History of Armenia – What you should know

Every country has a story and this is Armenia’s one. Armenia is located in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat. The original Armenian name for the country was Hayk is attributed to “Hayk Nahapet” 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 “Movses Khorenatsi” (c. 410 – c.490). Later its name is changed to Hayastan which means “Land of Hayk”.

The current name “Armenia” was given by the surrounding states, and it is traditionally derived from Armenak or Aram –the great-grandson of Haik’s great-grandson- the leader who is, the ancestor of all Armenians, according to Armenian tradition.

Modern Armenia includes only a small portion of ancient Armenia, which extended from the south-central Black Sea coast to the Caspian Sea and from the Mediterranean Sea to Lake Urmia in present-day Iran. It was subjected to constant foreign inroads, finally losing its autonomy in the 14th century CE. The centuries-long rule of conquerors jeopardized the existence of Armenians and forced deportations of them.

Eastern Armenia was occupied by Russia during the 19th century, whereas western Armenia remained under Ottoman rule, and in 1894–96 and 1915 the Ottoman government committed systematic Massa. The portion of Armenia lying within the former Russian Empire declared independence on May 28, 1918, but in 1920 it was invaded by forces from Turkey and Soviet Russia. The Soviet Republic of Armenia was established on November 29, 1920; in 1922 Armenia became a part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, and in
1936 this republic was dissolved and Armenia became a constituent (union) of the republic of the Soviet Union. Armenia declared sovereignty on August 23, 1990, and independence on September 23, 1991.

After independence, Armenia implemented several structural reforms to create the institutional and legal basis for a market economy. Reforms included substantial privatization of industry and agriculture, restructuring of the tax and monetary systems, and price liberalization. A replacement currency, the dram, was introduced in 1993, substitution the ruble.

Artsakh – Nagorno Karabakh

The status of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), a province of 1,700 square miles (4,400 square km) in southwestern Azerbaijan inhabited primarily by Armenians, was 1988 the source of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
A number settled in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, within neighboring Azerbaijan. Armenians now form about three-fourths of the population of Artsakh; since 1988 there have been violent interethnic disputes and choppy warfare between Armenians and Azerbaijanis around the domination.

Armenian Language

Armenian is an Indo-European language belonging to an independent branch of which it is the only member and is written in its writing system. It is written horizontally, left to right.
The Armenian alphabet was introduced in 405 AD by the priest Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader. It originally had 36 letters; eventually, three more were adopted.
The stages of development of the Armenian language
Classical Armenian (from 405)
Middle Armenian (c. 1100 – 1700)
Modern Armenian (c. 1700 – present)

Ethnic groups

Armenians represent nearly all of the country’s population; they speak Armenian. The rest of the population includes Kurds, Russians, and small numbers of Ukrainians, Assyrians, and other groups.


Armenia was converted to Christianity about 300 CE, becoming the first kingdom to adopt the religion. The Armenians have therefore maintained an ancient and rich liturgical and Christian literary tradition. Believing Armenians today belong mainly to the Armenian Apostolic (Orthodox) Church or the Armenian Catholic Church, in communion with Rome.


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ahmed Ibrahim

Full-fledged Content Creator & Tech Journalist. Worked previously with top publishers like AkhbarTech, Abda Adv, and RobbReportArabia.