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Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
(Russian: Закавказье), or the South Caucasus, is a geographical region in the vicinity of the southern Caucasus Mountains on the border of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
and Western Asia.[1][2] Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
roughly corresponds to modern Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Total area of these countries is about 71,850 square miles (186,100 square kilometres).[3] Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
and Ciscaucasia (North Caucasus) together comprise the larger Caucasus
Caucasus
geographical region that divides Eurasia. Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
spans the southern portion of the Caucasus Mountains
Caucasus Mountains
and their lowlands, straddling the border between the continents of Europe and Asia, and extending southwards from the southern part of the Greater Caucasus
Caucasus
mountain range of southwestern Russia
Russia
to the Turkish and Armenian borders, and from the Black Sea
Black Sea
in the west to the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
coast of Iran
Iran
in the east. The area includes the southern part of the Greater Caucasus
Caucasus
mountain range, the entire Lesser Caucasus
Caucasus
mountain range, the Colchis Lowlands, the Kura-Aras Lowlands, the Talysh Mountains, the Lenkoran Lowlands, Javakheti
Javakheti
and the eastern portion of the Armenian Highland. All of present-day Armenia
Armenia
is in Transcaucasia; the majority of present-day Georgia and Azerbaijan, including the exclave of Nakhchivan, also fall within the region.[citation needed] Parts of Iran
Iran
and Turkey
Turkey
are also included within the region of Transcaucasia.[citation needed] Goods produced in the region include oil, manganese ore, tea, citrus fruits, and wine. It remains one of the most politically tense regions in the post- Soviet
Soviet
area, and contains three heavily disputed areas: Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Between 1878 and 1917 the Russian-controlled province of Kars Oblast
Kars Oblast
was also incorporated into the Transcaucasus.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History 3 Wine 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Etymology[edit] Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
is a Latin rendering of the Russian-language word Zakavkazie (Закавка́зье), meaning "the area beyond the Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains".[4] This implies a Russian vantage point, and is analogous to similar terms such as Transnistria
Transnistria
and Transleithania. Other forms of this word include Trans- Caucasus
Caucasus
and Transcaucasus. The region is also referred to as Southern Caucasia and the South Caucasus. History[edit] Herodotus, Greek historian who is known as 'the Father of History' and Strabo, Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian spoke about autochthonous peoples of the Caucasus
Caucasus
in their books. In the Middle Ages various peoples, including Scythians, Alani, Huns, Khazars, Arabs, Seljuq Turks, and Mongols
Mongols
settled in Caucasia. These invasions influenced on the culture of the peoples of Transcaucasia. In parallel Middle Eastern influence disseminated the Iranian languages and Islamic
Islamic
religion in Caucasus.[5]

Present administrative map of Caucasus.

Administrative map of Caucasus
Caucasus
in USSR, 1957–1991.

