Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity)
The Kingdom of Armenia the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, or Greater Armenia, sometimes referred to as the Armenian Empire, was a monarchy in the Ancient Near East which existed from 321 BC to 428 AD. Its history is divided into successive reigns by three royal dynasties: Orontid and Arsacid; the root of the kingdom lies in one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia called Armenia, formed from the territory of the Kingdom of Ararat after it was conquered by the Median Empire in 590 BC. The satrapy became a kingdom in 321 BC during the reign of the Orontid dynasty after the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great, incorporated as one of the Hellenistic kingdoms of the Seleucid Empire. Under the Seleucid Empire, the Armenian throne was divided in two – Armenia Maior and Sophene – both of which passed to members of the Artaxiad dynasty in 189 BC. During the Roman Republic's eastern expansion, the Kingdom of Armenia, under Tigranes the Great, reached its peak, from 83 to 69 BC, after it reincorporated Sophene and conquered the remaining territories of the falling Seleucid Empire ending its existence and raising Armenia into an empire for a brief period, until it was itself conquered by Rome in 69 BC.
The remaining Artaxiad kings ruled as clients of Rome until they were overthrown in 12 AD due to their possible allegiance to Rome's main rival in the region, Parthia. During the Roman–Parthian Wars, the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia was founded when Tiridates I, a member of the Parthian Arsacid dynasty, was proclaimed King of Armenia in 52. Throughout most of its history during this period, Armenia was contested between Rome and Parthia, the Armenian nobility was divided among pro-Roman, pro-Parthian or neutrals. From 114 to 118, Armenia became a province of the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan; the Kingdom of Armenia served as a client state or vassal at the frontier of the two large empires and their successors, the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. In 301, Tiridates III proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia, making the Armenian kingdom the first state to embrace Christianity officially. During the Byzantine–Sasanian wars, Armenia was partitioned into Byzantine Armenia in 387 and Persian Armenia in 428.
The geographic Armenian Highlands known as the highlands of Ararat, was inhabited by Proto-Armenian tribes which did not yet constitute a unitary state or nation. The highlands were first united by tribes in the vicinity of Lake Van into the Kingdom of Van; the kingdom competed with Assyria over supremacy in the highlands of Ararat and the Fertile Crescent. Both kingdoms fell to Iranian invaders from the neighbouring East in the 6th century BC, its territory was reorganized into a satrapy called Armenia. The Orontid dynasty ruled as satraps of the Achaemenid Empire for three centuries until the empire's defeat against Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, a Macedonian general named Neoptolemus obtained Armenia until he died in 321 BC and the Orontids returned, not as satraps, but as kings. Orontes III and the ruler of Lesser Armenia, recognized themselves independent, thus elevating the former Armenian satrapy into a kingdom, giving birth to the kingdoms of Armenia and Lesser Armenia.
Orontes III defeated the Thessalian commander Menon, who wanted to capture Sper's gold mines. Weakened by the Seleucid Empire which succeeded the Macedonian Empire, the last Orontid king, Orontes IV, was overthrown in 200/201 BC and the kingdom was taken over by a commander of the Seleucid Empire, Artashes I, presumed to be related to the Orontid dynasty himself; the Seleucid Empire's influence over Armenia had weakened after it was defeated by the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC. A Hellenistic Armenian state was thus founded in the same year by Artaxias I alongside the Armenian kingdom of Sophene led by Zariadres. Artaxias seized Yervandashat, united the Armenian Highlands at the expense of neighboring tribes and founded the new royal capital of Artaxata near the Araxes River. According to Strabo and Plutarch, Hannibal Barca received hospitality at the Armenian court of Artaxias I; the authors add an apocryphal story of how Hannibal supervised the building of Artaxata. The new city was laid on a strategic position at the juncture of trade routes that connected the Ancient Greek world with Bactria and the Black Sea which permitted the Armenians to prosper.
Tigranes the Great saw an opportunity for expansion in the constant civil strife to the south. In 83 BC, at the invitation of one of the factions in the interminable civil wars, he entered Syria, soon established himself as ruler of Syria—putting the Seleucid Empire at an end—and ruled peacefully for 17 years. During the zenith of his rule, Tigranes the Great extended Armenia's territory outside of the Armenian Highland over parts of the Caucasus and the area, now south-eastern Turkey, Iran and Lebanon, becoming one of the most powerful states in the Roman East. Armenia came under the Ancient Roman sphere of influence in 66 BC, after the battle of Tigranocerta and the final defeat of Armenia's ally, Mithridates VI of Pontus. Mark Antony invaded and defeated the kingdom in 34 BC, but the Romans lost hegemony during the Final War of the Roman Republic in 32–30 BC. In 20 BC, Augustus negotiated a truce with the Parthians, making Armenia a buffer zone between the two major powers. Augustus i
Bako Sahakyan is the third president of the de facto Republic of Artsakh. He was first elected as President on 19 July 2007. On 19 July 2012 he was re-elected for a second five-year term, receiving two-thirds of the votes. In 2017 he was re-elected indirectly for a three-year term. Sahakyan replaced Arkadi Ghukasyan. Sahakyan was born in Stepanakert, NKAO, Azerbaijan SSR in 1960. After serving in the Soviet army, he worked for nine years in a Stepanakert factory. In 1990, he joined the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army. In 1999, he was named interior minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, he led the Nagorno-Karabakh security service from 2001 to June 2007, when he resigned in order to run in the 2007 Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election. Sahakyan won the elections with 85 percent of the votes. Voters turned to Sahakyan because of his record in the security services, he has pledged to seek full independence of Artsakh, using the example that international recognition of Kosovo as an independent state would pave the way for acceptance of Artsakh's sovereignty.
He was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2012 and indirectly in 2017 for a three-year term. Sahakyan has two children, his name is sometimes transcribed as Bako Saakian. President of Artsakh Artsakh Arkadi Ghukasyan Official website of the President of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic High turnout in Nagorno-Karabakh
Stepanakert and called Vararakn, is the capital and the largest city of the de facto Republic of Artsakh. The Republic has no international recognition, being deemed part of the Republic of Azerbaijan by most countries; as of 2015, the population of Stepanakert is 55,200. Stepanakert meaning the city of Stepan is named after Armenian Bolshevik revolutionary Stepan Shaumian; the name is formed of the words kert meaning town. According to medieval Armenian sources, the settlement was first mentioned as Vararakn, a name that remained in use until 1847, when it was renamed Khankendi. Azerbaijani sources say that the settlement was founded in the late eighteenth century as a private residence for khans of the Karabakh Khanate, was thus called Khankendi; the settlement was called Khanin Kendi, but was shortened to Khankendi. After the Russian Empire gained the territory of the Karabakh Khanate through the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813, the name Khankendi was charted on Russian maps. In 1923 Khankendi was renamed Stepanakert by the Soviet government to honor Stepan Shahumyan, ethnic Armenian leader of the 26 Baku Commissars, after the Shusha pogrom had resulted in major destruction at Shusha, the former regional capital, Stepanakert was made the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast.
In time, Stepanakert grew to become the region's most important city. Its population rose from 10,459 in 1939 to 33,000 in 1978. In 1926, municipal authorities adopted a new city layout designed by the prominent Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian. Several schools and two polyclinics were established, an Armenian drama theater was founded in 1932 and named after Maxim Gorky. Stepanakert served as Nagorno-Karabakh's main economic hub, by the mid-1980s there were nineteen production facilities in the city; the political and economic reforms that General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev had initiated in 1985 saw a marked decentralization of Soviet authority. Armenians, in both Armenia proper and Nagorno-Karabakh, viewed Gorbachev's reform program as an opportunity to unite the two together. On 20 February 1988, tens of thousands of Armenians gathered to demonstrate in Stepanakert's Lenin Square to demand that the region be joined to Armenia. On the same day, the Supreme Soviet of Nagorno-Karabakh voted to join the Armenian SSR, a move staunchly opposed by the Soviet Azerbaijani authorities.
