|c.6 –8 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
Armenian Apostolic Church · Catholic · Protestant
Armenian Native Faith
|Related ethnic groups|
|Hemshin, Cherkesogai, Hayhurum, Armeno-Tats, Hidden Armenians|
Armenians (Armenian : հայեր, hayer [hɑˈjɛɾ] ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language that is the only language in the Armenian branch. It is the official language of Armenia as well as the de facto Republic of Artsakh. 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.
An ethnic group, a people group, a people, or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry or on similarities such as common language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is often used synonymously with the term nation, particularly in cases of ethnic nationalism, and is separate from but related to the concept of races.
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.
The Republic of Artsakh, or simply Artsakh, also known by its second official name, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, is a breakaway state 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.
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.In the early 4th century, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first state to adopt Christianity as a state religion.
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.
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.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.
The Indo-European languages are a language family of several hundred related languages and dialects.
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, also called Persia, and officially 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. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it 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. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.
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 (𐎠𐎼𐎷𐎡𐎴) and Harminuya (in Elamite). In Greek, Armenios ( Αρμένιοι ) is attested from about the same time, perhaps the earliest reference being a fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Miletus (476 BC). Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC.
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.
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.
The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian 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.
Some have linked the name Armenia with the Early Bronze Age state of Armani (Armanum, Armi) or the Late Bronze Age state of Arme (Shupria) .These connections are inconclusive as it is not known what languages were spoken in these kingdoms. Additionally, while it is agreed that Arme was located to the immediate west of Lake Van (and therefore in the greater Armenia region), the location of the older site of Armani is a matter of debate. Some modern researchers have placed it in the same general area as Arme, near modern Samsat, and have suggested it was populated, at least partially, by an early Indo-European-speaking people. It has also been speculated that the land of Ermenen (located in or near Minni ), mentioned by the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III in 1446 BCE, could be a reference to Armenia.
Armani, was an ancient kingdom mentioned by Sargon of Akkad and his grandson Naram-Sin of Akkad as stretching from Ibla to Bit-Nanib; its location is heavily debated, and it continued to be mentioned in later Assyrian inscriptions.
Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria was a Hurrian kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in what is now known as the Armenian Highlands, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. The capital was called Ubbumu. Some scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia.
Samsat is a small town and district in the Adıyaman Province of Turkey, situated on the upper Euphrates river.
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 Movses Khorenatsi (Moses of Khorene), defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. It is also further postulated that the name Hay comes from, or is related to, one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—Hayasa-Azzi (1600–1200 BC). Ultimately, Hay may derive from the Proto Indo-European words póti (meaning "lord" or "master") or *h₂éyos/*áyos (meaning "metal").
Khorenatsi wrote that the word Armenian originated from the name Armenak or Aram (the descendant of Hayk). Khorenatsi refers to both Armenia and Armenians as Hayk‘ (Armenian: Հայք) (not to be confused with the aforementioned patriarch, Hayk).
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While the Armenian language is classified as an Indo-European language, its placement within the broader Indo-European language family is a matter of debate. Until fairly recently, Armenian was generally believed to be most closely related to Greek and Ancient Macedonian. Eric P. Hamp placed Armenian in the Pontic Indo-European (also called Graeco-Armenian or Helleno-Armenian) subgroup of Indo-European languages in his 2012 Indo-European family tree.There are two possible explanations, not mutually exclusive, for a common origin of the Armenian and Greek languages.
Other modern research suggests that the Armenian language is as close to Indo-Iranian languages as it is to Greek. [ citation needed ] Additionally, linguists like Robert I. Kim have noted unique morphological developments connecting Armenian to Balto-Slavic languages.This has led some scholars to propose a hypothetical Graeco-Armenian-Aryan clade within the Indo-European language family from which Armenian, Greek, and Indo-Iranian languages all descend.
Several historians, linguists, and geneticists reject the hypothesis that Armenians originate from the Phrygians or other Balkan tribes, instead arguing that Armenians are indigenous to the Armenian Highlands and Ararat Plain.This view is supported by ancient Armenian historical accounts and legends, which place the Ararat Plain as the cradle of Armenian culture, as well as modern genetic research. Further, the controversial Armenian hypothesis, put forward by some scholars, such as Thomas Gamkrelidze and Vyacheslav V. Ivanov, has proposed that the Indo-European homeland was around the Armenian Highland. This theory was partially confirmed by the research of geneticist David Reich (et al. 2018), among others. Similarly Grolle (et al. 2018) supports not only a homeland for Armenians on the Armenian highlands, but also that the Armenian highlands are the homeland for the "pre-proto-Indo-Europeans".
Genetic 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.A genetic study (Wang et al. 2018) supports the indigenous origin for Armenians in a region south of the Caucasus which he calls "Greater Caucasus".
In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire (at the height of its power), Mitanni (South-Western historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1600–1200 BC). Soon after Hayasa-Azzi came Arme-Shupria (1300s–1190 BC), the Nairi Confederation (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. Under Ashurbanipal (669–627 BC), the Assyrian empire reached the Caucasus Mountains (modern Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan).
