Armenians

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Armenians
Հայեր Hayer
Flag of Armenia.svg
Total population
c.6 [1] 8 million [2]
Regions with significant populations
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia      2,961,514 [3] [4]
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 1,182,388 [5] –2,900,000 [6]
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1,000,366 [7] –1,500,000 [8]
Flag of France.svg  France 250,000 [9] –750,000 [10]
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia
 Flag of the Republic of Abkhazia.svg  Abkhazia [note 1]
168,191 [11]
41,864 [12]
Flag of Artsakh.svg  Artsakh [note 2] 146,573 [13]
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 150,000 [14]
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 120,000 [15]
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 90,000–110,000 [16]
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria [note 3] 100,000 [17]
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 100,000 [18]
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 100,000 [19] [20]
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 80,000 [21]
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 70,000 [22]
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 60,000 [23]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 55,740 [24]
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 50,000 [25]
Languages
Armenian
Religion
Christianity
Armenian Apostolic Church  · Catholic  · Protestant

Armenian Native Faith
Related ethnic groups
Hemshin, Cherkesogai

Armenians (Armenian : հայեր, hayer [hɑˈjɛɾ] ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands. [26] [27]

Armenian language Indo-European language

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken primarily by Armenians. It is the official language of Armenia. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.

There are various systems of romanization of the Armenian alphabet.

Ethnic group socially defined category of people who identify with each other

An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art or physical appearance.

Contents

Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the de facto independent Artsakh. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around 5 million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside modern Armenia. The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Lebanon, Brazil and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian Genocide. [28]

Republic of Artsakh Disputed territory in the South Caucasus

The Republic of Artsakh, or simply Artsakh, also known by its official name between 1991 and 2017, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, is a de facto independent country in the South Caucasus that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The region is currently populated mostly by Armenians and the primary spoken language is Armenian. Artsakh controls most of the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and some of the surrounding area, giving it a border with Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. Its capital is Stepanakert.

Armenian diaspora diaspora

The Armenian diaspora refers to the communities of Armenians outside Armenia and other locations where Armenians are considered an indigenous population. Since antiquity, Armenians have established communities in many regions throughout the world. However, the modern Armenian diaspora was largely formed as a result of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, when the Armenians living in their ancestral homeland in eastern Turkey, known as Western Armenia to Armenians, were systematically exterminated by the Ottoman government.

Armenians in Russia or Russian Armenians are one of the country's largest ethnic minorities and the largest Armenian diaspora community outside Armenia. The 2010 Russian census recorded 1,182,388 Armenians in the country. Various figures estimate that the ethnic Armenian population in Russia is actually more than 2 million. Armenians populate various regions, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Krasnodar Krai in the North Caucasus and as far as Vladivostok in the East.

Most Armenians adhere to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a non-Chalcedonian church, which is also the world's oldest national church. Christianity began to spread in Armenia soon after Jesus' death, due to the efforts of two of his apostles, St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew. [29] In the early 4th century, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first state to adopt Christianity as a state religion. [30]

Armenian Apostolic Church National church of Armenia

The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities. The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century. The church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century, according to tradition.

Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity) ancient state of Armenia

The Kingdom of Armenia, also the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, or simply 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, Artaxiad and Arsacid (52–428).

Armenian is an Indo-European language. [31] It has two mutually intelligible and written forms: Eastern Armenian, today spoken mainly in Armenia, Artsakh, Iran, and the former Soviet republics; and Western Armenian, used in the historical Western Armenia and, after the Armenian Genocide, primarily in the Armenian diasporan communities. The unique Armenian alphabet was invented in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.

Indo-European languages family of several hundred related languages and dialects

The Indo-European languages are a language family of several hundred related languages and dialects.

Eastern Armenian dialect

Eastern Armenian is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language.

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia and officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.

Etymology

Hayk, the legendary founder of the Armenian nation. Painting by Mkrtum Hovnatanian (1779-1846) Mkrtum Hovnatanian. Hayk Nahapet.jpeg
Hayk, the legendary founder of the Armenian nation. Painting by Mkrtum Hovnatanian (1779–1846)

Historically, the name Armenian has come to internationally designate this group of people. It was first used by neighbouring countries of ancient Armenia. The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription dated to 517 BC, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu (in Babylonian) as Armina (in Old Persian; Armina ( Old Persian a.png Old Persian ra.png Old Persian mi.png Old Persian i.png Old Persian na.png ) and Harminuya (in Elamite). In Greek, Αρμένιοι "Armenians" is attested from about the same time, perhaps the earliest reference being a fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Miletus (476 BC). [32] 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. [33]

An exonym or xenonym is an external name for a geographical place, a group of people, an individual person, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only outside the place, group, or linguistic community in question. An endonym or autonym is an internal name for a geographical place, a group of people, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only inside the place, group, or linguistic community in question; it is their name for themselves, their homeland, or their language.

Behistun Inscription ancient stone inscription in present-day Iran

The Behistun Inscription is a multilingual inscription and large rock relief on a cliff at Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran, established by Darius the Great. It was crucial to the decipherment of cuneiform script as the inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. The inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

Armenians call themselves Hay (Armenian : հայ, pronounced [ˈhaj]; plural: հայեր, [haˈjɛɾ]). The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk (Armenian : Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, who, according to Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. [34] It is also further postulated [35] [36] that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi (1600–1200 BC).

