Republic of Armenia

Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն
Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun  (Armenian)
Մեր Հայրենիք
Mer Hayrenik
"Our Fatherland"
Location of Armenia
and largest city
40°11′N 44°31′E / 40°11′N 44°31′E / 40.183; 44.517
Official languagesArmenian[1]
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Armen Sarkissian
Nikol Pashinyan
Ararat Mirzoyan
LegislatureNational Assembly
Establishment history
6th century BC
190 BC[5]

28 May 1918
• Independence from the Soviet Union
21 September 1991
• Total
29,743 km2 (11,484 sq mi) (138th)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
• 2011 census
Decrease 3,018,854[9][10] (134th)
• Density
101.5/km2 (262.9/sq mi) (99th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$32.893 billion[11]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$13.302 billion[11] (132nd)
• Per capita
$4,446[11] (116th)
Gini (2016)Negative increase 32.5[12]
HDI (2017)Steady 0.755
high · 83rd
CurrencyDram (֏) (AMD)
Time zoneUTC+4 (AMT)
Driving sideright
Calling code+374
ISO 3166 codeAM
Internet TLD

Armenia (ə/ (About this soundlisten);[13] Armenian: Հայաստան, romanizedHayastan, IPA: [hɑjɑsˈtɑn]), officially the Republic of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, romanizedHayastani Hanrapetut'yun, IPA: [hɑjɑstɑˈni hɑnɾɑpɛtutʰˈjun]), is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia[14][15] on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.[16]

Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia. The Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD.[17][18][19] The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301.[20] The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks. An Armenian principality and later a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires, repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, and in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment.[21][22] The unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD.

Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Artsakh, which was proclaimed in 1991.


The original native Armenian name for the country was Հայք (Hayk’), however it is currently rarely used. The contemporary name Հայաստան (Hayastan) became popular in the Middle Ages by addition of the Persian suffix -stan (place).[citation needed]. However the origins of the name Hayastan trace back to much earlier dates and were first attested in circa 5th century in the works of Agathangelos,[23][24] Faustus of Byzantium,[25][26] Ghazar Parpetsi,[27] Koryun,[28] and Sebeos.[29]

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 the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene (Movsis Khorenatsi), defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region.[30] The further origin of the name is uncertain. It is also further postulated[31][32] that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi (1600–1200 BC).

The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription (515 BC) as Armina (Old Persian a.png Old Persian ra.png Old Persian mi.png Old Persian i.png Old Persian na.png). The Ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία (Armenía) and Ἀρμένιοι (Arménioi, "Armenians") are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus (c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC).[33] Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC.[34]

Some scholars have linked the name Armenia with the Early Bronze Age state of Armani (Armanum, Armi) or the Late Bronze Age state of Arme (Shupria).[35] These connections are inconclusive as it is not known what languages were spoken in these kingdoms. Additionally, while it is agreed that Arme was located to the immediate west of Lake Van (and therefore in the greater Armenia region), the location of the older site of Armani is a matter of debate. Some modern researchers have placed it in the same general area of Arme, near modern Samsat,[36] and have suggested it was populated, at least partially, by an early Indo-European-speaking people.[37] It has also been speculated that the land of Ermenen (located in or near Minni), mentioned by the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III in 1446 BCE, could be a reference to Armenia.

According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.[38][39] The Table of Nations lists Aram as the son of Shem, to whom the Book of Jubilees attests,

"And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of 'Arara.[40][41]"

Jubilees 8:21 also apportions the Mountains of Ararat to Shem, which Jubilees 9:5 expounds to be apportioned to Aram.[40][41] The historian Flavius Josephus also states in his Antiquities of the Jews,

"Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians;... Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia; and Gather the Bactrians; and Mesa the Mesaneans; it is now called Charax Spasini."[42]

Historical Armenia, 150 BC