cl. Ptol., 5,3,16; Euseb. Hier., Epist., 77,8.
[76] In Pliny's words, "Haec est Macedonia terrarum imperio potita quondam, haec Asiam, Armeniam, Hiberiam, Albaniam, Cappadociam, Syriam, Aegyptum, Taurum, Caucasum transgressa.. " (n.h. 4,39), v. Mommsen 1958, 66. Solinus also repeats that Alexander conquered, "Asiam, Armeniam, Hiberiam, Albaniam, Cappadociam Syrias Aegyptum Taurum Caucasumque transgressus est" (9, 19), v. Winkler 1988, 140f.
[77]The cannon-ball found in the ruins of the late fourth - early third century B.C. levels of Samadlo had a diameter of 21 cm and a weight of 9,5 kg (Gagoshidze, 1979, 40, 48, 96; Lordkipanidze 1998, 159f.).
[78]Tarn 1984, 113, 119; Lordkipanidze 1998, 159f.
[79] Strab. 11, 14, 9.
[80] Strab. 11, 2, 19.
[81] 15,4, 14-15.
[82]Kavtaradze 1996, 209-213.
[83]It seems that the expansion of the Armenian territory to the river Kura happened at the expense of the appropriation of the Iberian province Chorzene (cf., Strabo, 11,14,5; 1,3, 21; Plut., Pomp., 34). It is worthwile to remark that by the information of The Life of the Kings, though describing later times, the Armenians took the Georgian lands till the river Kura in the region of Artaani (i.e. Ardahan) (I, 44-50). At the same time, there is a possibility to assume the spread of Chorzene in a wider territory. The mountain ridge of Arsiani (modern Turkish - Yazlincam Daglari) is mentioned as the mountain of Xordziani by Giorgi Merchule in the Georgian hagiographical writing of the tenth century A.D., The Life of St. Grigol of Xant'dza.
[84]Toumanoff 1943, 142, 150f., 443; cf. Gugushvili 1936, 109f. C. Toumanoff considered Georgia as the only country in Christendom the socio-political and cultural development of which dated uninterruptedly from the Classical times (Toumanoff 1943, 139).
[85] Cf. I, 18.
[86]Cf. Melikishvili 1959, 280f.
[87] I, 25.
[88]Melikishvili 1959, 39. If by the Georgian text they gained a high position due to P'arnavaz (I, 25), the Armenian translation attributes this fact more logically (if we will follow the explanation of the "K'art'lis C'xovreba" namely that the term "aznauri" with the meaning "gentry, nobility" meant the follower of Azo) already at the time of Azon's reign: "Azon appointed from among them commanders trought the whole land of Georgia" (20) (v.Thomson 1996, 26).
[89] I, 18.
[90]Gagoshidze, 1979, 97; cf. Tiroyean 1884, 12, v. Bedrosian 1991.
[91]Lordkipanidze 1998, 160.
[92] Liddel & Scott 1950, 1534.
[93] Cf. Cary 1956.
[94] Thomson 1996, 25. For the original text see Appendix, N. 4.
[95] For the original text see Appendix, N. 5.
[96] I, 17.
[97] I, 17.
[98] Thomson 1996, 25. For the original text see Appendix, N. 6.
[99] The Life of the Kings (I, 12) defines the territory of the Ossetians as the portion of the Caucasus west of the river Lomeki (the modern Terek).
[100] I, 11-13, 27, 63, 65-66.
[101]Thomson 1996, 13f. For the original text see Appendix, N. 7.
[102]Thomson 1996, 166. For the original text see Appendix, N. 8.
[103]Thomson 1996, 328. For the original text see Appendix, N. 9.
[104]Thomson 1996, 16. For the original text see Appendix, N. 10.
[105]Thomson 1996, 14. For the original text see Appendix, N. 11. The Khazar offensive south of the Caucasus took place in the late seventh - early eighth centuries.
[106]Thomson 1980, 211f.
[107]Thomson 1976, 37.
[108]Thomson 1996, 70f. For the original text see Appendix, N. 12.
[109]Thomson 1980, 236f.
[110]Thomson 1996, 149. For the original text see Appendix, N. 13.
[111]Rapp 1998, 17.
[112]Thomson 1996, 78. For the original text see Appendix, N. 14.
