World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kingdom of Abkhazia

Part of a series on the
8th to 19th century AD
19th century to 1921
Soviet era
Contemporary era
Abkhazia portal

The Kingdom of Tao-Klarjeti) in 1008.


  • Historiographical conundrum 1
  • Early history 2
  • Seljuk invasion 3
  • Rulers 4
    • House of the Anosids (Achba/Anchabadze) 4.1
    • House of Shavliani 4.2
    • House of the Anosids (Achba/Anchabadze) 4.3
    • House of Bagrationi 4.4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References and further reading 7

Historiographical conundrum

Writing the kingdom’s primary history was dominated by Byzantine sources supported by modern epigraphic and archaeological records.

The problem of the Abkhazian Kingdom, particularly the questions of the nature of its ruling family and its ethnic composition, is a major point of controversy between modern Georgian and Abkhaz scholars. This can be largely explained by the scarcity of primary sources on these issues. Most Abkhaz historians claim the kingdom was formed as a result of the consolidation of the early Abkhaz tribes that enabled them to extend their dominance over the neighboring areas. This is objected to on the side of the Georgian historians, some of them claiming that the kingdom was completely Georgian.

Most international scholars agree that it is extremely difficult to judge the ethnic identity of the various population segments[1] due primarily to the fact that the terms "Abkhazia" and "Abkhazians" were used in a broad sense during this period—and for some while later—and covered, for all practical purposes, all the population of the kingdom, comprising both the Georgian (including also Greek as the language of literacy and culture.[3]

Early history

King Bagrationi.

Abkhazia, or Abasgia of classic sources, was a Leonti Mroveli) and Armenian (e.g., The History of Armenia by Hovannes Draskhanakertsi) chronicles.

The successful defense against the Arabs, and new territorial gains, gave the Abkhazian princes enough power to claim more autonomy from the Byzantine Empire. Towards circa 786, Leon won his full independence with the help of the Tskhumi, Bedia, Guria, Racha and Takveri, Svaneti, Argveti, and Kutatisi.[5]

The most prosperous period of the Abkhazian kingdom was between 850 and 950. In the early years of the 10th century, it stretched, according to Byzantine sources, along the Black Sea coast three hundred Nicholas Mystikos in Alania.

George’s successors, however, were unable to retain the kingdom’s strength and integrity. During the reign of Kingdom of Georgians.

Seljuk invasion

The second half of the 11th century was marked by the disastrous invasion of the Seljuk Turks, who, by the end of the 1040s, succeeded in building a vast nomadic empire including most of Central Asia and Iran. In 1071, Seljuk armies destroyed the united Byzantine-Armenian and Georgian forces in the Battle of Manzikert, and by 1081, all of Armenia, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and most of Georgia were conquered and devastated by the Seljuks.

Only Abkhazia and the mountainous areas of Shirvan and a large portion of Armenia.


Most Abkhazian kings, with the exception of John and Adarnase of the Shavliani (presumably of Svan origin), came from the dynasty which is sometimes known in modern history writing as the Leonids after the first king Leon, or Anosids, after the prince Anos from whom the royal family claimed their origin. Prince Cyril Toumanoff relates the name of Anos to the later Abkhaz noble family of Achba or Anchabadze.[6] By convention, the regnal numbers of the Abkhazian kings continue from those of the archons of Abasgia. There is also some lack of consistency about the dates of their reigns. The chronology below is given as per Toumanoff.

House of the Anosids (Achba/Anchabadze)

House of Shavliani

House of the Anosids (Achba/Anchabadze)

House of Bagrationi

  • Bagrat II, 978–1014

See also


  1. ^ Graham Smith, Edward A Allworth, Vivien A Law et al., pages 56-58.
  2. ^ Graham Smith, Edward A Allworth, Vivien A Law et al., pages 56-58; Abkhaz by W. Barthold V. Minorsky in the Encyclopaedia of Islam.
  3. ^ Alexei Zverev, Ethnic Conflicts in the Caucasus; Graham Smith, Edward A Allworth, Vivien A Law et al., pages 56-58; Abkhaz by W. Barthold [V. Minorsky] in the Encyclopaedia of Islam; The Georgian-Abkhaz State (summary), by George Anchabadze, in: Paul Garb, Arda Inal-Ipa, Paata Zakareishvili, editors, Aspects of the Georgian-Abkhaz Conflict: Cultural Continuity in the Context of Statebuilding, Volume 5, August 26–28, 2000.
  4. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 975
  5. ^ Vakhushti Bagrationi, The History of Egrisi, Abkhazeti or Imereti, part 1.
  6. ^ Rapp, pages 481-484.

References and further reading

  1. (English) Alexei Zverev, Ethnic Conflicts in the Caucasus 1988-1994, in B. Coppieters (ed.), Contested Borders in the Caucasus, Brussels: VUBPress, 1996
  2. Graham Smith, Edward A Allworth, Vivien A Law, Annette Bohr, Andrew Wilson, Nation-Building in the Post-Soviet Borderlands: The Politics of National Identities, Cambridge University Press (September 10, 1998), ISBN 0-521-59968-7
  3. Encyclopaedia of Islam
  4. (English) Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, Aspects of the Georgian-Abkhazian Conflict
  5. (Russian) Вахушти Багратиони. История царства грузинского. Жизнь Эгриси, Абхазети или Имерети. Ч.1
  6. S. H. Rapp, Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts, Peeters Bvba (September 25, 2003) ISBN 90-429-1318-5
  7. (English) Conflicting Narratives in Abkhazia and Georgia. Different Visions of the Same History and the Quest for Objectivity, an article by Levan Gigineishvili, 2003
  8. (English) The Role of Historiography in the Abkhazo-Georgian Conflict, an article by Seiichi Kitagawa, 1996
  9. (English) History of Abkhazia. Medieval Abkhazia: 620-1221 by Andrew Andersen
  10. Georgiy I Mirsky, G I Mirskii, On Ruins of Empire: Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Former Soviet Union (Contributions in Political Science), Greenwood Press (January 30, 1997) ISBN 0-313-30044-5
  11. Ronald Grigor Suny, The Making of the Georgian Nation: 2nd edition (December 1994), Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-20915-3, page 45
  12. Robert W. Thomson (translator), Rewriting Caucasian History: The Medieval Armenian Adaptation of the Georgian Chronicles: The Original Georgian Texts and Armenian Adaptation (Oxford Oriental Monographs), Oxford University Press, USA (June 27, 1996), ISBN 0-19-826373-2
  13. Toumanoff C., Chronology of the Kings of Abasgia and other Problems // Le Museon, 69 (1956), S. 73-90.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.