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Tariel Putkaradze

The Kartvels
The Georgians

Historical Home Mother Tongue

Dialects

2005

Translated into English by Irene Kutsia; Translated into Turkish by Abdulah Zorlu (Archil Zoidze), Giga Kamushadze. Thanks are also due to Eka Dadiani, Ia Vashakidze, Levan Vashakidze, Buba Kudava, Teimuraz Putkaradze, Fahredin Ciloğlu, Roin Qavrelishvili, Lila and Iasin Mskhaladze, Emzar Chanturidze, Khatuna Javakhadze for their support.

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Preface
The study of the pre-written past of a nation cannot be attempted without the consideration of the history of this people’s language. Besides, since biblical times to the present day nation (in its ethnic sense) and language (tongue) have nearly come to be deemed as synonymous notions. E.g. in the Kartvelian thought, since earliest times language, nation and state have been regarded as mutually defining: Giorgi Merchule: “Georgia is reckoned to consist of those numerous lands in which church services are celebrated and all prayers said in the Georgian tongue;” Grigol Orbeliani: “When the language is corrupted, the nation falls”; Ilia Chavchavadze: “Language is the history of a nation... The first sign of the identity of a nation is its language”; Vazha-Pshavela: “The language is the mother of a nation”... Zviad Gamsakhurdia: “...ena in [Old] Georgian as well as in other ancient languages implied not only ‘language’ but also ‘people’, ‘nation’, ‘tribe’. Cf. W.Humboldt, L. Weisgerber, G.Ramishvili and many others define eri (nation) as a linguistic unity; cf. also G.Ramishvili, 2000, p.172: “Language is nothing else but a weltanschauung of a nation”. Let us look at the question of the relation of nation and language differently: Linguistic units existing in the world are qualified as a language or dialect according to the ethno-cultural and national identity of the people concerned, rather than the linguistic (phonemic, morphologic, syntactic, lexical, semantic) parameters proper. If a particular community considers itself as an independent nation, or part of a nation, its speech, respectively, is defined as a language or dialect. The identity of a community is determined not only by the genetic code, but also the knowledge of the history of its traditional (written or unwritten) culture as well. Therefore, the history of a people should be made available to the future generation and foreigners,
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together with the juxtaposition of the history of its language and culture, this hardly being an easy problem to solve.
Note: There is an attempt in modern studies to call a nation the entire population of the given state; even in this case, the consideration of the history of the main population of a country and its state language in relation with each other cannot be passed by.

The knowledge of the history of one’s own nation and language is essential from the viewpoint of a person’s identity as well: Of the factors defining the national self (identity), as a rule, the main is the knowledge of the mother tongue. This implies thinking and at least family communication on the basis of either the literary language or any of its dialects (e.g. in the case of the Kartvels: Acharian, Laz, Megrelian, Lashkhian, Lentekhian, Imerkhevian, Samtskhe-Javakhetian, Livanian, etc.). The knowledge of the mother tongue is the inherent, immanent awareness of one’s own nationality. Notably enough, the strength of the facets defining the national identity of an individual (the mother tongue, traditional religion, knowledge of ethnic roots) is not similar in the identity of persons living in their motherland, living outside their motherland and those who have found themselves, with their territory, under the jurisdiction of the state of a different ethnos. Thus, the majority of the Tao-Klarj Georgians living under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Turkey no longer have either their mother tongue (the Georgian/ the Kartvel literary language or the native dialect) or historical religion. However, they still regard themselves as Georgian citizens of Turkey due to the awareness of their Georgian origin. Under the conditions of the lack of knowledge of the mother tongue, the awareness of one’s own ethnic roots largely determines the national identity. Compare a part of the Georgian mohajirs, having forgotten the mother tongue, isolates itself from others by means of the dance style, the tradition of Georgian cuisine, surviving in the family and other features of analogous value. Every person has a right to know his or her own linguistic, ethnic and state history, however, the individuals living in the field of a different ethos do not always have an opportunity to receive objective knowledge. The process of objective study is further complicated by the fact that several versions of the history of every nation comes into being; in
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particular, history is written by chroniclers, contemporary annalists of the governmental structures of the given country and historians of a neighbouring state. Along with this, even the remote past is engraved in people’s memory and the cycle of stories, passing from one generation to another, reaches the posterity in a legendary-fragmentary form. Finally, from the traditions and legends, documentary sources and archaeological evidence preserved in the earth we, researchers, restore the hypothetical past. However, due to particular national, linguistic or single-field view, some scholars too are not infrequently subjective to a certain extent, which should be avoided as far as possible. Research into the real state of affairs is also obstructed to a great extent by the ideologization of the scholarly arena, which, usually, is the result of the will of powerful imperial states. Unfortunately, over the past 80 years, when scholarly thought has developed considerably in the world, the history of the life, culture and language of the Georgian nation mainly was written according to the imperial scheme; e.g. “for some reason”, Fr.Hommel’s hypothesis concerning the relationship of the Kartvelian and Old western Asian worlds, the theory of the kinship of the Iberian-Caucasian languages, cherished by Ivane Javakhishvili and Arnold Chikobava, etc. were regarded as unpromising. Instead, the “friendly” co-existence of Russia and Georgia was highlighted with excessive subjectiveness and intensity. On the basis of the Kartvelian dialects, regarded as separate languages, in accordance with the ideological creed of the Russian empire (disunity and division of the nation possessing the territory to be conquered!), the Kartvels were represented as several independent nations: the Kartvels proper, the Khevsurs, the Tushs, the Svans, the Laz, the Megrels, the Acharians, the Meskhs, etc. The Soviet inertia still exists, not only in Russia (see. e.g. the book “Europe of the Peoples” published in Spain in 2002 by “The Centre of European Languages”). Here is an interesting discussion of G. Melikishvili on the politicization of scholarship: “The national self-awareness of the Georgians intensified at the end of the 19th century; in the same period was published Fr.Hommel’s new scholarly theory, according to which, the pre-Indo-European population living in Caucasia, western Asia and the great part of Europe – the
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Alarodian family of the peoples: the Elamites, the Kassites, the Urartians (Georgians are their descendants), the Pelasgians, the Etruscans, the Basques were regarded as ancestors of the Kartvels. Fr.Hommel’s scholarly theory reinforced the consolidation of the Georgians, but at the same time the champions of the Russian empire and the powerful Armenian bourgeoisie existing in Transcaucasia displayed antagonism against the Georgians”… (G.Melikishvili, Sakartvelos istoriis narkvevebi (Essays on Georgian’s History) I, p. 329). Similar politicized confrontation marked by the imperial feature (“divide and rule”) continued into the Soviet period, and in certain foreign circles it is still under way (see. e.g. the studies of G.Hewitt, I. Zeirek and W. Feurstein); After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of independence of Georgia, it became possible in Georgia to develop scholarly thought in a natural and free manner. Free cooperation with foreign (European, American, Asian) centers became easier. It should be noted specially that the governments of Turkey and Iran allowed the Georgian researchers to study the speech, ethnography and folklore of the population of the Kartvelian origin living in their states (this cultural and scholarly cooperation will certainly contribute to the further development of the friendly relations between our countries). As a result of the juxtaposition of the recent linguistic, culturological, archaeological, historical, source study, ethnographic and anthropological studies, as well as critical interpretation of certain problems, notions or terms, the foundation has been laid down for a new consideration of the historical interrelation of the linguistic units of the Kartvels and the general pattern of the history of Georgia, as opposed to the Soviet “tradition”- without politicization, on the basis of scholarly theses. Accordingly, in the present study my aim was to construct a logical scheme of the history of the Kartvels (cf. A.Toynbee: “The History of Language, A Handbook of the History of a Nation”). Working on the given range of questions the variety of terminology in the specialist literature and the lack of exchange between neighbouring scholarly disciplines as a result of the artificial, Soviet tradition presented great difficulties. On our initiative, since 1994 the A.Tsereteli Kutaisi State University Dialectology Research Institute has organized the annual international (thematic) symposiums of Kartvelologists – “Kutaisi
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Discussions”, to which linguists, ethnographers, folklorists, historians, archaeologists, culturologists, anthropologists are invited. Several symposia have been devoted to the terminological problems (materials of the symposia are published in the collection of scholarly papers “Kartvelian Heritage”). These impressive scholarly forums witnessed not only approbation of various views, but also intensive exchange of information between professionals of neighboring fields, which largely defined the nature of the present book. The book devotes great attention to controversial questions, such as: - the historical homeland of the Kartvels; - the history of old Georgian tribes (e.g. for some reason, it has been considered to the present day that there existed the tribe of the Karts, which Kartized and assimilated other tribes; see, e.g. I. Javakhishvili, 1908, pp. 46, 51; N. Marr, 1992, pp. 15, 18, D. Muskhelishvili, 2002, p. 11; however, the existence of the so-called Kart tribe is not confirmed by any sources); - the names and self-designation of the Georgians; - the identity of the Kartvelian population; - the interrelation of the Common-Kartvelian parent language (protolanguage), the literary language and the vernaculars of the Kartvels, the common Kartvelian linguistic model and Kartvelian sound correspondences: it is attempted to explain the sound correspondence not by the “back articulation”, but variance of the sibilants, labio-velarization and palatalization of the sounds in common Kartvelian proper. The following biblical-mythological-historical pattern has been developed as the basic structural model of the present book: Ancient chroniclers believed that, similar to other old peoples, the history of the Georgians derives from the divine source. The period of the Proto-Iberian (Pre-Greek) culture – that of Amiran-Prometheus - son of Iapetus – the Pre-Zeus deity can be considered conventionally as a mythological variety of the biblical path of Noah-Japheth-TarshishTargamos. The process of the becoming of the Kura-Araxes culture, extending over a great part of the Caucasus and western Asia, is assumed to be the next proto-historic period of the Kartvels. I advance the view that “the Colchian culture” descended from the people having the common Kartvelian language and it covered the Black Sea area from Pitiunt (Bichvinta) to Ordu, historical Cappadocia, the valleys of the rivers Rioni, Qvirila, Chorokhi and
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the upper course of the Mtkvari (up to Mtskheta), as well as Tskhinvali and Qoban areas. Georgian chroniclers link the beginnings of the kingship with the history of Azon, Parnavaz and Kuji. Exactly from this period the “AeaColchis, rich in gold” well-known to the Greeks revived again as the State of Kartli, over a smaller territory, however, with its centre at Mtskheta. From the turn of our millennium it is easier to represent the history of the Georgian/Kartvel written language and, generally, the Kartvels as specific sections. The hypothetical historical chain of the Georgian nation from the ancient period to the present day will assume the following form: Proto-Kartvelian (Iberian-Caucasian – Western Asian) period – the 5th – 3rd millennia BC; Period of Aeetes – Colchian (common Kartvelian) culture – from the mid-2nd millennium BC to the mid-1st millennium BC; Revival of all Georgia as Kartli of Azon, Kuji and Parnavaz – 2nd half of the 1st millennium BC; Transition period – turn of our era; From adoption of Christianity to the assassination of Gorgasali – 4th-5th cc. AD; From the Arab rule to Georgian messianism – 7th-9th cc; David the Builder and Tamar – Georgia’s Golden Age; Period from Giorgi Lasha to Giorgi the Brilliant; Long period of Persian and Turkish domination – division of Georgia into small provinces; Russian period – from King Giorgi XII to the assassination of President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. The linguistic history of the Kartvels, considered in relation with the offered historical pattern, will hopefully show in an objective and wellargued way the mosaic image of the Kartvel nation, possessing a common ethno-cultural system and a single, centuries-old written language, a people with many-faceted ethnographic features and diverse dialectal speech. * * * The history and the present of the Georgian nation is the struggle for survival. Usually the intruders use two main forms of aggression: annexation of the empty territory after physical destruction or resettlement of
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a people, or gradual assimilation of the local population by thrusting their language and religion upon it. Both varieties are manifestations of aggressive globalization. History confirms that physical and genetic destruction of a people is almost impossible. The second variety of aggression – linguistic-cultural (conscious) assimilation is the most dangerous for a nation. The history of the Georgian nation offers a good example of the optimistic struggle for preservation of national-cultural identity (national self-identity), although the Georgian nation has lost much of its territories. At the given stage of study the documentary sources reflecting the language policy of imperial Russia in Georgia (Caucasia) exceeds the material showing the imperial language policy of the Semites, the Hittites, the ancient Greeks, the Byzantines, the Persians, the Arabs or the Turks. Therefore, by way of illustration the language aggression of Russia in the 19th-20th-centuries Georgia is discussed at length in one chapter. Finally, it is emphasized that the present book, written with great respect to the scholars of the previous generations (M.Brosset, N.Marr, I.Javakhishvili, S.Janashia, Arn.Chikobava, G.Akhvlediani, A.Shanidze, V.Topuria, M.Kaldani, G.Ramishvili, G.Rogava, K. Lomtatidze, T.Uturgaidze, Th.Gamkrelidze, O.Japaridze, O.Lordkipanidze, H.Fenrich, B.Jorbenadze, H.V.Zjcar', Gr.Giorgadze), but with a somewhat different vision, is a subjective interpretation of the linguistic and cultural history of the Georgians. Respectively, the first edition of the book aims to trigger discussion around the considered problems. I wish to express special gratitude to Prof. Teimuraz Gvantseladze, Prof. Kevin Tuite, Prof. Manana Sanadze, Prof. Manana Tabidze, Prof. Giorgi Kavtaradze and Prof. Vakhtang Japaridze, who read the study before its publication; their helpful advice assisted to extend (or specify) discussion on several questions. Newly found sources and soundly argued notes of other specialists will be gratefully accepted and taken into consideration in the second edition. P.S. In the book the terms: The Georgians/The Kartvels and Georgian language/Kartvel language are used in parallel, as they are synonyms. The sources, authors and illustrative material are not offered in the English translation. They can be found in the main, Georgian version by means of the transliteration diagram; Choosing Latin variations gove advantage to the computer symbols.
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Part I Pre – Christian Period
Chapter One Terminological problems
1.1. The Relation of Language and Dialect and Nation
1.1.1. Temi (Community), T’omi (Tribe), Etnosi (Ethnos), Eri (Nation) In the scholarly literature one and the same terms are not infrequently used with several nuances, leading to numerous misunderstandings; the given paragraph deals with the Georgian terms – temi (community), ţomi (tribe), etnosi (ethnos), eri (nation), samċignobro ena (literary language), umċerlobo ena (unwritten language), dialekt’i (dialect), dedaena (mothe tongue), ucxo ena (foreign language), etc. According to a common view, the main characteristics of an ethnic unity, ethnic group, ethnos, nation are: common historical memory, common historical territory, historically developed common language, culture and psychic makeup. As a rule, the scholarly literature draws on this understanding of a nation. In modern political terminology nation has acquired new semantics, namely: nation – the population of the given state – unity of citizens. Some scholars imply under the terms: ethnos, ethnic group, ethnographic group nation and tribe, as well as population of a province. One textbook translated into Georgian can be cited as an example: The introduction of the “Ethnography” published in 1991 reads: “Ethnographic group implies a certain part of an ethnos, distinguished by the local specificity of the spoken language, culture and life, sometimes having a self-denomination and somewhat dual identity. The ethnographic groups of the Kartvels are as follows: Kartlians, Kakhetians, Khevsurs,
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Imeretians, Gurians, Ingilos, Megrels, Rachians, etc…” It should also be noted here that according to some scholars Kartlian, Kakhetian, Imeretian and others should be characterized by the term: subethnos. Unfortunately, even some fundamental linguistic studies contain regrettable inaccuracies; e.g. B. Jorbenadze lists as ethnoses: Kakhetian, Gurian, Kartlian, and others. The habitats of these “ethnoses” are regarded as ethnic provinces, and their speech - as “ethnic dialects” (B.Jorbenadze 1989, pp. 29, 42). Not infrequently, Georgia in foreign or Georgian editions (Internet directories, encyclopedias, manuals, and individual studies) is represented as an unnaturally multilingual and multinational country (see e.g. www. ethnologue.com). Sometimes, it is also noted that the rights of other ethnoses are infringed there. Along with this, some contemporary foreign scholars strive to declare a part of the Kartvels (e.g. the Megrelo-Laz) as different peoples (nations), and to create new literary languages in the Megrelian and the Laz dialects (see G. Hewitt, 2004, W. Feurstein, 2003). It should be emphasized from the outset that the Megrelo-Laz took especially active part in the creation of the centuries-old Georgian (Kartvelian) literary language, based on the common Kartvelian koine. That is why it is not necessary to create a literary language on the basis of the dialects according to the Russian imperial interests (“divide and rule”). Similar errors made by some conscientious foreign authors in relation to the Georgian reality stem from studies of Georgian scholars. When the above-mentioned terms are used incorrectly in the papers of local researches, when certain groups of the Georgians are declared independent ethnoses, and the dialects of the Kartvels of various provinces – unwritten languages, in the society which lacks familiarity with Georgia’s history there naturally arises an idea to assist “oppressed” and “undeveloped” ethnoses: to create a script, a state, etc. for them. Some foreign researchers believe that since the vernaculars of the inhabitants of Svaneti, Lazeti and Samegrelo differ from the literary Kartvelian language, the Svans, the Laz and the Megrels are independent ethnoses speaking unwritten languages. Hence the need for their “ushering” into the arena of culture, and for creation of alphabets, and literary language for these Georgians, possessing in fact ancient written
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culture. Unfortunately, some contemporary Georgian scholars are not guaranteed against similar errors either; e.g. in K. Gabunia’s view, the Megrels, Svans, Laz and Karts are separate Kartvelian ethnic groups, and Zan and Svan are unwritten languages (K. Gabunia, 2004, pp.172-177). As ethnos and nation is a linguistic, cultural, psychic historical unity, and a particular community is a specific variety (component element) of a nation, as a common national unity, the problem of the status of a given society calls for complex discussion. In the given case, the Georgian nation, as a historical super-organism, developed from several kindred tribes. All the societies speaking the Kartvelian dialects, all Georgians of historical and modern Georgia have made their contributions to the formation of the Kartvel national self (identity), Georgian culture and literary language. So when we speak about the ethnic structure and culture of the present-day Georgian nation, the common Kartvelian phenomenon is implied, which after the formation of the literary language and a single auto-ethnonym still should be considered as a single ethnos. In my view, it is reasonable to use the historical term temi (community) rather than ethnos, ethnic group or subethnos to denote the Kartvels of various provinces: Acharians, Gurians, Svans, Kakhetians, etc. Temi is derived from Greek; it is recorded in the western Georgian documents of the final quarter of the 13th century (T. Beradze 1976, p. 225); Saba defines temi as “one part of a country”, D. Chubinashvili – as “people of one temi ("народ одной области"); with the meaning of my present interest it is found in the Explanatory Dictionary of the Georgian Language too: “ This month the temi of Guria will gather in our village” (E.Ninoshvili). Mikhako Tsereteli, Ivane Javakhishvili, Niko Berdzenishvili and others also used temi to denote the population of the historical and geographic provinces of Georgia. Taking into account the above-mentioned, it is advisable to use the ethnic terms “ ethnos”, “ethnic group”, “subethnos” and the like to refer to the unities of persons having an independent ethnic structure and language, and the technical term “temi” – to denote local groups within one ethnos. Cf. ethnos – community (temi) – person are in the same relation with each other as language – dialect – idiolect; e.g. from the ethnological or
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linguistic aspect, individual temis of the Georgian nation are: the Acharians, the Gurians, the Chagma-Tushs, the Tsova-Tushs, the Imeretians, the Hers (Ingilos), the Megrels, the Laz, the Mtiuls, the Samtskheans, the Shavshetians, the Livanans, the Taoans, the Klarjs, the Khevians, the Svans, Fereidaninas, the Javakhs, the Khevsurs, the Kartlians, the Pshavians, the Kakhetians, the Rachians, the Lechkhumians, etc. Historically, the Abkhazians too are one of the temis of the Georgian nation. However, as a result of the pressure from the Russian Empire, the dual mentality of some of them is anti-Kartvelian at present. A part of the ethnic groups migrated to Georgia: the Ossetes, the Greek, the Tatars, the Russians, the Armenians, etc. at the given stage of history cannot be regarded either as temis of the Georgian nation or fully-fledged citizens of Georgia, they do not speak the state language of Georgia, do not recognize the legislation of Georgia, remaining, to date, mainly Russianspeaking communities. The further development of independent Georgia should occur so that every citizen of Georgia, regardless of his or her ethnic origin, rear a patriotic feeling towards his or her homeland – Georgia and the state language – the Kartvel literary language; only in this case he or she will feel as a free and fully-fledged member of a free society. Only after this, the Georgian nation can be referred to as that made up, in addition to the main – Georgian (Kartvel) ethnos, of other ethnic groups. The incorrect use of the term “ethnonym” also leads to numerous blunders; in the scholarly literature not only notions: Georgian, Russian, Ossete… are regarded as ethnonyms, but also: Kakhetians, Kartlian, Megrelian, Imeretian, etc. (P. Tskhadaia, N. Khazaradze, T. Ochiauri, B. Jorbenadze, G. Topuria, V.Itonishvili and many others; cf. in Russian, English or other dictionaries, only names of peoples are considered as ethnonyms). The above discussion logically leads to the conclusion that only that historical vocabulary must be regarded as ethnonyms which has been established as the proper names denoting a nation, ethnos, ethnic group, tribe (the question of regarding ethnonym as a proper name is also controversial in the scholarly literature, some consider it as onym, others – as nomen). The name denoting a temi can be called temonym, the term can be used in foreign languages too. As the Svans, the Megrels, the Laz, the Acharians,
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the Gurians, the Kakhetians, the Kartlians, the Rachians, the Imeretians, the Pshavians, the Khevsurs, the Tushs, the Ingilos, the Klarjs the Shavshetians, the Imerkhevians, the Fereidanians equally form temis or component parts of the Georgian nation, the names denoting them should be equally regarded as a specific group of the names of origin – temonyms, rather than “ethnonyms”. 1.1.2. Literary Language, Unwritten Language, Dialect; State Language, National Language, Mother Tongue, Foreign Language In modern manuals and encyclopaedias the number of the world languages varies from 4000 to 7000. The status of approximately three thousand linguistic units is defined variously by the specialists. This variety is due to the difficulty of classifying speech units as a language or dialect and the difference of opinion on the qualifications of a language and a dialect. The divergence of views in connection with the status of a given linguistic unit is caused by various qualification criteria, variety of the terms (nations) used in the discussion, different interpretation of the history of an ethnos, etc. Dealing with this problem, after a clear definition of the terms, I think, it is essential to demarcate the following two aspects of viewing the problem: - According to what principles the already existing linguistic units (languages or dialects) were classified historically (traditionally); - What criteria are offered by modern scholars for the demarcation of language and dialect. Along with this, the linguistic and ethnic, as well as historical and political situation, where a heated argument is under way as to the classification of a given linguistic unit as a language or a dialect calls for careful study according to different dimensions. It should be noted from the outset that the problem of demarcation of language and dialect cannot be solved only on the basis of linguistic data. Furthermore, not a single language of the world, having cultural tradition, is qualified as language according to the linguistic features proper (sound complex, morphological, syntactic and semantic categories, vocabulary).
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Along with this, the boundary of linguistic changes or peculiarities has not been established yet, beyond which the quantitative differences between kindred linguistic units pass into qualitative– a variant of a system passes into a new system. Besides, in spite of the “systemic identities and differences” of linguistic phenomena, due to the ethnic and political reasons, the units having analogous phonemic and grammatical system (Byelorussian and Russian, Rumanian and Moldavian, Azerbaijanian and Turkish, etc.) are qualified as languages and, conversely, Bukharan and Algerian, Prussian and Bavarian, etc., different in grammatical system, are regarded as dialects of one language. Unlike G. Hewitt, W. Feurstein and other interested persons, my goal is not the revision of the historically developed status, but argued qualification of the languages and dialects having a controversial status. The relative definition and qualification of kindred linguistic units usually is easy within one historical nation. In the scholarly literature even non-kindred linguistic units have been qualified as a dialect of a given language due to the similarities arisen as a result of long co-existence. E.g. New Prussian speech – “descendant” of the Old Prussian language existing to the 17th century – a Baltic kindred language of Lithuanian, is viewed as several German (Brandenburg) dialects. Cf. also the position of V. Zhirmunski concerning the eastern Middle German dialects developed on the territory of the Slavs – “Saxon’s land” (V.Zhirmunski, 1956, p. 24). Cf. A. Oniani’s assessment: Proceeding from national and political interests, specialists of the German language and dialects refer to the High German and the Low German languages as dialects (see A. Oniani, 2003, pp. 139-140). Note: In the scholarly literature the so-called “Criterion of Overlapping” has been developed to define the becoming of a non-kindred linguistic unit a dialect (see I. Gossans, 1977). The problem of the relation of language and dialect should be discussed in synchrony according to public and historical, ethno-cultural, religious and linguistic aspects proper. There is also the need for making the results of the scholarly studies available to the public, for only in this case a society will not be torn from its cultural past: the people will be able to make a conscious choice of self-identification, and what is the most important, the right of a
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person or ethnos to know its past will be protected. As an example can be cited the Laz living in Turkey, whose bulk are unaware of their own cultural past. In particular, there are numerous sources and logical arguments (see below) to state the following: The Laz too participated in the creation of the Kartvel literary language. What is the most important, the literary Georgian language is not based on the “Kartlian- Kakhetian” speech proper, or any other dialect, but on the common Kartvelian linguistic model (in more detail, see below). The Kartvel literary culture is the possession of the Laz as it is of the Kakhetians (Kakhs) or Meskhs. The modern Megrelo-Laz living in Georgia are well-aware that it were their ancestors who created literary Georgian (Bagrat, Giorgi I and others kings unifying Georgia and reviving Georgian writing, well-known Georgian scribes Iovane Lazi, Iovane Minchkhi, Stepane Sananoisdze, Iovane Petritsi, Chqondidelis and many other figures were from Lazeti– Klarjeti–Egrisi). But the Laz living in Turkey are already alienated from the historical mother tongue – the Georgian literary language - for cultural relations they employ Turkish. (Cf. The informal language of the MegreloLaz is the Megrelian and the Laz dialects both in Georgia and Turkey). It is also noteworthy that old Georgian chroniclers and great figures (Gregory of Khandzta, Leonti Mroveli, Vakhushti, Sulkhan-Saba, Ilia Chavchavadze, Iakob Gogebashvili, Konstantine Gamsakhurdia…) never spoke about the existence of several languages of the Georgians; moreover, our learned ancestors emphasized in their writings that the traditional language of the historical culture, the mother tongue of the Kartvels, is literary Georgian, and Odishian (Megrelian), Meskh, Kakhetian, Svan and other vernaculars are regional-rural dialects (on the history of this question see Arn. Chokobava, 1948; B. Jorbenadze, 1989, pp. 22-23; A.Japaridze, 1996, pp. 58-63, 114-118; also T. Putkaradze, 2000; T. Putkaradze, N. Nakani, 2001;T.Gvantseladze, 2003). The “Treaty on the Unity of the Iberians (Iverians)”, signed by the kings and princes of Kartli and Kakheti, Samegrelo, Imereti and Guria in 1790; it is stressed in the treaty is particularly interesting for the definition of the status of their language by our ancestors and the national-state mentality of the Kartvels: “Since all the Iverians, inhabiting the kingdom of Kartli,
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Kakheti, Imereti, Odishi and Guria share one religion, are the children born from one Catholic Church and having one language, they also have great love as kinsmen and relatives by blood. Therefore we, the kings and princes of the above-mentioned lands of Iveria promise in the name of All-Mighty God to keep the inviolable agreement of our unity, which will be made clear in the following propositions…” It is obvious that we, the Georgians, traditionally thought that we had only one language. The main part of the study specially discusses the terms language and dialect; cf. views of various scholars: Language – the variety of the degree of distribution (prestigiousness) – high degree of use, codified writing, standardness, literary status, artificialness to a certain extent. Dialect – low degree of use, non-standardness, means of oral communication, naturalness (K.H. Schmidt, U.Ammon, A. Bach, T.Lewaindowski, P.Wiesinger, B.Sowienski, A. Linke). Language is the basic system, dialect – a variety of the system (national language); there must be mutual intelligibility between the dialect speakers (P.Finke, B. Jorbenadze, G.Nebieridze), intelligibility between dialects is not essential (V. Zhirmunski, E. Coseriu, I. Kloupek, J. Hergen and many others). According to some scholars, if there is sound correspondence between related linguistic units, they should be qualified as languages (M. Kurdiani) G.Bellmann,W. Konig and others think that it is difficult to demarcate dialects and language; the transition from dialect into language occurs easily. Some scholars believe that the community carrying a linguistic unit should define its status (H. Haarmann, P. Auer). In my view, although the criterion of prestigiousness and standardness may be useful to characterize literary language and dialect, it fails to demarcate an unwritten language and dialect. Discussion according to the variation of the linguistic system is also very conventional. E.g. In terms of the phonemic, morphological, syntactic, lexical and semantic structures, the Russian, Byelorussian,
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Ukrainian and Polish languages are closer variants in relation to one another than the dialects of the German language. It should be stressed once more here that the attempt to quality linguistic units as a language or a dialect differently, according to the sociolinguistic criteria, on the one hand, and the “linguistic” criteria proper, on the other, is artificial and of little use for the study of the problem.
Note: As far as I know, the first such an attempt in Georgian reality was made by Nikolai Marr, exposing I.Vostorgov’s anti-Georgian position. See, N. Marr, 1905, pp. 7-10, also Arn.Chikobava, 1952, p. 358, where N. Marr is criticized: due to “cultural remoteness” Marr regarded Laz and Megrelian, two dialects of “linguistically one” language, as two languages.

