21 MayResearchAcademic studiesWar and genocide1856 | Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine, Travels in Circassia

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
Travels in Circassia – Part II, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 80 July-December, London 1856 pp.45-61

It would have been interesting, could we have spared the time, to have visited the church of Pitzounda, celebrated as the oldest Christian church in the Caucasus, and situated upon a remarkable promontory, which we steamed past the morning after leaving Ardiller. It is almost exactly similar to that of Souksou, but upon the scale of a cathedral instead of a church. It has been described at length in the elaborate work of Mons. Duboies de Montpereux, whose extensive researches into the history and antiquities of the Caucasian province are a most valuable source of reference. Founded by the Emperor Justinian about the middle of the sixth century, it embraced within is patriarchate nearly all the Caucasian countries.

The invasion of the neighbouring Circassians, however, forced the bishops to abandon it, and its importance declined, until under Muscovite auspices there appeared some prospect of its old position being assigned to it. As in former times it was the repository of many valuable documents, which have since been removed to the monastery of Ghelathi, and from which a history of the Caucasian provinces was compiled by a Georgian chronicler, and translated by Klaproth, it may not be uninteresting, in conclusion, to glance cursorily at the history of this part if the coast of Circassia and Abkhasia, as gathered from that record and the pages of Montpereux.

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