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<td><small>[[William Saroyan]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[William Saroyan]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[Tigran Petrosian]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[Tigran Petrosian]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[Viktor Hambardzumyan]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[Silva Kaputikyan]]</small></td>
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<td><small>[[Silva Kaputikyan]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[Charles Aznavour]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[Vazgen Sargsyan]]</small></td>
<td><small>[[Serj Tankian]]</small></td>
|caption =
|population = 8—11 million<ref>{{hy icon}} Դպրոցական Մեծ Հանրագիտարան, Գիրք II, [ Հայեր]</ref><ref>Yair Auron, ''The Banality Of Denial: Israel And The Armenian Genocide'', [ p. 67]</ref><ref>{{cite web | url = | title = ARMENIAN POPULATION IN THE WORLD | publisher = | accessdate = July 21, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite book
| last = O'Reilly
| first = Andrea
| authorlink = Andrea O'Reilly
| title = Encyclopedia of Motherhood
| url =
| accessdate = July 21, 2012
| volume = 1
| year = 2010
| publisher = SAGE Publications, Inc.
| location = Thousand Oaks, CA
| isbn = 978-1-4129-68461
| page = 74
| quote = Today, there are about 9 million Armenians around the world.
}}</ref><ref>{{cite book
| last = Freedman
| first = Jeri
| authorlink =
| title = The Armenian Genocide
| url =
| accessdate = July 21, 2012
| year = 2009
| publisher = Rosen Publishing
| location = New York
| isbn = 978-1-4042-1825-3
| page = 52
| quote = In contrast to its population of 3.2 million, approximately 8 million Armenians live in other countries around the world, including large communities in the United States and Russia.
|region1 = {{flagcountry|Armenia}}
|pop1 = 3,145,354<ref name="daa1">[ 2001 Official Armenian Census statistics.] {{WebCite|url=|date =2010-01-30}}</ref>
|region2 = {{flagicon|Nagorno Karabakh}} [[Nagorno Karabakh Republic|Nagorno Karabakh]] <small>({{Tooltip|''de facto''|De facto independent, de jure part of Azerbaijan}})</small>
|pop2 = 137,380<ref>{{cite web | url = | title = Table 5.1: De Jure Population (Urban, Rural) by Age and Ethnicity | accessdate = 2009-03-06 | author = National Statistical Service of Nagorno-Karabach Republic | date = 2006-11-16 | format = PDF | work = NKR 2005 census | archiveurl=| archivedate= 5 March 2009}}</ref>
|region3 = <center>''see [[Armenian population by country]] for other regions''
|languages = [[Armenian language|Armenian]]
|religions = [[Armenian Apostolic Church]]
|footnotes = }}
[[File:Mkrtum Hovnatanian. Hayk Nahapet.jpeg|thumb|150px|[[Hayk]], the legendary founder of the Armenian nation, standing next to the tomb of Bel by [[Mkrtum Hovnatanian]] (1779–1846)]]
'''Armenians''' ({{lang-hy|հայեր}}, ''[[Romanization of Armenian|hayer]]'' {{IPA-hy|hɑˈjɛɾ|}}) are a [[nation]] and [[ethnic group]] native to the [[Armenian Highland]].
The [[Republic of Armenia]] and unrecognized [[de facto]] independent [[Nagorno-Karabakh Republic]] are the two countries where Armenians form majority, both with nearly homogeneous population. Because of a wide-ranging and long-lasting [[Armenian diaspora|diaspora]], an estimated total of 5-7 million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry live outside of Armenia. As a result of the [[Armenian Genocide]], a large number of survivors fled to many countries throughout the world. Largest Armenian populations are in [[Armenians in Russia|Russia]], [[Armenian American|United States]], [[Armenians in France|France]], [[Armenians in Georgia|Georgia]], [[Armenians in Iran|Iran]], [[Armenians in Lebanon]] and [[Armenians in Syria|Syria]].