The first geographical entity that was called Armenia by neighboring peoples (such as by Hecataeus of Miletus and on the Achaemenid Behistun Inscription) was the Satrapy of Armenia, established in the late 6th century BC under the Orontid (Yervanduni) dynasty within the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The Orontids later ruled the independent Kingdom of Armenia. At its zenith (95–65 BC), under the imperial reign of Tigran the Great, a member of the Artaxiad (Artashesian) dynasty, the Kingdom of Armenia extended from the Caucasus all the way to what is now central Turkey, Lebanon, and northern Iran.
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,while later on adopting a few elements regarding identification of its pantheon with Greco-Roman deities). in the early years of the 4th century, likely AD 301, partly in defiance of the Sassanids it seems. In the late Parthian period, Armenia was a predominantly Zoroastrian-adhering land, but by the Christianisation, previously predominant Zoroastrianism and paganism in Armenia gradually declined. 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.
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,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.
From the early 16th century, both Western Armenia and Eastern Armenia fell under Iranian Safavid rule.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, 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. Western Armenia however, remained in Ottoman hands.
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.
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. 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.Today, with a population of 3.5
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. [ citation needed ]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.
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.
Before Christianity, Armenians adhered to Armenian paganism: a type of indigenous polytheism that pre-dated the Urartu period but which subsequently adopted several Greco-Roman and Iranian religious characteristics.
In 301 AD, Armenia adopted Christianity as a state religion, becoming the first state to do so. 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. Trdat III decreed Christianity was the state religion.
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. 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.
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, although they are offended regarded as a distinct group or subgroup. The history of the Jews in Armenia dates back over 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.
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". A notable Orthodox “Iberian” Armenian was the Byzantine General Gregory Pakourianos. The descendants of these Orthodox and Chalcedonic Armenians are the Hayhurum of Greece and Catholic Armenians of Georgia.
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.
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.
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.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.
Many types of sports are played in Armenia, among the most popular being football, chess, boxing, basketball, hockey, sambo, wrestling, weightlifting and volleyball.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 football – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, boxing – Arthur Abraham and Vic Darchinyan.
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 (whose father was Armenian). 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 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.The first time that the Armenian word for carpet, kork, was used in historical sources was in a 1242–1243 Armenian inscription on the wall of the Kaptavan Church in Artsakh.
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).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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Saint Gregory the Illuminator is the patron saint and first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He was a religious leader who is credited with converting Armenia from paganism to Christianity in 301. Armenia thus became the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion.
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.
The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia. 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.
Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat. The original Armenian name for the country was Hayk, later Hayastan, translated as the land of Haik, and consisting of the name of the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya (ha-ià) and the Persian suffix '-stan' ("land"). The historical enemy of Hayk, Hayastan, was Bel, or in other words Baal.
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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.
Hayk the Great, 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.
The culture of Armenia encompasses many elements that are based on the geography, literature, architecture, dance, and music of the people.
The Armenian Highlands is the central-most and highest of the three plateaus that together form the northern sector of the Middle East. To its west is the Anatolian plateau which rises slowly from the lowland coast of the Aegean Sea and converges with the Armenian Highlands to the east of Cappadocia. To its southeast is the Iranian plateau, where the elevation drops rapidly by about 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) above sea level. The Caucasus extends to the northeast of the Armenian Highlands. To the southwest of the Armenian Highlands is Upper Mesopotamia.
Western Armenia, located in Western Asia, is a term used to refer to eastern parts of Turkey that were part of the historical homeland of Armenians. Western Armenia, also referred to as Byzantine Armenia, emerged following the division of Greater Armenia between the Byzantine Empire and Sassanid Persia in 387 AD.
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 Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia is a hierarchal see of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Since 1930, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia has been headquartered in Antelias, Lebanon. Aram I is the Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church since 1995.
Karekin I was a scholar of Armenian art and Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church from 1943 to 1952.
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.
The history of Armenia dates back to the 6th century BC Orontid Dynasty The country's name "Armenia" is a creation of the 6th century BC. The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date to the Achaemenid Empire. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu as Armina and Harminuya. In Greek, Αρμένιοι "Armenians" is attested from about the same time, perhaps the earliest reference being a fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Miletus. and it means ‘the land of the people of Arame’.
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.
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."
The impact of such a horror on a group who presently number approximately 6 million, worldwide, is incalculable.
The country's estimated 3–6 million Diaspora represent a major source of foreign direct investment in the country.
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.
...there are some 8 million Armenians in the world...
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.
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.
An estimated 60 percent of the total 8 million Armenians worldwide live outside the country...
Worldwide, there are more than 8 million Armenians; 3.2 million reside in the Republic of Armenia.
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 [...]
In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian state was replaced by the Armenian kingdom in the territory of the Armenian Highlands.
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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: