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The Kingdom of Lazica (Georgian: ლაზიკის სამეფო) (Greek: Λαζική, Lazikē, Laz: Laziǩa / ლაზიკა, Persian: لازستان Lazistan, Armenian: Եգեր Yeger) or Kingdom of Egrisi (Georgian: ეგრისის სამეფო) was an ancient Laz monarchy in western Georgia. The kingdom flourished between the 1st century BC and the 7th century AD.
It covered part of the territory of the former kingdom Colchis and subjugated the territory of modern day Abkhazia. Throughout much of its existence, it was mainly a Byzantine strategic vassal kingdom occasionally coming under Sassanid Persian rule.
In the early 4th century, the Christian Eparchy or bishopric of Pitiunt (ბიჭვინთა Bichvinta in Georgian) was established in this kingdom, as in another eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia Christianity was declared as an official religion of the kingdom in 319 AD. In 325 among the participants of the First Council of Nicaea was the Bishop of Pitiunt, Stratophilus. The first Christian king of Lazica was Gubazes I; in the 5th century, Christianity was made the official religion of Lazica. Later, the nobility and clergy of Lazica switched from the Hellenic ecclesiastic tradition to the Georgian; and Georgian became the language of culture and education. The Bichvinta Cathedral is one of oldest monuments of the Georgian Christian architecture constructed by the Georgian King Bagrat III of the Bagrationi Royal House in the late 10th century. It was under Bagrat III, that Lazica unified with the eastern Georgian lands of Iberia-Kartli to form a united Kingdom of Georgia.
The known rulers of Lazica were:
- Agros fl. c. 2nd century
- Malaz fl. 130
- Mirdat c. 360 - c. 380
- Baraz-Bakur c. 380 - c. 395
- To Iberia (Eastern Georgia) c. 395 - c. 450
- Gubazes I, attested c. 456 – 466
- Damnazes, ?–521/522
- Tzath I, attested 521/522 – 527/528
- Opsites, dates of reign unknown, likely some time before 541
- Gubazes II c. 541 – 555
- Tzath II, 556–?
- To Byzantine Empire 570 - c. 660
- Barnuk I 660 - c. 670
- Grigor 670 - c. 675
- Barnuk II 675-691
See also 
- Culture of Georgia
- History of Georgia
- History of Abkhazia
- Laz people
- Lazic War
- Roman Georgia
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lazika|
- as it is mentioned in Old Armenian sources
- Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Volume 20, "Lazica"
- Encyclopaedic Ethnography of Middle-East and Central Asia: A-I, Volume 1, "Laz"
- The Church Triumphant: A History of Christianity Up to 1300, E. Glenn Hinson, p 223
- Georgian Reader, George Hewitt, p. xii
- Ethiopia, the Unknown Land: A Cultural and Historical Guide, by Stuart Munro-Hay, p. 234
- Prayers from the East: Traditions of Eastern Christianity, Richard Marsh, p. 3
- W.E.D. Allen, A history of the Georgian people (1932), p. 276.