Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20, he spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, he endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism, he founded some twenty cities. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century AD and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s.
Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics, he is ranked among the most influential people in history. Alexander was born on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is disputed, in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, he was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, his fourth wife, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time because she gave birth to Alexander. Several legends surround Alexander's childhood. According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away.
Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. Ancient commentators were divided about whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, variously claiming that she had told Alexander, or that she dismissed the suggestion as impious. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice; that same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down; this led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander.
Such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception. In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black. In his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, by Lysimachus of Acarnania. Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride and hunt; when Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted, Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he managed. Plutarch stated that Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", an
The term cultivar most refers to an assemblage of plants selected for desirable characters that are maintained during propagation. More cultivar refers to the most basic classification category of cultivated plants in the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. Most cultivars arose in cultivation. Popular ornamental garden plants like roses, daffodils and azaleas are cultivars produced by careful breeding and selection for floral colour and form; the world's agricultural food crops are exclusively cultivars that have been selected for characters such as improved yield and resistance to disease, few wild plants are now used as food sources. Trees used in forestry are special selections grown for their enhanced quality and yield of timber. Cultivars form a major part of Liberty Hyde Bailey's broader group, the cultigen, defined as a plant whose origin or selection is due to intentional human activity. A cultivar is not the same as a botanical variety, a taxonomic rank below subspecies, there are differences in the rules for creating and using the names of botanical varieties and cultivars.
In recent times, the naming of cultivars has been complicated by the use of statutory patents for plants and recognition of plant breeders' rights. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants offers legal protection of plant cultivars to persons or organisations that introduce new cultivars to commerce. UPOV requires that a cultivar be "distinct, uniform", "stable". To be "distinct", it must have characters that distinguish it from any other known cultivar. To be "uniform" and "stable", the cultivar must retain these characters in repeated propagation; the naming of cultivars is an important aspect of cultivated plant taxonomy, the correct naming of a cultivar is prescribed by the Rules and Recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. A cultivar is given a cultivar name, which consists of the scientific Latin botanical name followed by a cultivar epithet; the cultivar epithet is in a vernacular language. For example, the full cultivar name of the King Edward potato is Solanum tuberosum'King Edward'.'King Edward' is the cultivar epithet, according to the Rules of the Cultivated Plant Code, is bounded by single quotation marks.
The word cultivar originated from the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with characteristics that arose in cultivation, presently denominated cultigens. This distinction dates to the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, the "Father of Botany", keenly aware of this difference. Botanical historian Alan Morton noted that Theophrastus in his Historia Plantarum "had an inkling of the limits of culturally induced changes and of the importance of genetic constitution"; the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants uses as its starting point for modern botanical nomenclature the Latin names in Linnaeus' Species Plantarum and Genera Plantarum. In Species Plantarum, Linnaeus enumerated all plants known to him, either directly or from his extensive reading, he recognised the rank of varietas and he indicated these varieties with letters of the Greek alphabet, such as α, β, λ, before the varietal name, rather than using the abbreviation "var." as is the present convention. Most of the varieties that Linnaeus enumerated were of "garden" origin rather than being wild plants.
In time the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with variations, cultivated increased. In the nineteenth century many "garden-derived" plants were given horticultural names, sometimes in Latin and sometimes in a vernacular language. From circa the 1900s, cultivated plants in Europe were recognised in the Scandinavian and Slavic literature as stamm or sorte, but these words could not be used internationally because, by international agreement, any new denominations had to be in Latin. In the twentieth century an improved international nomenclature was proposed for cultivated plants. Liberty Hyde Bailey of Cornell University in New York, United States created the word cultivar in 1923 when he wrote that: The cultigen is a species, or its equivalent, that has appeared under domestication – the plant is cultigenous. I now propose another name, for a botanical variety, or for a race subordinate to species, that has originated under cultivation, it is the equivalent of the botanical variety except in respect to its origin.
