Kate’s Royal Prison


Kate’s Royal Prison

FILE - This is a Friday April 11, 2008 file photo of Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Britain's Price William, in RAF Cranwell, England where Prince Will

Andrew Roberts – Wed Nov 17, 10:40 pm ET

NEW YORK – Millions of young women may envy of Kate Middleton’s engagement to Prince William, but Andrew Roberts says they should be relieved to miss out on the onerous, boring, and unending life of being a royal.

Across the globe, socially ambitious young ladies are sighing over the fact that Prince William, the world’s most eligible bachelor, has finally gotten engaged. Their wild hopes that perhaps he might have repeated his April 2007 breakup, leaving Kate in the lurch once again, are now irrevocably dashed. As their gaze now swivels elsewhere—to pop stars, hedge-funders, social networking tycoons, even Prince Harry—they are awaking from the dream of marrying the tall, blond Adonically handsome cavalry officer prince at Westminster Abbey. Yet even as they cross off Prince William from their little black address books, they can console themselves with this thought: being a royal in the 21st century is appallingly hard work, where the disadvantages easily equal, and probably outweigh, the advantages.

Kates Obstacle Course

William and Kate The Photos
Whos Left Most Eligible Princes
Prince SWilliam & Prince Harry

In the calendar year 2009, Her Majesty the Queen undertook no fewer than 409 official engagements, i.e., more than one a day. She is 84 years old. Except for Christmas Day and Easter Day, she never has a day away from her government red boxes, which follow her everywhere. Although Kate will obviously not be head of state, it is an indication of how busy her husband will be, and she will be expected to be with him on all the most important engagements. Yet she will also be expected to undertake hundreds of engagements on her own as well, and will be minutely judged on each of them.

William and Kate The Details

She cannot say anything controversial, or indeed particularly interesting, for the rest of her life, otherwise she will be castigated in the press. She can never again express a political opinion of any kind whatsoever, because the most important constitutional duty of the royal family is to be above politics. Even if she winds up knowing much more about a subject than government ministers—as is often the case with the royal family regarding conservation, environmental, agricultural and heritage issues—she must keep resolutely silent about them in public. Even in private she must be highly circumspect, otherwise the politicians or civil servants will leak her letters, as has happened recently to Prince Charles.

Her income will be publicly picked over to the last pound sterling in House of Commons committees, and she cannot spend lavishly even her own private money. Every item of expenditure at her wedding will be subjected to intense media scrutiny, especially at this time of austerity. Almost every holiday—and there are precious few—will be a “working” holiday of some kind where she will have to meet and greet local worthies. If she is ever once caught yawning during an interminable tribal dance in Papua New Guinea, the photo will haunt her for decades.

Everything she wears every single day will be commented on and picked over and judged in the newspapers day in, day out. In this era of the telephoto lens, she can have no bad hair days for the rest of her life. The days of mildly malicious gossipy lunches with friends are over, as are nightclubbing, flirting, and drinking more than two glasses of wine, for fear of the paparazzi snapping a flushed face. Yet however glamorous she dresses and lovely she looks, it could be decades before she is allowed to emerge from the shadow of her iconic mother-in-law, as she will be reminded whenever she looks at her engagement ring.

When she visits her in-laws in Scotland, she must pretend to enjoy being woken up at 6:15 every morning by bagpipers at Balmoral, and enjoy the cold and damp and Wellington boots of the House of Windsor’s hearty outdoors life. She must deal with the inanities, bitchiness, and pettiness of life at court, and she must also be a role model for millions of women, who will look up to her and expect her to say the right thing all the time. She must personify honor, duty, and diligence, otherwise she will be compared unfavorably to the present queen, who promised on her 21st birthday to dedicate her life to her people, and then spent the next 63 years doing exactly that.

So Kate must open schools, hospitals, and community centers, whether she feels up to it or not, scores of times every year for the rest of her life, and be seen to enjoy it. She must be bland when she does so, but also compassionate, interested, and caring. She must shake hands with hundreds of thousands of complete strangers and show interest in their lives, even though she will never see them again.She must have at least two healthy photogenic offspring, preferably more, of whom at least one is expected to be male, whom she must try to bring up as normal children even though patently obviously they are not. She and her husband and children could well be the target of assassination attempts, and will certainly receive constant death threats. She will almost never be praised in public except by oleaginous flatterers desperate for social advantage. She will not genuinely know how she is doing in her new job; there are no objective career assessment programs for royals.

When, after half a century of not putting a foot wrong in this most taxing of public roles, Queen Catherine of England becomes a national treasure—as I am certain she will—she will have more than deserved it. But in the meantime, all those young women around the world who were dreaming of becoming princesses should instead be thanking providence that Prince William chose someone else.

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File:Kate Middleton 2008 cropped v2.jpg

Born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton
9 January 1982 (age 28)
ReadingBerkshireEngland
Education University of St Andrews
Parents Michael Francis Middleton
Carole Elizabeth Middleton, née Goldsmith

Kate Middleton with her parents Carole and Michael.

 

Catherine ElizabethKate” Middleton (born 9 January 1982) is the fiancée of Prince William of Wales. Since their relationship began, Middleton has received widespread media attention and there has been constant speculation that they would eventually marry. On 16 November 2010, the office of the Prince of Wales, at Clarence House, announced that Middleton and Prince William intend to marry in 2011.

Middleton grew up in Berkshire and after attending Marlborough College, went to theUniversity of St Andrews. She met Prince William, also studying there, in 2001. They soon started a relationship, media attention quickly followed, and in 2005 her lawyer complained of harassment. In April 2007, the press reported that William and Middleton had split up. They continued to be friends, and later in 2007 they reunited. Since then, Middleton has attended many high-profile royal events. She has been admired for her fashion sense and has been placed on numerous “best dressed” lists.

Middleton was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, Berkshire, the first of three children of Carole Elizabeth (1955-, née Goldsmith) – an air hostess, in 1980 a stewardess– and Michael Francis Middleton (1949-), a flight dispatcher in 1980 and an airline officer in 1982 for British Airways. Michael and Carole were married on 21 June 1980 at the Parish Church of DorneyBuckinghamshire.[1] In 1987, they founded their own company, Party Pieces, a mail order firm that sells party supplies and decorations.[2] They have since become millionaires.[3]

Middleton was raised in BuckleburyBerkshire,[4] and is of overwhelmingly English descent, but with a few distant Scottish and FrenchHugenot ancestors.[1] Her paternal family came from Leeds, West Yorkshire, and her great-grandmother Olivia was a member of the Lupton family, who were active for generations in Leeds in commercial and municipal work.[3] Carole Middleton’s maternal family, the Harrisons, were working class labourers and miners from County Durham.[5] Middleton has two siblings, Philippa “Pippa” Charlotte[6]and James William.[7] Pippa Middleton, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, has received press coverage since her sister became famous, with focus on her relationships and lifestyle.[8]

