Caucasus is not a physical geography or a political geography but it is a cultural geography. The member nations or ethnic groups of this cultural area are Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis. It is a small region of great contrasts and from time immemorial, of geopolitical significance to those larger nations which surround it—Russia to the north and Turkey and Iran to the south. For centuries the North Caucasus region, forming the borderland of European Russia, has represented the literal and symbolic frontier between Europe and Asia. But it is the Trans- Caucasus region, comprised of the now independent countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The Caucasus has captured the imagination of travelers throughout the ages. As one can see from even the briefest of historical chronologies, these have been countries involved in almost continuous conflict, war, forced migrations, massacres, ethnic cleansing, invasion, conquest and reconquest, with borders that have shifted in response to each cataclysmic event. Nevertheless, each country has been able to nourish its language, literature, folklore and art, preserving its sense of ethnic and national identity.