Hayk legendary founder of the Armenian nation

Hayk the Great, Armenian pronunciation: [hajk], or The Great Hayk, also known as Hayk Nahapet, is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. His story is told in the History of Armenia attributed to the Armenian historian Moses of Chorene.

Noah Biblical figure

In Abrahamic religions, Noah was the tenth and last of the pre-Flood Patriarchs. The story of Noah's Ark is told in the Bible's Genesis flood narrative. The biblical account is followed by the story of the Curse of Ham.

3rd millennium BC years from 3000 BC to 2000 BC

The 3rd millennium BC spanned the years 3000 through 2001 BC. This period of time corresponds to the Early to Middle Bronze Age, characterized by the early empires in the Ancient Near East. In Ancient Egypt, the Early Dynastic Period is followed by the Old Kingdom. In Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic Period is followed by the Akkadian Empire.

Movses Khorenatsi, the important early medieval Armenian historian, wrote that the word Armenian originated from the name Armenak or Aram (the descendant of Hayk).

History

Origin

The Armenian Highland is the area surrounding Mount Ararat, the highest peak of the region.

A controversial hypothesis put forward by some scholars, such as T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov, has proposed that the Indo-European homeland was around the Armenian Highland. [37]

The modern Armenian language is often grouped with Greek and Ancient Macedonian ("Helleno-Macedonian") in the Pontic Indo-European (also called Helleno-Armenian) subgroup of Indo-European languages by Eric P. Hamp in his 2012 Indo-European family tree, groups . [38] There are two possible explanations, not mutually exclusive, for a common origin of the Armenian and Greek languages.

Some genetics studies explain Armenian diversity by several mixtures of Eurasian populations that occurred between ~3,000 and ~2,000 BC. But genetic signals of population mixture cease after ~1,200 BC when Bronze Age civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean world suddenly and violently collapsed. Armenians have since remained isolated and genetic structure within the population developed ~500 years ago when Armenia was divided between the Ottomans and the Safavid Empire in Iran. [39] [40]

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 Hayasa-Azzi came Arme-Shupria (1300s–1190 BC), the Nairi (1400–1000 BC) and the Kingdom of Urartu (860–590 BC), who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland. Each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. [41] Under Ashurbanipal (669–627 BC), the Assyrian empire reached the Caucasus Mountains (modern Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan). [42]

Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I.

The Kingdom of Armenia at its greatest extent under Tigranes the Great (95-55 BC) Armenian Empire.png
The Kingdom of Armenia at its greatest extent under Tigranes the Great (95–55 BC)

Antiquity

Ptolemy Cosmographia 1467 - Central Europe.jpg
Persis, Parthia, Armenia. Rest Fenner, published in 1835. Fenner, Rest. Persis, Parthia, Armenia. 1835 (A).jpg
Persis, Parthia, Armenia. Rest Fenner, published in 1835.
Armenia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Assyria with Adjacent Regions, Karl von Spruner, published in 1865. AMBS by Karl von Spruner.jpg
Armenia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Assyria with Adjacent Regions, Karl von Spruner, published in 1865.

The first geographical entity that was called Armenia by neighboring peoples (such as by Hecataeus of Miletus and on the Achaemenid Behistun Inscription) was established in the late 6th century BC under the Orontid dynasty within the Achaemenid Persian Empire as part of the latters' territories, and which later became a kingdom. At its zenith (95–65 BC), the state extended from the Caucasus all the way to what is now central Turkey, Lebanon, and northern Iran. The imperial reign of Tigranes the Great is thus the span of time during which Armenia itself conquered areas populated by other peoples.

The Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia, itself a branch of the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia, was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion (it had formerly been adherent to Armenian paganism, which was influenced by Zoroastrianism, [43] while later on adopting a few elements regarding identification of its pantheon with Greco-Roman deities). [44] in the early years of the 4th century, likely AD 301, [45] partly in defiance of the Sassanids it seems. [46] In the late Parthian period, Armenia was a predominantly Zoroastrian-adhering land, [43] but by the Christianisation, previously predominant Zoroastrianism and paganism in Armenia gradually declined. [46] [47] Later on, in order to further strengthen Armenian national identity, Mesrop Mashtots invented the Armenian alphabet, in 405 AD. This event ushered the Golden Age of Armenia, during which many foreign books and manuscripts were translated to Armenian by Mesrop's pupils. Armenia lost its sovereignty again in 428 AD to the rivalling Byzantine and Sassanid Persian empires, until the Muslim conquest of Persia overran also the regions in which Armenians lived.

The Cathedral of Ani, completed in 1001 Ani-Cathedral, Ruine.jpeg
The Cathedral of Ani, completed in 1001

Middle Ages

In 885 AD the Armenians reestablished themselves as a sovereign kingdom under the leadership of Ashot I of the Bagratid Dynasty. A considerable portion of the Armenian nobility and peasantry fled the Byzantine occupation of Bagratid Armenia in 1045, and the subsequent invasion of the region by Seljuk Turks in 1064. They settled in large numbers in Cilicia, an Anatolian region where Armenians were already established as a minority since Roman times. In 1080, they founded an independent Armenian Principality then Kingdom of Cilicia, which became the focus of Armenian nationalism. The Armenians developed close social, cultural, military, and religious ties with nearby Crusader States, [48] but eventually succumbed to Mamluk invasions. In the next few centuries, Djenghis Khan, Timurids, and the tribal Turkic federations of the Ak Koyunlu and the Kara Koyunlu ruled over the Armenians.

