Strabo About Colchis

დაბეჭდილია აკადემიკოს ი. ფრანგიშვილის დაბადების 80 წლისთავისადმი მიძღვნილ საერთაშორისო სამეცნიერო კონფერენციის „საინფორმაციო და კომპიუტერული ტექნოლოგიები, მოდელირება, მართვა“ შრომებში, ტექნიკური უნივერსიტეტი, თბ., 2011 წელი, გვ. 515-525.


ABSTRACT: In the represented work there are considered results of the scientific researches about the location of Colchis. These researches were conduct based on the works of the famous Greek historian Strabo and the number of other scientists T. Kaukhchishili, P. Ingorokva and others. In the article there are discussed in details considerations of these scientists about location of Colchis and based on this is proved that Colchis was situated to the south-west of Iberia.


KEY WORDS: Colchis; Strabo; Dioscuri; Phasis; Sarapana; Armenia

1. Colchis is located to the south-weat of Iberia

In his book “Strabo’s Geography” (1957) T. Kaukhchishvili wrote: “According to Strabo, Colchis was located not along Iberia-Albania, but more to the south – along the Armenia: “And to the south of the Hyrcanian Sea, in part, and of the whole of the isthmus between this sea and the Pontus lie the greater part of Armenia, Colchis, the whole of Cappadocia up to the Euxine and to the Tibaranian tribes (Strabo II.5.31)”.

Strabo recurred different times to the above consideration about the location of Colchis. T. Kaukhchishvili wrote (p.21): “It is important to notice, that Iberians and Albanians are considered to reside above the Colchis – “the peoples who are situated above Colchis, both Albanians and Iberians” (Strabo VI, 4, 2)”.

It appears from this that Colchis was located to the south (south-west) of Iberia, and according to Strabo, it involved the Trapezus region to the Chorokhy Gorge direction.

The reason, why Strabo insisted on the closeness of the location of Armenia to the head of the river Phasis, is his believe that river Phasis is the same with the river Chorokhy. Only in this case Colchis might appear to be located the south-west of Iberia, and Iberia, in its turn, “above” Colchis.

T. Kaukhchishvili recurred to this issue and wrote:

“In the secondary references of Strabo, Colchis was considered to be located to the east of Cappadocia, on the same line with Armenia, and Iberia and Albania are placed more to the north- eastern side” (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p. 283).

It is clear from the above reference of Strabo that Colchis was located not “along Iberia”, i.e. in the west Georgia, but “along Armenia”, in the Trabzon -Chorokhy region, i.e. in the south-west part of the historic Georgia. As long as Strabo mentioned Colchis in relation with Cappadocia, it seems that one part of it was located below Trabzon.

2. Colchis shore

According to Strabo’s references, “a shore of Colchis was spread from Pityus to Trabzon (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo’s Geography, 1957, p. 283).

The location of Pityus is a controversial point. In particular, N. Adontsi and P. Ingorokva thought that Pityus (Pitia) was located at Off, near Rise. According to other considerations, the Abkhazian Bichvinta is assumed under it. From the consideration that Colchis is located along Armenia, it follows that Strabo’s Pityus must be in Off-Rise region.

3. Armenia is along Colchis

It is evident from the Strabo’s secondary references that there was Armenia located to the east of Colchis and not Iberia. For example, after Colchis, Jason invaded Armenia and Medes. Why? Because the immediate neighbor of Colchis was Armenia, and Medes next to it. That’s why Strabo wrote: “The old people didn’t sail, instead, they move along the beach like Jason, who left a ship on his way back from Colchis and invaded Armenia and Medes from the land” (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p. 283).

4. Iberians settled down at Araxes, above Colchis

From the Strabo point of view, Iberians came to Caucasus from “Western Iberia”, that is Spain and they settled down not around Colchis, but at Araxes, above Colchis. “Part of Western Iberians settled down in the regions above Pontus and Colchis (According Apolidor statement, Iberians border Armenia with Araxes, Mtkari and Mosk mountains). Part of Egyptians settled down in Ethiopia and Colchis”. (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957). Therefore, Iberians were located above Colchis, to the direction of the river Araxes. From this follows, that Strabo didn’t consider Colchis as western Georgia, because a river Araxes is not “above” the western Georgia!

5. Colchis is located near Samsun

Strabo writes elsewhere: “and from Amisus, if you bear towards the equinoctial sunrise, you come first to Colchis” (Strabo II, 1, 3). Therefore, Colchis is to the east of Amiss. The current name of Amiss is Samsun – “Amiss, a city in Pontus, current Samsun” (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p. 270). Therefoe, Colchis is near Samsun, i.e. to the Trabzon direction.

6. Armenia and Colchis are situated in line

While speaking about Iberia Strabo frequently mentions tribes living in the littoral zone of the Georgia – Achaeans, Zygians, and Heniochians and etc (Strabo, II, 5, 31). But he always specifies that Armenia is located along Colchis. For example, he wrote: “between the HyrcanianSea and the Pontus lie the greater part of Armenia, Colchis, the whole of Cappadocia up to the Euxine and to the Tibaranian tribes” (Strabo II, 5, 31).

Of course, Strabo knew very well what he wrote. For example, the same place he indicates about the geographical “parallels” – “and, according to Eratosthenes, this parallel runs through Caria” (Strabo II, 5, 39), or “and a little north of it lies the parallel through Lysimachia” (Strabo II, 5, 40).

7. Albanians and Iberians, who are residing above the Colchis

Along the Iberians (to the west) reside Heniochians, Soanes and other tribes; and Armenians reside along Colchis (to the east). Therefore, in Colchis the Georgian tribes were living beside Cappadocians and Armenians.

Strabo recurred to the issue of Iberian residence and wrote: “As for the Armenians, and the peoples who are situated above Colchis, both Albanians and Iberians, they require the presence only of men to lead them, and are excellent subjects” (Strabo VI, 4, 2). Therefore, we can assert that Strabo considered as Colchis not western Georgia, but a territory located to the south-west of Iberia, because it was “above” it.

8. Colchis is located near Trabzon

In another place Strabo wrote, that Colchis was located near Trabzon. He wrote: “In the mountainous district of the Taurians is also the mountain Trapezus, which has the same name as the city in the neighborhood of Tibarania and Colchis.” (Strabo VII, 4, 3).

9. Islands along the Colchis shore

It is known, that there are no islands at the west Georgian shore. But, according Strabo, there were islands along the Colchis shore, which were know as if Media killed her brother there – “There are islands along the whole of the aforesaid seaboard: first, the Apsyrtides,1 where Medeia is said to have killed her brother Apsyrtus who was pursuing her” (Strabo VII, 5, 5).

10. Jason’s invasion in Armenia

To Strabo’s opinion, Jason invaded Armenia as well. He wrote: “To this the expedition of Jason and the Jasonian monuments bear witness, some of which were built by the sovereigns of the country, just as the temple of Jason at Abdera was built by Parmenion” (Strabo XI, XIV, 12). These churches in Armenia were built in honor of Jason and his fellow travelers.