Education

Middleton was educated at St. Andrew’s School in the village of Pangbourne in Berkshire in South East England, and Marlborough College, a co-educational independent school in the market town of Marlborough in Wiltshire in South West England,[9] followed by theUniversity of St Andrews in the town of St Andrews in Fife in Mid Scotland and Fife, where she met Prince William, and graduated with a2:1 (Hons) in the History of Art.[10]

Relationship with Prince William

Middleton’s unsubstantiated status as the girlfriend of Prince William brought her widespread media coverage in the UK and abroad, and she was often photographed on her daily outings. On 17 October 2005, she complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating that she had done nothing significant to warrant such publicity.[11]

In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail supplied by the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department. This fueled further speculation that she and Prince William would soon be engaged, since she would not, otherwise, be entitled to this service. No engagement occurred, and Middleton was not granted an allowance to fund this security. However, media attention greatly increased around the time of Middleton’s 25th birthday in January 2007, prompting warnings from both Prince Charles and Prince William and from Middleton’s lawyers, who threatened legal action. As a result, two newspaper groups, News International, which publishes The Times and The Sun, and the Guardian Media Group, publishers of The Guardian, decided to refrain from publishing paparazzi photographs of her.[12]

Middleton attended at least one event as an official royal guest, Prince William’s Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006.[13]

Breakup and reconciliation

with Prince Harry (at left), June 2008

On 14 April 2007 The Sun newspaper broke a “world exclusive” suggesting that Prince William and Kate Middleton had split up.[14] Other media outlets such as the BBC confirmed the story as the day progressed. The couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort ofZermatt.[15][16]

Clarence House made only one comment about the relationship’s end, according to The Times, stating, “We don’t comment on Prince William’s private life.”[17] Newspapers speculated about the reasons for the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources. The original report in The Sun quoted a “close friend of the couple” as saying that Middleton felt William had not been paying her enough attention. The paper highlighted reports that William had been spending time with other young women, and said the Prince, aged 24 at the time of the split, felt he was too young to marry.[18]

A report in the Daily Mail blamed a desire by royal courtiers not to “hurry along” a marriage announcement, and William’s desire to enjoy his bachelor status within his Army career. TheMail also suggested that William’s friend Guy Pelly encouraged the Prince to take a “careless approach” to relationships. The same article suggested that Middleton had “expected too much” in wanting William to demonstrate his commitment to her.[19]

In June 2007, Middleton and Prince William insisted they were “just good friends” following reports of a reconciliation.[20] Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana atWembley Stadium; however, she and William sat two rows apart.[21] The couple were subsequently seen together in public on a number of occasions, and several news sources, including the BBC and the Daily Mail, stated that they had “rekindled their relationship.”[22]Middleton also joined William and Charles on a deerstalking expedition at Balmoral[23] and attended the wedding of William’s cousin,Peter Phillips, even though William, due to a prior commitment, did not. In April 2008, Middleton accompanied Prince William when he was awarded his RAF wings at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell.[24] On 16 June 2008, Middleton attended William’s investiture into the Order of the Garter along with the Royal Family.

Engagement

On 16 November 2010, Clarence House announced that the two are to marry in 2011.[25][26] The couple became engaged in October 2010 in Kenya, East Africa, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate William’s passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course.[27][28] The wedding is scheduled for spring or summer of 2011.[29][30] It is customary for royal men to receive a dukedom when they marry – the suggested dukedoms are the Dukedom of ClarenceDukedom of CambridgeDukedom of Connaughtor Dukedom of SussexKendalAvondale, and Strathearn have all also been mooted. As the wife of a royal duke and prince, Middleton would assume the courtesy title of duchess as well as the style of Her Royal Highness.[31]

If William is not given a dukedom or some lower title in his own right, she would be known as “Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales”, the female equivalent to her future husband’s title. Should William become Prince of Wales, Kate will revert to the female equivalent of the title. Finally, should William succeed to the throne, it is assumed that Kate will become Queen Consort.

2006–present

In November 2006 Middleton accepted a position as an assistant accessories buyer with clothing chain Jigsaw.[32]

In September 2007 it was reported that Middleton was planning to give up her job as an accessories buyer to become a professional photographer. Some months later, it was announced that she intended to take private classes with internationally renowned photographer Mario Testino, who had taken several well-known photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her sons. Middleton and Testino apparently were introduced by Prince William. Testino later denied that Middleton was going to be working for him or had ever worked for him.[33] In December 2007, it was also reported that Middleton had moved in with Prince William at Clarence House, the residence of the Prince of Wales in London.[34] Clarence House later denied this.[35]

On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Prince William’s cousin Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly, which the prince missed attending.[36] On 19 July 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman. Prince William was away on military operations.

On 28 February 2010, The Times reported that Middleton was pursuing an invasion of privacy suit against photographer Niraj Tanna who took pictures of her over Christmas,[37] although they were never published in Britain. Middleton has not pursued the claim against the photographer as of September 2010.

Fashion icon

Middleton has been featured in numerous best-dressed lists and was selected by The Daily Telegraph as the “Most Promising Newcomer” in its 2006 list of style winners and losers.[38] Tatler placed her at #8 on its yearly listing of the top ten style icons in 2007.[39] She was also featured in People Magazines 2007 and 2010 best-dressed lists.[40] Middleton was named as one of Richard Blackwell‘s ten “Fabulous Fashion Independents” of 2007.[41] In June 2008 Style.com selected Middleton as its monthly beauty icon.[42]In July 2008 Middleton was included in Vanity Fair‘s international best-dressed list.[43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First glimpse of a planet from another galaxy


First glimpse of a planet from another galaxy

First glimpse of a planet from another galaxy

by Jean-Louis Santini – Thu Nov 18, 3:41 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A hot, gaseous and fast-spinning planet has been found orbiting a dying star on the edge of the Milky Way, in the first such discovery of a planet from outside our galaxy, scientists said Thursday.

Slightly larger than the size of Jupiter, the largest in our solar system, the newly discovered exoplanet is orbiting a star 2,000 light years from Earth that has found its way into the Milky Way.

The pair are believed to be part of the Helmi stream, a group of stars that remains after its mini-galaxy was devoured by the Milky Way some six to nine billion years ago, said the study in Science Express.

“This discovery is very exciting,” said Rainer Klement of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

“Because of the great distances involved, there are no confirmed detections of planets in other galaxies. But this cosmic merger has brought an extragalactic planet within our reach.”

Astronomers were able to locate the planet, coined HIP 13044 b, by focusing on the “tiny telltale wobbles of the star caused by the gravitational tug of an orbiting companion,” the study said.

They used a powerful telescope owned by the European Southern Laboratory at La Silla Observatory in Chile, located at an altitude of 2,400 meters (7,800 feet) some 600 kilometers (375 miles) north of the capital, Santiago.

The planet is quite close to the star it is orbiting, and survived a phase in which its host star went through a massive growth after it depleted its core hydrogen fuel supply, a phase known as the “red giant” stage of stellar evolution.

“This discovery is particularly intriguing when we consider the distant future of our own planetary system, as the Sun is also expected to become a red giant in about five billion years,” said lead researcher Johny Setiawan of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

The exoplanet is likely to be quite hot because it is orbiting so close to its star, completing each orbit in just over 16 days, and is probably near the end of its life, astronomers said.

