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Abasgi to the of Absilae in a Colchis, Iberia, Albania etc. map of Guillaume Sanson, 1667

The Abasgoi or Abasgians (Ancient Greek: Αβασγοί, Abasgoi, and Ancient Greek: Ἁβασκοί, Abaskoi; Latin: Abasci, Abasgi;[1] Georgian: აბაზგები, Abazgebi; compare Abkhaz Абазаа [aˈbazaː] "the Abaza people") were one of the ancient tribes inhabiting western region of Abkhazia, who originally inhabited lands north of Apsilae, corresponding to today's Ochamchira District. In 550, during the Lazic War, the Abasgians revolted against the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and called upon Sasanian assistance.[2] General Bessas however suppressed the Abasgian revolt.[2]

By the 6th century Abasgia shifted to the north and occupied territory between Gumista and Bzyb rivers,[3] while another tribe, the Sanigs, lived to the north of them. In the time of Arrian, they were said to live on the banks of the Abascus or Abasgus river, an otherwise unidentified river flowing into the Euxine.[4]

The Abasgoi are considered the ancestors of modern Abkhazians,[5][6] and the Georgian ethnonym (Georgian: აფხაზი apxazi) "Abkhaz" is derived from the name. They are mentioned by Pliny the Elder, Strabo and Arrian; the 6th-century Byzantine historian Procopius wrote that they were warlike, worshiped tree deities and provided eunuchs to Justinian's court.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Abasci" . Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  2. ^ a b Odisheli 2018, pp. 1–2.
  3. ^ Nicholson, Oliver, ed. (2018). The Oxford dictionary of late antiquity. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198816251. The Oxford dictionary of late antiquity places Abasgoi to the south of Apsilae which is contradicted by all other sources and is an apparent mistake
  4. ^ Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Abasci" . Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  5. ^ a b Olson, James Stuart; Nicholas Charles Pappas (1994). An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-313-27497-8.
  6. ^ Allen, William Edward David (1932). A History of the Georgian People: From the Beginning Down to the Russian Conquest in the Nineteenth Century. Taylor & Francis. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7100-6959-7.