Armenia–the biblical country

Ancient Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world with a recorded history of about 3500 years. The original Armenian name for the country is Hayk, which was later called Hayastan (land of Hayk). This comes from an ancient legend of Hayk and Bel where Hayk defeats his historical enemy Bel.  The word Bel is named in the bible at Isaiah 46:1 and Jeremiah 50:20 and 51:44.

The name Armenia was given to the country by the surrounding states and it comes from the name Armenak or Aram, a great leader and ancestor of all Armenians, known as the great-grandson of Mesopotamian God Haya (Hayk).
The first significant state of the Armenian Highlands was the highly advanced Kingdom of Ararat. The state was formed in XI century BC.
In 782 BC the Urartian king Argishti I founded the fortified city Erebuni, which is today’s Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
Armenian Kingdom had some outstanding dynasties such as Yervanduni, Artashisian, Arshakunian, Bagratunian, Rubinian. King Tigranes II or Tigranes the Great (95-55 BC) was one of the representatives of Artashisyan Dynasty known to the world for his power and extensive territories. The empire of Tigranes the Great stretched from the Caspian Sea in the East to the Mediterranean Sea in West, and from Mesopotamia in the South to the river Kura in North. This expansion of Armenia was accompanied with valuable cultural development and with rich cultural heritage with Hellenistic features. During the Artashisyan period Armenia was one of the most Hellenized and culturally advanced countries of Asia Minor. 

Map of Armenia During 331BC 

During the history Armenia had 12 capital cities – Tushpa, Armavir, Yervandashat, Artashat, Tigranaocerta, Vagharshapat, Dvin, Bagaran, Shirakavan, Kars, Ani, Sis and the current 13th is Yerevan. The Armenian highland shows traces of settlement from the Neolithic era. Archeological studies in 2010 and 2011 were the result of the discovery of world’s earliest known leather shoe (3,500 BC) and straw skirt (3,900 BC)