The star may have already swallowed other planets in its orbit, making the star spin more quickly and meaning that time is running out for the surviving exoplanet.

Astronomers were mystified as to how the planet might have formed, since the star contained few elements heavier than hydrogen and helium and planets typically form out of a complex cloud of spinning space rubble.

“It is a puzzle for the widely accepted model of planet formation to explain how such a star, which contains hardly any heavy elements at all, could have formed a planet,” said Setiawan.

“Planets around stars like this must probably form in a different way.”

 

 

Explosion hits NZ mine; up to 30 workers missing


Explosion hits NZ mine; up to 30 workers missing

In this photo taken on Jan. 17, 2007, men work ...

AP – In this photo taken on Jan. 17, 2007, men work near the Pike River Coal Mine portal in Atarau, New Zealand. …

By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press – 45 mins ago

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – An explosion ripped through a coal mine in New Zealand on Friday and up to 30 workers were unaccounted for, police and the mining company said.

Emergency services were racing to the Pike River Coal Processing Plant near the town of Atarau on the west coast, police said in a statement.

Local Mayor Tony Kokshoorn told New Zealand’s National Radio that contact had been lost with up to 30 people at the mine.

“It’s not good news at all,” Kokshoorn said. “We don’t know at what depth the explosion is but there’s certainly a big explosion. With a bit of luck, things might be OK. But there’s 25 to 30 miners unaccounted for.”

Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Wittall told reporters that “the nature of the incident would appear to be an explosion.”

He said two workers had made it out of the mine, but it was not known exactly how many others were still inside.

“We’ve had our afternoon shift underground and we’ve had communications with a couple of the employees and we’ve had two men return to the surface,” Wittall said. “They’re being interviewed and we’re trying to determine … the full nature of the incident.”

“One of the employees has said he felt an explosion underground and since then he’s walked from the mine with another employee. We have no further information at this stage,” he said.

Police area commander John Canning said details were still sparse but initial reports suggested at least 30 people were in the mine and that they could be up to 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) underground.

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said the blast happened at about 3:45 p.m. and the last contact with any of the miners was about 4:15 p.m.

Brownlee said emergency exit tunnels were built into the mine but that he didn’t know if they could be accessed by the miners.

St. John Ambulance service said two rescue helicopters and 10 ambulances were heading for the mine.

The coal seam is about 200 meters underground and is reached through a horizontal tunnel 1.43 miles (2.3 kilometers) in length. One vertical ventilation shaft rises 354 feet (108 meters) from the tunnel to the surface, according to the company’s website. This was blocked by falling rocks within the shaft in early 2009, delaying mining for months.

Pike River has been operating since 2008, mining a seam with 58.5 million tons of coal, the largest-known deposit of hard coking coal in New Zealand, according to its website.

Pike River says its coal preparation plant at the site is the largest and most modern in New Zealand and processes up to 1.5 million tons of raw coal a year.

The mine is not far from the site of one of New Zealand’s worst mining disasters — an underground explosion in the state-owned Strongman Mine on Jan. 19, 1967, that killed 19 workers.

 

 

Eye-Popping Microscope Images


Eye-Popping Microscope Images

1st Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

1st Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Eyes of daddy longlegs. A frontal section of Phalangium opilio eyes. The lenses, retinas and optic nerves are visible. The image is a depth color-coded projection of a confocal image stack.

(Igor Siwanowicz, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology, Munich, Germany)

2nd Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

2nd Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Rat hippocampus. Widefield multiphoton fluorescence image stained to reveal the distribution.

(Thomas Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research)

3rd Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

3rd Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Solitary coral. The tentacle tips, called acrospheres, are visibly enhanced using a technique.

(James Nicholson, Coral Culture & Collaborative Research Facility)

4th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

4th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Living Licmophora juegensii on red alga, together with the diatom Cocconeis and filamentous.

(Wolfgang Bettighofer, Kiel, Germany)

5th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

5th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Dadpour Primordium of the weedy flower at its final stages of development. More than 100 z-stacks.

(M. Reza Dadpour, University of Tabriz, Iran)

6th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

6th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Gubernator Spirogyra. Brightfield and polarized light.

(Jerzy Gubernator, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw)

7th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

7th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Siwanowicz eye of a commmon blue damselfly. This projection of a series of confocal microscope.

(Igor Siwanowicz, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology)

8th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

8th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Beetle leg. Lateral view of the adhesive pad of the first leg of a beetle captured using.

(Jan Michels, Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany)

9th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

9th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Wildflower seeds. Image captured using brightfield reflected light.

(Yanping Wang, Beijing, China)

10th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging ...

10th Place 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition: Weevil. Image was captured using episcopic illumination.

(Laurie Knight, Tonbridge, Kent, UK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idaho scientists find new seismic fault in Rockies


Idaho scientists find new seismic fault in Rockies

Windmills generate electricity in the windy rolling ...

By Laura Zuckerman – Wed Nov 17, 10:07 pm ET

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – Scientists at Idaho State University have mapped a previously unknown and active seismic fault in the northern Rockies capable of unleashing an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 7.5.

The newly discovered fault in central Idaho does not lie in a densely populated area.

But Glenn Thackray, chairman of the university’s geosciences department, said the 40-mile-long fracture in the Earth’s crust at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains near the tiny mountain town of Stanley is cause for some concern.

“There’s a chance in the next few decades there will be an earthquake on this fault, and if it does happen it will be a rather large earthquake,” he said.

A 7.5 tremor is considered a major earthquake, capable of widespread heavy damage.

[Related: Decade’s most haunting earthquakes]

Such a temblor would be most keenly felt at an epicenter near Stanley,

home to about 100 year-round residents, with moderate shaking expected to extend from the resort community of Sun Valley to the capital city of Boise, Thackray said.

Scientists located the fault with a remote sensing technique that relies on laser-equipped airplanes. They were able to gather data about its history by analyzing sediment cores lifted from Redfish Lake, a mountain lake on the fault line famous for its historic sockeye salmon runs.

Thackray said researchers believe the fault triggered two earthquakes over the past 10,000 years, one some 7,000 years ago and another 4,000 years ago, suggesting significant seismic activity occurs at the site every several thousand years.

“Predicting when a fault might rupture is a real uncertainty of science,” he said. “The problems with earthquakes and faults are they don’t follow reliable patterns.”

Given the findings, it may be prudent for towns like Stanley to revamp building codes and emergency preparedness plans, Thackray said.

A fault at Idaho’s tallest mountain caused a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in 1983. The Borah Peak earthquake killed two children when a storefront collapsed in the central Idaho town of Challis and damaged buildings within a 50-mile radius. Other active faults in central Idaho lie in the Beaverhead, Lemhi and Lost River mountain ranges.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Bohan)

 

World’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey


World’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey

The worlds tallest man, Sultan Kosen of ...

The world’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey, arrives at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro November 18, 2010. Kosen, at 2 metres 46.5 cm (8 feet 1 inch) tall, also claims the record for the largest hands and largest feet. He attended an event to promote the Guinness World Records 2011 book.

REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL – Tags: SOCIETY)

Sultan Kosen

A woman holds his hand against the worlds ...

A woman holds his hand against the world’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey, before a news conference in Rio de Janeiro November 18, 2010. Kosen, at 2 metres 46.5 cm (8 feet 1 inch) tall, also claims the record for the largest hands and largest feet. He attended an event to promote the Guinness World Records 2011 book.

REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL – Tags: SOCIETY)

The worlds tallest man, Sultan Kosen of ...

The worlds tallest man, Kosen of Turkey, ...

The world’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey, listens to a question as a photographer takes a picture during a news conference in Rio de Janeiro

The worlds tallest man, Sultan Kosen of ...

The world’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey, poses with Vanessa Egues, who is 1 metre 52 cm (4 feed 98 inch), before a news conference in Rio deJaneiro November 18, 2010.

The worlds tallest man, Sultan Kosen of ...

Sultan Kosen

Turkey’s Sultan Kosen, 27, the tallest man on earth according to the Guinness World Records organization, with a height of 246.5 cm (8 feet 1 inch)

Sultan Kosen

 

 

 

 

History of Armenia


History of Armenia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

See History of Armenia (Movses Khorenatsi) for the historiographical work.

See also: Timeline of Armenian history

File:Yerevan-sunset.jpg

Mt. Ararat view from Yerevan

Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat. The original Armenian name for the country was Hayk, later Hayastan (Armenian: Հայաստան), translated as the land of Haik, and consisting of the name Haik and the suffix ‘-stan’ (land).

File:Mesrop Mashtots by Francesco Majotto.jpg

The name Armenia was given to the country by the surrounding states, and it is traditionally derived from Armenak or Aram (the great-grandson of Haik’s great-grandson, and another leader who is, according to Armenian tradition, the ancestor of all Armenians). 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 the Hayasa-Azzi were the Nairi (1400-1000 BC) and the Kingdom of Urartu (1000-600 BC), who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highlands. Each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people.[1] Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I.

The Iron Age kingdom of Urartu (Assyrian for Ararat) was replaced by the Orontid dynasty. Following Persian and Macedonian rule, the Artaxiad dynasty from 190 BC gave rise to theKingdom of Armenia which rose to the peak of its influence under Tigranes II before falling under Roman rule.

In 301, Arsacid Armenia was the first sovereign nation to accept Christianity as a state religion. The Armenians later fell under ByzantinePersian, and Islamic hegemony, but reinstated their independence with the Bagratuni Dynasty kingdom of Armenia. After the fall of the kingdom in 1045, and the subsequent Seljuk conquest of Armenia in 1064, the Armenians established a kingdom in Cilicia, where they prolonged their sovereignty to 1375.

Greater Armenia was later divided between the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Armenians then suffered in the genocide that was inflicted on them by the Ottomans. As a result, 1.5 million Armenians were murdered and a large number were dispersed throughout the world via Syria and Lebanon. Armenia, from then on corresponding to much of Eastern Armenia, once again gained independence in 1918, with the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Armenia, and then in 1991, with the Republic of Armenia.

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Armenia

The Armenian Highland shows traces of settlement from the Neolithic era.

The Shulaveri-Shomu culture of the central Transcaucasus region is one of the earliest known prehistoric culture in the area, carbon-dated to roughly 6000 – 4000 BC.

Bronze Age

An early Bronze Age culture in the area is the Kura-Araxes culture, assigned to the period of ca. 4000 – 2200 BC, succeeded by theTrialeti culture (ca. 2200 – 1500 BC). The earliest ethnonyms of the area are known from Hittite sources of the Late Bronze Age, such as the Hayasa-Azzi or the Mushki.

fortress at Akhtala – lori marz

fortress at Akhtala and monastery 13th c.
photo by; K. Asatryan

Between 1500 – 1200 BC, the Hayasa-Azzi existed in the western half of the Armenian Highland, often clashing with the Hittite Empire. Between 1200 – 800 BC, much of Armenia was united under a confederation of kingdoms, which Assyrian sources called Nairi (“Land of Rivers” in Assyrian”).

horomair charch – lori

horomair charch
Հորոմայր եկեղեցի
photo by: K. Asatryan

Iron Age

Main article: Urartu

File:Urartu 743-en.svg

Urartu in the time of Sarduris II743 BC

The Kingdom of Urartu flourished in the Caucasus and eastern Asia Minorbetween the 9th century BC[2] and 585 BC[3] in the Armenian Highland. The founder of the Urartian Kingdom, Aramé, united all the principalities of the Armenian Highland and gave himself the title “King of Kings”, the traditional title of Urartian Kings.[4] The Urartians established their sovereignty over all of Taronand Vaspurakan. The main rival of Urartu was the Neo-Assyrian Empire.[5]

carved caves – Khosrov Forest State Preserve. Ararat Marz

carved caves, carved caves – Khosrov Forest State Preserve. Ararat Marz
photo by: K Asatryan

During the reign of Sarduri I (834828 BC), Urartu had become a strong and organized state, and imposed taxes to neighbouring tribes. Sarduri madeTushpa (modern Van) the capital of Urartu. His son, Ishpuinis, extended the borders of the state by conquering what would later be known as theTigranocerta area and by reaching UrmiaMenuas (810785 BC) extended the Urartian territory up north, by spreading towards the Araratian fields. He left more than 90 inscriptions by using the Mesopotamian cuneiform scriptures in the Urartian languageArgishtis I of Urartu conquered Latakia from the Hittites, and reached ByblosPhoenicia, and he builtErebuni,modern-day Yerevan, in 782 BC by using 6600 prisoners of war. In 714 BC, the Assyrians under Sargon II defeated the UrartianKing Rusa I at Lake Urmia and destroyed the holy Urartian temple at Musasir. At the same time, an Indo-European tribe called theCimmerians attacked Urartu from the northwest region and destroyed the rest of his armies.

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The Medes under Cyaxares invaded Assyria later on in 612 BC, and then took over the Urartian capital of Van towards 585 BC, effectively ending the sovereignty of Urartu.[6] According to the Armenian tradition, the Medes helped the Armenians establish theOrontid dynasty.

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Gandzasar Monastery

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Antiquity

For more details on this topic, see Roman relations with the Armenians.

After the fall of Urartu around 585 BC, the Kingdom of Armenia was ruled by the Armenian Orontid Dynasty, which governed the state in 585 – 190 BC. Under Orontids, Armenia at times was an independent kingdom, and at other times a satrapy of the Persian Empire.Darius III was an Armenian satrap before he became the emperor of Persia.

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The Kingdom of Armenia at its greatest extent underTigranes the Great.

Artaxiad dynasty

After the destruction of the Seleucid Empire, a Hellenistic Armenian state was founded in 190 BC.

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Goddess Anahit inHellenistic style with the likeness of Aphrodite, the brass head bronze sculpture (2nd/1st century BC) was found in the 19th century in the district of Yerznka (Satala) and is currently kept at the British Museum (a replica can be seen at the State History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan).