[113]Thomson 1996, 79. For the original text see Appendix, N. 15.
[114]Thomson 1996, 161. For the original text see Appendix, N. 16.
[115]Thomson 1980, 265.
[116]Thomson 1980, 145.
[117]Thomson 1980, 135.
[118] II,6.
[119] II,8,11.
[120] 30,1,2,11.
[121] As his vision as one of the main western specialists of the history of Caucasia is also nowadays of historiographical importance, we cite him to underline the striking difference which characterizes the two areas across the Caucasian range: "...beyond the Caucasus was the land of the Hyperboreans of the Greeks and the Gogs and Magogs of the Semites, the breeding ground of slaves and conquerors and also of the passivistic thoughts, where the mists, flat forests and the oozing swamps can maudle men, but in the Caucasus you are among the high shining mountains; the sparkling seas are near the woods of this uneven country are ever changing - not always the lament birches and mean - visaged pines of the sandy steppe. You are in the land of Nearer Asia, where man, among the mountains, between the seas and in the pellucid sunlight, early grew to prying intellect; lands of vivid life, of doings and undoings, of rising up and falling down of splendours and of of shambles, of wisdom, and of scattering. If on the one hand, the leaders of the passive-thinking soldier-stuffwere on the top for goods - Turks, Tatars, Turkomans, thick man from steppe, like rocks hardened by millennia of the inclement elements, small-eyed, broad faced men with short necks, big eaters, of a crude and simple humour, incurious, slowe in the uptake, on the other hand, the sprightly men, of that old, inquisitive, restless, creative, sparkling, high-pitched way of mind - Greeks, Georgians, the real Persians, Arabs - were gotten under, smashed and trampled on." Allen 1932, 5f., 147.
[122] Plin., n. h. 6, 30.
[123] Plin., n. h. 6, 30.
[124]Khalif Wathiq in 842 sent an envoy, Sallâm the Interpreter, into Central Asia to find something out concerning the wall of iron and brass erected by Alexander the Great against the barbarian giants of the outer steppes, Gog and Magog, as is described in Quran (XVIII, 82-96) (Bosworth 1996, XIII, 22).
[125]Mouraviev 1983.
[126]Thomson 1996, 16. For the original text see Appendix, N. 17.
[127]Cf. Hewsen 1992, 122.
[128] Tac. Ann. 6, 33.
[129]Thomson 1996, 17. For the original text see Appendix, N. 18.
[130] II, 8, 11.
[131] Plin., n.h. 6, 29.
[132]Allen 1932, 61.
[133]Kavtaradze 1985, 85, 173n.361.
[134]Apakidze 1959, 36f.
[135]In the text of the Armenian adaptation: "And close to us are the Ossetes, and Alans, and Leks, and Sonk', and Xazars, and all the region of the north" (40). V. Thomson 1996, 75.
[136]Thomson 1996, 75. For the original text see Appendix, N. 19.
[137]Thomson 1996, 241. For the original text see Appendix, N. 20.
[138]Thomson 1996, 261f. For the original text see Appendix, N. 21.
[139] Tac. Ann. 6, 33.
[140]Cf. Melikishvili 1989a, 256. Who identifies Azo's Roman supporters with the Greeks.
[141]Thomson 1996, 25f.
[142]Thomson 1996 25n6.
[143]Acharean 1971; cf. Abuladze 1953, 027 and Thomson 1996 25n6.
[144]Plin., n.h. 6, 30.
[145]Jones 1924.
[146] Dio 37,1,4. Cary 1969, 99.
[147] Plin. n.h. 6,51f.
[148]Melikishvili 1959, 325; Dreher 1994, 31.
[149] Plut., Pomp. 36.
[150]Sanikidze 1956, 193f.; Melikishvili 1959, 324f.
[151] Dio 37, 3.
[152] Dio 37, 1.
[153] Plut. Pomp. 34; Dio 37ff.; Strabo 11,3,5.
[154]By the information of Strabo, Canidius went to Iberia by the same way which was used by Pompey when he set off from the country of the Armenians (XI, 3, 5).
[155]As to Cassius Dio (155-235): „Publius Canidius Crassus made a campaign against the Iberians in Asia, conquered in battle their king Pharnabazus and brought them to make an alliance; with this king he invaded Albania, the adjoining country, and, after overcoming the inhabitants and their king Zober, conciliated them likewise“ (XLIV, 24, 1) v. Cary 1969a, 391.
