Armenians (Armenian: հայեր, hayer [hɑˈjɛɾ]) are an ethnic
group native to the Armenian Highlands.
Armenians constitute the main population of
Armenia and the de facto
independent Artsakh. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around 5
million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside
modern Armenia. The largest Armenian populations today exist in
Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine,
Lebanon, Brazil and Syria. With the exceptions of
Iran and the former
Soviet states, the present-day
Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as
a result of the Armenian Genocide.
Armenians adhere to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a
non-Chalcedonian church, which is also the world's oldest national
church. Christianity began to spread in
Armenia soon after Jesus'
death, due to the efforts of two of his apostles,
St. Thaddeus and St.
Bartholomew. In the early 4th century, the Kingdom of Armenia
became the first state to adopt Christianity as a state religion.
Armenian is an Indo-European language. It has two mutually
intelligible and written forms: Eastern Armenian, today spoken mainly
in Armenia, Artsakh,
Iran and the former Soviet republics, and Western
Armenian, used in the historical Western
Armenia and, after the
Armenian Genocide, primarily in the Armenian diasporan communities.
Armenian alphabet was invented in 405 AD by Mesrop
2.3 Middle Ages
2.4 Early modern history
2.5 Modern history
3 Geographic distribution
4.2 Language and literature
4.5 Music and dance
4.6 Carpet weaving
6 Notable people
7 See also
9 Further reading
Main article: Name of Armenia
Hayk, the legendary founder of the Armenian nation. Painting by Mkrtum
Historically, the name Armenian has come to internationally designate
this group of people. It was first used by neighbouring countries of
ancient Armenia. The earliest attestations of the exonym
around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription
dated to 517 BC,
Darius I the Great
Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu (in
Babylonian) as Armina (in Old Persian; Armina ( ) and Harminuya (in
Elamite). In Greek, Αρμένιοι "Armenians" is attested from
about the same time, perhaps the earliest reference being a fragment
Hecataeus of Miletus
Hecataeus of Miletus (476 BC). Xenophon, a
Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes
many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401
BC. He relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear
sounded like the language of the Persians.
Armenians call themselves Hay (Հայ, pronounced [ˈhaj]; plural:
Հայեր, [haˈjɛɾ]). The name has traditionally been derived from
Hayk (Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the
Armenians and a
great-great-grandson of Noah, who, according to Moses of Chorene,
defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his
nation in the Ararat region. It is also further postulated
that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite
vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi (1600–1200 BC).
Movses Khorenatsi, the important early medieval Armenian historian,
wrote that the word Armenian originated from the name Armenak or Aram
(the descendant of Hayk).
Main article: History of Armenia
Part of a series on
List of Indo-European languages
Phonology: Sound laws, Accent, Ablaut
Old Irish glosses
Alternative and fringe
Paleolithic Continuity Theory
Chalcolithic (Copper Age)
Domestication of the horse
Nordic Bronze Age
Painted Grey Ware
Northern Black Polished Ware
Peoples and societies
Religion and mythology
Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European
Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture
The Horse, the Wheel and Language
Journal of Indo-European Studies
Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch
Indo-European Etymological Dictionary
Armenian Highland is the area surrounding Mount Ararat, the
highest peak of the region.
A controversial hypothesis put forward by some scholars, such as T.
Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov, has proposed that the Indo-European
homeland was around the Armenian Highland.
Armenian language is often grouped with Greek and Ancient
Macedonian ("Helleno-Macedonian") in the Pontic Indo-European (also
called Helleno-Armenian) subgroup of Indo-European lanuguages by Eric
P. Hamp in his 2012 Indo-European family tree, groups . There are
two possible explanations, not mutually exclusive, for a common origin
of the Armenian and Greek languages.
Ancient Greek scholars, such as
Herodotus (writing circa 440 BC),
suggest that the
Phrygians of western Anatolia, who spoke a
Indo-European language, had also made a contribution to the
ethnogenesis of the Armenians: "the
Armenians were equipped like
Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists" (7.73) (Ἀρμένιοι δὲ
κατά περ Φρύγες ἐσεσάχατο, ἐόντες
Φρυγῶν ἄποικοι.). This appears to imply that some
Phrygians migrated eastward to
Armenia following the destruction of
Phrygia by a
Cimmerian invasion in the late 7th century BC. Greek
scholars also believed that the
Phrygians had originated in the
Balkans, in an area adjoining Macedonia, from where they had emigrated
Anatolia many centuries earlier.
In Hamp's view the homeland of the proposed Greco-Armenian subgroup is
the northeast coast of the Black Sea and its hinterlands. He
assumes that they migrated from there southeast through the Caucasus
Armenians remaining after
Batumi while the pre-Greeks
proceeded westwards along the southern coast of the Black Sea.
Some genetics studies explain Armenian diversity by several mixtures
of Eurasian populations that occurred between ~3,000 and ~2,000 BC.
But genetic signals of population mixture cease after ~1,200 BC when
Bronze Age civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean world suddenly
and violently collapsed.