In that essay, Bailey used only the rank of species for the cultigen, but it was obvious to him that many domesticated plants were more like botanical varieties than species, that realization appears to have motivated the suggestion of the new category of cultivar. Bailey created the word cultivar, assumed to be a portmanteau of cultivated and variety. Bailey never explicitly stated the etymology of cultivar, it has been suggested that it is instead a contraction of cultigen and variety, which seems correct; the neologism cultivar was promoted as "euphonious" and "free from ambiguity". The first Cultivated Plant Code of 1953 subsequently commended its use, by 1960 it had achieved common international acceptance; the words cultigen and cultivar may be confused with
A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of the seed is part of the process of reproduction in seed plants, the spermatophytes, including the gymnosperm and angiosperm plants. Seeds are the product of the ripened ovule, after fertilization by pollen and some growth within the mother plant; the embryo is developed from the seed coat from the integuments of the ovule. Seeds have been an important development in the reproduction and success of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants, relative to more primitive plants such as ferns and liverworts, which do not have seeds and use water-dependent means to propagate themselves. Seed plants now dominate biological niches on land, from forests to grasslands both in hot and cold climates; the term "seed" has a general meaning that antedates the above – anything that can be sown, e.g. "seed" potatoes, "seeds" of corn or sunflower "seeds". In the case of sunflower and corn "seeds", what is sown is the seed enclosed in a shell or husk, whereas the potato is a tuber.
Many structures referred to as "seeds" are dry fruits. Plants producing berries are called baccate. Sunflower seeds are sometimes sold commercially while still enclosed within the hard wall of the fruit, which must be split open to reach the seed. Different groups of plants have other modifications, the so-called stone fruits have a hardened fruit layer fused to and surrounding the actual seed. Nuts are the one-seeded, hard-shelled fruit of some plants with an indehiscent seed, such as an acorn or hazelnut. Seeds are produced in several related groups of plants, their manner of production distinguishes the angiosperms from the gymnosperms. Angiosperm seeds are produced in a hard or fleshy structure called a fruit that encloses the seeds for protection in order to secure healthy growth; some fruits have layers of both fleshy material. In gymnosperms, no special structure develops to enclose the seeds, which begin their development "naked" on the bracts of cones. However, the seeds do become covered by the cone scales.
Seed production in natural plant populations varies from year to year in response to weather variables and diseases, internal cycles within the plants themselves. Over a 20-year period, for example, forests composed of loblolly pine and shortleaf pine produced from 0 to nearly 5 million sound pine seeds per hectare. Over this period, there were six bumper, five poor, nine good seed crops, when evaluated for production of adequate seedlings for natural forest reproduction. Angiosperm seeds consist of three genetically distinct constituents: the embryo formed from the zygote, the endosperm, triploid, the seed coat from tissue derived from the maternal tissue of the ovule. In angiosperms, the process of seed development begins with double fertilization, which involves the fusion of two male gametes with the egg cell and the central cell to form the primary endosperm and the zygote. Right after fertilization, the zygote is inactive, but the primary endosperm divides to form the endosperm tissue.
This tissue becomes the food the young plant will consume until the roots have developed after germination. After fertilization the ovules develop into the seeds; the ovule consists of a number of components: The funicle or seed stalk which attaches the ovule to the placenta and hence ovary or fruit wall, at the pericarp. The nucellus, the remnant of the megasporangium and main region of the ovule where the megagametophyte develops; the micropyle, a small pore or opening in the apex of the integument of the ovule where the pollen tube enters during the process of fertilization. The chalaza, the base of the ovule opposite the micropyle, where integument and nucellus are joined together; the shape of the ovules as they develop affects the final shape of the seeds. Plants produce ovules of four shapes: the most common shape is called anatropous, with a curved shape. Orthotropous ovules are straight with all the parts of the ovule lined up in a long row producing an uncurved seed. Campylotropous ovules have a curved megagametophyte giving the seed a tight "C" shape.
