Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստան, Hayastan, Հայք, Hayk), officially the Republic of Armenia, is a country in Eurasia (Eastern Europe/Western Asia) to the South-East of the Black Sea, located in the South Caucasus. A former republic of the Soviet Union, it shares borders with Georgia in the North, Turkey in the West, Iran in the South, and Azerbaijan in the East. Armenia has a rich culture and history and prides itself as one of the oldest civilizations of the world, dating back to Biblical Noah and his Ark. Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion in AD 301. Since then, the Armenian people have identified strongly with their Christian faith. Template:/box-footer
The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (Armenian: Հայկական Սովետական Սոցիալիստական Հանրապետություն; Russian: Армянская Советская Социалистическая Республика) was the name of Armenia when it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union. From March 12, 1922 to December 5, 1936 it was part of the Transcaucasian SFSR together with the Georgian SSR and the Azerbaijan SSR. Armenians enjoyed a period of relative stability under Soviet rule. Life under the Soviet Union proved to be a soothing balm in contrast to the turbulent final years of the Ottoman Empire. The Armenians received medicine, food, as well as other provisions from Moscow. Additionally, the Armenian alphabet was reformed to increase literacy among the populace. The situation was difficult for the church which struggled under Communism.
The Coat of Arms of Armenia consists of an eagle and a lion supporting a shield. The coat of arms combines new and old symbols. The eagle and lion are ancient Armenian symbols dating from the first Armenian kingdoms. The shield itself consists of many components. In the center is a depiction of Mount Ararat, where Noah's ark came to rest after the great flood. Surrounding Mount Ararat are symbols of old Armenian dynasties. In the lower left is the emblem of the Artaxiad Dynasty that ruled in the 1st century BC. In the upper left is the emblem for the Bagratuni Dynasty that ruled during the Middle Ages, between 7th and 11th centuries. That dynasty was destroyed by the Byzantine Empire's encroachment and by Seljuk invasions in the 11th century AD. In the upper right is the emblem of the first dynasty to reign over a Christian Armenia, the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia. This dynasty ruled from the 1st century AD to 428 AD. In the lower right is the emblem of the Rubenid dynasty. This dynasty reigned in Lesser Armenia (also known as Cilicia), a state that expanded and prospered during the 12th and 13th centuries, until the Mamelukes and Turks eventually conquered it.
Template:/box-header Tigranes the Great (Armenian: Տիգրան Մեծ, translit. Tigran Mets or Dikran Medz ) (ruled 95–55 BC) (also called Tigranes II and sometimes Tigranes I) was a king of Armenia. Tigranes was born around 140 BC and was the son or nephew of Artavasdes I.
Tigranes had been a hostage until the age of 40 at the court of King Mithridates II of Parthia who defeated the Armenians in 105 BC. After the death of King Tigranes I in 95 BC, Tigranes ransomed his freedom by handing over "seventy valleys" in Atropatene (Azerbaijan) to the Parthians (Strabo 11.14.15). He deposed Artanes, the last king of Armenian Sophene and a descendant of Zariadres (Strabo XI. 532). He invaded Cappadocia in 93 BC together with Mithridates Eupator, but was driven back by Sulla in 92 BC.
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