Middle Paleolithic cave sites along the Black Sea Coast of Georgia prove the presence of an indigenous people sometime between 100,000 - 50,000 B.C. A great deal of archaelogical evidence attests to a flourishing neolithic culture in Georgia in the fifth and fourth millenia B.C. Pottery and metallurgy of the Early Bronze Age was renown. This period is marked by a highly developed culture. At the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C., two major tribal unions arose: those of the Diakhi (Taokhi, Tao) and the Qolha (Colchis). The wealth and power of Colchis were reflected in the ancient Greek myth of the Argonauts. Their union disintegrated in the mid-8th century B.C. In the 8th-7th centuries B.C., the Karts, Mengrels, Chans and Svans came to the fore among the Georgian tribes, and as a result of their consolidation, a two-state confederation took shape in the 6th-4th centuries. In the west, the Kingdom of Colchis was formed (now referred to as the Kingdom of Egrisi). This kingdom minted its own silver coins as "white Colchians coins".
The advanced economy and favorable geographic and natural conditions of Colchis attracted the Greeks; they colonized the Black Sea coast, setting up their settlements: Phasis (in the vicinity of present-day Poti), Gyenos (Ochamchire), Dioscuras (Sukhumi), Anakopia (Akhali Atoni) and Pityus (Bichvinta). The same historical period was the time of intensive consolidation of the Kartlian tribes largerly inhabiting eastern and southern Georgia. Meskhian tribes came to the fore, gradually moving north-easterly and forming their settlements in the very heart of Kartli. Mtskheta was one such settlements, deriving its name from the ethnonym "Meskhians". The kingdom of Kartli is linked to the name of King Parnavaz (the founder of the Parnavazi dynasty), who expelled invaders from Georgia and began to reign over a liberated country. During his reign Armazistsiche, the citadel of the capital, and an idol representing the god Armazi, were erected. According to Kartlis Tskhovreba (History of Georgia), Parnavaz I created the Georgian script. The kingdoms of Kartli and of Colchis waged incessant wars against foreign conquerors who strove to subjugate them, especially in the 1st century B.C. Here, the Romans should be mentioned first.
In 66 B.C., having defeated the kingdom of Pontus, the Romans, led by Pompey, started military operations against Armenia, Albania and Kartli. After subjugating Armenia, Pompey marched into Kartli and Albania in 65 B.C. King Artag of Kartli was forced to surrender. From here, Pompey crossed into western Georgia and reached the city of Phasis. In the first half of the 2nd century A.D., the kingdom of Kartli grew strong, especially under Parsman II (130s-150s A.D.). The Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138) sought to improve relations with Kartli, but Parsman refused to compromise. Under Hadrian's successor, the Emperor Antonius Pius (138-161), relations between the Roman Empire and Kartli improved. King Parsman II, accompanied by a large retinue, arrived in Rome to a royal welcome, and the Georgians were granted the right to offer sacrifice in the Capitol. According to Dio Cassius, a statue of King Parsman was erected in Rome. The Emperor recognized Kartli in his now broadly-extended borders. Kartli had sufficiently detached ifself from Roman rule to be considered an ally rather than a subject state that had to pay taxes. While the Romans and the Parthians (the great Iranian dynasty of circa 240 BC-AD 226) fought with each other, the Georgians remained firmly allied with Rome for nearly three centuries of fighting. In AD 298, the Sassanids (a new Iranian dynasty) signed the Peace of Nisibis with Rome. This peace acknowledged Roman jurisdiction over Kartli but recognized Mirian III (284-361 A.D.) as the King of Eastern Georgia. With Mirian III began a new era, for he was the first to adopt Christianity in Georgia.
Christianity started to spread in Georgia from the 1st century, and became established as a state religion of Kartli in the 330s and about the same time in West Georgia as well. It meant an orientation toward Rome and Byzantium that would prove a decisive factor in the evolution of the national consciousness and culture. By the mid 400s, 30 bishops were in Kartli. The leader of an anti-Iranian struggle, King of Kartli Vakhtang Gorgasali further strengthened the Kartlian church by making it autocephalic, having secured permission from Constantinopole to elevate the status of the bishop of Mtskheta to that of Catholicos. Christianity destroyed the old Georgian literature and began to create a literature of its own, mostly translations.
Georgian writing was first seen in the 5th century. The first examples include inscriptions in the Georgian monastery of the Holy Cross in Palestine, in the Bethlehem desert (Bir-ell-Katt), as well as those in the Sioni Church of Bolnisi, south of Tbilisi. The source of the Georgian script is a controversial problem. Some scholars believe that it appeared long before the Christian epoch, while others relate its appearance to the establishment of the Christian religion. They do not deny the possible existence of a certain original writing in the pre-Christian era. The oldest books translated then were the Gospels and the Old Testament. The Passion of St. Shushanik was written in the 5th century. Another such work by an anonymous author, The Martyrdom of Evstate Mtskheteli is from the 6th century.
The basilica-type churches of Bolnisi and Urbnisi, dating from the 5th century, and the unique cruciform-domed Jvari church of the end of 6th and the beginning of the 7th century near Mtskheta are the most significant monuments of architecture. In the mid-5th century, Vakhtang Gorgasali I became King of Kartli, leading the struggle against the Persians. He is known also as a founder of Tbilisi and he prepared the way for transferring the capital of Georgia from Mtskheta to Tbilisi. Gorgasali recaptured the Georgian lands to the south-west as well as east (Hereti). The initial success achieved in the struggle against Persia came to naught by the resistance of the Eristavs, the highest feudal nobility and their alliance with the Iranians. The struggle against both enemies ended in King Vakhtang's defeat and his death on the battlefield in 502. In 523, having subdued Kartli, the Persians moved into the Kingdom of Egrisi (also known as Lazica) in western Georgia. Lazica was still dependent on Byzantium, but this dependence was growing weaker and the kings of Lazica gained more independence. The rulers of Lazica tried to use the hostility between Byzantium and Iran to their own advantage, but the war ended with a fifty year long peace treaty (562 A.D.), and West Georgia finally found herself subjugated by Byzantium.
In 572, the Kartlians rose in arms and expelled the Persians. A local administrative state government or saerismtavro was instituted in Kartli. This early feudal state actually served as the basis for the creation of the future united Georgian monarchy. In the 7th-8th centuries, important sociopolitical changes took place in Georgia. The principalities (samtavros) of Kakheti, Hereti and Tao-Klarjeti, as well as the western Georgian Kingdom of Abkhazia, took shape in this period. A new force, the Arabs, appeared on the international scene in the 730s and 740s. They defeated the Persians and reached the Caucasus as well. In 645 they captured Tbilisi and installed an Arab Emir there, but they could not conquer West Georgia. Their presence there was only sporadic, and their power did not spread to the outlying mountainous provinces of Georgia, but embraced only the central area of Kartli. At the same time, thanks to Arab trade activity, Tbilisi flourished. It actually became an international center at the crossroads of several important trade routes. Soon, however, an anti-Arab liberation struggle started all over Georgia. At the end of the 8th century, the archon of Abuzgia--the Eristavi of Abkhazia (Abuzgia was the designation of the territory to the north of the Kodori River populated by the Abkhaz-Adyghe tribes, the ancestors of the present-day Abkhazians, as well as the Georgian-Megrel and Svan tribes; the Georgian term "Abkhazeti" had a similar meaning, while the ethnonym "Abkhaz" began from this time on, to be applied to the whole population of West Georgia)--Leon rose in rebellion against Byzantium and declared himself "King of the Abkhazians." He also liberated Lazica (Egrisi) and founded an independent Egrisi-Abkhazian Kingdom with the capital Kutaisi, in the centre of West Georgia.
Though this political unity had the official name of the Abkhazian Kingdom, the overhelming majority of its population, its political orientation and its culture were essentially Georgian. Later on, in the 9th century the Abkhazian Kingdom also was severed of its last link with Byzantium by leaving the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinopole. Soon the West Georgian Church came under the Catholicos of Mtskheta. Thus the ecclessiastic unity of East and West Georgia was effected and created the final establishment of the Georgian language in the Abkhazian Kingdom in church service, public administration and cultural life. Another independent feudal state, the Tao-Klarjeti Principality appeared in southwest Georgia in the early 9th century, founded by the Erismtavari of Kartli, Ashot Bagrationi. Rising against the Arabs, Ashot withdrew into his hereditary province of Klarjeti, liberated the neighbouring provinces of Tao, Kola, Artvani, Shavsheti, and others from the Arabs, and firmly established himself there with the help of the Byzantine emperor, receiving from the latter the title of "Kuropalate."