Armenians have since remained isolated and
genetic structure within the population developed ~500 years ago when
Armenia was divided between the Ottomans and the Safavid Empire in
In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater
Armenia, including the
Hittite Empire (at the height of its power),
Mitanni (South-Western historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi
(1600–1200 BC). Soon after
Hayasa-Azzi came Arme-Shupria
(1300s–1190 BC), the Nairi (1400–1000 BC) and the Kingdom of
Urartu (860–590 BC), who successively established their
sovereignty over the Armenian Highland. Each of the aforementioned
nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian
Ashurbanipal (669–627 BC), the Assyrian empire
Caucasus Mountains (modern Armenia, Georgia and
Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by
king Argishti I.
The Kingdom of
Armenia at its greatest extent under Tigranes the Great
Persis, Parthia, Armenia. Rest Fenner, published in 1835.
Babylonia and Assyria with Adjacent Regions,
Karl von Spruner, published in 1865.
The first geographical entity that was called
Armenia by neighboring
peoples (such as by
Hecataeus of Miletus
Hecataeus of Miletus and on the Achaemenid
Behistun Inscription) was established in the late 6th century BC under
Orontid dynasty within the Achaemenid Persian Empire as part of
the latters' territories, and which later became a kingdom. At its
zenith (95–65 BC), the state extended from the
Caucasus all the
way to what is now central Turkey, Lebanon, and northern Iran. The
imperial reign of
Tigranes the Great
Tigranes the Great is thus the span of time during
Armenia itself conquered areas populated by other peoples.
The Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia, itself a branch of the Arsacid dynasty
of Parthia, was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion
(it had formerly been adherent to Armenian paganism, which was
influenced by Zoroastrianism, while later on adopting a few
elements regarding identification of its pantheon with Greco-Roman
deities). in the early years of the 4th century, likely AD
301, partly in defiance of the
Sassanids it seems. In the late
Armenia was a predominantly Zoroastrian-adhering
land, but by the Christianisation, previously predominant
Zoroastrianism and paganism in
Armenia gradually declined.
Later on, in order to further strengthen Armenian national identity,
Mesrop Mashtots invented the Armenian alphabet, in 405 AD. This event
Golden Age of Armenia, during which many foreign books and
manuscripts were translated to Armenian by Mesrop's pupils. Armenia
lost its sovereignty again in 428 AD to the rivalling Byzantine and
Sassanid Persian empires, until the
Muslim conquest of Persia
Muslim conquest of Persia overran
also the regions in which
The Cathedral of Ani, completed in 1001
In 885 AD the
Armenians reestablished themselves as a sovereign
kingdom under the leadership of Ashot I of the Bagratid Dynasty. A
considerable portion of the Armenian nobility and peasantry fled the
Byzantine occupation of Bagratid
Armenia in 1045, and the subsequent
invasion of the region by
Seljuk Turks in 1064. They settled in large
numbers in Cilicia, an Anatolian region where
Armenians were already
established as a minority since Roman times. In 1080, they founded an
independent Armenian Principality then Kingdom of Cilicia, which
became the focus of Armenian nationalism. The
close social, cultural, military, and religious ties with nearby
Crusader States, but eventually succumbed to
Mamluk invasions. In
the next few centuries, Djenghis Khan, Timurids, and the tribal Turkic
federations of the
Ak Koyunlu and the
Kara Koyunlu ruled over the
Early modern history
From the early 16th century, both Western
Armenia and Eastern Armenia
fell under Iranian Safavid rule. Owing to the century long
Turco-Iranian geo-political rivalry that would last in Western Asia,
significant parts of the region were frequently fought over between
the two rivalling empires. From the mid 16th century with the Peace of
Amasya, and decisively from the first half of the 17th century with
Treaty of Zuhab until the first half of the 19th century,
Armenia was ruled by the successive Iranian Safavid, Afsharid
and Qajar empires, while Western
Armenia remained under Ottoman rule.
In the late 1820s, the parts of historic
Armenia under Iranian control
Lake Sevan (all of Eastern Armenia) were
incorporated into the
Russian Empire following Iran's forced ceding of
the territories after its loss in the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828)
and the outcoming Treaty of Turkmenchay. Western
remained in Ottoman hands.
About 1.5 million
Armenians were killed during the Armenian
Genocide in 1915–1918.
The ethnic cleansing of
Armenians during the final years of the
Ottoman Empire is widely considered a genocide, resulting in an
estimated 1.5 million victims. The first wave of persecution was
in the years 1894 to 1896, the second one culminating in the events of
Armenian Genocide in 1915 and 1916. With
World War I
World War I in progress,
Ottoman Empire accused the (Christian)
Armenians as liable to ally
with Imperial Russia, and used it as a pretext to deal with the entire
Armenian population as an enemy within their empire.