Most 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]]'s death, due to the efforts of two of his apostles, [[St. Thaddeus]] and [[St. Bartholomew]]<ref name="HistofChrist">see {{Cite book|first = Adrian | last = Hastings | title = A World History of Christianity | publisher = Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing | page = 289 | year = 2000 | isbn = 978-0-8028-4875-8 }}</ref> In the early 4th century, the [[Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity)|Kingdom of Armenia]] became the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion.<ref name="ncccusa">{{cite web| url= |title= Armenia first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion.|accessdate=2007-02-27|archiveurl = |archivedate = 2011-02-11|deadurl=no}}</ref>
[[Armenian language|Armenian]] is an [[Indo-European]] [[language isolate]]. It has two intelligible and written forms: [[Eastern Armenian]], today spoken mainly in Armenia, Iran and the former Soviet republics, and [[Western Armenian]], used in the historical [[Western Armenia]] and, after the [[Armenian Genocide]], primarily amongst the Armenian diaspora. The unique [[Armenian alphabet]] was invented in 405 AD by the scholar and evangelizer [[Mesrop Mashtots]].
{{Main|Name of Armenia}}
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 and endonym|exonym]] ''Armenia'' date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual [[Behistun Inscription]], [[Darius I the Great]] of [[Achaemenid Empire|Persia]] refers to [[Urartu|''Urashtu'']] (in [[Babylonia]]n) as ''[[wikt:𐎠𐎼𐎷𐎡𐎴#Old Persian|Armina]]'' (in [[Old Persian language|Old Persian]]) and ''Harminuya'' (in Elamite).
In [[Ancient Greek language|Greek]], {{lang|grc|[[wikt:Ἀρμένιος|Αρμένιοι]]}} "Armenians" is attested from about the same time, perhaps the earliest reference being a fragment attributed to [[Hecataeus of Miletus]] (476&nbsp;BC).<ref>
"{{lang|grc|Χαλύβοισι πρὸς νότον Ἀρμένιοι ὁμουρέουσι}} (The Armenians border on the [[Chalybes]] to the south)".
{{Cite book
|last =Chahin
|first =Mark
|title =The Kingdom of Armenia
|publisher =[[Routledge]]
|year =2001
|location =London
|pages = fr. 203
|isbn =0-7007-1452-9 }}</ref>
[[Herodotus]], in c.440 BC, said "the Armenians were equipped like [[Phrygia]]ns, being Phrygian colonists" (7.73) (''{{lang|grc|Ἀρμένιοι δὲ κατά περ Φρύγες ἐσεσάχατο, ἐόντες Φρυγῶν ἄποικοι.}}'').
[[Xenophon]] describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality. He relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the [[Persian people|Persians]].<ref>Xenophon, Anabasis, IV.v.2-9.</ref> Traditionally, it was derived from Armenak or [[Aram_(given_name)|Aram]] (the great-grandson of [[Hayk]]'s great-grandson, and another leader who is, according to Armenian tradition, the ancestor of all Armenians). Armenians call themselves ''[[wikt:հայ|Hay]]'' (Հայ, pronounced ''Hay''; plural: Հայեր, ''Hayer''). The word has traditionally been linked to the name of the legendary founder of the Armenian nation, [[Hayk]], which is also a popular Armenian name.<ref>{{cite web| url= |title= Haik and Hayastan|accessdate=2007-03-04|archiveurl = |archivedate = 2011-02-11|deadurl=no}}</ref><ref>{{cite web| url= |title= Armenia Provinces|accessdate=2007-03-04|archiveurl = |archivedate = 2011-02-11|deadurl=no}}</ref> It is also further postulated that the name ''Hay'' comes from the name of another Armenian tribe, the [[Hayasa]].
[[File:Urartu743.png|thumb|left|210px|The Kingdom of [[Urartu|Ararat]] in the 8th BC]]
{{Main|History of Armenia}}
{{See|Prehistoric Armenia}}
The [[Armenian Highland]] lies in the highlands surrounding [[Mount Ararat]], the highest peak of the region.
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&nbsp;BC). Soon after the Hayasa-Azzi were the [[Nairi people|Nairi]] (1400-1000&nbsp;BC) and the [[Kingdom of Urartu]] (1000-600&nbsp;BC), who successively established their sovereignty over the [[Armenian Highland]]. Each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people.<ref>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</ref> [[Yerevan]], the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782&nbsp;BC by king [[Argishti I]].
