One of the oldest nations in the world has a very rich history. Armenians call themselves Hay, the country- Hayastan. This comes from the ancient times, where Armenia was considered to be the land of Hayk, an Armenian historical figure.
Later, the more common name, which we know presently, was given to the country. This again is a name of Armenian historical figure– Aram, after whom other nations started calling the country as ”Armenia”.
Now a Republic, Armenia remained a kingdom for a long time, having a number of very mighty kings. One of the most powerful kings was Tigran ll the Great (ruled 95-55 B.C.). During his rule, Armenia’s territory spanned from its traditional boundaries, which was due to the fact that the king fought and won many wars against Syria, Parthia, and Rome. He then left a great legacy to Armenia, founding new cities and increasing the territory of Armenia.
Armenia has a very long and rich history-full of controversies. The country was not able to keep its territorial integrity, and in the early modern period appeared in the rules of the Persian Empire, the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. All this was due to the fact that Armenia was right in the middle of different civilizations, different religion, and the small country could not sustain itself without its close allies, which very often were not loyal, and betrayed the country and its people.
One of the most notable events in the Armenian history is the adoption of Christianity as the state religion and the creation of Armenian alphabet. Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as the state religion in 301 AD, and following that, Mesrop Mashtoc – created the Armenian Alphabet.
In 782 B.C. Armenian king Argishti established the city which now is the capital of Armenia. Erebuni it was called then, later Yerevan. This city is 29 years older than one of the most famous cities of the word- Rome. Yerevan is now the capital and the largest city of Armenia, with a population of about 1 million people. Armenia has had 12 capital cities. Each king decided, on their own, which country should be the capital. Thus the 12 capitals were formed.
Today’s Armenia is not what the mighty Kingdom once was. Again, in the middle of the region, it is a very small country, which is not rich in natural resources and has no access to the sea. The treasure of the country is its human resources and a very knowledgeable and educated population.
In the early 20th century, Armenia became independent and declared the first Republic of Armenia. However, in the 1920s the country went under the Soviet rule. The Second Republic of Armenia, which is over 20 years old, was declared in 1991.
Historically, Armenia has had some very harsh conflicts with Turkey and Azerbaijan. In 1915 Turkey organized a mass genocide of Armenians, in 1991 Armenia was engaged in a war with Azerbaijan, over the Nagorno Karabakh territory- with Armenian population. The war with Azerbaijan is now held as a cease-fire with the de facto Armenian victory. However, there is said to be a threat that the war can be resumed at any moment. Serj Sarkissyan is now Armenia’s president, who is the head of the Republican party.
Apart from the wars, kings, and presidents, Armenia has a lot of notable people. The chess team of Armenia won a myriad of world and Olympic championships. Armenian sports teams continue to spread Armenia’s history in the world, keeping the name, the flag, and all its citizen’s proud.