[156] Dio XLIX, 24f.
[157]Melikishvili 1959, 335ff.
[158]V. Isaac 1990, 43.
[159] Plin. n.h. 6, 15, 40.
[160]Isaac 1990, 43f.
[161]As to Dio’s information, among Nero’s numerous little jokes there was a story that „in the Alban territory it rained so much blood that rivers of it flowed over the land“ (63, 26, 5), v. Cary 1968, 185. Maybe this information indicates the factual troubles existing in the east Transcaucasian area and at the same time the truthfulness of Tacitus’ quotation about the preparation of Nero’s expedition against Albanians.
[162] The Albanian hostility towards Romans begins with the Pompey’s invasion of Transcaucasia when Oroeses, king of the Albanians, made an expedition against them just at the the time of the Saturnalia, fearing that Romans would invade Albania (Dio XXXVI, 54, 1).
[163] Mommsen 1909, 62n.1. Different from this case, the inscription of Ka’ba-i-Zardošt of the Sasanian shah of Iran, Šapur I, mentions, in the opinion of some speciallists, mistakenly Alanian gates instead of Albanian gates (v. Honigmann & Maricq 1953, 88).
[164] Tac. Ann. 12, 45.
[165]Syme 1995, 143. The fear of the eastern threat was for a long time a characteristic trait of the Roman policy (v. Sonnabend 1989, 319-345; Sonnabend 1998 191-206).
[166]V. Ridley 1896.
[167]Sherk 1980, 992.
[168]V. Whinston, 1895.
[169]In Dio’s words: „When the Parthians, who had become involved in war with some neighbours, asked for his [Vespasian’s - G.K.] help, he would not go to their aid, declaring that it was not proper for him to interfere in others affairs“ (LXV, 15,3), v. Cary 1968, 291. Suetonius (c. 69 - c. 140) gives additionnal data about the state of affairs: when Vologaesus, King of the Parthians, had asked for auxiliaries against the Alani and for one of Vespasian's sons as their leader, Domitian used every effort to have himself sent rather than Titus; and because the affair came to nothing, he tried by gifts and promises to induce other eastern kings to make the same request (Suet. Dom., 2, 1).
[170]Suet. Vesp. 8, 4: propter adsiduos barbarum incursus.
[171]V. Halfmann, 1986, 40f.
[172] In the information of Suetonius, when Vologaesus, King of the Parthians, sent envoys to the Senate to renew his alliance, he begged that honor be paid to the memory of Nero. Suetonius also informs that many years after Nero’s death, his name was still in the big favor with the Parthians (Suet. Nero, LVII).
[173]Sherk 1980, 995.
[174]Debevoise 1938, 201n60.
[175]About the location of Satala near modern Sadak (former Sazak) see, Olshausen & Biller 1984, 163.
[176]This oldest capital of Iberia - at the same time the holy city of the Georgian paganism - was mentioned as Αρμοζική by Strabo (XI, 3, 5), as Αρμακτίκα by Ptolemy (V, 10, 2) and as Harmastus by Pliny (VI, 29). Cassius Dio gives only its functional meaning - Ακρόπολις.
[177]Halfmann 1986, 48; In the later published article, H. Halfmann stresses that Fronto’s command to the East was connected with the invasion of the Alans, well testified by the sources and dated in A.D. 75-76 (Halfmann 1991, 42).
[178]Halfmann 1986, 48.
[179]V. Braund 1997, 3.
[180]Thomson 1996, 52. For the original text see Appendix, N. 22. In The Life of King Vaxtang Gorgasali, as well as in The Life of David, King of Kings (see below), Vespasian is mentioned together with his son Titus: " Isaiah says: "Remove and destroy every child of theirs - by Titus and Vespasian" (I, 164). v. Thomson 1996, 181. For the original text see Appendix, N. 23.
[181]Heil 1989, 174f.
[182]Bosworth 1976, 75.
[183]Torelli 1968, 172f.
[184]Melikishvili 1959, 56, 58.
[185] II, 8, 11.