A minority view also suggests that the [[Indo-European origins|Indo-European homeland]] may have been located in the [[Armenian Highland]].<ref>[[Thomas Gamkrelidze]] and [[Vyacheslav V. Ivanov]] , ''The Early History of Indo-European Languages'', March 1990, P.110</ref>
[[File:Armenian Empire.png|left|thumb|210px|The [[Kingdom of Armenia (Antiquity)|Kingdom of Armenia]] at its greatest extent under [[Tigranes the Great]] (95-66 BC)]]
The [[Satrapy of Armenia|first state that was called Armenia]] by neighboring peoples (such as [[Hecataeus of Miletus]] and on the [[Behistun Inscription]]) was established in the early 6th century BC under the [[Orontid dynasty]], which later became a [[Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity)|kingdom]]. At its zenith (95–65&nbsp;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]] is thus the span of time during which Armenia itself conquered areas populated by other peoples. Later it briefly became part of the [[Roman Empire]] (AD&nbsp;114–118).
The [[Arsacid Armenia|Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia]] was the first state to adopt [[Christianity]] as its religion (it had formerly been adherent to Iranian and Hellenistic [[pagan]]ism – [[Zoroastrianism]], the [[Ancient Greek religion]] and then the [[Ancient Roman religion]]).<ref>''"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 identified 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 1, p.81).</ref> in the early years of the 4th century, likely AD 314.<ref>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 Christianization of Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania) '' (2002).</ref>
Later on, in order to further strengthen Armenian national identity, [[Mesrop Mashtots]] invented the [[Armenian alphabet]], in 406 AD. This event ushered the [[Golden Age of Armenia]], during which many foreign books and manuscripts were translated to Armenian by Mesrop's pupils. Armenia lost its sovereignty for the first time in 428 AD to the Byzantine and Persian empires.
===Middle Ages===
[[File:AniCathedral.JPG|thumb|210px|The [[Cathedral of Ani]], completed in 1001]]
In 885 the Armenians reestablished themselves as a sovereign kingdom under the leadership of [[Ashot I of Armenia|Ashot I]] of the [[Bagratuni Dynasty|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 Kingdom of Cilicia|Armenian Principality then Kingdom of Cilicia]], which became the focus of Armenian [[nationalism]]. The Armenians developed close social, cultural, military, and religious ties with nearby [[Crusader States]], but eventually succumbed to [[Mamluk]] invasions.
In the 16th century, Eastern Armenia was conquered by the [[Turco-Persian]] [[Safavid Empire]], while Western Armenia fell under Ottoman rule. In the 1820s, parts of historic Armenia under Persian control centering on [[Yerevan]] and [[Lake Sevan]] were incorporated into the [[Russian Empire]], but Western Armenia remained in the Ottoman Empire.
===Modern history===
[[File:Morgenthau336.jpg|thumb|210px|upright|About 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the [[Armenian Genocide]] in 1915.]]
The [[ethnic cleansing]] of Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire is widely considered a [[genocide]], an estimated 1.5 million victims, with one wave of persecution in the years 1894 to 1896 culminating in the events of the [[Armenian Genocide]] in 1915 and 1916. With [[World War I]] in progress, the Turks 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.
Turkish governments since that time have consistently rejected charges of genocide, typically arguing either that those Armenians who died were simply in the way of a war or that killings of 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 [[Democratic Republic of Armenia|independent republic]]. In late 1920, the [[communist]]s came to power following an invasion of Armenia by the [[Red Army]], and in 1922, Armenia became part of the [[Transcaucasian SFSR]] of the [[Soviet Union]], later forming the [[Armenian SSR|Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic]] (1936 to September 21, 1991). In 1991, [[Armenia]] declared independence from the [[USSR]] and established the second Republic of Armenia.
== Geographic distribution ==
[[File:Distribution of Armenians.png|thumb|300px|'''Historical and modern distribution of Armenians.<br />'''Settlement area of Armenians in early 20th century:<br />{{legend inline|#967117|>50%}}{{nbsp|5}}{{legend inline|#FFA700|25-50%}}{{nbsp|5}}{{legend inline|#FBEC5D|<25%}}{{legend|#FF0000|Armenian settlement area today.}}]]
[[File:ArmenianDiaspora.png|thumb|300px|Map of the [[Armenian diaspora]]]]
=== Armenia ===
Armenians have had a presence in the [[Armenian Highland]] for over four thousand years, since the time when [[Hayk|Haik]], the legendary patriarch and founder of the first Armenian nation, led them to victory over [[Belus (Assyrian)|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 [[Nagorno-Karabakh]]. Armenians in the diaspora informally refer to them as ''Hayastantsi''s (Հայաստանցի), meaning those that are from Armenia (that is, those born and raised in Armenia). They, as well as the Armenians of 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.