Relations between Stepankert's Armenians and Azerbaijanis, who supported the Azerbaijani government's position, deteriorated in the following years and as a result, nearly all of the Azerbaijanis fled the city. After Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Stepanakert was renamed by the Azerbaijani government back to Khankendi as part of a campaign against communism and Azerification. Fighting broke out over control of Nagorno-Karabakh which resulted in Armenian control of the region and a connecting corridor to Armenia to the west. Prior to the conflict, Stepanakert was the largest city of the NKAO, with a population of 70,000 out of a total 189,000. By early 1992, that figure had dropped to 50,000. During the war, the city suffered immense damage from Azeri bombardment in early 1992 when the Azerbaijanis used the town of Shushi as an artillery firebase to rain down GRAD missiles upon it. So destructive was the damage caused by the incessant bombardment, that a journalist for Time noted in an April 1992 article that "scarcely a single building escaped damage in Stepanakert."
The Azerbaijani military staged several ground attacks against the city, which were repulsed by Armenian forces. It was not until 9 May 1992, with the capture of Shusha; the city continued to suffer aerial bombardment for the remainder of the war. There has been an unofficial cease-fire observed since 1994. Stepanakert is located on Karabakh plateau at the centre of the de facto Republic of Artsakh, at an average altitude of 813 m above sea level; the city has a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen climate classification system and a semi-arid climate according to the Trewartha climate classification system. In the month of January, the average temperature drops to 0.5 °C. In August, it averages around 22.6 °C. During the period of USSR, Stepanakert has served as the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic, between 1923 and 1991. With the independence of Artsakh in 1991, Stepanakert continued with its status as the political and cultural centre of the newly-established republic, being home to all the national institutions: the Government House, the National Assembly, the Presidential Palace, the Constitutional Court, all ministries, judicial bodies and other government organizations.
Artsakh is a presidential democracy since the 2017 constitutional referendum. The Prime Minister's post was abolished and the executive power is now residing with the President, both the head of state and head of government; the president is directly elected for a maximum of two-consecutive five-year terms. The current President is Bako Sahakyan. On 19 July 2012, Sahakyan was re-elected for a second term, he was again re-elected
Askeran is a town in the Republic of Artsakh and the administrative center of the Askeran Province, coextensive with Khojali Rayon of Azerbaijan. Askeran fortress is situated in the southern suburb of the town; the fortress was built for defense of Shusha. The fortress was used during the Russo-Persian War. In the 1988 in the clash in this city was one of the igniting points of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict resulting in Nagorno-Karabakh War; the fortress of Askeran was renovated in 2002. Askeran at GEOnet Names Server World Gazetteer: Azerbaijan – World-Gazetteer.com Population of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Hadrut Province is a province of the de facto Republic of Artsakh. The Republic has limited international recognition, it is de jure part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It forms the southern border of Nagorno-Karabakh, one of the most mountainous parts. Villages are found along two river valleys and scattered in lower elevations on the southern fringe. Excavations of the Azokh Cave show that humans have inhabited this area for tens of thousands of years, the region has a rich history. Hadrut province has 30 communities of which 1 is considered urban and 29 are rural; the most important problems are drinking and irrigation water, internal communication roads. Some villages are lacking a telephone network and some have difficulties with watching Armenian TV channels. More than 340 people of Hadrut Region fell victim during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. Nearly 30 % of its area has been burnt several times. Town of Hadrut Monastery of Spitak Khatch, 14th century Gtichavank monastery, 1241–1248 Anapat Church, 13th century, near the village of Togh Khodaafarin Bridges Dizak Arajamugh Armeniapedia - Rediscovering Armenia - Hadrut Region
Mincivan, in Armenian Mijnavan is a town in the Kashatagh Region of the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh. However, it is a de jure part of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with the status of an administrative division of the surrounding Zangilan Rayon, its population as of 2010 is 324. Mincivan, Zangilan at GEOnet Names Server World Gazetteer: Azerbaijan – World-Gazetteer.com
History of Artsakh
Artsakh is located in the southern part of the Lesser Caucasus range, at the eastern edge of the Armenian Highlands, encompassing the highland part of the wider geographical region known as Karabakh. Under Russian and Soviet rule, the region came to be known as Nagorno-Karabakh, meaning "Mountainous Karabakh" in Russian; the name Karabakh itself was first employed in Georgian and Persian sources from the 13th and 14th centuries to refer to an Armenian principality known by modern historians as the Kingdom of Artsakh or Khachen. Most of this area is under the control of the de facto Artsakh Republic, which has economic and military support from Armenia, but the region is de jure recognized as part of Azerbaijan; the final status of the region is still a subject of negotiations between Azerbaijan. This article encompasses the history of the region from the ancient to the modern period; the region of Nagorno-Karabakh was occupied by the people known to modern archaeologists as the Kura-Araxes, is located between the two rivers bearing those names.