Governments of the Republic of
Turkey since that time have
consistently rejected charges of genocide, typically arguing either
Armenians who died were simply in the way of a war, or that
Armenians were justified by their individual or collective
support for the enemies of the Ottoman Empire. Passage of legislation
in various foreign countries, condemning the persecution of the
Armenians as genocide, has often provoked diplomatic conflict. (See
Recognition of the Armenian Genocide)
Following the breakup of the
Russian Empire in the aftermath of World
War I for a brief period, from 1918 to 1920,
Armenia was an
independent republic. In late 1920, the communists came to power in
Russia following an invasion of
Armenia by the Red Army; in 1922,
Armenia became part of the
Transcaucasian SFSR of the Soviet Union,
later on forming the
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (1936 to 21
September 1991). In 1991,
Armenia declared independence from the USSR
and established the second Republic of Armenia.
Historical and modern distribution of Armenians.Settlement area of
Armenians in early 20th century:
>50% 25–50% <25%
Armenian settlement area today.
Map of the Armenian diaspora
Armenians have had a presence in the
Armenian Highland for over 4,000
years, since the time when Hayk, the legendary patriarch and founder
of the first Armenian nation, led them to victory over Bel of
Babylon. Today, with a population of 3.5 million, they not
only constitute an overwhelming majority in Armenia, but also in the
disputed region of Artsakh.
Armenians in the diaspora informally refer
to them as Hayastantsis (Հայաստանցի), meaning those that are
Armenia (that is, those born and raised in Armenia). They, as
well as the
Iran and Russia speak the Eastern dialect of
the Armenian language. The country itself is secular as a result of
Soviet domination, but most of its citizens identify themselves as
Apostolic Armenian Christian.
Main article: Armenian diaspora
Small Armenian trading and religious communities have existed outside
Armenia for centuries. For example, a community survived for over a
millennium in the Holy Land, and one of the four-quarters of the
walled Old City of
Jerusalem has been called the Armenian Quarter.
An Armenian Catholic monastic community of 35 founded in 1717 exists
on an island near Venice, Italy. There are also remnants of formerly
populous communities in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Belgium, Portugal,
Italy, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Ethiopia,
Sudan and Egypt.
Regardless, most of the modern days diaspora consists of Armenians
scattered throughout the world as a direct consequence of the genocide
of 1915, constituting the main portion of the Armenian diaspora.
However, Armenian communities in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi,
Syria and in
Iran existed since antiquity.
Within the diasporan Armenian community, there is an unofficial
classification of the different kinds of Armenians. For example,
Armenians who originate from
Iran are referred to as Parskahay
Lebanon are usually
referred to as Lipananahay (Լիբանանահայ).
Armenians of the
Diaspora are the primary speakers of the Western dialect of the
Armenian language. This dialect has considerable differences with
Eastern Armenian, but speakers of either of the two variations can
usually understand each other.
Eastern Armenian in the diaspora is
primarily spoken in
Iran and European countries such as Ukraine,
Russia, and Georgia (where they form a majority in the
Samtskhe-Javakheti province). In diverse communities (such as in
Canada and the U.S.) where many different kinds of
together, there is a tendency for the different groups to cluster
Armenian woman in traditional dress.
Main article: Culture of Armenia
Church service, Yerevan.
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic
Church, was established in 301 AD.
Ancient Tatev Monastery.
Main articles: Armenian Apostolic Church, Religion in Armenia, and
Armenians adhered to Armenian paganism: a type of
indigenous polytheism that stemmed from the
Urartu period but which
adopted several Greco-Roman and Iranian religious
In 301 AD,
Armenia adopted Christianity as a state religion,
becoming the first state to do so. The claim is primarily based on
the fifth-century work of
Agathangelos titled "The History of the
Agathangelos witnessed at first hand the baptism of the
Trdat III (c. 301/314 A.D.) by St. Gregory the
Trdat III decreed Christianity was the state
Armenia established a Church that still exists independently of both
the Catholic and the
Eastern Orthodox churches, having become so in
451 AD as a result of its stance regarding the Council of
Chalcedon. Today this church is known as the Armenian Apostolic
Church, which is a part of the
Oriental Orthodox communion, not to be
confused with the
Eastern Orthodox communion. During its later
Armenia depended on the church to preserve and
protect its unique identity. The original location of the Armenian
Catholicosate is Echmiadzin. However, the continuous upheavals, which
characterized the political scenes of Armenia, made the political
power move to safer places. The Church center moved as well to
different locations together with the political authority. Therefore,
it eventually moved to
Cilicia as the Holy See of Cilicia.
Armenians collective has, at times, constituted a Christian
"island" in a mostly
Muslim region. There is, however, a minority of
ethnic Armenian Muslims, known as
Hamshenis but many
them as a separate race, while the history of the Jews in Armenia
dates back 2,000 years. The Armenian Kingdom of
Cilicia had close ties
to European Crusader States. Later on, the deteriorating situation in
the region led the bishops of
Armenia to elect a Catholicos in
Etchmiadzin, the original seat of the Catholicosate. In 1441, a new
Catholicos was elected in Etchmiadzin in the person of Kirakos
Virapetsi, while Krikor Moussapegiants preserved his title as
Catholicos of Cilicia. Therefore, since 1441, there have been two
Catholicosates in the Armenian Church with equal rights and
privileges, and with their respective jurisdictions. The primacy of
honor of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin has always been recognized
by the Catholicosate of Cilicia.
Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church remains the most prominent church
in the Armenian community throughout the world,
in the diaspora) subscribe to any number of other Christian
denominations. These include the
Armenian Catholic Church
Armenian Catholic Church (which
follows its own liturgy but recognizes the Roman Catholic Pope), the
Armenian Evangelical Church, which started as a reformation in the
Mother church but later broke away, and the Armenian Brotherhood
Church, which was born in the Armenian Evangelical Church, but later
broke apart from it. There are other numerous Armenian churches
belonging to Protestant denominations of all kinds.
Through the ages many
Armenians have collectively belonged to other
faiths or Christian movements, including the
Paulicians which is a
form of Gnostic and Manichaean Christianity.
Paulicians sought to
restore the pure Christianity of Paul and in c.660 founded the first
congregation in Kibossa, Armenia.
Another example is the Tondrakians, who flourished in medieval Armenia
between the early 9th century and 11th century.
the abolishment of the church, denied the immortality of the soul, did
not believe in an afterlife, supported property rights for peasants,
and equality between men and women.
Armenians or the Chalcedonian
Armenians in the Byzantine
Empire were called Iberians ("Georgians") or "Greeks". See Gregory
Pakourianos – the great Byzantine general. Their descendants are the
Hayhurum and Catholic
Armenians in Georgia.
Language and literature
A 14th-century Armenian illuminated manuscript
Armenian language and Armenian literature
Armenian is a sub-branch of the Indo-European family, and with some 8
million speakers one of the smallest surviving branches, comparable to
Albanian or the somewhat more widely spoken Greek, with which it may
be connected (see Graeco-Armenian). Today, that branch has just one
language – Armenian.
Eastern Armenian speakers live in the Caucasus, Russia,
and Iran, and approximately two to three million people in the rest of
Armenian diaspora speak Western Armenian. According to US Census
figures, there are 300,000 Americans who speak Armenian at home. It is
in fact the twentieth most commonly spoken language in the United
States, having slightly fewer speakers than Haitian Creole, and
slightly more than Navajo.
Armenian literature dates back to 400 AD, when Mesrop Mashtots
first invented the Armenian alphabet. This period of time is often
viewed as the
Golden Age of Armenian literature. Early Armenian
literature was written by the "father of Armenian history", Moses of
Chorene, who authored The History of Armenia. The book covers the
time-frame from the formation of the Armenian people to the fifth
century AD. The nineteenth century beheld a great literary movement
that was to give rise to modern Armenian literature. This period of
time, during which Armenian culture flourished, is known as the
Revival period (Zartonki sherchan). The Revivalist authors of
Constantinople and Tiflis, almost identical to the Romanticists of
Europe, were interested in encouraging Armenian nationalism. Most of
them adopted the newly created Eastern or Western variants of the
Armenian language depending on the targeted audience, and preferred
them over classical Armenian (grabar). This period ended after the
Hamidian massacres, when
Armenians experienced turbulent times. As
Armenian history of the 1920s and of the
Genocide came to be more
openly discussed, writers like Paruyr Sevak, Gevork Emin, Silva
Hovhannes Shiraz began a new era of literature.
Main article: Armenian architecture
Khachkar at Goshavank, carved in 1291 by the artist Poghos.
The first Armenian churches were built on the orders of St. Gregory
the Illuminator, and were often built on top of pagan temples, and
imitated some aspects of Armenian pre-Christian architecture.
Classical and Medieval Armenian Architecture is divided into four
The first Armenian churches were built between the 4th and 7th
century, beginning when
Armenia converted to Christianity, and ending
with the Arab invasion of Armenia. The early churches were mostly
simple basilicas, but some with side apses. By the fifth century the
typical cupola cone in the center had become widely used. By the
seventh century, centrally planned churches had been built and a more
complicated niched buttress and radiating Hrip'simé style had formed.
By the time of the Arab invasion, most of what we now know as
Armenian architecture had formed.
From the 9th to 11th century,
Armenian architecture underwent a
revival under the patronage of the Bagratid Dynasty with a great deal
of building done in the area of Lake Van, this included both
traditional styles and new innovations. Ornately carved Armenian
Khachkars were developed during this time. Many new cities and
churches were built during this time, including a new capital at Lake
Van and a new Cathedral on
Akdamar Island to match. The Cathedral of
Ani was also completed during this dynasty. It was during this time
that the first major monasteries, such as Haghpat and Haritchavank
were built. This period was ended by the Seljuk invasion.
Main article: Sport in Armenia
Armenian children at the UN Cup
Chess Tournament in 2005.
Many types of sports are played in Armenia, among the most popular
being football, chess, boxing, basketball, hockey, sambo, wrestling,
weightlifting and volleyball. Since independence, the Armenian
government has been actively rebuilding its sports program in the
During Soviet rule, Armenian athletes rose to prominence winning
plenty of medals and helping the
USSR win the medal standings at the
Olympics on numerous occasions. The first medal won by an Armenian in
modern Olympic history was by Hrant Shahinyan, who won two golds and
two silvers in gymnastics at the
1952 Summer Olympics
1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. In
football, their most successful team was Yerevan's FC Ararat, which
had claimed most of the Soviet championships in the 70s and had also
gone to post victories against professional clubs like FC Bayern
Munich in the Euro cup.
Armenians have also been successful in chess, which is the most
popular mind sport in Armenia. Some of the most prominent chess
players in the world are Armenian such as Tigran Petrosian, Levon
Aronian and Garry Kasparov.
Armenians have also been successful in
weightlifting and wrestling (Armen Nazaryan), winning medals in each
sport at the Olympics. There are also successful
Armenians in football – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, boxing – Arthur
Abraham and Vic Darchinyan.
Music and dance
Main articles: Music of
Armenia and Armenian Dance
Armenian folk musicians and traditional Armenian dance.
Armenian music is a mix of indigenous folk music, perhaps
best-represented by Djivan Gasparyan's well-known duduk music, as well
as light pop, and extensive Christian music.
Instruments like the duduk, the dhol, the zurna and the kanun are
commonly found in Armenian folk music. Artists such as
Sayat Nova are
famous due to their influence in the development of Armenian folk
music. One of the oldest types of Armenian music is the Armenian chant
which is the most common kind of religious music in Armenia. Many of
these chants are ancient in origin, extending to pre-Christian times,
while others are relatively modern, including several composed by
Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet. Whilst
under Soviet rule, Armenian classical music composer Aram
Khatchaturian became internationally well known for his music, for
various ballets and the
Sabre Dance from his composition for the
Armenian Genocide caused widespread emigration that led to the
Armenians in various countries in the world. Armenians
kept to their traditions and certain diasporans rose to fame with
their music. In the post-
Genocide Armenian community of the United
States, the so-called "kef" style
Armenian dance music, using Armenian
and Middle Eastern folk instruments (often electrified/amplified) and
some western instruments, was popular. This style preserved the folk
songs and dances of Western Armenia, and many artists also played the
contemporary popular songs of
Turkey and other Middle Eastern
countries from which the
Richard Hagopian is
perhaps the most famous artist of the traditional "kef" style and the
Vosbikian Band was notable in the 40s and 50s for developing their own
style of "kef music" heavily influenced by the popular American Big
Band Jazz of the time. Later, stemming from the Middle Eastern
Armenian diaspora and influenced by Continental European (especially
French) pop music, the Armenian pop music genre grew to fame in the
60s and 70s with artists such as
Adiss Harmandian and Harout
Pamboukjian performing to the
Armenian diaspora and Armenia. Also with
artists such as Sirusho, performing pop music combined with Armenian
folk music in today's entertainment industry. Other Armenian
diasporans that rose to fame in classical or international music
circles are world-renowned French-Armenian singer and composer Charles
Aznavour, pianist Sahan Arzruni, prominent opera sopranos such as
Hasmik Papian and more recently
Isabel Bayrakdarian and Anna Kasyan.
Armenians settled to sing non-Armenian tunes such as the heavy
System of a Down
System of a Down (which nonetheless often incorporates
traditional Armenian instrumentals and styling into their songs) or
pop star Cher. Ruben Hakobyan (Ruben Sasuntsi) is a well recognized
Armenian ethnographic and patriotic folk singer who has achieved
widespread national recognition due to his devotion to Armenian folk
music and exceptional talent. In the Armenian diaspora, Armenian
Revolutionary Songs are popular with the youth. These
songs encourage Armenian patriotism and are generally about Armenian
history and national heroes.
See also: Armenian carpet
Armenian girls, weaving carpets in Van, 1907, Ottoman Empire
Carpet-weaving is historically a major traditional profession for the
majority of Armenian women, including many Armenian families.
Karabakh carpet weavers there were men too. The oldest
Armenian carpet from the region, referred to as Artsakh (see
also Karabakh carpet) during the medieval era, is from the village of
Banants (near Gandzak) and dates to the early 13th century. The
first time that the Armenian word for carpet, gorg, was used in
historical sources was in a 1242–1243 Armenian inscription on the
wall of the Kaptavan Church in Artsakh.
Common themes and patterns found on Armenian carpets were the
depiction of dragons and eagles. They were diverse in style, rich in
color and ornamental motifs, and were even separated in categories
depending on what sort of animals were depicted on them, such as
artsvagorgs (eagle-carpets), vishapagorgs (dragon-carpets) and
otsagorgs (serpent-carpets). The rug mentioned in the Kaptavan
inscriptions is composed of three arches, "covered with vegatative
ornaments", and bears an artistic resemblance to the illuminated
manuscripts produced in Artsakh.
The art of carpet weaving was in addition intimately connected to the
making of curtains as evidenced in a passage by Kirakos Gandzaketsi, a
13th-century Armenian historian from Artsakh, who praised Arzu-Khatun,
the wife of regional prince Vakhtang Khachenatsi, and her daughters
for their expertise and skill in weaving.
Armenian carpets were also renowned by foreigners who traveled to
Artsakh; the Arab geographer and historian
Al-Masudi noted that, among
other works of art, he had never seen such carpets elsewhere in his
Main article: Armenian cuisine
Khorovats is a favorite Armenian dish
Khorovats, an Armenian-styled barbecue, is arguably the favorite
Lavash is a very popular Armenian flat bread, and
Armenian paklava is a popular dessert made from filo dough. Other
famous Armenian foods include the kabob (a skewer of marinated roasted
meat and vegetables), various dolmas (minced lamb, or beef meat and
rice wrapped in grape leaves, cabbage leaves, or stuffed into hollowed
vegetables), and pilaf, a rice dish. Also, ghapama, a rice-stuffed
pumpkin dish, and many different salads are popular in Armenian
culture. Fruits play a large part in the Armenian diet. Apricots
(Prunus armeniaca, also known as Armenian Plum) have been grown in
Armenia for centuries and have a reputation for having an especially
good flavor. Peaches are popular as well, as are grapes, figs,
pomegranates, and melons. Preserves are made from many fruits,
including cornelian cherries, young walnuts, sea buckthorn,
mulberries, sour cherries, and many others.
The Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church
Armenian General Benevolent Union
Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) founded in 1906 and the
largest Armenian non-profit organization in the world, with
educational, cultural and humanitarian projects on all continents
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, founded in 1890. It is
generally referred to as the Dashnaktsutyun, which means Federation in
Armenian. The ARF is the strongest worldwide Armenian political
organization and the only diasporan Armenian organization with a
significant political presence in the Republic of Armenia.
Hamazkayin, an Armenian cultural and educational society founded in
Cairo in 1928, and responsible for the founding of Armenian secondary
schools and institutions of higher education in several countries
The Armenian Catholic Church, representing small communities of
Armeno-Catholics in different countries around the world, as well as
important monastic and cultural institutions in
Venice and Vienna
Armenian Scouting and athletic organization founded in
1910 with a worldwide membership of about 25,000
The Armenian Relief Society, founded in 1910
For a more comprehensive list, see Lists of Armenians.
Peoples of the Caucasus
Abkhazia is a de facto sovereign state whose status is disputed. It
considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by
only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the
world's other states consider
Abkhazia de jure a part of Georgia's
territory. In Georgia's official subdivision it is an autonomous
republic, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi.
Republic of Artsakh
Republic of Artsakh is de facto independent and mainly
integrated into Armenia, however, it is internationally recognized as
de jure part of Azerbaijan
^ The number of Syrian
Armenians is estimated to be far lower due to
the Syrian Civil War, as these are pre war figures. Many fled to
Lebanon, Armenia, and the west respectively.
^ different sources:
Dennis J.D. Sandole (24 January 2007). Peace and Security in the
Postmodern World: The OSCE and Conflict Resolution. Routledge.
p. 182. ISBN 9781134145713. The nearly 3 million Armenians
Armenia (and 3–4 million in the Armenian Diaspora worldwide)
"perceive" the nearly 8 million Azerbaijanis in
McGoldrick, Monica; Giordano, Joe; Garcia-Preto, Nydia, eds. (18
August 2005). Ethnicity and Family Therapy, Third Edition (3 ed.).
Guilford Press. p. 439. ISBN 9781606237946. The impact of
such a horror on a group who presently number approximately 6 million,
worldwide, is incalculable.
Gevorg Sargsyan; Ani Balabanyan; Denzel Hankinson (1 January 2006).
From Crisis to Stability in the Armenian Power Sector: Lessons Learned
from Armenia's Energy Reform Experience (illustrated ed.). World Bank
Publications. p. 18. ISBN 9780821365908. The country's
estimated 3–6 million Diaspora represent a major source of
foreign direct investment in the country.
Arthur G. Sharp (15 September 2011). The Everything Guide to the
Middle East: Understand the people, the politics, and the culture of
this conflicted region. Adams Media. p. 137.
ISBN 9781440529122. Since the newly independent Republic of
Armenia was declared in 1991, nearly 4 million of the world's
Armenians have been living on the eastern edge of their
Middle Eastern homeland.
^ different sources:
Von Voss, Huberta (2007). Portraits of Hope:
Armenians in the
Contemporary World. New York: Berghahn Books. p. xxv.
ISBN 9781845452575. ...there are some 8 million
Armenians in the
Freedman, Jeri (2008). The Armenian genocide. New York: Rosen
Publishing Group. p. 52. ISBN 9781404218253. In contrast to
its population of 3.2 million, approximately 8 million Armenians
live in other countries of the world, including large communities in
the America and Russia.
Guntram H. Herb, David H. Kaplan (2008). Nations and Nationalism: A
Global Historical Overview: A Global Historical Overview. Santa
Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 1705. ISBN 9781851099085.
A nation of some 8 million people, about 3 million of whom live
in the newly independent post-Soviet state,
Armenians are constantly
battling not to lose their distinct culture, identity and the newly
Robert A. Saunders, Vlad Struko (2010). Historical dictionary of the
Russian Federation. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 50.