The most important events in Tao-Klarjeti are connected with name of David III who ruled in the second part of the 10th century. He freed more Georgian provinces from the Arabs. David III rendered effective assistance to the Byzantine emperors Basil and Constantine in quelling the rebellion of the grand feudal Bardas Sclerus in 979, receiving in recognition of his service a number of provinces up to Lake Van. Using his power and authority and supported by the Kartlian Eristavi Ioanne Marushidze, David III began the unification of the Georgian lands. David III raised his adopted son Bagrat Bagrationi to the throne of Kartli (975) and Abkhazia (978). After the death of David III, Bagrat added Tao-Klarjeti to Kartli, inherited the title of King of the Kartvels, and in 1110 added Kakheti and Hereti to his Kingdom, completing the unification of the Georgian territories into one state, with the exeption of the Tbilisi Emirate. The first king of unified Georgia bore the title of "King of the Abkhazians, Kartvels, Hers and Kakhs". Kutaisi was the capital of the kingdom. Under his successor, Bagrat IV (1027-1072), Georgia found itself to be one of the major powers in Caucasia.
But the relative stability established in the region came to an end with the arrival of the Seljuk Turks, who captured most of Persia, and drove westward in the 1060s. They captured Armenia, raided the Georgian province of Javakheti, destroying the town of Akhalkalaki, and devastated Kartli in 1068. The so-called "Great Turkish Conquests" of Georgia started in 1080. Being nomads, the Seljuks turned the lands they captured into pastures, thus depriving the feudal economy of its basis and jeopardizing the very existence of Georgia. Only a small part of West Georgia escaped the constant invasions and devastions. King Giorgi II (1072- 1089) had to pay annual tribute to the Sultan. The Georgian people suffered severe losses but managed to preserve their state organization. Unable to deal effectively with the constant onslaught of the Turks, the throne was passed to Giorgi II's 16-year-old son David, known as David the Builder (1089-1125), possibly the greatest monarch in Georgian history. Personally leading his loyal forces, he attacked the Seljuks and, routing them, allowed the peasants who had fled to the mountains to return to their land. He gradually expelled the Turks from Kartli. David's war against the Turks fortunately corresponded with the arrival of the Crusaders in Asia Minor and Syria, considerably weakening the Turks and distracting their attention from the Caucasus. After winning several victories in 1099, he stopped paying tributes. However, the final liberation of all Georgian lands required an efficient army and further centralized power. The first item on the agenda was the Church reform.
In 1033 by the decision of the all-Georgian Church Council, held in two neighboring dioceses of Ruisi and Urbnisi, the unfit Church officials were deposed and supporters of the King's policy were elected. David IV actually subordinated the Church to the state. It was a heavy blow to the unloyal nobility and provided his rule with a powerful ideological support. At the same time David IV created a regular army by drafting the aznaurs (the gentry) and the peasantry. By the early 12th century, regular troops grew to 40,000 strong. In 1004 he drove the Turks from Kartli and Kakheti. In 1005, he defeated a large Turkish army in the Ertsukhi battle. During 1110-1118, he liberated the towns of Samshvilde, Rustavi, Gishi, Kubala, and Lore. Tbilisi, the capital, was still occupied by the invaders and part of the Georgian army still depended upon big feudal lords, who not always were loyal to the king. At the same time, incessant wars kept the most productive part of the population away from home and farming. To solve this problem David IV added to his army 40,000 Kipchak mercenaries from the north Caucasian steppes, whom he settled in Georgia with their families. Feeling uneasy at the prospect of losing the Caucusus, the Seljuk Sultan Mahmud sent to Georgia, at the head of the Turkish coalition forces, one of his best generals: Radjin Al-Din Ilguzi, famous for his battles against the Crusaders. On August 12, 1121, near Didgori, King David IV won a decisive victory over the enemy's numerous army. After this victory, he took Tbilisi in 1122 and moved the capital from Kutaisi to Tbilisi. Humane treatment of the Muslim population, as well as the representatives of other religions and cultures in the capital, set a standard for tolerance in his multiethnic kingdom. It was a hallmark not only for his enlightened reign, but for all of Georgian history and culture. In 1123, King David IV liberated the city of Dmanisi ,the last stronghold of the invaders in Georgia. In 1124, David the Builder, at the request of the citizens of the Armenian city of Ani, also liberated Ani, expanding the southern borders of the Georgian Kingdom up to the Araks basin. King David IV, died on January 24, 1125.