The last ovule shape is called amphitropous, where the ovule is inverted and turned back 90 degrees on its stalk. In the majority of flowering plants, the zygote's first division is transversely oriented in regards to the long axis, this establishes the polarity of the embryo; the upper or chalazal pole becomes the main area of growth of the embryo, while the lower or micropylar pole produces the stalk-like suspensor that attaches to the micropyle. The suspensor absorbs and manufactures nutrients from the endosperm that are used during the embryo's growth; the main components of the embryo are: The cotyledons, the seed leaves, attached to the embryonic axis. There may be two; the cotyledons are the source of nutrients in the non-endospermic dicotyledons, in which case they replace the endosperm, are thick and leathery. In endospermic seeds the cotyledons are papery. Dicotyledons have the point of attachment opposite one another on the axis; the epicotyl, the embryonic axis above the point of attachment of the cotyledon.
The plumule, the tip of the epicotyl, has a feathery appearance due to the presence of young leaf primordia at the apex, will become the shoot upon germination. The hypocotyl, the embryonic axis below the point of attachment of the cotyledon, connecting the epicotyl and the radicle, being the stem-root transition zone; the radicle, the basal tip of the hy
Prunus is a genus of trees and shrubs, which includes the fruits plums, peaches, nectarines and almonds. Native to the northern temperate regions, there are 430 different species classified under Prunus. Many members of the genus are cultivated for their fruit and for decorative purposes. Prunus fruit are defined as drupes, or stone fruits, because the fleshy mesocarp surrounding the endocarp is edible. Most Prunus fruit and seeds are used in processing, such as jam production, drying or roasting. Members of the genus can be evergreen. A few species have spiny stems; the leaves are simple, alternate lanceolate and with nectaries on the leaf stalk. The flowers are white to pink, sometimes red, with five petals and five sepals. There are numerous stamens. Flowers are in umbels of two to six or sometimes more on racemes; the fruit is a fleshy drupe with a single large, hard-coated seed. Within the rose family Rosaceae, it was traditionally placed as a subfamily, the Amygdaloideae, but was sometimes placed in its own family, the Prunaceae.
More it has become apparent that Prunus evolved from within a much larger clade now called subfamily Amygdaloideae. In 1737, Carl Linnaeus used four genera to include the species of modern Prunus—Amygdalus, Cerasus and Padus—but simplified it to Amygdalus and Prunus in 1758. Since the various genera of Linnaeus and others have become subgenera and sections, as it is clearer that all the species are more related. Liberty Hyde Bailey says: "The numerous forms grade into each other so imperceptibly and inextricably that the genus cannot be broken up into species." A recent DNA study of 48 species concluded that Prunus is monophyletic and is descended from some Eurasian ancestor. Historical treatments break the genus into several different genera, but this segregation is not widely recognised other than at the subgeneric rank. ITIS recognises just the single genus Prunus, with an open list of species, all of which are given at List of Prunus species. One standard modern treatment of the subgenera derives from the work of Alfred Rehder in 1940.
Rehder hypothesized five subgenera: Amygdalus, Cerasus and Laurocerasus. To them C. Ingram added Lithocerasus; the six subgenera are described as follows: Prunus subgenera: Subgenus Amygdalus and peaches: axillary buds in threes. Subgenus Prunus and apricots: axillary buds solitary. Now known to be polyphyletic. Subgenus Laurocerasus, cherry-laurels: evergreen. Prunus can be divided into two clades: Cerasus-Laurocerasus-Padus, yet another study adds Emplectocladus as a subgenus to the former. The lists below include most of the better-known species; the genus Prunus includes the almond, the nectarine and peach, several species of apricots, of cherries, of plums, all of which have cultivars developed for commercial fruit and nut production. The almond is not a true nut, the edible part is the seed. Other species are cultivated or used for their seed and fruit. A number of species and cultivars are grown as ornamental plants for their profusion of flowers, sometimes for ornamental foliage and shape, for their bark.