Early modern history

From the early 16th century, both Western Armenia and Eastern Armenia fell under Iranian Safavid rule. [49] [50] Owing to the century long Turco-Iranian geo-political rivalry that would last in Western Asia, significant parts of the region were frequently fought over between the two rivalling empires. From the mid 16th century with the Peace of Amasya, and decisively from the first half of the 17th century with the Treaty of Zuhab until the first half of the 19th century, [51] Eastern Armenia was ruled by the successive Iranian Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar empires, while Western Armenia remained under Ottoman rule. In the late 1820s, the parts of historic Armenia under Iranian control centering on Yerevan and Lake Sevan (all of Eastern Armenia) were incorporated into the Russian Empire following Iran's forced ceding of the territories after its loss in the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828) and the outcoming Treaty of Turkmenchay. [52] Western Armenia however, remained in Ottoman hands.

Modern history

About 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1918. Morgenthau336.jpg
About 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the Armenian Genocide in 1915–1918.

The ethnic cleansing of Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire is widely considered a genocide, resulting in an estimated 1.5 million victims. The first wave of persecution was in the years 1894 to 1896, the second one culminating in the events of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and 1916. With World War I in progress, the Ottoman Empire accused the (Christian) Armenians as liable to ally with Imperial Russia, and used it as a pretext to deal with the entire Armenian population as an enemy within their empire.

Governments of the Republic of Turkey since that time have consistently rejected charges of genocide, typically arguing either that those Armenians who died were simply in the way of a war, or that killings of Armenians were justified by their individual or collective support for the enemies of the Ottoman Empire. Passage of legislation in various foreign countries, condemning the persecution of the Armenians as genocide, has often provoked diplomatic conflict. (See Recognition of the Armenian Genocide)

Following the breakup of the Russian Empire in the aftermath of World War I for a brief period, from 1918 to 1920, Armenia was an independent republic. In late 1920, the communists came to power following an invasion of Armenia by the Red Army; in 1922, Armenia became part of the Transcaucasian SFSR of the Soviet Union, later on forming the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (1936 to 21 September 1991). In 1991, Armenia declared independence from the USSR and established the second Republic of Armenia.

Geographic distribution

Armenian presence in the early 20th century:
>50%       25-50%       <25%
Armenian settlement area today. Armenian distribution map.png
Armenian presence in the early 20th century:
  >50%       25–50%       <25%
  Armenian settlement area today.

Armenia

Armenians have had a presence in the Armenian Highland for over 4,000 years, since the time when Hayk, the legendary patriarch and founder of the first Armenian nation, led them to victory over Bel of Babylon. [53] Today, with a population of 3.5 million, they not only constitute an overwhelming majority in Armenia, but also in the disputed region of Artsakh. Armenians in the diaspora informally refer to them as Hayastantsis (Armenian : հայաստանցի), meaning those that are from Armenia (that is, those born and raised in Armenia). They, as well as the Armenians of Iran and Russia speak the Eastern dialect of the Armenian language. The country itself is secular as a result of Soviet domination, but most of its citizens identify themselves as Apostolic Armenian Christian.

Armenian population by country (in thousands):
> 2,000
1,000-2,000
500-1,000
200-500
100-200
75-100
10-75
1-10
0.1-1
<0.1 Armenian population by country gradient map (2018).svg
Armenian population by country (in thousands):
  > 2,000
  1,000–2,000
  500–1,000
  200–500
  100–200
  75–100
  10–75
  1–10
  0.1–1
  <0.1

Diaspora

Small Armenian trading and religious communities have existed outside Armenia for centuries. For example, a community survived for over a millennium in the Holy Land, and one of the four-quarters of the walled Old City of Jerusalem has been called the Armenian Quarter. [54] An Armenian Catholic monastic community of 35 founded in 1717 exists on an island near Venice, Italy. There are also remnants of formerly populous communities in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Israel, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.[ citation needed ]

Regardless, most of the modern days diaspora consists of Armenians scattered throughout the world as a direct consequence of the genocide of 1915, constituting the main portion of the Armenian diaspora. However, Armenian communities in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi, in Syria and in Iran existed since antiquity.[ citation needed ]

Within the diasporan Armenian community, there is an unofficial classification of the different kinds of Armenians. For example, Armenians who originate from Iran are referred to as Parskahay (Armenian : պարսկահայ), while Armenians from Lebanon are usually referred to as Lipananahay (Armenian : լիբանանահայ). Armenians of the Diaspora are the primary speakers of the Western dialect of the Armenian language. This dialect has considerable differences with Eastern Armenian, but speakers of either of the two variations can usually understand each other. Eastern Armenian in the diaspora is primarily spoken in Iran and European countries such as Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia (where they form a majority in the Samtskhe-Javakheti province). In diverse communities (such as in Canada and the U.S.) where many different kinds of Armenians live together, there is a tendency for the different groups to cluster together.

