The Sanigs (Georgian: სანიგები) were a tribe inhabiting Western Georgian/Abkhazia during antiquity. Their ethnic identity is obscure and is the subject of a controversy.[1] According to Georgian sources they were of Georgian, rather than Northwest Caucasian stock.[2] They are first attested in the works of Pliny, Arrian[3] and Memnon of Heraclea. Some scholars consider them to be Zans (ancestors of Mingrelian and Laz peoples), while others maintain that they were proto-Svans.[4][5] There is also a consideration that they may have been somewhat similar to the Zygii tribe. According to Arrian, they inhabited the area around Sebastopolis (modern Sukhumi). In favour of the Sanigs Kartvelian (either Zan or Svan) origin, it is important to mention some modern Georgian surnames such as: Sanikidze, Sanikiani, Sanigiani, Sanaia.[6]


  1. Smith, Graham (1998). Nation-building in the post-Soviet borderlands: the politics of national identities. Cambridge University Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-521-59968-9.
  3. Pauly, August Friedrich von; Christian Walz (1852). Real-encyclopädie der classischen alterthumswissenschaft. p. 2866. Seeräubern treibendes Bolk deö affaiischen Sarmatien an der Küste dt« 5',' zwischen den SanigS und AchSi (Arrian. II)
  4. ინგოროყვა პ. გიორგი მერჩულე, თბ., 1954;
  5. მიქელაძე თ., ძიებანი კოლხეთის და სამხრეთ-აღმოსავლეთი შავიზღვისპირეთის უძველესი მოსახლეობის ისტორიიდან (ძვ. წ. II-I ათასწლეულები), თბ., 1974.
  6. R. Topchishvili
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