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Also known as: Egrisi; Aegria
Georgian: Egrisi
Persian: Lazistan

Bichvinta Cathedral, Lazica

Bichvinta Cathedral

Old kingdom corresponding to Georgia and northeastern Turkey, lasting ca. 300-557, along the coast and interior of the Black Sea. Lazica's territory corresponded to that of ancient Colchis and Abkhazia. Lazica developed into a Christian country, and the foremost monument from the kingdom is the Bichvinta Cathedral.
The population was Laz and Mingrelians, during this time, the two groups had languages inherently intelligible with each other.

Around 300 CE: Being in the outskirts of an increasingly weak Roman Empire, local rulers of Lazicum manages to establish local autonomy.
4th century: Christianity is introduced, and a bishopric is established.
Ca. 480: Christianity becomes state religion.
532: Justinian 1 signs an agreement with Persia, that leaves Lazica open for the establishment of Byzantine control.
541: Lazica is lost to Persia.
557: A third period of truce with the Persians is signed, that returns Lazica to Byzantine control. Independence would never be regained.

By Tore Kjeilen