A Government Of Asiatic Russia, in Transcaucasia, comprising the central part of the former kingdom of Georgia; area, 15,614 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 606,584. (See Geoegia).
A City, capital of the government, and formerly of Georgia, on the river Kur, 1,100 ft. above the level of the Black sea, in lat. 41° 41' K, Ion. 44° 50' E.; pop. estimated at 60,000, composed of Russians, Georgians, Armenians, Persians, Jews, Germans, and French. It occupies a long stretch of uneven ground on both sides of the Kur, and is almost surrounded by an amphitheatre of brown barren hills. It is a mixture of Asiatic and European architecture. The modern quarter is laid out in broad streets and open squares, and contains the grand-ducal palace, the theatre, public buildings, and residences of the authorities. The old part of the town has narrow unpaved lanes and alleys, mud or sun-baked brick houses with flat roofs and few windows, and vaulted bazaars, and in it is concentrated all the life and business of Tiflis. The town is the headquarters of an army of 150,000 men, employed in frontier duty, in surveillance of the tribes, and to a great extent in making roads. Tiflis is celebrated for its warm baths. The mineral springs are chiefly at the S. end of the city, and the temperature of the hottest is 115° and that of the coldest 75°. These waters are said to be very beneficial in cutaneous disorders and rheumatic complaints.
The climate is exceedingly hot, and bilious diseases prevail. The manufactures consist of carpets, shawls, etc.; and a considerable trade is carried on with Persia. A railway, following the upper course of the Kur and the lower of the Rion or Phasis, connects Tiflis with Poti on the Black sea. - Tiflis was founded in the 5th century by a monarch named Vakhtang, who conquered the territory lying between the Black and Caspian seas, and was the capital of the nominally independent kingdom of Georgia, though devastated by Genghis Khan, and frequently in the possession of the Turks or Persians. Aga Mohammed Khan, shah of Persia, destroyed it in 1795, and reduced a large portion of the inhabitants to slavery. The last king of Georgia ceded it to Russia in 1801, since which its population has more than doubled. An insurrection broke out on June 27, 1SG5, but was soon suppressed.