T. Shamba, A. Neproshin
Е, Ё: ...
Legal basis of statehood and sovereignty
Chapter I. Abkhazians - ancient ethnos with original culture
1.3. Transcaucasia and Georgia
From the moment of creation of the state of Georgia in the 1920s, its political leaders have undertaken a vigorous campaign by means of the press, with the use of historiography to introduce in the consciousness of the people of the country, and also people of the states of the world, the idea that Georgians are a special nation allocated an elite status. An information war has begun, as a matter of fact. All activities of Georgian scientists have been aimed at proving the following:
1) Georgians are the most ancient people in the world;
2) in the territory of Georgia (including Abkhazia) there have always lived only Georgians;
3) the territory of Georgia stretches in the south from Armenia to Trebizond, then along the Black Sea coast to the termination of the Caucasian ridge, and further on its axial line in the south and the east to Derbent, and in the north to Tuapse, even to the river Kuban;
4) Abkhazians are an alien people who appeared in the territory of Georgia two centuries ago.
Some statements from publications of the Georgian press and quotations from works of Georgian historians are given below. We will consider which arguments and tactics of ideological war were used for a substantiation of the first of the listed postulates.
Historiography as a science is based on several foundations: the studying of actual historical documents, archaeological research, and data from both anthropology and linguistics. However, materials such as legends, myths and so forth, it approaches cautiously, trying to separate wheat from chaff, and truth from fairy tales, by relying on a realistic approach.
But, unfortunately, along with works created on a scientifically historical basis, there is a set of products in which the basis lies in a retelling of ancient myths and fairy tales, with these fictions used for a substantiation of facts which those or other theses contain. The Georgian church, which has used its own interpretation of bible texts to give the reason for the Georgian nation being chosen by God, has especially succeeded in using this basis as the description of history, and the fact sheet confirming the real history of mankind is ignored. Unlike original scientific historiography, where real confirmation of declared theses is required, the church demands only blind belief. The two-thousand-year existence of the church gives the justification to say that the aim of finding flock led the people up a blind alley, generated both chauvinistic aspirations and conflicts on religious grounds, and at times directly led to national tragedy. Being guided by the principle “there are no authorities, except for God”, leaders of local (national) churches quite often supported and even ideologically proved the imperial policy of their states, adding their weight to ethnic and interstate conflicts. The first aim in this plan was to confirm the status of a particular nationality as God’s chosen, and its primary position among other peoples, having defined other peoples or ethnoses as being in a minor position if they are not attached to the given religion or do not concern the given church. In this situation, ordinary chauvinism occurs, which contradicts Christian doctrines that religion is above nationality.
The fundamental idea, which is actively exaggerated in the course of the information war, is the statement that Georgians are the most ancient people of Transcaucasia. Georgians consider Kartlis Tskhovreba to be the main source confirming their chosen status. At the beginning of XVIII century, on the command of tsar Vakhtang VI it underwent amendment, or as his son Vakhushta assured, had been corrected by the scientific commission. But, as S.Baratov noted, to tell whether the actions of this commission led to correction of the annals, or still included major distortions, would only be possible by having the first (original) version. But, it is not present and it is not known whether this first version ever existed.
It is thought that it makes sense to dot every i in a question of the name and the maintenance of this work. From a legal position, the use of the term Kartlis Tskhovreba as “History of Georgia” is wrongful by definition. Firstly, a literal translation of the name of this work is “Hagiography of Kartli”; secondly, this historical work (without dependence upon its content) was written when the term "Georgia" did not yet exist; thirdly, everything contained in this work directly concerns only Kartli, as all other kingdoms and princedoms of Transcaucasia (Mingrelia, Guria, Imeretia, Abkhazia etc.) were independent states and had no relation to Kartli (unless they were at war with it or were destroying it); fourthly, with regard to Abkhazia in Kartlis Tskhovreba, it is only referred to as the Abkhazian kingdom, or simply as Abkhazia, a separate country independent of Kartli.