In general, to Strabo’s point of view, Armenians establish after the Jason’s invasion. He wrote: “There is an ancient story of the Armenian race to this effect: that Armenus of Armenium, a Thessalian city, which lies between Pherae and Larisa on Lake Boebe, as I have already said,  accompanied Jason into Armenia; and Cyrsilus the Pharsalian and Medius the Larisaean, who accompanied Alexander, say that Armenia was named after him, and that, of the followers of Armenus, some took up their abode in Acilisene, which in earlier times was subject to the Sopheni, whereas others took up their abode in Syspiritis, as far as Calachene and Adiabene, outside the Armenian mountains. They also say that the clothing of the Armenians is Thessalian, for example, the long tunics, which in tragedies are called Thessalian and are girded round the breast; and also the cloaks that are fastened on with clasps, another way in which the tragedians imitated the Thessalians, for the tragedians had to have some alien decoration of this kind; and since the Thessalians in particular wore long robes, probably because they of all the Greeks lived in the most northerly and coldest region (Strabo XI, 14, 12)” (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p. 194).

11. Medes – descendants of Media

In Strabo’s opinion, Armenians and Medes are descendants of Media and Jason. In general Strabo admits, that Media was not genetically Colehian, instead he thought that she was Tesalinian, just like Jason. Strabo considered Tesalinians to be the same with Elininans. He wrote: “and therefore, from all this, it is supposed that both the Medes and the Armenians are in a way kinsmen to the Thessalians and the descendants of Jason and Medeia” (Strabo XI, XIV, 14).

12. Georgians in the Iberia, conquered by Armenians

In general, due to the political situation, Strabo couldn’t distinguish between Armenians and some Georgian tribes. It seems that he considers Tibarenians and Chaldaei (Chans) as residents of Armenia. Although, he stressed out again the theory about Egyptians settled down in Colchis.

What might be the same between Chaldaei (Chans) and Egyptians, or Armenian and Tibarenians 2000 years ago? It is evident that in that time the Qartvelian languages were much less differentiated and Chaldaei (and Tibarenians) had more lingual closeness with Iberians. Despite of this evident fact, Strabo believes that Iberians, which were located at the Araxes, were Armenians. This was stipulated by the fact that the Iberians were under the political-cultural influence of Armenia, after Armenia seized their territory.

13. Jason by Araxes

According to Strabo’s references, in Armenia Jason gave a new bed to the river Araxes and saved large lowland from the permanent flood: “And it is said that in ancient times the Araxes in Armenia, after descending from the mountains, spread out and formed a sea in the plains below, since it had no outlet, but that Jason, …, made the cleft through which the water now precipitates itself into the Caspian Sea, and that in consequence of this the Araxene Plain, through which the river flows to its precipitate descent, was relieved of the sea. (Strabo XI, 14, 13)”  (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p. 194).

14. Phasis – “is a river of Armenia”

Strabo believed that rivers Phasis and Lycus were Armenian. That’s why he wrote: “There are several rivers in the country, but the best known are the Phasis and the Lycus (Strabo XI, 14, 7)” (the same, p. 190).

Phasis was considered as Armenian river by Strabo (Strabo XI, XIV, 7). From this reference it is clear, that for Strabo Phasis doesn’t belong to west Georgia. Otherwise, the west Georgia would be the part of Armenia, that is evident misunderstanding. The reason why Strabo believed that Phasis and Lycus are Armenian rivers was the fact that Chorokhy is assumed to be under Phasis. That’s why Strabo repeats several times: “Through it flows the Phasis, a large river having its sources in Armenia” (Strabo XI, II, 17).

These references of Strabo should be explained as following: It is evident, that a lot of geographic points and rivers of south and south-west Georgia felt within Armenia’s jurisdiction after they took away from Iberia big regions (according to Strabo references) – slopes of Paryadres, Khordzene and Gogarena. Therefore, as it was said above, according Strabo’s references the south-west Georgian river Phasis (i.e. Chorokhy) flowed within Armenia and, consequently, its head was also there (Strabo XI, II, 17).

15. Trabzon, Pharnacia, Lesser Armenia, Scydises, Mosk mountains located above Colchis, Paryadres, Themiscyra, Sidene, Ephesuso, Smirna, Cyme and Mirna – are in the same region

All the other references of Strabo become clearer if we consider as Colchis a territory between Trabzon and Chorokhi. For example, Strabo wrote: “Above Trapezus and Pharnacia are situated Tibareni, Chaldasi, Sanni, (who were formerly called Macrones,) and the Lesser Armenia; and the Appaïtae, in earlier times called the Cercitae, are fairly close to these regions. Two mountains cross the country of these people, not only the Scydises, a very rugged mountain, which joins the Moschian Mountains above Colchis (its heights are occupied by the Heptacomitae), but also the Paryadres, which extends from the region of Sidene and Themiscyra to Lesser Armenia and forms the eastern side of Pontus. Now all these peoples who live in the mountains are utterly savage, but the Heptacomitae are worse than the rest…In former times they were called as Moschic…The Chaldaei of today were in ancient times named Chalybes; and it is just opposite their territory that Pharnacia is situated… Upon the whole, the seaboard in this region is extremely narrow, for the mountains, full of mines and forests… the people were in earlier times called \”Alybes\” instead of \”Chalybes\”… Homer calls them Halizoni, mentioning them next the after Paphlagonians in his Catalogue. ..   Some change the text and make it read \”Alazones,\” others \”Amazones,\”… And there are certain cities, it is said, which got their names from the Amazons, I mean Ephesus, Smyrna, Cyme, and Myrina” (Strabo XII, 3, 18-21).

Therefore, in the Moschic mountains, that is to the direction of the modern Erzurum above Trabzon (i.e. Colchis), Chaldeans, Tibarans, Sanni (Macrones), Apaits (Cercetae) and Moschic were located. The shore in front of this mountain system is very narrow. From this it is clear that they are not talking about the west Georgia. According to the researches of N. Khazaradze, Moschic mountains were located not in Imereti, but to the Erzurum direction.

16. Tibarans, Sanni (Macrones), Apaits (Cercetae), Heptacomitae (Moschic) and Chaldaei (Chalybes)

Strabo mentioned the same in another place – “Above the region of Pharnacia and Trapezus are the Tibareni and the Chaldaei, whose country extends to Lesser Armenia. This country is fairly fertile. Lesser Armenia, like Sophene, was always in the possession of potentates, who at times were friendly to the other Armenians and at times minded their own affairs. They held as subjects the Chaldaei and the Tibareni, and therefore their empire extended to Trapezus and Pharnacia” (Strabo XII, 3, 28).

