IMERETIA, or IMERITIA a district in Russian Transcaucasia, extends from the left bank of the river Tskheniz-Tskhali to the Suram range, which separates it from Georgia on the east, and is bounded on the south by Akhaltsikh, and thus corresponds roughly to the eastern part of the modern government of Kutais. Anciently a part of Colchis, and included in Lazia during the Roman empire, Imeretia was nominally under the dominion of the Greek emperors. In the early part of the 6th century it became the theatre of wars between the Byzantine emperor Justinian and Chosroes, or Khosrau, king of Persia. Between 750 and 985 it was ruled by a dynasty (Apkhaz) of native princes, but was devastated by hostile incursions, reviving only after it became united to Georgia. It flourished until the reign of Queen Thamar, but after her death (1212) the country became impoverished through strife and internal dissensions. It was reunited with Georgia from 1318 to 1346, and again in 1424. But the union only lasted forty-five years; from 1469 until 1810 it was governed by a Bagratid dynasty, closely akin to that which ruled over Georgia. In 1621 it made the earliest appeal to Russia for aid; in 1650 it acknowledged Russian suzerainty and in 1769 a Russian force expelled the Turks. In 1803 the monarch declared himself a vassal of Russia, and in 1810 the little kingdom was definitively annexed to that empire. (See GEORGIA.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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