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Iberia (Ībĭrˈēə) [key], ancient country of Transcaucasia, roughly the eastern part of present-day Georgia. It was inhabited in earliest times by various tribes, collectively called Iberians by ancient historians, although Herodotus called them Saspirams. Between the 6th and 4th cent. B.C. the kingdoms of Colchis (western Georgia) and Iberia were founded. Iberia was allied to the Romans, ruled by the Sassanids of Persia, and became (6th cent. A.D.) a Byzantine province. Its later history is that of Georgia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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