Formation and history of Egrisi (colchis) Kingdom

Early Caucasus

Early Caucasus

The defeat of the kingdom of Qolha were resulted from many things,but main was  the destruction of agriculture. However, a new kingdom, called Colcheti or Egrisi Kingdom, emerged from the ruins of ancient Qolha in the VII-VI centuries B.C. The name Egrisi was given by Eastern Georgian tribes (Karts) according to ethnicity its population (Egri-Megri-Mingrelians).

As Xenophon says political centre of Colchis was on the bank of the river Rioni (Phazis). However, Georgian historical annals name its capital as Tsikhe-Goji (on the spot of modern Nakalakevi), located 17 km away from the town of Senaki. Currently, ruins of massive fortress have been found there, and archeological excavations are being carried out.

Egrisi was too powerful kingdom and it has many attempts from Acaemenian Iran to conquer it. According to Herodotus Egrisi  paid tribute to the Iran in the size of 100 young boys and 100 girls every five years.

Egrisi`s Cities were located in the valley of the Rioni River (near the present-day settlements of Dablagomi and Vani) and along the coast of the Black Sea. Their rise and development were promoted by the founding of Greek colonies in Colchis (Dioscurias, Phasis, Gienos, and others).From the IV centuries, the ancient Greeks founded numerous settlements on the east Blak Sea. (main regions of Dioscurias are currently covered by water);

Colchis had intensive trade lines with Greek cities

From here starts reproducing of first Georgian moneyColchian Tetri” (“white” meaning minted from silver) – the small sized coin.

Colchian Tetri

Colchian Tetri

The remnants of tribal society were still rampant in Egrisi. The upper class of the society exploited not only a few slaves but also free and semi-free agriculturists.

After Alexander the Great’s (334-323 B.C) conquest of the oriental countries, the Greek culture dominated. Because of Greek culture dominate, the King was replaced by the Eristavi (Chief of the nation).

In about A.D. 100 the Colchian Kingdom, which had collapsed, was succeeded by the kingdom of Lazica, which arose north of the mouth of the Chorokhi River. Lazica gradually succeeded in subjugating the population of northern Colchis.

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