Philander, S. George (2008). Encyclopedia of global warming and
climate change. Los Angeles: SAGE. p. 77.
ISBN 9781412958783. An estimated 60 percent of the total 8
Armenians worldwide live outside the country...
Robert A. Saunders, Vlad Strukov (2010). Historical dictionary of the
Russian Federation. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 51.
ISBN 9780810874602. Worldwide, there are more than 8 million
Armenians; 3.2 million reside in the Republic of Armenia.
^ "Statistical Service of Armenia" (PDF). Armstat. Retrieved 20
^ "National makeup of the population of the Russian Federation
(Национальный состав населения
Российской Федерации)" (in Russian). Russian
Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
^ Robert A. Saunders, Vlad Struko (2010). Historical dictionary of the
Russian Federation. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 50.
^ "Total ancestry categories tallied for people with one or more
ancestry categories reported 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year
Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 December
"Barack Obama on the Importance of US-
Armenia Relations". Armenian
National Committee of America. 19 January 2008. Retrieved 24 July
"Kim Kardashian Urges Support for Telethon". The Armenian Weekly. 20
May 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
Milliken, Mary (12 October 2007). "Armenian-American clout buys
genocide breakthrough". Reuters. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
^ Thon, Caroline (2012).
Armenians in Hamburg: an ethnographic
exploration into the relationship between diaspora and success.
Berlin: LIT Verlag Münster. p. 25.
^ Taylor, Tony (2008). Denial: history betrayed. Carlton, Victoria:
Melbourne University Pub. p. 4.
^ "National Statistics Office of Georgia" (PDF).
^ В Абхазии объявили данные переписи
населения. Delfi (in Russian). 29 December 2011. Retrieved 20
August 2013. (According to the 2011 census).
^ Republic of Artsakh. "Population estimates of NKR as of 01.01.2013".
Retrieved 20 February 2014.
^ Gibney, Matthew J. (2005). Immigration and asylum: from 1900 to the
present. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 13.
^ Vardanyan, Tamara (21 June 2007). Իրանահայ համայնք.
ճամպրուկային տրամադրություններ [The
Iranian-Armenian community] (in Armenian). Noravank Foundation.
Retrieved 5 January 2013.
^ Sargsyan, Babken (8 December 2012). Armenian Service
"Գերմանիաիի հայ համայնքը [Armenian community of
Germany]" Check url= value (help) (in Armenian). Retrieved 10 January
^ "THE VIRTUAL MUSEUM OF ARMENIAN DIASPORA". Ministry of Diaspora of
the Republic of Armenia. Archived from the original on 19 February
2014. Retrieved 2014-02-19.
^ The distribution of the population by nationality and mother tongue,
Kiev: State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, 2001, retrieved 5 January
2013 [permanent dead link]
^ Comunidade armênia prospera no Brasil, mas não abandona luta pela
memória do massacre. By Breno Salvador. O Globo, 24 April 2015
^ "Federal Senate of Brazil Recognizes Armenian Genocide". Armenian
Weekly. 3 June 2015.
^ Bedevyan, Astghik (18 January 2011). "Հունաստանի հայ
համայնքը պատրաստվում է Հայաստանի
նախագահի հետ հանդիպմանը [Armenian community of
Greece preparing for the meeting with the Armenian president]" (in
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenian Service. Retrieved
10 January 2015.
^ Ayvazyan 2003, p. 100.
^ "Foreign Ministry: 89,000 minorities live in Turkey". Today's Zaman.
15 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
^ Canada National Household Survey, Statistics Canada, 2011, retrieved
20 August 2013 . Of those, 31,075 reported single and 24,675
mixed Armenian ancestry.
^ "Narodowy Spis Powszechny 2011 (Polish Census of 2011)". Główny
Urząd Statystyczny (Polish Central Statistical Office). 2011.
Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October
^ Richard G. Hovannisian, The Armenian people from ancient to modern
times: the fifteenth century to the twentieth century, Volume 2, p.
427, Palgrave Macmillan, 1997.
^ a b c see Hastings, Adrian (2000). A World History of Christianity.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 289.
Armenia first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion".
Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved
^ "Χαλύβοισι πρὸς νότον Ἀρμένιοι
Armenians border on the
Chalybes to the
south)". Chahin, Mark (2001). The Kingdom of Armenia. London:
Routledge. pp. fr. 203. ISBN 0-7007-1452-9.
^ Xenophon. Anabasis. pp. IV.v.2–9.
^ Razmik Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings And Priests to Merchants
Columbia University Press
Columbia University Press (2006),
ISBN 978-0-231-13926-7, p. 106.
^ Rafael Ishkhanyan, "Illustrated History of Armenia," Yerevan, 1989
^ Elisabeth Bauer. Armenia: Past and Present (1981), p. 49
Thomas Gamkrelidze and Vyacheslav V. Ivanov, The Early History of
Indo-European Languages, March 1990, p. 110.
^ a b c Hamp, Eric P. (August 2013). "The Expansion of the
Indo-European Languages: An Indo-Europeanist's Evolving View" (PDF).