Culture

Religion

Church service, Yerevan. Church service, Yerevan (5211267961).jpg
Church service, Yerevan.
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, was established in 301 AD. Ejmiadzin Cathedral2.jpg
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, was established in 301 AD.
Ancient Tatev Monastery. Tatev Monastery from a distance.jpg
Ancient Tatev Monastery.

Before Christianity, Armenians adhered to Armenian paganism: a type of indigenous polytheism that stemmed from the Urartu period but which adopted several Greco-Roman and Iranian religious characteristics. [55] [56]

In 301 AD, Armenia adopted Christianity as a state religion, becoming the first state to do so. [29] The claim is primarily based on the fifth-century work of Agathangelos titled "The History of the Armenians." Agathangelos witnessed at first hand the baptism of the Armenian King Trdat III (c. 301/314 A.D.) by St. Gregory the Illuminator. [57] Trdat III decreed Christianity was the state religion. [58]

Armenia established a Church that still exists independently of both the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches, having become so in 451 AD as a result of its stance regarding the Council of Chalcedon. [29] Today this church is known as the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is a part of the Oriental Orthodox communion, not to be confused with the Eastern Orthodox communion. During its later political eclipses, Armenia depended on the church to preserve and protect its unique identity. The original location of the Armenian Catholicosate is Echmiadzin. However, the continuous upheavals, which characterized the political scenes of Armenia, made the political power move to safer places. The Church center moved as well to different locations together with the political authority. Therefore, it eventually moved to Cilicia as the Holy See of Cilicia. [59]

The Armenians collective has, at times, constituted a Christian "island" in a mostly Muslim region. There is, however, a minority of ethnic Armenian Muslims, known as Hamshenis but many Armenians view them as a separate race, while the history of the Jews in Armenia dates back 2,000 years. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia had close ties to European Crusader States. Later on, the deteriorating situation in the region led the bishops of Armenia to elect a Catholicos in Etchmiadzin, the original seat of the Catholicosate. In 1441, a new Catholicos was elected in Etchmiadzin in the person of Kirakos Virapetsi, while Krikor Moussapegiants preserved his title as Catholicos of Cilicia. Therefore, since 1441, there have been two Catholicosates in the Armenian Church with equal rights and privileges, and with their respective jurisdictions. The primacy of honor of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin has always been recognized by the Catholicosate of Cilicia. [60]

While the Armenian Apostolic Church remains the most prominent church in the Armenian community throughout the world, Armenians (especially in the diaspora) subscribe to any number of other Christian denominations. These include the Armenian Catholic Church (which follows its own liturgy but recognizes the Roman Catholic Pope), the Armenian Evangelical Church, which started as a reformation in the Mother church but later broke away, and the Armenian Brotherhood Church, which was born in the Armenian Evangelical Church, but later broke apart from it. There are other numerous Armenian churches belonging to Protestant denominations of all kinds.

Through the ages many Armenians have collectively belonged to other faiths or Christian movements, including the Paulicians which is a form of Gnostic and Manichaean Christianity. Paulicians sought to restore the pure Christianity of Paul and in c.660 founded the first congregation in Kibossa, Armenia.

Another example is the Tondrakians, who flourished in medieval Armenia between the early 9th century and 11th century. Tondrakians advocated the abolishment of the church, denied the immortality of the soul, did not believe in an afterlife, supported property rights for peasants, and equality between men and women.

The Orthodox Armenians or the Chalcedonian Armenians in the Byzantine Empire were called Iberians ("Georgians") or "Greeks". See Gregory Pakourianos – the great Byzantine general. Their descendants are the Hayhurum and Catholic Armenians in Georgia.

Language and literature

A 14th-century Armenian illuminated manuscript Sargis Pitsak.jpg
A 14th-century Armenian illuminated manuscript

Armenian is a sub-branch of the Indo-European family, and with some 8 million speakers one of the smallest surviving branches, comparable to Albanian or the somewhat more widely spoken Greek, with which it may be connected (see Graeco-Armenian). Today, that branch has just one language – Armenian.

Five million Eastern Armenian speakers live in the Caucasus, Russia, and Iran, and approximately two to three million people in the rest of the Armenian diaspora speak Western Armenian. According to US Census figures, there are 300,000 Americans who speak Armenian at home. It is in fact the twentieth most commonly spoken language in the United States, having slightly fewer speakers than Haitian Creole, and slightly more than Navajo.

Armenian literature dates back to 400 AD, when Mesrop Mashtots first invented the Armenian alphabet. This period of time is often viewed as the Golden Age of Armenian literature. Early Armenian literature was written by the "father of Armenian history", Moses of Chorene, who authored The History of Armenia . The book covers the time-frame from the formation of the Armenian people to the fifth century AD. The nineteenth century beheld a great literary movement that was to give rise to modern Armenian literature. This period of time, during which Armenian culture flourished, is known as the Revival period (Zartonki sherchan). The Revivalist authors of Constantinople and Tiflis, almost identical to the Romanticists of Europe, were interested in encouraging Armenian nationalism. Most of them adopted the newly created Eastern or Western variants of the Armenian language depending on the targeted audience, and preferred them over classical Armenian (grabar). This period ended after the Hamidian massacres, when Armenians experienced turbulent times. As Armenian history of the 1920s and of the Genocide came to be more openly discussed, writers like Paruyr Sevak, Gevork Emin, Silva Kaputikyan and Hovhannes Shiraz began a new era of literature.