I believe that if the aim of a scholar is to research into the status of a certain linguistic unit from the linguistic or socio-linguistic aspects proper, first he shoud study the already existing (universally accepted) principles of qualification of languages and dialects, and after this, on the basis of the conclusions arrived at, he should engage in a discussion concerning a linguistic unit of a controversial status. Self-purposeful revision of the traditional centuries-old qualifications according to the relative notions of linguistics or socio-linguistics should be avoided. It hardly seems reasonable to consider Russian, regarded as an independent language for several centuries, as one Slavic dialect now. Nor was there a need for the change of the status of Megrelian (Odishian) speech, viewed as a dialect of the Kartvel language (similar to other dialects), in the 20th century, and for the creation of a new “literary” language on the basis of dialects for the Svans, Megrels and Laz, possessing great written tradition, by G. Hewitt, W. Feurstein, I. Zhvania, G.Sichinava and others. Similar “activities” will result in the alienation of the Megrelo-Laz and Svans from their own rich cultural past, existing in the form of the Georgian/Kartvelian writing (suffice to mention the sixteen-century past, beginning a new stage of its development from the activities of Iovane Lazi and Peter the Iberian) and its final loss. Not a single language or dialect of the world has been qualified according to the presence or absence of sound correspondence. Along with this, sometimes there are no sound correspondences between related languages, and, conversely, regular sound correspondences are identified between the linguistic units regarded as dialects (German, Chinese,
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Japanese), and even in vernaculars and idiolects. The definition of the status of a language or dialect by the speaker community itself will yield the desired effect in the case of a linguistic unit with a newly created written system or that without unwritten culture. The identity of the people having no written culture is based on understanding the within a certain unwritten language (cf. North Caucasian languages). This method will encounter insurmountable difficulties when questioning a community possessing a written culture of long standing. The archaic language and culture will be understandable and native to the educated strata, but it will prove alien to the uneducated strata. E.g. a peasant, not knowing literary Japanese or Singhalese, conceives his native dialect as his mother tongue; thereby he unintentionally is separated from his ancient culture. Cf. until the 20th century the educated Abkhazians were aware that, similar to other Georgians, they too were heirs to the rich Kartvelian culture. However, as a result of the intensive efforts of the Russian empire and finally the destruction of the aristocracy and intellectuals, i.e. the educated part of the Abkhazians, the bulk of the population of this province, having lost their natural, historical landmark, has abjured the great common Kartvelian past. Thus, in the case of the inadequate education, certain strata may confuse their native dialect and mother tongue – the literary language created by the ancestors (when the native dialect is declared to be mother tongue, the historical mother tongue – the literary languages of the ancestors – is qualifies as a foreign language, since a community living in normal conditions cannot have two mother tongues!). In my view, the demarcation of language and dialect is not possible by this so-called plebiscite method either; nor is this criterion used seriously in scholarship. Finally, it should be stressed specially once more that if a specialist takes sound correspondence as the criterion, for him the related linguistic units will be qualified as languages or dialects differently (e.g. the Bavarian and Mecklenburg dialects of the German language will be regarded as different languages); if he takes intelligibility as the criterion, the necessity of the revision of many linguistic units will arise (e.g. Arabic dialects: Algerian and Bukharan, Georgian dialects: Ingilo and Gurian will have to be
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regarded as different languages), etc. Naturally, every scholar has a right to choose a criterion, argue, re-group languages or dialects according to it (see e.g. according to intelligibility, Th. Gamkrelidze identifies only three zones of the Slavic languages; Th. Gamkrelidze, Z. Kiknadze, 2003, p.616), and submit for discussion. It is obvious, I believe, that the status of the existing languages, are, as general rule, defined according to ethnocultural, political and religious features. In case of controversial qualifications the demarcation of a language and a dialect is difficult when defining the relation of an unwritten language and a dialect. A linguistic unit with a current written tradition is usually qualified as a language, rather than a dialect (cf. modern Provencal dialect, on the one hand, and – Italian dialects, on the other). Therefore, first of all, unwritten language and dialect should be defined in relation with each other. Dialect should be defined as a branch of the common national literary language of a given people (nation), which is the means of oral communication of a part of the population of the country, or a certain social stratum. In other words: Any specific speech unit should be regarded as a dialect of the literary (standard) language having a related structure, if the people carrying the given speech code historically participated in the creation of this literary language. The speech of a community should be regarded as an unwritten language, if the people carrying it did not take part historically in the formation of the national literary language (written culture) and instead uses a language and writing created by others as a formal language, business correspondence, etc. The observation of the relations of the world peoples and their languages and dialects shows that the hierarchy of linguistic units is regulated by itself by its relation to the history of the literary language. The situation can be represented in the form of the following diagram: Nation – its literary language – vernaculars of individual communities (territorial and social groups) of the nation.
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1.1.3. Towards the Grouping of Modern Linguistic Units of the Georgians/the Kartvels Linguists of various generations arrive mainly at the same conclusion concerning the theoretical model of the common Kartvelian language. It is obvious that the direct descendant of common Kartvelian is the Georgian literary language, the continuous documentary examples of which are found over the last 16 centuries. It can be said with confidence that the ancient phonemic, morphological, syntactic and lexico-semantic structures of the literary Georgian correspond structurally to the theoretical model of the common Kartvelian language. Unlike many literary languages, the Georgian literary language is not derived from any known dialects. The speeches of all the Kartvelian communities are in similar qualitative relation towards the literary language, for all units derive from common Kartevlian, all being modified to a certain extent. The original situation has been more preserved in the literary language, and the modifications intensify in proportion with the weakening of the field of the influence of the literary language. It should be noted specially that all the Kartvelian tribes participated in the creation of the Georgian literary language from the beginning (e.g. the first Georgian inscriptions are recorded in the monastery near Jerusalem, linked with the names of Iovane Lazi and Peter the Iberian!); powerful seats of learning and culture existed in Egrisi, Lazeti, Svaneti, Tao-Klarjeti, Meskheti, Abkhazia, Kartli and Kakheti, etc. The populations of these Georgian provinces have formed historically a single literary language and their own dialects. The conclusion made by Arn. Chikobava should be noted here as well: the Georgian literary language was developed with the participation of the Laz-Megrel and Svan dialects (Arn. Chikobava, 1948). I assume that the evolution of the (so-called hushing type) dialects of the Zan-Svan circle from common Kartvelian must have begun from the end of the 1st millennium BC (in more detail see below). It is also noteworthy that according to an early view of Th.Gamkrelidze and G.Machavariani, Georgian and Zan dialectal varieties were separated from one another at the turn of our era (Th. Gamkrelidze, G. Machavariani 1965, p.14).
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The Kartvels not only created their literary language over the centuries, but they were also tempered in it as their mother tongue. The cultural, national and state mentality of the Georgians has been determined by a single and traditional written culture (as e.g. the mentality of the Arabs, Chinese and other ancient peoples has been determined by their traditional written culture). The vernaculars of modern Kartvels (Svan, Laz, Megrels, Meskhs, Kartlians, Taoans, etc.) are secondary variants of the literary language (the common Kartvelian model) according to the phonemic, morphological and syntactic, as well as lexico-semantic structure. E.g. the Kartvelian dialects listed below share basic vowels and their reflexes (only in some marginal Kartvelian dialects, namely, in three Svan, one Zan, several Meskh and Pkhovian, also Her dialects the palatalized vowels, developed as a result of the influence of other languages, are recorded). The number and nature of consonants and sonants are also almost identical. The paradigms of the noun and the verb are qualitatively homogeneous in literary Georgian and all the dialects, except the Svan dialects (cf. K. Gabunia, 2004, p. 170). In spite of the existence of certain superstratic influences, the Svan dialects follow the Kartvelian models (see e.g. V.Topuria, 1967; G. Machavariani, 2002, pp. 7879). For the illustrative material in more detail, see the Georgian version. Proceeding from the above, ain relation tothe common Kartvelian literary language, I qualify the vernaculars of the Kartvels as dialects.
Note: For an analogous conclusion on Kartvelian musical dialects, see: N.Maisuradze, 2002, p. 242: “The Svan and Megrelian musical units are separated from the Georgian proto-language only on the level of musical dialects”.

In my view, in accordance with the field of influence of literary Georgian, the modern vernaculars of the Georgians should be divided into central dialects, marginal dialects and outer (those found beyond the historical frontiers of Georgia); the marginal dialects, in their turn, comprise six groups: Central dialects: Kakhetian, Kartlian, Imeretian, Lechkhumian, Gurian Marginal dialects: Meskhian dialects: Acharian, Livanan, Machakhelian, Imerkhevian, Taoan, Samtskhean, Javakh;
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Her dialects: Kakian, Aliabatian Pkhovian dialects: Chagma-Tush, Pshavian, Khevsur, Khevian, Mtiul-Gudamaqarian; Tsova-Tush may be considered here too, in which both the Kartvelian and the Vaynakh linguistic layers are preserved in an impressive way. Interestingly enough, D. Melikishvili regards Tsova-Tush speech as a mixed Georgian dialect (D. Melikishvili, 2001, p.16) Rachian dialects: Lower Rachian, Upper Rachian; Svan dialects: Lashkh, Lentekhian, Cholur, Balskvemoan, Balszemoan; Zan dialects: Megrelian, Laz (Khopan, Vitsean-Arkabean, Atinan) Dialects of the Georgians outside Georgia’s historical territory: Fereiadanian, the Kartvel language of “Cveneburebi” in Turkey, and Qizlar-Mozdokian. On the example of the speech codes of the Kartvels, the coexistence of the linguistic units of a people – a nation, having historically one ethno-cultural system, can be represented as the so-called monolingual diglossia, where the historical literary language (standard language) is the mother tongue, and the vernacular (e.g. Balszemo dialect) is the native dialect (cf. M. Kurdiani, 1999, p.79. Here, in spite of the fact that a Svan is viewed as a Georgian, the relation: Balszemoan dialect – literary Georgian, is still, for some reason, regarded as bilingualism). Cf. Declaring the Georgian dialects (or groups of dialects) unwritten languages, we not only deprive a part of the Georgians of their literary past, but by the distortion of the historical situation, we enable certain forces to represent the Georgians as four independent linguistic and ethno-cultural units – four nations.
Note: Some contemporary figures following the linguistic policy of Tsarist Russia in Caucasia, try to declare the speech (dialect), of a certain part of the Georgians as an independent language, and, with the assistance of some foreign colleagues, to represent the Laz, the Megrels, the Svans, the Meskhs, etc. as linguistic-ethnic minorities (one may recall the efforts of Feurstein, Chibarisi, Hewitt, and others in this direction). In this regard, the political powers of the Russian and cosmopolitan orientation are active in Georgia. E.g. on the basis of the thought of G.Sichinava, M. Dzadzamia and other followers of Isak Zhvania, a pro-Russian politician A.Chachia writes: “It is a fact that the language, spoken by one third of the Kartvels, an ancient language whose vocabulary is one of the richest in the

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world, has been called by the Georgians for years now a dialect, now a vernacular, now broken Georgian” (A. Chachia, 2002, p. 264). The author also states that the Megrels have their own, original language and culture (analogous views of G.Hewitt are found in the issue of August 16-31, 2004, of newspaper “Gali”). These problems will be discussed in the second part of the book; here only the following will be noted: The persons familiar with the history of the Georgian culture will not have to be reminded of the fact that the original language and culture of the Megrels is the common Georgian language and culture created by their ancestors over the centuries. The valuable Megrelian dialect, a great treasure and inexhaustible centuries-old source of the Kartvel literary language, calls for taking care and study (this task now is being tackled by the specialists of the Kutaisi State University Dialectology Research Institute; however, there is still a need for a special state program for the study and preservation of the Kartvelian dialects). It should also be noted that the secret goals of I. Zhvania and his followers were exposed in due time by great public figures Konstantine and Zviad Gamsakhurdia (see, e.g. Z. Gamsakhurdia, 1989).

I tend to think that the terms: “national language”, or “ethnic language” used in the scholarly literature to refer to the vernaculars of the Svans, the Laz and other individual Georgian groups are inaccurate and illogical as well, for they directly imply an independent ethno-cultural unity – nation. Ethnic language is a language of an independent ethnos (ethnos – a historical group of persons, society, developed on the basis of the unity of original territory, language and culture). Cf.: nation (nationality) – community (regional variety of nation) – personality mother tongue – dialect (regional variety of language) – idiolect. Different relations are established in the case of the pidgin, creole and post creole continua, formed by the mixture of non-related linguo-ethnic systems, also when a community uses a literary language created by others. The possible relations can be shown by the following diagram (every diagram reflects the possible reality in a somewhat conventional manner):
Note: 1. Historical literary language; 2. Post creole literary language; 3. Historical unwritten language; 4. Unwritten creole; 5. Local dialect; 6. Social dialect, implying social dialect proper, pidgin, jargon and argot (pidgin exhibits more peculiarities, therefore, the second features in the last graph apply to it). Intonational peculiarities may occur in every linguistic unit, and prosodic ones even in idiolects (the given table does not pretend to perfection).

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Linguistic unit Formalfunctional characteristics More or less different phonotactical rules Morphologicalsyntactic peculiarities Lexical peculiarities Written norms Spoken norms Natural speech Language of ethnos (nation) Language of temi (territorialethnographic group) Language of social stratum Continuity with culture of given ethnos Descendance from protolanguage Written tradition Means of primary world perception Means of folk art Professional world perception (literature, science…)

Literary language Histor Postcr ical eole + +

Unwritten language Historical Creole

Dialect Local Soci al _ +

+

+

+

Linguistic characteristi cs proper

+ + + + + +

+ + + + + +

+ + _ + + +

+ + _ + + +

+ + _ + + _

_ + + _ _ +_ _

Normative characteristics

Ethnicsocial characteristics

+

+

+

+

+

_

+ +

+ _

+ +

+ _

+ +

+ _

Culturalhistorical characteristics

+ + + _

_ _ + _

+ _ + +

_ _ + +

+ _ + +

_ _ + _

Cognitivecreative characteristics

+

+

_

_

_

_

Secularfunctional characteristics (degree of use)

+ State language Regional speech Vernacular + +

+ + +

_ + +

_ + +

_ + +

_ _ +

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Ecclesiasticalunctional characteristics

