Virc or Upper Armennia
Virc or Upper Armenia was the northern part of the Great Armennia, the places to the North and NW from the river Cour (Kura), where the present Georgia is.
In Armenian language Virc (‘-Q1PIl, qlipllfi) means ”Upper” and Vmtsi (~wg}1) means ”the inhabitant of Virc” or “Armenians from upper side, Virc”.
In present Armenian, saying “Vratsi” we understand “Georgian” which is a mistake, because present “Georgians” came to Virc much later and were just a little part of all Virc population (10 % in 1 921 AD) [85, p.4].
According to literature, the North bound of Great Armenia was along Caucasian Ridge even at the end of VI century AD [85, p, 33], [86, p. 38]. During the whole time the lords of Virc were Armenians.
In 1001 AD the brother of the Great Armenian King of Kings Gaggik I Bagratouni (9891020 AD), lord of Virc Gevvorc Bagratouni became the King of Virc (one of about 10 Armenian kings of different Armenian regions, who were under the King of Kings of Great Armenia).
Bagrat, son of Gevvorc, became the King of Abkhazzia (Sukhumi) which initially was called Kolhida [87, p. 605].
Armennians from the Great Armenia, Armenia Minor and Virc came along the seaboard of Black Sea to the North, to Kolhida (K-o-I-h-i-d-ar =part of holy God people adoring the Sun).
At VI-ll centuries BC the Kolhidian Kingdom arose [87, p. 605]. It is known that in 1001 AD Bagrat Bagratouni, the son of Gevvorc Bagratouni (the king of Vier) became the king of Kolhida, which now is called Abkhazzia with main town Sukhumi [85, p. 39].
Now in Abkhazzia Armenian population is about 60% of all population. The explanation of this high percentage is also the immigration after the Armenian genocide in present Turkey, in 1915, on all the territories inhabited by Armenians including former Armenia Minor (town Trapezund and others).
North Caucasus and Crimea
Armennians, going ahead to the North along seaboard of the Black Sea and then to the right and left sides, came also to the North Caucasus land and Crimean peninsula. They built towns and temples (later Christian churches), and live here until now. There are now many Armenian old churches in North Caucasus and the
North seaboard of the Black Sea. Armenians, came in I-ll century AD from Edessian Armenian
Kingdom, founded the town Odessa on the North seaboard of the Black Sea.
An extract from the book “Armenians and Ancient Armenia” by Paris Herouni