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Drachm of Aristarchus the Colchian


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Drachm of Aristarchus the Colchian - History

Tsetskhladze Goca Revazovic. On the numismatics of Colchis : the classical archaeologist's perspective. In: Dialogues d'histoire ancienne, vol. 19, n°1, 1993. pp. 233-256.

ON THE NUMISMATICS OF COLCHIS :

the classical archaeologist's perspective

Gocha R. TSETSKHLADZE Oxford, Balliol College

In ancient times Greek authors referred to the territory situated on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, within what is called Western Georgia today, as Colchis * !. As early as the eighth


Drachm of Aristarchus the Colchian - History

Maps: Andrew Andersen, George Partskhaladze

In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolchis (Georgian: კოლხეთი Kolkheti Laz : Kolxa Greek — Κολχίς , kŏl´kĬs ) was an ancient Georgian kingdom and region [1] in the Caucasus, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation [2] The Kingdom of Colchis as an early Georgian state contributed significantly in development of the medieval Georgian statehood after its unification with eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia -Kartli [3] .

Now mostly the western part of Georgia, it was in Greek mythology the home of Aeëtes and Medea and the destination of the Argonauts, as well as being the possible homeland of the Amazons. The ancient area is represented roughly by the present day Georgian provinces of Mingrelia , Imereti , Guria , Ajaria , Svaneti , Racha , Abkhazia and the modern Turkey’s Rize Province and parts of Trabzon and Artvin provinces. One of the most important elements in the modern Georgian nation, the Colchians were probably established in the Caucasus by the Middle Bronze Age [4] .

GEOGRAPHY AND TOPONYMS

The Kingdom of Colchis, which existed from the sixth to the first centuries B.C.E., is believed to be the first Georgian state [5] .

A proto-Georgian tribal union that emerged at the eastern Black Sea coast by the end of the 13th century BC later on transformed itself into the Kingdom of Colchis [6] . According to most classic authors, Colchis was the country bounded on the southwest by Pontus, on the west by the Pontus Euxinus as far as the river Corax (probably the present day Bzybi River, Abkhazia, Georgia), on the north by the chain of the Greater Caucasus, which lay between it and Asiatic Sarmatia, on the east by Iberia and Montes Moschici (now the Lesser Caucasus), and on the south by Armenia. There is some little difference in authors as to the extent of the country westward: thus Strabo makes Colchis begin at Trapezus (Trebizond), while Ptolemy, on the other hand, extended Pontus to the river Phasis . Pityus was the last town to the north in Colchis.

The first ancient authors to mention the name of Colchis were Aeschylus and Pindar. The earlier writers only mention it under the name of Aea ( Aia ), the residence of the mythical king Aeetes . The main river was the Phasis (now Rioni ), which was according to some writers the south boundary of Colchis, but more probably flowed through the middle of that country from the Caucasus west by south to the Euxine , and the Anticites or Atticitus (now Kuban).

Arrian mentions many others by name, but they would seem to have been little more than mountain torrents: the most important of them were Charieis , Chobus or Cobus , Singames , Tarsuras , Hippus , Astelephus , Chrysorrhoas , several of which are also noticed by Ptolemy and Pliny. The chief towns were Dioscurias or Dioscuris (under the Romans called Sebastopolis , now Sukhumi ) on the sea-board of the Euxine , Sarapana (now Shorapani ), (now PhasisPoti ), Pityus (now Pitsunda ), Apsaros (now Gonio ), Surium (now Surami ), Archaeopolis (now Nokalakevi ), Macheiresis , and Cyta or Cutatisium (now Kutaisi ), the traditional birthplace of Medea . Scylax mentions also Mala or Male, which he, in contradiction to other writers, makes the birthplace of Medea .

The area was home to the well-developed bronze culture known as the Colchian culture, related to the neighbouring Koban culture, that emerged towards the Middle Bronze Age. In at least some parts of Colchis the process of urbanization seems to have been well advanced by the end of the second millennium BC, centuries before Greek settlement. Their Late Bronze Age (15th to 8th Century BC) saw the development of an expertise in the smelting and casting of metals that began long before this skill was mastered in Europe. Sophisticated farming implements were made and fertile, well-watered lowlands blessed with a mild climate promoted the growth of progressive agricultural techniques.


Colchis was inhabited by a number of related, but still pretty different tribes whose settlements lay chiefly along the shore of the Black Sea. The chief of those were the Machelones , Heniochi , Zydretae , Lazi , Tibareni , Mossynoeci , Macrones , Moschi , Marres , Apsilae (probably modern-day Abkhaz-speakers), Abasci (possibly modern-day Abaza ), Sanigae , Coraxi , Coli, Melanchlaeni , Geloni and Soani ( Suani ). These tribes differed so completely in language and appearance from the surrounding nations that the ancients originated various theories to account for the phenomenon. Herodotus, who states that they, with the Egyptians and the Ethiopians, were the first to practice circumcision, believed them to have sprung from the relics of the army of Pharaoh Sesostris III (1878-1841 BC), and thus regarded them as Egyptians. Apollonius Rhodius states that the Egyptians of Colchis preserved as heirlooms a number of wooden tablets showing seas and highways with considerable accuracy. Though this theory was not generally adopted by the ancients, it has been defended – but not with complete success, by some modern writers. There seems to have been a Negroid component (which predates the Arab slave trade) along the Black Sea region, whose origins could very well be traced to an Ancient Extra-African expedition, although this cannot be verified by archaeological evidence.

Modern theories suggest that the main Colchian tribes are direct ancestors of the Laz-Mingrelians , and played a significant role in ethnogenesis of the Georgian and Abkhazian peoples.

In the 13th century BC, the Kingdom of Colchis was formed as a result of the increasing consolidation of the tribes inhabiting the region. This power celebrated in Greek mythology as the destination of the Argonauts, the home of Medea and the special domain of sorcery, was known to Urartians as Qulha (aka Kolkha , or Kilkhi ). Being in permanent wars with the neighbouring nations, the Colchians managed to absorb part of Diaokhi in the 750s BC, but lost several provinces (including the “royal city” of Ildemusa ) to the Sarduris II of Urartu following the wars of 750-748 and 744-742 BC. Overrun by the Cimmerians and Scythians in the 730s-720s BC, the kingdom disintegrated and came under the Achaemenid Persian Empire towards the mid-6th century BC. The tribes living in the southern Colchis ( Tibareni , Mossynoeci , Macrones , Moschi , and Marres ) were incorporated in the 19th Satrapy of the Persia , while the northern tribes submitted “voluntarily” and had to send to the Persian court 100 girls and 100 boys in every 5 years. The influence exerted on Colchis by the vast Achaemenid Empire with its thriving commerce and wide economic and commercial ties with other regions accelerated the socio-economic development of the Colchian land. Subsequently the Colchis people appear to have overthrown the Persian Authority, and to have formed an independent state [7] .

The advanced economy and favorable geographic and natural conditions of the area attracted the Milesian Greeks who colonized the Colchian coast establishing here their trading posts at Phasis , Gyenos , and Dioscurias in the 6th-5th centuries BC. It was considered "the farthest voyage" according to an ancient Greek proverbial expression, the easternmost location in that society's known world, where the sun rose. It was situated just outside the lands conquered by Alexander the Great. Phasis and Dioscurias were the splendid Greek cities dominated by the mercantile oligarchies, sometimes being troubled by the Colchians from hinterland before seemingly assimilating totally. After the fall of the Persian Empire, significant part of Colchis locally known as Egrisi was annexed to the recently created Kingdom of Iberia ( Kartli ) in ca. 302 BC. However, soon Colchis seceded and broke up into several small princedoms ruled by sceptuchi . They retained a degree of independence until conquered (circa 101 BC) by Mithradates VI of Pontus .

Mithradates VI quelled an uprising in the region in 83 BC and gave Colchis to his son Mithradates Chrestus , who was soon executed being suspected in having plotted against his father. During the Third Mithridatic War, Mithridates VI made another his son Machares king of Colchis, who held his power but for a short period. On the defeat of Mithradates in 65 BC, Colchis was occupied by Pompey, who captured one of the local chiefs ( sceptuchus ) Olthaces , and installed Aristarchus as a dynast (65-47 BC).

On the fall of Pompey, Pharnaces II, son of Mithridates , took advantage of Julius Caesar being occupied in Egypt, and reduced Colchis, Armenia, and some part of Cappadocia, defeating Domitius Calvinus , whom Caesar subsequently sent against him. His triumph was, however, short-lived. Under Polemon I, the son and successor of Pharnaces II, Colchis was part of the Pontus and the Bosporan Kingdom. After the death of Polemon (after 2 BC), his second wife Pythodoris retained possession of Colchis as well as of Pontus itself, though the kingdom of Bosporus was wrested from her power. Her son and successor Polemon II was induced by Emperor Nero to abdicate the throne, and both Pontus and Colchis were incorporated into the Province of Galatia and later into Cappadocia.


Despite the fact that all major fortresses along the seacoast were occupied by the Romans, their rule was pretty loose. In 69, the people of Pontus and Colchis under Anicetus staged a major uprising against the Romans which ended unsuccessfully. The lowlands and coastal area were frequently raided by the fierce mountainous tribes with the Soanes and Heniochi being the most powerful of them. Paying a nominal homage to Rome, they created their own kingdoms and enjoyed significant independence.