Located on the peripheries of Iran, Russia
Russia
and Turkey, the region has been an arena for political, military, religious, and cultural rivalries and expansionism for centuries. Throughout its history, the region has come under control of various empires, including the Achaemenid, Parthian, Roman, Sassanian, Byzantine, Mongol, Ottoman, successive Iranian (Safavid, Afsharid, Qajar), and Russian Empires, all of which introduced their faiths and cultures.[6] Throughout history, Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
was usually under the direct rule of the various in- Iran
Iran
based empires and part of the Iranian world.[7] In the course of the 19th century, Qajar Iran
Iran
had to irrevocably cede the region (alongside its territories in Dagestan, North Caucasus) as a result of the two Russo-Persian Wars of that century to Imperial Russia.[8] Ancient kingdoms of the region included Armenia, Albania and Iberia, among others. These kingdoms were later incorporated into various Iranian empires, including the Achaemenid Empire, the Parthian Empire, and the Sassanid Empire, during which Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
became the dominant religion in the region. However, after the rise of Christianity
Christianity
and conversion of Caucasian kingdoms to the new religion, Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
lost its prevalence and only survived because of Persian power and influence still lingering in the region. Thus, Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
became the area of not only military, but also religious convergence, which often led to bitter conflicts with successive Persian empires (and later Muslim-ruled empires) on the one side and the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(and later the Byzantine Empire) on the other side. The Iranian Parthians established and installed several eponymous branches in Transcaucasia, namely the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, and the Arsacid Dynasty of Caucasian Albania. In the middle of the 8th century, with the capture of Derbend
Derbend
by the Umayyad
Umayyad
armies during the Arab–Khazar wars, most of Transcaucasia became part of the Caliphate
Caliphate
and Islam
Islam
spread throughout[dubious – discuss] the region.[9] Later, the Orthodox Christian Kingdom of Georgia dominated most of Transcaucasia. The region was then conquered by the Seljuk, Mongol, Turkic, Safavid, Ottoman, Afsharid and Qajar dynasties. After two wars in the first half of the 19th century, namely the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813)
Russo-Persian War (1804-1813)
and the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
conquered most of Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
(and Dagestan
Dagestan
in the North Caucasus) from the Iranian Qajar dynasty, severing historic regional ties with Iran.[7][10] By the Treaty of Gulistan
Treaty of Gulistan
that followed after the 1804-1813 war, Iran
Iran
was forced to cede modern-day Dagestan, Eastern Georgia, and most of the Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Republic to Russia. By the Treaty of Turkmenchay
Treaty of Turkmenchay
that followed after the 1826-1828 war, Iran
Iran
lost all of what is modern-day Armenia
Armenia
and the remainder of the contemporary Azerbaijani Republic that remained in Iranian hands. After the 1828-1829 war, the Ottomans ceded Western Georgia (except Adjaria, which was known as Sanjak of Batum), to the Russians. In 1844, what comprises present-day Georgia, Armenia
Armenia
and the Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Republic were combined into a single czarist government-general, which was termed a vice-royalty in 1844-1881 and 1905-1917. Following the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish War, Russia
Russia
annexed Kars, Ardahan, Agri and Batumi
Batumi
from the Ottomans, joined to this unit, and established the province of Kars Oblast
Kars Oblast
as its most southwesterly territory in the Transcaucasus. After the fall of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in 1918, the Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
region was unified into a single political entity twice, as Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic from 9 April 1918 to 26 May 1918, and as Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic
Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic
from 12 March 1922 to 5 December 1936, each time to be dissolved into separate republics Armenia, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
and Georgia. In August 2008, the Russo-Georgian War
Russo-Georgian War
took place across Transcaucasia, contributing to further instability in the region, which is as intricate as the Middle East, due to the complex mix of religions (mainly Muslim and Orthodox Christian) and ethno-linguistic groups. Wine[edit] Transcaucasia, in particular where modern-day Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Iran
Iran
are located, is one of the native areas of the wine-producing vine Vitis vinifera.[11] Some experts speculate that Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
may be the birthplace of wine production.[12] Archaeological excavations and carbon dating of grape seeds from the area have dated back to 7000–5000 BC.[13] Wine
Wine
found in Iran
Iran
has been dated to c. 7400 BC[11] and c. 5000 BC,[14] while wine found in Georgia has been dated to c. 6000 BC.[15][16][17] The earliest winery, dated to c. 4000 BC, was found in Armenia.[11] See also[edit]

Caucasus Caucasus
Caucasus
Greeks Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations Eastern Europe Eurasian Economic Union Eurovoc North Caucasus
North Caucasus
(Ciscaucasia) Ibero-Caucasian languages Peoples of the Caucasus Post- Soviet
Soviet
states

Europe
Europe
portal

References[edit]

^ "Caucasus". The World Factbook. Library of Congress. May 2006. Retrieved 7 July 2009.  ^ Mulvey, Stephen (16 June 2000). "The Caucasus: Troubled borderland". News. BBC. Retrieved 1 July 2009. "The Caucasus Mountains
Caucasus Mountains
form the boundary between West and East, between Europe
Europe
and Asia..."  ^ https://www.britannica.com/place/Transcaucasia ^ Solomon Ilich Bruk. "Transcaucasia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 3 December 2014.  ^ https://www.britannica.com/place/Transcaucasia ^ German, Tracey (2012). Regional Cooperation in the South Caucasus: Good Neighbours Or Distant Relatives?. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. p. 44. ISBN 1409407217.  ^ a b " Caucasus
Caucasus
and Iran" in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Multiple Authors ^ Timothy C. Dowling Russia
Russia
at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond p 728-730 ABC-CLIO, 2 dec. 2014 ISBN 1598849484 ^ King, Charles (2008). The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus. Oxford University Press. p. 65. ISBN 0199884323.  ^ Allen F. Chew. An Atlas of Russian History: Eleven Centuries of Changing Borders. Yale University Press, 1967. pp 74 ^ a b c But was it plonk?, Boston Globe ^ Hugh Johnson Vintage: The Story of Wine
Wine
pg 15 Simon & Schuster 1989 ^ Johnson pg 17 ^ Ellsworth, Amy (18 July 2012). "7,000 Year-old Wine
Wine
Jar". Penn Museum.  ^ Keys, David (28 December 2003). "Now that's what you call a real vintage: professor unearths 8,000-year-old wine". The Independent. Retrieved 20 March 2011.  ^ Berkowitz, Mark (1996). "World's Earliest Wine". Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. 49 (5). Retrieved 25 June 2008.  ^ Spilling, Michael; Wong, Winnie (2008). Cultures of The World: Georgia. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7614-3033-9. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Transcaucasia.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to South Caucasus.

Caucasian Review of International Affairs - an academic journal on the South Caucasus Caucasus
Caucasus
Analytical Digest - Journal on the South Caucasus Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia
(The Columbia Encyclopedia article)

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