Among all Transcaucasian countries, the superiority of their southern neighbour, Armenia, had been recognized. From the earliest days, Georgia had been divided into many Eristhawates or princely domains, these being subdivided in their turn into estates of Aznavours or feudatories of the Eristhaws. Under the Sassanid domination, the old system having undergone no change, Georgia had remained without political cohesion until the day when Emperor Maurice, himself of Armenian blood, placed on the throne of that land as sovereign a Bagratid prince named Gouaram, who reigned from 575 to 600 A.D. Since that date, Georgia, Aghouania, Mingrelia and all the small Kartvelian states on the southern slopes of the Caucasus had been governed by Armenian princes. Eréklé II (Heracles) the last King of Georgia, was still of Bagratid blood.b Many of these kings were compelled, one after another, to fight against Sassanids, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and Persians. A considerable number of them were forced by the enemy at times to quit their throne in Tiflis or Mtzkhet, unless adequately supported by the Byzantines.
The Georgians, like all other Caucasians, were warriors of the Asiatic type. Their art, inspired by the Byzantines and Armenians, offers, among other things, beautiful examples of Greek and Christian architecture. Among all the Kartvelian races, the Georgians have displayed the highest artistic taste and culture.