The Georgians living in the historical lands of Kartli are known as Kartleli (sing., ქართლელი) and comprise one of the largest ethnographic groups of the Georgian people. Most of them are Georgian Orthodox Christians and speak a dialect, which is the basis of the modern Georgian literary language.

The toponym "Kartli" first emerges in written accounts in the 5th-century Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik, the earliest surviving piece of Georgian literature. According to the medieval Georgian Chronicles, Kartli derives its name from Kartlos, the mythic Georgian ethnarch, who built a city on the Mtkvari; it was called Kartli (probably at the latter-day Armazi), a name which generalized to the country ruled by Kartlos and his progeny. Kartlos seems to be a medieval contrivance and his being the eponymous founder of Kartli is not convincing. The medieval chronicler characteristically renders this name with the Greek nominative suffix –ος (os), as Stephen Rapp of Georgia State University (Atlanta) assumes, "in order to impart the account with a sense of antiquity".

In the 3rd century BC the ancient Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartli, also known as Iberia, was established here. Its king declared Christianity as the official religion of Kartli in 337 AD. In the early Middle Ages, Kartli lost its political importance because of the struggle between the King and strong feudal rulers, as well as the aggression of the strong Persian Kingdom. Even so, in a way, it remained Georgia's leader because of the independence of its Church and culture from Byzantine influence. Kartli was part of the united Georgian Kingdom in the central Middle Ages. (Georgia was united at the beginning of the 11th century, but Tbilisi, Kartli's main city, was not liberated until 1122. Immediately afterwards, the Georgian capital moved from Kutaisi to Tbilisi.) After the disintegration of the united Kingdom in the 15th century, Kartli became an independent Kingdom, which suffered from frequent Persian invasions. In 1762, the Kingdom of Kartli was united with the neighboring Kingdom of Kakheti. This Kingdom too was soon weakened by the Persian aggression. In 1801 the Kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti was annexed to the Russian Empire.
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Kartli



Kartli

Kartli is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia traversed by the river Mtkvari (Kura), on which Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is situated. Known to the Classical authors as Iberia, Kartli played a crucial role in ethnic and political consolidation of the Georgians in the Middle Ages. Kartli had no strictly defined boundaries and they significantly fluctuated in the course of history. After the partition of the kingdom of Georgia in the 15th century, Kartli became a separate kingdom with its capital at Tbilisi. The historical lands of Kartli are currently divided among several administrative regions of Georgia.

The Georgians living in the historical lands of Kartli are known as Kartleli (sing., ქართლელი) and comprise one of the largest ethnographic groups of the Georgian people. Most of them are Georgian Orthodox Christians and speak a dialect, which is the basis of the modern Georgian literary language.

The toponym "Kartli" first emerges in written accounts in the 5th-century Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik, the earliest surviving piece of Georgian literature. According to the medieval Georgian Chronicles, Kartli derives its name from Kartlos, the mythic Georgian ethnarch, who built a city on the Mtkvari; it was called Kartli (probably at the latter-day Armazi), a name which generalized to the country ruled by Kartlos and his progeny. Kartlos seems to be a medieval contrivance and his being the eponymous founder of Kartli is not convincing. The medieval chronicler characteristically renders this name with the Greek nominative suffix –ος (os), as Stephen Rapp of Georgia State University (Atlanta) assumes, "in order to impart the account with a sense of antiquity".

In the 3rd century BC the ancient Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartli, also known as Iberia, was established here. Its king declared Christianity as the official religion of Kartli in 337 AD. In the early Middle Ages, Kartli lost its political importance because of the struggle between the King and strong feudal rulers, as well as the aggression of the strong Persian Kingdom. Even so, in a way, it remained Georgia's leader because of the independence of its Church and culture from Byzantine influence. Kartli was part of the united Georgian Kingdom in the central Middle Ages. (Georgia was united at the beginning of the 11th century, but Tbilisi, Kartli's main city, was not liberated until 1122. Immediately afterwards, the Georgian capital moved from Kutaisi to Tbilisi.) After the disintegration of the united Kingdom in the 15th century, Kartli became an independent Kingdom, which suffered from frequent Persian invasions. In 1762, the Kingdom of Kartli was united with the neighboring Kingdom of Kakheti. This Kingdom too was soon weakened by the Persian aggression. In 1801 the Kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti was annexed to the Russian Empire.



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