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The Kingdom of Georgia, Georgia, Sakartvelo, is a medium sized authoritarian monarchy on the borders between Europe and Asia. It is bordered by Abkhazia, Kabardinia, Ossetia, Chechnya, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, North Armenia, Turkoman Emirate and Adjara. The capital is Tbilisi and the population is around 3.7 million.
The Head of State is King David XVIII.
The official language is Georgian.
The currency is the Georgian Lari (GEL).
Though organised kingdoms had existed in the area now the current Kingdom of Georgia (so-called in the West for the country's veneration of St. George) dates itself from its emergance out of various small states on the fringes of the Roman and Parthian Empires in the mid-4th century AD. Given a boost by King Mirian III's embrace of Christianity in 337 AD the kingdom soon controlled a wide area however frequently disintegrated into warring statelets. This allowed Arab tribes to conquer the eastern parts in the 7th century and for the rest to fall under the control of the Khazar Empire.
Restored to independence by the 10th century, the Georgian kings sought out Byzantine protection to help their struggles against local Arab despots and would reach its zenith in the 12th century under David IV and his granddaughter Tamar. This 'Golden Age' would be cut bloodily short by the Mongol invasions and though they would be expelled the kingdom would fall into a continuous pattern of civil war which would leave it divided and allowed its non-Georgian territory to cede away.
Continued invasions from the various powers which preyed upon the Transcaucus left the divided kingdoms in ruins and depopulated. However the region was beginning to come back to attention as Byzantium, Poland-Lithuania, Vladimir and the Caliphate began to support and undermine each other's influence by investing in client states. As a relatively large country Georgia soon became a battleground for Byzantium and Vladimirian interests whilst canny Georgian politicians and monarchs played the two off against each other. By 1766 the country was properly reunited and beginning to expand at the expense of its smaller and less organized neighbours.
The dream of reconstructing the medieval Georgian kingdom has driven nationalism and wars with its neighbours for two centuries now. It reached at the height of its growth in 1857 during the Second Georgian-Ossetian War though a Polish blockade of its coast led it to back-down. An invasion in 1910 by Azerbaijan and its Caliphate backers put a firm halt to this first expansion and several times it has become involved in the wars between the Armenias for no reward. Its on-off war with Chechnya has led many to believe the kingdom is doomed by its own self-regard though changing political attitudes perhaps point to a less militarily dominated future.
Successive Georgian governments have attempted to make their country part of the European community (even if this contradicts its aggressive stance against many of its neighbours.) As a result the monarchy has given up some of its power and brought in a relatively liberal constitution in return for grants of money in perpetuity.
The current Head of State is King David XVII and the Prime Minister is Tornike Sakandelidze.