History of Armenia

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Armenia is a country in the South Caucasus. In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire (at the height of its power), Mitanni (South-Western historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1600-1200 BC). Soon after the Hayasa-Azzi were the Nairi (1400-1000 BC) and the Kingdom of Urartu (1000-600 BC), who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highlands. Each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people.[1] Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I.

The Iron Age kingdom of Urartu (Assyrian for Ararat) was replaced by the Orontid dynasty. Following Persian and Macedonian rule, the Artaxiad dynasty from 190 BC gave rise to the Kingdom of Armenia which rose to the peak of its influence under Tigranes II before falling under Roman rule.

In 301, Arsacid Armenia was the first sovereign nation to accept Christianity as a state religion. The Armenians later fell under Byzantine, Persian, and Islamic hegemony, but reinstated their independence with the Bagratuni Dynasty kingdom of Armenia. After the fall of the kingdom in 1045, and the subsequent Seljuk conquest of Armenia in 1064, the Armenians established a kingdom in Cilicia, where they prolonged their sovereignty to 1375.

Greater Armenia was later divided between the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Armenians then suffered in the genocide that was inflicted on them by the Ottomans. As a result, 1.5 million Armenians were murdered and a large number were dispersed throughout the world via Syria and Lebanon. Armenia, from then on corresponding to much of Eastern Armenia, once again gained independence in 1918, with the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Armenia, and then in 1991, with the Republic of Armenia.

The name Armenia is an exonym, attested from the 6th century BC. The native Armenian name for the country is Hayastan (Armenian: Հայաստան), consisting of the Armenian endonym Haik and the suffix '-stan' "abode of".


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