During the reigns of his succesors, the borders of the Georgian Kingdom expanded still wider from Nicopsia (a city between modern Sokhi and Tuapse) to Derbent (on the Caspian Sea) and from Ossetia (North Caucasus) to Mt. Ararat in Armenia. During the reign of Queen Tamar (1184-1213) , the great grandaughter of King David IV, the Georgian Kingdom reached the apex of its political might. The official title of Queen Tamar reflects her power: Tamar Bagrationi, by the will of our Lord, Queen of the Abkhazians, Kartvels, Rans, Kakhs and the Armenians, Shirvan-Shah and Shah-in-Shah and ruler of all East and West. A unique Georgian Christian Culture flourished in this multinational state. This was the era of great building projects such as Gelati and Vardzia and the flourishing of a literary tradition revered to this day. It was to Queen Tamar that Shota Rustaveli dedicated his great epic poem, "the Knight in the Tiger's Skin," a poem exemplifing all the virtues of chivalry and honor that were celebrated throughout the expanded Georgian Kingdom during her reign. Queen Tamar left to her heir, Giorgi IV Lasha (1212-1223), a kingdom surrounded by tribute-paying states that filled the royal coffers to overflowing. King Giorgi was planning to join the Crusaders to Palestine when the Mongols invaded Georgia. The Mongols were unstoppable and even King Giorgi's 90,000 horsemen were no match for them. Giorgi Lasha himself was killed in battle against the Mongols in 1223.
It was the beginning of the end of the Golden Age. The more than a century long Mongol domination of Georgia caused both the fragmentation of the kingdom and its gradual decline by the heavy burden of taxation levied upon it. Only in the 14th century was there any relief from Mongol rule. Giorgi V (1314-1346), called the Brilliant, stopped paying tribute and drove the Mongols out. He united Georgia once again, centralized royal power, revived the economy, and established close international commercial ties, mainly with Byzantium, but also with Venice and Genoa.
The first of Tamerlane's eight invasions of Georgia occurred in 1386, which, following the horror of the Black Death (decimating Georgia in 1366), destroyed any hopes for a second Golden Age that Giorgi V might have initiated. In 1453 the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinopole. This, and a change of trade routes from Europe to the Far East, seriously weakened Georgia politically and economically. At the end of the 15th century, the rise of the Safarids in Iran, further threatened Georgia, which now found itself caught once again between two expanding empires. As a consequence of constant invasions, economic decline and feudal strife, Georgia began to disintegrate, and by the end of the 15th century three independent kingdoms of Kakheti, Kartli, and Imereti, and the principality of Samtskhe emerged on its territory. The Peace of Amasia in 1555, between Ottoman Turks and the Safarid Persians, divided Georgia into spheres of influence, giving the west to Turkey and the east to Iran. Turkish and Iranian invasions became almost permanent. The kingdom of Kartli, situated in the center of the Caucasus, was of special strategic significance. For that reason, it became the main target of foreign aggression. We should make special mention of two kings of Kartli: King Luarsab I (1527-1556) and his son King Simon I (1556-1600). Neither the enormous numerical superiority of the enemy, nor their betrayals by the nobility and even by their own brothers, nor the losses of their soldiers and the devastation of the country, could force these heroes to submit to the invaders. Terrible ordeals befell the kingdom of Kakheti, as its king began secretly but actively to seek ties with the Russian state. From 1614-1617, Kakheti was overrun several times by Iranian troops under Shah Abass I. About 100,000 Kakhetians were killed and about 200,000 were resettled in Iran. Soon Kartli shared the fate of Kakheti. But in 1625 an insurrection, headed by eminent Georgian general Giorgi Saakadze, broke out in Kartli and Kakheti. In the Battle of Martqopi the great Iranian army was routed. Later the same year the Georgians suffered defeat in the battle of Marabda. This selfless resistance frustrated the Shah's plans to annihilate the Georgian people, eliminate their statehood and set up Iranian Khanates on Georgian territory. Iran was forced to compromise. From 1632 to 1744 the shahs of Iran set Islamized Bagrationis on the throne of Kartli. In 1659, the Kakhetians rose against the invaders and defeated their garrisons in Kakheti. The Shah had to abandon his plan of exterminating the kingdom. An uneasy peace settled in East Georgia in the early 18th century. Owing to King Vakhtang VI (1703-1724) and his wise policy, the country was back on the road to economic, political and cultural progress. But his attempts to cooperate with Russia failed, and retribution followed at once.