Christianity began to spread in the early 1st century. Traditional accounts relate the event with St. Andrew, St. Simon the Canaanite, and St. Matata . However, the Hellenistic, local pagan and Mithraic religious beliefs would be widespread until the 4th century. By the 130s, the kingdoms of Machelons , Heniochi , Lazica , Apsilia , Abasgia , and Sanigia had occupied the district form south to north. Goths, dwelling in the Crimea and looking for their new homes, raided Colchis in 253, but they were repulsed with the help of the Roman garrison of Pityus . By the 3rd-4th centuries, most of the local kingdoms and principalities had been subjugated by the Lazic kings, and thereafter the country was generally referred to as Lazica ( Egrisi ).

.

Christianity began to spread in the early 1st century. Traditional accounts relate the event with St. Andrew , St. Simon the Canaanite , and St. Matata . However, the Hellenistic, local pagan and Mithraic religious beliefs would be widespread until the 4th century. By the 130s, the kingdoms of Machelons , Heniochi , Lazica , Apsilia , Abasgia , and Sanigia had occupied the district form south to north. Goths, dwelling in the Crimea and looking for their new homes, raided Colchis in 253, but they were repulsed with the help of the Roman garrison of Pityus . By the 3rd-4th centuries, most of the local kingdoms and principalities had been subjugated by the Lazic kings, and thereafter the country was generally referred to as Lazica ( Egrisi ).

RULERS

Little is known of the rulers of Colchis. Below is the list of some of them:

Aeetes mentioned in Greek legends as a powerful King of Colchis is thought by some historians to be a historic person, though there is no evidence to support the idea.

Kuji , a presiding Prince ( eristavi ) of Egrisi under the authority of Pharnavaz I of Iberia (ca302-237 BC) (according to the medieval Georgian annals).

Akes ( Basileus Aku ) (end of the 4th century BC), King of Colchis his name is found on a coin issued by him.

Saulaces , "the King" in the 2nd century BC (according to some ancient sources).

Mithradates Chrestus (fl 83 BC), under the suzerainty of Pontus.

Machares (fl 65 BC), under the authority of Pontus.

Note: During his reign, the local chiefs, sceptuchi , continued to exercise some power. One of them, Olthaces , was mentioned by the Roman sources as a captive of Pompey in 65 BC.

Aristarchus (65-47 BC), a dynast under the suzerainty of Pompey

COLCHIS IN MYTHOLOGY

According to the Greek mythology, Colchis was a fabulously wealthy land situated on the mysterious periphery of the heroic world.

Here in the sacred grove of the war god Ares, King Aeetes hung the Golden Fleece until it was seized by Jason and the Argonauts.

Colchis was also the land where the mythological Prometheus was punished by being chained to a mountain while an eagle ate at his liver for revealing to humanity the secret of fire. Amazons also were said to be of Scythian origin from Colchis.

The main mythical characters from Colchis are Aeetes , Medea , Apsyrtus , Chalciope , Circe, Eidyia , Pasiphaë .

Allen, David. A History of the Georgian people. London / 1932.

Braund , David. 1994. Georgia in Antiquity: A History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia 550 BC-AD 562. Clarendon Press, Oxford / 1996.

Burney, Charles and Lang, David Marshal. The Peoples of the Hills: Ancient Ararat and Caucasus.

Clavel-Lévêque , E. Geny , P. Lévêque . Paris: Presses Universitaires Franc- Comtoises / 1999.

Lang, David Marshal. The Georgians. Frederich A. Praeger Publishers, New York / 1965

Lordkipanidze , Otar . Phasis : The River and City of Colchis. Geographica Historica 15, Franz Steiner / 2000.

Melamid , Alexander. Colchis today. (North-eastern Turkey): An article from: The Geographical Review. American Geographical Society /1993.

Tsetskhladze , Gocha R.. Pichvnari and Its Environs, 6th c BC-4th c AD. Annales Littéraires de l'Université de Franche-Comté, 659, Editeurs :

Urushadze , Akaki . The Country of the Enchantress Media, Tbilisi / 1984 (in Russian and English)

Van de Mieroop , Marc. A History of the Ancient near East, C. 3000–323 BC. Oxford / 2006

Wardrop , Oliver. The Kingdom Of Georgia: Travel In A Land Of Women, Wine And Song ( Kegan Paul Library of History and Archaeology)

[1] Marc Van de Mieroop , A History of the Ancient near East , C. 3000–323 BC (2003), p 265

[2] Charles Burney and David Marshal Lang, The Peoples of the Hills: Ancient Ararat and Caucasus (1973), p. 38

Oliver Wardrop , The Kingdom Of Georgia: Travel In A Land Of Women, Wine And Song ( 1888)

[3] David Braund , Georgia in Antiquity: A History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia, 550 BC-AD 562 (1994)
W.E.D. Allen, A history of the Georgian people (1932), p. 123

[4] David Marshal Lang, The Georgians (1965), p 59

[5] Stuart J. Kaufman, Modern Hatreds, Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War (2001), p. 91.

[6] David Braund , Georgia in Antiquity: A History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia, 550 BC-AD 562 (1994)

[7] Marc Van de Mieroop , A History of the Ancient near East , C. 3000–323 BC (2003)

Braund , Georgia in Antiquity: A History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia, 550 BC-AD 562 (1994)


The caucasus

The numismatic history of the Caucasian kingdom of Georgia and its various principalities extends over more than two thousand years and presents a series of the most diverse types, reflecting the political and cultural influences to which the land was from time to time subjected. Colchis , or western Georgia, was renowned from mythical times as a source of precious metals, a fact illustrated by the legend of the Golden Fleece.

Some four centuries before our era, Greek colonies on Georgia's Black Sea coast were issuing their own currency, which circulated freely among the Georgian clans of the hinterland. The influence of Greek and Roman domination can be seen in a number of curious local imitations of the staters of Alexander the Great and Lysimachus , and later of the denarii of the Emperor Augustus .

During the sixth and seventh centuries after Christ, when Transcaucasia was a battleground between the Sasanian and Byzantine empires, eastern Georgia, the Iberia of the Ancients, began to evolve its own coinage. Starting as an adaptation of a familiar Sasanian model, this first Iberian series soon achieved a significant evolution towards a national, Christian iconography. Before long, however, the Arab conquest imposed a uniformity of style reflecting Georgia's subjection to the new might of Islam. On the decay of the Caliphate, the Emirs of Tiflis asserted their new-found autonomy in coinage of a distinctly particularist type.

By the tenth century, the Georgians were rising to full statehood. Close cultural ties with Byzantium resulted in the adoption of styles which, far from being slavish imitations, show strong and individual developments in Christian imagery. Under King David the Builder and Queen Tʿamar, during the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, Georgia profited by the weakening of Seljuk power to establish a kingdom extending from the North Caucasus into Anatolia on the one hand, and from the Black Sea into Azerbaijan on the other. In- creasing intimacy with neighbouring Muslim principalities led to the adoption of a mixed style of coinage, embodying both National-Christian and Islamic elements. This did not, during Georgia's Golden Age, imply political dependence on the Muslim powers. Indeed the Georgian dynasts took pride in their Arabic legends in vaunting their role as Defender of the Christian Faith. Sometimes the Caliph's name was included as a gesture of conciliation to Georgia's many Muslim subjects, as well as to the inhabitants of neighbouring states, among whom economic considerations made it desirable that Georgia's coinage should circulate as widely as possible.

The Mongol domination, one of the most demoralizing periods in Georgia's history, is paradoxically enough one of the most fascinating in the history of her coinage. Two main series may be distinguished: the Hulaguid-Christian dirhems, bearing a cross and often the monogram of the Georgian vassal monarch and the standard Il-Khanid issues, struck in the towns of Tiflis, Akhaltsikhe and Qarā-Aghāch just as in scores of other mint-towns in the Mongol empire of Persia and the Near East.

The onslaughts of Tamerlane, which occurred just when Georgia was recovering from the Mongol occupation, had a disastrous effect on the coinage. The few examples of Georgian national currency of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries which have come to light bear witness to a sadly debased standard of quality and workmanship.

The Ottoman and Safavid empires early strove to subjugate Transcaucasia. The conquest of Georgia by Shah ʿAbbās early in the seventeenth century and the suzerainty subsequently exercised by the court of Isfahan are commemorated by a long series of standard Safavid issues minted at Tiflis. In 1723 the Turks invaded and held the land for a few years, also leaving numismatic traces of their occupancy. The conqueror Nādir expelled the Turks in his turn, an event likewise recorded in the coinage.

Erekle II (1744–98) brought eastern Georgia half a century of somewhat precarious independence, during which time she had to manoeuvre between Persia and Russia . We alternately find on Erekle's coinage the Russian eagle and elements of wholly Persian affinity, though an individual ensemble is often achieved.

The death in 1800 of Giorgi XII, last king of Kʿartʿlo-Kakhetʿi, resulted in the absorption of the country by Russia . For the first three decades of the century, a mint operated in Tiflis under Imperial authority to produce a distinct regional currency for the new province, the inscriptions being in Georgian characters. After 1834, Georgia employed standard Russian currency.

