A speech from the representative of Abkhazia Tumanov at a meeting of the Union Council (Parliament), Mountain Republic

  • History
Delegates of the First Congress of the Union of the Mountaineers of the North Caucasus and Dagestan. (1917).

Translation

21 January 1919

Temir-Khan-Shura

I am happy on this great historic day for us the mountaineers of the Caucasus. I am a member of the government of your related-by-blood, fraternal Abkhazian people, and offer greetings on behalf of the entire Abkhazian people to the members of the Union Council, as the supreme body uniting the ravaged and oppressed mountain-peoples of the North Caucasus.

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The Spread of Christianity in the Eastern Black Sea Littoral (Written and Archaeological Sources), by L. G. Khrushkova

  • History
Tsandripsh: The church in Abazgia, built under Justinian I.

Journal: Ancient West & East Volume: 6  Date: 2007 Pages: 177-219

This article presents a brief summary of the literary and archaeological evidence for the spread and consolidation of Christianity in the eastern Black Sea littoral during the early Christian era (4th-7th centuries AD). Colchis is one of the regions of the late antique world for which the archaeological evidence of Christianisation is greater and more varied than the literary. Developments during the past decade in the field of early Christian archaeology now enable this process to be described in considerably greater detail.

Read more: The Spread of Christianity in the Eastern Black Sea Littoral (Written and Archaeological Sources),...

Contrary to the will of the people: how the S[oviet] S[ocialist] R[republic] of Abkhazia became an autonomy within Georgia

  • History
From the book: Trans-Caucasia by Harold Buxton (1926)

On 19 February 1931, at the VI Pan-Georgian Congress of Soviets, a resolution was adopted on the transformation of the "Treaty" SSR of Abkhazia into an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR.

The decision on the entry of Soviet Abkhazia as an autonomous member of the GSSR was made at the III Session of the Central Executive Committee of Abkhazia and approved by the popularly elected supreme authority of the Abkhazian state - the VI Congress of Soviets of Abkhazia, held on 11 February 1931.

Read more: Contrary to the will of the people: how the S[oviet] S[ocialist] R[republic] of Abkhazia became an...

Video: The funeral of Nestor Lakoba | Sukhum, January 1, 1937

  • History
The funeral of Nestor Lakoba

Nestor Lakoba was poisoned by Lavrentiy Beria, head of the NKVD, the Soviet security organization responsible for extrajudicial killings and the gulag system.

During a visit to Beria in Tbilisi in December 1936, Lakoba was poisoned, allowing Beria to consolidate his control over Abkhazia and all of Georgia, who discredited Lakoba and his family as enemies of the state.

Read more: Video: The funeral of Nestor Lakoba | Sukhum, January 1, 1937

Samurzakanians or Murzakanians by Simon Basaria

  • History
Samurzakan Abkhazians

Published: ‘Materials on the history of Abkhazia’. Sukhum, 1990. Issue 1. pp. 29-30.
Simon Basaria (1884-1941)

After a long period of kings, Abkhazia began, beginning in the 17th century, to be ruled by sovereign princes from the Chachba family (in Georgian ‘Shervashidze’). The first ruler of this family was Kvap. He had heirs: Rosto, Levan and Murza-khan (oriental style) — in Abkhaz ‘Murzadan’ or ‘Murzakan’. After the death of Kvap, Abkhazia began to be ruled by his eldest son, Rosto, who gave one brother, Levan, the portion of Abkhazia from the R. Kodor to the R. Okhurej (i.e. Abzhua [= ‘the middle’ — ed.]), and to another, Murzakan, from the river Okhurej to the R. Ingur. Since then, this part of Abkhazia began to bear the name of its ruler, thus coming to be called ‘Murzakan’ or ‘Samurzakan’; the Abkhazians under this jurisdiction began to be called ‘Murzakanians’ or ‘Samurzakanians’, just like the Abkhazians of the Gudauta District (‘Gudautans’ or ‘Bzypians’), of the Dal region (‘Dals’), of the Tsebelda region (‘Tsebeldans’), of the Gagra region (‘Gagrans’), etc… Such territorial designations of certain regions of Abkhazia misled many ethnographers and historians not well versed in the matter. The confusion reached the point of absurdity: some distant tribes appeared (Zebeldin, Bzyp, Samurzak) and there were as many such tribes as there were separate territorial districts and regions in Abkhazia. Meanwhile, all of them were inhabited exclusively by Abkhazians, who take their national line back many centuries before the birth of Christ. This was the situation in which the Samurzakanian Abkhazians also found themselves, ultimately renamed by the ‘Divine Grace’ of Nicholas I (1840) the ‘Samurzakanian tribe’ – ‘obligingly disposed’ to him, (as stated in the Tsar’s deed addressed to Samurzakanian Abkhazia) ‘for the inherent exemplary courage shewn by their militia in a detachment against the Dals, for the establishment of peace in Dal’. ‘In commemoration of the blessing’ of the Tsar, they were granted a banner ‘which was ordered to be used in the service of the autocrat with fidelity and zeal’.

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