Kartli was ravaged once again. In 1723, Turkish troops invaded Kartli. Vakhtang left for Russsia to get military aid, but did not receive it, and died on his way back. Not until the 18th century were rulers King Teimuraz II and his son Erekle II able to rebuld Georgia in its own, and not Iran's, image. Surmounting numerous obstacles created in the North Caucasus, and by Muslim khans in East Caucasia, father and son ruled from 1744 to 1762 over Kartli and Kakheti. After the death of Teimuraz II in 1762, Erekle II declared himself King of Kartli and Kakheti. The unification of East Georgia favored its further strengthening and progress. All this time the struggle against the Turks never stopped in West Georgia: Achara, Abkhazia, Odishi, Guria and Imereti repeatedly rose against the conquerors. Beginning in 1752 the energetic and prudent King Solomon I reigned in the Imereti Kingdom. Having strengthened royal power and defeated the Turks in a number of battles, he banned slave trade and raised the standard of living of his subjects. The attempts of Irakli II and Solomon I to use Russian forces during the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-1774 in order to free themselves completely from Turkish and Iranian control failed, largely owing to the treacherous actions of the Russian General Totleben. Nevertheless, following the Kacak-Kainadji Peace between Russia and Turkey, the international legal situation of the Georgian kingdoms improved to some extent. Convinced that his isolated Christian kingdom could not hold out indefinitely against its assorted Muslim enemies, Irakli II decided to attempt an alliance with Catherine the Great of Russia. On July 24, 1783, Russia and Georgia signed the Treaty of Georgievsk, which made Kartli-Kakheti a protectorate of Russia. Russia did not live up to the conditions of that treaty when Catherine withdrew her troops from Georgia at the outbreak of the second Russo-Turkish war in 1787. King Irakli was forced to face a vastly superior force led by Shah Agha Mohamed Khan, who demanded the denunciation of the Georgievsk Treaty, when the Persians invaded Kartli-Kakheti in 1795. On the battlefields at Krtsanisi, 5,000 Georgians were defeated by 35,000 Iranians. Tbilisi was destroyed and the population ruthlessly massacred. The situation grew critical after King Irakli's death in 1798. His son and heir Giorgi XII (1798-1800) proved unable to rule the country. Various feudal and political groups supported King Giorgi XIIís brothers and sons in their claims to the throne, launched a see-saw war. The country was constantly devastated by the raids of the Dagestanis. Looming ahead was threat of another Iranian invasion. Giorgi XII desperately called on St. Petersburg to stand by its commitments of the Georgievsk treaty. But the terms of the treaty no longer satisfied the Russian goverment.
In January of 1801, Paul I signed a manifesto which annexed East Georgia to Russia, in violation of the 1783 treaty. The Crown Prince was taken away to St. Petersburg. On September 12, 1801, the abolition of the Kartli-Kakhetian Kingdom was confirmed by the Manifesto of Emperor Alexander I. In 1810 the King of Imereti was forced by the Russians to flee to Turkey, and Imereti came under Russian rule. Although Mengrelia, Guria, Abkhazia and Svaneti initially preserved certain autonomy, the Russian goverment later abolished these principalities and their territories were included into the system of Russian gubernias. The annexation of Georgia by the Russian Empire put an end to the independent existence of the Georgian Kingdoms and principalities and Georgia lost her age-old statehood. Under Russian rule the Georgian church lost its autocephaly and was turned into a exarchate of the Russian synod. This event accounts for numerous uprisings which took place in the first half of the 19th century in various parts of Georgia. On the other hand, in spite of the colonial policy of Russia, Georgia found herself protected against constant invasions. Conditions became favorable for population growth and economic progress. Ranks of nobility were redefined. New systems of taxation were instituted. Russian education and culture were introduced. The second half of the 19th century shows the abolition of serfdom in Georgia (1864) and an ever-increasing Russification policy that touched every aspect of Georgian society.
