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3. Tsikhegoji-Acropolis-Nokalakevi

    Tsikhegoji represented an important center for western Georgia for two different periods of time. Its existence is proved in 3thcentury B.C. and again in 4thcentury A.D.

   Colkha Kingdom (Colchis) actually covered all territory of western Georgia beginning from early antique period. Historical references give us only slight information. According to Kartlis Tskhovreba (Georgian Chronicles) in the beginning of 3thcentury B.C.  Iberian King Parnavaz gets control of Colchis which is already impoverished, assigns Kuji a title Eristavi (governor) and by arranging a marriage between his sister and Kuji becomes related to him.

   Historian Juansheri in his description of Murnan the Deaf’sinvasion in Georgia mentions about Tsikhegoji. To his references lately are added (written in different ink and calligraphy) the information that “Tsikhegoji is the same as Nokalakevi”.

     The identity of Nakalakevi and Tsikhegoji was also known to Vakhushti Bagrationi, public person of first part of18thcentury. He writes about it more clearly in the main text and mentions that in the foot of Unagira, there is a place Nokalakevi called Tsikhegoji, which was built by Kuji in the period of King Parnavaz. The city, the fortress and all their surrounding weresituated on the western part of Rioni, Suaneti.

   According to all sources Tsikhegoji-Nakalakevi, named as Acropolis, constituted “the oldest and biggest fortress”, “the most important and largest city in Lazeti country”.

   Parmen Zakaria in his famous monography indicates that Nokalakevi as a capital city was a country’s main defensive and cultural center surrounding with defensebuildings, worshipmonuments, household and other buildings, remains of which are preserved in Abedati and Kotianeti.

   Agathia Scholastikos – Byzantine poet and historian, lawyer by education. His historical work “For Justinian’s Reign” represents the continuation of “History” by Prokopi Kesarieli and provides with rich material about a political situation in western Georgia in the years of 552-558. The document tells us about the wars between Byzantium and Iran, about the murder of King Gubaz by Byzantine, national assembly of Lazebi (Lazians), where relationship issues with Byzantine was discussed. Agathia quotes famed speech of Lazian political figures Aietes and Partadze. These speeches are remarkable samples of old Georgian eloquence. Agathia also describes fortresses of western Georgia (Kutaisi, Mukhurisi, Vardtsikhe, Tolebi, and Onogurisi). Agathia’s work represents a main source of 6thcentury Georgia.

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