The collapse of the Empire in 1917 was followed by the emergence of small national states from amidst its component parts. One of these was the Georgian Republic, which maintained its independence under the Presidency of the late Noah Jordania until Soviet armed invasion in 1921 brought the country under Bolshevik rule. This was a period of crisis and inflation, as is shown by the note issue of the period. At present, the standard currency of the Soviet Union circulates in Georgia exclusively. Owing to its bulk and heterogeneous nature, however, the description of Georgia's 20th century currency has been reserved for a separate study.

The study of the coinage of Georgia has long attracted the attention of numismatists. The illustrious Fraehn did much to clarify the tangled web of the Il-Khanid period in Georgia. In 1844, a Georgian nobleman in the Russian service, Prince Michael Barataev (Baratashvili) (1784–1856), published the first attempt at a systematic classification of the Georgian coins then known. Barataev's work met with penetrating, if somewhat harsh criticism by the Academician and historian of Georgia, M.-F. Brosset (1802–1880). For his part, Brosset maintained a correspondence on the subject with the eminent numismatist, General J. de Bartholomaei (1812–1870). This correspondence, together with Bartholomaei's letters to Soret on Oriental coins, are among our most valuable guides to Georgian medieval coinage. Meanwhile, the French savant Victor Langlois (1829–1869) was preparing his two historical and descriptive surveys of the coins of Georgia, which appeared in 1852 and i860. In spite of some defects of detail, the second of these remains a valuable work of reference, and has yet to be superseded.

After this deployment of scholarly resource, the subject slumbered for half a century, until there appeared in 1910 the first section of E. A. Pakhomov's treatise on the coinage of Georgia, extending to the reign of Queen Rusudan. The second half, which would have comprised the Mongol and subsequent periods, was completed and printed, but prevented by the vicissitudes of war and revolution from being published. This is greatly to be regretted in view of the admirable thoroughness of the first volume. To this day, Pakhomov continues to do most valuable work by classifying and publishing particulars of hoards dug up in Transcaucasia.

In the West, Professor Joseph Karst of Strassburg published in 1938 a concise but serviceable summary of Georgian numismatic history, together with a study of Georgian metrology.

Finally, we must mention the work of the Coin Room of the Georgian State Museum at Tiflis. In the bulletin of that institution have been appearing over the last decade a series of excellent articles by David Kapanadze and Tʿamar Lomouri, describing new finds and suggesting fresh attributions of known varieties. These articles being written in Georgian, it is to be feared that they will not achieve the notice they deserve in the numismatic world generally. They have been of great service in preparing the following pages.

A Note on Georgian Chronology

Until the late eighteenth century, none of the coins of Georgia are dated according to the Christian era. Georgian national chronology as employed during the medieval period is based on a Paschal Cycle of 532 years, known as the Kʿoronikon. The first cycle during which this method of computation was used began in the year 781 a.d. (Kʿoronikons 1 = 781 a.d .).

This was theoretically the thirteenth cycle. In principle, the cyclic series goes back to the Creation, which the Georgians set at 5604 b.c. The scholiasts who evolved this system of chronology, probably early in the ninth century, were able to compute that in the year 780 a.d. , exactly twelve cycles had elapsed (5604 plus 780 equals 6384 6384 divided by 532 equals 12). Why the year 780 was chosen as a point of departure remains obscure it may have had some historical connection with the establishment of Bagratid rule in Georgia.

The year of the Kʿoronikon is normally inscribed on coins and charters in Georgian ecclesiastical majuscule letters ("asomtʿavruli"), which can readily be equated with their numerical values. To take an example, the silver dirhem of Queen Rusudan bears the date equivalent to 450 of the Kʿoronikon, i.e., 1230 a.d. (780 plus 450 equals 1230). The possibility has to be borne in mind that the date might belong to the next Kʿoronikon, beginning in 1312 a.d. This would bring one to the year 1762 a.d. , which can be ruled out, as in other cases, by historical and stylistic evidence.

In addition, the Hijra era is found on most series from the Arab conquest until the Russian occupation. This may occur either instead of or in conjunction with the year of the Georgian Kʿoronikon.


The Pontic royal family was of mixed Anatolian, Greek, and Roman origin. His paternal grandmother is unknown however his paternal grandmother could have been named Tryphaena, while his paternal grandfather was Zenon, a prominent orator, aristocrat, and ally to Roman Triumvir Mark Antony. His maternal grandparents were Pythodoros of Tralles, a wealthy Greek and friend of Pompey, and Antonia. Polemon II was the namesake of his parents and his maternal grandparents.

Polemon II was the second son and middle child of the Pontic Rulers Polemon Pythodoros and Pythodorida of Pontus. His eldest brother was Zenon, also known as Artaxias III, who was Roman Client King of Armenia. His youngest sister was Antonia Tryphaena, who was married to Cotys VIII, King of Thrace.

Through his maternal grandmother he was a direct descendant of Mark Antony and his second wife, Antonia Hybrida Minor. Antony and Antonia Hybrida were first paternal cousins. He was Antony's second born great grandson and great grandchild.

Polemon II is the only known male descendant of Mark Antony that carries his name. The other male descendant of Mark Antony who carries a form of his name, Antonius, was the consul Quintus Haterius Antoninus. Through Antony, his great maternal aunt was Queen Cleopatra Selene II of Mauretania. Through Antony, he was a distant cousin to Roman Client King Ptolemy of Mauretania and the princesses named Drusilla of Mauretania. Through Antony, he was also a distant cousin to Roman emperors Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, and Roman empresses Valeria Messalina, Agrippina the Younger, and Claudia Octavia.

Polemon II's father died in 8 BC. His mother then married King Archelaus of Cappadocia, and the family had moved to Cappadocia, where Polemon II and his siblings were raised at the court of their stepfather. Archelaus died in 17, whereupon Polemon II and his mother moved back to Pontus. From 17 until 38, Polemon II lived as a private citizen in Pontus and assisted his mother in the administration of their realm. When his mother died in 38, Polemon II succeeded his mother as the sole ruler of Pontus, Colchis and Cilicia.

According to an honorary inscription at Cyzicus in 38, Polemon II participated in celebrating the local games in the city, honoring Julia Drusilla, the late sister of Caligula [2] in this way Polemon II expressed his loyalty to the emperor and the Roman state. With another Roman Client King, Antiochus IV of Commagene, Polemon II held athletic games in honor of Claudius in Cilicia in 47. Antiochus IV with Polemon II had showed favor towards Claudius in which they offered significant services to him.

Around 50, Polemon II was attracted to the wealth and beauty of the Judean princess Julia Berenice, whom he had met in Tiberias during a visit to King Herod Agrippa I. Berenice in turn wanted to marry Polemon II to end rumors that she and her brother were committing incest. Berenice had become a widow in 48 when her second husband, her paternal uncle Herod of Chalcis, died. She had two sons by him, Berenicianus and Hyrcanus. Berenice set the condition that Polemon II had to convert to Judaism, which included undergoing the rite of circumcision, before marriage. Polemon II assented, and the marriage went ahead. It did not last long, however, and Berenice left Pontus with her sons and returned to the court of her brother. Polemon II abandoned Judaism and, according to the legend of Bartholomew the Apostle, he accepted Christianity, only to become a pagan again.

At an unknown date, perhaps after the early 50s, Polemon II married a princess [3] called Julia Mamaea, [3] who was from the Syrian Roman Client Emesene Kingdom. [3] [4] Mamaea was of Assyrian, Armenian, Greek, and Median ancestry. Polemon II married Mamaea as his second wife, [5] and the circumstances that lead Polemon II to marry her are unknown. Through Mamaea's marriage to him, she became a Roman Client Queen of Pontus, Colchis, and Cilicia.

The relationship between Polemon II and Mamaea is unknown. Her name and identity is revealed from surviving bronze coinage. [6] Surviving coinage that was issued from Polemon II and Mamaea is extremely rare, [5] as only three specimens are known. [5] These coins show her royal title in Greek, ΙΟΥΛΙΑΣ ΜΑΜΑΙΑΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ [7] (of Julia Mamaea the Queen) or ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΙΟΥΛΙΑΣ ΜΑΜΑΙΑΣ (of Queen Julia Mamaea). [5] These coins can be dated from the second half of Polemon II's reign from 60 until 74.

Mamea bore Polemon II two sons, Polemon and Rhoemetalces. [8] The sons that she bore to Polemon II are known from a restored surviving inscription from Amphipolis Greece, [9] that commemorates Polemon II, Polemon and Rhoemetalces, and is dated from the second half of the 1st century.

Polemon II renamed the town Fanizan after himself. He changed the name to Polemonium (modern Fatsa, Turkey).

In 62, Nero induced Polemon II to abdicate the Pontian throne, and Pontus, including Colchis, became a Roman province. From then until his death, Polemon II only ruled Cilicia.