Therefore, near Trabzon and Pharnacia Colchis tribes – Tibareni and Chaldaei – were situated. They are bordered with Lesser Armenia, but are under Armenian jurisdiction, because the jurisdiction of Armenia is spread till Trabzon and Pharnacia – according to Strabo references (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, p. 212).

17. Mithridates Eupator

Mithridates Eupator took authority under Colchis away from Armenians and “he established himself as master, not only of Colchis, but also of all these places” (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, p. 212). Under “all those” are assumed Chaldaei and all other tribes, mentioned above.

The town Pharnacia was situated in Pontus, near Trabzon. “Colchis and all those” were given to Mithridates by Antipater, the son of Sisis, a king of Lesser Armenia, according to Latishev (the same, p. 235). Here are described the most notable of these strongholds of Colchis, for example, “Sinoria; Sinoria was close to the borders of Greater Armenia” (the same, p.212). In general, these are slopes of Paryadres – I think and it is evident – it is Pontus mountains and not of west Georgia. “Mithridates fled for refuge into these farthermost parts of the kingdom of Pontus, when Pompey invaded the country, and having seized a well-watered mountain near Dasteira in Acilisene (nearby was also the Euphrates, which separates Acilisene from Lesser Armenia), he stayed there until he was besieged and forced to flee across the mountains into Colchis and from there to the Bosporus. Near this place, in Lesser Armenia, Pompey built a city, Nicopolis” (the same, p.213).

18. Pythodoris – a widow of Polemon and Archeläus

“Tibareni and Chaldaei, extending as far as Colchis, and Pharnacia and Trapezus are ruled by Pythodoris” (Strabo XII, 3,29) – a daughter of Pythodorus of Tralles, a wise woman, who received a throne from her husband Polemon. Her son was established as king of Greater Armenia of Greater Armenia. Afterwards she married the ruler of Lesser Armenia Archeläus and became a widow. According to Strabo, she dominated over the territories near Themiscyra and Paryadres and the Kabeira near Amiss, where the palace of Mithridates was located. Therefore, here is said nothing about the west Georgia. A discussion is about historical south-west Georgia from Tibaren to Trabzon, i.e. Colchis.

Why are these references of Strabo important for us? Because all of this concerns the jurisdiction of Georgian Church in west Georgia; and, the reliability of “Qartlis Tskhovreba” (Georgian Chronicles) as a historical source.

19. The reliability of “Qartlis Tskhovreba” (Georgian Chronicles) is strengthened by Strabo’s references

The reliability of “Qartlis Tskhovreba” (Georgian Chronicles) as a historical source about west Georgia, is completely neglected by the present historiography. In spite of the fact, that according Georgian Chronicles, west Georgia belonged to the GeorgianKingdom from the period of Azon-Pharnavaz, it is strongly considered that Pharnavaz was the king of only the east Georgia. All the more is disregarded the authority of the subsequent Kings over the west Georgia. As a result, there were composed a completely new story about the existence of the Colchis kingdom in the west Georgia. This new story was mainly based on the references of the Strabo and Prokophi Kesarian. In fact, if interpret these sources properly, we will see that the west Georgia is one country; and the Colchis-Lazika – described by Strabo and Prokophi Kesarian – absolutely another. One of them was situated along Iberia to the west, and another – to the south-west.

To the east of Colchis there was located Armenia and not Iberia. The consideration that river Phasis, described by Strabo, was river Rioni was accepted under compulsion. In fact, almost always Strabo mentioned Phasis together with Armenia, because its head (i.e. the head of Phasis and not Rioni) was conquered with Armenians in Strabo’s time.

20. The head of Phasis is in Armenia

In Armenia “There are several rivers in the country, but the best known are the Phasis and the Lycus (Strabo XI, 14, 7)”. “Through it flows the Phasis, a large river having its sources in Armenia (Strabo XI, 2,17)” (the same, p.123).

The head of Phasis is in Armenia – “Through it flows the Phasis, a large river having its sources in Armenia and receiving the waters of the Glaucus and the Hippus, which issue from the neighboring mountains (Strabo XI, 2,17)”  “ (the same, p.123). This is a sentence of Strabo, and from this follows, that not only Phasis flows out from the Armenian mountains, but Glaucus and Hippus as well.

21. Is a head of Tskenistskali in Armenia as well?

The head of Phasis is in Armenia – “Through it flows the Phasis, a large river having its sources in Armenia and receiving the waters of the Glaucus and the Hippus, which issue from the neighboring mountains (Strabo XI, 2,17)” “ (the same, p.123).

According to the widespread consideration Glaucus is a river Kvirila (the same, p.275), and Hippus is a river Tskenistskali (the same, p.301). If this is true, that is if the heads of Glaucus and Hippus are nearby the Armenian mountains, then we should look for the heads of Kvirila and Tskenistskali in Armenian mountains as well. But it seems, that Glaucus and Hippus are the tributaries of Phasis (i.e. Chorokhy), and their heads are in Sper-Arsiani mountains, which were nearby the Armenia indeed, because it was conquered by Iberia in that time.

22. Sarapana and Shorapani are not the same

In his narative Strabo didn’t mention the word “Shrapani”, but he wrote about Sarapana. Georgian interpreters translate “Sarapana” as “Shorapano”.

“It is navigated as far as Sarapana, a fortress capable of admitting the population even of a city (Strabo XI, 2, 17)” (the same, p. 123). According G. Grigolia research, Shorapani, i.e. Sarapana is a Persian word and means a shelter for travelers. It can be fortress, a town, or a settlement on the central road, equipped with the places for rest and store houses. There were a lot of Sarapanas like this along the international road, separated with “one day walk” distance, in every 20-30 kms.

In general, even if Sarapana in Georgian language is pronounced as Shorapani, we shouldn’t identify it with the Shorapani near Zestaphoni. As we said above, there might be a lot of such places there. One of such Sarapanas was on Phasis (Chorokhy) in Strabo time, and by Prokophy Kesariely’s time Sarapana was in the high mountains of Arsiani, on the road connected Arnatuji-Artaani-Dvini.

Is it possible to sail up from Photi to Shorapani of Zestaphoni now? Or, was it possible in that time? I think, it was impossible at least for the reason, that they are separated with the long distance. Besides, Shorapani is on the shore of Dzirula and not Kvirila. Dzirula is very thin there and moves very slowly towards Kvirila. In general, Kviria is very slow till Kutaisi and doesn’t look like very fast Phasis, described in the old writers’ narative.

23. 120 bridges, put across very fast and noisy rivers

According Strabo, the river Phaisi is very quick and noisy near Sarapana:

“the Phasis, which has been made passable by one hundred and twenty bridges because of the windings of its course, flows down into Colchis with rough and violent stream” (Strabo XI, 3, 4). There are not found the remains of any of the bridges described by Strabo near Shorapani, but the gorge of Chorokhy is full of the remains of the oldest arched bridges. It is evident from this that Strabo’s Phasis is a river Chorokhy; and one of the Sarapans, i.e. the shelter of the travelers, was located at its shore.

