Imereti, a province in Western Georgia, is situated along the middle and upper reaches of the Rioni River. Its main city, Kutaisi, was almost always a capital city, either of Colchis, the legendary country of the Golden Fleece, the Egrisi (greek Lazika) and Apkhazeti kingdoms, a united Georgia or the Imereti Kingdom. Christianity was declared as an official religion in this region in 523 AD. Imereti was part of the united Georgian Kingdom from 975 until 1466. During the reign of the kings of Apkhazeti western Georgia gained ecclesiastic independence from Byzantium. It is assumed that the Apkhazeti Catholicate which was established at that time, in the early 11th century, was already subordinate to the Mtskheta Catholicate in eastern Georgia. Georgian Episcopal Sees, including that of Kutaisi, replaced the Greek dioceses. Since the disintegration of the united Georgian Kingdom in the 15th century, Imereti has been an independent kingdom. In the 17th -18th centuries it suffered frequent invasions by the Turks and fell under the patronage of the Ottoman Empire until 1810, when it was occupied and annexed by the Russian Empire.

© KHI in Florence | 15.05.2021 09:53:20