[186]Toumanoff 1969, 3.The Georgian term of Latin vitaxa (Greek - pitiάxhς) is pitiaxši, Armenian - bdešx. The most likely etymology of this term which is translated by the Classical writers as king or tetrarch, is its derivation from the Old Persian *pa[i]ti-axši/a, the first element of which signifies "head", while the second is related to xšayami ("I rule") (Toumanoff 1963, 155ff.); Georgian historians compare this term with the Georgian title erist'avi, "the head of the army or people" (Apakidze 1959, 27n1). In the opinion of C. Toumanoff, if there is not a lack of documentary evidence of Arsacid (Parthian) use of this term, then it seems to have been introduced in Caucasia in the epoch of the Old Persian language, though the Achaemenidian institution of viceroys or super-governors (the function of vitaxa), was known only at pre-Parthian times at the Seleucidian court (Toumanoff 1963, 156, 158). As the Georgian form, patiaxši/pitiaxši, is considered closer to the Old Persian prototype than the Armenian form and therefore belonging to the pre-Parthian times (cf. Toumanoff 1963, 158), its origin should be searched in connection with the events of the Seleucid or even of the Achaemenid times.
[187]Thomson 1996, 49. For the original text see Appendix, N. 24.
[188]In the Armenian translation of the twelfth century: "Adrik gave a crown to his two sons, dividing the land between them. K'art'li with its extensive borders he gave to Bartos; and to K'art'am he gave Xunan as far as Klarjet'i. Then he died" (30). Both fragments are translated by R. W. Thomson, v. Thomson 1996, 52. For the original text see Appendix, N. 25.
[189]Thomson 1996, 53f. For the original text see Appendix, N. 26. In the Armenian translation of the twelfth century: "...the Georgian kings Azuk and Azmayer summoned to heir aid the kings of the Leks and Ossetes, two brothers Bazuk and Anbazuk. These brought with them the Pacaniks and Jiks, Durjuks, and Didos. The Georgian troops gathered together at one place, unexpectedly entered Armenian territory while the latter were unprepared, ravaged Sirak and Vanand as far as Basen, then returned to the plain of Naxjawan. They seized much booty, and went out through the Pass of P'arisos. Crossing the river Kur in haste, they went to Kambec and camped on the river Ior“ (Thomson 1996, 53f.).
[190] Hist. Fr. 47.
[191] De Mag., 3,52.
[192] 1,10,9ff.
[193]Thomson 1980, 191.
[194]Eremyan 1935, 3: Manandyan 1948, 69f.; Inadze 1955, 317; Melikishvili 1959, 345; Trever 1959, 126; Toumanoff, 1969. As to the explanation which connected this invasion with the Caspian Gate situated south of the Caspian and east of Rhagae, see Täubler 1909, 17-22. In the opinion of J. Markwart, the Middle Persian plural form Vrkan, derived from the Armenian plural Wir-k' and deduced from the Latin-Greek definition Hyrkani, was sometimes used to denote also Georgians (v. Markwart 1930, 80; Chaumont 1976, 126ff.).
[195]Thomson 1996, 333f. For the original text see Appendix, N. 27.
[196] The Jewish War, 7,7,4.
[197]Thomson 1980, 236f.
[198]Thomson 1996, 56. For the original text see Appendix, N. 28.
[199]E.g. Melikishvili 1959, 348.
[200]Cf. Heil 1989, 174f. As to the infomation of The Life of the Kings approximately at that place is indicated the erection of the defence wall by the legendary Persian military leader of pre-Alexander times, Ardam: "...Ardam undertook the mortared wall the castle of Armazi, and from there as far as the Mtkuari [The Kura river - G.K.]. And he enclosed with a wall the projection of Armazi as far as the Mtkuari" (I, 13). V. Thomson 1996, 17, For the original text see Appendix, N. 29.
[201]Apakidze 1959, 72f., Pl. LXI.
[202]Toumanoff 1963, 102n154; cf. Apakidze 1959, 73.
[203]Debevoise 1938, 201f.
[204] Silv. 4, 4, 63f.
[205] Bosworth 1977, 227.
[206] Aliev 1992, 76; Mitford 1980, 1194n.57.
[207] Elnitskij 1950, 194.
[208] Apakidze 1959, 72f., Pl. LXI.
[209] Mitford 1980, 1194.
[210] Aliev 1992, 76.
