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Heniochi in a map of the voyage of the Argonauts by Abraham Ortelius, 1624

The Heniochi (Georgian: ჰენიოხები Heniochebi; Greek: Ἡνίοχοι, Heníochoi) "charioteers") were an ancient tribe inhabiting northwest shores of Colchis (present-day Abkhazia) and some say Phasis area. They are attested by a number of ancient historians and others alike, namely: Aristotle, Artemidorus Ephesius, Ovid, Pliny the Elder, Arrian, Strabo and others. It is pointed out that they lived in a quite wide area from Dioscurias (Διοσκουριάς), to Trabzon. The first mentions of this people is contained in the cuneiform inscriptions found in Urartu, which date back to the 8th century BC.

Sources from the 5th to 4th century BC till the 1st century AD note the Heniokhs lived from modern Sochi till Pitiunt - Dioskuria. This may make them one of the oldest Georgian tribes.[1] The Georgian tribe of Heniochs according to Artemidorus of Ephesus, occupied in the 5th - 1st cc. B.C, the Black Sea littoral that is part of present-day Abkhazia: - from the environs of Pitiunt or Pityus (Bichvinta) to the river Achaeuntus (the Shakhe river near present-day Tuapse).[2] Aristotle describes the Heniochi (along with the Achaeans) as a group of people "ready enough to kill and eat men."[3]


  1. ^ Essays from the History of Georgia – Abkhazia from ancient times till the present days
  2. ^ M. Inadze, Institute of History, Georgian Academy of Sciences, PROBLEMS OF ETHNOPOLITICAL HISTORY OF ANCIENT ABKHAZIA
  3. ^ Aristotle (1885). Benjamin Jowett, ed. The Politics of Aristotle. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 248. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  • Georgian Soviet Encyclopedia, vol. 11, pg.624, Tb. 1987.
  • D. Asheri, "The Achaeans and the Heniochi. Reflections on the Origins and History of a Greek Rhetorical Topos", quoted from Tsetskhladze, Gocha R. (1998). The Greek colonisation of the Black Sea area: historical interpretation of archaeology. Franz Steiner Verlag. p. 271. ISBN 978-3-515-07302-8.