Abkhazian Kingdom

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Abkhazian Kingdom


an early feudal state in Transcaucasia with its center at Kutatisi (Kutaisi). In the 780’s the Abkhazian prince Leon II headed the successful struggle of Western Georgia for full independence from the Byzantine Empire. At that time the Abkhazian kingdom included all of Western and part of Eastern Georgia. The population was made up primarily of Abkhazians, Megrelians, and Svanians. There were many cities, forts, and temples in the kingdom, and trade was maintained with the other Georgian states, the Near East, and Mediterranean countries.

The kingdom was greatly strengthened in the ninth century and the first half of the tenth. From the beginning of the ninth century the Abkhazian kingdom fought with the Tao-Klardzheti and the Kakheti kingdoms for supremacy in Georgia. The Abkhazian kings George (d. 955) and Leon III (r. 955–67) subjugated part of Kakheti and the northern section of Tao-Klardzheti. However, the Abkhazian kingdom was weakened by feudal dissension under Demeter (r. 967–75), and as a result Tao-Klardzheti gained primacy. In 975, after a prolonged conflict with that kingdom, the Abkhazian kingdom became a part of a united feudal Georgia.


Anchabadze, Z. V. Iz istorii srednevekovoi Abkhazii (VI–XVII vv.). Sukhumi, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.