Architecture

The famous Khachkar at Goshavank, carved in 1291 by the artist Poghos. Khatchkar at Goshavank Monastery in Armenia.jpg
The famous Khachkar at Goshavank, carved in 1291 by the artist Poghos.

The first Armenian churches were built on the orders of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and were often built on top of pagan temples, and imitated some aspects of Armenian pre-Christian architecture. [61]

Classical and Medieval Armenian Architecture is divided into four separate periods.

The first Armenian churches were built between the 4th and 7th century, beginning when Armenia converted to Christianity, and ending with the Arab invasion of Armenia. The early churches were mostly simple basilicas, but some with side apses. By the fifth century the typical cupola cone in the center had become widely used. By the seventh century, centrally planned churches had been built and a more complicated niched buttress and radiating Hrip'simé style had formed. By the time of the Arab invasion, most of what we now know as classical Armenian architecture had formed.

From the 9th to 11th century, Armenian architecture underwent a revival under the patronage of the Bagratid Dynasty with a great deal of building done in the area of Lake Van, this included both traditional styles and new innovations. Ornately carved Armenian Khachkars were developed during this time. [62] Many new cities and churches were built during this time, including a new capital at Lake Van and a new Cathedral on Akdamar Island to match. The Cathedral of Ani was also completed during this dynasty. It was during this time that the first major monasteries, such as Haghpat and Haritchavank were built. This period was ended by the Seljuk invasion.

Sports

Armenian children at the UN Cup Chess Tournament in 2005. Armenian children.jpg
Armenian children at the UN Cup Chess Tournament in 2005.

Many types of sports are played in Armenia, among the most popular being football, chess, boxing, basketball, hockey, sambo, wrestling, weightlifting and volleyball. [63] Since independence, the Armenian government has been actively rebuilding its sports program in the country.

During Soviet rule, Armenian athletes rose to prominence winning plenty of medals and helping the USSR win the medal standings at the Olympics on numerous occasions. The first medal won by an Armenian in modern Olympic history was by Hrant Shahinyan, who won two golds and two silvers in gymnastics at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. In football, their most successful team was Yerevan's FC Ararat, which had claimed most of the Soviet championships in the 70s and had also gone to post victories against professional clubs like FC Bayern Munich in the Euro cup.

Armenians have also been successful in chess, which is the most popular mind sport in Armenia. Some of the most prominent chess players in the world are Armenian such as Tigran Petrosian, Levon Aronian and Garry Kasparov. Armenians have also been successful in weightlifting and wrestling (Armen Nazaryan), winning medals in each sport at the Olympics.[ citation needed ] There are also successful Armenians in footballHenrikh Mkhitaryan, boxingArthur Abraham and Vic Darchinyan.

Music and dance

Armenian folk music 3.JPG
Armeniapedia dance2.jpg
Armenian folk musicians and traditional Armenian dance.

Armenian music is a mix of indigenous folk music, perhaps best-represented by Djivan Gasparyan's well-known duduk music, as well as light pop, and extensive Christian music.

Instruments like the duduk, the dhol, the zurna and the kanun are commonly found in Armenian folk music. Artists such as Sayat Nova are famous due to their influence in the development of Armenian folk music. One of the oldest types of Armenian music is the Armenian chant which is the most common kind of religious music in Armenia. Many of these chants are ancient in origin, extending to pre-Christian times, while others are relatively modern, including several composed by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet. Whilst under Soviet rule, Armenian classical music composer Aram Khatchaturian became internationally well known for his music, for various ballets and the Sabre Dance from his composition for the ballet Gayane.

The Armenian Genocide caused widespread emigration that led to the settlement of Armenians in various countries in the world. Armenians kept to their traditions and certain diasporans rose to fame with their music. In the post-Genocide Armenian community of the United States, the so-called "kef" style Armenian dance music, using Armenian and Middle Eastern folk instruments (often electrified/amplified) and some western instruments, was popular. This style preserved the folk songs and dances of Western Armenia, and many artists also played the contemporary popular songs of Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries from which the Armenians emigrated. Richard Hagopian is perhaps the most famous artist of the traditional "kef" style and the Vosbikian Band was notable in the 40s and 50s for developing their own style of "kef music" heavily influenced by the popular American Big Band Jazz of the time. Later, stemming from the Middle Eastern Armenian diaspora and influenced by Continental European (especially French) pop music, the Armenian pop music genre grew to fame in the 60s and 70s with artists such as Adiss Harmandian and Harout Pamboukjian performing to the Armenian diaspora and Armenia. Also with artists such as Sirusho, performing pop music combined with Armenian folk music in today's entertainment industry. Other Armenian diasporans that rose to fame in classical or international music circles are world-renowned French-Armenian singer and composer Charles Aznavour, pianist Sahan Arzruni, prominent opera sopranos such as Hasmik Papian and more recently Isabel Bayrakdarian and Anna Kasyan. Certain Armenians settled to sing non-Armenian tunes such as the heavy metal band System of a Down (which nonetheless often incorporates traditional Armenian instrumentals and styling into their songs) or pop star Cher. Ruben Hakobyan (Ruben Sasuntsi) is a well recognized Armenian ethnographic and patriotic folk singer who has achieved widespread national recognition due to his devotion to Armenian folk music and exceptional talent. In the Armenian diaspora, Armenian Revolutionary Songs are popular with the youth.[ citation needed ] These songs encourage Armenian patriotism and are generally about Armenian history and national heroes.