Drachm of Aristarchus the Colchian - History

Colchis

Geography and toponyms

According to most classic authors, a district which was bounded on the southwest by Pontus , on the west by the Pontus Euxinus as far as the river Corax (probably the present day Bzyb River , Abkhazia ), on the north by the chain of the Greater Caucasus , which lay between it and Asiatic Sarmatia , on the east by Iberia and Montes Moschici (now the Lesser Caucasus ), and on the south by Armenia . There is some little difference in authors as to the extent of the country westward: thus Strabo makes Colchis begin at Trapezus , while Ptolemy , on the other hand, extends Pontus to the river Phasis . Pityus was the last town to the north in Colchis.
The name of Colchis first appears in Aeschylus and Pindar . The earlier writers only speak of it under the name of Aea (Aia), the residence of the mythical king Aeetes . The main river was the Phasis (now Rioni ), which was according to some writers the south boundary of Colchis, but more probably flowed through the middle of that country from the Caucasus west by south to the Euxine, and the Anticites or Atticitus (now Kuban ). Arrian mentions many others by name, but they would seem to have been little more than mountain torrents: the most important of them were Charieis, Chobus or Cobus, Singames, Tarsuras, Hippus, Astelephus, Chrysorrhoas, several of which are also noticed by Ptolemy and Pliny . The chief towns were Dioscurias or Dioscuris (under the Romans called Sebastopolis , now Sokhumi ) on the sea-board of the Euxine, Sarapana (now Shorapani ), Phasis (now Poti ), Pityus (now Bichvinta ), Apsaros (now Gonio ), Surium (now Surami ), Archaeopolis (now Nokalakevi), Macheiresis, and Cyta or Cutatisium (now Kutaisi ), the traditional birthplace of Medea . Scylax mentions also Mala or Male, which he, in contradiction to other writers, makes the birthplace of Medea .

Earliest times
The area was home to the well-developed bronze culture known as the Colchian culture , related to the neighbouring Koban culture , that emerged towards the Middle Bronze Age . In at least some parts of Colchis the process of urbanization seems to have been well advanced by the end of the second millennium BC, centuries before Greek settlement. Their Late Bronze Age (15th to 8th Century BC) saw the development of an expertise in the smelting and casting of metals that began long before this skill was mastered in Europe . Sophisticated farming implements were made and fertile, well-watered lowlands blessed with a mild climate promoted the growth of progressive agricultural techniques.
Colchis was inhabited by a number of relative, but still pretty different tribes whose settlements lay chiefly along the shore of the Black Sea. The chief of those were the Machelones , Heniochi , Zydretae , Lazi , Tibarenni , Mosinici , Macrones , Moschi , Marres , Apsilae (probably modern-day Abkhaz -speakers), Abasci (possibly modern-day Abaza ), Sanigae , Coraxi , Coli , Melanchlaeni , Geloni and Soani (Suani) . These tribes differed so completely in language and appearance from the surrounding nations that the ancients originated various theories to account for the phenomenon. Herodotus , who states that they, with the Egyptians and the Ethiopia ns, were the first to practice circumcision , believed them to have sprung from the relics of the army of Pharaoh Sesostris III ( 1878 - 1841 BC ), and thus regarded them as Egyptians. Apollonius Rhodius states that the Egyptians of Colchis preserved as heirlooms a number of wooden tablets showing seas and highways with considerable accuracy. Though this theory was not generally adopted by the ancients, it has been defended – but not with complete success, by some modern writers. There seems to have been a Negroid component (which predates the Arab slave trade) along the Black Sea region, whose origins could very well be traced to an Ancient Extra-African expedition, although this cannot be verified by archaelogical evidence. http://plato-dialogues.org/tools/loc/colchis.htm

Modern theories suggest that the main Colchian tribes are direct ancestors of the Laz - Mingrelia ns, and played a significant role in ethnogenesis of the Georgian and Abkhazia n peoples.


Qulha (Kolkha)

In the 13th century BC , the Kingdom of Colchis was formed as a result of the increasing consolidation of the tribes inhabiting the region. This power celebrated in Greek mythology as the destination of the Argonauts , the home of Medea and the special domain of sorcery, was known to Urartians as Qulha (aka Kolkha, or Kilkhi). Being in permanent wars with the neighbouring nations, the Colchians managed to absorb part of Diaokhi in the 750s BC , but lost several provinces (including the “royal city� of Ildemusa) to the Sarduris II of Urartu following the wars of 750 - 748 and 744 - 742 BC . Overrun by the Cimmerians and Scythians in the 730s-720s BC, the kingdom disintegrated and came under the Achaemenid Persian Empire towards the mid- 6th century BC . The tribes living in the southern Colchis ( Tibarenni , Mosinici , Macrones , Moschi , and Marres ) were incorporated in the 19th Satrapy of the Persia, while the northern tribes submitted “voluntarily� and had to send to the Persian court 100 girls and 100 boys in every 5 years. The influence exerted on Colchis by the vast Achaemenid Empire with its thriving commerce and wide economic and commercial ties with other regions accelerated the socio-economic development of the Colchian land. Subsequently the Colchis people appear to have thrown off the Persian yoke, and to have formed an independent state.

The advanced economy and favorable geographic and natural conditions of the area attracted the Milesian Greeks who colonized the Colchian coast establishing here their trading posts at Phasis , Gyenos , and Dioscurias in the 6th-5th centuries BC. It was considered "the farthest voyage" according to an ancient Greek proverbial expression, the easternmost location in that society's known world, where the sun rose. It was situated just outside the lands conquered by Alexander the Great . Phasis and Dioscurias were the splendid Greek cities dominated by the mercantile oligarchies, sometimes being troubled by the Colchians from hinterland before seemingly assimilating totally. After the fall of the Persian Empire, significant part of Colchis locally known as Egrisi was annexed to the recently created Kingdom of Iberia ( Kartli ) in ca. 302 BC . However, soon Colchis seceded and broke up into several small princedoms ruled by [http://bible-history.com/latin/latin_s.html: ''sceptuchi'']. They retained a degree of independence until conquered (circa 101 BC ) by Mithradates VI of Pontus .

Mithradates VI quelled an uprising in the region in 83 BC and gave Colchis to his son Mithradates Chrestus, who was soon executed being suspected in having plotted against his father. During the Third Mithridatic War , Mithridates VI made another his son Machares king of Colchis, who held his power but for a short period. On the defeat of Mithradates in 65 BC , Colchis was occupied by Pompey , who captured one of the local chiefs (sceptuchus) Olthaces, and installed Aristarchus as a '' dynast '' ( 65 - 47 BC ). On the fall of Pompey, Pharnaces II , son of Mithridates , took advantage of Julius Caesar being occupied in Egypt , and reduced Colchis, Armenia , and some part of Cappadocia , defeating Domitius Calvinus , whom Caesar subsequently sent against him. His triumph was, however, short-lived. Under Polemon I , the son and successor of Pharnaces II , Colchis was part of the Pontus and the Bosporan Kingdom . After the death of Polemon (after 2 BC ), his second wife Pythodoris retained possession of Colchis as well as of Pontus itself, though the kingdom of Bosporus was wrested from her power. Her son and successor Polemon II was induced by Emperor Nero to abdicate the throne, and both Pontus and Colchis were incorporated in the Province of Galatia ( 63 ) and later in Cappadocia ( 81 ).

Under the Roman rule

Despite the fact that all major fortresses along the seacoast were occupied by the Romans, their rule was pretty loose. In 69 , the people of Pontus and Colchis under Anicetus staged a major uprising against the Romans which ended unsuccessfully. The lowlands and coastal area were frequently raided by the fierce mountainous tribes with the Soanes and Heniochi being the most powerful of them. Paying a nominal homage to Rome , they created their own kingdoms and enjoyed significant independence. Christianity began to spread in the early 1st century. Traditional accounts relate the event with St. Andrew , St. Simon the Canaanite , and St. Matata . However, the Hellenistic , local pagan and Mithraic religious beliefs would be widespread until the 4th century .

By the 130 s, the kingdoms of Machelons , Heniochi , Lazica , Apsilia , Abasgia , and Sanigia had occupied the district form south to north. Goths , dwelling in the Crimea and looking for their new homes, raided Colchis in 253 , but they were repulsed with the help of the Roman garrison of Pityus . By the 3rd-4th centuries, most of the local kingdoms and principalities had been subjugated by the Lazic kings, and thereafter the country was generally referred to as Lazica (Egrisi).

Little is known of the rulers of Colchis
• Aeetes celebrated in Greek legends as a powerful king of Colchis is thought by some historians to be a historic person, though there is no evidence to support the idea.

• Kuji, a presiding prince (eristavi) of Egrisi under the authority of Pharnavaz I of Iberia (''ca'' 302 - 237 BC ) (according to the medieval Georgian annals).

• Akes (''Basileus Aku'') (end of the 4th century BC ), king of Colchis his name is found on a coin issued by him.

• Saulaces, "king" in the 2nd century BC (according to some ancient sources).

• Mithradates Chrestus (fl 83 BC ), under the authority of Pontus .

• Machares (fl 65 BC ), under the authority of Pontus .

''Note: During his reign, the local chiefs, sceptuchi, continued to exercise some power. One of them, Olthaces, is mentioned by the Roman sources as a captive of Pompey in 65 BC .''

