History in Armenia

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Province Shirak,castle Аmberd X century

Province Shirak,castle Аmberd X century

Prehistory

    Archaeologists refer to the Shulaveri-Shomu culture of the central Transcaucasus region, including modern Armenia , as the earliest known prehistoric culture in the area, carbon-dated to roughly 6000 - 4000 BC . However, a recently discovered tomb has been dated to 9000 BC . Another early culture in the Armenian Highland and surrounding areas—the Kura-Araxes culture —is assigned the period of ca. 4000 - 2200 BC , and is believed to have subsequently developed into the Trialeti culture (ca. 2200 - 1500 BC ). Armenians are an Indo-European race.

    The original Armenian name for the country was Hayq, later Hayastan, translated as the land of Haik, and consisting of the name Haik and the Persian suffix '-stan' (land). According to legend, Haik was a great-great-grandson of Noah (son of Togarmah, who was a son of Gomer, a son of Noah's son, Yafet), and according to tradition, a forefather of all Armenians. Mount Ararat, a sacred mountain for the Armenian people, rising in the center of the Armenian Highland as its highest peak, is traditionally considered the landing place of Noah 's Ark.

   The name Armenia was given to the country by the surrounding states, as it was the name of the strongest tribe living in the historic Armenian lands, who called themselves Armens. It is traditionally derived from Armenak or Aram (the great-grandson of Haik's great-grandson, and another leader who is, according to Armenian tradition, the ancestor of all Armenians).

Early history Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent

   The Armenian Kingdom of Urartu or Van flourished in the Caucasus and eastern Asia Minor between ca. 800 BC and 600 BC . It streched from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, including much of modern Eastern Turkey. According to Strabo (XI.14.5), Armeno-Phrygians conquered Carenitis (the upper Euphrates region) from the Chalybes , probably around 600 BC. The Armenians subsequently moved to the territory of the failing kingdom of Urartu. In the 5th century BC , when both Armenians and Phrygians served under Xerxes (during the reign of the Achaemenid Persian Empire), Herodotus tells us that their costume and equipment was still identical, and the Armenians were considered colonists of the Phrygians .

   Armenian Kingdom Kingdom of Armenia at its greatest extent under the Artaxiad Dynasty after the conquests of Tigranes the Great , 80 BC

   After the destruction of the Seleucid Empire , a Hellenistic Greek successor state of Alexander the Great 's short-lived empire, a Hellenistic Armenian state was founded in 190 BC . At its zenith, from 95 to 66 BC , Armenia extended its rule over parts of the Caucasus and the area that is now eastern Turkey , Syria and Lebanon . For a time, Armenia was one of the most powerful states in the Roman East. It came under Roman control in 66 BC, and the Armenian people adopted a Western political, philosophical, and religious orientation.

Armenia was often a focus of contention between Rome and Persia.

  The Parthians forced Armenia into submission from 37 to 47 , when the Romans retook control of the kingdom.

  Under Nero , the Romans fought a campaign ( 55 – 63 ) against the Parthian Empire , which had invaded the kingdom of Armenia, allied to the Romans. After gaining ( 60 ) and losing ( 62 ) Armenia, the Romans sent XV Apollinaris from Pannonia to Cn. Domitius Corbulo , legatus of Syria . Corbulo, with the legions XV Apollinaris , III Gallica , V Macedonica , X Fretensis and XXII , entered ( 63 ) into the territories of Vologases I of Parthia , who returned the Armenian kingdom to Tiridates .

  Coin issued to celebrate the victory of Lucius Verus Armeniacus against Vologases IV of Parthia in the Armenian campaign of 162–5.

  Another campaign was led by Emperor Lucius Verus in 162 - 165 , after Vologases IV of Parthia had invaded Armenia and installed his chief general on its throne. To counter the Parthian threat, Verus set out for the east. His army won significant victories and retook the capital. Sohaemus, a Roman citizen of Armenian heritage, was installed as the new client king.

  The Sassanid Persians occupied Armenia in 252 and held it until the Romans returned in 287 . In 384 the kingdom was split between the Byzantine or East Roman Empire and the Persians. Western Armenia quickly became a province of the Roman Empire under the name of Armenia Minor ; Eastern Armenia remained a kingdom within Persia until 428 , when the local nobility overthrew the king, and the Sassanids installed a governor in his place.

Christianisation

  In AD 301 , Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion. It established a church that still exists independently of both the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches, having become so in 451 as a result of its excommunication by the Council of Chalcedon . The Armenian Apostolic Church is a part of the Oriental Orthodox communion, not to be confused with the Eastern Orthodox communion.

Vardan Mamikonian leading Armenians in the Battle of Vartanantz (451).

   During its later political eclipses, Armenia depended on the church to preserve and protect its unique identity. From around 1080 to 1375 , the focus of Armenian nationalism moved south, as the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia , with close ties to European Crusader States , flourished in southeastern Asia Minor until it was conquered by Muslim states.

Armenia and Byzantium

  In 591, the great Byzantine warrior-Emperor Maurice defeated the Persians and 'recovered' much of the remaining territory of Armenia into the empire. The conquest was completed by the Emperor Heraclius in 629.