24. Phasis was a river for sail

“It was possible to sail up to Phasis till Shorapani” (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo’s Geography, p.123) . In our mind, this reference concerns to Chorokhy. The sailing was developed here since oldest days and a lot of researchers, E. Veidenbaum, G. Kazbegi and Baqradze in particular, described it in their works. According to Baqradze’s references: “200 passenger and cargo boats were sailing up and down Chorokhy from Batumi till Artvin”.  Therefore, in our mind, Strabo’s Sarapana was one of the riverside settlements, and there are a lot of oldest bridges there. And what about Shorapani near Zestaphoni and the river Dzirula, it is impossible to sail there, because this river is a small and slow stream in fact, and Kvirila is not a river for sail as well. In general, local inhabitants are not familiar with sailing at all.

25. The way of four days

“It is a way of four days by araba from Sarapani to Mtkvari “(the same, p.123).

As it was mentioned above, in general, one-day way was equivalent to 20-30 km, and to the less in the mountain regions. Therefore, a distance from Sarapana to Mtkvari was approximately 60-80 km.

In former times an araba road was very rare and important. By the Konstantin Porphirogeneti’s time Artanuji was located on the road like this. It was an international road connecting Persia and Dvin with Black Sea, through Chorokhy gorge. Probably Strabo assumed one of the segments of this road, from Chorokhy to Mtkvari.

In other words, here is assumed an Artvin-Artanuji-Artaani araba road, which functioned in the Vakhtang Gorgasali time, and even Saint Apostles and others used it. That is, from Artvin to Mtkvari there was a distance of 4 day walking.

26. A town at the Phasis outfall

There was a town at the Phsisi outfall “surrounded with a river, lake and sea” (the same, p.123).

Photi is surrounded with a river, lake and sea indeed, that’s why it is considered as Phasis, but not only Photi had a geographical location like that.

According to E. Veidenbaum description, there were big lakes to the left of Chorokhy outfall. Therefore, a river, lakes and sea had been gathered together on this place as well.

Nowadays there is one big and several smaller lakes to the left of Chorokhy outfall. It is possible, that the ancient town Phasis was located here. Probably, here is assumed one of the points near Gonio, exactly at the outfall.

It should be noticed that, according to the local residents, in front of Gonio flowed one of the biggest branches of Chorokhy; which was cut. Maybe in the future archeologists will discover remains of the town on this place.

Strabo describes this story in the chapter, where he discusses “Lesser Armenia”. In Strabo time Lesser Armenia was ruled by Archeläus. The famous saying of Strabo that the town Phasis was surrounded by sea, river and lake corresponds not only to Photi area, but also to the confluence of the river Chorokhy and sea. On this place, that is, at the confluence of the Chorokhy and sea, there was a lake of considerable size in the XIX century (according to E. Veidenbaum references). This lake is there nowadays as well (according to local touristic maps). Therefore, there existed lakes other than the PaliastomiLake there, but to the left shore of the Chorokhy outfall.

27. The sailing way from Phasis

According to Strabo’s references, it was a voyage of three or two days from Phasis to Amisus and Sinope. T. Kaukhchishvili wrote: “In the late additions this information was changed to “8-9 days long” (the same, p.123). In my opinion, the older information was more appropriate, because Phasis is more likely to be Chorokhy than Rioni, therefore, the way from Chorokhy to Amiss is shorter. “Thence people go to Amisus and Sinope by sea (a voyage of two or three days), because the shores are soft and because of the outlets of the rivers” (Strabo XI, 3,4) – the same information is in the newest Russian translations: “Плавание отсюда до Амисса и Синопы занимает 2 или 3 дня из-за того, что земля на морских берегах топная и устьях рек болотистая”.

It is interesting that if Phasis was Photi, travel by sea would take much longer.

28.  A soft shore

A Chorokhy outfall is the same with Phasis outfall, described by Strabo: “the softness of the shores” – i.e. slough. To the direction from Chorokhy to Rise a shore is low and sandy.


29. Colchis’ flax

“The country is fertile and its produce is good, except the honey, which has generally a bitter taste. It furnishes all materials for ship-building. It produces them in great plenty, and they are conveyed down by its rivers. It supplies flax, hemp, wax, and pitch, in great abundance. Its linen manufacture is celebrated, for it was exported to foreign parts” (the same, p.124). There are beautiful forests in the Chorokhy gorge, till Artvin. Also, according to researchers’ references, in the XIX century a lot of sawed wood was transported from Artvin to Batumi by the river Chorokhy. And here, i.e. Erge-Ligani gorge, was a famous production of flax in XIX century, and this flax was sold out of Ligani as well.

30. A Leucothea temple in Moschic country, above Phasis, Glaucus and Hiposi

“Above the rivers which I have mentioned in the Moschic territory is the temple of Leucothea, founded by Phrixus and his oracle, where a ram is not sacrificed. It was once rich, but was plundered in our time” (the same, p. 124). That is, a temple is in the country of Moschic, above the mentioned rivers, but what rivers did Strabo mention here? – Phasis, Glaucus and Hippus. If Glaucus and Hippus are Kvilirila and Tskhenistkali, then we should look for the “country of Moschic” near their heads. Is it possible that a country of Moschic was above the river Tskhenistskali? it is very unlikely. But, if we assume that Glaucus is the “Liganiskhevi”, i.e. “Imerkhevi”, and that Hippusis a river flowing nearby, then there really is a country of Meskheti – Kola-Artaani – above them. There are Shavsheti and Samtkhe nearby as well, and Tao is below. The similar place indicates in his works N. Khazardaze. We should look for the Leucothea temple here, and not in Imereti. The similar toponyms we can encounter in Javakhety nowadays, this is a village “Kotelia”. Country of Moschis, i.e. Meskhs, was also the Klarjeti, i.e. Artanuji region, near the Chorokhy. In Strabo time it was under the rule of Colchis. Indeed, Strabo wrote, that a part of the Moschic country was under the rule of Colchis.

31. A Country of Moschic, divided into the 3 parts

“A country of Moschic, were a temple is located, involves three parts: one of them belongs to Colchis, another to Iberians, and the third to Armenians” (the same, p. 125). Were “the country of Moschic”, divided among Colehians, Iberians, and Armenians, might been located? Clearly, it is a historical Meskhety from Samtskhe-Javakheti till Tao-Basiani and Artanuj-Klarjeti. The same opinion is shared by T. Kaukhchishvili (the same, p.258). Colchis was spreading till Arsiani ridge, therefore, a part of Meskheti from Chorokhy till Arsiani was under the Colehians domination. The second part, i.e. Samtskhe-Javaxeti and Kola-Artaani, may be Shavsheti as well, belonged to Iberia, and the large territory from Kola included Tao-Tortum-Basiani was captured by Armenians. For this, Meskheti was divided into the tree parts.