=== Diaspora ===
{{Main|Armenian diaspora}}
Small Armenian trading communities have existed outside of Armenia for centuries. For example, a community has existed for over a millennium in the [[Holy Land]], and one of the four quarters of the walled [[Old City (Jerusalem)|Old City]] of [[Jerusalem]] has been called the [[Armenian Quarter]].<ref name="Jerusalem">{{cite web| url= |title= Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem|accessdate=2007-02-27| archiveurl=| archivedate= 7 March 2007 <!--DASHBot-->| deadurl= no}}</ref> There are also remnants of formerly populous communities in [[Armenians in India|India]], [[Armenians in Myanmar|Myanmar]], [[South East Asia]], [[Poland]], [[Hungary]], [[Bulgaria]], [[Romania]], [[Serbia]], [[Ethiopia]], [[Sudan]] and [[Egypt]].
However, most Armenians have scattered throughout the world as a direct consequence of the genocide of 1915, constituting the [[Armenian diaspora]]. Armenian communities in and around the Georgian capital city of [[Tbilisi]], in [[Syria]] and in [[Iran]] existed since [[ancient history|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 [[Armenian-Iranian|''Parskahay'']] (Պարսկահայ), while Armenians from Lebanon are usually referred to as [[Armenians in Lebanon|''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, Russia and former Soviet states such as [[Ukraine]] and [[Georgia (country)|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 Armenians live together, there is a tendency for the different groups to cluster together.
== Religion ==
{{Main|Armenian Apostolic Church|Religion in Armenia|Armenian mythology}}
[[File:Gandzasar Monastery1.jpg|thumb|250px|The [[Gandzasar monastery]] in [[Nagorno-Karabakh Republic|Artsakh]] was commissioned by the [[House of Khachen]] and completed in 1238.]]
[[File:Church tonemapped.jpg|thumb|250px|Interior of the [[Armenian Cathedral of Lviv]] (1363–1370), Ukraine]]
Before Christianity, Armenians adhered to a [[syncretistic]] [[paganism]]: indigenous polytheism with mixed [[Iranian religion|Iranian elements]].<ref>The Cambridge Ancient History. vol. 12, p. 486. London: Cambridge University Press, 2005.</ref>
In 301&nbsp;AD, Armenia adopted [[Christianity]] as a state religion, becoming the first nation to do so.<ref name="HistofChrist"/> It established a Church that still exists independently of both the [[Roman Catholicism|Catholic]] and the [[Eastern Orthodox]] churches, having become so in 451&nbsp;AD as a result of its stance regarding the [[Council of Chalcedon]].<ref name="HistofChrist"/> 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 political eclipses, 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]].<ref name="Prelacy">{{cite web| url= |title= A Migrating Catholicosate|accessdate=2007-02-27}}</ref>
The 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]], 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.<ref name="Prelacy2">{{cite web| url= |title= Two Catholicosates within the Armenian Church|accessdate=2007-02-27}}</ref>
While the Armenian Apostolic Church remains the most prominent church in the Armenian community throughout the world, Armenians (especially in the diaspora) subscribe to any number of other Christian denominations. These include the [[Armenian Catholic Church]] (which follows its own liturgy but recognizes the [[Roman Catholicism|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. Tondrakians advocated the abolishment of the Armenian Church, denied the immortality of the soul, did not believe in an afterlife, supported property rights for peasants, and equality between men and women.
The [[Eastern Orthodox Church|Orthodox]] Armenians or the Chalcedonian Armenians in the Byzantine Inspire were called Iberians ("Georgians") or "Greeks". See [[Gregory Pakourianos]] - the great Byzantine general. Some of there descendants are the Catholic Armenians in Georgia.
== Culture ==
{{Main|Culture of Armenia}}
===Language and literature===
{{Main|Armenian language|Armenian literature}}
[[File:Mastoc.jpg|thumb|150px|[[Saint Mesrob|St. Mesrob Mashtots]] invented the [[Armenian alphabet]] in the year 406.]]
