The first states arose on the Armenian Highlands as early as the second millennium BC. In the 9th century BC. the state of Urartu was formed here, which until the 6th century BC. was one of the strongest in Asia Minor. It was during this period of time that the ancient Armenian nationality was formed and the name “Armenia” appeared, it referred to the area stretching from the Kura River to the upper reaches of the Tigris, Euphrates and Lake Urmia. In the 6th century BC. this territory became part of Media, and later – the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids. In the 4th century BC. Persia was conquered by Alexander the Great, and after his death came under the control of the Seleucids. In 190 BC. The Seleucids were defeated by the Romans. Taking advantage of the unstable situation, the descendants of the ancient royal families created three independent states on the Armenian Highlands: Great Armenia, Lesser Armenia and Sophena. The greatest power was reached by Great Armenia, the center of which was in the Ararat valley. The state was ruled by the Artashesid dynasty, the most famous representative of which was Tigran II the Great (95-56 BC). Under Tigran II, the territory of Greater Armenia stretched from the Lesser Caucasus to the borders of Palestine. The favorable geographical position of the Armenian Highlands attracted many conquerors: Rome, Parthia, Persia, Byzantium and the Arab Caliphate fought for the right to possess these lands. Under the Romans in 301 AD. Christianity became the state religion of Armenia, it is worth noting that today the Armenian Apostolic Church is the oldest state church in the world. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Armenia.
In the 7th century AD Armenia became part of the Arab Caliphate and became a vassal kingdom, which was ruled by an Arab governor. With the weakening of Arab domination in the 9th-11th centuries, several kingdoms and principalities arose in Armenia, the strongest of which was the Bagratid kingdom of Ani. Then the Byzantines invaded the Armenian Highlands, followed by the Seljuk Turks and the Mongols. The invasion of the Mongols and the Seljuk Turks played a key role in the destruction of the Armenian state: numerous nomadic tribes of Central Asia settled in these places and by 1375 the state of Armenia was practically destroyed. Since that time, for more than 4 centuries, the Armenians were under the rule of the Turks and Persians.
Only in 1828 did the eastern part of Armenia become part of the Russian Empire. Western Armenia remained part of the Ottoman Empire. By the end of the 19th century, the persecution of Armenians began in the Turkish part of Armenia, the peak of the persecution came in 1915-1923, when the Turks accused the Armenians of being in alliance with the Russian Empire. During this time, which is known in history as the “Armenian Genocide”, about one and a half million Armenians were killed. Today in Armenia, April 24, declared the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide, is a national day of mourning.
In 1920, with the help of the Red Army troops, Western Armenia was conquered from Turkey, the newly united country was proclaimed the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, which in 1922, together with Georgia and Azerbaijan, became part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. The Transcaucasian SFSR was annulled in 1936 and the Armenian SSR became part of the Soviet Union. Despite the fact that Armenia and Azerbaijan became allied states, their relations were not “friendly”. Back in 1918, when an independent Azerbaijan was proclaimed, its government declared Nagorno-Karabakh, a historical region with a predominantly Armenian population, as part of its territory, and subsequently Azerbaijan was supported by the USSR in this matter. After the collapse of the USSR, when the former allied states declared their independence, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh also decided to secede from Azerbaijan. The main defender of Nagorno-Karabakh was the Republic of Armenia, whose independence was proclaimed on September 23, 1991. Since then, to this day, the dispute over the ownership of this territory has not been resolved. The long years of confrontation between Armenians and Azerbaijanis were marked by bloody hostilities, numerous terrorist attacks and mass pogroms, during which many people died. Today, de jure (literally “by law”) Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, and de facto (literally “in fact”) is controlled by the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which was recognized only by the Republic of Armenia.