Carpet weaving

Armenian girls, weaving carpets in Van, 1907, Ottoman Empire Van Armenian Weavers.jpeg
Armenian girls, weaving carpets in Van, 1907, Ottoman Empire

Carpet-weaving is historically a major traditional profession for the majority of Armenian women, including many Armenian families. Prominent Karabakh carpet weavers there were men too. The oldest extant Armenian carpet from the region, referred to as Artsakh (see also Karabakh carpet) during the medieval era, is from the village of Banants (near Gandzak) and dates to the early 13th century. [64] The first time that the Armenian word for carpet, gorg, was used in historical sources was in a 1242–1243 Armenian inscription on the wall of the Kaptavan Church in Artsakh. [65]

Common themes and patterns found on Armenian carpets were the depiction of dragons and eagles. They were diverse in style, rich in color and ornamental motifs, and were even separated in categories depending on what sort of animals were depicted on them, such as artsvagorgs (eagle-carpets), vishapagorgs (dragon-carpets) and otsagorgs (serpent-carpets). [65] The rug mentioned in the Kaptavan inscriptions is composed of three arches, "covered with vegatative ornaments", and bears an artistic resemblance to the illuminated manuscripts produced in Artsakh. [65]

The art of carpet weaving was in addition intimately connected to the making of curtains as evidenced in a passage by Kirakos Gandzaketsi, a 13th-century Armenian historian from Artsakh, who praised Arzu-Khatun, the wife of regional prince Vakhtang Khachenatsi, and her daughters for their expertise and skill in weaving. [66]

Armenian carpets were also renowned by foreigners who traveled to Artsakh; the Arab geographer and historian Al-Masudi noted that, among other works of art, he had never seen such carpets elsewhere in his life. [67]

Cuisine

Khorovats is a favorite Armenian dish Khorovats.jpg
Khorovats is a favorite Armenian dish

Khorovats, an Armenian-styled barbecue, is arguably the favorite Armenian dish. Lavash is a very popular Armenian flat bread, and Armenian paklava is a popular dessert made from filo dough. Other famous Armenian foods include the kabob (a skewer of marinated roasted meat and vegetables), various dolmas (minced lamb, or beef meat and rice wrapped in grape leaves, cabbage leaves, or stuffed into hollowed vegetables), and pilaf, a rice dish. Also, ghapama, a rice-stuffed pumpkin dish, [68] and many different salads are popular in Armenian culture. Fruits play a large part in the Armenian diet. Apricots (Prunus armeniaca, also known as Armenian Plum) have been grown in Armenia for centuries and have a reputation for having an especially good flavor. Peaches are popular as well, as are grapes, figs, pomegranates, and melons. Preserves are made from many fruits, including cornelian cherries, young walnuts, sea buckthorn, mulberries, sour cherries, and many others.

Institutions

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

Gregory the Illuminator Patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church

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Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia as well as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the fourteenth in the history of Armenia and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain. The city also serves as the seat of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese; the largest diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and one of the oldest dioceses in the world.

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The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, but is today accepted by the majority of scholars as being part of Asia.

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Artsakh (historic province) province

Artsakh was the tenth province (nahang) of the Kingdom of Armenia from 189 BC until 387 AD and afterwards a region of the Caucasian Albanian satrapy of Sasanid Persia from 387 to the 7th century. From the 7th to 9th centuries, it fell under Arab control. In 821, it formed the Armenian principality of Khachen and around the year 1000 was proclaimed the Kingdom of Artsakh, one of the last medieval eastern Armenian kingdoms and principalities to maintain its autonomy following the Turkic invasions of the 11th to 14th centuries.

Culture of Armenia culture of an area

The culture of Armenia encompasses many elements that are based on the geography, literature, architecture, dance, and music of the people.

Armenian Highlands highland area in western Asia south of the Caucasus

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Western Armenia a term used for eastern parts of Turkey (formerly the Ottoman Empire) that were part of the historical homeland of Armenians.

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Gandzasar monastery monastery

Gandzasar monastery is a 10th to 13th century Armenian monastery situated in the Mardakert district of de facto Republic of Artsakh. "Gandzasar" means treasure mountain or hilltop treasure in Armenian. The monastery holds relics believed to belong to St. John the Baptist and his father St Zechariah.

The Armenians in the Middle East are mostly concentrated in Iran, Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine, although well-established communities exist in Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and other countries of the area, including, of course, Armenia itself. The Armenians of the Middle East speak the western dialect of the Armenian language and the majority are adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church, with smaller Catholic and Protestant minorities. There is a sizable Armenian population in the thousands in Palestine and the Palestinian territories, especially the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem with a history that goes back 2,000 years. Armenians in Lebanon have the most freedoms, compared to other regions in the area that have large number of Armenians.