Sino-Platonic Papers. 239: 8, 10, 13. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
^ Haber, Marc; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Xue, Yali; Comas, David;
Gasparini, Paolo; Zalloua, Pierre; Tyler-Smith, Chris (2015). "Genetic
evidence for an origin of the
Bronze Age mixing of
multiple populations". European Journal of Human Genetics. 24 (6):
931. bioRxiv 015396 . doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.206.
PMC 4820045 . PMID 26486470.
^ Vahan Kurkjian, "History of Armenia", Michigan, 1968, History of
Armenia by Vahan Kurkjian; Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia, v. 12,
Yerevan 1987; Artak Movsisyan, "Sacred Highland:
Armenia in the
spiritual conception of the Near East", Yerevan, 2000; Martiros
Kavoukjian, "The Genesis of Armenian People", Montreal, 1982
^ Curtis, John (November 2003). "The Achaemenid Period in Northern
Iraq". L'archéologie de l'empire achéménide (Paris, France): 12.
^ a b Mary Boyce. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices
Psychology Press, 2001 ISBN 978-0415239028 p 84
^ "The conversion of
Armenia to Christianity was probably the most
crucial step in its history. It turned
Armenia sharply away from its
Iranian past and stamped it for centuries with an intrinsic character
as clear to the native population as to those outside its borders, who
Armenia almost at once as the first state to adopt
Christianity". (Nina Garsoïan in Armenian People from Ancient to
Modern Times, ed. R.G. Hovannisian, Palgrave Macmillan, 1997, Volume
^ traditionally dated to 301 following
Mikayel Chamchian (1784). 314
is the date favoured by mainstream scholarship, so Nicholas Adontz
(1970), p.82, following the research of Ananian, and Seibt The
Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania) (2002).
^ a b Mary Boyce. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices
Psychology Press, 2001 ISBN 0415239028 p 84
^ Charl Wolhuter, Corene de Wet. International Comparative
Perspectives on Religion and Education AFRICAN SUN MeDIA,
ISBN 1920382372. 1 March 2014 p 31
^ Hodgson, Natasha (2010). Kostick, Conor, ed. The Crusades and the
Near East: Cultural Histories. Routledge. ISBN 1136902473.
^ Donald Rayfield. Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia Reaktion
Books, 2013 ISBN 1780230702 p 165
^ Steven R. Ward. Immortal, Updated Edition: A Military History of
Iran and Its Armed Forces Georgetown University Press, 8 January 2014
ISBN 1626160325 p 43
^ "Armenians: Past and Present in the Making of National Identity".
Retrieved 30 December 2014.
^ Timothy C. Dowling Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to
Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond pp 728 ABC-CLIO, 2 December 2014
^ Vahan Kurkjian, "History of Armenia", Michigan, 1968, History of
Armenia by Vahan Kurkjian
Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem". Archived from the original on 7
March 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
^ The Cambridge Ancient History. vol. 12, p. 486. London: Cambridge
University Press, 2005.
^ Terzian, Shelley (2014). Wolhuter, Charl; de Wet, Corene, eds.
International Comparative Perspectives on Religion and Education.
African Sun Media. p. 29. ISBN 1920382372.
^ Agathangelos, History of St. Gregory and the Conversion of Armenia
^ Agathangelos, History of the Armenians, Robert W. Thomson, State
University of New York Press, 1974
^ "A Migrating Catholicosate". Archived from the original on 3 April
2008. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
^ "Two Catholicosates within the Armenian Church". Archived from the
original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
^ Sacred Geometry and Armenian Architecture
Armenia Travel, History,
Archeology & Ecology Tour
Armenia Travel Guide to Armenia
^ Armenia, Past and Present; Elisabeth Bauer, Jacob Schmidheiny,
Frederick Leist, 1981
^ "Sport in Armenia". Retrieved 2007-02-27.
^ Hakobyan, Hravard H. (1990). The Medieval Art of Artsakh. Yerevan,
Armenian SSR: Parberakan. p. 84.
^ a b c Hakobyan. Medieval Art of Artsakh, p. 84.
^ (in Armenian) Kirakos Gandzaketsi. Պատմություն Հայոց
(History of Armenia). Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of
Sciences, 1961, p. 216, as cited in Hakobyan. Medieval Art of Artsakh,
p. 84, note 18.
^ Ulubabyan, Bagrat A. (1975). Խաչենի
իշխանությունը, X-XVI դարերում (The Principality
of Khachen, From the 10th to 16th Centuries) (in Armenian). Yerevan,
Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences. p. 267.
This article incorporates public domain material from the
CIA World Factbook website
This article incorporates public domain material from the
United States Department of State
United States Department of State website
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index.htm (Background Notes).
The categorization of Armenian churches in Los Angeles used
information from Sacred Transformation: Armenian Churches in Los
Angeles a project of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and
Some of the information about the history of the
Armenians comes from
the multi-volume History of the Armenian People, Yerevan, Armenia,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Armenians.
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Hovannisian, Richard G., ed. (September 1997), The Armenian People
From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I – The Dynastic Periods: From
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