Religion.-Most of the Russians and the Georgians belong to the Orthodox Greek Church (over 4,000,000 in all); but considerable numbers (estimated at nearly 122,000, though in reality probably a good many more) are Nonconformists of different denominations.
In 1678 it was captured by the elector of Brandenburg, but was restored to the Swedes in the following year; in 1713 it was desolated by the Russians; in 1715 it came into the possession of Denmark; and in 1721 it was again restored to Sweden, under whose protection it remained till 1815, when, along with the whole of Swedish Pomerania, it came into the possession of Prussia.
The soil of these plains is generally very fertile and they support a population of nearly 2,800,000 Russians, composed of Cossacks and peasant immigrants, settled chiefly along the rivers and grouped in large, wealthy villages.
The inhabitants of the Kura valley consist principally of Iranian Tates and Talyshes, of Armenians and Lesghians, with Russians, Jews and Arabs.
The master of the latter province had beaten off an attack of the Russians in 1502, and secured a fifty years' peace.