As a reaction, one group of Georgians including the poets Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846) and Grigol Orbeliani (1800-1883), plotted to break free. The conspiracy of 1832 ended in their arrest. They led a romantic school of literature concerning itself largely with the loss of Georgians former glory. Ilia Chavchavadze (1837-1907) and Akaki Tsereteli (1840-1915), known as the "Men of the 60s," came back from Russian universities with a new spirit of social activism and democratic idealism reflected in their writings. Ilia Chavchavadze became the recognized leader and spiritual father of the nation. One can hardly recall any project or event in the social and cultural life of Georgia of this period, that was not either initiated and led by him or in which he did not participate. In the 1890s a group of Georgian intellectuals returned to their homeland, having imbibed the new doctrine of Marxism while studying abroad. Georgians actively participated in the revolutionary events of 1905-1907.
On October 25 (November 7), 1917, the Bolshevik party staged a coup in Russia and established Soviet power. The leading political parties of the Transcaucasus refused to recognize the new power and on November 17, set up a local administration--the Transcaucasian Commissariat. Soon the Transcaucasian Federation was established, but it was short-lived. On May 26, 1918, the National Council of Georgia declared Georgiaís independence. Georgian statehood, lost 117 years ago, was restored. The leading political force at that time was the Social Democratic (Menshevik) party, which had a majority in the government. After the first year of economic and political obstacles, the situation in Georgia became more and more stabilized, uprisinges ceased, and the international conflicts were more or less mended. The Bolsheviks failed to provoke the population to rebel. Soviet Russia and Georgia signed a treaty on May 7, 1920, according to which Russia recognised the independence and sovereignity of the Georgian Democratic Republic. Free Georgia grew stronger and stronger, and it seemed that hopes of Georgian people were at last to be realized, but the Bolsheviks were already at the borders. After the so-called Sovietization of Azerbaijan and Armenia in February of 1921, the Bolshevik armies invaded Georgia. The forces were unequal and on February 25, 1921, units of the Red Army entered Tbilisi. In Moscow, Lenin received the congratulations of his commissars--"The red banner blows over Tbilisi."
Under Communist hegemony, the beleagured nation once again became the realm of foreign power. In 1924, after an attempted uprising led by Georgian Mensheviks, more then 5,000 patriots were executed. Despite the fact that Stalin and his chief of secret police, Beria, were both Georgians, the Georgian people were given no reprieve under their oppressive regime. Georgia had to pass through the ordeal of industrialization and collectivization, suffering severely during the depressions of the 1930s. Three-hundred thousand Georgian soldiers fell in the Second World War. But covertly, latently, the struggle for independence never stopped. This struggle assumed the form of a widespread national-liberation movement and brought victory to the freedom-loving, patriotic forces. In 1990, multi-party elections were held and, on the 9th of April, Parliament declared the independence of Georgia. On the wave of anti-Communist sentiments, the well-know dissident of the Breshnev era, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was elected president. But he was unable to rule the country at that crucial juncture. Although earlier a victim of totalitarianism, as president he tried to build a chauvanist, totalitarian regime. His unpredictable international policy almost completely isolated Georgia. He showed no desire or ability to maintain a dialogue with the growing opposition. Chauvanism, instead of patriotism and the traditional tolerance of other nationalities; totalitarianism, instead of the much-expected democracy; corruption and incompetence of the majority of his ministers, instead of creative work to build a new independent state all combined to cause an overwhelming growth of opposition in every strata of Georgian society.
In the winter of 1991-1992, a military rebellion by the opposition forced Gamsakhurdia to leave Georgia. Unable to cope with many international, economic and other domestic problems the rebel Military Council formed a State Council inviting Eduard Shevardnadze, the former secretary of the Georgia Communist Party and former Soviet Foreign Minister, well-known for his political acumen, personal courage and international publicity, to Georgia. In July 1992, Georgia became the 179th member of the United Nations. Eduard Shevardnadze obtained an overhelming majority of votes in the elections that followed in October of 1992, and was confirmed as chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Georgia. On August 24, 1995, a new Constitution was adopted. On November 5, 1995, presidential elections were held in Georgia. On November 26, Eduard Shevardnadze was installed as President of Georgia.