Kartveli - the Georgian name for the Georgian nation derives from indigenous proto-Georgian tribes known as the Karts, who emerged about 8th century BC in the eastern part of Georgia along the river Mtkvari gorge.
People of this land are called Kart-veli and the land was known as Sa-kartvelo. The first Greek travelers and colonists visiting our land found a people with developed agriculture and viniculture and called the inhabitants of the area ‘Georgians from the Greek word ‘geos- (earth). Georgia is also known as Gurjistan - people worshiping Saint George in the eastern countries of the world. The ethnic name Gurji was used by Persians and Arabs.
The inhabitants of Georgia often fought to maintain their independence and national integrity over the centuries. In struggling with outside influences from Achamenid and Sassanian Persia, the Greek, Roman, Persian, Arabs, Seljuk, Ottoman and Russian empires, Georgia has always managed to preserve its national characteristics, religion and culture.
Some evaluations made by foreigners:
Italian writer and traveler Parco Polo (1254-1324):
"Georgians are beautiful, brave, excellent archers and praised soldiers. Their religion is Greek-Christian. They cut their hair short. This is the country, through which Alexander the Macedonian should have returned to the West, but could not seize it. The reason was not only the narrow roads, but the fortitude of the residents of the country that lies between the Mountain and the sea. That's why Alexander could not pass through and built a fortress which is called Iron Door (Darubandi)."
French traveler and researcher, Sharden (1643-1713):
"Georgian tribe is wonderful not only in East but throughout the world I can say. I have not seen even one ugly face of a woman or a man, though I have noticed a lot of people with angel faces".
German writer Friedrich Bodenshtedt (1819-1892):
"Georgians are the people of high morals, the most honest in this area, they are very hospitable and devoted just like their swords; fast and prompt - like their swift steeds; brave in battles, while polite and pleasant at home".
"English diplomat and publicist Oliver Wardrop (1864-1948):
"The main attractive force of Georgia is the dignity of the Georgian people! Georgian man has not only a pleasant face but these people are lovely..Those who want to get rid of sorrow, bad mood, melancholy and misanthropy, can find no better cure than visit and live with this joyful, openhearted, hospitable, honest people".