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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Iberians

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an Asiatic nation inhabiting the Caucasian isthmus, described by Virgil, Horace, and Lucan as a warlike, cruel, and uncivilized people, while Strabo speaks of them as a very quiet and religious people. Rufinus and Moses of Chorene relate that, during the reign of the emperor Constantine, the great Christina, probably a Christian woman (some call her Nino, others Nunia), was made prisoner by the Iberians, and became a slave. Her piety soon won for her the esteem and consideration not only of her master, but of the Iberians generally; and being on one occasion asked to cure a sick child of royal rank, she told the people that Christ her God, alone could effect the cure. She prayed for the child, and it recovered. She is next said to have cured the queen by her prayers. The king, Miraus, and his queen were converted, and did their utmost to spread Christianity through their dominions. The country has since remained Christian, though the true religion was long mixed with many old superstitions. Some claim that Christina was from Byzantium, on the ground that Procopius (5, 9) mentions an old convent preserved in Jerusalem, and rebuilt by Justinian in the 6th century, which was called Iberian or Iwerian. Moses of Chorene, moreover, says that she was an Armenian, and that teachers were demanded of the Armenian bishop Gregory, not of Rome. The Iberians spread Christianity among the surrounding nations. Their country is now called Georgia (q.v.), and they hold ecclesiastical relations with the Greek Church (q.v.).Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Pierer, Universal Lexikon, s.v.; Schr ckh, Kirchengesch. 6, 27 sq.


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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Iberians'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/i/iberians.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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