• Aristarchus ( 65 - 47 BC ), a dynast under the authority of Pompey

Colchis in Greek mythology

According to the Greek mythology , Colchis was a fabulously wealthy land situated on the mysterious periphery of the heroic world. Here in the sacred grove of the war god Ares , King Aeetes hung the Golden Fleece until it was seized by Jason and the Argonauts . Colchis was also the land where the mythological Prometheus was punished by being chained to a mountain while an eagle ate at his liver for revealing to humanity the secret of fire. Amazons also were said to be of Scythia n origin from Colchis.

The main mythical characters from Colchis are Aeetes , Medea , Apsyrtus , Chalciope , Circe , Eidyia , Pasiphaë .

See also
• Lazica (as a successor state of Colchis )

External links
• Colchis (in German)

• History of Laz-Mingrelians

• LoveToKnow Article on Colchis

• Colchis in Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)

• Kingdom of Colchis (Egrisi) (in Georgian)

• Braund, David. 1994. ''Georgia in Antiquity: A History of Colchis and Transcaucasian Iberia 550 BC-AD 562.'' Clarendon Press, Oxford. ISBN 0198144733

• Gocha R. Tsetskhladze. ''Pichvnari and Its Environs, 6th c BC-4th c AD.'' ''Annales Littéraires de l'Université de Franche-Comté'', 659, Editeurs: M. Clavel-Lévêque, E. Geny, P. Lévêque. Paris: Presses Universitaires Franc-Comtoises, 1999. ISBN 2-913322-42-5

• Otar Lordkipanidze. ''Phasis: The River and City of Colchis.'' ''Geographica Historica 15'', Franz Steiner 2000. ISBN 3515072713

• Alexander Melamid. ''Colchis today. (northeastern Turkey)'': An article from: ''The Geographical Review.'' American Geographical Society, 1993. ISBN B000925IWE

• Akaki Urushadze. ''The Country of the Enchantress Media'', Tbilisi, 1984 (in Russian and English)


Contents

Classical antiquity in the Mediterranean region is commonly considered to have begun in the 8th century BC [5] (around the time of the earliest recorded poetry of Homer) and ended in the 6th century AD.

Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the Greek Dark Ages (c. 1200 – c. 800 BC), archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC, which saw early developments in Greek culture and society leading to the Classical Period [6] from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323. [7] The Classical Period is characterized by a "classical" style, i.e. one which was considered exemplary by later observers, most famously in the Parthenon of Athens. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, but displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and finally to the League of Corinth led by Macedon. This period was shaped by the Greco-Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, and the Rise of Macedon.

Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period (323–146 BC), during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East from the death of Alexander until the Roman conquest. Roman Greece is usually counted from the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC to the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330. Finally, Late Antiquity refers to the period of Christianization during the later 4th to early 6th centuries AD, consummated by the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I in 529. [8]

The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in comprehensive, narrative historiography, while earlier ancient history or protohistory is known from much more fragmentary documents such as annals, king lists, and pragmatic epigraphy.

Herodotus is widely known as the "father of history": his Histories are eponymous of the entire field. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III, and alluding to some 8th century persons such as Candaules. The accuracy of Herodotus' works is debated. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Xenophon, Demosthenes, Plato and Aristotle. Most were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, which is why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than of many other cities. Their scope is further limited by a focus on political, military and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. [14]

Archaic period

In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects inscribed with Phoenician writing may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. [15] Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern largely dictated by its geography: every island, valley and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges. [16]

The Lelantine War (c. 710 – c. 650 BC) is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis (city-states) of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as a result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.

A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. [17] This seems to have introduced tension to many city-states, as their aristocratic regimes were threatened by the new wealth of merchants ambitious for political power. From 650 BC onwards, the aristocracies had to fight to maintain themselves against populist tyrants. [a] A growing population and a shortage of land also seem to have created internal strife between rich and poor in many city-states.

In Sparta, the Messenian Wars resulted in the conquest of Messenia and enserfment of the Messenians, beginning in the latter half of the 8th century BC. This was an unprecedented act in ancient Greece, which led to a social revolution [20] in which the subjugated population of helots farmed and labored for Sparta, whilst every Spartan male citizen became a soldier of the Spartan army permanently in arms. Rich and poor citizens alike were obliged to live and train as soldiers, an equality that defused social conflict. These reforms, attributed to Lycurgus of Sparta, were probably complete by 650 BC.

Athens suffered a land and agrarian crisis in the late 7th century BC, again resulting in civil strife. The Archon (chief magistrate) Draco made severe reforms to the law code in 621 BC (hence "draconian"), but these failed to quell the conflict. Eventually, the moderate reforms of Solon (594 BC), improving the lot of the poor but firmly entrenching the aristocracy in power, gave Athens some stability.

By the 6th century BC, several cities had emerged as dominant in Greek affairs: Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes. Each of them had brought the surrounding rural areas and smaller towns under their control, and Athens and Corinth had become major maritime and mercantile powers as well.

Rapidly increasing population in the 8th and 7th centuries BC had resulted in emigration of many Greeks to form colonies in Magna Graecia (Southern Italy and Sicily), Asia Minor and further afield. The emigration effectively ceased in the 6th century BC by which time the Greek world had, culturally and linguistically, become much larger than the area of present-day Greece. Greek colonies were not politically controlled by their founding cities, although they often retained religious and commercial links with them.

The Greek colonies of Sicily, especially Syracuse, were soon drawn into prolonged conflicts with the Carthaginians. These conflicts lasted from 600 BC to 265 BC, when the Roman Republic allied with the Mamertines to fend off the new tyrant of Syracuse, Hiero II, and then the Carthaginians. As a result, Rome became the new dominant power against the fading strength of the Sicilian Greek cities and the fading Carthaginian hegemony. One year later the First Punic War erupted.

In this period, Greece and its overseas colonies enjoyed huge economic development in commerce and manufacturing, with rising general prosperity. Some studies estimate that the average Greek household grew fivefold between 800 and 300 BC, indicating [ citation needed ] a large increase in average income.

In the second half of the 6th century BC, Athens fell under the tyranny of Peisistratos followed by his sons Hippias and Hipparchos. However, in 510 BC, at the instigation of the Athenian aristocrat Cleisthenes, the Spartan king Cleomenes I helped the Athenians overthrow the tyranny. Sparta and Athens promptly turned on each other, at which point Cleomenes I installed Isagoras as a pro-Spartan archon. Eager to secure Athens' independence from Spartan control, Cleisthenes proposed a political revolution: that all citizens share power, regardless of status, making Athens a "democracy". The democratic enthusiasm of the Athenians swept out Isagoras and threw back the Spartan-led invasion to restore him. [21] The advent of democracy cured many of the social ills of Athens and ushered in the Golden Age.

Classical Greece

In 499 BC, the Ionian city states under Persian rule rebelled against their Persian-supported tyrant rulers. [22] Supported by troops sent from Athens and Eretria, they advanced as far as Sardis and burnt the city before being driven back by a Persian counterattack. [23] The revolt continued until 494, when the rebelling Ionians were defeated. [24] Darius did not forget that Athens had assisted the Ionian revolt, and in 490 he assembled an armada to retaliate. [25] Though heavily outnumbered, the Athenians—supported by their Plataean allies—defeated the Persian hordes at the Battle of Marathon, and the Persian fleet turned tail. [26]

Ten years later, a second invasion was launched by Darius' son Xerxes. [27] The city-states of northern and central Greece submitted to the Persian forces without resistance, but a coalition of 31 Greek city states, including Athens and Sparta, determined to resist the Persian invaders. [28] At the same time, Greek Sicily was invaded by a Carthaginian force. [29] In 480 BC, the first major battle of the invasion was fought at Thermopylae, where a small rearguard of Greeks, led by three hundred Spartans, held a crucial pass guarding the heart of Greece for several days at the same time Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Carthaginian invasion at the Battle of Himera. [30]

The Persians were decisively defeated at sea by a primarily Athenian naval force at the Battle of Salamis, and on land in 479 at the Battle of Plataea. [31] The alliance against Persia continued, initially led by the Spartan Pausanias but from 477 by Athens, [32] and by 460 Persia had been driven out of the Aegean. [33] During this long campaign, the Delian League gradually transformed from a defensive alliance of Greek states into an Athenian empire, as Athens' growing naval power intimidated the other league states. [34] Athens ended its campaigns against Persia in 450 BC, after a disastrous defeat in Egypt in 454 BC, and the death of Cimon in action against the Persians on Cyprus in 450. [35]

As the Athenian fight against the Persian empire waned, conflict grew between Athens and Sparta. Suspicious of the increasing Athenian power funded by the Delian League, Sparta offered aid to reluctant members of the League to rebel against Athenian domination. These tensions were exacerbated in 462 when Athens sent a force to aid Sparta in overcoming a helot revolt, but this aid was rejected by the Spartans. [36] In the 450s, Athens took control of Boeotia, and won victories over Aegina and Corinth. [37] However, Athens failed to win a decisive victory, and in 447 lost Boeotia again. [38] Athens and Sparta signed the Thirty Years' Peace in the winter of 446/5, ending the conflict. [39]