It was a Hellenistic Greek successor state ofAlexander the Great‘s short-lived empire, with Artaxias becoming its first kings and the founder of the Artaxiad dynasty (190 BC – AD 1).

At the same time, a western portion of the kingdom split as a separate state under Zariadris, which became known as Lesser Armenia while the main kingdom acquired the name of Greater Armenia.[3]

The new kings began a program of expansion which was to reach its zenith a century later. Their acquisitions are summarized by Strabo. Zariadris acquired Acilisene and the “country around the Antitaurus”, possibly the district of Muzur or west of the Euphrates.

Artaxias took lands from the Medes, Iberians, and Syrians. He then had confrontations with Pontus, Seleucid Syria and Cappadocia, and was included in the treaty which followed the victory of a group of Anatolian kings over Pharnaces of Pontus in 181 BC. Pharnaces thus abandoned all of his gains in the west.[7]

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Ghazanchecoc

At its zenith, from 95 to 66 BC, Greater Armenia extended its rule over parts of the Caucasus and the area that is now eastern and central Turkey, northwestern IranIsraelSyria and Lebanon, forming the second Armenian empire. For a time, Armenia was one of the most powerful states in the Roman East.

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(Monastery of Tatev)

It eventually confronted the Roman Republic in a war, which it lost in 66 BC, but nonetheless preserved its sovereignty. Tigranes continued to rule Armenia as an ally of Rome until his death in 55 BCE.[8]

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(Monastery of Tatev)

Indeed the third Mithridatic war defeat of the King of Pontus by Roman Pompeius resulted in the Kingdom of Armenia becoming an allied client state of Rome.

Later on, in 1 AD, Armenia came under full Roman control until the establishment of the Armenian Arsacid dynasty. The Armenian people then adopted a Western political, philosophical, and religious orientation. According to Strabo, around this time everyone in Armenia spoke “the same language.” (Strabo 11.14.4).

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(Monastery of Tatev)

Roman Province of Armenia

Main article: Roman Armenia

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The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, with the “Roman Province of Armenia”

From Pompeius‘ campaign Armenia was, in part or whole, subject to the Roman Empirefor nearly four centuries. Roman emperor Trajan created even a short-lived Province of Armenia between 114 and 117 AD.[9]

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Վահագնի Ծնունդ

Վահագնի Ծնունդ

Indeed Roman supremacy was fully established by the campaigns of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo.[10], that ended with a formal compromise: a Parthian prince of the Arsacid line would henceforth sit on the Armenian throne, but his nomination had to be approved by the Roman emperor.

Because this agreement was not respected by the Parthian Empire, in 114 Trajan fromAntiochia in Syria marched on Armenia and conquered the capital Artaxata. Trajan then deposed the Armenian king Partamasiri (imposed by the Parthians) and ordered the annexation of Armenia to the Roman Empire as a new province.

The new province reached the shores of the Caspian sea and bordered to the north withCaucasian Iberia and Caucasian Albania, two vassal states of Rome. As a Roman province Armenia was administered by Catilius Severus of the Gens Claudia.

After Trajan’s death however, his successor Hadrian decided not to maintain the province of Armenia. In 118 AD, Hadrian gave Armenia up, and installed Parthamaspates as its “vassal” king.

Arsacid dynasty

Main article: Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia

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Armenia in the 4th Century, 299-387 A. D.

Armenia was often a focus of contention between Rome and Parthia.[11] The Parthians forced Armenia into submission from 37 to 47, when the Romans retook control of the kingdom.

Under Nero, the Romans fought a campaign (55–63) against the Parthian Empire, which had invaded the kingdom of Armenia, allied to the Romans. After gaining (60) and losing (62) Armenia, the Romans under Gnaeus Domitius Corbulolegate of Syria entered (63) into an agreement of Vologases I of Parthia, which confirmed Tiridates I as king of Armenia, thus founding the Arshakuni Dynasty.

The Arsacid dynasty lost control of Armenia for a few years when emperor Trajancreated the “Roman Province of Armenia”, fully included into the Roman Empire from 114 to 117 AD. His successor Hadrian reinstalled the Arsacid Dynasty when nominatedParthamaspates as “vassal” king of Armenia in 118 AD.

Another campaign was led by Emperor Lucius Verus in 162-165, after Vologases IV of Parthia had invaded Armenia and installed his chief general on its throne. To counter the Parthian threat, Verus set out for the east. His army won significant victories and retook the capital. Sohaemus, a Roman citizen of Armenian heritage, was installed as the new client king.[12]

The Sassanid Persians occupied Armenia in 252 and held it until the Romans returned in 287. In 384 the kingdom was split between theByzantine or East Roman Empire and the Persians.[13] Western Armenia quickly became a province of the Roman Empire under the name of Armenia Minor; Eastern Armenia remained a kingdom within Persia until 428, when the local nobility overthrew the king, and the Sassanids installed a governor in his place.

According to tradition, the Armenian Apostolic Church was established by two of Jesus’ twelve apostlesThaddaeus and Bartholomew–who preached Christianity in Armenia in the 40’s-60’s AD.[14] Between 1st and 4th centuries AD, the Armenian Church was headed by patriarchs.

Christianized Arsacid dynasty

In 301, Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion.[15] It established a church that still exists independently of both the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches, having become so in 451 after having rejected the Council of Chalcedon.[16]The Armenian Apostolic Church is a part of the Oriental Orthodox communion, not to be confused with the Eastern Orthodox communion. The first Catholicos of the Armenian church was Saint Gregory the Illuminator.[17] Because of his beliefs, he was persecuted by the pagan king of Armenia, and was “punished” by being thrown in Khor Virap, in modern-day Armenia.[18] He acquired the title of Illuminator, because he illuminated the spirits of Armenians by introducing Christianity to them.

During its later political eclipses, Armenia depended on the church to preserve and protect its unique identity.

In 405/406, Armenia’s political future seemed to be uncertain. With the help of the King of Armenia, Mesrop Mashtots thus invented a unique alphabet to suit the people’s needs.[19] By doing so, he ushered a new Golden Age and strengthened the Armenian national identity and belongingness.

After years of partial rule, the Arsacid dynasty fell in 428, with Eastern Armenia being subjugated to Persia and Western Armenia, to Rome. In the 5th century, the Sassanid Shah Yazdegerd II tried to tie his Christian Armenian subjects more closely to the Sassanid Empire by imposing the Zoroastrian religion.[20] The Armenians greatly resented this, and as a result, a rebellion broke out with Vartan Mamikonian as the leader of the rebels. Yazdegerd thus massed his army and sent it to Armenia, where the Battle of Avarayr took place in 451. The 66,000 Armenian rebels,[21] mostly peasants, lost their morale when Mamikonian himself died in the battlefield. They were substantially outnumbered by the 180,00-220,000-strong[22] Persian army of Immortals and war elephants. Despite being a military defeat, the Battle of Avarayr and the subsequent guerrilla war in Armenia eventually resulted in the Treaty of Nvarsak (484), which guaranteed religious freedom to the Armenians.[23]

Middle Ages

Main article: Medieval Armenia

Byzantium and Bagratid Armenia

In 591, the Byzantine Emperor Maurice defeated the Persians and recovered much of the remaining territory of Armenia into the empire. The conquest was completed by the Emperor Heraclius in 629.

