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The classical period saw the rise of a number of early Georgian states, the principal of which was Colchis in the west and Iberia in the east.

In the 4th century BC, a unified kingdom of Georgia – an early example of advanced state organization under one king and an aristocratic hierarchy – was established.

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During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia, such as Colchis and Iberia.

The Georgians adopted Christianity in the early 4th century.

Lore-based theories were given by the traveller Jacques de Vitry, who explained the name's origin by the popularity of St.

George amongst Georgians, while traveller Jean Chardin thought that "Georgia" came from Greek γεωργός ("tiller of the land"). Alexander Mikaberidze adds, these century-old explanations for the word Georgia/Georgians are rejected by the scholarly community, who point to the Persian word gurğ/gurğān ("wolf" The native name is Sakartvelo (საქართველო; "land of Kartvelians"), derived from the core central Georgian region of Kartli, recorded from the 9th century, and in extended usage referring to the entire medieval Kingdom of Georgia by the 13th century.

For most of the following decade, post-Soviet Georgia suffered from civil conflicts, secessionist wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and economic crisis.

Following the bloodless Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia strongly pursued a pro-Western foreign policy; aimed at NATO and European integration, it introduced a series of democratic and economic reforms.Known to its natives as Egrisi or Lazica, Colchis was also the battlefield of the Lazic War fought between the Byzantine Empire and Sassanid Persia.After the Roman Republic completed its brief conquest of what is now Georgia in 66 BC, the area became a primary objective of what would eventually turn out to be over 700 years of protracted Irano–Roman geo-political rivalry and warfare.In Greek mythology, Colchis was the location of the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and the Argonauts in Apollonius Rhodius' epic tale Argonautica.The incorporation of the Golden Fleece into the myth may have derived from the local practice of using fleeces to sift gold dust from rivers.The self-designation used by ethnic Georgians is Kartvelebi (ქართველები, i.e. The medieval Georgian Chronicles present an eponymous ancestor of the Kartvelians, Kartlos, a great-grandson of Japheth.

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