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Laz Kingdom (local name, Egrisi), a state in western Georgia from the second to sixth centuries.
According to ancient writers, in the second century Lazica occupied the territory to the north of the mouth of the Çoruh River, settled by the Laz people. In the fourth century, the rulers of Lazica subjugated the population of northern Colchis (the Svanians, Apsil, Abazgi). Major urban centers were the capital, Archeopolis (present-day Nakalakevi); Rhodopolis (present-day Vartsikhe); Vashnari; Petra (present-day Tsikhisdziri); and Apsar (present-day Gonio). Between the fourth and sixth centuries, feudal relations developed in Lazica. In 523 Christianity, which had earlier been propagated in Lazica, became the official religion. From the sixth century, Lazica became the arena of wars between Byzantium and Iran. According to a treaty of 562, Lazica remained under Byzantine suzerainty; royal authority in Lazica was abolished. In the eighth century, Lazica was incorporated into the Abkhaz kingdom.
REFERENCESIstoriia Gruzii, vol. 1. Tbilisi, 1962.
Melikishvili, G. A. K istorii drevnei Gruzii. Tbilisi, 1959.