In 645, the Muslim Arab armies of the Caliphate had attacked and conquered the country. Armenia, which once had its own rulers and was at other times under Persian and Byzantine control, passed largely into the power of the Caliphs.

Nonetheless, there were still parts of Armenia held within the Empire, containing many Armenians. This population held tremendous power within the empire. The Emperor Heraclius (610-641) was of Armenian descent, as was the Emperor Philippicus (711-713). The Emperor Basil I, who took the Byzantine throne in 867, was the first of what is sometimes called the Armenian dynasty (seeMacedonian Dynasty), reflecting the strong effect the Armenians had on the Eastern Roman State.[24] The Armenians were able and allowed to maintain a distinct culture.

Evolving as a feudal kingdom in the 9th century, the Bagratuni Dynasty led Armenia on a brief cultural, political, and economic renewal. Bagratid Armenia was eventually recognized as a sovereign kingdom by the two major powers in the region: Baghdad in 885, and Constantinople in 886. Ani, the new Armenian capital, was constructed at the Kingdom’s apogee in 964.[25] The royal capital at Ani held approximately 200,000 inhabitants and a reported “1001 churches”. With the construction of Ani, Armenia became a populous and prosperous nation, exerting political and economic influence over surrounding states and nations. Yet, Armenia was still a weak state, perched precariously between the rival Byzantine Empire and the Abbassid Caliphate. Its existence depended on both of these states desiring the continuation of Bagratid Armenia as a buffer state, and Armenia itself being strong enough to maintain this status.[citation needed]

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Armenian Feudal Kingdoms, 1000 AD

Although the native dynasty of the Bagratuni Dynasty was founded under favourable circumstances, the feudal system gradually weakened the country by eroding loyalty to the central government. Thus internally enfeebled, Armenia proved an easy victim for the Byzantines, who captured Ani in 1045. The Seljuk Turks under Alp Arslan in turn took the city in 1064.[26] In 1071, after the defeat of the Byzantine forces by the Seljuk Turks at theBattle of Manzikert, the Turks captured the rest of Greater Armenia and much ofAnatolia.[27] So ended Christian leadership of Armenia for the next millennium with the exception of a period of the late 12th-early 13th centuries, when the Muslim power in Greater Armenia was seriously troubled by the resurgent Georgian monarchy. Many local nobles (nakharars) joined their efforts with the Georgians, leading to liberation of several areas in northern Armenia, which was ruled, under the authority of the Georgian crown, by the Zacharids/Mkhargrdzeli, a prominent Armeno-Georgian noble family.[28]

Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia

Main article: Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia

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The Kingdom of Cilician Armenia, 1199-1375.

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To escape death or servitude at the hands of those who had assassinated his relative, Gagik II, King of Ani, an Armenian named Roupen with some of his countrymen went into the gorges of the Taurus Mountains and then into Tarsus of Cilicia. Here the Byzantine governor of the place gave them shelter. Thus, from around 1080 to 1375, the focus of Armenian nationalism moved south, as the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia.

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A Cilician Armenian cavalryman

After the members of the first Crusade appeared in Asia Minor, the Armenians developed close ties to European Crusader States, flourished in southeasternAsia Minor until it was conquered by Muslim states. Count Baldwin, who with the rest of the Crusaders was passing through Asia Minor bound for Jerusalem, left the Crusader army and was adopted by Thoros of Edessa, an Armenian ruler of Greek Orthodox faith.[29] Hostile as they were to the Seljuks, and unfriendly to the Byzantines, the Armenians took kindly to the crusader count, and when Thoros was assassinated, Baldwin was made ruler of the new crusader County of Edessa. It seems that the Armenians enjoyed the rule of Baldwin and the crusaders in general, and some number of them fought alongside the crusaders. When Antioch had been taken (1097), Constantine, the son of Roupen, received from the crusaders the title of baron.

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Fortress of Korikos in Cilician Armenia built ca. the thirteenth century.

The failed Third Crusade and other events elsewhere left Cilicia as the sole substantial Christian presence in the Middle East.[29] World powers, such as Byzantium, the Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy and even the Abbassid Caliph competed and vied for influence over the state and each raced to be the first to recognise Leo II, Prince of Lesser Armenia, as the rightful king. As a result, he had been given a crown by both German and Byzantine emperors. Representatives from across Christendom and a number of Muslim states attended the coronation, thus highlighting the important stature that Cilicia had gained over time.[29] The Armenian authority was often in touch with the crusaders. No doubt the Armenians aided in some of the other crusades. Cilicia flourished greatly under Armenian rule, as it became the last remnant of Medieval Armenian statehood.[citation needed] Cilcia acquired an Armenian identity, as the kings of Cilicia were called kings of Armenians, not of Cilicians. In Lesser Armenia, Armenian culture was intertwined with both the European culture of the Crusaders, and with the Hellenic culture of Cilicia. As the Catholic families extended their influence over Cilicia, the Pope wanted the Armenians to follow Catholicism. This situation divided the kingdom’s inhabitants between pro-Catholic and pro-Apostolic camps. Armenian sovereignty lasted till 1375, when the Mamelukes of Egypt profited from the unstable situation of Lesser Armenia and destroyed it.

Ghazan ordering the King Of ArmeniaHet’um II to accompany Kutlushka on the 1303 attack on Damascus.[24]

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Constantin III of Armenia on his throne with the Hospitallers. “Les chevaliers de Saint-Jean-de-Jerusalem rétablissant la religion en Arménie”, 1844 painting by Henri Delaborde.

Early Modern period

See also: Anatolian beyliksIlkhanidsTimurKara Koyunlu, and Ak Koyunlu

Persian Armenia

Main article: Armenians in the Persian Empire

See also: Erivan khanateKarabakh Khanate, and Khanate of Nakhichevan

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Map of the Erivan khanate.

Due to its strategic significance, Armenia was constantly fought over and passed back and forth between the dominion of Persia and the Ottomans. At the height of theTurkish-Persian warsYerevan changed hands fourteen times between 1513 and 1737.

In 1604, Shah Abbas I pursued a scorched-earth campaign against the Ottomans in the Ararat valley. The old Armenian town of Julfa in the province of Nakhichevan was taken early in the invasion. From there Abbas’ army fanned out across the Araratian plain. The Shah pursued a careful strategy, advancing and retreating as the occasion demanded, determined not to risk his enterprise in a direct confrontation with stronger enemy forces.