Language of liturgy Language of clergy Language of oral communication

+ + +

+ + +

_ + +

_ + +

_ + +

_ _ +

1.2. Old and New Names Denoting the Kartvels
1.2.1. The Names Denoting Proto-Kartvelian (Iberian-Caucasian-Western Asian) and Kartvelian Tribes According to the dominant view in the scholarly literature, from already the earliest times (e.g. the 3rd millennium BC, or even the 5th millennium BC!) there existed three Kartvelian tribes with three different languages: the Karts, the Laz (Mingrelo-Chans) and the Svans. Cf. it is believed that from the 3rd millennium (or the 5th millennium respectively), there already existed the Svan, the Zan and the Kart (Georgian) languages. It is assumed that in a subsequent period the Karts assimilated other tribes. Even a highly inappropriate phrase was coined: Kart – the devourer of tribes (N. Berdzenishvili). It should be noted from the beginning that there is no trace of the existence of the Kart tribe in the sources. Therefore, the so-called Kartization–Kartvelization idea seems totally unfounded. The more so, as not only in the 3rd-2nd millennia BC, but even at the end of the 1st millennium BC, the documents testify to the existence of up to twenty Kartvelian tribes, usually each having its own homeland and vernacular (language, dialect). E.g. Xenophon specially mentions the languages (dialects) for communication with the local tribes. In respect of the Macrones, living at the sources of the Mtkvari (Kura) River, he writes that the communication with them proved difficult. Luckily, one of the infantry, who had been a slave at Athens, recognized in the speech of this people the language of his childhood and served as an interpreter (Xenophon, 1967,p. 86). Obviously, the interpreters speaking other Kartvelian dialects were of little use for the communication with the Macrones. Cf. Over a vast territory from the sources
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of the Mtkvari to Ordu Xenophon (435-355) encountered: the Carduchians, the Colchians, the Chaldaeans, the Chalybes, the Tibareni, the Mossynoeci, the Phasians, the Taokhoi, etc. Taking into consideration the existence up to 20 Kartvelian tribes in st the 1 millennium, the view, which holds the existence in the 3rd millennium of only those three tribes, surviving to the present day, does not sound logical. It leads to unanswerable questions: Where and how did other tribes come from and disappear? What caused the unprecedented uniqueness of these three tribes, their existence over 5000 years without qualitative changes, when even great cultures failed to survive such a long period? I believe that the term: Kartvelian, Laz, Megrel, Svan (as well as Abkhaz, Adyghean, Vaynakh, Dagestanian...) cannot be used to refer to social groups of Caucasia and Asia Minor of the 5-th-3rd millennia BC. The present-day ethnoses could not have existed 5000-7000 years ago. At that period there must have existed a Proto-Kartvelian, conventionally, great Ibero-Caucasian–western Asian race, creating the “Kura-Araxes culture.” From this race evolved in the 2nd millenium the Kartvelian ethnos, dominant in the then Caucasia, who created the “Colchian culture” (T.Putkaradze, 1999, pp. 11-13) and other Caucasian ethnoses. At the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, as a result of numerous wars and migrations, the common Kartvelian race split into more than 20 Kartvelian tribes. These tribes were reunited as the Georgian nation in the 2nd half of the 1st millennium BC, and the Georgian state was reestablished as the unified kingdom under Kuji and Parnvaz. The subsequent periods witnessed the disintegration of this state into separate regional kingdoms, followed by unification again. The written sources of ancient cultures contain ethnonyms denoting, according to some specialists, the ancestors of the Kartvels. Others tend to think that these ethnonyms refer to a different Iberian-Caucasian, non-IndoEuropean and non-Semitic western Asian-Anatolian race. E.g. the language of the Subarians (the Hurrians) and the Hattians, existing in the 3rd millennium BC, or that of the Abeshlaeans and the Khubushkians living in the 2nd millennium (resp.the people) cannot be considered as the direct ancestor of any speech unit of the modern Georgian, Chechen, AdygheApsuan ethnoses, an interval of 4000-5000 years in too long for such
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identification. When discussing similar questions, the typology of the history of languages and ethnoses is to be taken into account. Bearing in mind that the language, psychic make-up, character and territory of all the nations (ethnoses) world over have undergone serious changes even over the last 10 centuries, essential changes must have certainly occurred during 40-60 centuries. E.g. a number of peoples possessing great traditional scripts living in the 4th-3rd millennia (the Sumerians, Egyptians, Hittites) disappeared from the arena of history. So it is inconceivable that by far the smaller ethnic groups, having no script, have preserved their language and culture without qualitative changes to the present day. It will be more logical to assume that the Hurrians, the Hattians, having the languages with the ergative construction, and other ancient peoples (tribes) of western Asia and Caucasia, possessing onomastic units, similar structurally to Kartvelian-Caucasian ethnonyms and place names, were the common ancestors of the ethnoses, having the present-day IberoCaucasian - the ergative type (!) - languages (this, too, is conventional to a certain extent). I assume the existence of many tribes of the Kartvelian–North Caucasian–western Asian stock in the pre-historic period, some of which disappeared altogether, mingled with the neighbours, and others are “reflected” more or less in modern Ibero-Caucasian ethnoses. Hence, the tribes existing from the earliest times to the Colchian culture should be regarded as a common Caucasian-western Asian race, and from the end of the 2nd millennium BC the Kartvelian and North Caucasian tribes proper can be discussed. With such conventionality are listed below the old proto-Kartvelian and Iberian-Caucasian-western Asian tribes, whose bulk may be regarded as the ancestors of the Kartvels: The Mushki/ Moskhoi/ Meskhs/ (according to Hecataeus of Miletus, the Moskhoi are a Colchian tribe), the Daiaenians/ Diauehian/ Taokhoi, the Colles, the Tabal/ Tibareni, the Iberians/ Sasperoi/ Sapeires, the Kuts, the Coraxi, the Marae, the Becheiroi, the Halizoni/ Chalybes, the Chalds, the Mossynoeci/ Heptakometoi, the Dizeres, the Bizeri, the Zidrites, the Macrones/ Macrocephaloi, the Phasians, the
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Melanchlainoi, the Ekecheiroi, the Heniochi, the Sannoi/ Chans, the Sanigoi, the Laz, the Apkhazes/ Abaskoi, the Svans/ Misimians, the Suanno-Colchians, the Amarantoi (a Colchian tribe), the Kakhs, the Pkhovians,the Tusks, the Hers, etc. (see material in the Georgian version). Reliable reports concerning the kinship of the majority of these tribes are known from as early as the Classical period (e.g. according to Agathias of Myrina, the Misimians, the Colchians and the Apsiloi are related tribes). Some ancient tribes disappeared (e.g. on the tribe of Gugars, see I. Javakhishvili, 1950, pp. 24-33). The names of many others have survived to the present day as names of the Kartvelian communities (the Meskhs, the Taoans, the Laz, the Svans, the Pkhovians, the Megrels, the Hers, the Kakhetians, etc.), particular places (Kolkheti Lowlands, Odzrkhe, Vitse, Kutaisi…) or peoples (e.g. present-day Abaza-Abkhazians, Armenians). The Kartvelian ethnos must have evolved from these Kartvelian tribes in the 2nd-1st millennia (see chapter II). The main part of the study deals with the various accounts concerning the above-mentioned tribes; the history and etymologies of these ethnonyms and temonyms are offered as far as possible. Here is a section dealing with the Colchains, the Laz-Chans and the Abkhaz-Apshils. The Colchians - in the Assyrian and Urartian cuneiform texts of the 12th-8th cc. BC are recorded the geographic terms Kilkhi and Qulha/Qolha, which are identified with the designations Colchoi and Colchi of the Greek and Roman sources. The view advanced by N.Marr that the oldest political confederation of the Colchians is testified to by documents of the end of the 2nd millennium and the beginning of the 1st millennium BC (to the 20s of the 7th c. BC) in the southeastern Black Sea area, with its centre in the Chorokhi valley, is mostly shared in the scholarly literature. From the 8th -7th cc. its centre moved to western Georgia - the Rioni area (G.Melikishvili, T. Mikeladze, N. Lomouri, M. Inadze; for discussion see also: O. Lordkipanidze, 1986, pp. 68-69). Cf. O.Lordkipanidze, 1986, p.4: “The Greek Legend on the campaign of the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece is closely linked with our country – ancient Colchis, covering the territory of present-day western Georgia.” A.Urushadze and others assume that originally the Greeks implied
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under Colchis the entire Kartvelian world (A. Urushadze, 1964, p.6), which is corroborated by modern archeological evidence (see chapter II below). Obviously, ancient Colchis does not correspond only to modern western Georgia, much of the former territory of Colchis (the Mtkvari and the Chorokhi valleys) is within the Republic of Turkey at present. It is assumed that the form Kolkhida is recorded for the first time in the Mycenaean b-linear texts of the 14th c. BC as variants Kokida/Kokideyo (L.Gordeziani, 2004, pp. 226-228). In Greek sources the term “Kolkhida gaia” occurs with the 8thcentury BC poet Eumelus of Corinth; the Greeks used the term ‘Aea’, rather than ‘Kolkhida’ (for the overview of the rich literature on this question, see M. Inadze, 1955; G. Melikishvili, 1965; N. Lomouri, 1962; Sh. Asatiani, 1993: M. Inadze, 1993). According to Pseudo-Scylax, the territory inhabited by the Colchians extended to the River Apsarus, i.e. from Sukhumi to the Chorokhi (T.Qaukhchishvili, 1976, p. 84). Scylax of Caryanda (the 6th-5th cc. BC) repeats the accounts of Pseudo-Scylax. Herodotus stated that the Colchians were from Egypt. According to this author, four tribes inhabited from the Southern (Red) sea to the Northern (Pontus) Sea: the Persians, the Medes, the Sasperoi and the Colchians (Herodotus, 1975, pp.156, 262). Apparently, here the “Colchians” and the “Sasperoi” refer to tribal confederations, rather than individual tribes (on the Colchians see I. Javakhishvili, 1950, p.12). The comparison of Xenophon’s Anabasis and the accounts of Pseudo-Scylax confirms this. In the vicinity of Trapezus and Cerasus Pseudo-Scylax names the Bizeri, the Ekecheiroi, the Becheiroi, the Macrocephaloi and the Mossynoeci. Xenophon in about the same period names only the tribe of the Cochians in the Trapezus-Cerasus area (T. Mikeladze, 1967, p.97). Cf. Apollonius Rhodius (Argonautica, 1975, p. 113). In connection with the Mithridatic wars, the Colchians are mentioned by the 2nd-century figure Appian (Appian, 1959, p.198). Presumably, he uses the name the Colchians to refer to a great tribal confederation living in the northern Black Sea area. Cf. At that time eastern Georgia became settled by the Iberians. According to Arrian, the neighbours of the Trapezuntines were the
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Colchians (the latter bordering upon the Sannoi (same as the Drilae of Xenophon), the Macrones and the Heniochi (Greek writers... 1983, p.158). Arrian (2nd c.) refers to the population of the modern western Georgia already as the Laz: A river called the Reoni flows in Lazica, where in antiquity the Colchians had erected a fortress (Greek writers ... 1983, p.188). From this period the terms “Colchian” and “Laz” were often interchangeable. E.g. an anonymous 5th-century author writes: From Dioscurias to the Apsarus River in the past there lived a people called the Colchians, who are now known as the Laz (Georgica, 1965, p.6). Hippolytus of Rome (3rd c.), Ammianus Marcellinus (4th c.), Epiphanius of Cyprus (314-403) and many others chose to use the term “Colchians” even in later periods, whereas others preferred the “Laz” (see below). E.g. Ioannes Lydes (7th c.): Colchis is now called Lazica due to the Laz hegemony (Georgica, 1970, p.3; the note of S.Qaukhchishvili); Agathias (6th c.): The fact that the Laz were prevously called the Colchians and are identical with them will not be doubtful for anyone, if he familiarizes with the population of Phasis, Caucasia and countries around them… the Laz take pride in the ancient name of Colchians (Georgica, 1936, pp. 27, 50). Cf. John Tzetzes (1110-1180): The Colchians are Indian Scythians, they are also known as the Laz and they live near the Abazgoi, formerly Massageti; Cytaea is a Colchian town, and the Colchians are a Laz tribe, living near the Abazgoi…The Colchians are also called Leucosyroi; they are settled in Asia around the river Phasis (Georgica, 1967, pp. 32, 36-37). According to the ancient Greek sources, Colchis is the same as Aea. Herodotus: the Argonauts sailed towards Aea, Colchis, for the Golden Fleece…This Kitisoros came from Aea-Colchis and released him… (Herodotus, 1975, pp. 472-473). Apollonius Rhodius repeats this idea in his Argonautica. Cf. according to the “Description of the Inhabited Earth” by a 2nd-century Alexandrian figure Dionysius Periegetes, the Colchians came from Europe (T.Qaukhchishvili, 1976, p. 93). This account may have reflected the legend on the coming of the Iberians from Europe to the eastern coast of the Pontus Sea.
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Note: From the “Chronigraphia” of Hecataeus of Miletus the 6th-century Greeks must have known the following Georgian tribes: The Melanchlainoi (a Colchian tribe), the Coraxi (a Colchian tribe), the Colles, the Moskhoi (a Colchian tribe), the Becheiroi, the Dizeres, the Macrones, the Marea, the Mossynoeci, the Tibareni, the Chalybes. Pseudo-Scylax (4th c. BC) in his “Periplus” on the coast of the Black Sea from the Don to the modern Terme names the following tribes: the Sauromatai, the Maeoti, the Sindi, the Cerceti, the Toretai, the Achaiae, the Heniochi, the Coraxi, the Colles, the Melanchlainoi, the Geloni, the Colchians, the Bizeri, the Ekecheiroi, the Becheiroi, the Macrocephaloi, the Mossynoeci, the Tibareni, the Chalybes (T.Qaukhchishvili, 1976, pp. 43, 81-82). In T. Qaukhchishvili’s view, with Herodotus the Colchians, the Sasperoi, the Chalybes, the Macrones, the Moskhoi, the Tibareni, the Mossynoeci are named as Georgian tribes. Their kindred tribes are: the Alarodians, and the Matieni. In wars the Moskhoi and the Tibareni obeyed one commander, the Macrones and the Mossynoeci - a second one, the Marae and the Colchians - a third, and the Alarodians and the Sasperoi - a forth (Herodotus, 1975, pp. 27-28; see also T.Qaukhchishvili, 1955).

Colchis must be derived from the name of the ancient Georgian province Ķola (I.Javakhishvili, 1950,p.12.) Ķola/Ķol-i – Ķol-ħ-i; the stem Ķola was recorded in Georgian sources from early times, whereas the secondary variety Ķolħeti is coined in Georgian later on by the analogy of Greek. Cf. In the chronicle of Patriarch Nikon one of the terms denoting Georgia is Ķolħeķia (G.Paichadze, 1993). In P. Ingoroqva’s opinion, from Ķolħi is derived Kluħori (Ķolħori> Ķluħori>Kluħori; cf. Ķoda > Ķodori; P. Ingoroqva, 1954, p. 143). It is logical to assume that from the middle period of the 2nd millennium BC in the Cerasus region, in the Halys (Kizil-Irmak) and the Chorokhi basins, in modern western Georgia and the upper Mtkvari areas a powerful political confederation was developed. Its original Greek (?) name must have been Aea (cf. Aeetes; cf. also: Daiaeni, Tao), and self-designation – Kartli (see below). In the 12th -8th cc. BC this confederation was under the hegemony of the powerful tribe of the Colchians, according to whose name this state was reflected in the documents of the neighbouring states and the memory of Greek writers and travelers. At that period it already covered the entire eastern Black Sea littoral, including eastern Georgia (cf. G.Melikishvili, 1954, p. 412). According to some Greek sources, as well as modern archaeological excavations, the so-called “Great
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Colchian culture” extended over present-day eastern Georgia and much of northern Caucasia. The Sannoi/Chans (Čans) – according to Memnon (1st c.) and Strabo (1st c.), those, who were formerly Macrones, became the Sanoi (T. Qaukhchishvili, 1987, p. 22; T.Qaukhchishvili, 1976, pp. 94, 146, 233). The Chans are mentioned for the first time by Arrian (2nd c.). The neighbours of the Cochians are the Chans, same as Sannoi; T. Qaukhchishvili concludes that since Arrian uses four parallel forms (Sannoi, Tsannoi, Thiannoi/Tiannoi, Tuannoi), obviously the Greek author has a difficulty in pronouncing Georgian“W” (ĉ) (T. Qaukhchishvili, 1976, pp. 99-100). The note of Eustathius the Bishop, the commentator of Dionysius (2nd c) echoes Arrian’s idea: Old Macrones are now called Sannoi, with the local pronunciation “Ĉani” (T.Qaukhchishvili, 1976, p. 94). Cf. Procopius of Caesarea (6th c.): Some writers stated that the territory of the Trapezuntines is adjoined either by the Sanoi who at present are called Tzanoi, or by the Kolkhoi, otherwise called Lazoi…And yet neither of these statements is true. For in the first place the Tzanoi live at a very great distance from the coast as neighbours of the Armenians in the interior, and many mountains stand between, which are thoroughly impassable and altogether precipitous…In the second place, it is impossible that the Lazoi should not be the Kolkhoi, because they inhabit the banks of the Phasis river; and the Colchoi have changed their name at the present time to the Lazoi… (Georgica, 1965, p.120). The evidence of the eyewitness and researcher Procopius is certainly to be reckoned with: The Laz and the Chans cannot be identified with one another indeed, they are kindred Kartvelian tribes. Their names, may be related, they also may be of a common provenance. It should be noted that the synonymousness of the stems Ĉan- and San-, on the basis of the Armenian form Ĉaniv-/ Ĉanet-, is well-argued by B.Gigineishvili (B. Gigineishvili, 1975). According to Arn. Chikobava, San is same as Zan (A. Chikobava, 1963, p. 3). S. Janashia believes that the original form is San- root, from its initial sound Zan-/Ċan- was derived in northern Samegrelo, and Ĉan- in
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southern Samegrelo (Chaneti) (S. Janashia, 1959, p. 27-34). In the “Res Gestae” of Ammianus Marcellinus, the Chans, on the one hand, and Lazica, on the other, are in the neighborhood of the Armenians: The commander of the Chans’ legion, Vetranionis, was killed in a battle with the Persians. Old commentators note: the Zianni, or Zanni, Tzanni, Šanni and Thanni are a people bordering on the Laz and the Armenians (Georgica, I, 1961, pp. 89, 124, 128, 161, 173). Interestingly enough, the Chaldaeans seen by Xenophon in the neighbourhood of the Carduchians (the territories conquered by the Armenians!) live in the mountains, accordingly, both the Chalds and the Chans may be assumed to be related tribes of the Carduchians or their part. Cf. The Chalds, usually regarded as one of the Chan tribes, have also released themselves from the subordination of the Persians and together with the Armenians and the Mardians, are mercenaries belonging to the Persian satrap, Orontas and his commander Artuchas …(T. Qaukhchishvil, 1976, p.53). In this regard the account of Moses Khorenaci on the assassination of Caesar Tacitus is very valuable: the latter [Tacitus] was killed by his own [troops] in Chaniuķ in Pontus, that is Khaļtiķ (Moses Xorenaċi, 1984, pp. 162, 277). Cf. S.Qaukhchishvili translation: Tacitus was killed in the Pontic province Ĉaniuķ, that is, Khaltiķ (Georgica, 1936, p. 262, note). Chaneti is within Pontus according to John Malalas (491-578) too: In the reign of Tacitus a war broke out in Pontus and the king himself set out to fight and was killed in one country of Pontus, Chaneti (Georgica, 1936, p. 262). Procopus (6th c.) speaks at length about the Chans. According to him, the Chans do not border on the Trapezuntines. They are a non-coastal people, living in the mountains, in the hinterlands, next to the Armenians (the Laz, or the Colchians are a littoral people!): The mountains of Chaneti are on the right of those places, over which live the Armenians, subjects of the Romans. From these mountains the river Boas comes down, which after flowing through many groves, flows near the villages of Lazica and empties itself into the so-called Euxine Pontus, where it is no longer called the Boas, as it flows near the sea, its name is changed... Inter alia, the local residents call it the Akampsis…
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(Georgica, 1965, pp.120-122). Cf. also: When you are going from the Armenian territory to Pers-Armenia, to the right is the Taurus, which flows to Iberia and the peoples living there, and to the left are a precipitous long road and very steep, always misty and snow-capped mountains, from which comes down the river Phasis, which runs to the country of Colchis. Here inhabits the Zan nation, subject to no one, called Sanoi in early times, barbarians, who rob the Romans living nearby (Georgica, 1965, p.53). Cf. Agathias (6th c.): At this time the tribe of the Chans became troublesome. The Chans inhabit the area to the south of Euxine Pontus below the city of Trapezus; these Chans from early times had an agreement to keep the peace with the Romans and were their subjects, and some of them observed the former peaceful rules… their bulk took advantage of the situation and engaged in robbery…they attacked the Armenians too…Therefore, Theodore, their tribesman is sent to fight them (Georgica 1936, p.181-182). The Laz and the Chans were different Kartvelian tribes in later periods too. Along with the term Lazica, the Byzantine sources (see Constantine Porphyrogenetus (9th c.), Georgica, 1952, p.292) mention Chanaria (Ĉanaria) (eristavis of Ĉanari). See also Nikephoras Gregoras (14th c.): In the first half of the 14th century, during the internal strife in the Empire of Trebizond between King Basil’s daughter and wife, the Laz, the Chans and other local residents preferred Queen Anna Khutlu, from their native family of the Komnenoi, to Irene, descendant of the Palaeologus house (Georgica, III, 1967, p.146). Cf.: Laonikos Chalkokondyles: The Chanids extend over the Colchian area up to Amastria…(Georgica, 1970, p.107). S.Qaukhchishvili: “A possible explanation (of the fact why the Byzantine empire failed to annex the Kingdom of Trebizond, similar to other territories of the Byzantine empire) will be to admit that the bulk of the population of the “Kingdom of Trebizond” were made up of a Georgian tribe – the Chans” (Georgica, 1967, p. 164). Obvoiusly, we are dealing either with the change of the territory of the Chans, or the confusion of the Chans and the Laz as kindred tribes.
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Whatever the case, the Chans are certainly of the Kartvelian stock.
Note: A 5th-century anonymous author repeats Arrian’s view and persistently calls the Drilae of Xenophon the Sannoi, and later unites them into the Colchians (Greek writers, 1983, p.158, Georgica, 1965, p. 7).

Abazes/Ebzes/Obezes/Abasgoi/Abazgoi/Abaskoi/Abadzakhs/Ab azakhs, Apkhazes/Abkhazians Many researchers have studied the Apħaz- stem, other stems linked formally and semantically with it, and the history of the Apħaz and Abaz tribes. The most recent summarizing studies belong to T. Gvantseladze (T.Gvantseladze, 1993, T. Gvantseladze, 1998). After a thorough study of the superstratic layers in the Abkhazian Language, T. Gvantseladze arrived at the following conclusion: “ The ancestors of the modern Abkhazians did not live on the Black Sea coast before the 5th c. AD; the original homeland of the Abkhazians was to the north of the Caucasus range, in the river Qoban basin, their bulk inhabited here up to circa 1561… the Colchian population, living on the present-day Abkhazian territory, before the arrival of the Abkhazians (self-designation Apsuas - T.P) played the key role in the development of the final form of the modern Abkhazian ethnos” (T. Gvantseladze, 1998, p.60). The same author assumes that the original name of the Abkhazian-Abaza tribal confederation must have been *Ya-pas-a/!A-baz-a, from which derived Abaza, Apsua (<*Ya-pas-wa; -wa forms ethnonymes), Apħazi (T. Gvantseladze, 1998, p.38). In the above noteworthy propositions the path of the formation of the Georgian Apħaz- stem, offered by T. Gvantseladze seems debatable to me (see below), in particular, the scholar’s view that Apħaz- stem derives from Circassian composite Abaza ħa: Abaza ħa “ Lower Abaza “ (Circassian “ħa” is translated as lower): Circassian Abaza-ħa/Abzaħa>Megrelian Abħaza> Georgian Apħazi (T.Gvantseladze, 1998, p.38). In the 3rd-2nd millennia BC the Kartvelian, Abħaz-Abaza, CircassianAdyghe and Vaynakh tribes must have been part of a great Ibero-Caucasian ethnos. Therefore, it is natural that several tribes or ethnoses descending from them have the names derived from a single stem. The Kartvelian Apħaz, Apsil, Apšil and north Caucasian Apsua, Abazaħa, Abaza, existing in the 1st millennium, were the names denoting different tribes of a common
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origin. Some of these tribes (Apsils, Apshils) disappeared, others mingled with kindred tribes, and still others have survived to the present day. Let us look at the evidence of various sources: Arrian (2nd c.): From Trapezus to old Achaea we encountered the following tribes: the Colchians, the Sannoi (the Drilae of Xenophon), the Macrones, the Henionchi, the Zidrites, the Laz, the Apsiloi, the Abaskoi, the Sanigoi, the Zilkes…The neighbours of the Laz are the Apsiloi; their king Julian received kingship from your father. The neighbours of the Apsiloi are the Abaskoi. The King of the Abaskoi is Resmage. The neighbours of the Abaskoi are the Sanigoi (Greek Writers … 1983, pp. 158-159). The Abaskoi live above the Sanigoi, in the mountains (T.Qaukhchishvili, 1976, pp.100101), the Abasgoi are mentioned in the same context by Theodoret of Cyrus, a 5th-century figure (Georgica, 1961,p.227), an anonymous 5th-century author (Georgica, 1965,p.8), Stephan of Byzantium (Georgica, 1936, p.284), and others. The territory implied under the term Abasgia/Abazgia broadened in the later periods. E.g. Constantine Pophyrogenitus, Caesar of Byzantium (912-959) familiarizing his son with the neighbouring and conquered tribes of Byzantium, says about Abazgia: After the borders of Jiketi, i.e. the littoral from Nicopsia to Soterioupolis, over 300 miles, extends the country of Abazgia (Georgica, 1952, p.233). Nicopsia is not difficult to localize, the question of Soterioupolis, however, is controversial; some researchers regard it as Bichvinta, others –as Sukhumi (on the discussion on the question see S. Qaukhchishvili, ibid, pp.231-235). I think that as in the 10th century, not infrequently entire western Georgia was implied under the name Abazgia, the town Soteriupolis, mentioned as the southern boundary of Abazgia, must be sought for on the territory of present-day Turkey, about 300 miles from Nicopsia. In the mid10th century the Kingdom of Akhazeti mentioned in Georgian sources (united western Georgia with its centre of Kutaisi) was in fact an independent political entity; Constantine Porphyrogenetus, instructing his son in the rules of greeting foreigners, considers the Kurapalates of Iberia (Tao-Klarjeti!) and the ruler of Abazgia on the equal level (Georgica, 1952, p.293). It is also
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noteworthy that Abkhazeti is referred to as a Georgian country-“our country” in the Georgian sources of this period. The textbook edited by S. Janashia contained the phrase: “The Eristavi of the Abkhazians easily conquered Egrisi and Argveti …”, on which Pavle Ingorokva made the following right commentary: in the original source “Matiane Kartlisa” (“the Book of Kartli”) it is noted directly that Eristavi Leon of the Abkhazians rebelled against the Greeks, seized Apħazeti and Egrisi as far as Liħi, and took the title of the king of the Apħaz, i.e. the Eristavi of the Abkhazians did not conquer Egrisi from Abkhazia, but rebelling against the conqueror, dominated over both and chose Kutaisi as the capital (P.Ingoroqva, 1954, pp. 115-116). Exactly from this time western Georgia became known under the name Apħazeti. In general, as is clear from historical sources, the Leonids with rare exceptions were at the head of common Kartvelian national-cultural activity. Their efforts too demonstrate that the Abkhazians did not differ from other Kartvelian communities in their qualities. Other builders of the Georgian state were Eristavi of Tskhumi Otagho Sharvashidze (12th c.), Commander Dardin Shervashidze (13th c.), and others. The two Georgian provinces Abkhazeti and Egrisi known from “Kartlis Tskhovreba” (“Life of Georgia”) in the reign of Vakhtang Gorgasali covered a part of western Georgia, which was not conquered by Byzantium; apparently, Abkhazeti extended to Ciħe-Goji, and Egrisi - from Ciħe-Goji to Liħi. Cf: “At that same time the Greeks came out from Apħazia…and seized control from the river Egri as far as the castle of Goji” (Kartlis Tskhovreba, 1955, pp.146, 4-5) (translation by Robert W. Thomson). Cf. ibid, pp. 157, 19: “For the king of the Greeks, Leon the Great, was preoccupied by war with the Persians ans was unable to send any troops to Apħazeti. For three years he (Vakhtang Gorgasali) ravaged all the strongholds of Apħazeti as far as Ciħe-Goji”, i.e. Gorgasali consolidated a Georgian Country, Apħazeti (Abkhazia), conquered by the Greeks. Notably also, that relating the story of Parnavaz and Kuji the chronicler emphasizes that the area the to the right of the Egris river too was inhabited by the Kartvels: The land from Likhi to the river of Khazareti (Qoban) was given to Egros (Kartlis Tskhovreba, pp. 5, 12-15), but after the war with the Greeks the land “below the Egris river remained to the Greeks,
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because the inhabitants of that region had not wished to rebel against the Greeks”(Kartlis Tskhovreba, pp. 24, 1-2). It is logical to state that in Georgian sources originally Egrisi covered both Abkhazia and Egrisi. In the subsequent periods, the two names co-existed, denoting neighbouring areas, after which Abkhazia generalized. The Byzantine version of Abkhazia was Abazgia: Cf. Before the unification of Georgia the Eparchy of Abazgia existed, obeying the Patriachate of Constantinopole (Georgica, 1952, pp. 129, 137-138). During the reign of Ceasar Constantine the Kings of Abkhazeti were Giorgi II (912-957), Leon III (957-967); then Theodosius III (975-978). After the resignation of Theodosius in 978, David III Bagrationi (Kurapalates) made his young heir Bagrat the King of Abkhazia. It was in this period that the foundation was laid down for the great unification of western, southwestern and eastern Georgia. Cf: the first monarch of Georgia, revived and unified in 1008, became King Bagrat of Abkhazia, later known as Bagrat III (whose son Giorgi I was a mortal foe of Byzantium, conqueror of his homeland). Cf. also a story related in “Epitomae historiarum” by John Zonaras (11th -12th cc.)(Georgica, 1996, pp.233-239: the text is cited according to the translation and commentary by S. Qaukhchishvili): After defeating Bardas Phocas and Bardas Scleros, the king of Byzantium Basil went to Iberia, where he settled the controversial issues having arisen after the death of King of Iberia David Kurapalates, and went further towards Phoenicia … After this he returned and set out against Abazgia, since its ruler Giorgi I had violated the treaty concluded with Byzantium … The ruler of Abazgia Giorgi was overwhelmingly defeated, he fled to Iberia, and asked for peace..He sent his son Bagrat (subsequently Bagrat IV) as a hostage. Old Georgian scribes were familiar with the term Abazgia, which they considered as western Georgia and translated as Abkhazia. See, e.g.: “During his mission the Holy Apostle Andrew who was first called, preached in Avazgia, that is Apħazeti” (Georgica, 1991, p.214; see also, ibid p.219). In medieval Persian sources, Abkhazia refers to all Georgia. According to other foreign sources of the 10th -12th cc. too, “Abkhazian” was already a synonym of a Georgian. Thus, Johannes Italos calls Ioane Petritsi an
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Abazgian grammarian, implying a Georgian grammarian in this context. As is known, Ioane Petritsi was not only a great philosopher, but also a person with a perfect command of the Kartvel language and coiner of neologisms. He introduced words from the Kartvel dialects too; e.g. to denote the second voice of three-voice chant he introduced the term zhir, the Megrelian origin of which is doubtless. It seems logical to assume that this great Georgian figure was a resident of Egrisi. The observation of E. Khintibidze is also noteworthy: Euthymius the Athonite translated from Georgian into Greek the Romance of Barlaam and Ioasaph, which was translated from Greek into Latin. The translator into Latin notes: “the Greek translation was rendered by an Abazgian monk Euthymius” (E. Khintibidze, 1998, p. 15). In the same period Abkhazia implied entire Georgia in Persian sources too (K.Tabatadze, 1993, pp. 222226). Obviously, from the oldest times to the 17th c. the Abazes/Abazgians/Abkhazians, unlike the Jikians, were regarded both in Europe and Asia as a Kartvelian (Iberian/Colchian) race, which was fair enough: They, together with other communities of the Kartvelian stock created the single Kartvelian state, language and culture in the ancient periods as well as the Middle Ages. The Georgian state at the end of the 1st millennium AD is referred to as Apkhazeti (Abkhazia) in Georgian and foreign sources: the united Georgia retained the name “Kingdom of Abkhazia” for a long time (G.Alasania, 2004, p. 9). Abkhazia was oriented towards unification of Georgia and Orthodoxy. Thus, the main directions of the national and state policy of the 8th-10th centuries “Abkhazian” kings (Leon II, Theodosius II, Demetre II, Giorgi I, Konstantine III, Giorgi II, Leon III, and others) were: - The withdrawal of the church of western Georgia from the subordination of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and its unification with the Georgian Autocephalous Church; - Building of the Georgian language ecclesiastical centers; - Struggle for the political unification of the Georgian world; - Struggle for the conversion of the north Caucasian peoples to Christianity. Guaranteeing the security of the frontiers of the Georgian
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state in this way (L. Akhaladze, 2004, p.12). Apparently, the population of Abkhazia was regarded as Georgians by their neighbouring peoples as well: the Karachaians, the Balkarians and the Russians. It is not accidental that the term an Abaza/Obezi/Ebze is synonymous with a Georgian among some peoples of north Caucasia, and European and old Russian sources. E.g. the envoy of Pope Innocent IV John of Plano Carpini, who visited Mongolia in 1246, calls Georgia Georgiania, and refers to the Kartvels as the Georgiani or Obez-es (S.Janashia, 1959, p.53). In a 14th-16th cc. Russian source, Obez is used to designate Georgia, which is easy to explain: the Slavs of that period must have generalized the name of a neighbouring tribe Abaza to refer to designate the Georgians. Cf.also: The Karachaians and the Balkarians too, arriving in Caucasia in later periods, used the term Ebze (<<Abaza) to designate the Georgians. At the same time, Ebze denotes the Svans, or sometimes the Rachians (T. Gvantseladze, 1993); cf. Abadza is the self-denomination of the Jikians as well as the modern Abazes, having separated from the Apsuas several centuries before. Cf. also, the 17th-century traveller Evliya Chelebi calls Abkhazia Abasa. It seems logical to consider in parallel Abaz-Abaĵ-/Abas-, Abaz-ħ-/Abazaħ/Abaĵa-ħ and the stem Abkhaz formed as a result of metathetis of kh from the stem Abazkh- (cf. similar phonetic process: ċatħ>ċqat-, balğ>bğar-, bartq>bğart-, etc.). The identification of the suffix -ħ- denoting origin and collectivity in Abaz-ħ stem appears logical enough, as was assumed before too (on the views of N.Marr, S. Janashia, K. Lomtatidze, see O. Kakhadze, 1993). It is not ruled out that the Circassian form Abazaħa, due to formal similarity, acquired later on the meaning “Lower Abaza” (cf. T.Gvantseladze, 1998, p. 37). Greek Abasħ-, Abazg- and Abask- forms are adapted varieties of the early Kartvelian *Abaz-ħ stem are (for different discussion see T. Gvantseladze, 1998 p. 36). On various etymologies of Apħaz see also: N. Marr, 1912, p. 697; I. Javakhishvili, 1960, p. 401; O. Kakhadze, 1993; E.Osidze, 1993; T.Gvantseladze, 1993; Th.Gamkrelidze, 1993; D.Muskhelishvili, 2000. See also A.Lomtadze, R. Sherozia, 2002, where the
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stem Apħaz is regarded as derived from determinandum-determinatum *Apħaš Zani “mountaineer Zan”. The common origin of A-baz and *Baz-/Mas-/Pas-, Mas-ag-/Mas-aħstems can also be assumed: Abkhazian ya- and Kartvelian a- prefixes are similar (Kartvelian a- may have the same function as the prefix of purpose a-. Cf. common Kartvelian a- and Zan o-). Cf. an Assyrian historian Zacharias Rhetor refers to the country of the Abkhazians as the country of the Baz-g-on-s; for the discussion see I.Javakhishvili, 1960, p. 402). Cf. According to N.Marr: Masħ>Bazgi>A-bazgi.
Note: On the basis of the evidence by John Tzetzes (10 th c.), the Abazgoi were formerly called the Massagets (Georgica, 1967, p. 25). According to Herodotus, the Massagets are a nomadic and warlike tribe (Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty was killed in a battle with them). Strabo regarded them as the Chorasmeans (Georgian Soviet Encyclopaedia, vol.6, p.497). Stephan of Byzantium notes that the Misgeti are a tribe of the Iberians (Georgica, 1936, p.282). According to the widespread view, the Massagets are Central Asian Scythians. Cf. Theophanes of Byzantium (6th c.): The Old Massagets are now called Turks. The Persians call them the Kermikhions (Georgica, III, p, 253).

