Armenia is one of the oldest nations in the world, but it’s borders have constantly changed. Today, a look at its changing borders over the past 2500 years. For all you map fans, here’s another set!
Armenian was not a unified political entity until the region came under Persian rule at around 600 B.C. Armenia was an autonomous region with a Persian Satrap.
Persian rule lasted until Alexander the Great, who’s troops occupied the region and gave it a native Armenian governor. Armenia became a province of the Seleucid Empire after Alexander’s death.
Armenia won independence in the 2nd century BC and was occasionally conquered by Rome and Parthia, but was by and large autonomous as a buffer state between the two empires. Armenia became the first Christian Kingdom in 301 (barely beating Ethiopia for that honor, which became Christian in 330).
In 384, the kingdom was split between the East Roman Empire and the Persians. Roman Armenia was called Lesser Armenia; Persian Armenia was called Eastern Armenia. The region was subsequently conquered by Arabia and Byzantium until briefly winning independence in the 11th century.
The Armenian region was conquered by Seljuks, but the Crusaders gave the King the coastal region of Cilicia, which became Armenia’s political capital for several hundred years until it was defeated by the Mamelukes of Egypt.
After that, the Armenians were ruled by Ottomans and Russians for centuries until the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the people were driven into Russia. There they were confined to a small region of the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union, until independence was granted in 1990.
Today, Armenia is a poor independent nation. It’s immediate future does not seem bright, but no matter what anarchy awaits the future of the globe, the Armenians have shown that their southern Caucasus nation can survive almost crisis, and will probably last for many centuries to come.
SOURCE: Maps created with Fireworks and Nasa World Wind; maps taken from my high school text: Ã¤Â¸”“Ã§”¢Å’Ã¥Â?Â²Ã¥Â¹Â´Ã¨Â¡Â¨Ã£Æ’Â»Ã¥Å“Â°Ã¥”ºÂ³.