While laying siege to Kars, he learned of the approach of a large Ottoman army, commanded by Djghazadé Sinan Pasha. The order to withdraw was given; but to deny the enemy the potential to resupply themselves from the land, he ordered the wholesale destruction of the Armenian towns and farms on the plain. As part of this the whole population was ordered to accompany the Persian army in its withdrawal. Some 300,0000 people were duly herded to the banks of theAraxes River. Those who attempted to resist the mass deportation were killed outright. The Shah had previously ordered the destruction of the only bridge, so people were forced into the waters, where a great many drowned, carried away by the currents, before reaching the opposite bank. This was only the beginning of their ordeal. One eye-witness, Father de Guyan, describes the predicament of the refugees thus:

It was not only the winter cold that was causing torture and death to the deportees. The greatest suffering came from hunger. The provisions which the deportees had brought with them were soon consumed… The children were crying for food or milk, none of which existed, because the women’s breasts had dried up from hunger… Many women, hungry and exhausted, would leave their famished children on the roadside, and continue their tortuous journey. Some would go to nearby forests in search of something to eat. Usually they would not come back. Often those who died, served as food for the living.

Unable to maintain his army on the desolate plain, Sinan Pasha was forced to winter in Van. Armies sent in pursuit of the Shah in 1605 were defeated, and by 1606 Abbas had regained all of the territory lost to the Turks earlier in his reign. The scorched-earth tactic had worked, though at a terrible cost to the Armenian people. Of the 300,000 deported it is calculated that under half survived the march toIsfahan. In the conquered territories Abbas established the Erivan khanate, a Muslim principality under the dominion of the Safavid EmpireArmenians formed less than 20% of its population[30] as a result of Shah Abbas I‘s deportation of much of the Armenian population from the Ararat valley and the surrounding region in 1605.[31]

An often-used policy by the Persians was the oppointment of Turks and Kurds as local rulers. These were counted as subordinate to thePersian Empire, but most of them had a de facto independence. Examples include: the Khanate of ErevanKhanate of Nakhichevan and the Karabakh Khanate.

Russian Armenia

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Map of the Armenian Oblast within the Russian Empire.

Main article: Russian Armenia

In the aftermath of the Russo-Persian War, 1826-1828, the parts of historic Armenia under Persian control, centering on Yerevan and Lake Sevan, were incorporated into Russia. Under Russian rule, the area corresponding approximately to modern-day Armenian territory was called “Province of Yerevan”. The Armenian subjects of the Russian Empire lived in relative safety, compared to their Ottoman kin, albeit clashes with Tatars and Kurds were frequent in the early 20th century.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the ambitious Russians sought out to continue their expansion into Armenian land in order to reach the warm waters of the Mediterranean. This caused conflict between the Russian and Ottoman Empires eventually culminating in the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829. In the aftermath of the war, the Ottoman Empire ceded a small part of the traditional Armenian homeland to the Russian Empire, known as Eastern Armenia following the while Western Armenia remained under Ottoman sovereignty.

Ottoman Armenia

Main article: Ottoman Armenia

See also: Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople

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Patriarch Harutyun I ofConstantinople.

Mehmed II conquered Constantinople from the Byzantines in 1453, and made it the Ottoman Empire’s capital. Mehmed and his successors used the religious systems of their subject nationalities as a method of population control, and so Ottoman Sultans invited an Armenian archbishop to establish an Armenian patriarchate in Constantinople. The Armenians of Constantinople grew in numbers, and became respected, if not full, members of Ottoman society.

The Ottoman Empire ruled in accordance to Islamic law. As such, the People of the Book (theChristians and the Jews) had to pay an extra tax to fulfill their status as dhimmi and in return were guaranteed religious autonomy. While the Armenians of Constantinople benefitted from theSultan’s support and grew to be a prospering community, the same could not be said about the ones inhabiting historic Armenia. During times of crisis the ones in the remote regions of mountainous eastern Anatolia were mistreated by local Kurdish chiefs and feudal lords. They often also had to suffer (alongside the settled Muslim population) raids by nomadic Kurdish tribes.[32] Armenians, like the other Ottoman Christians (though not to the same extent), had to transfer some of their healthy male children to the Sultan’s government due to the devşirmepolicies in place. The boys were then forced to convert to Islam (by threat of death otherwise) and educated to be fierce warriors in times of war, as well as BeysPashas and even Grand Viziers in times of peace.

The Armenian national liberation movement was the Armenian effort to free the historic Armenian homeland of eastern Anatolia and Transcaucasus from Russian and Ottoman domination and re-establish the independent Armenian state. The national liberation movement of the Balkan peoples and the immediate involvement of the European powers in the Eastern question had a powerful effect on the development of the national liberation ideology movement among the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire.[33] The Armenian national movement, besides its individual heroes, was an organized activity represented around three parties of Armenian people, Social Democrat Hunchakian PartyArmenakan and Armenian Revolutionary Federation, which ARF was the largest and most influential among the three. Those Armenians who did not support national liberation aspirations or who were neutral were called chezoks.

In 1839, the situation of the Ottoman Armenians slightly improved after Abdul Mejid I carried out Tanzimat reforms in its territories. However, later Sultans, such as Abdul Hamid II stopped the reforms and carried out massacres, now known as the Hamidian massacres of 1895-96 after a failed Armenian attempt to assassinate him.

Twentieth century

The Armenian Genocide (1915-1917)

Main article: Armenian Genocide

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Armenian civilians, being deported during the Armenian Genocide.

In 1915, the Ottoman Empire systematically carried out the Armenian Genocide. This genocide was preceded by a wave of massacres in the years 1894 to 1896, and another one in 1909 in Adana. In 1915, with World War I in progress, the Ottoman Turks accused the (Christian) Armenians as liable to ally with Russia, and treated the entire Armenian population as an enemy within their empire in a wave of ethnic cleansing.

The events of 1915 to 1923 are regarded by Armenians and the vast majority of Western historians to have been state-sponsored mass killings. Turkish authorities, however, maintain that the deaths were the result of a civil warcoupled with disease and famine, with casualties incurred by both sides.

The exact numbers of deaths is hard to establish. It is estimated by many sources that close to a million and a half Armenians perished in camps, which excludes Armenians who may have died in other ways. Most estimates place the total number of deaths between 600,000 (by Western scholars)[34]. These events are traditionally commemorated yearly on April 24, the Armenian Christian martyr day.

This horrific ethnic cleansing done by the İttihat ve Terakki were not only done to Armenians, ethnic cleansing regimes were also carried on to the Greeks and Assyrians.[35] This act of ethnic cleansing was done by the Ottoman Turks to “turkify” the Ottoman Empire completely. These acts of genocide were done not only from 1915 till 1918, but before and after as well.

Democratic Republic of Armenia (1917-1922)

Main article: Democratic Republic of Armenia

Between the 4th and 19th centuries, the traditional area of Armenia was conquered and ruled by PersiansByzantinesArabsMongols, and Turks, among others. Historic Armenia remained under the Ottoman yoke from, until parts of Armenia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire after the collapse of these two empires in the wake of the First World War.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the takeover of the BolsheviksStepan Shaumyan was placed in charge of Russian Armenia. In September 1917 the convention in Tiflis elected the Armenian National Council, the first sovereign political body of Armenians since the collapse of Lesser Armenia in 1375. Meanwhile, both the Ittihad (Unionist) and the Nationalists moved to win the friendship of the Bolsheviks. Mustafa Kemal sent several delegations to Moscow in an attempt to win some support for his own post-Ottoman movement in what he saw as a modernised ethno-nationalist Turkey. This alliance proved disastrous for the Armenians. The signing of the Ottoman-Russian friendship treaty (January 1, 1918), helped Vehib Pasha to attack the new Republic. Under heavy pressure from the combined forces of the Ottoman army and the Kurdish irregulars, the Republic was forced to withdraw from Erzincan to Erzurum. In the end, the Republic had to evacuate Erzurum as well.