The forms Apšil-/Abazg- are linked in the scholarly literature with Abeshala (Z. Anchabadze, 1976; Sh. Inal-ipa, 1976) and Khubushkia (M. Kurdiani, 2001, pp.126-130; M. Kurdiani, 2002, p.80), recorded in Assyrian sources. The identification of lexical units, so greatly separated chronologically, probably requires more arguments. However, Abeshala recorded in the Assyrian sources of the 2nd millennium BC, common Kartvelian Abesa and Zan Obaša >Abaša forms may be related (see, M.Chukhua, 2003, p.73). The common origin of stems Abaz-, Abaš- and (*Abaš-il->) Abshil-/Apsil- may not be ruled out either. Cf. Z. Chumburidze, 2002: Abaša must be derived from Hebrew name Aba: Abaša “Aba’s possession “. In the above discussion, only the following is indisputable: the two different Kartvelian-Caucasian tribes – the Apsils-Apsars and the Abazgians-Abkhazians, similar to the Kartvelian tribes proper, lived over the centuries in a single Kartvelian cultural, historical and state field.
Note: according to the view predominating in the scholarly literature so far, the terms Iberian and Colchian denote different ethnoses. For us, Colchian language/culture and Iberian language/culture are synonymous terms, however, to avoid ambiguity, I prefer to use the term Kartvelian in this sense.

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Accordingly, instead of Iberian-Caucasian, the term Kartvelian-Caucasian is used (cf. under the Iberian-Caucasian languages Arn. Chikobava implied the Kartvelian-Caucasian languages).

As is well known, the tribes of the Kartvelian-Caucasian race (the Zan, the Sanigoi, the Svans, the Apsars, the Abazes) inhabited historical northwestern Georgia (from the Kodori to the old confluence of the Qoban with the Black Sea) from earliest times. The main language inter-tribal communication and culture was the common Kartvelian language, hence, many words found their way from the Kartvel language into the speech of these tribes. The beginning of the linguistic differentiation of the present-day Kartvelian-Caucasian tribes (the Apsua-Abkhazians, the Adyghe, the Circassians, the Checheno-Ingush, the Lezgians) must be assumed from the early 2nd millennium. The separation of the Georgians and the ApsuaCircassian tribes must have occurred in the 1st half of the 1st millennium BC (the foundation for the formation of the Zan-Svan dialects was laid down from the turn of the new era). The Abkhazian language acquired its present form in the 15th-17th cc. as a result of the admixture of the Kartvelian population and the north Caucasian (Adyghe-Circassian) tribes. Cf. Evliya Ghelebi reports that as late as 1641 the population of Gudauta spoke the Georgian language (its Megrelian dialect) (P.Ingoroqva, 1957, p.133). It should not be accidental either that the homes of these tribes changed places on of each other’s territories (for discussions see D.Letodiani, 1971). After the strengthening of Turkey in Caucasia the final separation of this tribe from the Kartvelian world began. “The identity of the Abkhazian people (their national self-identity –T.P.) changed drastically as a result of the powerful influence of the Trarist and Soviet ideology from 1864 to the present day” (T.Gvantseladze, 2004, p. 19). As Russia secured a firm foothold in Caucassia, the resettlement of the local population or its total alienation from Georgia began in Abkhazia and north Caucasia. E.g. from the Adler-Sochi-Tuapse area, an old Georgian region, part of the land of Egros, in 1984 the Russian empire resettled the kindred peoples of the Kartvels: the Ubykhians, the Circassians, the Apsua-Abkhazians; in the other part of the Caucasian mountainous region the Turkish influence was
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gradually replaced by Russian. Only a small territory retained the Kartvelian-Caucassian orientation. Under the Soviet Empire, the separation of the surviving Abkhazians (self-designation – the Apsuas) from the common Kartvelian history, culture and ethnos continued in a faster and more artificial manner. The process ended in the 1991-1993 Putsch, when Russia expelled both the Georgians and the Abkhazians oriented on the common Georgian culture and state, created by their ancestors (the Abkhazians, Kartlians, Egrisians, Meskhs, etc.), from the old Georgian province – Abkhazia, and in fact seized its territory. Russia also easily succeeded in the division of other kindred ethnoses of the Georgians - the Circassians and the Vaynakh - into small nations: the Abazians, the Abazakhians, the Shapsughians, the Adyghe, the Kabardians, the Chechens, the Ingush, and the annexation of their territories. The Apsils/Apšils/Apsuas/Apsars The Apsiloi (Apsils) are first recorded in Arrian’s reports. According to his evidence, the Apsiloi lived in the Kodori valley. Z. Achabadze regards modern Gali district as their original home (Z. Anchabadze, 1964). Some researchers think that, similar to the Abazgians, the Apsils were a Kartvelian tribe (S. Janashia, S. Qaukhchishvili, D. Muskhelishvili, and others), whereas others believe that their descendents are the modern Abkhazians (Apsuas) (G.Melikishvili, Z.Anchabadze, N.Lomouri). The authors and commentators of the later periods call the Apsils a Scythian tribe (e.g. Stephan of Byzantium, 4th -7th cc.). Cf. Colchian Aeetes is the king of the Scythians, Medea –the daughter of the king of the Scythians (Libanios, 4th c. AD). The Macrones are a Scythian tribe (the scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, 1st-2nd cc. AD). The Colchians are Asian Scythians (John Tzetzes, 12th c.); the Scythians are colonists of the Egyptians (evidence of Herodotus on the Colchians found with the scholiast on Pindar), etc. Thus, according to this conception, if the Abazgians and the Apsils are Scythians, so are the Colchians and the Macrones (for overview see T. Qaukhchishvili, 1976, p.102). It is obvious that in the period of Arrian the Abasgoi and the Apsiloi were different Kartvelian-Caucasian tribes. The view on the derivation of the Kartvelian *Apš-el-i/Aps-il-i, Aps-ar-i
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ethnonyms from the root Aps- seems logical (T. Gvantseladze, 1998, pp34, 39). However, the following processes are also possible: *Mas->*A+mas/Abaz-/Abaš-/*Abas->*Abaš-il-/*Abas-il/-/Abašel-/Abasar->Abšil-/Apsil- /Apšhel-/Apsar- (cf. also names: Absyrtus and Apsarus). The evidence on other Kartvelian-Caucasian tribes see in the Georgian version. 1.2.2. The Self -designation of the Georgians – Kartveli In old Georgian historical sources the name of the state of “all the Georgians” is Kartli. E.g. according to “Kartlis Tskhovreba”, Kartli, renewed and revived by Parnavaz (4th c. BC) included the following provinces (countries), divided into eight great eristavates: Egrisi, Suaneti, Margueti, Ķaħeti, Hereti, Kuxeti, Gardabani, Taširi, Aboc, Javaxeti, Ķola, Artani, Samcxe, Aĉara, Klarjeti (Kartlis Tskhovreba, 1955, pp. 24-25). At the turn of the 1st-2nd millennia AD the term Kartli was replaced by Sakartvelo (or: Ertobili Sakartvelo). According to Georgian sources, the main self-designation of the Georgians is Kartu-el-i. Although, Kartveli appears for the first time in the sources of the 7th century, it must have been widespread in previous periods too. E.g. on the basis of various sources, “the Georgians by origin” include Egrisian Stepane Sananoisdze, Abkhazian (Argvetian) martyrs David and Konstantine, Shavshetian Father Prokhor, Taoan Father Iovane, Svan Monk Iovane Kstskhianisdze and others. Cf. In the 10th -11th cc. the great part of the north Caucasian population from the cultural viewpoint was Georgian (on the history of question see D. Muskhelishvili, 1993). In the scholarly literature numerous views are found on the history and ethnology of the stem Kartuel-/Kartvel- (I. Chavchavadze, N. Marr, I. Javakhishvili, S. Janashia, S. Kakabadze, and G.Melikishvili, A. Shanidze, D. Muskhelishvili, A. Japaridze, G. Burchuladze, E.Khintibidze, Gr.Giorgadze, Sh. Gabeskiria, and others). The history of the relationship of the stems Kart-, Kartu-, Kartl-, Kartvel- and Kartul-, in my view, may be represented in the form given below. On the basis of the juxtaposition of the vernacular words of the
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Kartvelian linguistic field, two stems: Kart- and Kartu-are identifiable in the first place. Cf. Kart-l-i, Kartu-el-i, Kart-u-l-i. Obviously, -l- is a suffix of the most ancient stratum; cf. tov-s - tov-l-i and Zan tviri/tiri; saħe – saħ-l-i, saħ-el-i and Zan oħori; tes-av-s-/tes-l-i; Zan tasi; koĉi – koĉ-l-i, Acharian koĉ-al-i; literary Georgian matqli and Zan montqori; literary Georgian ĵağli and Zan joğori, Svan zğadu/žeğu; literary Georgian tapli and Zan topuri, Svan tu(<tapu; G. Machavariani); literary Georgian sisħli and Zan zisħ. Cf. also: ċuħ-s (m)ċuħ-r-i; mama and mam-r-i, deda and mded-r-i. The function of -l-/r may be the expression of a certain quality. Respectively, in the present case, it is logical to assume that Kart-/Kartu- stem carries some specific semantics, and the words derived from it: Kart-l-, and Kartu-el-i may denote a quality or origin. It could also be assumed that Kart-l-/Kartu-el- is derived from ethnonym Chald. In this case, however, the function of the suffix –l/-elwould remain uncertain (as derivation of an ethnonym from another one with the same meaning seems less logical). The identification of the stems Khald and Kardu- in the name of the Urartian-Caucasian deity Khald, on the one hand, and ethnonyms Chald (cf. according to Greek sources, the Chalds are the Laz, and Chaldea is the land of the Laz), Kard-u-kh-i (cf. in Old Armenian Kordu-k denotes Georgian (Sh. Gabeskiria), regarded as Kartvelian, on the other one (cf. the country of the Korduans, which was located to the south of Van lake, recorded in the text of Moses Khorenaci; cf.: Armenian Kordu and Kartvelian Kardu; Armenian Torgom and Kartvelian Targamos) allows to suppose that the words Kartli and Kartueli are derived from the name of the UrartianCaucasian deity Khald/Kardu. The initial form must have been *Kar-d/Kal-d-: *Kard-/*Kart->Kart+l-; *Kard->Khald-. The word form Kartuli seems to have been derived from the stem Kartu: probably, -ul- suffix was directly added to the stem Kartu-: Kartu> Kartu-ul-i> Kartuli. The process: Kartu>Kartu-l-i is not ruled out either (in this case, Kartu-l-i and Kart-l-i will be parallel forms). Kartl-ur-i> Kartuli may also be possible (loss of “l” as a result of dissimilation). The derivation of a name of people from an eponym is a common phenomenon. Along with this, the fact that the self-designation of the Georgians and the name of their country in the historical memory of the
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Kartvels is linked with the main deity of Urartu-western Asia (the war deity!) is not unexpected: According to Simon Janashia, the shifting of the political and cultural centre of the autochthonous population of western Asia towards the North is obviously confirmed (S. Janashia, 1987, pp.20-24, 32, 44, 51). E.g. “on the basis of the Urartian and Assyrian sources, Ardin (Musasir) is the holy city of the Urartians – the centre of their supreme deity Khald - the city of Khaldi; later on, the population of Mosasir isolated religiously, culturally and ethnically from the rest of Urartian world” (G. Melikishvili, 1999, p.25). If we assume that simultaneously with the stems Khald-/Kart- there existed the varieties Hard-/ Ard-, the name of the city may be linked with the stem Khald-as well; Ard-in-i, where -in- suffix of origin is identifiable. At the time of great historical cataclysms, it was expected that the main residence of deity Khald would shift northwards, to the territory of modern Georgia; in this regard, the observation of K.Z.Gamsakhurdia is noteworthy: “The archetypal deity of Uplistsikhe must be Khald” (Z.K.Gamsakhurdia, 1995, p.21). Cf. also the term of Ioane Petritsi “the proto-wisdom of the Chaldaeans” (Petritsi uses Chaldi to refer to the Chaldaeans; Ioane Petritsi, 1947, p.41.); Z.K.Gamsakhurdia notes that “from the ethnological viewpoint “Chaldaean” must at the same time denote not only a Babylonian Semite, but also the ancient pre-Semitic people, known as the Sumerians” (Ibid, p.79). Here the well-known observation of I. Javakhishvili should be recalled: old Georgian authors identified the ancestors of the Georgians with the Mesopotamian and biblical worlds. In I.Javakhishvili’s view, Chaldaean denotes Persian, Babylonian or Georgian. Cf. The Chaldaeans (Kaldu) historically existing nomadic Aramaic-speaking Semitic tribes in the 1st millennium BC; they settled to the south of Babylon in the 9 th c. BC. According to the old Georgian tradition, (see. e.g. “Martyrdom of Eustace of Mtskheta”, Kartuli Mtserloba (Georgian Writing), I. pp. 259-260), Chaldaea is the original homeland of peoples (cf. also, village Khalde, near Beirut). In connection with the Urartian-western Asian-Caucasian deity Khaldi and the stem Khald-, the following is also of interest: 1. According to Strabo (Geography, XII, 3, 19-24), above Trapezus and Pharnacia are situated the Chaldaei - ancient Chalybes, who
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2.

3.

4. 5.

6.

