Concept

Rize Province

Summary
Rize Province (Rize ili) is a province of northeast Turkey, on the eastern Black Sea coast between Trabzon and Artvin. The province of Erzurum is to the south. It was formerly known as Lazistan, the designation of the term of Lazistan was officially banned in 1926, by patriots. The capital is the city of Rize. The province is home to Laz, Hemshin, Turkish people and Georgian communities. The name comes from Greek ρίζα (riza), meaning "mountain slopes". The Georgian, Laz, and Armenian names are all derived from Greek as well: their names in respective order are Rize (რიზე), Rizini (რიზინი), and Rize (Ռիզե). We have little information as to the prehistory of this region, which being covered in thick forest is difficult to excavate and reveals little. Colchis which existed from the 13th to the 1st centuries BC is regarded as an early proto-Georgian polity in this area. According to Pliny the Elder, from 670 BC onwards the Aegean Ancient Greek community of Miletus established a series of trading posts along the Black Sea coast; one of these was Rize. in the mid-6th century BC The tribes living in the southern Colchis (Tibareni, Mossynoeci, Macrones, Moschi, and Marres) were incorporated into the nineteenth Satrapy of Persia. The Achaemenid Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, however following of Alexander's death a number of separate kingdoms were established in Anatolia, including Pontus, in the corner of the south-eastern Black Sea, ruled by Mithridates. Rize was brought into the Kingdom of Pontus by Pharnaces in 180 BC. The very small number of Hellenistic Greek inscriptions that have been found anywhere in Pontus suggest that Greek culture did not substantially penetrate beyond the coastal cities and the court. The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire between 10 AD and 395 AD, when it passed to the Byzantines. By this time writers including Pliny and the Roman adventurer Arrian were describing the inhabitants as Laz. During the whole medieval period, the region was under Byzantine control, and was mainly populated by Greeks and indigenous Lazs.
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