32. A border between Colchis and Iberia

Hence, a border between Colchis and Iberia passed by here, on the Arsiani ridge, later Shavshet-klarjeti. An Iberian town Phriqsopolis–Ideesa must been situated here. P. Ingorokva thought that it was near Tao. Somewhere nearby must be Dioscuri, because Strabo reverted to it immediately after describing the division of Moschic country.

33. An Army of Soanes

The most brave and strong tribe among the Georgian tribes, Soanes, also came to Dioscuri for trading (the same, T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p. 126). “They are masters of the country around them, and occupy the heights of Caucasus above Dioscuri. They have a king, and a council of three hundred persons. They can assemble, it is said, an army of two hundred thousand men, for all their people are fighting men, but not distributed into certain orders.”

34. Gold of Soanes’

“In their country the winter torrents are said to bring down even gold, which the Barbarians collect in troughs pierced with holes, and lined with fleeces; and hence the fable of the Golden Fleece…”

35. Soanes are called Iberians as well

“Some say that they are called Iberians (the same name as the western Iberians) from the gold mines found in both countries” (the same, T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo’s Geography, 1957, p.126).

Soanes are meant here, but what do they have the same with Iberians? Strabo wrote very clearly about this connection, but the translation is very vague. For example, an interpreter writes: “… if it is not put over Iberians the name like this” and so forth. What does it mean “put”? The subsequent phrase is not clear as well. Therefore, as long as the Georgian version is not very clear, we used a Russian edition of Strabo, where the statement above is given very obviously: “Некоторые называют их также Иберийцами – одинокого с западными – от золотых россыпей, находящихся с обеих сторон (Strabo XI, 2, 19)”, i.e. Soanes were called Iberians also – like the name of western Iberians – because there are golden grains in both countries, brought by rivers and collected by the local population, which laid a basis for the legend of Golden Fleece.

Therefore, the name of the country of Soanes is Iberia as well, just like the name of western Iberia, because there are golden grains in both countries, brought by rivers.

Strabo wrote: “Some say that they are called Iberians”. This simple statement was translated very obscurely, that’s why this valuable information about Georgia is still not used properly.

36. Dwelling place of Soanes

Soanes is a big tribe – they have 200 000 warriors. These are all the efficient men, which might make up a third or fourth of the whole population. Therefore, the whole population of this tribe was more than a half of the million. It is evident, that such a big population couldn’t reside on small territory. Where did Soanes live? They lived in the mountains above Dioscuri, over Moschic and Colchis; and in the inland of the country as well, near the mountaineer tribes. According to our research, the Dioscuri was located to the Trapezus direction, below Off-Rise. It seems that Soanes reside in the mountains above the narrow shore of Dioscuri, over Chaldeans, Tibareni, Moschic, and Colchis. The residents of the later Shavshet-Achara-Guria mountain region were known as Soanes in that time. Therefore, Soanes reside along Rioni gorge till Off-Rise (Dioscuri). It is clear that this small territory is not enough for the population of 0,5 – 0,8 mln. They were living in the today’s Svaneti as well. They brought the golden grains as western Iberians did, and that’s why they were called Iberians, wrote Strabo. Anyway, Iberia was the name of western Georgia as well, and such a big tribe, as Soanes was, was known as Iberians for some of the old historians. This reference of Strabo corresponds to our national source “Qartlis Tskhovreba” (Georgian Chronicles). According to “Qartlis Tskhovreba” (Georgian Chronicles) references, Egrisi, i.e. west Georgia after Pharnavaz, was always a part of GeorgianKingdom.

37. Jason

While speaking about Colchis, Strabo mentions Jason and Phriqse. Jason went to Armenia and Medes from Colchis (the same, p. 124).

38. Colchis was one of the parts of Pontus

As it was said above, in Strabo time Colchis was ruled by Pythodoris, who became a widow twice. In general, she was a queen of Pontus, a wife of the King of Pontus Polemon and, after his death, she married Archeläus – a king of one of the parts of Cappadocia-Armenia.

Mithridates of Pontus possessed Colchis earlier, and he sent his friend Moaphernes (Strabo’s uncle) to rule there. After Mithridates overthrow, Colchis was given to Polomen, and, after his death, “his wife Pythodoris reigned over the Colehians, Trapezus, Pharnacia, and the Barbarians situated above them (Strabo XI, 2, 18)” (the same, T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p.125). Pharnacia was a town of Pontus, near Trapezus (the same, p. 298). Near Themiscyra, above it, resided Tibareni, Chaldeans, and Sanni. It is assumed, that Parnakia was located on the Chaldean (Chalybes’) territory (the same, p.298). It seems that “Soanes” mentioned here are Chans or Soanes.

Therefore, the queen ruled over Pontus and Trapezus region, including Colchis, which was spread till Phasis (i.e. Chorokhy).

39. A tribe of Sanni beside the Chaldians

Maybe a tribe of Sanni, located beside the Chaldians, were Chans, or a part of Svan tribe (the dwelling place of tribes was changed dramatically during the Byzantium-Persian war and after it. This war was conducted because of Lazika first, and then because of Svaneti. In the key moment of the war Soanes draw in Persian side, which wasn’t forgiven by the eventually victorious Byzantium. This was reflected by the fact, that Soanes were forced to move to the north, and approached their today’s place of residence. It seems that in the time of Maximus the Confessor they had already been moved to the north).

40. Iberia to the west Georgia

The presence of Iberia in west Georgia is confirmed by Strabo as well, but indirectly. For example, he wrote that one of the ridges of Caucasus moves along from north to south, crosses Iberia and connects to the MoschicMountains. Strabo writes about the big Caucasus ridge – “It throws out forks towards the south, which embrace the middle of Iberia, and touch the Armenian and those called the MoschicMountains, and besides these the mountains of Scydises, and the Paryadres.” (Strabo, XI, II, 15).

Which ridge in Georgia goes from the north to the south and connects to the Moschis (Lesser Caucasus) mountains? It is the only ridge – the Likhy, i.e. Surami ridge. Therefore, according to Strabo references, the Surami ridge passed through Iberia and surrounded only one part of it – “middle Iberia”. IT is evident, that if there was a “middle Iberia”, there must be other parts of Iberia as well, in particular – east and west parts of Iberia. If a Likhy ridge surrounds a middle Iberia, then it is a “shida qartli’, surrounded by the  Surami-likhy and Saguramo-Qartli ridges indeed, which go out from Caucasus and are directed from the north to the south. If this is the case, then the west part of Iberia is the west Georgian, and the east of Iberia is Kakheti. From this follows that in Strabo’s mind west Georgia was a part of Iberia. Therefore, west Georgia was a part of MtskhetaKingdom, and Colchis was a part of PontusKingdom, which was located to the south-west of Iberia and its north border reached Chorokhy.