were mentioned by Homer under the name of Halidzoneans or Alibeans (see also: D.Bakradze, 1889, p.34, and P. Ingoroqva, 1954, p. 285); cf. the Urartians are also Chalds (S. Janashia, 1952, pp. 13); According to the “ Martyrdom of Abo” and “History of Armenians” of Moses Khorenaci, Chaldia/Khaldea/Khaitik is same as Ĉaneti/Ĉhanivk (see: Kartuli Mtserloba, I, p. 454; Moses Khorenaci, 1984, pp. 162, 277). Cf. the Khaldi province, in the Black Sea area was within the Byzantine Empire; it included only the Trapezus area (not covering Rize area; P. Ingoroqva, 1954, p. 210). Cf. Georgian chroniclers name the Georgian country Khaldia, belonging to David Kurapalates, near Trapezus (Sumbat Davitisdze, 1449, p.70; “Matiane Kartlisa”, p.285). It is also noteworthy that from the 8th century the Trapezus area is referred to in Greek sources as Lazica; in Georgian sources (see. e.g. the Georgian version of “Akathist Reading” by Giorgi the Hagiorite) this territory is called the area of the Megrels (Ibid. p.214). In the Khaquchian subdialect of the Shapsugian dialect of the Adyghe language the old name to designate a Georgian is Khalede (the information was provided by Ruslan Natkhua and Mikheil Labadze) At the sources of the Chorokhi was the city Kaldia – city of silver mines (“Overview of the Eastern Places”) by Timote the Archbishop; see. P. Ingoroqva, 1954, p. 285) In central Lazeti, now within Turkey, in the area of the village Opi, between Rize and Surmene, there is a place Khald and Mountain Khald; at the sources of the river Opistsqali, there is a place Khaldizen – Upper Khald. The upper tributary of the river is called the Khaldizen valley, and the mountains - Khaldizen Mountains (P. Ingoroqva, 1954, p. 210) Within the present frontiers of Georgia several Khalde are recorded: Summit Khalde and the river Khaldechala in the Caucasus slopes; here is the village Khalde too. It is not accidental either that in two different places - slopes of the
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Great Caucasus and the adjacent area of the sources of the Mtkvari, the Chorokhi, the Halys, the Araxes, the Tigris and the Euphrates - in the Moskhian mountains (on the localization of these mountains see N.Khazaradze, 2001, p. 315) two place names: Ķola and Kalde are recorded side by side. During the process of unification of the Karvelian tribes, formed after the division of Daiaeni, Qulha and Urartu, in the period before the times of Azon-Kuji-Parnvaz, the rulers of the Kartvelian tribes must have taken as their common unifying designation the name of origin: K°art > Kart° > Kartu> Kartu-eli (from eponym to ethnonym) derived from the deity of their ancestors Kartu/Khalde/Khaldia/khaldi, and established it as the country name Khaldi/Karti>Karl-l-i (-l- ancient suffix of origin) of the same provenance; thereby they refused the hegemony of any tribe, and the generalization of its name. 1.2.3. The diagram of the Linguistic Relations of the Ethnonyms and Temonyms Denoting the Kartvels On the basis of the linguistic analysis of the ethnonyms and temonyms presented in the book, there is sufficient ground to assert that the names used to refer to “all the Georgians” at different periods in various languages are grouped around the stems: Kart-/Kald-/ħald-, Mosoħ-/Mušk-/Mesħ-, Ķolħ/Ķilħ/Ķulħ-, Iber/Iver/Sper and Abaz-/Abasħ. In particular, the probable etymological chain of the Kartvelian tribes and communities may be represented as the following three main groups: a) Kartu-(eli): The self-designation of the common Kartvelian ethnos – Kartueli (which in a certain period was reduced to denote one Georgian temi too) is derived from the name of deity Kartu. Not only the stems Kald(Chaldaean), ħald-(Chaldeans), Kard-u-ħ, but the stem ħal-yb-(Chalyb) too may be related to the stem of this name. However, before the qualification of -yb- segment, nothing can be stated with confidence. The forms Hal-iz-on- and [H]al-yb-e, in their turn, must be linked with the stem ħal-yb- (Chalyb). Naturally, it may be assumed that the root Hal- is
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identifiable in the word Hal-ys- (Halys – the river Kizil-Irmak). As the sounds [h,ħ,k] are the aspirated, back consonants, their interchangeability is expected not only in various languages, but within a single language as well. Respectively, the root Kar/ħal-/Hal- of the forms Kar-t-, ħal-d, Hal-is-, ħal-ib-, Hal-iz-on- and common Kartvelian ħar- (‘ox’) may be of a common origin. The difficulty in the qualification of the segments –d-/-t- and –yb-/iz- makes this hypothesis less reliable. Nevertheless, noteworthy enough, the ox cult was predominant both in western Asia and among the Kartvelian tribes. Nor should be accidental that ancient Kartvelian coins – kolkhidki (Colchian money) bear the representation of ox heads. b) Meskh: On the basis of the names Masis (mountain) and Phasis (river) and the ethnonym Phasians, the root Mas-/Pas- may be identified. Cf. In the Greek mythology Ethnarch is regarded as the son of Colchian Phasis, the latter being the water deity (T.Mikeladze, 1955,pp.33-34). It is also interesting that in the Greek mentality the water deity (hence, the word Phasis denoting rivers) and Colchis (area rich in rivers?) are in fact synonyms. The assumption of P. Ingoroqva that Phas- must be preserved in the form Bas-ian-i seems reliable. Mas- root may be the basis of the words derived from stems Mes-ħ-, Mos-ħ- and Mus-ħ: In my view,*Masħ- variant seems have survived in the name of the Cappadocian city Mazaħa/Mazaķa: Mas-ħ-/ Mas-a-ħ-> Mazaħ-. The variant Mes-x- is recorded in the Greek word Mesħiķe and Georgian Mesħ- temonym. It is identifiable in the forms Meskin-, Meshechand Mtskheta. The form Mosħ- (Mosch) is preserved in biblical Mosoch-, Mushk-, Greek Mosch- (Mosochon-) and Georgian Muskh- stems (Muskhi- village in Akhaltsikhe). As was noted above, the roots with labial vowels recorded in the old Indo-European linguistic field (cf. Assyrian Tabal and biblical Tubal/Tobel; Assyrian Mushki, biblical Mosoch/Meshech, Greek Moschi/Meskhike
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(Moskhoi) and the capital of Cappadocia Mazaka; Armenian Torgoma and Kartvelian Targamos; biblical Ararat and Urartu, etc.), on the one hand, and the varieties with the vowel ‘o‘ recorded in the Kartvelian linguistic (Zan dialectal) area (ķaci-ķoči, da-do), on the other one, should be demarcated. They are formed in different periods as a result of different linguistic processes. Similar variance is frequent in the Assyrian, Hittite, HieroglyphicLuwian, Old Hebrew and Old Greek languages. E.g. cf. also: Assyrian Gamir-, Mušku and Old Greek Gomer-, Mešeh-; Hittite Ķummani and Assyrian Ķammanu; Hittite Tegerma and Old Greek Togorma. It may be assumed that A-baz- and other stems related with it are derived from root *Mas-: *A-mas-, Abas-, Abaš-(/Abeš-al-); *A-mas-, Abas-, Abaz-, Ebez-/Ebze, Obez-; *A-mas-, Amas-ħ-, Abas-ħ-, Abask-; *A-mas-, Abaz-, Abaz-ħ-/ Abaz-g-, Abħaz-/Apħaz-... Here the contradiction lies in the fact that the function of prefix a- is not clear. But the view advanced by N. Marr on the relation of *Mas- and *A-mas- stems still seems interesting. As noted above, a-prefix might have been the ancient morpheme of purpose in the Proto-Karvelian-Caucasian linguistic field. The common Kartvelian a-/ha-/sa- prefix, the function of which is sometimes uncertain, and sometimes seems to denote purpose can be considered in relation with it: a-ban-o, a-dg-il-i… sa-qul-i, sa-ħ-e, sa-bĉ-o… cf. Zan‘o’-: o-ħvam-e, o-quje, o-pš-a, o-kotom-e, and Svan a-ha-, a-qb-a, a-ķuad-. c) San: One of the most ancient stems denoting the Kartvelian tribes must be Zan/San. Cf. The varieties formed by the interchange of forelingual voiceless consonants: San-, San-ig-, Zan-, Čan-, Ċan- (Ċan-ar-), one the one hand and, the stems derived by the labialization of s: Svan-/Šon- and Mušuan on the other. The stem Hen-io-ħ may be derived from the stem Santoo: San->Sen->Hen- (the latter is more controversial). Presumably, the Proto-Kartvelian and common Kartvelian linguistic systems, similar to other Iberian-Caucasian languages, must have contained
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labialized consonants. In the course of time, the labial component either came to be realized as a bilabial spirant, or was lost. The rise of o- instead of a- in Zan dialects is probably due to the neighbourhood of a labialized consonant: under the influence of the labial component, the neighbouring ‘a’ vowel turned into ‘o’. This accounts for numerous “violations”, when common Kartvelian ‘a’ does not correspond to ‘o’ in the Zan dialects (this question is discussed in detail elsewhere). d) Colch: The name of the historical Georgian province Ķola has preserved the original stem: from Kol-/Kor- root is formed Ķol-ħ-/Ķil-ħ-/Ķul-ħ- (-ħcollective suffix), Ķor-a-ks-i (Coraxi), Ma-ķr-on-i (Macrone); cf. also: Ķlarj-i and Kl-u-ħ-or-i. e) Iber: The initial stem must be Hper-/Sper- (cf: Speri, Speri Sea); Hperi>Yperi>Iper->Iber-Iver-(Iberia/ Iveria); H>Y>I- is a characteristic phenomenon in Kartvelian. Cf. Ispir (see S. Janashia, 1952, p.60); Speri>Sa-sper-(Sasperites)/Sa-peir-/Sa-veir- (Stephan of Byzantium) /Hasper-/Hesper-(Hesperitae)> Su-sper-/Svi-sper-(Syspirits); Hper->Hber->Ber>Ver-,>Vir->Vir-k(>Vr-a-c-)->Vir-šan-;Ver-,Var-,Var-u-č-an, Gurčan, Gurgan-(<Georgian-), Gurj-, Kurg-(recorded in the 13th c.; S.Janashia, 1959, p.53), Gurdzg-(Ossetian form), Gruzin-(<Guruzin-) cf. Circassian: Kurjg “Tbilisi” and Ossetian: Gurjgn “stately, well-built”.
Note: on the va>gu process in the Persian linguistic field cf. examples cited by G.Tsereteli: vard>gul, varaz>guraz, visnap>gusnap (G.Tsereteli, 1993, p. 104).

Other names denoting the Georgians recorded in sources have fewer variants: e.g. Ţibareni, Laz, Ķaħ/Ķuħ, Tuš, Javaħ/Zabaħa, which is explained by the foreign origin of some of these names, and the local importance of others (e.g. Ķaħ is used within a narrow linguistic field).

1.3. Choronyms of Different Languages and Various Historical Periods
(Methodological notes on the example of the relations of IberiaKartli and Colchis-Lazica)
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The analysis of historical processes is greatly hindered by the confusion of an auto-ethnonym and other ethnonyms, as well as different definition of a country’s boundaries. Not infrequently, the own boundaries of a nation do not coincide with those conceived by its neighbours. Along with this, beginning from the old period to the recent past, one and the same ethnonym (or choronym) often referred to two or more peoples (countries). Cf .the eastern Mushki - ancestors of the Kartvels and the western Mushkithe Phrygians; Abaza/Ebze - Georgian and Abaza - self-name of a part of the population of the present-day Autonomous Republic of Karachai-Circassia – the Abazes. In my view, even more numerous problems are caused by different apprehension of the territory and historical path of the given nation, which is reflected in the interpretation of specific ethnonyms and choronyms. E.g.: Georgia and the recent history of the Georgian nation are viewed differently by Georgian, Russian and pro-Russian Abkhazian historians, leave alone politicians, which leads to the difference in their studies. Naturally enough, nor would have been insured against certain subjectiveness towards Georgia (or any other country) the ancient Greeks, the Persians, the Armenians or other neighbouring peoples. In the study of history (as well as other disciplines) essential importance attaches to the identification of terms. The readers whether speaking the same or a foreign language should be offered adequate transparent terms, compared with other chononyms. E.g. for the Kartvels the choronym Sakartvelo at present implies historical Abkhazia too, whereas the Russian term Gruzia used by the pro-Russian Abkhazians does not include the ancient province. After decades objective researchers will have to demarcate the terms Sakartvelo and Gruzia, and to warn the readers that in this case the exact translation of Sakartvelo is not Gruzia. Below we offer the discussion on Lazica-Egrisi and Iberia- Kartli: The terms: Lazica-Egrisi, Egrisi-Colchis and Iberia-Kartli are incorrectly identified with one another by many Georgian and foreign historians (see e.g. R. Topchishvili, 2002, p.7). The term Lazica was coined according to the Roman vision and the history of the State Lazica developed in this line, whereas the term Egrisi and the history of this province of Georgia, is the reflection of the Kartvelian world perception and assessment;
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Colchis refers to almost entire old Georgia, and Egrisi is only one part of Kartli (i.e. Georgia). Cf. also: The Georgian sources up to the 7th c. AD and from the 9th c. viewed Egrisi within unified Georgia (which was so in reality), whereas according to Greek, Roman and Byzantine sources, Lazica of the same period was not part of Iberia. This view too, reflects reality to a certain degree, as some part of Egrisi and other Georgian provinces were conquered by Rome and Constantinople. The term Lazica and Egrisi implied different territories at different times, their coincidence occurred hardly, if ever. Therefore, the conclusions arrived at on the basis of their identification are little reliable. Thus, the kings of Lazica and Egrisi cannot be placed on the same plane. A certain part of Egrisi, conquered by Byzantium (and called Lazica by the conquerors), was governed by the ruler appointed by the empire, who, from time to time, may disobey “the centre”, whereas Egrisi – part of Kartli, was ruled by an eristavi, who voluntarily obeyed the king of Kartli, his motherland. In the studies of many historians Egrisi and Lazica are used as synonymos terms and accordingly historical reality is not reflected properly; e.g. the title of the book by G. Grigolia “Problems of Historical Geography of the State of Egrisi-Lazica” (which is a valuable work itself). Here is one more controversial view: According to a widespread view at present, from the 6th c. BC to the period of David Kuropalates (10th c. AD) two Georgian states existed side by side: Colchis and Iberia, or Egrisi-Lazica and Kartli-Iberia of a later period (See. e. g. Sakartvelos istoriis narkvevebi (Essays on Georgian’s History), I, p. 422). It should be noted from the outset that this inaccuracy too is caused by the confusion of terms: All the generations of the 20th-century historians have incorrectly viewed as synonyms: Colchis, Lazica, Egrisi, on the other hand, and Kartli, Iberia on the other one. Here is an example. Chapter Eight of Volume One of Sakartvelos istoriis narkvevebi, published in 1970, is entitled “Colchis in the 6th-4th cc. BC, and Chapter Nine is “Kartli (Iberia) in the 6th -4th cc. BC”, cf. also D. Muskhelishvili, 2002, p.15: “The eastern Georgian Kigdom Kartli (Iberia) was established in the 4th c. BC, etc. Are there any reliable sources attesting to the existence of two
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independent states of the Kartvels in the second half of the 1st millennium? Georgia was not divided so according to any foreign sources of this period. As demonstrated in the previous paragraph, numerous Georgian tribes must have inhabited the historical territory of Georgia in the 1st millennium BC. On the basis of Greek, Assyrian, Urartian and Georgian sources, the existence of a great state may be assumed as well, which is also confirmed by a single archeological culture (see below). Cf. also, A.Urushadze, 1964, p.6: “Originally the Greeks implied under Colchis the entire Kartvelian world”. G. Melikishvili, a good specialist of old sources (editor and main author of volume one of Sakartvelos istoriis narkvevebi), drawing on the late Greek-Byzantine tradition, considers Colchis-Lazica in isolation from KartliIberia. The author incorrectly identifies these choronyms with one another, failing to reckon with the Georgian tradition: Georgian chroniclers are familiar well with the foreign literature, terminology, and views, but they construct the history of the Georgian nation according to the terminology and system of perception developed in Georgian mentality. It can be said with confidence that the view of our old historians was more objective (including Egrisi from Trapezus to Nicopsia in Kartli) than that of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines or Armenians. In particular, what is the basis of the conclusion that in the 6 th -3rd cc. BC Iberia existed independently of Colchis? Iberia is not mentioned by Hecateaeus of Miletus, Xenophon, Herodotus, Pseudo-Scylax, Plato, Aristotle, Apollonius Rhodius or other authors. The terms Caucasian Iberia and the eastern Iberians (cf. the Pyrenean Iberians) appear for the first time with the 4th -2nd-centuries BC authors Megasthenes, Theoprastos, Dionysius Periegetes, and others (V. Vashakidze, 1993, p.61). Iberia/the Iberians found in the Roman sources is confined to the territory of the eastern Georgia (Lazica - southwestern Georgia?) in the period of the so-called Mithradates wars. This is natural, since, according to Georgian sources too, the state of the Georgians was weakened in the 2nd -1st cc: some part of its territories was conquered by Rome and Armenia. And the Kingdom of Pontus was victorious mostly thanks to the Kartvelian tribes and territories. In accounts of a later period Colchis is viewed within Iberia; e.g. according to Plutarch, the main nations of Caucasia are the Albanians and the Iberians: the Iberians live to the west, at the mountains of Meskheti (the
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Meskhian mountains - the watershed of the Euphrates-Chorokhi-MtkvariAraxes - T.P.) and the Pontus sea, and the Albanians – to the east, at the Caspian Sea (I. Javakhishvili 1950, p.18). Cf. also: According to the “Church Annals” preserved in Vatican, “a part of Iberia, located at the Pontus Sea, known as Colchis, embraced Christianity with the aid of Pope St. Clement (years of papacy – 88-97) preaching in the reign of Emperor Trajan (98117)… As regards the lower Iberians, living at the Caucasian mountains, near the Caspian Sea, it is considered that they adopted Christianity in the time of Emperor Konstantine (I. Tabaghua, 1984, p.171). Cf. according to Leonti Mroveli, Kartli under Parnavaz and Gorgasali included the valleys of the Chorokhi, the upper Mtkvari, the Liakhvi, the Rioni, the Inguri, the Kodori, and the Bzyb; the Colchian archeological culture i.e. Aea-Colchis of Aeetes, extended over approximately the same territory. It is clear, I think, that Lazica and Iberia were established as parallel terms in the Roman- Byzantine sources from the turn of the new era. Strabo is the first to mention Sarapanis (Shorapani) as the boundary between them (cf. I. Javakhishvili, 1908, pp. 43-44). This surely is not sufficient ground to generalize the situation of the 2nd -1st cc. to the earlier or later periods too, and to assume the parallel existence of Colchis and Iberia, or Kartli and Egrisi in the 6th-3rd cc. BC or in the reign of Gorgasali. Even the accounts of Strabo are controversial, leave alone the Greek sources of the earlier period (for criticism see e.g. I. Javakhishvili, 1950, p. 22). Against this background, it is surprising that the Georgian historians from I. Javakhishvili to the present day, constructing the historical pattern of the Georgian nation, tend to trust foreign accounts to a greater extent, than more coherent Georgian sources. The representation of Iberia and Colchis independently in the mid1st millennium BC has resulted in numerous blunders, suffice to mention the view that there never existed a single Georgian state. Research in the field of historiography is beyond my competence. However, it is obvious that a comparatively objective history of the Georgian nation in yet to be written.

Chapter Two The Kartvels from the Ancient Time to
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Christianity; Towards the Theoretical Model and Dating of the common Kartvelian Language
2.1. The Original Home of the Caucasian-Kartvelian Ethnos
2.1.1. Biblical and Mythological Viewpoints 2.1.1.1. According to the Old Testament, after the monolingual population of the earth ruined itself twice, the Lord created a new, multilingual (resp. multinational) model of the humankind, which proved viable. The Roman-Byzantine tradition regards the Georgians as the descendants of one of Noah’s three sons, Japheth (Japheth: Tubal, Meshech, Genesis, IV, 22; X, 2:XI, 28). According to the old Georgian tradition, Japheth’s great-grandson Targamos was the founder of the Iberian-Caucasian race (Japheth-JavanTarshish-Targamos). Targamos’ eight children and their relatives came to northern Anatolia and Caucasia after “the division of tongues – when they built the tower of Babylon and the tongues were divided there and they scattered from there over the whole world”(Kartlis Tskhovreba). The names of Targamos’ sons (Haos, Kartlos, Bardos, Movakan, Lek, Heros, Kavkas, Egros) demonstrate that the ancestors of the Georgians regarded western Asia and entire Caucasia as the home of their family (On the discussion see M. Sanadze, 2001, pp.166-167). The assumption seems quite reliable that the author of this part of “Kartlis Tskhovreba”, and the compilers of this book in general must have regarded the descendants of Haos as a fraternal people of the Georgians, belonging to the IberianCaucasian stock (Indo-European language speaking Armenians came to Caucasian after the fall of Urartu in a later period!), and the Armenian language mentioned by Mroveli implies the heritage of the Urartian language (cf. R. Gordeziani, 1993, p.47; A.Japaridze, 1994, p.72; J.Kashia, 1999; R. Abashia, 1999; etc.). Logically enough, the old historians, unaware of the Indo-European provenance of the Armenian Language, might have thought the Armenians to be of the Iberian Caucasian-Urartian stock too, the more so, as anthropologically the Armenians belong to the Caucasian – Western Asian race.
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For the Kartvels of the late 1st millennium the Armenian-Urartian language and the fraternal people mentioned by the old Georgian chronicles was already unceratain past, but after the defeat of the neighbouring Armenians and the aggrandizement of the Georgians, the recognition of the seniority of Haos (as the ethnarch of the neigbouring Armenians) was no longer dangerous. According to M. Sanadze’s conclusion, which seems quite reliable, the political and geographic picture given in the introductory geographical part of “Kartlis Tskhovreba” reflects the situation in Caucasia at the turn of the 7th-8th centuries (M. Sanadze, 2001, pp. 170-175). Research into the divine truth or the reality of the biblical ethnarchs is outside the domain of science. For the present study the following fact is interest: According to the century-old world tradition and written sources, the Georgians number among the most ancient nations of the world, formed after the “division of tongues” at the tower of Babylon. 2.1.1.2. Zeus defeated and chained to the Caucasus Prometheus, a god of the Pre-Zeus period of the Greek mythology, son of Titan Iapetus. The identification of the god of the Pre- Greek (Proto-Iberian) population (S. Qaukhcishvili, Z. Gamsakhurdia) with Caucasia gives us sufficient grounds to assume that the ancient Greeks imagined Prometheus, son of Iapetus, as the symbol of the Iberian-Caucasian race (significantly, ethnarch Japheth is linked to the Georgians in the Bible too). According to a view shared in the specialist literature, in the Greek mythology “the Titans and Heroes belong to the non-Greek, Pre-Greek world and direct original Pelagic culture, and culture of the Achaeans, coming later” (on the discussion of O. Neeracher, see Z. Gamsakhurdia, 1999, p. 31; K. Tuite, 1998; etc.) The common origin of the Pelasgians and the ColchianIberians is discussed in many sources. It is not accidental that a variety of Prometheus – deity Amirani belongs to the oldest stratum of the Caucasian mythology (other variants of the name are: Svan: Amrim/Mirim/ Amirm/Miram; Megrelian: Aram (<Aran <Amiran); Kartvelian: Amiran-; cf. Abkhazian: Amr-sk- ŭl-/-, Abrskil-; Ossete: Amran-; Armenian: Mheri). Numerous arguments are found substantiating the identity of the tragic deity of Georgian mythology, Amirani and the old deity defeated by
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Zeus, Prometheus. According to the Greek writers, a legend similar to the myth on Prometheus existed in Pre-Christian Georgia. “The Greek writers, from already the 5th-4th centuries regarded this as a Caucasian legend and thought Caucasia to be the place where Prometheus was chained. The legend on Prometheus was regarded as a Caucasian legend by the well-known geographer Strabo (I. Javakhishvili, I, p. 201, 190; cf. S.Qaukhchishvili, 1964, pp. 33-34). It can be said that Amirani of Kartvelian folklore is obscure folk remembrance of Prometheus, the Proto-Iberian deity: the divine origin, immortality, bringing the divine treasure (fire, Qamari) to the earth, deceiving the master of clouds (cf. deceiving Zeus), chaining to the Caucasus by the “new” god, tearing of the liver of the chained hero by an eagle, and other symbolic information-passages certainly add to the urgency of the question of identity of the Pre-Greek Titan and the KartvelianCaucasian hero (deity!). It is also obvious that the Georgian variant of the myth on the Pre-Greek – Proto-Iberian deity underwent serious transformation in the period of Christianity: the myth turned into a fairy-tale, where Zeus was replaced by Christ-the God, and the old deity was reinterpreted as a fairy-tale hero (T.Putkaradze, 1995, pp. 11-13). It seemd reliable that according to the commentators of the Bible and the Greek myths, the remote past of the Georgians (the peoples of the Iberian-Caucasian race) is linked to the population inhabiting the central part of Eurasia before the expansion of the Indo-European and Semitic tribes; subsequently, these people have survived in Europe as islands, and its “nucleus” became “chained” to Caucasia. 2.1.2. Scholarly Views The are several views in the scholarly literature concerning the historical homeland of the Kartvels: 2.1.2.1. The Theory of Migration (Arrival into Caucasia) The historical home of the Georgians was Chaldea/Khalde/Kartu, located in Asia Minor, northern Mesopotamia and the sources of the Tigris and the Euphrates. The ancestors of the Georgians migrated to Transcaucasia at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC (I. Chavchavadze, 1955, p. 113; I. Javakhishvili, 1960, pp. 412, 432-435). I. Javakhishvili, 1950, pp. 28, 247251). The Georgians are viewed as migrated to Transcaucasia in some Greek sources too; namely, they resettled from Iberia of Western Europe to eastern Iberia - on the eastern Black Sea coast (see above).
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The attempts of substantiation of the migration theory are also found in the scholarly literature; here is the discussion of I. Javakhishvili cited as an example: “As is known, the homeland of all the Georgian tribes was Chaldea; so the Georgians must have come to Caucasia from there… The measuring of the skulls discovered in all ancient graves in Caucasia confirmed that originally our country was inhabited by the dolichocephalic (long-headed) people; as was noted by the late Prof. Virkhov, the modern Georgians and Armenians are especially brachycephalic (short- headed)… The Georgians must have come to Caucasia after the 9th century”. (I. Javakhishvili, 1908, pp. 28, 50-55). According to the conclusion of the great part of modern anthropologists, the continuous genetic unity of the population is recorded on the territory of Georgia from earliest times to date; the transformation of the anthropological types of Caucasia in different periods is a result of the gradual change: “The change of individual traits and types (from dolichocranial to brachycephalic in general had the character of a gradual transition” (see M. Abdushelashvili, 1964; M. Abdushelishvili, 1971; l. Bitadze, 2002). Some historians think that the modern territory of Georgia was populated by non-Georgians exclusively or partially; e.g.: “In the Pre-Hellenistic period the territory of modern Georgia was inhabited by various tribes of the non-Georgian race: “the relatives of Lot’s children, the Bun-Turks, the Huns…” (D.Muskhelishvili, 1993, p. 341: see also I. Javakhishvili, 1949, pp. 236, 246: polemics with K. Kekelidze). On the basis of “Moktsevai Kartlisai” (“The Conversion of Georgia”) some researchers think that the Bun Turks are the autochthonous population of Caucasia (I. Zeirek, 2003; M. Seidov, 1969). In the recent period the question of the Bun Turks was analyzed in a special article by G.Alasania. After detailed historiography of the question the author writes: “We think that the view of the researchers who, similar to D. Bakradze, transfer these development into the period of Media, and those who regard the Bun-Turks mentioned in Georgian sources as the Scythians, is correct”. The Khazars and the Bun Turks are the Scythians (G. Alasania, 2000, p.23; M. Sanadze, 2001, p.150).
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It is in fact logical enough to identify the “Turks” defeated by King of the Persians Kaikhosro with the Scythians (M. Sanadze, 2001, p.150: cf. The History of old Eastern Peoples, p. 526: “Between 625-615 Kiakhsar not only defeated the Scythians and drove them away from Media, but also united the whole uplands of Iran”). Presumably, after the appearance of the Seljuk Turks, the term Turk in the mentality of the Georgians generalized to denote not only the Scythians, but also savage tribes in general. As regards the relation of the terms Turk/Bun Turk: According to “Kartlis Tskhovreba”, in the period before Alexander, the bulk of the Turks defeated by the Persians settled near Mtskheta, only in town Sarkine, with the consent of “all the Georgians, who wanted to make an alliance with the Turks because they were afraid of the Persians. For the sake of support the immigrant Turks made an alliance, and they were dispersed among all the cities. The majority of them went and found a place at Mcħeta, a cave hewn out among the rocks on the western side. They requested this site from the mamasaħlisi of Mcħeta. He granted it, and they built it up, walled it strongly, and called the place Sarkine”(pp.15, 18); cf. The Jews who fled from King Nebuchadnezzar “came to Georgia, and requested from the mamasaħlisi of Mcħeta territory in return for tribute. He gave (a place) and settled them on the Aragvi, at a spring which was called Zanavi.” (pp.15-16). According to “Moktsevai”, the Huns driven out by the Chaldaeans settled in Zanavi. It is accepted in the scholarly literature that the Huns here are the same as the Scythians, and the Chealdeans - as the Persians (G. Arakhamia, 1994; M. Sanadze, 2000).
Note: in the old Georgian texts “the Chaldaeans” is used to designate the Persians, but the author of this section of “Kartlis Tskhovreba” regards them as the Babylonians, the Assyrians (on discussion see M. Sanadze, 2001, pp.27-29). The source of the confusion must be sought for in an earlier period: perhaps, in old sources Chaldaea/Chaldea denoted the Sumerian – western Asian ethnopolitical space in the language of the autochthonous people of this region. Subsequently this name has survived among the Kartvelian-Caucasian autochthonous peoples as well as a part of the Indo-Europeans and the Semites.

Notably enough, in both sources it is stated clearly that the majority of the Turks settled in Sarkine, and the Huns or the Jews in Zanavi. This fact cannot be explained convincingly only be ascribing it to the confusion of the
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sources by the chronicler. It is also little credible that the old chroniclers had two terms (the Turks and the Huns) to refer to the Scythians. In my opinion, only term Turk/ Bun Turk denotes the Scythians. We regard the term Bunturk as a compound created by blending the determinandum – determinatum: Buni Turki>Bun-Turki, where Buni means the main part, nucleus (cf. I. Abuladze: Buni – ‘real’, ‘original’, from the context, however, it must be ‘main’; cf. M. Andronikashvili, p.297: Bun – ‘basis’, ‘main’, ‘foundation’). The meaning of the compound should be understood as the main part of the Turks. Alexander saw near Mtskheta many of those Turks who had settled densely in Sarkine; cf. the rest of the Turks/Scythians “ were dispersed among all the cities” by the Georgians: The determinandum-determinatum or compound Bun-Turk finds some parallels in archaic Georgian: according to I. Imnaishvili’s conclusion, in ancient Georgian the determinandum preceded the determinatum (postposition was established later). Compounds formed in this way were natural too; cf. e.g. ķetili ğvinoi (good wine), ‘puris ĉamai (eating), ucħo-tesli (stranger), švağame (midnight), didžali (much), didpasi (valuable), ertšabati (Sunday) (I. Imnaishvili, 1957, pp. 556, 277, 229; A. Shanidze, 1976, pp. 5758). It is also noteworthy that the Turkish-speaking Khazars first appeared in Caucasia in the 5th c. AD and the Qivchaqs - in the 11th c. the Khazars/“Turks” of the 6th-4th cc. BC were an Indo-European languagespeaking people, and the Khazars and the Turks of the 10 th 11th cc. AD – Turkish-speaking. It is said unequivocally in “Kartlis Tskhovreba” that “after the division of tongues” i.e. from the outset (when nations came into being) Caucasia was settled by Japheth’s descendants – sons of Targamos. With the passage of time other peoples also came, and respectively “all these peoples in Kartli became so mixed that six languages were spoken in Kartli: Armenian, Georgian, Khazar, Syrian, Hebrew and Greek”, Parnavaz “ extended the Georgian language, and no more was a different language spoken in Kartli except Georgian” (“Kartlis Tskhovreba, 1955, pp. 16, 26). Due to this and many other reasons, in my view, there is so far no firm basis to state that the Georgians are not autochthonous in Caucasia.

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2.1.2.2. The Theory of Autochthony in Trancaucasia 2.1.2.2.1. Southern Transcaucasia According to Th. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov, the Georgians from the very beginning lived in Southern Transcaucasia, namely, in the mountainous area of the central and western part of the Lesser Caucasus (Meskheti-Javakheti region). From here the Georgians gradually, in waves moved to the northern Transcaucasia. This view is not substantiated convincingly. 2.1.2.2.2. Southern Caucasia The theory of the autochthony of the Georgians in central Transcaucasia (southern Caucasia) was first advanced in a well-argued way by B. Kuftin. In his view, “ southern Caucasia represented both the homeland and the ancient homeland of the Georgian people” (B. Kuftin, 1949, pp. 14-16, 37). It should also be noted that, according to the same author, on the basis of the material discovered at Tsalka, impressive parallels are found between the culture of southern Caucasia and that of ancient Crete-Mycene (the similarity of the woman’s role and the oldest hieroglyphic specimens of writing). Cf. also: “The Georgian tribes from the earliest times lived on the territory of Georgia, it also presumable that they partially lived outside the boundaries of present-day Georgia too, namely, the northeastern areas of Asia Minor, the territory of the southeastern Black Sea area.”(G. Melikishvili.1970, pp. 341-342). The given view is shared in modern scholarly literature too. “According to the joint evidence of linguistics, anthropology, archaeology and historical geography, at present the authochthony of the ancestors of the Georgians in Caucasia is absolutely doubtless.” (D. Muskhelishvili, 2002, p. 5). I think, the approach of S. Janashia is more substantiable: the Kartvelian stock is autochthonous in Caucasia-western Asia. 2.1.2.3. The Theory of Autochthony in Caucasia-Western Asia S. Janashia, 1952, pp. 96-100; S. Janashia, 1987, pp. 20-24, 44-51: “By their origin the Kartvels belong to the old aboriginal population of western Asia”; in the earliest period (about 5000-6000 years ago) the ancestors of the Georgians (a people of the Hittite-Iberian stock) lived in
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western Asia (from Mesopotamia to the Caucasus); they were dispersed from here to southern Europe (the Balkan, the Appennine and the Pyrenean Peninsulas) and the northern coast of Africa. Afterwards their home became limited to Asia Minor; the direct ancestors of the Georgians are the Hittite-Subars, dispersed from northern Mesopotamia to the Caucasus; from the early 1st millennium BC the centre of the homeland of the Georgians moved gradually to the north (the view of S. Janashia was first put forward in 1940 in the Bulletin of the Institute of Language, History and Material Culture in 1943, the main propositions of the study entered the school textbook “History of Georgia” published by co-authorship of S. Janashia, I.Javakhishvili and N. Berdzenishvili). This view must have been originated from the French scholar Dibua de Monperse, since on the basis of his studies as early as 1881 Dimitri Bakradze wrote: “ It should be without any doubt that the mentioned peoples (the Tibareni, the Mossynoeci, the Macrones, the Colchians, the Iberians, the Albanians) really extended over nearly the entire space from the river Halys to the Caucasus mountains … Nowadays their Georgian descent is almost doubtless” (D. Bakradze, 1881, p.26). On the basis of the views of Hyde Clark, N. Marr, I. Javakhishvili, and others, a somewhat different opinion was expressed by immigrant scholar and public figure Revaz Gabashvili: he land from Caucasia to the Persian Gulf and from India to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain), was inhabited by the highly civilized, monolingual Caucasian-Chaldaean race (R.Gabashvili, 2001, p.18). The study cited by us is a brief summary of the extensive work published in 1967 in French, for this reason, R. Gabashvili’s arguments were not accessible for us, and they are not discussed here. It should be noted also that some assumptions given in the short GeorgianEnglish version of R.Gabashvili’s work (e.g. the provenance of the Georgian language from that existing before the tower of Babylon) cannot be substantiated. *** Researching into the arguments of S. Janashia’s conception, his view is advised to be represented in two parts: a. Northern Mesopotamia-Caucasia: the home of ancestors of the Georgians;
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b. The dispersion of the population of western Asia to southern Europe and the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. a. Taking into consideration the studies of the scholars of different generations and the comparative analysis of the linguistic structures (impressive lexical parallels, basic phonemic structure, agglutinativeness, the ergative construction…), there is sufficient grounds to hypothesize, similar to S. Janashia: In the 5th-3rd BC there existed a western Asia-Caucasian ethnos, the branches of which were: the Hurrians, the Hattians, the Caucasian Iberians (the Chorokhi, the Mtkvari, the Rioni valleys and the slopes of the Caucasus). The Kura-Araxes culture is linked to this western Asian-Caucasian race, which conventionally can be called “the people having a language with the ergative construction”. At the end of the 3rd millennium BC this people under the pressure of the Indo-European tribes began to diverge rapidly. From the 2nd millennium BC one part of the people having a language with the ergative construction – the KartvelianCaucasian stock (the Moschoi/Mushki, the Tabal/Tubal/Iberians, the Circassians, the Nakh, etc.) created the Colchian culture in the Halys, the Mtkvari, the Chorokhi, the Rioni, the Qvirila, the Enguri, and the Liakhvi valleys and certain parts of northern Caucasia. The main state language of the people creating the Colchian culture may have been the common Kartvelian language, whose direct descendant is literary Georgian. The basis for advancing similar hypotheses is the western AsianKartvelian linguistic parallels (comparative analysis of the linguistic material see in the Georgian version), as well as the conclusions of modern anthropologists, culturological studies and archaelogical data; in particular: Here are some views. L. Bitadze, 2002; p. 156: “ The analysis of dermatoglyphic and serelogic materials shows the close link of the population of Georgia with western Asian world … The population of historical Georgia belonged to a great anthropological layer, which was a part of the western Asian branch of the Indo-Mediterranean race”. N. Maisuradze, 1989, p.71: “Once Caucasia was within the area of western Asian musical culture. The Caucasian variant of this culture was formed later, the origin of which is linked with the rise and development of polyphony in Caucasia”.
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Gr. Giorgadze, 2002, p. 69: The view advanced in scholarly literature is to be taken into account, “according to which the boundaries of the dispersion (settlement) of the Hurrians in the second half of the 4th millennium – the first half of the 3rd millennium BC territorially coincide with those of the Kura-Araxes culture, and to a certain extent, with the Early Bronze Age cultural area of eastern Anatolia. The early settlement of the Hurrians in the area of lakes Van and Urmia is more convincing. The assumption that the Hurrians were the autochthonous tribes of northern Mesopotamia is not ruled out”. The boundaries of Kura-Araxes culture included Caucasia (to the west – to Samtredia), eastern Anatolia, northwestern Iran, the eastern Mediterranean area, part of Europe, and Syria- Palestine. It is noteworthy that in Transcaucassia the Kura-Araxes culture directly continues the culture of early farming tribes. In particular, by the conclusion of archaeologists, the early specimens of the Kura-Araxes culture are recorded in Transcaucasia proper in the preceding primitive culture. Thus, it is assumed that “the main creators of the Kura-Araxes culture are the Caucasian tribes, mostly, Hurrian-speaking and Kartvelian”. Accordingly, the view is substantiated that the Kartvelian tribes are of the local, autochthonous origin (for the discussion and references see O. Japaridze, 1998, pp.183-185; cf. Th. Gamkrelidze, V. Ivanov, 1984, p. 894, where the assumption is advanced that one of the creators of this culture might have been the Indo-European race). It should also be noted that since “this culture spreads widely to the south”, O.Lordkipanidze believes (1998, p. 183) that this might point to the movement of a certain part of the Kartvelian population to the south. In my view, it is logical to assume that the Kura-Araxes culture was created by the people of the Caucasian-Hattic-Hurrian race (cf. G. Melikishvili, 1970, p.338). The cultural centres of this people might have existed in different periods in the eastern part of western Asia, as well as to the north- west and south (cf. the similarity of 5th-4th millennia BC the SionOdishi, Halaf and Shulaveri-Shomutepe cultures; cf. Th. Gamkrelidze, V. Ivanov, 1984, pp. 891-892; O.Japaridze, 1998,pp.182-183). My discussion is found in more detail in the Georgian texts. The expansion of the culturalmaterial field might have also occurred without the migration of the tribes – due to the growth of political influence.
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b. At the present stage the problem of the relation of the non-IndoEuropean population of southern Europe (the Balkan, the Appennine and the Pyrenean Peninsulas) and the northern coast of Africa with the indigenous Proto-Kartvelian people of western Asia (as well as their languages) cannot be considered as solved finally. However, there are numerous noteworthy data in this regard. 2.1.3. The Cultural World of western Asia and the Kartvelian-Caucasian (Iberian-Caucasian) Linguistic Field; the Diagram of the Relation of the Kindred Western Asian – Caucasian Languages We assumed that the creator of the “Kura-Araxes culture” was a people of the Caucasian- Hattic-Hurrian race (see above). The analysis of the different views existing in the scholarly literature reveals one interesting aspect of the approach to the problem, namely, that the north Caucasian tribes are hardly ever considered as the creators of the Kura -Araxes culture: O. Japaridze, 1998, p. 183: The main creators of the Kura-Araxes culture are the Caucasian tribes, primarily, Hurrian-speaking and Kartvelian. Th. Gamkrelidze, V. Ivanov, 1984, p. 894: The creators and bearers of the Kura-Araxes culture are the Hurrian, southern Caucasian (Kartvelian) and Indo-European ethnoses. Cf. The Russian archaeologists E.Krupnov and R. Munchaev assumed that the author of the Kura-Araxes culture might have been the Iberian-Caucasian linguistic-ethnic unity (Sakartvelos istoriis narkvevebi, I, pp. 337-338). Thus, recent researchers emphasize that the creator of the KuraAraxes culture is the “southern Caucasian “or Kartvelian ethnos. “The Iberian-Caucasian ethnos” is no longer seen, which is explained easily: these scholars believe that the existence of the Iberian-Caucasian linguistic unity is highly doubtful; even if it had existed, it must have been already disintegrated in the 3rd millennium BC, so the people speaking this language could not be the creator of the “Kura-Araxes culture”. Here is the main argument of G. Melikishvili, 1970, p. 338 (on lexical borrowings see in detail in the Georgian version): “Even if we admit the existence of the
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Iberian-Caucasian unity some time, it cannot be traced in the 3 rd millennium BC,” for in this period already existed individual groups of the “IberianCaucasian” languages (common Kartvelian, common Daghestanian, etc.). This well-known historian arrived at such a conclusion on the basis of the date of the division of the Kartvelian languages, “established” by G. Klimov by the so-called lexico-statistic method. As shown above, the time of existence and division of the Kartvelian languages established in such a way is very doubtful, and it surely cannot serve to prove or deny the existence of ethnoses. Cf. also O. Japaridze, 1976, pp. 17-20, 93: The Caucasian linguistic and cultural unity was already dissolved in the 5th millennium BC; in the 3rd millennium the basic ethnic groups of the Caucasian population were already finally formed. Similar chronologies are very controversial due to a number of reasons (see below). The assumption of the existence of the IberianCaucasian unity during the 2nd millennium finds more logical arguments. Cf. Although Arn.Chikobava was well aware of the views and arguments of I. Diakonov, G. Klimov, Th. Gamkrelidze, G. Machavariani and others on the existence of common Caucasian and dating of common Kartvelian, he assumed the time 3000 years ago as the time of the Iberian-Caucasian unity: “The Iberian-Caucasian languages are related languages, of a common origin. This implies the most ancient situation, probably, that of the period three thousand years ago, as well as the old location, the territory to the south of Caucasia” (Arn. Chikobava, 1978, p. 253). Therefore, I think that the existence of common Kartvelian cannot go beyond the 1st millennium BC (cf. some scholars assume the existence of common Kartvelian in the 4 th-3rd millennia BC; see V. Ivanov, Th. Gamkrelidze, 1984, p.880, M.Kurdiani, 2003, p. 44, etc; see below 2.2.3). Modern studies concerning the Iberian-Caucasian languages and ethnoses further substantiate the well-known scholarly theory advanced by I. Javakhishvili and Arn. Chikobava on the relation of the Iberian-Caucasian languages and peoples. Unfortunately, persons not speaking Georgian are not familiar with the book “Introduction to Iberian-Caucasian Linguistics” by Arn. Chikobava, where the relation of the Kartvelian, Abkhazian-Adyghe, Nakh-Daghestanian languages is demonstrated cleraly. In particular, the similarity between the Kartvelian, the Circassian, the Chechen and the Lezghian languages is not limited to phonemic (abundance of consonants,
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existence of stops and the class of i and u sonants) and morphological (agglutinative type, ergative, complexity of the verb, existence of classcategories) parallels. The differentiation of words according to the human (who?)/thing (what?) semantic category is also common, the syntactic phenomena (relation of the determinandum-determinatum, the determination of the ergative construction by the transitive verb… Arn. Chikobava, 1979, p. 250) are similar. The recent studies have revealed regular sound correspondences between the northern Caucasian and Kartvelian languages. The recent studies of in M.Chukhua brought to light more than 500 common Caucasian lexical units, which are reconstructed in common Karvelian, common Nakh-Daghestanian and common Abkhazian-Adyghean (see material in the Georgian version). In the study of the history of a nation, the history of folk music is also essential (H.V.Bromley). In this respect, for Georgian reality the discussion of N. Maisuradze is noteworthy, who, on the basis of the studies of researches of other neighbouring branches (K.Zaks, I.Khashba, B.Brliaev, D.Araqishvili, Sh.Aslanishvili, I.Kikvidze, and others), concludes: The musical languages of the peoples speaking the IberianCaucasian languages are derived from a common Caucasian-western Asian musical Proto-language. The close cultural and historical links to the western Asian world are revealed in the oldest layers of the melody of the Georgian “Iavnana” devoted to the deity of fertility Nana, existing from the end of the Neolithic period, and western Asia musical specimens (N. Maisuradze, 1989, pp.67, 71): “The homogeneousness of intonational and harmonic elements, forms of polyphony, typological similarity in the process of development, the common Caucasian musical-intonational character point to the existence of a common Caucasian musical culture in some period … The musical material demonstrates clearly the special importance of the Kartvelian tribes, their leading role in the formation and development of the culture, which occurred mainly within the Caucasian musical-intonational and harmonic thought” (N. Maisuradze, 1989, p. 61; N. Maisuradze, 2002, p. 246). Along with this, it is substantiated that the Abkhazian musical dialect/language “melo-intonationally is directly linked with eastern Kartvelian, Pshavian-Khevsur (Pkhovian) songs” (N. Maisuradze, 1989, pp. 65-67; N.Maisuradze, 2002. p. 245). Cf. also: Kartvelian instruments find parallels not only in Abkhazia, and northern Caucasia, in general, but in old western Asia as well (M.Shilakadze, 1970, pp.55-57). It is also noteworthy that the glossolalies of Georgian songs find parallels in Abkhazian and
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Chechen songs (M. Shilakadze, 1999, p. 206). Taking into account the above, my view on the linguistic, cultural and ethnic origin of the Georgians will be formulated as follows: The linguistic-dialectal division in the Iberian-Caucasian linguistic and ethnic unity, separated from the great western AsianCaucasian race in the 3rd millennium BC (second period of KuraAraxes), intensified further in the 2nd millennium BC (the rate of linguistic changes might have been accelerated by the mixing of ethnoses too). As a result of the inner regularities of the linguistic change or multifaceted admixtures, numerous linguistic units (languages and dialects) came into existence over the centuries, but they retained the basic linguistic features (phonemic structure, ergative, complexity of the verb) and part of common vocabulary. Accordingly, the western Asian linguistic material, known due to the hieroglyphic script, is reflected in the modern Karvelian, as well as the Circassian (Abkhazian-Adyghean), Nakh and Lezghian languages. Therefore, individual researchers of the Iberian-Caucasian languages often trace similarity between the familiar language, object of their study, and some western Asian language. This is quite natural, as the Iberian-Caucasian unity derives from the ancient common western Asian-Caucasian linguistic unity, each IberianCaucasian language will certainly have something in common with the proto-language, as well as all the related languages. The diagram showing the relation of the Iberian-Caucasian and other ancient western Asian languages assumes the following shape:
Caucasian-Western Asian linguistic unity

