Who conquered Armenia for Rome

historical overview

Today's Republic of Armenia comprises only a small part of the historical landscape of the same name, the Armenian Highlands. The Armenians, who are among the oldest cultures in the southern Caucasus and who have developed their national identity over more than two and a half millennia, have significantly shaped the region beyond its borders. On this page you will find a historical overview.

The antique. While the fabulous history of the Armenians begins with the legendary giant Hayk, who led the people to the Armenian highlands, history begins with the Kingdom of Urartu. Among other things, the ruins of Erebuni near Yerevan have been preserved from the kingdom of the Urartians, who according to scientific knowledge were not Armenians. It was in the 7th century BC. It went under and from it emerged the first Armenian ruling dynasty in the form of the Orontids (or Yervanduni). The area of ​​today's Armenia was then part of the Persian Empire, the first pictorial representations of Armenians come from the relief of the Apadana hypostyle hall in Persepolis. The cities of Armenia, which was on the trade routes of the Great Silk Road, were able to develop splendidly. In the 4th century BC The region came under the influence of Alexander the Great, politics increasingly turned to the west and Hellenism experienced its first soaring. Even after Alexander's death and the division of the great empire into individual Diadochian states, the Greek coinage was retained when a new Armenian dynasty was able to establish itself in the form of the Artaxids: Coins from that time describe the Artaxid ruler Tigranes as Philhellenes ("Friend of the Greeks"). Tigranes the Great ruled from 95 to 55 BC. BC over a huge empire, some of which extended into what is now Akko (Israel). In his war with Rome, however, he lost all of his provinces - except for Armenia, where he was allowed to remain king.

Creation of the first Christian state in the world. Armenia lost its influence and became the bone of contention for Rome and the Parthians. The Parthians finally succeeded in helping representatives of their own ruling house to the throne in Armenia: The Arsacids (or arshakuni) retained their influence, even when Armenia was fought between East and West until late antiquity. King finally ascended at the end of the 3rd century (AD) Tiridates III. the throne. A hundred years earlier, the first Christian missionaries had come to the country and founded the Armenian Apostolic Church. Tiridates converted to Christianity and made Armenia the world's first Christian kingdom. A new epoch in the history of the country and also in the culture of the Armenians had begun.

Middle Ages and Modern Times. By the end of the 7th century, a new power conquered the Middle East and also Armenia: Arab tribes named the region with a new religion, Islam. But as early as the 9th century the caliphate was weakening and a phase of Armenian independence began. The Bagratids (or Bagratuni) were able to give Armenian prosperity, art and literature a new upswing. Their capital Ani, known as the “City of a Thousand and One Churches”, was larger than any European city at the time. The Bagratid Empire collapsed in the middle of the 11th century and Byzantium occupied much of Armenia. But a wide variety of other powers also made a brief entry: the Seljuks, the Mongolian Ilkhans and the Timurids passed through Armenia. In a power struggle between the Ottomans and the Safavid Persians, new, permanent borders were created: the western part of historical Armenia came under the Ottoman Empire, the eastern part - including the area of ​​today's Republic of Armenia - remained under Persian rule. At the beginning of the 19th century, tsarist Russia was able to gain a foothold in the South Caucasus.

The 20th century. The history of the Armenians in Anatolia ended tragically with the genocide during the First World War: one and a half million Armenians were killed in the massacres, tens of thousands of survivors fled to the diaspora. This chapter is the most dramatic in Armenian history and a topic that has been very inadequately treated in Turkey to this day. The eastern part of Armenia briefly gained independence after a victory against the Ottoman armies in 1918 and the republic was proclaimed. But two years later the young state had to give in to pressure from Turks and Russians and became part of the Soviet Union as a Soviet republic. The Armenians did not achieve their final independence until 1991, but foreign policy has been shaped to this day by the conflict with Azerbaijan and the Turkish neighbors in the west. The Republican Party had consistently provided the prime minister since 1999. Protests against allegedly rigged elections resulted in ten deaths in 2008. After that, there was political deadlock for ten years. It was not until the spring of 2018 that a renewed protest arose in response to a constitutional amendment, which, after weeks of peaceful actions, led to the end of the era under the Republican Party. Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan became temporary prime minister and won the parliamentary elections in December 2018 with a landslide victory. With the fall of the regime, a new political era began in Armenia.

Today there are 12 million Armenians worldwide, but only three million of them live in the country itself. The genocide in the Ottoman Empire, but also the political conditions in the Socialist Soviet Republic of Armenia, drove many Armenians who were at home in the historical landscapes of the area between the Black and Caspian Seas into exile. Today there is a thriving diaspora community scattered all over the world.