ENCYCLOPEDIC REFERENSES BY JOHANN ZEDLER ON THE HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY AND TOPONYMY AND MODERN HISTORIOGRAPHY OF ABKHAZIA
Keywords:side, boundaries, Toponymy, hydronymy, Historical geography, localization, populated area, river
The name of Johan Heinrich Zedler, a famous German publisher and bookseller, is connected with the creation of a German encyclopedia, the Grosses Universal-Lexicon (Great Universal Lexicon), the largest and most comprehensive German-language encyclopedia developed in the 18th century. Among its expansive content, 35 articles are distinctly devoted to the Georgian subject matter. This research highlights the significance of the Zedler Encyclopedia's content, particularly in relation to inquiries concerning the historical and geographical aspects of Abkhazia during the latter half of the 18th century.The information contained in the encyclopedia about Georgia was made available to Georgian researchers and a wide part of public translated from German published by Tamaz Gogoladze and Gocha Saitidze. Zedler gives the purpose of the publishing project in a rather broad headline. The publisher notes that the encyclopedia contains all sorts of information that the human mind has ever produced and modified.
Zedler's extensive references shed light on the toponyms and hydronyms that resonate within the borders of contemporary Abkhazia, encompassing notable names such as Enguri, Ekhalisi, Kodori, and Mokvistskali. Particularly intriguing is Zedler's documentation concerning the „Great Wall of Abkhazia“. This study delves into the multifaceted realms of historical geography and toponymy within Abkhazia, scrutinizing them through the lens of modern historiography.