Sumerian Language

Hurrian-Urartian language

Eastern IberianCaucasian language

Western IberianHattic Language

2.2. From Aeetes to Parnavaz: The Colchian Culture; the Teoretical Model and Time of Existence of the Probable Of208

Common Kartvelian language

ficial Language of the Country under Aeetes - the Common Kartvelian Language
2.2.1. The Boundaries of the Colchian Culture according to Archeological Evidence Recent studies of archaeologists show that from the middle of the 2nd millennium elements of Colchian culture are recorded in the Chorokhi valley and the upper reaches of the Mtkvari. E.g. specimens of Colchian culture of the mid-2nd millennium found on the territory of historical Tao and Artaani are preserved in the Kars museum. Analogous material has been also discovered in Kartli and a part of North Caucasia (Koban). Bearing in mind the entire area of diffusion and chronological boundaries of the Colchian-Qoban culture, it can be said that the field of political and cultural influence of the race (or state) creating the Colchian culture covered the Chorokhi valley, entire western Georgia, upper reaches of the Mtkvari including Mtskheta, the Liakhvi valley and a part of northern Caucasia. Cf. On the basis of historical sources, some scholars conjecture that the boundaries of the Colchian culture included the territory of the Kaskeans/Muski/Moschoi living in the 2nd millennium, and respectively, that of the population of Moskhike of the 4th -3rd cc. BC up to the river Halys basin (N.Khazaradze, 1984, p. 193). The same aothor assumes (p.194) that “the Mushki arriving (or living? – T.P.) in the upper Euphrates area in the 12th c. BC as well as the Mushki mentioned in the Khartapu Luwian hieroglyphic inscriptions dating to the final quarter of the 10th c. BC are organically linked to the region which, according to ancient Greek written sources, was settled by the Kartvelian tribes, namely, those of the Moskhian-Meskh origin”. The identity and Kartvelian provenance of the Mushki, Muski and Meskhs (Moskhoi) seems doubtless. Notably, the territory of the Mushki and historical Cappadocia partially overlap, both are in the river Halys basin to a certain extent. It is also interesting that “a certain hereditary link is observed not only between the early Bronze Age cultures of northern and central Anatolia and later cultures found in Georgia; parallels are also traced in contemporary southwestern and central European and some earlier cultures” (G.Kavtaradze, 1985, p. 140). Proceeding from this, the question of the
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relation of the Mushki and the Cappadocians rises logically (cf. Josephus Flavius: The Mosokhenoi recently were called Cappadocians). Against this background, the evidence of Strabo on the later division of the land of the Moskhs may serve as a noteworthy argument. According to it, at the turn of our era one part of this land was divided between the Colchians, the Iberians, and the Armenians (T. Qaukhchishvili, 1976, p. 145). There are many other arguments too to state: that historical Colchis covered the territory from Khunani to the Speri (Black) Sea, and southern Caucasia up to the sources of the Mtkvari and the Chorokhi. 2.2.2. The Language of the Ethnos Creating the Colchian Culture Archaeological culture is not linked with any particular language. Similar questions are a matter of great controversy in scholarship. E.g. Researchers make various conjectures concerning the probable language spoken by the Colchians (Megrelian, Svan, Abkhazian, Scythian, etc.) In the 1990s a different approach was also developed in the scholarly literature. In particular, according to R. Gordeziani, the majority of the population of legendary Colchis spoke the non-differentiated GeorgianZan language, which was the internal official language of Colchis (R.Gordeziani, 1993,pp. 38-39). The author draws this conclusion on the basis of the analysis of the term Phasis: “Phasis” of the period of Hesiod (8th7th cc.) is obviously the equivalent of present-day place-name Poti (>Pati), which indicates that “Zan was not developed yet” (Ibid. p.39). The area of diffusion of the Colchian-Qoban culture is broad, covering: the Chorokhi valley, entire western Georgia, the upper course of the Mtkvari including Mtskheta, the Liakhvi valley and part of North Caucasia. As demonstrated above, in the 1st millennium BC numerous Kartvelian-Caucasian tribes inhabited this area, which naturally spoke their own dialects (vernaculars). It is logical to assume that the common Colchian (Kartvelian) koine may have existed at that period, which conventionally may be called the common Kartvelian language. The view which holds that structurally common Kartvelian and literary Georgian are identical systems does not seem contradictory to us. In particular: It is necessary to construct the consonant system similar to that of literary Georgian for common Kartvelian, as was assumed by Arn.
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Chikobava. Along with this, the discussion of G. Machavariani and Th.Gamkrelidze on the existence of the sonants i/y and u/w is quite convincing, I would only add that these sonants have survived almost in all the Kartvelian sub-systems. It should also be noted that the trace of labio-velarization is great in the formation of the vowels and forelingual consonants in Zan. The scheme of the “division” of the Kartvelian languages and dialects is also a matter of controversy in scholarship. According to G. Deeters, G. Klimov, Th. Gamkrelidz, G.Machavariani and others, first Svan was separated from common Kartvelian, and then the Zan-Georgian unity was divided into the Zan and the Georgian languages; Arn. Chikobava and K. Lomtatidze thought that first the Zan-Svan linguistic unity with the “hushing” consonantal varieties was separated from common Kartvelian, and then the Zan-Svan was divided into the Zan and Svan languages (on the history and overview of the problem see M. Kurdiani, 1996). Discussing this question it should be borne in mind that the difference of a certain related linguistic unit may be due not only to its ancientness (separation from the common language at an early stage), but to other reasons as well, namely, the changes may have been caused by intensive mixture of ethnoses/cultures: adstratic processes in a marginal region, superstratic or substratic phenomena caused by compact migrations, etc. As regards Georgian reality, the great difference of the present-day Svan dialects must be due to the frequent migrations of other IberianCaucasian, Turkish and Iranian (Ossetian) tribes on the slopes of the Caucasus, rather than their ancientness. The trace of the superstratic phenomena is great in the Svan speech. E.g. the palatalized vowels, peculiarities of the cases, considerable number of non-Georgian lexical units, etc. point to the existence of the superstratum of the languages found in northern Caucasia in the speech of these Kartvels (See. e.g. S. Janashia, 1959, pp. 81-124; also T. Putkaradze, 1998). In my view, the phonemic structure of the common Kartvelian language (As well as literary Georgian and the modern Kartvelian dialects) will assume the following form:
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consonants: b, p, p, d, t, ţ, ĵ, c, ċ, z, s, j, č, ĉ, ž, š, g, k, ķ, ĥ, q, ğ, ħ, h, m, n, r, l (the forelingual sounds may have labio-velarized allophones); sonants: i/y, u/w; vowels: a, e, o, (cf. Th. Gamkrelidze, 1998, p. 126: this author believes that the sound system given above was characteristic only for archaic Georgian. In addition, Th. Gamkrelidze, G. Machavariani, H. Fenrich and others also reconstruct the middle sibilant group of consonants and the sonants m, n, r, l in common Kartvelian). The morphological categories of the case and the screeve of the common Kartvelian language, as well as the noun and verb paradigms (morphological categories – screeve, case; declension and conjugation – paradigm of forms, see T.Putkaradze, 1997; cf. C.Kiria, 2003) mostly coincides with archaic literary (ecclesiastical) Georgian. In particular, the comparison of the Kartvelian dialects shows that the basic common Kartvelian patterns are the following main noun and verb structures (for illustration, some examples are given from one of the western Kartvel dialects - Megrelian; on the reconstruction principles of the common Kartvelian language, general characterization and chronology of the Kartvelian dialects see below): Basic patterns of noun form-building: Nominative (stem, stem+i/0)- ķac, ķac-i, ķoč-i; Ergative (stem, stem+0/particle –twiton, Abraam, ķac-man, ķač-k; Dative (stem+s/as/an)-ķac-s, ķoč-s/ķo-s Genitive (stem+is/iš/in) Directional (stem+isa/iša) Intentional (stem+isad/išot/išd) Instrumental (stem+it) Adverbial (stem+ad/ot/d) Basic means of noun word-derivation: Stem+suffix (ķac-ur-i; ķoč-ur-i), prefix+stem (na-ţeħ-i, no-ţeħ-i), prefix+stem+suffix (m-ħaţv-ar-i, ma-ħanţ-al-i)… Basic patterns of verb form-building (the language of ecclesiastical writing has preserved an older situation, but in order to demonstrate the qualitative unity of the Kartvelian dialects examples are given from the modern literary language and the 1st Person of the Megrelian
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dialect): From the viewpoint of verb form-building the situation in Zan, Svan and other dialects is similar to that of literary Georgian (respectively, common Kartvelian) (for comparative analysis of the material see B. Jorbenadze, 1995, pp. 217-227). cf. verb patterns: Literary Georgian: ċers – iċers - iċereba; Megrelian dialect: ĉarun-s - iĉaruns - i-ĉar-u… Literary Georgian: a-tes-w/v-ine-b-s and Megrelian: o-tas-ap-u-ans… In these cases too, the variants, typical of literary Georgian must have been initial. Cf. also other verb forms: Present: personal marker+stem+thematic marker/0(w-ħaţ-av, w/p-ħanţun-k; m-ħaţ-aw, m/p-ħanţ-un-k) Future Perfective: preverb+personal marker+stem+thematic marker (daw-ħaţ-aw/v, do-w/pħanţ-un-k; da-m-ħaţ-aw, do-m/p-ħanţ-un-k) Imperfect: personal marker +stem+ od/d (v-ħaţ-aw-d-i, w/p-ħanţ-un-di; mħaţ-aw-d-i, m/p-ħanţ-un-d-i) Conditional: preverb+personal marker+stem+thematic marker+od/d (da-v-ħaţ-av-d-i, do-w/p-ħanţ-un-d-i; da-m-ħaţ-aw-d-i, do-m/p-ħanţ-un-d-i) Present Subjunctive: personal marker +stem +thematic marker + od/d+‘screeve’marker (w-ħaţ-av-d-e, w/p-ħanţ-un-d-a/e; m-ħaţ-av-d-e, m/p-ħanţ-un-d-a/e Future Subjunctive: preverb+personal marker+stem+thematic marker+od/d+‘screeve’marker (da-w-ħaţ-aw-d-e, do-w/p-ħanţ-un-d-a/e; da-m-ħaţ-aw-d-e, do-m/p-ħanţ-un-d-a/e) Aorist (Imperfective): personal marker+stem+‘screeve’ marker (w-ħaţ-e, w/p-ħanţ-i; m-ħaţ-e, m/p-ħanţ-i); Aorist (Perfective): preverb+personal marker+ stem+ ‘screeve’ marker (da-w-ħaţ-e, do-w/p-ħanţ-i; da-m-ħaţ-e, do-m/p-ħanţ-i) Second Subjunctive (Imperfective): personal marker + stem + ‘screeve’ marker (w-ħaţ-o, w/p-ħanţ-a, m-ħaţ-o, m/p-ħanţ-a/e) Second Subjunctive (Perfective): preverb +personal marker+ stem+ screeve’ marker (da-w-ħaţ-o, do-w/p-ħanţ-a, da-m-ħaţ-o, do-m/p-ħanţ-a/e) Cf. Verb patterns with vocalic prefixes:
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I - personal marker+stem + thematic marker /0 (m-i-ħaţ-av-s, m-i-ħanţ-u; v-u-ħaţ-i-var, v-u-ħanţ-u-k) II - preverb+personal marker+stem + thematic marker /0 (da-m-i-ħaţaw-s, do-m-i-ħanţ-u; da-w-u-ħaţ-i-war, do-w-u-ħanţ-u-k) III - personal marker+stem+‘screeve’marker (m-e-ħaţ-a, m-i-ħanţ-u-d-u; w-e-ħaţ-o, w-u-ħanţ-u-d-i) IV - preverb+personal marker+stem+‘screeve’ marker (da-m-e-ħaţ-a, dom-i-ħanţ-u-d-u; da-w-e-ħaţ-o, do-w-u-ħanţ-u-di) V - personal marker +stem+ (od/d+) ‘screeve’ marker (m-e-ħaţ-o-s, m-iħanţ-u-d-a-s; w-ħaţ-od-e, w-u-ħanţ-u-d-a) VI - preverb+personal marker+stem+ (od/d+) ‘screeve’ marker (da-m-eħaţ-o-s, do-m-i-ħanţ-u-d-a-s; da-w-ħaţ-od-e, do-w-u-ħaţ-u-d-a) The so-called conditional forms, characteristic of the ecclesiastical Georgian language could have been cited here too, but since they are not recorded in the Kartvelian dialects, except the eastern mountain dialects, they are omitted here. As to the sentence structure, literary Georgian and the Kartvelian dialects are also similar; in particular, the structure of the simple sentence is based on the coordination principle (on coordination principle see Arn. Chikobava, 1968). The initial form here too must be the variant of literary Georgain.
Note: Our book “Kartvelian Dialectology” (co-author E.Dadiani) will be published in near future, where the systemic homogeneity of the presented common Kartvelian, Georgian proper and Zan-Svan material is dealt with in a more extensive and well-argued way. Notably, we are preparing for publication a new paradigm of the Georgian-Kartvelian verb, where the pattern of the perceiving subject (m-šia “I am hungry”, minda “I want”, miqwars “I love”, miħaţaws “I was painting”…) and the pattern of the agent subject (v-xaţ-av “I am painting”, da-w-ħaţ-aw “I will paint”, da-w-ħaţ-e “I painted”…) are considered as the two main schemes of the verb form-building, and the screeves of the so-called third and fourth series, forms with vocalic prefixes, passive forms with a zero marker, causatives, etc. are represented as the sub-types of the main patterns, with their own models of conjugation.

I tend to think that the common Kartvelian state (or inter-tribal) language, formed on the basis of the common Kartvelian linguistic
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koine, continued its existence as literary Georgian. Under its strong influence, intensive change of the central Georgian dialects did not occur, whereas the marginal dialects underwent certain transformation according to the historical situation and neighbours’ activities. One part of the western Kartvelian dialectal variants (Zan-Svan dialects), separated from common Karvelian, changed greatly under the influence of the northern Caucasian languages, and Svan dialects came into existence. The marginal Zan dialects underwent serious changes as a result influence of the Greeks and Byzantines and later that of the Turkish tribes. The Her, Taoan, Shavshetian and other dialects also changed under the Turkish influence (these processes are discussed in detail in our book “Kartvelian Dialectology”). The discussion can be directed along a different line too. Of the modern Georgian speech units, literary Georgian and the central dialects (Kakhetian, Kartlian, Imeretian…), which stand closer to it, show greater resemblance to common Kartvelian. As a result of the remoteness from the common national language, the influence of foreign languages and other reasons, the Svan, the Zan, the Pkhovian, the Her, the Fereidanian and other dialects changed to a certain extent in comparison with common Kartvelian and literary Georgian. Along with lexical borrowings, intensive phonetic and morphological processes occurred in these dialects. Respectively, many linguistic phenomena were formed in the marginal dialects comparatively later. The Zan-Svan and the Pkhovian dialects in relation with common Kartvelian exhibit more linguistic novelties than Kartlian or Imeretian. E.g. according to the system of the vowels, cases and other linguistic facts, the Balszemoan dialect is a newer formation than Kakhetian. Although khanmetoba (ħ as the personal marker of the second subjective person and third objective person) has survived in Svan, unlike Kakhetian, the latter has preserved more archaisms (identical with the forms of common Kartvelian!) from the viewpoint of main phonemic and grammatical phenomena than the Balszemoan dialect. In particular, palatalized vowels, forms modified as a result of the “rules of copying” (Th.Gamkrelidze, 1968), umlaut of backwards direction (M.Kaldani) and other transformations (see e.g. M.Chukhua, 2003), the undeveloped, socalled mixed system of the cases, etc. are newer in the Svan dialects in
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relation to common Kartvelian. It should also be borne in mind that the central dialects of the Georgian (Kartvel) language, under the centuriesold active influence of the literary language, are adapted to a certain degree to the new literary norms, which produces the effect of their recent formation. According to the basic linguistic patterns, a central Kartvelian dialect, e.g. Kakhetian, is closer to the common Kartvelian linguistic model than the Svan Balszemoan dialect. Respectively, the question of the formation of other Kartvelian dialects rises naturally. 2.2.3. The Question of the Theoretical Model of the Common Kartvelian Language and the Time of Its Existence There is difference of opinion in scholarship concerning the time of the existence of common Kartvelian. According to the view current now, the common Kartvelian language was divided in the 3rd-2nd millennia. This date is established by a very unreliable methodology of Swodesh (in Kartvelian reality used actively by G. Klimov, Th.Gamkrelidze and G. Machavariani). This method fails to take into account the frequency of the lexical change of the language under intensive influences or admixtures of speech codes. The rate of linguistic change may also vary in different periods. Therefore, lexico-statistical method is not much trusted in modern linguistics. There are attempts at present to improve this method, but due to the conventionality of defining the degree of mixture of speech codes, the bottom is knocked out from under similar conjectures (on the criticism see also K.Bergsland, H.Vogt, D.Crystal, 1997, T. Gvantseladze, 2004). In my view, hypothesis of Arn.Chikobava, who assumed the existence of the Iberian-Caucasian unity in the 2nd millennium BC, finds more logical arguments: “The Iberian-Caucasian languages are related languages, of a common origin. This implies the most ancient situation, probably, that of the period three thousand years ago, as well as the old location, the territory to the south of Caucasia” (Arn. Chikobava, 1978, p. 253), and the existence of the common Kartvelian language cannot go beyond the 1 st millennium BC (cf. some scholars assume the existence of common
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Kartvelian 5000-6000 years ago; see V. Ivanov, Th. Gamkrelidze. 1984.p. 880; M. Kurdiani, 2003, p. 44, etc.). Certain information on the time of the existence of common Kartvelian can be provided by the words found in the Kartvelian dialects whose common Kartvelian archetype is borrowed and the borrowing is datable. E.g. the common Kartvelian word-forms of Persian origin, given below, I think, must not go beyond the 6th c. BC (so the existence of the ZanSvan linguistic units proper will be ruled out earlier): zari, ķuarti, tqe, ĵekċķvi, ċiteli, etc. (on relevant discussion see M.Andronikashvili, 1966). In this regard, the history of the word-form ğame is also interesting: in M. Andronikashvili’s view, it is a Persian borrowing, whereas N. Bartaia thinks that it found its way from Arabic. I believe that since ğame/ğuma recorded in the Kartvelian dialects is a common Kartvelian entity (the initial form must be *ğame; cf. its meanings in Arabic - to cover; to become sad; dark; misty; grief, sorrow; heat), it is logical to assume that ğame entered common Kartvelian (or vice versa!) either from Aramaic or Assyrian. Whatever the case, the borrowing cannot go beyond the 1st millennium BC, as before that time direct Kartvelian-Aramaic-Persian linguistic contacts are not recorded in western Asia. The abundance of other lexical units derived from the Kartvelian word ğame in old texts points to its ancientness: sağamo, nağveli (nağmeli<na-ğam-el-i), ğamori/ğamura, meğamuri, ğamismħmobari, ğamit, maradğame, mğamiobi, nağamevi, sağamuri, siğame, dağameba, shuağame, etc.
Note: the Kartvelian vocabulary found in Armenian also deserves a special study. Its part is close to the Zan stems. As the Kartvelian-Caucasian substratum is essential in Armenian, the development of the so-called “Zan” forms may be accounted for by the transformation of the common Kartvelian forms (or forms, characteristic of the speech of any Kartvelian tribe existinfg before the arrival of the Armenians). Cf. The Armenians arriving in Caucasia (Moses Khorenaci) called Ararat Mountain Masis; apparently, this name obviously had already existed here. The later borrowings directly from the Zan dialects are not ruled out either.

Proceeding from the above, it is logical to conclude: At the end of the 2nd millennium the state of “Great Colchis” covered the eastern and southern Black Sea area (from Bichvinta to Ordu), much of the Mtkvari valley and the entire Chorokhi valley. Its probable state and official language must have been a language of the common Karvelian
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linguistic model - the language of the whistling “a” type (and surely not Zan, hypothetical Zan-Georgian or any other linguistic unit). Respectively, the great ancestors of the modern Laz, Megrels, Imerkhevians, Meskhs, Kakhetians, Svans, Heretians, Pkhovians and other Kartvelian communities: Aeetes and Medea, Kuji, Parnavaz, Kartam, Rostam, Gorgasali, Leon and Chqondidelis spoke and wrote officially the common Kartvelian language or the common Georgian literary language, corresponding to it structurally, and jointly created the Kartvelian (Moskhian-Colchian-Iberian) culture a long standing. The people speaking this language created the Colchian culture, with its original centre in the historical province of Ķola (Ķol-a/i>Ķol-ħ-a). This confederation is assumed to have covered a great part of the so-called Nairi countries. At the beginning of the 1 st millennium BC this state split into several parts: in the western part Colchis of a later period was formed (with its center on the territory of western Georgia: Nakalakevi, Vani, Kutaisi); in the southeastern and eastern parts – Diaokhi and others came into being. In the period of Azon, Kuji and Parnavaz Georgia was partially reunited with the centre at Mtskheta. Parnavaz divided the country into principalities, introduced a script on the basis of the common Kartvelian language, proclaimed the state religion (Iberia and Colchis did not exist separately at that time; G. Melikishvili, 1970,p. 422).

