In the 5th and 6th centuries Armenia was divided between
Byzans and Persia. The Persians tried to eliminate
Christianity from the eastern parts of Armenia, where the
Christians stood strong, leading to a popular uprising.
Prince Vartán Mamikonian, commander of the Armenian army,
assumed leadership of the rebellion. In the year 451, there
was a battle in the Avaraev Valley between the Armenian army
of 60,000 men, led by Vartán, and the Persian army, the
Armenians being significantly superior. The Armenians were
defeated and Prince Vartán killed, but the Persians also
suffered significant losses. After the battle, the Persians
gave up the opportunity to impose their religion on the
Armenians, while all the fallen were canonized by the
Armenian Church. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of AM and its meanings of Armenia.
Persia was invaded by the Arabs in the 7th century, and
the new Islamic leaders annexed Armenia as well. The people
struggled against until the end of the 9th century when
Prince Ashot Bagratuni was proclaimed king and thus
independent leader of Armenia. This period is described in
the epic short story "David of Sasún".
The welfare period under King Bagratidas became quite
short. At the end of the 11th century, the country began to
falter under the pressure of the Byzantines and the
Selyucids who had come to Transcaucasia from Central Asia.
Many Armenian princes surrendered their land to the
Byzantine emperor, and in return received land in Cilicia.
This - as well as the fear of the Turks - led to large
emigrations from many Armenian areas.
At the end of the 11th century, the Rubénidas dynasty in
Cilicia founded a new Armenian state that survived for the
next 300 years. Cilicia had close links with the Western
European nations. The Armenian forces intervened in the
Crusades, and through marriage, the Rubénidas were
introduced to European leaders. In 1375, Cilitic Armenia was
conquered by the Egyptian Mamluks, who maintained the
literature, culture and scientific achievements, while the
"original" Armenia had been exterminated after invasions and
The Turkish Ottomans who replaced the Selyucids in the
late 13th century initiated the conquest of Asia Minor.
Constantinople was conquered in 1453 and the Turks continued
their march to the east, invading Persia. The countless wars
between Turkey and Persia used Armenia as a battleground
until the 17th century country was divided between the two
Islamic empires. At this time, the church not only performed
many worldly tasks, but also sought to draw the attention of
the Christian Europeans to the drama that the Armenians who
saw themselves forced to flee and settle far from their
homeland; several of these colonies still exist.
After an expedition in 1722, which brought the Russian
troops all the way to Transcaucasia, where they occupied the
city of Bakú, as well as additional territories belonging to
the Persians, the Armenian princes of Nagorny Karabakh and
some neighboring regions initiated an insurrection to unite
them with the Russians. The uprising was led by Armenian
national hero David Bek. However, the Russian czar, Peter
the Great, who had promised to assist the Armenians, died,
and Russia signed a peace treaty with Persia. The Second
Russian War against Persia began in 1804 and ended in 1813
with the Peace Treaty of Gulistan, by virtue of which
Karakakh and a few other historical areas of Armenia were
incorporated into the Russian Empire.