Despite the treaty, Athenian relations with Sparta declined again in the 430s, and in 431 the Peloponnesian War began. [40] The first phase of the war saw a series of fruitless annual invasions of Attica by Sparta, while Athens successfully fought the Corinthian empire in northwest Greece and defended its own empire, despite a plague which killed the leading Athenian statesman Pericles. [41] The war turned after Athenian victories led by Cleon at Pylos and Sphakteria, [42] and Sparta sued for peace, but the Athenians rejected the proposal. [43] The Athenian failure to regain control of Boeotia at Delium and Brasidas' successes in northern Greece in 424 improved Sparta's position after Sphakteria. [44] After the deaths of Cleon and Brasidas, the strongest proponents of war on each side, a peace treaty was negoitiated in 421 by the Athenian general Nicias. [45]

The peace did not last, however. In 418 allied forces of Athens and Argos were defeated by Sparta at Mantinea. [46] In 415 Athens launched an ambitious naval expedition to dominate Sicily [47] the expedition ended in disaster at the harbor of Syracuse, with almost the entire army killed and the ships destroyed. [48] Soon after the Athenian defeat in Syracuse, Athens' Ionian allies began to rebel against the Delian league, while Persia began to once again involve itself in Greek affairs on the Spartan side. [49] Initially the Athenian position continued relatively strong, with important victories at Cyzicus in 410 and Arginusae in 406. [50] However, in 405 the Spartan Lysander defeated Athens in the Battle of Aegospotami, and began to blockade Athens' harbour [51] driven by hunger, Athens sued for peace, agreeing to surrender their fleet and join the Spartan-led Peloponnesian League. [52]

Greece thus entered the 4th century BC under a Spartan hegemony, but it was clear from the start that this was weak. A drastically dwindling population meant Sparta was overstretched, and by 395 BC Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Corinth felt able to challenge Spartan dominance, resulting in the Corinthian War (395–387 BC). Another war of stalemates, it ended with the status quo restored, after the threat of Persian intervention on behalf of the Spartans.

The Spartan hegemony lasted another 16 years, until, when attempting to impose their will on the Thebans, the Spartans were defeated at Leuctra in 371 BC. The Theban general Epaminondas then led Theban troops into the Peloponnese, whereupon other city-states defected from the Spartan cause. The Thebans were thus able to march into Messenia and free the helot population.

Deprived of land and its serfs, Sparta declined to a second-rank power. The Theban hegemony thus established was short-lived at the Battle of Mantinea in 362 BC, Thebes lost its key leader, Epaminondas, and much of its manpower, even though they were victorious in battle. In fact, such were the losses to all the great city-states at Mantinea that none could dominate the aftermath.

The exhaustion of the Greek heartland coincided with the rise of Macedon, led by Philip II. In twenty years, Philip had unified his kingdom, expanded it north and west at the expense of Illyrian tribes, and then conquered Thessaly and Thrace. His success stemmed from his innovative reforms to the Macedonian army. Phillip intervened repeatedly in the affairs of the southern city-states, culminating in his invasion of 338 BC.

Decisively defeating an allied army of Thebes and Athens at the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), he became de facto hegemon of all of Greece, except Sparta. He compelled the majority of the city-states to join the Hellenic League, allying them to him and imposing peace among them. Philip then entered into war against the Achaemenid Empire but was assassinated by Pausanias of Orestis early in the conflict.

Alexander, son and successor of Philip, continued the war. In an unequalled series of campaigns, Alexander defeated Darius III of Persia and completely destroyed the Achaemenid Empire, annexing it to Macedon and earning himself the epithet 'the Great'. When Alexander died in 323 BC, Greek power and influence were at their zenith. However, there had been a fundamental shift away from the fierce independence and classical culture of the poleis—and instead towards the developing Hellenistic culture.

Hellenistic Greece

The Hellenistic period lasted from 323 BC, the end of the wars of Alexander the Great, to the annexation of Greece by the Roman Republic in 146 BC. Although the establishment of Roman rule did not break the continuity of Hellenistic society and culture, which remained essentially unchanged until the advent of Christianity, it did mark the end of Greek political independence.

After the death of Alexander, his empire was, after quite some conflict, divided among his generals, resulting in the Ptolemaic Kingdom (Egypt and adjoining North Africa), the Seleucid Empire (the Levant, Mesopotamia and Persia) and the Antigonid dynasty (Macedonia). In the intervening period, the poleis of Greece were able to wrest back some of their freedom, although still nominally subject to Macedon.

During the Hellenistic period, the importance of "Greece proper" (the territory of modern Greece) within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great capitals of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria in the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Antioch in the Seleucid Empire.

The conquests of Alexander had numerous consequences for the Greek city-states. It greatly widened the horizons of the Greeks and led to a steady emigration of the young and ambitious to the new Greek empires in the east. [53] Many Greeks migrated to Alexandria, Antioch and the many other new Hellenistic cities founded in Alexander's wake, as far away as present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and the Indo-Greek Kingdom survived until the end of the first century BC.

The city-states within Greece formed themselves into two leagues the Achaean League (including Thebes, Corinth and Argos) and the Aetolian League (including Sparta and Athens). For much of the period until the Roman conquest, these leagues were at war, often participating in the conflicts between the Diadochi (the successor states to Alexander's empire).

The Antigonid Kingdom became involved in a war with the Roman Republic in the late 3rd century. Although the First Macedonian War was inconclusive, the Romans, in typical fashion, continued to fight Macedon until it was completely absorbed into the Roman Republic (by 149 BC). In the east, the unwieldy Seleucid Empire gradually disintegrated, although a rump survived until 64 BC, whilst the Ptolemaic Kingdom continued in Egypt until 30 BC when it too was conquered by the Romans. The Aetolian league grew wary of Roman involvement in Greece, and sided with the Seleucids in the Roman–Seleucid War when the Romans were victorious, the league was effectively absorbed into the Republic. Although the Achaean league outlasted both the Aetolian league and Macedon, it was also soon defeated and absorbed by the Romans in 146 BC, bringing Greek independence to an end.

Roman Greece

The Greek peninsula came under Roman rule during the 146 BC conquest of Greece after the Battle of Corinth. Macedonia became a Roman province while southern Greece came under the surveillance of Macedonia's prefect however, some Greek poleis managed to maintain a partial independence and avoid taxation. The Aegean islands were added to this territory in 133 BC. Athens and other Greek cities revolted in 88 BC, and the peninsula was crushed by the Roman general Sulla. The Roman civil wars devastated the land even further, until Augustus organized the peninsula as the province of Achaea in 27 BC.

Greece was a key eastern province of the Roman Empire, as the Roman culture had long been in fact Greco-Roman. The Greek language served as a lingua franca in the East and in Italy, and many Greek intellectuals such as Galen would perform most of their work in Rome.

Regions

The territory of Greece is mountainous, and as a result, ancient Greece consisted of many smaller regions each with its own dialect, cultural peculiarities, and identity. Regionalism and regional conflicts were prominent features of ancient Greece. Cities tended to be located in valleys between mountains, or on coastal plains and dominated a certain area around them.

In the south lay the Peloponnese, itself consisting of the regions of Laconia (southeast), Messenia (southwest), Elis (west), Achaia (north), Korinthia (northeast), Argolis (east), and Arcadia (center). These names survive to the present day as regional units of modern Greece, though with somewhat different boundaries. Mainland Greece to the north, nowadays known as Central Greece, consisted of Aetolia and Acarnania in the west, Locris, Doris, and Phocis in the center, while in the east lay Boeotia, Attica, and Megaris. Northeast lay Thessaly, while Epirus lay to the northwest. Epirus stretched from the Ambracian Gulf in the south to the Ceraunian mountains and the Aoos river in the north, and consisted of Chaonia (north), Molossia (center), and Thesprotia (south). In the northeast corner was Macedonia, [54] originally consisting Lower Macedonia and its regions, such as Elimeia, Pieria, and Orestis. Around the time of Alexander I of Macedon, the Argead kings of Macedon started to expand into Upper Macedonia, lands inhabited by independent Macedonian tribes like the Lyncestae, Orestae and the Elimiotae and to the West, beyond the Axius river, into Eordaia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia, and Almopia, regions settled by Thracian tribes. [55] To the north of Macedonia lay various non-Greek peoples such as the Paeonians due north, the Thracians to the northeast, and the Illyrians, with whom the Macedonians were frequently in conflict, to the northwest. Chalcidice was settled early on by southern Greek colonists and was considered part of the Greek world, while from the late 2nd millennium BC substantial Greek settlement also occurred on the eastern shores of the Aegean, in Anatolia.

Colonies

During the Archaic period, the Greek population grew beyond the capacity of the limited arable land of Greece proper, resulting in the large-scale establishment of colonies elsewhere: according to one estimate, the population of the widening area of Greek settlement increased roughly tenfold from 800 BC to 400 BC, from 800,000 to as many as 7½-10 million. [56]

From about 750 BC the Greeks began 250 years of expansion, settling colonies in all directions. To the east, the Aegean coast of Asia Minor was colonized first, followed by Cyprus and the coasts of Thrace, the Sea of Marmara and south coast of the Black Sea.

Eventually, Greek colonization reached as far northeast as present-day Ukraine and Russia (Taganrog). To the west the coasts of Illyria, Sicily and Southern Italy were settled, followed by Southern France, Corsica, and even eastern Spain. Greek colonies were also founded in Egypt and Libya.

