Why is the former Soviet state the Republic of Georgia called Georgia?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ironically, the people of Georgia call their land Sakartvelo. The ancient Greeks and Romans called the eastern Georgians Iberians and the western Georgians Colchrians. The name Georgia is still disputed today. Most plausible is the derivation from the name of St. George, an Christian martyr who was immortalized in the tale "St George and the Dragon." Medieval sources state that Georgians were call Georgian, because they revere and worship Saint George. In fact, the country recently adopted a five cross flag, featuring St. George's Cross. Other explanations include that the Latin word for agricultural is georgicus and under several Persian empires, the Georgians were called Gurjhan.

revolution | Student

The origin of the name Georgia is still being disputed up till today. It was linked to Latin or Greek terms, like georgicus, which means "agricultural" and  γεωργος which means  "tiller of the land". Some historians say that Georgia name was derived from St. George, a Christian martyr, one of the most revered saints in Catholic history. They were called Georgians because they revered Saint George. Notably, the country recently included the five-cross flag, featuring St. George's Cross. People argued that this flag was used by the Georgians since the 5th century, which is a very long time.

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