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The term Armenian carpet designates, but is not limited to, tufted rugs or knotted carpets woven in Armenia or by Armenians from pre-Christian times to the present. It also includes a number of flat woven textiles. The term covers a large variety of types and sub-varieties. Due to their intrinsic fragility, almost nothing survives—neither carpets nor fragments—from antiquity until the late medieval period.

George V of Armenia

George V of Armenia (in Armenian Գևորգ Ե. Սուրենյանց was the Catholicos of All Armenians of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin from 1911–1930. He succeeded Catholicos Matthew II, who had died on 11 December 1910 after less than three years as Catholicos.

Repatriation of Armenians refers to the act of returning of ethnic Armenians to their historical homelands, particularly to the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.

References

Notes

  1. Abkhazia is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Abkhazia and Georgia. The Republic of Abkhazia unilaterally declared independence on 23 July 1992, but Georgia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Abkhazia has received formal recognition as an independent state from 7 out of 193 United Nations member states, 2 of which have subsequently withdrawn their recognition.
  2. The Republic of Artsakh is de facto independent and mainly integrated into Armenia, however, it is internationally recognized as de jure part of Azerbaijan
  3. The number of Syrian Armenians is estimated to be far lower due to the Syrian Civil War, as these are pre-war figures. Many fled to Lebanon, Armenia, and the West respectively.