Armenian is a sub-branch of the [[Indo-European languages|Indo-European]] family, and with some 8 million speakers one of the smallest surviving branches, comparable to [[Albanian language|Albanian]] or the somewhat more widely spoken [[Greek language|Greek]], with which it may be connected (see [[Graeco-Armenian]]).
Five million Eastern Armenian speakers live in the Caucasus, Russia, and Iran, and approximately two to three million people in the rest of the [[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 language|Haitian Creole]], and slightly more than [[Navajo language|Navajo]].
Armenian literature dates back to 400&nbsp;AD, when Mesrob Mashdots 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 Kaputikyan]] and [[Hovhannes Shiraz]] began a new era of literature.
=== Architecture ===
{{Main|Armenian architecture}}
[[File:Raffi kojian-goshavank-IMG 0454.JPG|thumb|200px|The famous [[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.<ref name="tacentral">[ Sacred Geometry and Armenian Architecture | Armenia Travel, History, Archeology & Ecology | TourArmenia | Travel Guide to Armenia]</ref>
Classical and Medieval Armenian Architecture is divided into four separate periods.
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 [[basilica]]s, 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 classical Armenian architecture had formed.
From the 9th to 11th century, Armenian architecture underwent a revival under the patronage of the [[Bagratuni Dynasty|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.<ref name="past">Armenia, Past and Present; Elisabeth Bauer, Jacob Schmidheiny, Frederick Leist , 1981</ref> 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 wad during this time that the first major monasteries, such as [[Haghpat Monastery|Haghpat]] and [[Haritchavank Monastery|Haritchavank]] were built. This period was ended by the [[Great Seljuq Empire|Seljuk]] invasion.
{{main|List of Armenians#Science}}
There are many prominent names in the world of science that are of Armenian descent.<ref>[ From Metsamor Upward: A look back at space-minded Armenians – Features &#124;]</ref>
=== Sports ===
{{Main|Sport in Armenia}}
[[File:Armenian children.jpg|thumb|200px|Armenian children at the UN Cup Chess Tournament in 2005.]]
Many types of sports are played in Armenia, among the most popular being [[football(soccer)|football]], [[chess]], [[boxing]], [[basketball]], [[hockey]], [[Sambo (martial art)|sambo]], [[wrestling]], [[Olympic weightlifting|weightlifting]] and [[volleyball]].<ref name="Sport">{{cite web| url= |title= Sport in Armenia|accessdate=2007-02-27}}</ref> Since independence, the Armenian government has been actively rebuilding its sports program in the country.
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 Shahinian]], who won two golds and two silvers in gymnastics at the [[1952 Summer Olympics]] in [[Helsinki]]. In football, their most successful team was [[FC Ararat Yerevan|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, winning medals in each sport at the Olympics.
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=== Music and dance ===
{{Main|Music of Armenia|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 ballet [[Gayane (ballet)|Gayane]].
The Armenian Genocide caused widespread emigration that led to the settlement of 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 Armenians emigrated. [[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 renown [[List of French-Armenians|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]]. Certain Armenians settled to sing non-Armenian tunes such as the heavy metal band [[System of a Down]] (which nonetheless often incorporates traditional Armenian instrumentals and styling into their songs) or pop star [[Cher]]. In the Armenian diaspora, [[Armenian Revolutionary Songs|Armenian revolutionary songs]] are popular with the youth. These songs encourage Armenian patriotism and are generally about Armenian history and national heroes.