This reference of Strabo confirms facts described in “Qartlis Tskhovreba” (Georgian Chronicles)and “Moqcevai Qartlisai” (Baptizing of Georgia). Namely it confirms the fact that the west boarder of Mtskheta (Qartli) Kingdom reached the river Egristskali. In the period of the King Aderki, i.e. in Strabo time (according to “Moqcevai Qartlisai” (Baptizing of Georgia) references, even earlier), people came from Qartli settled down in west Georgia. The river Egristskali is mentioned in this source as well. Therefore, this source also confirms that population resided on the shore of Egristskali (Egrisians) came from Qartli, and not from Colchis.

41. Colchis, lied at the foot of the Moschic Mountains

As we mentioned above, Strabo called Colchis an advanced and economically developed region populated by Georgian people, which was located in Trapezus region, and not in west Georgia. Strabo wrote: “there is Colchis, lying at the foot of the Caucasian and Moschic mountains” (Strabo XI, II, 1). And the MoschicMountains are the Arzrum-ArsianiMountains.

The MoschicMountains were a part of Paryadres – “One of which is called Paryadres, another Moschic mountains, and others by other names. The Moschic mountains comprehend the whole of Armenians as far as the Iberians and Albanians” (Strabo, XI, XII, 4).

In the different place he writes: “The Caucasus encircles these nations, and approaches close to the Armenians, the Moschic and Colchis mountains” (Strabo, XI, XIV, 1).

Therefore, Moschic and Armenian mountains are located in the same region and where joined with a Likhy ridge, which comes from middle Iberia and really joins the Arsiani mountain system. Is it was said earlier, Strabo wrote: Caucasus “ throws out forks towards the south, which embrace the middle of Iberia, and touch the Armenian and those called the Moschic Mountains”. We must say again, that only Surami ridge goes from Caucasus north toward the south. Therefore, Strabo was talking about Surami ridge, which passed through the “middle Iberia”. To recur again, Strabo wrote: “It throws out forks towards the south, which embrace the middle of Iberia, and touch the Armenian and those called the MoschicMountains”. Therefore, Strabo called “Shua (middle) Iberia” the present “Shida Qartli”. Only this place is surrounded with the mountains directed from the north to the south (and Surami ridge among them, which is connected with the MoschicMountains). One of these mountains is Surami ridge, as it was said several times before, and another might be Tianeti-Saguramo ridge, which is also directed from the north to the south. Therefore, Strabo called “Shida Qartli” as “middle Iberia”.

42. The “Middle Qartli” mentioned in “Qartlis Tskhoverba” (Georgian Chronicles) is the same with the Strabo’s “Middle Iberia”

– “It throws out forks towards the south, which embrace the middle of Iberia, and touch the Armenian and those called the Moschic Mountains”.

Did Strabo own any source to use a term “middle of Iberia”? Perhaps there existed a region named “Middle Iberia” in Strabo time? From this point of view, it is very interesting that this term is used in “Qartlis Tskhovreba” (Georgian Chronicles) as well. In this source it is used as “Middle Qartli”.

In particular, there is said that – “Alexander came and conquered fortresses of middle Qartly and then fortresses of Kakheti”. Afterwards Alexander gave Egrisi under Azon’s governance. The chronicler listed in details all the fortresses in middle Qarti (i.e. middle Iberia) from Moschic to Khunani. But it didn’t mention fortresses in Kakheti or Egrisi. Probably chronicler didn’t mention them because of the fact that, just like Strabo, it considers as the main part of Qartli only its “middle” part, and not other parts of Qartly – Kakheti and Egrisi. That’s how the following reference of Strabo should be interpreted: according to Strabo – this ridge (i.e. Surami ridge) passed through “middle Iberia”, which means that in Strabo’s opinion, west Georgia was a part of Iberia.

Word-in-word this source says – Alexander reinforced, came and “founded these strong fortresses of middle-Qartli (Tsunda, Khertvisi,…, Tukharisi,.., Urbnisi,.., Kaspi, Uplistsikhe, …, Sarkine,…, Rustavi and main Fortress Samshvilde and … Sunani) and towns of Kakheti” (Qartlis Tskhovreba, 1955, p.18). Azon “conquered Egrisi with Qartli as well” (Qartlis Tskhovreba (Georgian Chronicles), I, p.19).

The Strabo’s “Middle Iberia” should be the same with the “Middle Qartli” in “Qartlis Tskhoverba” (Georgian Chronicles).

43. Georgian tribes at the shore

In general, Strabo distinguishes among the shores of west Georgia and Colchis. He lists tribes from the town Bata, (which in some modern scientists opinion, is the same with Novorossiysk (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p.274)), in the following order – Cercetae, Achaeans and Heniochians. The chroniclers of Mithridates’s wars listed those tribes in this order – Achaeans, Zygians, Heniochians, Cercetae again, Moschic, Colehians; then, above them – Phtheirophagi, Soanes and other smaller tribes (the same, p.120).

44. Colehians resided in south as well

From the list given above it is evident, that Colchis was one of the tribes and its population resided in the most south, below all the tribes. Therefore, Colchis is in south, and where in particular, it is described by Strabo in very details, given in distances – In Strabo opinion, from the river Phasis till Bosporus is a distance of 4000 stadia (Mithridates covered this way from Phasis to Bosporus). If we assume, that, as it is considered, one stadium is equivalent of 178 meters, then there is a shore of 712 kilometers from Phasis to Bosporus. Approximately 482 kilometers from this shore was taken by the Georgian tribes, listed above.

In particular “Next to Bata there is the coast of the Cercetae, which has places of shelter for vessels, and villages along an extent of about 850 stadia; then at 500 stadia more the coast of the Achaei, then that of the Heniochi, at 1000 stadia, then the Great Pityus, from which to Dioscurias are 360 stadia (Strabo, XI, 2, 14)” (T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p.120).

Therefore, a tribe of Cercetae took a shore of 151 kilometers long (850 stadia) from Bata (i.e. from approximately today’s Novorossiysk). Achaei took 89 kilometers of the shore (500 stadia), Heniochi took 178 kilometers (1000 stadia) of the shore, the subsequent was large tribe Pityus, and from the Pityus to Dioscuri there was a distance of 64 kilometers (360 stadia). In total, these tribes occupied 482 kilometers of the shore.

In fact, the length of the Back sea shore of historical Georgia was the same. In particular, according to the search system “Google – Planet the Earth”, a distance by land from Novorossiysk till Khopa (former Khupata) is approximately 460 kilometers. The references of Strabo are convincing.

45. Pityus is near the Off-Rise

If we convert those kilometers to the modern reality, then it turns out that a “big Pityus” of Strabo is not Bichvinta of Abkhazia, but it is a Ptiusa- Pityus near the Off-Rise. Exactly the same place was indicated as a Pityus location by N. Adontsi and P. Ingorokva. Therefore, 482 kilometers mentioned above is a distance from Bata- Novorossiysk till Pityus near the Off-Rise, and not till Bichvinta in Abkhazia. From here started Colchis, that is, a dwelling place of Colehians people.