Little is known about the ancient history of the region because of the scarcity of historical sources. Jewelry has been found within the present confines of Nagorno-Karabakh inscribed with the cuneiform name of Adad-Nirari, King of Assyria. According to the local traditions held by many people in the area, the two river valleys in Nagorno-Karabakh were among the first to be settled by Noah's descendants. According to a 5th-century AD Armenian tradition, a local chieftain named Aran was appointed by the Armenian King Vologases I to be the first governor of this province. Ancient Armenian authors, Movses Khorenatsi and Movses Kaghankatvatsi, name of it Aran the ancestor inhabitants of Artsakh and next province Utik, the descendant of Sisak, through it—the descendant of Haik, the ancestor and eponym of all Armenians. For the first time the territory of modern Nagorno Karabakh is mentioned in inscriptions of Sardur II, King of Urartu, found in village Tsovk in Armenia, as the region Urtekhini. Then—in our data—a breakdown to the Roman epoch.
A following mention—already at Strabo which characterizes "Orkhistena" as "the area of Armenia exposing the greatest number of horsemen". It is unclear. Strabo listing all gains of Armenian Kings since 189 BC. does not mention Orkhistena, which indirectly shows that it has been an accessory of the Armenian empire to which it could get in the inheritance from Persian satrapy "East Armenia". Ruins of the city Tigranakert are near the modern city of Agdam, it is one of four cities with such a name that were built in the beginning of 1 BC by king of Armenia Tigranes the Great. Armenian archaeologists have led excavation of this city. Fragments of a fortress, hundreds the ancient subjects similar to subjects, found in Armenia. Fencing of a citadel and basilica of 5th–6th centuries AD have been revealed. Excavation have shown, that the city existed since the 1st century BC until the 13th or 14th century AD. Ancient inhabitants of Artsakh spoke a special dialect of the Armenian language. Strabo and authors of the 1st and 2nd centuries—Claudius Ptolemaeus and Pliny the Elder—unanimously approve, that border between Greater Armenia and Caucasian Albania is river Cyrus.
Authoritative encyclopedias on antiquity name Kura southern border of Albania. Artsakh is much to the south of this river. Certificates which would approve its accessory Caucasus Albania or to other state up to the end of the 4th century, does not exist. Armenian historian Faustus of Byzantium wrote that during an epoch of the disorders which followed intrusion of Persians into Armenia, Artsakh appeared among the risen provinces, whereas Utik has been grasped by Caucasus Albanians. Armenian military commander Mushegh Mamikonian defeated the country of Artsakh in a big battle, made many inhabitants of the region prisoners, took hostages from the rest, imposed a tribute on them. In 372 Mushegh defeated the Caucasus Albanians, took from them Utik, restored the border on Kura, "as was earlier". According to "Geography" by 7th-century Armenian geographer Anania Shirakatsi, Artsakh was the 10th among the 15 provinces of Armenia, consisted of 12 districts: Myus Haband, Berdadzor, Mets Arank, Mets Kvenk, Mukhank, Parsakank, Kusti and Koght.
However Anania writes, that during its time Atrsakh together with the next districts "will tear away from Armenia". And it is valid, in 387 Armenia has been divided between Roman Persia. In 469 the kingdom of Albania was reformed into a Sassanid Persian marzpanate. In the early 4th century Christianity spread in Artsakh. At the beginning of the 5th century, thanks to the creation of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots, an unprecedented rise of culture began in whole Armenia, in particular in Artsakh, Mesrop Mashtots having founded one of the first Armenian schools at the Artsakh Amaras Monastery. In the 5th century the eastern part of Armenia, including Artsakh, remained under Persian rule. In 451 the Armenians in response to the policy of compulsion of their Zoroastrian Persian overlords organized a powerful revolt known as the Vardan war. Artsakh took part in that war, its cavalry having particularly