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AKHALTSIKH (Georgian Akhaltsikhe, "ne...

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 456 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AKHALTSIKH (Georgian Akhaltsikhe, "new fortress"), a fortified town of Russian Transcaucasia, government of Tiths, 68 m. E. of Batum, in 410 40' N. lat., 430 1' E. long., on a tributary of the Kura, at an altitude of 3375 ft. The new town is on the right bank of the river, while the old town and the fortress are on the opposite bank. There is trade in silk, honey and wax, and. brown coal is found in the neighbourhood. The silver filigree work is famous. Pop. (1897) 15,387, of whom many were Armenians, as against 15,977 in 1867. From 1579 to 1828 Akhaltsikh was the capital of Turkish Armenia. In the last-mentioned year it was captured by the Russians. The Turks invested it in 1853. AK-HISSAR (anc. Thyateira, the " town of Thya "), a town situated in a fertile plain on. the Giirduk Chai (Lycus), in the Aidin vilayet, 58 m. N.E. of Smyrna. Pop. about 20,000, Mussulmans forming two-thirds. Thyateira was an ancient town re-peopled with Macedonians by Seleucus about 290 B.C. It became an important station on the Roman road from Pergamum to Laodicea, and one of the "Seven Churches" of Asia (Rev. ii. 18), but was never a metropolis or honoured with a neocorate, though made the centre of a conventus by Caracalla. The modern town is connected with Smyrna by railway, and exports cotton, wool, opium, cocoons and cereals. The in-habitants are Greeks, Armenians and Turks. The Greeks are of an especially fine type, physical and moral, and noted all through Anatolia for energy and stability. W. M. Ramsay believes them to be direct descendants of the ancient Christian population; but there is reason to think they are partly sprung from more recent immigrants who moved in the 18th century from western Greece into the domain of the Karasmans of Manisa and Bergama, as recorded by W. M. Leake. Cotton of excellent quality is grown in the neighbourhood, and the place is celebrated for its scarlet dyes. See W. M. Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches (1904) ; M. Clerc, De rebus Thyatirenorum (1893).
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