At present, these annals consist partly of Bible stories freely interpreted, and partly of Armenian history or Persian myths. Legends of "Georgia" go from the fourth generation after Noah, i.e. from Armenian descendants of Torgoma, or Togorma3, grandson of Iafet. It is necessary to consider that these myths were made on the basis of the Bible, which had got to Transcaucasia only after 324 AD when the people of that region began to accept Christian beliefs, onto which all this information about Kartvelian history was added after that date. Attempts to include within "Georgia" data on the invasion by Egyptians and a gain of the east Black Sea coast (Colchis) in 1565 - 1499 BC by Sezostris (Rameses) is also wrongful, as Colchis (where the tribe Colchians lived) was defeated at a time when the state and the people (not only "Georgians", but also Kartls) were not yet mentioned. Also, Rameses I ruled two centuries after the date named by these historians.
Constant declaration by Georgians that theirs is the nation chosen by God, from the point of view of Christianity, is the greatest sin which has a name - pride. In pure science this phenomenon is called xenophobia and chauvinism. As for the people being chosen by God, this is defined not by the presence of any relationship with forefathers or their descendants, but by their actions bringing light and truth to the world. After all, every person on the Earth, both under the Bible and under the Koran, is a lineal descendant of Adam, and of one of Noah’s sons. But in this particular case, the Georgian governors, and also the country controlled by them, have brought nothing but grief to their neighbours throughout the last century (and before).
Senkovsky (1838) wrote: “Georgians describe themselves as ancient people, presenting a list of Georgian sovereigns from Farnabaz (Farnaoz) to George XIII, i.e. from 268 BC to 1800 AD, during which 98 consecutive reigns took place. In this case Georgian literature should possess a number of annals containing the names of these tsars. But they do not exist! From Alexander the Great till Peter I, Georgians lived without annals, and only Vakhtang VI compiled something like a chronicle which covers the period from Noah until the beginning of XIV century, and his son Vakhushta abridged this and added the subsequent reigns. The father did not specify sources or give years of reign, and the son, referring to “chronicles and documents” which disappeared together with him, gave concrete dates everywhere.
These facts alone would be enough to reject both these annals as not deserving the slightest trust, as they abound with strange fables which would credit the ingenuities of any mythologist. Meanwhile these legends are accepted by many as history”.
3 In the Bible, Noah’s grandsons Fuval and Meshekh and great-grandson Fogarma, the son of Homer, are named, and “from them the islands of the people in their lands were inhabited, everyone according to their languages, their tribes, their peoples” (Genesis 10, 2-5)
N.Dubrovin (1871), referring to “Annals about Georgia”, written by Catholicos Antony, states that it admits that the history of the first tsars of Georgia “is dressed in the mysterious form of mythology”. But in a science it is necessary to present as arguments not fables and legends, but the opinions of scientists based on fundamental research. The ancient existence of Kartvels (which as an ethnos are closely examined in publications using sources from VIII century AD), does not prove the antiquity of Georgia, as Kartvels then occupied the territory belonged to Armenia. In VII century Arabians took the capital of Armenia, and Tiflis, being an Armenian province, immediately surrendered. If other people with their tsar had lived there, they would have protected their country, but it did not happen. Armenians were the main population of Transcaucasia at that time, and Abkhazians who later came from Abkhazia, but not Kartvels (or Georgians). Abkhazians came in 780 AD when Abkhazian Tsar Leon II began his reign. Leon II, the nephew of Leon I, founded Kutais and moved the capital of Abkhazia there from Anakopia. A.Golovin states that “ Abkhazian tsars, because of increasing power and family connections with strong Bagratids of Meskhia, obtained a power advantage in comparison with tsars of Kartalinia in Kartalinia itself, appointing their own sons as tsars”.
Thus, before the Bagratids dynasty, with which the Abkhazian tsars subsequently became related, the territory of Transcaucasia (excluding Abkhazia) was owned and ruled by Persian and Armenian sovereigns, not including times of invasion by Khazars, Romans, etc.
Shamba T., Neproshin А. Abkhazia: Legal basis of statehood and sovereignty. М: Open Company "In-Oktavo", 2005, 240 pages.
Абхазы - (самоназвание апсуа) автохтонное население Кавказа.
Абхазия (краткая историческая справка).
Исторические лица Абхазии (биографический справочник).
Редактор Вячеслав Румянцев
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