  In 645, the Moslem Arab armies of the Caliphate had attacked the country, which fell, an easy victim, before them. So Armenia, which once had its own rulers and was at other times under Persian and Byzantine control, passed largely into the power of the Caliphs.

  Nonetheless, there were still parts of Armenia held within the Empire, and many Armenians. This exiled population held tremendous power within the Empire. The Emperor Heraclius (610-641) was of Armenian descent, as was the Emperor Philippicus (711-713). The Emperor Basil I , who took the Byzantine throne in 867, was the first of what is sometimes called the Armenian dynasty, reflecting the strong effect the Armenians had on the East Roman state. Indeed, while there were many different racial and linguistic groups within the Byzantine Empire, only the Armenians were able and allowed to maintain a distinct culture.

  In 1071, after the defeat of the Byzantine forces by the Seljuk Turks under Alp Arslan at the Battle of Manzikert , the Turks captured the Byzantine province of Greater Armenia. So ended Christian leadership of Armenia for the next millennium.

Arabs, Seljuks and Crusaders, The Caliphate

   Although the native dynasty of the Bagratids to which the Arabs gave the royal crown of Armenia, was founded under favourable circumstances, the feudal system gradually weakened the country by eroding loyalty to the central government. Thus internally enfeebled, Armenia proved an easy victim for the Seljuk Turks under Alp Arslan in the latter half of the eleventh century. To escape death or servitude at the hands of those who had assassinated his relative, Gagik II, King of Ani , an Armenian named Roupen with some of his countrymen went into the gorges of the Taurus Mountains and then into Tarsus of Cilicia. Here the Byzantine governor of the place gave them shelter. Soon after the members of the first Crusade appeared in Asia Minor.

   Count Baldwin , who with the rest of the Crusaders was passing through Asia Minor bound for Jerusalem, left the Crusader army and was adopted by Thoros of Edessa . Hostile as they were to the Seljuks , and unfriendly to the Byzantines , the Armenians took kindly to the crusader count, and when Thoros was assassinated he was made ruler of the new crusader County of Edessa . It seems that the Armenians enjoyed the rule of Baldwin and the crusaders in general, and some number of them fought alongside the Christians of Europe. When Antioch had been taken (1097), Constantine, the son of Roupen, received from the crusaders the title of baron. Within a century, the heirs of Roupen were further rewarded by the grant of a kingdom known as Cilicia or Lesser Armenia, to be held as a vassal government of the Holy See and of Germany. This kept them in touch with the crusaders. No doubt the Armenians aided in some of the other crusades. This kingdom lasted till 1375, when the Mamelukes of Egypt destroyed it.

   One of the oldest surviving Armenian churches, St. Hripsime in Ejmiadzin , near Yerevan . This church was build near the spot where St. Hripsime, an early female Christian martyr, was killed according to the legend.

Armenia under Ottoman Rule (from 1514) Main article: History of Ottoman Armenia

   Between the 4th and 19th centuries , Armenia was conquered and ruled by Persians , Byzantines , Arabs , Mongols , and Turks , among others. The Ottoman Empire ceded a big part of Armenia to the Russian Empire , known as Eastern Armenia or Russian Armenia following the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829 , while Western Armenia or Ottoman Armenia remained under Ottoman sovereignty.

The First Republic (1917-1922) Main article: The First Republic of Armenia

  After the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the takeover of the Bolsheviks , Stepan Shaumyan was placed in charge of Armenia.

  The convention in Tiflis happened in September of 1917. The convention elected an Armenian National Council . Meanwhile, both the Ittihad (Unionist) and the Nationalists moved to win the friendship of the Bolsheviks. Mustafa Kemal sent several delegations to Moscow. This alliance proved disastrous for the Armenians. The signing of the Ottoman-Russian friendship treaty (January 1, 1918), helped the Vehib Pasha to attack the new Republic. Under heavy pressure from the combined forces of the Ottoman army and the Kurdish irregulars, the Republic was forced to withdraw from Erzincan to Erzurum. In the end, the Republic had to evacuate Erzurum as well.

  Further southeast, in Van, the Armenians resisted the Turkish army until April, 1918, but eventually were forced to evacuate it and withdraw to Persia. When the Azerbaijani Tatars sided with the Turks and seized the communication lines, thus cutting off the Armenian National Councils in Baku and Erevan from the National Council in Tiflis.

  Turkish Nationals fought against the Armenians with the justification that the Armenians under the border were performing "crimes" against the Turkish population in the Ottoman provinces. Thus a Turkish-Armenian War was started.

  In between two fronts, Islamic rebellion overthrew Shaumyan and declared a Transcaucasian Federation independent from Russia . The independence lasted until late 1920 when the communists came to power following an invasion of Armenia by the Red Army , and in 1922 , Armenia became part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic .

Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Socialist Republic (1923-1936)

Armenia became part of the Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Second Republic (1936-1990)

In 1936 , it became the Armenian SSR .

The Armenian Republic (1990-today)

Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on September 21 , 1991.

Contributors
April 12, 2006 change by giorgio

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