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  • The history of Armenia

    In the 3rd and in the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C. hundreds of tribes were living in the area of the Armenian highlands, most of which belonged to the indo-European linguistic group. The ancestors of the indo-Europeans occupied the eastern part of the Asia Minor, the Armenian highland and the northern part of the Iranian plateau. This area occupying over 400,000 square km is called the Armenian highland.

    The Biainili kingdom was formed in the 9th century in the Armenian highland, which is mentioned as Urartu in the Assyrian inscription. The country reached to its top of development under the rule of Argishti I (786-764 B.C.). This is the period when Erebuni was founded; modern Yerevan.   

    After conquering the Assyrian capital Nineveh, Paruyr got the throne from Media king, by becoming the first king of Armenia.  The Orontid dynasty was ruling in Armenia from 570-200 B.C. Before invasion of the Eastern Asia by Alexander Macedonian, Armenia was considered the most important partner for Achaemenid Persia, however Armenia was able to maintain its independence. Hellenism period left its track on the Armenian culture.  

    The Artaxiad royal dynasty came to power in 189 B.C. The biggest representative of the dynasty was Tigran the Great (95-55 B.C.). During the period he ruled the territory of Greater Armenia (Armenia Major) tripled, reaching approximately to 1 million square km. The leading states of the time had to reckon with the Armenian state. During the period when Artaxiad dynasty ruled, Armenia became the apple of discord between Rome and Parthian Empire.

    In 66, the throne of the Greater Armenia was conquered by the Arsacid dynasty.  Under the rule of Trdat the Great, in 301 Armenia became the first country where Christianity was adopted as a state religion. It was Rome’s and Persia’s dream to take over Armenia. This resulted in the separation of the country which was divided into two parts, in 387. Mesrop Mashtots systematized the Armenian alphabet in 405, which played an important role for protecting the Armenian nation. 

     

    In 428, Armenia lost its independence by falling under the rule of Persia and Byzantium.   In 451 the Armenian people defeated their nation against Persia, leaded by the sparapet Vardan Mamikonyan. In 591, Armenia was shared between Byzantium and Persia. In 653 Armenia was invaded by Arabs, this is when the Armenian Emirate (Emirate of Arminiya) was created, by reunifying Armenia. 

     

    In 885 Armenia obtained its independence leaded by Bagratid dynasty. In 961 the capital Ani was founded with a population over 100,000 people and because of the presence of many Christian churches the city was called “the city of one thousand and one churches”. 1045 the Bagratid Armenia was conquered by the Byzantium then it was under the yoke of Seljuq Turks.

     

    In 1080 the Armenian principality was established in Cilicia leaded by the Rubenid dynasty.  In 1198 Levon II was inaugurated and the Cilician kingdom was declared. The Cilician Armenian kingdom excited during the period when the catholic world was initiating the crusade invasions for liberating the Lord’s grave and the holy lands. In 1226 the Cilician Armenia throne passed to Hethumid dynasty and in 1342 to Lusignam dynasty. The Armenian kingdom was maintained in Cilicia until 1375.

    At the end of the 14th century Armenia was under the yoke of different tribes (Aq-Qoyunlu, Kara-Koyunlu), this is the period when the Armenian diasporas were being formed in Crimea, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Holland, Russia and in other places. During 16-17 centuries Armenia became the apple of discord between the Ottoman Turkey and Safavid Persia, in 1555 and 1639 Armenia was divided between two powers. During this period the only guarantee for protecting the Armenian self identity was the Christian belief and the Armenian apostolic church.  

    In the 18th century the ideas for liberating the country started spread around Armenia. Israel Ori, Hovsep Emin, Movses Sarafyan, Hovsep Arghutyan, Shahamir Shahamiryan, Movses Baghramyan showed their own participation. Because of the 19th century Russian-Persian and Russian-Turkish multiple wars part of Eastern Armenia became part of Russian Empire.  

    In 1878 the Armenian question was formed at Berlin Congress, which was speculated Armenia's liberation or self government in the Ottoman Empire. Great powers were using the Armenian questions for making pressure on Turkey. For liberating Armenia first Armenian parties were formed. In 1914, WWI breaks out and Turkey betakes the extermination of the Armenian nation, the realization of the Armenian genocide. 

    In February of 1917 Russian Emipre collapsed, and in October Bolsheviks come to power which resulted Russia coming out of the war. After the May herioc rebalion May 28th of 1918, the first Armenian republic was proclaimed.  The Central powers as well as Turkey lost the war and on the 10th  of August, 1920 the treaty of Sevres was sign, according to which the territory of Armenia would now be 160,000 square km.

     

    In December of  1920,  soviet rule was established in Armenia, the second republic was formed.  The soviet Russia was excited by the idea of spreading the revolution around the world and considered Kemalist Turkey as a partner in the Eastern Asia.  The Western part of Armenia was separated from Armenia by Russia's request, Nakhichevan and Artsakh was given to Turkey's sponsor Azerbaijan. Only 29,800 thousand square was only left for Armenia, from 1922 Armenia became part of the USSR.  

    In 1988 the Artsakh liberational movement had begun aimed for reuniting Armenia and Arstakh. In September 21st of 1991 the Armenian Republic was proclaimed and on the 2nd of September according to the the international law of self-identification the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was proclamed. Until 1994 Artsakh was almost comletely freed from the Azerbaijan yoke. Today, Armenia and Artsakh are forming over 41,300 square km.