2.3. Georgia under Kuji and Parnavaz; the State Language of Georgia and the Kartvelian Dialects 23 Centuries ago; the Georgian Alphabet
2.3.1. Historical Realia In the middle of the 1st millennium BC, after the downfall of Urartu, the eastern and the southeastern part of the territory of historical Colchis fell under the Persian rule (Satrapy no 19), the southern Black Sea area (subsequently the Pontus Kingdom!) was in the hands of the Greeks, and the remaining “Lesser Colchis”- Kartli of the Georgian sources (western KartliEgrisi and eastern Kartli) retains its independence nominally, in return for tribute paid to the Persians. In the 4th c. BC as a result of the defeat of Persia by the Greeks
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headed by Alexander of Macedon, the Georgians were given an opportunity to restore the single state – Kartli. The Greeks appointed Azon, who must have been from the Basiani-Tao province, the King of the Georgians (N.Khazaradze, 2001, p. 394). According of “Kartlis Tskhovreba”, he chose Mtskheta as the capital and extended his rule over eastern Georgia (Lesser Iberia of a later period), Egrisi territory of the Moskhike and a part of north Caucasia too (the Ossetes, the Lezgians and the Khazars) – thus the great part of the Kartvelian tribes (the Chorokhi, Upper Mtkvari, Iori-Alazani, Aragvi, Rioni-Enguri and Kodori-Klisuri Valleys) was united into a single state under the Greek protectorate. The boundaries of Kartli are defined in the same way in “Moktsevai Kartlisai” too: Alexander granted Azon “Mtskheta as his residence and drew the boundaries at Hereti and Egris River, and Somkhiti and Mount Tsroli” (Shatberdi Codex, 1979, p. 320). The name Kartli (“the country of the people of Khaldi”) may have been chosen to denote all the Georgians at the period of Azon too. The Kartvels did not endure the Greek domination for a long time. During the internal unrest among the Greeks (the struggle of the Diadochos!), according to the Georgian historical sources, Parnavaz, who was the heir of mamamsakhlisi of Mtskheta Samari, descendant of Uplos, together with Eristavi of Egrisi Kuji, with the aid of the northern Caucasian allies, defeated the Greek-minded Azon’s troops and restored the independence of the state of All-Kartli within the boundaries of Great Colchis. The chronicler discusses interestingly the right to the throne of independent Georgia. Kuji, one pretender of kingship says to another – Parnavaz: “You are the son of the lords of Kartli, and it is right for you to be my lord” (i.e. as you are descended from a distinguished Georgian house, all of us – other Georgians must obey you). King of unified Georgia–Parnavaz divided the state into eight great eristavates and proclaimed Georgian as the state language, which apparently was a common Georgian and inter-tribal language, equally acceptable for all the Kartvelian tribes. The historical source ascribes the invention of the Georgian alphabet to Parnavaz too. At the given stage of study I have sufficient grounds to state that in the period of Parnavaz the common Kartvelian (common Georgian)
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linguistic koine served to unify all the Kartvelian tribes. Respectively, at least from the period of Parnavaz and Kuji it functioned as the state and literary language; cf. the chronicler writes: “…and no more was a different language spoken in Kartli except Georgian. And he created the Georgian script”. Cf. According to the same chronicler, in Kartli before Parnavaz, along with Georgian, Armenian or Urartian, Khazarian, Assyrian, Hebrew and Greek also co-existed. It should also be stressed that here we are not dealing with the languages and dialects of individual Kartvelian tribes. 2.3.2. The Georgian Alphabet and the Phonemic Model of the State language in the Period of Parnavaz In the discussion of the phonemic structure of the archaic Georgian literary language essential importance attaches to the asomtavruli script, for the creation of a perfect alphabetic system, such as the Georgian script is impossible without accurate analysis of the sound composition of the language. The Georgian alphabet developed and was modified over the centuries (asomtavrul, nuskhuri, mkhedruli), but the phonemic and grammatical structure of the Kartvelian language did not undergo any substantial changes. The shape of the letters altered, without the change of the alphabetic composition. The stability of the phonemic structure indicates that after the creation of asomtavruli the Kartvelian sound system never wavered; such long stability of a sound system is unique. The Georgian historical tradition, as noted, links the creation of the alphabet for the Georgian literary language with the name of Parnavaz. Some scholars share this view; others shift the date of the creation of the Georgian alphabet into the 7th c. BC, and still others believe that the Georgian alphabet was created after the declaration of Christianity the state religion (on the overview of the literature see Th. Gamkrelidze, 1989). I do not rule out the possibility that the basic model of the Georgian alphabet was created in the period of Parnavaz, which later, in the period of the translation of Christian literature, was “specified” under the influence of the Greek alphabet – when several letters (ä, uâ...) alien to Georgian were added. Bishop Anania Japaridze has paid attention to one interesting
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circumstance. In his view, if the alphabet had been created after the introduction of Christianity, this Christian work would have been noted by the Georgian chroniclers, as they were mostly ecclesiastical figures (A.Japaridze, 1994, p. 90). It is also a fact that Pre-Christian Georgian inscriptions have not survived; however, new surprises may await us in future, as is the case with the inscriptions of Nekresi. Whenever the Georgian alphabet was created, it is obvious that it reflects accurately the common Kartvelian system of consonants, sonants and vowels. Along with this, there are sufficient arguments to assert that the creator of Georgian asomtavruli certainly was familiar with the Phoenician as well as Greek alphabetic systems. In this context the following is noteworthy: sounds [w] and [y] were found in Phoenician, and [u] and [i] in Greek: the Georgian script rendered all the four sounds. In my view, ‘w’ of asomtavruli must have rendered the bilabial unsyllabic sound, rather than the labiodental spirant (for more details, see T. Putkaradze, 1998). The four allophones of these two sonants were rendered in Rutul and from it in New Gothic script too, which was created from the Old Gothic and Greek Uncial script (on the relation of Gothic and Uncial Greek see Th. Gamkrelidze, 1984, p.101). The name of the Gothic sign (w) coincides with that of the Georgian sign w; probably the creator of the Gothic alphabet consulted the Georgian alphabet too, or both Georgian and Etruscan-Gothic borrowed this letter from Phoenician. It is noteworthy that by the analogy of Phoenician, in Georgian the letter corresponding to w renders the numeric meaning of “6”, whereas in Gothic, similar to Greek, it renders 400. The letter corresponding to [u] in Gothic is the 16th in the alphabet and it denotes “70”; in Georgian “o” is in this place. As regards the syllabic variant of the sonant u, in Greek, the 23rd letter originally corresponded to u; later it came to denote ü, and a digraph was introduced for u; the numeric meaning of the 23rd letter is 400. I think, the 23rd letter of Georgian asomtavruli  developed in the same way. It was created to render u; later after the introduction of the diagraph u by the analogy of Greek, its function changed to render ui/wi. As there was not the phoneme ü/wi in Georgian, certain confusions in the use of the symbol  were unavoidable. However, the analysis of the
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khanmeti texts demonstrates that it (ü) mostly corresponded to the ui complex (not wi!). 2.3.3. The Problem of Dating the Formation of the Modern Kartvelian Dialects The time and sequence of the separation of the dialects from the common Kartvelian language is a matter of a great controversy in scholarship. As noted above, the view is more logical and well-argued that first the two main dialectal circles: the dialects with the so-called whistling consonants – the Kartlian- Kakhetian-Meskh-Pkhovian-Her dialects and the dialects with the so-called hushing consonants – the Zan-Svan dialects, evolved from common Karvelian, and later, in the course of time, as a result of the vowel shift, and other linguistic changes, one part of the hushing dialects developed into the modern Megrel-Laz dialects, and after the palatalization of consonants and other phenomena the other part of the hushing dialects resulted in the Svan dialects (see. Arn. Chikobava, 1948; K. Lomtatidze, 1993; cf. K.Scmidt, 1965; Th. Gamkrelidze, G. Machavariani 1965, M. Kurdiani, 1996, etc). As is known, the sound correspondence between the related linguistic systems is a historically developed phenomenon (on the discussion, see V. Shengelia, 1999). The formation of the dialectal variants from the common linguistic system is a result of long phonetic processes. So, it is logical to assume that the regular dialectal sound variants of the initial phoneme were formed during a single historical-chronological period. E.g. the process of the formation of š in Zan-Svan from the common Kartvelian phoneme *s occurred simultaneously in the noun suani>> šoni, the numeral asi>>oši, the formant ķac-is>>ķoch-iš and the well-known Kartvelian variants of the proper name Kutaisi: Kutaisi/Kuteisi/Kuteši/Kutaš. The history of the town Kutaisi and the historical relation of the variants of its name provide noteworthy arguments for the establishment of the upper limit of the formation date of the Zan-Svan dialectal circle: The Georgian origin of this name is doubtless. The comparison of the Karvelian variants also shows that the ancient variant and the official
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name of the town is Kutaisi. The name of the town found its way into the foreign sources from the Kartvelian area. Kutaisi must be a comparatively late dialectal (Zan) form. Kutatisi/Kutatusi may have been formed by the contamination of these two forms (cf. A. Oniani, Z. Sarjveladze, 1971,p.174). The path of the development of the Svan form Kutäšh may have been: Kutaisi>>*Kuta-iš-,>>Kutä-iš/Kutäš (cf. A. Oniani, Z. Sarjveladze, 1971, p. 174); and Zan Kuteš was probably formed as follows: Kutaisi>>Kuteiši/Kuteiši>>Kuteši. The morphological analysis of all the varieties of the name of Kutaisi (especially Svan Kutäš<<*Kuta-ši<<*Kuta-iš-i) supports the view that its stem was Kuta (Greek form: Kota/Koyta). As P.Ingoroqva pointed out, the coincidence of the name of the temi “Old Lazica” in Jiketi and the name of the present-day town of Kutaisi should not be accidental. In A. Urushadze’s view, one of the Kartvelian-Colchian tribal name Kuts mentioned by Xenophon must be linked to the same stem (A. Urushadze, 1993, p.32). T.Qaukhchishvili expressed a similar view too (T.Qaukhchishvili, 1976,p.59). The initial form is the *Kuts. Cf. According to the 6th-century figure Procopius of Caesarea, the old name of Kutaisi was Coytaion; cf. according to M.Inadze, the name with the Kut- stem denoted the land, region of the Colchians (M. Inadze, 1994, p. 64). The origin of the Kut- stem from the stem Khat-/Kat is not ruled out either. Thus, the linguistic analysis of the name of Kutaisi demonstrates that the place name contains the root Kut/Kuta and, a common Kartvelian formant -*is. As the archaeological evidence shows, the town Kutaisi was founded in the 8th-6th cc. BC, naturally, it should be assumed that the ZanSvan variant -iš/-š of the common Kartvelian *-is formant and respectively the consonant system characteristic of the Zan-Svan dialects developed after the first half of the 1st millennium BC; i.e. the turn of the new millennium may be taken as the upper chronological limit of the formation of the socalled hushing dialects. The Greek accounts of the turn of our era concerning the Laz, the Svans and the Suanno-Colchians is interesting for the establishment of the lower limit of the formation of the modern Kartvelian dialects. E.g. Claudius Ptolemy (100-178) reports that the territory from the Bzyb to the Rioni was
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inhabited by the Laz, the Manrals, the residents of the country of Ekriktike… To the north of them lived the Achaiae, the Cerceti and the Suano-Colchians (T. Qaukhchishvili, 1976, p.160); cf. Leonti Mroveli uses Egrisi and Suaneti as synonyms. At present it is difficult to discuss what the speech of these tribes was like. It is less likely that their speech was already developed within the linguistic boundaries known to us. Certain dialectal peculiarities, however, namely the formation of the hushing dialectal (Zan-Svan) circle should be assumed, for without the linguistic factor their regarding as a separate tribe is less convincing. Noteworthy enough, according to Strabo’s evidence, some people called the Svans the Iberians (see above). By the end of the 1st millennium BC several kingdoms (Pontus, Lazica, Iberia…) existed on the territory settled by the Kartvelian tribes. Life within different state fields hindered the cultural co-existence of the communities (ethnographic groups) of the Kartvelian stock. In southern and western Georgia the status of the Georgian/Kartvelian official literary language was declined to a greater extent, respectively, the phonetic phenomena characteristic of speech intensified. In my view, from this period the influence of the Persian language, having palatalized sounds, was identifiable in the eastern variant of the common Kartvelian language (the Persian tribes dominated in the Mtkvari-Araxes basin in the 2 nd c. BC). In the western-Kartvelian speech, on the contrary, intensified the formation of the velarized harmonic complexes (žg, šk, jg, čk, ĉk...) from the forelingual labiovelarized sounds; the formation of the phonemes j, č, ĉ, ž, š from the labiovelarized sounds ĵ, c, ċ, z, s; and under the influence of the labial component of the neighbouring consonants the vowel changes a>o, e>a (except the speech of the Svan population, where at that time influences of different types were observable; see ibid.) According to the evidence of the Georgian chroniclers, King Saurmag, in order to reinforce his authority, re-settled from north Caucasia “half of all the nations of the Caucasus. Some of them he made pre-eminent, and others he established in the mountain land, from Didoeti as far as Egrisi, which is Suaneti” (Kartlis Tskhovreba, 1955, p. 27). With the passage of time, the Kartvelian stock assimilated the new-comers, but the dialects (or languages) of the north Caucasians did not disappear: their superstratic trace
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is obvious in the phonemic structure of the Svan dialects in the form of the palatalized vowels (for more detail see T. Putkaradze, 1998), in the noun paradigm in the form of the so-called double cases and the north Caucasian ergative, lexical borrowings and other peculiarities of the Svan speech. In connection with the time of the formation of the Zan-Svan dialects, the history of Tbilisi is also of interest: This city of the common Kartvelian significance from the beginning had no correspondences in the Kartvelian dialects. As the date of the completion of the formation of the Zan and Svan dialects may be considered the time of the “Martyrdom of David and Konstantine” where the place name Chqondidi (name of provenance Chqondideli) is attested. Cf. the place names recorded earlier in GreekByzantine and Georgian sources follow the model of the sibilant type language. The decline of the Georgian state, having begun after the death of Gorgasali, was finished by the Arab rule: it may be assumed that the dialects of the two great dialectal circles – Megrelian-Chan-Svan and ImeretianKartlian-Kakhetian-Meskh-Her-Pkhovian formed finally in western and eastern Georgia exactly at this period. Cf. on the basis of the accounts of Georgian chroniclers, A.Japaridze writes: “Over the millennia our chroniclers without hesitation refer to the population of the western as well as eastern parts of our state as the Georgians (italics here and below belongs to the present author –T.P.)… The transformation of different Georgian tribes into a single people was certainly also facilitated by the fact that at the time of the becoming of the state, the degree of the division of the Georgian proto-language was not high. The languages of the tribes were close to one another; the languages of the Karts, the Zan and the Svans, surely, were dialects in relation to one another over these 2500 years. They turned into independent languages later on, presumably, after the break-up of the state created by Parnavaz – in the period of Vakhtang Gorgasali’s children” (A. Japaridze, 1994, p. 65; cf. T. Mibchuani regards Svan as a dialect of the old Georgian language; 1993, p. 464). The comparative analysis of the linguistic data is also interesting from the viewpoint of the development of the modern Kartvelian dialects
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(Zan, Svan, Pkhovian…). Here are some facts: The case system of the Kartvelian dialects is similar to that of the literary language. The difference is in the a formation of the ergative and the formation of the so-called nartaniani plural (formed by adding suffixes n/t): It is regarded in the scholarly literature that the ergative with the formants – man/ -ma/ -m, together with the nominative, were developed in a later period (on the discussion and history of the question see T. Uturgaidze, 1986 pp. 16-22). In the archaic literary language the ergative is represented by the noun stem (Abraam), by the pronoun me (I), šen (you), čven (we), tkven (you), man (he/she/it), mat (they), win (who), tviton (oneself) or by the patterns with the man particle (ķac-man). In the Svan dialects the socalled Adyghe type ergative is predominant, and in the Zan dialects the ergative is formed by the segment -k, which, in over view, is the remnant of the particle ke/ko/kve/ķi/ħo/ho widespread in the Megrelian, Rachian, Imeretian and other Georgian dialects. The affirmative particle ko/kve/ke with the passage of time merged in some cases with the noun stem, and sometimes with the finite verb form. In particular, where the existence of this particle in expected, but the noun stem is represented with the form of the nominative case (in the first and second persons of the Present and Future Perfective), it merged with the verb form as the suffix -k, and in other cases – with the noun stem. The initial construction must have been: ķac ko/ kve dauĵaħa>ķočk duĵaħu… Obviously, the forms of the specific Iberian-Caucasian case – ergative – with the -man and -k particles were developed in Georgian later, after the formation of the Zan-Svan dialects, whereas the time of the establishment of the Adyghe type ergative in the Svan dialects may be linked with the great migration of the Caucasian peoples at the turn of our era. Proceeding from this, it is logical to date this period as the 1st millennium AD. Notably, the ergative existed in the Iberian-Caucasian, the common Kartvelian and the archaic Georgian languages too, which in common Kartvelian and archaic Georgian was rendered mainly in two ways: -In the ergative (non-nominative, non-accusative) construction of the common Kartvelian origin the perceiving subject is represented by the noun/pronoun stem or a noun in the dative (the so-called old ergative?), to which the personal markers m-, g-, s-, gv-: mindis, mšiis, mċquris, mċads,
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miqvars… correspond in the verb form. As a rule, verbs of this type are of the oldest formation (Arn. Chikobava, 1948, p. 5); -In the historical (modern) ergative construction the agent subject is represented by the noun/pronoun stem, or a noun with the particle -man (new ergative), to which v-, s-, -s, -a, -en, -es… correspond in the verb form. Note: The markers of both groups denote the real object as well as the real subject; their distribution must have been dependent on the verb semantics: the group of m- denotes the perceiving subject (me>m is more archaic), and that of v- renders the agent subject (b>w?). The ergative construction of the archaic type and the so-called inversion of the personal markers will be discussed elsewhere. It is a fact that the original form of the nominative is similar in all the Kartvelian dialects (stem+i>stem+e), i.e. it was formed prior to the development of the dialects of the Zan-Svan circle. The loss of the formant i is explained by the tendency towards the dropping of the final vowel under the influence of the stress (see e.g. A. Arabuli, 1982, pp. 120-124). The conclusion that the ergative forms with the -ma/-k markers in the literary language and Zan dialects with the hushing consonants are formed after the separation of the Zan-Svan dialectal circle seems logical too (cf. I. Imnaishvili, 1961, pp. 641 -642). As Prof. T. Gvantseladze conjectures, the nartaniani plural, the word ħucesi of literary Georgian and učaši of the Zan dialects allows us to set the 5th c. AD as the time of the splitting off Zan. Namely, ħucesi reflects the period of khanmetoba, ħ as the personal marker of the second subjective person and third objective person, and učaši – that of haemetoba, h as the personal marker of the second subjective person and third objective person (the view was expressed in a conversation). I think, the same ħ prefix is identifiable in the Svan word ħoša “elder”,“big”. The problem of khanmetoba and the question of the correspondence of the common Kartvelian sa- Zan o- should be considered in the context of these views. The ħ- prefix of the so-called period of khanmetoba with certain modification has survived to the present day as the personal markers in the Svan and Pkhovian dialects. Similar to the norm of the Georgian khanmeti texts of the 5th-7th cc. AD,
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in Svan the personal marker ħ- has survived in the verbs beginning with a vowel in the subjective second and objective third persons (ħ-išħi “you are burning”, ħ-asqi “you are doing,” ħ-agdi “he/she/it is sleeping”…). The same ħ- prefix must be identified in the ħ+w segment of the first person. Similar to common Kartvelian and literary Georgian, in the Svan dialects too the personal marker of the first person is w, which remains uncharged before non-labial vowels, is lost in the neighbourhood of labial sounds, and is preserved as an infix in the verbs beginning with a consonant (similar distribution is common in other Kartvelian dialects too). As regards ħ- of the segment ħ+w-, the following seems logical: ħ- is the marker of the indirect object existing in the first person verb form; in the course of time, ħw- in the Svan forms turned into a single morpheme (on the history of the question and discussion, see M. Sukhishvili, 1986) and was generalized in other cases too. The formation of the so-called complex suffixes -nar- and -neb- is also the result of an analogous phenomenon (T.Putkaradze, 1986). The -an- suffix denoting collectivity and provenance found in the Svan dialects leads to the assumption that the use of variant -n- of the formant -an-/-en-/-n- as the marker of the plural must be a more archaic fact in comparison with the formation of the Zan-Svan dialects; the nartaniani plural has survived in the literary tradition, but it is not found in the Zan-Svan dialects, in the Zan dialects -eb-/-ep- is common, and in Svan d<t expresses the plurality in the verb form (in Svan another suffix: -ar-/-al was generalized as the plural marker of the noun; cf. Opiz-ar-i and Kwin-/Kun-är). The prefix h/ħ must have served as a marker of the class-category, for otherwise the representation of two, grammatically different – third objective and second subjective persons by the same marker would not be meaningful. Cf. the evidence of the old literary language: ağħumarte, šeħuabt… hvscode, hķitħe (see N. Machavariani, 1986, for the discussion and history of the question). In old literary Georgian as well as the Svan, Tush, Khevsur material (miħ-gvrian, ħ-konda, da-ħ-ķazmaws, ħ-mķidi, da-ħ-parwen…) the initial form is s/h; in the dialects the following process may be assumed: s/h >ħ>0 and s/h>ħ>(ğ): ħ (not h) may change to voiced ğ in the relevant phonemic position: mağgwris, ğgwandi, ğgonebaw (cf. A. Shanidze, 1920 and A.
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Chincharauli, 1960, pp. 96-98). ħ is found in the Gurian and Acharian dialects too, formed on the phonetic basis (see K. Lomtatidze, 1938, M. Tsintsadze, M. Paghava, 1998, and others), but here the process h>ħ is due to the stem consonant too; therefore, ħ of the Gurian and Acharian dialects cannot be regarded as formed in the period of khanmetoba. Obviously, the so-called khanmetoba – ħ as the personal marker of the second subjective person and third objective person must be a common Kartvelian phenomenon. The process h>0 in some dialects, and the establishment of ħ in others must be the result of the interchange h/ħ existing in common Kartvelian (cf. some scholars believe that khanmetoba and haemetoba reflect two dialects of the Georgian language proper; on the history of the question see G. Rogava, 199; N.Machavariani). Only the question of the original phoneme remains to be ascertained: Taking into account the nature of the phonetic processes, the view of Arn. Chikobava and G.Rogava concerning the previousness of -s- seems logical. The marker of the thing class -s-, as G.Rogava assumed, resulted on the phonetic basis in the transitional sound between h and ħ (G.Rogava, 1991, p. 150). At the early stages of the standardization of the literary language some literary schools generalized h as the personal marker, whereas others used ħ. The natural phonetic variants corresponding to the beginning of the verb stem were established as the final norm: h- with the labial and back lingual sounds, s- with forelingual, 0- in other cases. Thus, in the process of the formation of the Zan-Svan dialects ħ variant was used actively in the common Kartvelian language (linguistic koine) as the marker of the second subjective and third objective persons; the interchange in time of the khanmeti and haemeti texts must be explained by the existence and superiority of various literary schools. As is known, o- in Zan corresponds to the prefix sa- of literary Georgian. It was noted rightly by N. Marr that in Zan the consonantal part is lost: sakatme/okotume, saħli/oħori, *socħali/cocħali/očħari. The following phonetic process may be possible: Common Kartvelian *sa-/ha>Zan ho/o (it is not necessary to assume that in Zan there existed s, corresponding to š, which is lost before o; cf. M. Chukhua, 2003, p. 338).
Note: from the viewpoint of the time of the formation of the Kartvelian dialects,

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the comparison of the verb patterns of the Kartvelian literary language and the dialects is also interesting: the forms of the conditional, typical of archaic literary Georgian, are not found in the Zan-Svan dialects. Might the loss of the conditional and the formation of the Zan-Svan have been simultaneous processes? Cf. other basic screeves and the forms of the so-called fourth series must be regarded of the common Kartvelian origin. This is a problem of future research.

I believe, the 5th-10th-cc. khanmetoba-haemetoba and sannarevoba (s/h as the personal marker of the second subjective person and third objective person) in literary Georgian, Svan-Tush-Khevsur khanmetoba, Zan * ħučaši>hučaši and ho>o processes originated within a single period - at the turn of the new millennia. As the Svan dialects have retained - ħ as the personal marker, it is logical to assume that the Zan-Svan dialectal circle was formed in the period of haemetoba/khanmetoba. This time coincides with the period of the separation of the Zan-Svan dialectal circle hypothesized by us above, namely, the beginning of the our era.

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By way of a Conclusion
1. Explanation of Some Terms Used in the Study and Main Propositions
Terms The main characteristics of an ethnic unity, ethnic group, ethnos and nation are: common historical language (common linguistic perception), common historical culture (traditional religious-cultural values), common historical memory, common historical culture and psychic makeup (originality formed in relation to the traditional environment) and common historical territory/government. The ethnic terms “ethnos”, “ethnic group”, “subethnos” and the like should be used to refer to the unities of persons having an independent ethnic structure and their own language. The technical term “temi” denotes local groups within one ethnos. Cf. ethnos – community (temi) – person are in the same relation with each other as language – dialect – idiolect. From the ethno-linguistic aspect: the Acharians, the Gurians, the Chagma-Tushs, the Tsova-Tushs, the Imeretians, the Hers (Ingilos), the Megrels, the Laz, the Mtiuls, the Samtskheans, the Shavshetians, the Livanans, the Taoans, the Klarjs, the Khevians, the Svans, Fereidaninas, the Javakhs, the Khevsurs, the Kartlians, the Pshavians, the Kakhetians, the Rachians, the Lechkhumians, etc. are individual temis of the Georgian nation. Language is a historically developed system of sounds - linguistic signs - having certain semantics, which is a means of perception of the world, thinking, preservation of knowledge and communication. Mother tongue, native language is the language of the culture created by ancestors, which, as the system of perception of the world, unites many generations (however, if e.g. an African, born in France, considers French as his mother tongue, naturally, French is regarded as such). Mother tongue, native language is the main language, rather than the language of only one’s biological mother.
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Dialect should be defined as a branch of the common national (official) language of a given people (nation), which is the means of oral (unofficial) communication of a part of the population of the country, or a certain social stratum. Any specific speech unit will be regarded as a dialect of the official, literary (standard) language having a related structure, if the people carrying the given speech code historically participated in the creation of this literary language. Respectively: The speech of a community, having a linguistic-ethnic unity, should be regarded as an unwritten language, if the people carrying it has no written culture in its native language and uses a language and writing created by others as a formal language, business correspondence, etc. An unwritten language exists in the oral form (as dialects, subdialects, jargons, etc.). Proto-Kartvelian and Kartvelian Tribes/Peoples from Ancient Times to the Period of Christianity In the 5th-3rd millennia BC Caucasia and western Asia were settled by the Caucasian-Hurrian-Hattic tribes, having a language with the ergative construction. The Kura-Araxes culture is linked mostly to the CaucasianHurrian population. In the 3rd millennium BC “the people having a language with the ergative construction” began to diverge rapidly under the pressure of the Indo-European and other tribes. From the end of the 2nd millennium BC to the turn of our era the historical territory of Georgia was inhabited by the following kindred tribes, which should be regarded as Kartvelian tribes, respectively, speaking Kartvelian dialects: The Mushki/ Moskhoi/ Meskhs/ (according to Hecataeus of Miletus, the Moskhoi are a Colchian tribe), the Daiaenians/ Diauehian/ Taokhoi, the Colles, the Tabal/ Tibareni, the Iberians/ Sasperoi/ Sapeires, the Kuts, the Coraxi, the Marae, the Becheiroi, the Halizoni/ Chalybes, the Chalds, the Mossynoeci/ Heptakometoi, the Dizeres, the Bizeri, the Zidrites, the Macrones/ Macrocephaloi, the Phasians, the Melanchlainoi, the Ekecheiroi, the Heniochi, the Sannoi/ Chans, the Sanigoi, the Laz, the Apkhazes/ Abaskoi, the Svans/ Misimians, the
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Suanno-Colchians, the Amarantoi (a Colchian tribe), the Kakhs, the Pkhovians,the Tusks, the Hers, etc. The Kartvelian race living in the valleys of the Mtkvari, the Chorokhi, the Rioni-Qvirila, the Enguri and the Liakhvi, together with some tribes inhabiting North Caucasia created actively the Colchian-Qoban culture from the end of the 2nd millennium BC. The main language of the state of the people creating the Colchian culture must have been the common Kartvelian koine/language. The historical literary language of the Kartvels – the language of the ecclesiastical writing (the so-called Old Georgian language) is based on the common Kartvelian linguistic koine; the modern variant of the Georgian literary language and Kartvel dialects (Laz-Megrelian, Svan, Meskhian, Kartlian-Kakhetian, Pkhovian, etc.) are the direct continuation of common Kartvelian and the historical literary language. Therefore, the view that the Kartvel literary language is based on Kartlian, Kakhetian or any other Kartvelian dialect is hardly reliable. The difference between literary Georgian and the Kartvel dialects intensifies in proportion with the remoteness of a dialect from the capital (the ecclesiastical-cultural and ruling centre). In accordance with the weakening of the field of the influence of literary Georgian, the modern vernaculars of the Georgians should be divided into central dialects, marginal dialects and outer dialects, found beyond the historical frontiers of Georgia; the marginal dialects, in their turn, comprise six groups. Namely: Central dialects: Kakhetian, Kartlian, Imeretian, Lechkhumian, Gurian Marginal dialects: Meskhian dialects: Acharian, Livanan, Machakhelian, Imerkhevian, Taoan, Samtskhean, Javakh; Her dialects: Kakian, Aliabatian Pkhovian dialects: Chagma-Tush, Pshavian, Khevsur, Khevian, Mtiul-Gudamaqarian. Tsova-Tush may be considered here too. Rachian dialects: Lower Rachian, Upper Rachian; Svan dialects: Lashkh, Lentekhian, Cholur, Balskvemoan, Balszemoan;
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Zan dialects: Megrelian, Laz (Khopan, Vitsean-Arkabean, Atinan) Dialects of the Georgians outside Georgia’s historical territory: Fereiadanian, the Georgian language of “Chveneburebi” in Turkey (Georgian spoken in Bursa-Inegol) and speech of the Qizlar-Mozdokian. Georgians. The analysis of the onomastic material, which found its way into the languages of the neighbouring peoples, Kartvelian borrowings and the socalled dated place names offers sufficient grounds to state that the modern Kartvelian languages and dialects (literary Georgian, Megrelian-Laz, Svan, Pkhovian, Meskhian, and other dialects) originated at the turn of our millennium. The name of the Urartian-Caucasian deity Khald, the ethnonyms of the Kartvelian origin: The Chalds (Ancient Chalybes – Strabo), the Carduchians; the choronyms designating the homes of the Kartvelian tribes: Chaldea/Khaldea/Khaitik (Ĉaneti/Ĉhanivk - Moses Khorenaci; the area of the Megrels according to the Georgian version of “Akathist Reading” by Giorgi the Hagiorite), Khalede - the old name to designate a Georgian in the Khaquchian subdialect of the Shapsugian dialect of the Adyghe language, the name of the city of silver mines Kaldia at the sources of the Chorokhi and other facts allow us to assume that the choronym Kartli and ethnonym Kartueli are derived from the name of the the UrartianCaucasian deity Kald/Khald/Kartu/Kardu. The initial form must have been *Kar-d-/Kal-d-: *Kard-/Kald-: *Kard->Khald-; Kard-/Kart- > Kart+l-; Kard-/Kart- >Kartu>Kartu-el-i… Kartu-el-i seems to be the ancient auto-ethnonym of the Georgians (endogenic ethnonym), and Kartli must be the ancient Georgian-language choronym of the state of the Georgians. The theory of the Kartization/Kartvelization of the Kakhetians, the Hers, the Imeretians, the Laz, the Megrels, the Meskhs, the Pkhovians and other Kartvelian tribes, i.e. their assimilation by the so-called Kart tribe, can come under objective criticism. Historical sources are not familiar with the Kart tribe, therefore, the following assumption is logical: as the selfdesignation of the great Kartvelian/Colchian confederation, made up by the consolidation of mainly the numerous Kartvelian tribes at the turn of the 1st millennium BC was established name Kartu-el-i, derived from the common
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deity, rather than the name of any tribe.

2. The Diagram of the Relationship of the Iberian-Caucasian Languages, the Common Kartvelian Language, Literary 7 -4 Georgian and Modern Georgian/Kartvel Dialects Western Asian-Caucasian linguistic field millennia
th th

Laz: Atianian-Vitsean -KKhopan.Khopan Balszemoan

Samtskhean-Javakh

Machakhelian

Balskvemoan

Lentekhian

Megrelian

Kakhetian

Imeretian

The genealogical tree of languages is constructed according to the KartvelianHurrian Sumerian 3rd mill Hattic relationship of kindred linguistic units, but often the history of the given Caucasian BC. ethnos (nation) is also taken into account: the qualification as a language depends on the existence of the nation (ethnic entity). Thus, genealogical Common Common Common 2nd mill diagrams cannot serve to define the exact statusCommon of linguistic units (see, e.g. Kartvelian Vaynakh koine Dagestanian koine Circassian koine BC G.Tsotsanidze, 2002). koine Bearing in mind the discussion offered in the present book, only the common of Archaic Kartvelian Hushing Whistling dialectal Turn language of all the Georgians - the Kartvel language will enter Dialectal field state languages. All other linguistic filed our era the Iberian-Caucasian branch of the worldlanguage units will be represented as the dialects of this common language. With the consideration of the relationship with old western Asian languages, the historical diagram of the speech units of the Georgians will assume the following shape (the given divergent diagram is conventional, for in the formation of any linguistic unit the perspective of mixing with neighbouring languages/dialects and convergent processes should be taken into account. Thus, it is obvious that the Hattic and the Hurrian strata were reflected in the genetic Iberian-Caucasian language. Along with this, the Indo-European stratum is also found):
Zan (Laz-Megrelian) Variants of Kartvelian ecclesiastical-state language: haemeti, khanmeti, sannarevi Takverian-Rachian 4th-10th AD Acharian Pshavian Kartlian Livanan Lashkh Taoian etc. Pkhovian Central Meskh Svan Her

15th-18th AD

11th-21st c. AD

Variants of literary language: ecclesiastical, lay writing and scientific styles

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