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Early Armenia: 900 B.C. - 500 A.D.

The earliest history of Armenia is full of mysteries and sounds more like a legend than history proper. However, basing on ancient Assyrian and Greek chronicles as well as on the Holy Bible and the results of archeological research, we can believe that the land later called “Armenia” was invaded by the Hittites (ca. 2100 B.C.), Celts (ca. 1200 B.C.), Medes and Persians (ca. 900 B.C.) and Cimmerians (714 B.C.).

We also know that in the 9th century B.C. most of the territory of the future Armenia was occupied by the kingdom of Urartu which, in its turn was later absorbed by the Assyrian empire.

Urartu was often called the "Kingdom of Ararat or, in Assyrian, Urartu". Its native name was Biainele, in many ancient manuscripts and holy writings of different nations. The reason for uncertainty in the names (i.e. Urartu and Ararat) is due to variations in sources. The documented history of Urartu begins in 1275 BC, and ends early in the sixth century BC.

In fact, the written languages at that time employed only consonants and not vowels. So the word itself in various ancient sources is written as "RRT", which could be either Ararat, or Urartu, or Uruarti and so on.

Caucasus from the fall of Babylon and Urartu To Assirian expansion  c. 2000 to 600 BC. Major ethnic movements c. 2100 to 710 BC

Hittites c. 2100 BC
Celts (Phrygians, Mushki) c. 1200 BC
Medes and Persians c.900 BC
Cimmerians c. 714 BC
Major tribes of the area
First known states of the area  

Between 558 and 334 B.C. Armenia was part of ancient Persian empire and by 323 B.C.                                           was conquered by Alexander the Great.

In early 2nd century B.C., first known Armenian kingdom was born to become an arena of long and devastating conflicts between major local powers Rome and Parthia.

Early Armenian State and the Peak of its Might: 189 - 63 BC

Kingdom of Armenia ca. 189 BC
Kingdom of Pontus ca. 160 BS
Poman Possessions (Provinces and Client Sates) ca. 90 BC
Armenian Conquest 187-70 BC
Conquest of Pontus 120-63 BC
Kingdom of Armenia ca. 70 BS
Modern Armenia

Ancient Armenian kingdom came to the peak of its might between 189 and 63 B.C. during the reign of Tighran the Great who became an ally of Mithridate VI Eupator of Pontus in his fight against Rome. Between 187 and 70 B.C., Armenian state expanded greatly at the expense of Rome, Parthia, Iberia and Albania stretching from South Caspian seashore to the Mediterranean coast of Syria.

Decline of Armenia: 65 - 115 AD

Kingdom of Armenia CA.70 BC
Lost by Armenia to Rome by 65 BC
Lost by Armenia to Parthia by 65 BC
Other Roman Conquests by 65 BC
Kingdom of Armenia (Rom. & Parth. Dep.) 65 BC - 115 AD
Roman Possesions (Provinces and Client States) ca. 60 BC
Modern Armenia

However, the Greater Armenian empire of Tighran did not last long. As a result of successful Roman campaigns of Pompeus from the west and Parthian invasion from the south, Armenia lost some of her conquests by 65 B.C.                            and in fact became Roman-Parthian dependency.

Further Decline of Armenia: 117 - 600 AD

Roman Empire (Sinse 330 - East Roman Empire)
Armenian Kingdom by 115 AD
Armenian Kingdom ca. 387 - 600 AD
Modern Armenia

Territory Lost by Armenia Between 140 & 600 AD

To East Roman Emp.
To the Sassanids
To Aeria - Albania
To Kartlia - Iberia

The following 600 years of Armenian history were marked by long wars against Rome and Parthia (Iran) as well as further territorial decline.

NB:  In the year 301 Armenian King  Thiradates III adopted Christianity as the state religion thus            making Armenia the first Christian nation of the world.




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