Modern Syracuse, Naples, Marseille and Istanbul had their beginnings as the Greek colonies Syracusae (Συράκουσαι), Neapolis (Νεάπολις), Massalia (Μασσαλία) and Byzantion (Βυζάντιον). These colonies played an important role in the spread of Greek influence throughout Europe and also aided in the establishment of long-distance trading networks between the Greek city-states, boosting the economy of ancient Greece.

Political structure

Ancient Greece consisted of several hundred relatively independent city-states (poleis). This was a situation unlike that in most other contemporary societies, which were either tribal or kingdoms ruling over relatively large territories. Undoubtedly the geography of Greece—divided and sub-divided by hills, mountains, and rivers—contributed to the fragmentary nature of ancient Greece. On the one hand, the ancient Greeks had no doubt that they were "one people" they had the same religion, same basic culture, and same language. Furthermore, the Greeks were very aware of their tribal origins Herodotus was able to extensively categorise the city-states by tribe. Yet, although these higher-level relationships existed, they seem to have rarely had a major role in Greek politics. The independence of the poleis was fiercely defended unification was something rarely contemplated by the ancient Greeks. Even when, during the second Persian invasion of Greece, a group of city-states allied themselves to defend Greece, the vast majority of poleis remained neutral, and after the Persian defeat, the allies quickly returned to infighting. [58]

Thus, the major peculiarities of the ancient Greek political system were its fragmentary nature (and that this does not particularly seem to have tribal origin), and the particular focus on urban centers within otherwise tiny states. The peculiarities of the Greek system are further evidenced by the colonies that they set up throughout the Mediterranean Sea, which, though they might count a certain Greek polis as their 'mother' (and remain sympathetic to her), were completely independent of the founding city.

Inevitably smaller poleis might be dominated by larger neighbors, but conquest or direct rule by another city-state appears to have been quite rare. Instead the poleis grouped themselves into leagues, membership of which was in a constant state of flux. Later in the Classical period, the leagues would become fewer and larger, be dominated by one city (particularly Athens, Sparta and Thebes) and often poleis would be compelled to join under threat of war (or as part of a peace treaty). Even after Philip II of Macedon "conquered" the heartlands of ancient Greece, he did not attempt to annex the territory, or unify it into a new province, but simply compelled most of the poleis to join his own Corinthian League.

Government and law

Initially many Greek city-states seem to have been petty kingdoms there was often a city official carrying some residual, ceremonial functions of the king (basileus), e.g., the archon basileus in Athens. [59] However, by the Archaic period and the first historical consciousness, most had already become aristocratic oligarchies. It is unclear exactly how this change occurred. For instance, in Athens, the kingship had been reduced to a hereditary, lifelong chief magistracy (archon) by c. 1050 BC by 753 BC this had become a decennial, elected archonship and finally by 683 BC an annually elected archonship. Through each stage more power would have been transferred to the aristocracy as a whole, and away from a single individual.

Inevitably, the domination of politics and concomitant aggregation of wealth by small groups of families was apt to cause social unrest in many poleis. In many cities a tyrant (not in the modern sense of repressive autocracies), would at some point seize control and govern according to their own will often a populist agenda would help sustain them in power. In a system wracked with class conflict, government by a 'strongman' was often the best solution.

Athens fell under a tyranny in the second half of the 6th century. When this tyranny was ended, the Athenians founded the world's first democracy as a radical solution to prevent the aristocracy regaining power. A citizens' assembly (the Ecclesia), for the discussion of city policy, had existed since the reforms of Draco in 621 BC all citizens were permitted to attend after the reforms of Solon (early 6th century), but the poorest citizens could not address the assembly or run for office. With the establishment of the democracy, the assembly became the de jure mechanism of government all citizens had equal privileges in the assembly. However, non-citizens, such as metics (foreigners living in Athens) or slaves, had no political rights at all.

After the rise of democracy in Athens, other city-states founded democracies. However, many retained more traditional forms of government. As so often in other matters, Sparta was a notable exception to the rest of Greece, ruled through the whole period by not one, but two hereditary monarchs. This was a form of diarchy. The Kings of Sparta belonged to the Agiads and the Eurypontids, descendants respectively of Eurysthenes and Procles. Both dynasties' founders were believed to be twin sons of Aristodemus, a Heraclid ruler. However, the powers of these kings were held in check by both a council of elders (the Gerousia) and magistrates specifically appointed to watch over the kings (the Ephors).

Social structure

Only free, land-owning, native-born men could be citizens entitled to the full protection of the law in a city-state. In most city-states, unlike the situation in Rome, social prominence did not allow special rights. Sometimes families controlled public religious functions, but this ordinarily did not give any extra power in the government. In Athens, the population was divided into four social classes based on wealth. People could change classes if they made more money. In Sparta, all male citizens were called homoioi, meaning "peers". However, Spartan kings, who served as the city-state's dual military and religious leaders, came from two families. [ citation needed ]

Slavery

Slaves had no power or status. They had the right to have a family and own property, subject to their master's goodwill and permission, but they had no political rights. By 600 BC chattel slavery had spread in Greece. By the 5th century BC, slaves made up one-third of the total population in some city-states. Between forty and eighty per cent of the population of Classical Athens were slaves. [60] Slaves outside of Sparta almost never revolted because they were made up of too many nationalities and were too scattered to organize. However, unlike later Western culture, the Ancient Greeks did not think in terms of race. [61]

Most families owned slaves as household servants and laborers, and even poor families might have owned a few slaves. Owners were not allowed to beat or kill their slaves. Owners often promised to free slaves in the future to encourage slaves to work hard. Unlike in Rome, freedmen did not become citizens. Instead, they were mixed into the population of metics, which included people from foreign countries or other city-states who were officially allowed to live in the state.

City-states legally owned slaves. These public slaves had a larger measure of independence than slaves owned by families, living on their own and performing specialized tasks. In Athens, public slaves were trained to look out for counterfeit coinage, while temple slaves acted as servants of the temple's deity and Scythian slaves were employed in Athens as a police force corralling citizens to political functions.

Sparta had a special type of slaves called helots. Helots were Messenians enslaved during the Messenian Wars by the state and assigned to families where they were forced to stay. Helots raised food and did household chores so that women could concentrate on raising strong children while men could devote their time to training as hoplites. Their masters treated them harshly, and helots revolted against their masters several times before in 370/69 they won their freedom. [62]

Education

For most of Greek history, education was private, except in Sparta. During the Hellenistic period, some city-states established public schools. Only wealthy families could afford a teacher. Boys learned how to read, write and quote literature. They also learned to sing and play one musical instrument and were trained as athletes for military service. They studied not for a job but to become an effective citizen. Girls also learned to read, write and do simple arithmetic so they could manage the household. They almost never received education after childhood. [ citation needed ]

Boys went to school at the age of seven, or went to the barracks, if they lived in Sparta. The three types of teachings were: grammatistes for arithmetic, kitharistes for music and dancing, and Paedotribae for sports.

Boys from wealthy families attending the private school lessons were taken care of by a paidagogos, a household slave selected for this task who accompanied the boy during the day. Classes were held in teachers' private houses and included reading, writing, mathematics, singing, and playing the lyre and flute. When the boy became 12 years old the schooling started to include sports such as wrestling, running, and throwing discus and javelin. In Athens, some older youths attended academy for the finer disciplines such as culture, sciences, music, and the arts. The schooling ended at age 18, followed by military training in the army usually for one or two years. [63]

Only a small number of boys continued their education after childhood, as in the Spartan agoge. A crucial part of a wealthy teenager's education was a mentorship with an elder, which in a few places and times may have included pederasty. [ citation needed ] The teenager learned by watching his mentor talking about politics in the agora, helping him perform his public duties, exercising with him in the gymnasium and attending symposia with him. The richest students continued their education by studying with famous teachers. Some of Athens' greatest such schools included the Lyceum (the so-called Peripatetic school founded by Aristotle of Stageira) and the Platonic Academy (founded by Plato of Athens). The education system of the wealthy ancient Greeks is also called Paideia. [ citation needed ]

Economy

At its economic height in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, the free citizenry of Classical Greece represented perhaps the most prosperous society in the ancient world, some economic historians considering Greece one of the most advanced pre-industrial economies. In terms of wheat, wages reached an estimated 7-12 kg daily for an unskilled worker in urban Athens, 2-3 times the 3.75 kg of an unskilled rural labourer in Roman Egypt, though Greek farm incomes too were on average lower than those available to urban workers. [64]

While slave conditions varied widely, the institution served to sustain the incomes of the free citizenry: an estimate of economic development drawn from the latter (or derived from urban incomes alone) is therefore likely to overstate the true overall level despite widespread evidence for high living standards.

Warfare

At least in the Archaic Period, the fragmentary nature of ancient Greece, with many competing city-states, increased the frequency of conflict but conversely limited the scale of warfare. Unable to maintain professional armies, the city-states relied on their own citizens to fight. This inevitably reduced the potential duration of campaigns, as citizens would need to return to their own professions (especially in the case of, for example, farmers). Campaigns would therefore often be restricted to summer. When battles occurred, they were usually set piece and intended to be decisive. Casualties were slight compared to later battles, rarely amounting to more than 5% of the losing side, but the slain often included the most prominent citizens and generals who led from the front.