Further southeast, in Van, the Armenians resisted the Turkish army until April 1918, but eventually were forced to evacuate it and withdraw to Persia. Conditions deteriorated when Azerbaijani Tatars sided with the Turks and seized the Armenian’s lines of communication, thus cutting off the Armenian National Councils in Baku and Yerevan from the National Council in Tiflis.

The Democratic Republic of Armenia (DRA) was established in Erevan on May 28, 1918.

In 1920, Armenian border troops skirmished with Muslim warlords in the former Georgian region of Oltu, on the border with the DRA. Turkish General Kazım Karabekir then led four Turkish battalions into the district on 3 September and drove the Armenians out. Karabekir then moved into the DRA on 20 September prompting the Armenian government to declare war on Turkey four days later, thus precipitating the Turkish-Armenian War.

For more details on this topic, see Turkish-Armenian War.

The consequences of the DRA’s war with Turkey were severe. In the Treaty of Alexandropol, the young Armenian republic was to disarm most of its military forces, cede more than 50% of its pre-war territory, and to give up all the territories granted to it at the Treaty of Sèvres. However, as the terms of defeat were being negotiated, Bolshevik Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze invaded the DRA from Azerbaijan in order to establish a new pro-Bolshevik government in the country. On November 29, the Soviet 11th Army invaded Armenia at Karavansarai (present-day Ijevan) and by November 29, 1920, the Soviet 11th Army marched into Yerevan.

Although the Bolsheviks succeeded in ousting the Turks from their positions in Armenia, they decided to establish peace with Turkey. In 1921, the Bolsheviks and the Turks signed the Treaty of Kars, in which Turkey ceded Adjara to the USSR in exchange for the Kars territory (today the Turkish provinces of KarsIğdır, and Ardahan). The land given to Turkey included the ancient city of Ani and Mount Ararat, the spiritual Armenian homeland. In 1922, Armenia became part of the Soviet Union as one of three republics comprising theTranscaucasian SFSR.

Armenia in the Soviet Union (1922-1991)

Main article: Armenian SSR


The Transcaucasian SFSR was dissolved in 1936 and as a result Armenia became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union as theArmenian Soviet Socialist Republic. The transition to communism was difficult for Armenia, and for most of the other republics in the Soviet Union. The Soviet authorities placed Armenians under strict surveillance. There was almost no freedom of speech, even less so under Joseph Stalin. Any individual who was suspected of using or introducing nationalist rhetoric or elements in their works were labeled traitors or propangandists, and were sent to Siberia during Stalinist rule. Even Zabel Yessayan, a writer who was fortunate enough to escape from ethnic cleansing during the Armenian Genocide, was quickly exiled to Siberia after repatriating to Armenia fromFrance.

muslim caucasians (ingush or chechenian traditional dress)
Soviet Armenia participated in World War II by sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the frontline in order to defend the “Soviet motherland.” Soviet rule also had some positive aspects. Armenia benefited from the Soviet economy, especially when it was at its apex. Provincial villages gradually became towns and towns gradually became cities. Peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan was reached, albeit temporarily. During this time, Armenia had a sizeable Azeri minority, mostly centred in Yerevan. Likewise, Azerbaijan had an Armenian minority, concentrated in BakuKirovabad, and Nagorno-Karabakh. This demographic would change dramatically during and after the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Many Armenians still had nationalist sentiments, even though they were discouraged from expressing them publicly. On April 24, 1965, tens of thousands of Armenians flooded the streets of Yerevan to remind the world of the horrors that their parents and grandparents endured during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This was the first public demonstration of such high numbers in the USSR, which defended national interests rather than collective ones. In the late 1980s, Armenia was suffering from pollution. With Mikhail Gorbachev‘s introduction of glasnost and perestroika, public demonstrations became more common. Thousands of Armenians demonstrated in Yerevan because of the USSR’s inability to address simple ecological concerns. Later on, with the conflict in Karabakh, the demonstrations obtained a more nationalistic flavour. Many Armenians began to demand statehood.

Independent Armenia (1991-today)

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Distribution of Armenians in the Caucasus

Armenia declared its sovereignty from the Soviet Union on August 23, 1990. In the wake of the August Coup, a referendum was held on the question of secession. Following an overwhelming vote in favor, full independence was declared on September 21, 1991. However, widespread recognition did not occur until the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991.

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Armenia faced many challenges during its first years as a sovereign state. In 1988, the Spitak Earthquake killed tens of thousands of people and destroyed multiple towns in northern Armenia, such as Leninakan (modern-day Gyumri) and Spitak. Many families were left without electricity and running water. The harsh situation caused by the earthquake and subsequent events made many residents of Armenia leave and settle in North AmericaWestern Europe orAustralia.

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(Yerevan day 2791th Anniversary))

On February 20, 1988, interethnic fighting between the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijanis broke out shortly after the parliament ofNagorno-Karabakh, an autonomous oblast in Azerbaijan, voted to unify the region with Armenia. The Nagorno-Karabakh war pitted Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, backed by Armenia, against the Army of Azerbaijan. Following the Armenian victory, both Azerbaijan and Turkey closed their borders and imposed a blockade which they retain to this day, though in October 2009 Turkey and Armenia signed a treaty to normalize relations. These events severely affected the economy of the fledgling republic, and closed off its main routes to Europe.

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(Yerevan Day)

On October 16, 1991, Armenians elected Mr.Levon Ter-Petrossian as their first president. In 1998 Levon Ter-Petrossian resigned, and Mr. Robert Kocharyan came to power. Mr. Kocharyan served as the second president of Armenia from 1998 to 2008. During the presidential elections of 2008, Mr. Serj Sargsyan has been elected as the third President of Armenia.

In 2010 the Republic of Armenia will celebrate the 19th Anniversary of the Armenian Independence.

Legendary history

Further information: History of Armenia (Moses of Chorene)

The legendary founder of Armenia was Haik, a chieftain who called on his kinsmen to unite into a single nation, thus forming Armenia.Ararat was the mountain around which was centered Urartu and subsequent kingdoms, and is still considered sacred by the Armenians.

The original Armenian name for the country was Hayq, later Hayastan, translated as the land of Haik, and consisting of the name Haik and the Iranian suffix ‘-stan’ (land). According to legend, Haik was a great-great-grandson of Noah (son of Togarmah, who was a son of Gomer, a son of Noah’s son, Yafet), and according to tradition, a forefather of all Armenians. Mount Ararat, a sacred mountain for the Armenian people, rising in the center of the Armenian Highland as its highest peak, is traditionally considered the landing place ofNoah‘s Ark.

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Aras Valley – Turkish Border

Zangezur Mountains – Azerbaijan Border

Alaverdi – Copper Factory

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See also