46. A Cercetae shore

“Next to Bata there is the coast of the Cercetae, which has places of shelter for vessels, and villages along an extent of about 850 stadia (Strabo XI, 2, 14)”

According to both sources of Strabo (one of them is Arthemidor, and another is narrative of Mithridates’s chroniclers), a big section of the Black Sea shore from Bata-Novorossiysk – 151 kilometers (850 stadia) – was taken by the Cercetae tribe (approximately till modern Sokhumi-Ochamchire). Our historians etiologically related a tribe of Cercetae to Cherquezians (Adige-Cherqezians first appeared on the shore of the Black Sea and in the North Caucasus in general after the Tamerlane’s campaign. He resettled here tribes from the Steppes). The word “Cherqez” is considered to be Turkish.

According the etiology the word “Cercetae” is very close to the word “Gerget”. Gerg, i.e. Georg – is a Georgian ethnic name. About the existence of “Georg” tribes in the north Caucasus wrote other ancient authors as well. “Cercetae” is the same with “Georget”.

Cercetae – must be one of the regional names of the Georg tribe of Georgians. Especially since Cercetae – Cercitae lived near the Chaldea-Chaneti as well.

47. An Achaei shore

“…then at 500 stadia more the coast of the Achaei (Strabo XI, 2 14)”

The shore of 89 kilometers long (500 stadia), next to Cercetae shore, was took by Achaeans. According to Strabo and other authors’ references, Achaeans descended from Thessalians, and they were offspring of the members of Argonauts’ troop – “They say, that at the time of the expedition of Jason the Achaei Phthiotae founded the Achaia there, and the Lacedaemonians, Heniochia. Their leaders were Rhecas, and Amphistratus, the charioteers of the Dioscuri; it is probable that the Heniochi had their name from these persons (Strabo XI, 2, 12).” (the same, T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p.118).

Achaei and Heniochi seem to be Georgian tribes, because, in Plinius opinion, Iberians, Albanians, north Armenians and Medes – people with the same Tesalinian origin – were also descendants of Argonauts (A. Japaridze, Saint Marry – The Aid of the Georgian Language, 2008, p.5-30). How correct was Plinius in this issue is a subject of further researches, but Achaei and Heniochi turned out to be kindred nations with Iberians because of the same Argonaut origin. Although, in Strabo’s opinion, Iberians came from west Iberia (Spain), but according to other authors’ references it seems, that the ruling dynasties of Iberians and Albanians (and probably the population as well) developed in Colchis, after the Argonauts’ campaign. Moreover, as it was mentioned above, a descent of the Armenian people was also related to one of the members of Argonauts, Armenios (the same, p.5-30). According to the references of “Moqtsevai Qartlisai”, people came from Arian-Qartly were settled down till Egristskhali (i.e. in Egrisi as well “from Hereti till Egristskhali”).

48. A Heniochi shore

“…then that of the Heniochi, at 1000 stadia (Strabo XI, 2, 14)”

The longest section of the shore, 178 kilometers (1000 stadia), where taken by Heniochians. The name of this tribe – Heniokh – was related to riding. It is impossible not to recall here, that the word for “horse” in the old Georgian language is “Hune”. If this connection is relevant here, then the word “Heniokh” means a horseman, i.e. a rider.

According to another source of Strabo, there resided “Heniochians, again Cercetae, Moschic, Colehians” from Bata till Dioscuri.

49. A Pityus shore

“… then the Great Pityus, from which to Dioscurias are 360 stadia (Strabo, XI, 2, 14)”

A dwelling place of Colehians is determined to be below Dioscuri – 360 stadia along the land (64 kilometers). “The rest of the shore after Dioscuri belongs to Colehians and it forms important curve together with the subsequent Trapezus”.

About the existence of Chans’ tribe near the Rise was indicated by Prokophi Kesarieli. According to his references, the Roman Army, with the leadership of Theodor from Chan (a person from Chan), was fighting with Chans near Rise.

It seems that Dioscuri was located between Off-Rise and Trapezus.

According to Strabo references, an east curve of the Black sea was started at Bata and ended near Pityus and Dioscuri. Indeed, if we look at the map, we will see that this curve ends somewhere near Rise.

Strabo wrote: “The direction of the sea-coast is at first, as I have said, towards the east, with a southern aspect; but from Bata it makes a bend for a small distance, then fronts the west, and terminates towards Pityus, and Dioscuri (Strabo XI, 2, 14)”.

This Pityus – is a shore of Rise, because an east curve of the Black sea ends there.

While describing a Black Sea curve Strabo attaches Dioscuri to the Trapezus region: “Next to Dioscurias is the remainder of the coast of Colchis, and Trapezus contiguous to it; where the coast, having made a considerable turn, then extends nearly in a straight line, and forms the side on the right hand of the Euxine (Pontus), looking to the north (Strabo XI, 2, 14)” (the same, T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p.121).

Therefore, Colchis started at Dioscuri (near the Trapezus), at a distance of 64 kilometers from Off-Rise. It is Colchis of Strabo and not west Georgia. We must notice, that the primary source of west Georgia history – “Artemidorus” – didn’t mention Colchis in the list of the Georgian Tribes at all. Another source – “Chroniclers of Mithridates” – names Colchis at the end of the list, and list begins with Bata-Novorossiysk till Trapezus. Therefore, Strabo’s Colchis was located to the south-west of Iberia, i.e. below Iberia, and Iberia was located “above” Colchis.

On the other hand, river Phasis is a river of Colchis and Dioscuri is a town of Colchis as well. This place is “below the Caucasus”. Under Caucasus Strabo, as well as many other ancient authors, assumes so-called Lesser Caucasus, where is the mountain system of Arsian-Karchllhali. The same place was a historical province “Sakavkasidzeo” and even now, there is a settlement “Kavkasori” on the slope of the Karchkhali. But, it is evident, that for Strabo the main Caucasus is “the big Caucasus ridge”. According to Eratosthenes, named as Caspia by the local inhabitants, “It throws out forks towards the south, which embrace the middle of Iberia, and touch the Armenian and those called the Moschic mountains, and besides these the mountains of Scydises, and the Paryadres. All these are portions of the Taurus, which forms the southern side of Armenia (Strabo XI, 2, 15)” (the same, p.122). “Situated on a bay of this kind, and occupying the most easterly point of the whole sea, is Dioscuri (Strabo XI, 2, 16)” (the same, p.122). Therefore, there were Armenian and Moschic mountains near Dioscuri. From here it follows, that if Dioscuri is Sukhumi, as it is considered now (the same, p.276), then there must be Armenian and Moschic mountains near it and it is “the most easterly point of the whole sea”, which is not true. Therefore, we should look for Dioscuri more to the south.