The scale and scope of warfare in ancient Greece changed dramatically as a result of the Greco-Persian Wars. To fight the enormous armies of the Achaemenid Empire was effectively beyond the capabilities of a single city-state. The eventual triumph of the Greeks was achieved by alliances of city-states (the exact composition changing over time), allowing the pooling of resources and division of labor. Although alliances between city-states occurred before this time, nothing on this scale had been seen before. The rise of Athens and Sparta as pre-eminent powers during this conflict led directly to the Peloponnesian War, which saw further development of the nature of warfare, strategy and tactics. Fought between leagues of cities dominated by Athens and Sparta, the increased manpower and financial resources increased the scale and allowed the diversification of warfare. Set-piece battles during the Peloponnesian war proved indecisive and instead there was increased reliance on attritionary strategies, naval battles and blockades and sieges. These changes greatly increased the number of casualties and the disruption of Greek society. Athens owned one of the largest war fleets in ancient Greece. It had over 200 triremes each powered by 170 oarsmen who were seated in 3 rows on each side of the ship. The city could afford such a large fleet—it had over 34,000 oarsmen—because it owned a lot of silver mines that were worked by slaves.

According to Josiah Ober, Greek city-states faced approximately a one-in-three chance of destruction during the archaic and classical period. [65]


Rare Coins of Georgian

The oldest surviving Georgian coins dates back to the 6th century. Known as Kolkhuri tetra or Colchian silver, these coins were minted in several denominations including triobol, tetradrachm, didrachm and drachm. After the Arab conquest in the seventh century, dirhams were introduced to Georgian currency coins, and a special mint was established in Tbilisi that produced coins with Arabic and Georgian inscriptions.

During the Georgian ascendancy in the 12-13th centuries, Bagrationi kings minted new Georgian coins, including Georgian gold coins and copper that reflected the changing political scenario and carried inscriptions with royal title and epithets like ‘King of Kings’ or ‘Sword of Messiah’. As Georgia came under Mongol influence, Georgian coins bore foreign evidence of combined Georgian, Arabic and Persian inscriptions.

In the later centuries Persian and Ottoman Georgian coins were widely circulated. In the 17th-18th centuries Bagration kings issued abbasi coins of fine silver that remained in circulation until the Russian conquest in the early 19th century. Georgian silver coins were of three face values – two abbasi, abbasi and half abbasi, and were minted according to the sirma abbasi system adopted by King Erekle II.

Following Georgia independence from Russia in 1990, it continued to circulate Soviet rubles but gradually phased them out. On 5th April, 1993 an interim currency called Georgian kuponi or coupon was introduced but suffered inflation. It was replaced with Georgian lari. The Central Bank of Georgia issued Georgian lari coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 tetri. Georgia commemorative coins are issued periodically as well.


Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.

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COLCHIS

The Colchi were subdivided into numerous tribes, chiefly settled, as we have stated, along the coast of the Euxine: as the Machelones, Heniochi, Zydretae, Lazi, to the S. of the river Phasis: the Apsidae, Abasci, Samigae, Coraxi, to the N. of it the Coli, Melanchlaeni, Geloni, and Suani, along the mountain range of the Caucasus to the N.and W.,and the Moschi to the SE., among the Moschici Montes, an outlying spur of the same great chain. (See under these names.) It may be remarked here, that of these tribes, the Lazi gave their name to the Regio Lazica, a title whereby the whole country was known at a late period of history (Procop. B. P. 2.15, Goth. 4.1 Ptol. 5.10.5 , as compared with Arrian, Periplus, p. 11), and that the Abasci have no doubt perpetuated their name in the modern Abbasia (Rennell's Map) or Abkhasia (Ritter). It may also be noticed that the names Coli, and Colias, are found in connection with the Indian Colchis not impossibly through the carelessness of transcribers or editors. [COLCHI INDIAE] The only river of any importance was the Phasis (now Fáz or Rioni), which was according to some writers the S. boundary of Colchis, but more probably flowed through the middle of that country from the Caucasus W. by S. to the Euxine, and the Anticites or Atticitus (now Kuban). Arrian ( Periplus, p. 10) mentions many others by name, but they would seem to have been little more than mountain torrents: the most important of them were Charieis, Chobus or Cobus, Singames, Tarsuras, Hippus, Astelephus, Chrysorrhoas, several of which are also noticed by Ptolemy and Pliny. The chief towns were Dioscurias or Dioscuris (under the Romans called Sebastopolis) on the sea-board of the Euxine, Sarapana (now Scharapani), Surium, Archaeopolis, Macheiresis, and Cyta or Cutatisium (now Kchitais), the traditional birth-place of Medea.

The country itself was celebrated, as we have seen, from the earliest times for its cultivation of the trade in linen (Her. 2.105 Strab. xi. p.498 ). During the time of the Romans, and still later under Constantine, many castles and factories occupied its coasts, so as to maintain the general trade of the district (Procop. B. G. 4.2, B. P. 2.28 Zosim. 2.33) which produced, besides linen, timber for ship-building, hemp, flax, wax, pitch, and gold dust. ( Strab. xi. p.498 Appian. Mithr. 100.103.) Among many of the poets of antiquity, and especially among those of the later and Roman times, Colchis, as the scene of the parentage of Medea, and of the subsequent voyage of the Argonauts and the capture of the Golden Fleece, was the an native seat of all sorceries and witchcrafts. ( Hor. Carm. 2.13 . 8, Epod. 5.21, 16.57 Juv. 6.643 Propert. 2.50.53 Martial. 10.4. 35.) The existence and growth in the country of the Iris plant (Dioscor. in Proem. lib. vi. Plin. Nat. 28.9 ), from the bulbous root of which the medicine we call Colchicum is extracted, may have led to some of the tales of sorcery attributed to Medea. (Ovid. A. Am. 2.89 Lucan 6.441 .)

We have occasional notices of the history of Colchis incidentally recorded in various passages of the classical writers, from which we may gather:--


Drachm of Aristarchus the Colchian - History


The Money Museum of the National Bank of Georgia is the only one in this country that is fully dedicated to money. The exhibits lead the onlookers through the centuries&ndashold history of money circulation in Georgia during twenty-six centuries: Colchian tetri, Alexander the Great stater, coins of the Roman Republic and Empire, Parthian Coins, Sassanian Drachm, Georgian-Sassanian Drachms, Arab and Arab-Georgian Dirhems, Byzantine Nomismas, Coins minted by the Kings of the united Georgian Kingdom. (Bagrat III, Bagrat IV, King David the Builder, Demetre I, Giorgi III, Tamar, Lasha-Giorgi IV, Rusudan, David VI Narin and David VII Ulu, Demetre II the &ldquoDevoted&rdquo, David VIII, Vakhtang III and George V the &ldquoBrilliant&rdquo). The exhibition also shows the Dirhams from the period of Mongolian dominance, Trabzonian Aspers, XIV-XV century Georgian coins, coins minted in XVI-XVIII by the Georgian Kings as well as civic coppers minted in Tbilisi in XVII-XVIII century, different types of coins of Kings Teimuraz II and Erekle II, Iranian coins of the Safavid and the Efsarid, Ottoman money, European gold Ducats and silver Talers, Georgian-Russian money minted in Tbilisi in 1804-1834, also old banknotes and coins of Russian Empire, paper money issued in Georgia after the revolution of 1917, namely the Banknotes issued by the Transcaucasia commissariat in 1918, Notes issued in 1918-1921 by the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia. Paper money issued by Transcaucasian Soviet Federation Socialist Republic in 1921-1924 after the occupation and annexation of Georgia by soviet Russia, Soviet union Roubles.


The &ldquoBurial&rdquo is located in the central part of the museum hall. The exhibition displays the protection scene of money and general treasures for centuries.

In the exhibition provides a comprehensive picture of National Currency - Lari. One can see Lari Banknotes printed in different years and the Georgian circulating Tetri coins, original materials used for the production of money, as well as a special literature dedicated to the Georgian Currency at the exhibition.

Museum visitors have opportunity to get acquainted with the modern world money as well, which is widely represented in the museum. This part of the exhibition provides a good service to the public interested in the modern world currencies.


There is also another showcase especially dedicated to the National Bank of Georgia, where visitor can familiarize with the Central Bank&rsquos History, mission, function and duties.



The national Bank&rsquos Money Museum aims not only at enhancing the public&rsquos knowledge and understanding of the Georgian national monetary heritage, but also at providing full, unlimited information about the latest achievements of numismatics and bonistics both in this country and abroad. It contributes to popularization of money as a piece of art and a symbol of statehood, reveals the level of its development in the history of Georgia and the contemporary world. Educational trainings and guided excursions are regularly held for students and pupils.

One can also purchase the collector&rsquos items issued by the National Bank of Georgia at the Money Museum cash desk. Georgian Collector and Investment coins, Georgian Lari Banknotes and coins, Gold Bars, books, souvenirs and replicas of old coins. Payment can be made in cash or via bank transfer.


Watch the video: Ptolemaic Silver (May 2022).