The Apsilae or Apsili were an ancient tribe inhabiting the territory of Apsilia, in modern Abkhazia.[1][2]

Location edit

The tribal territory was located on the Black Sea coast of the northwest Caucasus near the estuary of Kodori.[3] The settlements of Sebastopolis and Tibeleos (associated with Tsebelda by George Hewitt[4]) were located in their territory.[5]

Identity edit

The Apsilae may have been the ancestors of the Abkhaz people (in Abkhaz Аҧсуаа Apswa).[6]

Their culture is known as the Tsebelda culture, marked by well-developed local manufacturing of metal products and tools.

History edit

The first known record of the Apsilae occurs in the writings of Pliny of the 1st century AD,[1] as well as of Flavius Arrianus in the 2nd century (Greek: Αψιλαι).[7] The territory became an official division of the Roman Empire under Trajan (98-117).[8] It was absorbed by the surrounding, more powerful principality of the Abasgoi, in approximately 730 AD, and the Apsilae are no longer recorded after the second half of the 8th century.[2] Later, and after the inclusion of other territories and people including Misiminia, it became the Kingdom of Abkhazia.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Апсилы". Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  2. ^ a b Alexander Mikaberidze (6 February 2015). Historical Dictionary of Georgia. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 130–1. ISBN 978-1-4422-4146-6.
  3. ^ "Apsilae". Brill. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  4. ^ George Hewitt, "The Abkhazians: Handbook", p. 56
  5. ^ Greek geography (1854). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography: Abacaenum-Hytanis. Walton & Maberly. p. 163.
  6. ^ Allen, W.E.D. (2023). A History of the Georgian People: From the Beginning Down to the Russian Conquest in the Nineteenth Century. Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 9781032436890. The Abkhaz were known to the classical geographers as Apsilai, and later as Abasgoi.
  7. ^ Arrian; Thomas Falconer (1805). Arrian's Voyage Round the Euxine Sea: Translated and Accompanied with a Geographical Dissertation and Maps : to which are Added Three Discourses, I. On the Trade to the East Indies by Means of the Euxine Sea, II. On the Distance which the Ships of Antiquity Usually Sailed in Twenty-four Hours, III. On the Measure of the Olympic Stadium. J. Cooke. p. 9.
  8. ^ Julian Bennett (2 September 2003). Trajan: Optimus Princeps. Routledge. p. 345. ISBN 1-134-70913-7.