=== Carpet weaving ===
{{See also|Armenian carpet}}
[[File:Van Armenian Weavers.jpeg|thumb|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. Prominent Karabakh carpet weavers there were men too. The oldest extant [[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, Armenia|Gandzak]]) and dates to the early 13th century.<ref>{{Cite book
| last = Hakobyan
| first = Hravard H
| title = The Medieval Art of Artsakh
| publisher =Parberakan
| location= Yerevan, Armenian SSR
| year = 1990
| page= 84
| isbn = 978-5-8079-0195-8}}</ref> 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.<ref name="Hakobyan. p. 84">Hakobyan. ''Medieval Art of Artsakh'', p. 84.</ref>
Art historian Hravard Hakobyan notes that "Artsakh carpets occupy a special place in the history of Armenian carpet-making."<ref name="Hakobyan. p. 84"/> 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).<ref name="Hakobyan. p. 84"/> 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.<ref name="Hakobyan. p. 84"/>
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.<ref>{{hy icon}} [[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.</ref>
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 life.<ref>{{hy icon}} {{Cite book
| last = Ulubabyan
| first = Bagrat A
| authorlink =Bagrat Ulubabyan
| title = Խաչենի իշխանությունը, X-XVI դարերում (The Principality of Khachen, From the 10th to 16th Centuries)
| publisher =Armenian Academy of Sciences
| location= Yerevan, Armenian SSR
| year = 1975
| page=267
| isbn = }}</ref>
{{Main|Armenian cuisine}}
Armenians enjoy many different native and foreign foods. Arguably the favorite food is [[khorovats]] an Armenian-styled barbecue. [[Lavash]] is a very popular Armenian flat bread, and Armenian [[baklava]] 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<ref></ref>, 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. [[Peach]]es are popular as well, as are [[grape]]s, [[figs]], [[pomegranate]]s, and [[melon]]s. Preserves are made from many fruits, including cornelian cherries, young walnuts, sea buckthorn, mulberries, sour cherries, and many others.
The geographical distribution of the [[haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA)|R1b]] haplotype is such that it is shared by Armenians and two other populations from the Caucasus.<ref>Flemish DNA and Ancestry: History of Three Families Over Five Centuries ... - Page 261
by Guido Deboeck</ref>
The nation-state of [[Armenia]] is the most prominent Armenian institution today. Other important institutions include:
* The [[Armenian Apostolic Church]]
* The [[Armenian Catholic Church]]
* The [[Armenian Evangelical Church]] The community was formally recognized in 1846 by the Ottoman Empire.
* The [[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 six continents.
* The [[Armenian Revolutionary Federation]] was 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]].
* The [[Armenian Relief Society]], founded in 1910.
* [[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.
* [[Homenetmen]], an Armenian scouting and athletic organization founded in 1910 with a worldwide membership of about 25,000.
== See also ==
* [[List of Armenians]]
* [[Peoples of the Caucasus]]
* [[Hemshin peoples]]
<div class="references-small">
{{CIA World Factbook}}
* {{StateDept}}
* The categorization of Armenian churches in Los Angeles used information from [ Sacred Transformation: Armenian Churches in Los Angeles] a project of the [[University of Southern California|USC]] School of Policy, Planning, and Development.
* Some of the information about the history of the Armenians comes from the multi-volume ''History of the Armenian People,'' Yerevan, Armenia, 1971.
== Further reading ==
* I. M. Diakonoff, ''The Pre-History of the Armenian People'' (revised, trans. Lori Jennings), Caravan Books, New York (1984), ISBN 978-0-88206-039-2.
* George A. Bournoutian, ''A History of the Armenian People'', 2 vol. (1994)
* {{The Armenian People-Vol I}}
* {{The Armenian People-Vol II}}
* {{Redgate 1998}}
* Russell D. Gray and Quentin D. Atkinson, "Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin", Nature, 426, 435-439 (2003)
* George A. Bournoutian, ''A Concise History of the Armenian People'' (Mazda, 2003, 2004).
;UCLA conference series proceedings
The [[UCLA]] conference series titled "Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces" is organized by the Holder of the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History. The conference proceedings are edited by [[Richard G. Hovannisian]]. Published in Costa Mesa, CA, by Mazda Publishers, they are:
# ''Armenian Van/Vaspurakan'' (2000) {{OCLC|44774992}}
# ''Armenian Baghesh/Bitlis and Taron/Mush'' (2001) {{OCLC|48223061}}
# ''Armenian Tsopk/Kharpert'' (2002) {{OCLC|50478560}}
# ''Armenian Karin/Erzerum'' (2003) {{OCLC|52540130}}
# ''Armenian Sebastia/Sivas and Lesser Armenia'' (2004) {{OCLC|56414051}}
# ''Armenian Tigranakert/Diarbekir and Edessa/Urfa'' (2006) {{OCLC|67361643}}
# ''Armenian Cilicia'' (2008) {{OCLC|185095701}}
# ''Armenian Pontus: the Trebizond-Black Sea communities'' (2009) {{OCLC|272307784}}
{{Armenia topics}}
{{Armenian diaspora}}
{{Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christians}}
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