Strabo mentioned Dioscuri together with Phasis (the same, p.122), because he thinks, that a country from Phasis (i.e. Chorokhy) till Themiscyra is a general Colchis (i.e. there exited concrete Colchis as well). That’s how we interpret Strabo’s phrase that these mountains are spread from Colchis till Themiscyra (the same, T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo Geography, 1957, p.122). “Dioscuri is situated on a bay of this kind” – he wrote, i.e. there is an extreme north of the Black Sea located in front of it, and heights of Caucasus are raised behind.

50. A shore of Dioscuri-Colchis

Strabo wrote: “Situated on a bay of this kind, and occupying the most easterly point of the whole sea, is Dioscurias, called the recess of the Euxine Sea, and the extreme boundary of navigation, for in this sense we are to understand the proverbial saying, \”To Phasis where ships end their course.\” Not as if the author of the iambic intended to speak of the river, nor of the city of the same name upon the river, but Colchis designated by a part, because from the city and the river there remains a voyage of not less than 600 stadia in a straight line to the recess of the bay (Strabo XI, 2, 16)”.

How can be understood Strabo’ words “the most easterly point of the whole sea” and “the recess”? We can’t found words like “the most easterly point of the whole sea” and “the recess” in the Georgian translations of Strabo. But in Russian version there is: “Она считается “впадиной” Эвкасинского Понта” (Strabo, Geography, 1964, Russian translation, p. 472), or “от реки и города до “впадины” (the same)” and so forth.

It’s clear, that the matter is a sea-shore or a bay that is the lowest relative to other bays in the Black sea. Therefore, the bay of Dioscuri was located at the lowest point of the Black sea. If we turn to the map, a bay like this is located at the present settlement Surmene, between Rise and Trabzon, more precisely, between Off and Arakle.

Indeed, the 42-st geographic parallel that connects the most south point of the Black Sea goes though Rise, Trabzon and Istanbul. Other points of the Black sea are situated above this parallel. But there are two exceptions. One of them is a Surmene’s “recessed” bay, which is located under this parallel, and can be seen well on the map (between Off and Arakle). Another “recessed” bay, which is located under the parallel, is the Ordugirsun’s bay. The more “recessed” in Strabo time was considered Arakli-Surmene’s bay (which is more southerly located). It seems, that Dioscurias (Dioscuri) was situated near Surmene.

The Dioscuri was far from Phasis (that is, Chorokhy) at a distance of 600 stadia, i.e. 106 kilometers. But, as it was mentioned above, a distance between Dioscuri and Pityus was 360 stadia (64 kilometers).  

As it was said, the Colehians dwelling place was under Dioscuri. “Next to Dioscurias is the remainder of the coast of Colchis, and Trapezus contiguous to it; where the coast, having made a considerable turn, then extends nearly in a straight line, and forms the side on the right hand of the Euxine, looking to the north (Strabo XI, 2, 14)”. Indeed, a shore form Surmene (where we locate Dioscuri) to Trabzon is curved, as it is directed not to the west, but upwards, to the north-west and leaves Surmene-Dioscuri in the “recessed” bay. this bay is located near Off-Rise, to the west.

In general, Colchis was a country from Phasis (Chorokhy) till Trapezus. From this follows that “a shore from Pityus till Trapezus” (tha same, T. Kaukhchishvili, Strabo’s Geography, 1957, p.283) was a part of it, but Colchis was a name of the country from Dioscuri till Trapezus. A Black Sea shore from Trapezus till Dioscuri was a “Colchis shore”, “Next to Dioscurias is the remainder of the coast of Colchis (Strabo XI, 2, 14)”.

“The river Charis flows near Dioscurias (Strabo XI, 2, 18)”.

The references of Strabo that “Next to Bata Artemidorus places the coast of the Cercetae, which has places of shelter for vessels, and villages along an extent of about 850 stadia; then at 500 stadia more the coast of the Achaei, then that of the Heniochi, at 1000 stadia, then the Great Pityus, from which to Dioscurias are 360 stadia (Strabo XI, 2, 14)” should be interpreted as following:

There were 360 stadia from Dioscuri till Pityus, and was name correspondingly – “a Pityus shore”  (then the Great Pityus, from which to Dioscurias are 360 stadia (Strabo XI, 2, 14)). 1000 stadia from this place was named as a “Heniochi shore”, which was followed by an “Achaei shore” – 500 stadia; and from this point there was a “Cercetae shore” with the length of 850 stadia.

On the modern maps lengths given by Strabo look like the following: There are approximately 106 kilometers (600 stadia) from Chorokhy outfall till Rise, but Dioscire was located in the “recessed” bay. A bay like this is placed at the Surmene, to the west from Rise. A distance to this “recessed” place is about 140 km-s, this is more that 600 stadia, but this is what Strabo said: ” there remains a voyage of not less than 600 stadia in a straight line to the recess of the bay (Strabo XI, 2, 16)” from Phasis to Dioscuri. Therefore, Dioscure was located between Rise and Surmene, near the Srumene’s “recessed” bay.

There were 360 stadia, i.e. 64 km from Dioscuri to Pitiunt. In approximately 64 kilometers form Surmene there is a settlement Pazari (near Ardesan), therefore, Pazari (Chaieli) was named as Pityus.

Therefore, a shore from present Trabzon till urmene was a “Colchis shore”, a shore from Surmene till Pazari was a “Pityus shore”, which was followed by Heniochi, Achaei and Cercetae shores till Novorossiysk.

In addition we can say, that a Bishop of Pityus, which took part in the I World Church Meeting in 325, was from Ardesan (Pazari)- Pityus, and not from Abkhazian Bichvinta. We must notice that this misunderstanding was due to the phonetic similarity of his name with the Georgian toponym “Bichvinta”. (In connection with the phonetic similarity it can be noticed that a lot of toponyms “Pazari” can be encountered in the Ardasen-Rise region: for example, “Dernepazari” to the south of Off; “Es(ki)pazari” to the north shore of Off; “pazariolu” to the south of Off again, near Ispiri, at the Chorokhy shore; “Pazariolu” and a town “Pazari” itself, which we consider as Pityus, together with Ardasen. A name “Pazari” is interesting because it resembles the word “Phasis”. An eparchy in Lazika was also called as “Phasis Eparchy”. May be under this name was assumed a historical region of Pazari, i.e. Off-Rise-Ardasani, which we consider as a part of Lazika eparchy.)

To P. Ingorokva’s opinion, a harbour “Pitiusa” mentioned in the Claudius Ptolemy’s Geography (and a “Hvisi” harbour as well) was situated between Trabzon and Rise (p. Ingorokva, Giorgi Merchule, 1954, p.253). According to his researches – Pitius, Pitiusa, Pithia – mentioned by different authors, was located near Off. He wrote: “In the narrative “Notatie Dignitatum” , dated the V century, the Hvisi harbour, located in Ponto’s province in Trapezus region, is Surmene, and Pithia – is Off (the same, p.253)”.

In contrast to him, as it was me