Colchian Kingdom

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Colchian Kingdom


(Egrisi), a political formation in western Georgia that was founded in the sixth century B.C. by the Colchian tribes. Agriculture was the leading branch of the economy. Iron metallurgy, the processing of flax and wood, and the making of jewelry, ceramics, and other kinds of artifacts were highly developed. The minting of silver coins (kolkhidki) began in the sixth century B.C. Urban-type commercial and handicrafts centers and 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).

In the late sixth and first half of the fifth centuries B.C., the Colchian Kingdom became dependent on Persia. At the end of the fourth century B.C. the ruler of Colchis, Kudzhi (along with the Kartlian emperor, Farnavaz), headed the movement for the creation of a Georgian state. Colchis became subordinate to the kingdom of Pontus at the end of the second century B.C. and to Rome in the first century B.C.

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.


Melikishvili, G. A. K istorii Drevnei Gruzii. Tbilisi, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.