[211] Cf. Melikishvili 1959, 351f.
[212] The translation is cited by Bosworth 1977, 231.
[213]Bosworth 1977, 231.
[214]V. Braund 1993, 48f.
[215]Debevoise 1938, 222. The translation of the Greek text is cited by Braund 1994, 230.
[216]Cary 1968, 471.
[217]Toumanoff 1963, 101f.
[218]Noneshvili 1999, 176.
[219] I, 18.
[220] I, 18.
[221]Speidel 1982, 165-172.
[222]At the same time, the absence of the consonant n in the Georgian term could be abscribed to the redaction of the text (the development of an additional n before some consonants, e.g. kitri ("cucumber") > kintri, typical of some Georgian dialects (cf. Zhgenti 1953, 99ff.)). In that case, we could consider the "suffix" ado-selni, as consisting of the Greek suffix of "origin or inhibitation" - ates/atis and the Georgian plural suffix of "origin" - selni.
[223] I, 18.
[224]Thomson 1996, 25.
[225]Cf. Halfmann 1991, 41; Eck 2000, 844.
[226]M. Hirri[s ---f.. ---n. F]ron[to Neratius Pansa, cos.,] | curotor a[edium sacraru]m et oper[um locorumq. Publicorum, adlectus ab] | imp. Caesare Ves[pasiano Aug. inter pa]tricios, ab [eodem donatus hastis puris IIII, vexillis IIII, coronis IIII,] murali, vallari, [classica, aurea (?) -----] im [---- | c]ensendo reg(ionis) (decimae), leg. pr. pr[aet. imp. Caes. Vespasiani Aug. exerci]tus qui in A[rmeniam maiorem (?) missus est ------,] | XV vir s. f., leg. pr. pr. imp. [Caes. Vespasiani Aug. pro]vinciae Ca[ppadociae Galatiae Armeniae minoris------------]“. Cf. Torelli 1968, 173, pl. XI.
[227]As to the critical discussion about M. Heils proposal to consider Africa as an aim of Fronto’s expedition and to read consequently the above lacuna as Africae (exercit]us qui in A[fricae) (Heil 1989, 165-184), see Halfmann 1991, 41-43), cf. also Eck 2000, 844.
[228]In the text of the Armenian adaptation: "He made a great image in his own name, that is Armaz; for P'arnawaz was called Armaz in the Persian language. He erected the image at the entrance to K'art'li, which is called up to now the mountain Armaz" (24). Both fragments are translated by R. W. Thomson, v. Thomson 1996, 36. For the original Georgian text see Appendix, N. 30.
[229]The name of P'arnavaz is based upon the Persian notion of farnah, or royal glory (v. Rapp 1998, 25).
[230]Tarchnishvili 1961, 36-40.
[231]Toumanoff 1963, 100n151. The cult of a bull, a remnant of local paganism, is vividly depicted on the religious monuments of the earliest stage of Georgian Christianity.
[232]For the original text see Appendix, N. 31.
[233]Both these fragments are translated by R. W. Thomson, v. Thomson 1996, 97f.
[234]Speidel 1978, 1; Speidel 1980, 7-13, 17-18, figs. 7, 9, 11, 21, 38, 41; Schwertheim 1991, 40.
[235] I, 89.
[236]Speidel 1978, 21-24. It must be noticed that gold and silver utensils were used in the cult of Iupiter Dolichenus (Speidel 1980, 17).
[237]Speidel 1980, 12, 16, 18, fig. 31.
[238]Tseretheli 1935, 45-50.
[239]Thomson 1996, 74. For the original text see Appendix, N. 32.
[240]Thomson 1996, 20. For the original text see Appendix, N. 33.
[241]Sinor 1987, 2.
[242]Sinor 1987, 6 (map).
[243]Sinor 1987, 1.
[244]Mackinder 1904.
[245]Sinor 1987, 3.
[246]Sinor 1987, 4f.
[247]In D. Rayfield's translation, v. Rayfield 1994, 228.
[248]Sinor 1987, 17.
[249]Sinor 1987, 17f.
[250]Allen 1932, 31.
[251]Thomson 1996, 362f. For the original text see Appendix, N. 34.
[252]This folk poem was recorded by Peter Umikashvili in the middle of the nineteenth century. For the original text see Appendix, N. 35.
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