The Tree of 40 Fruit has forty varieties grafted on to one rootstock. Species such as blackthorn, are grown for hedging, game cover, other utilitarian purposes; the wood of some species is prized as a furniture and cabinetry timber in North America. Many species produce an aromatic resin from wounds in the trunk. Other minor uses include dye production. Pygeum, a herbal remedy containing extracts from the bark of Prunus africana, is used as to alleviate some of the discomfort caused by inflammation in patients suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia. Prunus species are food plants for the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species. Prunus species are included in
Garni, is a major village in the Kotayk Province of Armenia. It is known for the nearby classical temple; as of the 2011 census, the population of the village is 6,910. The settlement has an ancient history, is best known for the Hellenistic Garni temple; the area was first occupied in the 3rd millennium BC along defensible terrain at one of the bends of the Azat River. In the 8th century BC the area was conquered by the Urartian King Argishti I; the fortification at Garni was erected sometime in the 3rd century BC as a summer residence for the Armenian Orontid and Artaxiad royal dynasties. Around the 1st century BC the fortress of Garni became the last refuge of King Mithridates of Armenia and where he and his family were assassinated by his son-in-law and nephew Rhadamistus; the fortress was sacked in 1386 by Timur Lenk. In 1679 an earthquake devastated the area destroying the temple. Garni is notable for its fortress complex with the 1st-century AD Garni Temple, Surb Astvatsatsin Church, Mashtots Hayrapet Church, a ruined 4th-century single-aisle church, a ruined Tukh Manuk Shrine, Saint Sargis Shrine, a Queen Katranide Shrine.
Nearby is the Garni Gorge with well preserved basalt columns, carved out by the Goght River. This portion of the gorge is referred to as the "Symphony of the Stones", it is most reached via a road that leads left down the gorge just before reaching the temple of Garni. Another road leads to the gorge through the village, down a cobblestone road, into the valley. Once in the valley, turning right will lead to Garni Gorge, an 11th-century medieval bridge, the "Symphony of the Stones". Taking a left will lead along the river past a fish hatchery, up to the Khosrov State Reserve, a little further Havuts Tar Monastery; the medieval bridge was controversially restored in 2013, in a project organized and paid for by the US government through its Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. Critics said. Within the Khosrov reserve is Aghjots Vank from the 13th century, the church of Saint Stepanos, the fortress of Kakavaberd. Garni lies along the road to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geghard Monastery.
Kotayk Province Armeniapedia.org: Garni Village Surb Astvatsatsin Church, Garni: photo1, photo2 Khumarzham Church ruins, Garni: photo1, photo2 Old Khachkars, Garni: photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5 Surb Astvatsatsin Church ruins, Garni: photo1, photo2 Cave-Fort, Garni
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Armenia the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Armenia is a multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia; the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD. The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301; the ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment; the unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Artsakh, proclaimed in 1991; the original native Armenian name for the country was Հայք, however it is rarely used. The contemporary name Հայաստան became popular in the Middle Ages by addition of the Persian suffix -stan.. However the origins of the name Hayastan trace back to much earlier dates and were first attested in circa 5th century in the works of Agathangelos, Faustus of Byzantium, Ghazar Parpetsi and Sebeos.
The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain, it is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina; the Ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.
The Table of Nations lists Aram as the son of Shem, to whom the Book of Jubilees attests, "And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of'Arara." Jubilees 8:21 apportions the Mountains of Ararat to Shem, which Jubilees 9:5 expounds to be apportioned to Aram. The historian Flavius Josephus states in his Antiquities of the Jews, "Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe and wine-producing facility.
According to the story of Hayk, the legendary founder of Armenia, around 2107 BC Hayk fought against Belus, the Babylonian God of War, at Çavuştepe along the Engil river to establish the first Armenian state. This event coinc