Inline

  1. different sources:
    • Dennis J.D. Sandole (24 January 2007). Peace and Security in the Postmodern World: The OSCE and Conflict Resolution. Routledge. p. 182. ISBN   9781134145713. The nearly 3 million Armenians in Armenia (and 3–4 million in the Armenian Diaspora worldwide) "perceive" the nearly 8 million Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan as "Turks."
    • McGoldrick, Monica; Giordano, Joe; Garcia-Preto, Nydia, eds. (18 August 2005). Ethnicity and Family Therapy, Third Edition (3 ed.). Guilford Press. p. 439. ISBN   9781606237946. The impact of such a horror on a group who presently number approximately 6 million, worldwide, is incalculable.
    • Gevorg Sargsyan; Ani Balabanyan; Denzel Hankinson (1 January 2006). From Crisis to Stability in the Armenian Power Sector: Lessons Learned from Armenia's Energy Reform Experience (illustrated ed.). World Bank Publications. p. 18. ISBN   9780821365908. The country's estimated 3–6 million Diaspora represent a major source of foreign direct investment in the country.
    • Arthur G. Sharp (15 September 2011). The Everything Guide to the Middle East: Understand the people, the politics, and the culture of this conflicted region. Adams Media. p. 137. ISBN   9781440529122. Since the newly independent Republic of Armenia was declared in 1991, nearly 4 million of the world's 6 million Armenians have been living on the eastern edge of their Middle Eastern homeland.
  2. different sources:
    • Von Voss, Huberta (2007). Portraits of Hope: Armenians in the Contemporary World. New York: Berghahn Books. p. xxv. ISBN   9781845452575. ...there are some 8 million Armenians in the world...
    • Freedman, Jeri (2008). The Armenian genocide. New York: Rosen Publishing Group. p. 52. ISBN   9781404218253. In contrast to its population of 3.2 million, approximately 8 million Armenians live in other countries of the world, including large communities in the America and Russia.
    • Guntram H. Herb, David H. Kaplan (2008). Nations and Nationalism: A Global Historical Overview: A Global Historical Overview. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 1705. ISBN   9781851099085. A nation of some 8 million people, about 3 million of whom live in the newly independent post-Soviet state, Armenians are constantly battling not to lose their distinct culture, identity and the newly established statehood.
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    • Philander, S. George (2008). Encyclopedia of global warming and climate change. Los Angeles: SAGE. p. 77. ISBN   9781412958783. An estimated 60 percent of the total 8 million Armenians worldwide live outside the country...
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  3. հոկտեմբերի 12-21-ը Հայաստանի Հանրապետությունում անցկացված մարդահամարի արդյունքները (The results of the census conducted in October 2011 in the Republic of Armenia). pp 6-7. (in Armenian)
  4. Ministry of Culture of Armenia "The ethnic minorities in Armenia. Brief information". As per the most recent census in 2011. "National minority".
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  7. Total ancestry categories tallied for people with one or more ancestry categories reported 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  8. Thon, Caroline (2012). Armenians in Hamburg: an ethnographic exploration into the relationship between diaspora and success. Berlin: LIT Verlag Münster. p. 25. ISBN   978-3-643-90226-9.
  9. Taylor, Tony (2008). Denial: history betrayed. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Pub. p. 4. ISBN   978-0-522-85482-4.
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  13. Gibney, Matthew J. (2005). Immigration and asylum: from 1900 to the present. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 13. ISBN   978-1-57607-796-2.
  14. Vardanyan, Tamara (21 June 2007). Իրանահայ համայնք. ճամպրուկային տրամադրություններ [The Iranian-Armenian community] (in Armenian). Noravank Foundation . Retrieved 5 January 2013.
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  20. Bedevyan, Astghik (18 January 2011). "Հունաստանի հայ համայնքը պատրաստվում է Հայաստանի նախագահի հետ հանդիպմանը [Armenian community of Greece preparing for the meeting with the Armenian president]" (in Armenian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenian Service. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
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  24. "Narodowy Spis Powszechny 2011 (Polish Census of 2011)". Główny Urząd Statystyczny (Polish Central Statistical Office). 2011. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  25. "Armenia: Ancient and premodern Armenia". Encyclopædia Britannica Online . Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 17 July 2018. The Armenians, an Indo-European people, first appear in history shortly after the end of the 7th century BCE[, d]riving some of the ancient population to the east of Mount Ararat [...]
  26. Tiratsʻyan, Gevorg Artashesi (2003). Vardanyan, Ṛuben, ed. From Urartu to Armenia: Florilegium Gevork A. Tiratsʻyan in Memoriam. Neuchâtel / University of Michigan: Recherches et publications. p. 51. Retrieved 29 January 2019. In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian state was replaced by the Armenian kingdom in the territory of the Armenian Highlands.
  27. Richard G. Hovannisian, The Armenian people from ancient to modern times: the fifteenth century to the twentieth century, Volume 2, p. 427, Palgrave Macmillan, 1997.
  28. 1 2 3 see Hastings, Adrian (2000). A World History of Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 289. ISBN   978-0-8028-4875-8.
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  32. Xenophon. Anabasis. pp. IV.v.2–9.
  33. Razmik Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings And Priests to Merchants And Commissars, Columbia University Press (2006), ISBN   978-0-231-13926-7, p. 106.
  34. Rafael Ishkhanyan, "Illustrated History of Armenia," Yerevan, 1989
  35. Elisabeth Bauer. Armenia: Past and Present (1981), p. 49
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  38. Haber, Marc; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Xue, Yali; Comas, David; Gasparini, Paolo; Zalloua, Pierre; Tyler-Smith, Chris (2015). "Genetic evidence for an origin of the Armenians from Bronze Age mixing of multiple populations". European Journal of Human Genetics. 24 (6): 931–6. bioRxiv   015396 . doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.206. PMC   4820045 . PMID   26486470.
  39. Wade, Nicholas (2015-03-10). "Date of Armenia's Birth, Given in 5th Century, Gains Credence". The New York Times.
  40. Vahan Kurkjian, "History of Armenia", Michigan, 1968, History of Armenia by Vahan Kurkjian; Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia, v. 12, Yerevan 1987; Artak Movsisyan, "Sacred Highland: Armenia in the spiritual conception of the Near East", Yerevan, 2000; Martiros Kavoukjian, "The Genesis of Armenian People", Montreal, 1982
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  43. "The conversion of Armenia to Christianity was probably the most crucial step in its history. It turned Armenia sharply away from its Iranian past and stamped it for centuries with an intrinsic character as clear to the native population as to those outside its borders, who identified Armenia almost at once as the first state to adopt Christianity". (Nina Garsoïan in Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times, ed. R.G. Hovannisian, Palgrave Macmillan, 1997, Volume 1, p.81).
  44. traditionally dated to 301 following Mikayel Chamchian (1784). 314 is the date favoured by mainstream scholarship, so Nicholas Adontz (1970), p.82, following the research of Ananian, and Seibt The Christianization of Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania) (2002).
  45. 1 2 Mary Boyce. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Psychology Press, 2001 ISBN   0415239028 p 84
  46. Charl Wolhuter, Corene de Wet. International Comparative Perspectives on Religion and Education AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, ISBN   1920382372. 1 March 2014 p 31
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  63. Hakobyan, Hravard H. (1990). The Medieval Art of Artsakh. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Parberakan. p. 84. ISBN   978-5-8079-0195-8.
  64. 1 2 3 Hakobyan. Medieval Art of Artsakh, p. 84.
  65. (in Armenian) Kirakos Gandzaketsi. Պատմություն Հայոց (History of Armenia). Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1961, p. 216, as cited in Hakobyan. Medieval Art of Artsakh, p. 84, note 18.
  66. Ulubabyan, Bagrat A. (1975). Խաչենի իշխանությունը, X-XVI դարերում (The Principality of Khachen, From the 10th to 16th Centuries) (in Armenian). Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences. p. 267.
  67. http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Ghapama

General

Further reading

UCLA conference series proceedings

The UCLA conference series titled "Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces" is organized by the Holder of the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History. The conference proceedings are edited by Richard G. Hovannisian. Published in Costa Mesa, CA, by Mazda Publishers, they are:

  1. Armenian Van/Vaspurakan (2000) OCLC   44774992
  2. Armenian Baghesh/Bitlis and Taron/Mush (2001) OCLC   48223061
  3. Armenian Tsopk/Kharpert (2002) OCLC   50478560
  4. Armenian Karin/Erzerum (2003) OCLC   52540130
  5. Armenian Sebastia/Sivas and Lesser Armenia (2004) OCLC   56414051
  6. Armenian Tigranakert/Diarbekir and Edessa/Urfa (2006) OCLC   67361643
  7. Armenian Cilicia (2008) OCLC   185095701
  8. Armenian Pontus: the Trebizond-Black Sea communities (2009) OCLC   272307784