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History of Artsakh

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Old 02 Feb 07, 22:34   #1 (permalink)
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Post History of Artsakh

HISTORY OF ARTSAKH
(PART 1: FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL TO 19th CENTURY)


Artsakh and Karabakh.

There are several popular etymologies of the name of Artsakh. According to an old tradition, the Armenian forefather Hayk bestowed the country on Aramanyak, his first-born son. Aramanyak planted the land with countless trees and gardens. Subsequently, the country was named Ar-tsakh, meaning Woods of Aramanyak ("Tsakh" is Armenian for Woods, "Ar" is abbreviation for Aramanyak). Since Artsakh is a very wooded and mountainous area, another popular version identifies "Ar" with "Sar"(meaning "mountain").
As for the name of Karabakh, it first appeared in some Persian texts in the late 14th century after the descent of wild Turkish nomadic tribes. "Kara" is Turkish for Black; "Bakh" is Turkish for Garden. Devastated after one of the Turkish invasions, the country was called "Black garden".

Azokh.
Just like the rest of Armenia, Artsakh was one of the earliest sites of human civilization. Undoubtedly, it also was one of the first areas of bronze, copper and iron smelting. The excavations in different parts of Artsakh revealed numerous settling places of early Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. Skeletal remains of a Neanderthal man were found in the Cave of Azokh.

Artsakh province of Greater Armenia.

Artsakh as a part of the Kingdom of Ararat (Urartu) is mentioned in the 8th century BC in cuneiform inscriptions of the King Sardur. Two centuries later, the Kingdom of Ararat was conquered by the Medes. Then the Kingdom of Ararat, which became Armenia, remained under the Persian dominion until regaining independence in the middle of the 2nd century BC. In 149 BC, King Vagharshak came to the Armenian throne beginning the period of the dynasty of Arshakids.
According to tradition, King Vagharshak carried out social reforms, reorganized the royal court and instituted a new feudal order. He appointed the Prince Aran, one of his vassals and descendant of the Armenian forefather Hayk, as governor of the Armenian eastern provinces. Because of his kind and good-hearted character, Aran was nicknamed Aghu (Armenian for kind, gentle). Since then the Armenian sources designate the vast domain of Aran as Aghuank (Albania of Greek-Roman primary sources), while the Persian texts rather used Aran. The Aghu's domain also included the Artsakh Principality.
As a province of the Greater Armenia, Artsakh is mentioned in several ancient authors' works, particularly in Strabo's Geography. In the 1st century BC, when Armenia became a powerful state, Tigranes the Great built the city of Tigranakert, one of the four cities of that name, near the present city of Aghdam.

Amaras.
In the early 4th century, Armenia was Christianized. In Artsakh, Gregory the Illuminator founded the first church near a small river of Amaras. Later in the 5th century it became the famous monastery. After St.Mesrob invented the Armenian alphabet in 405, a large number of schools appeared in Artsakh, making the province one of the centers of Christian enlightenment and culture.
Aguank.
In 387, Armenia was divided between the Persian and Byzantine Empires. The Persian part was then split into several satrapies, and the provinces of Artsakh and Outik were attached to Aghuank (Aran) satrapy. The Armenian satrapies were governed by marzpans. Since then the Aghuank appellation was mostly used by the Armenian chroniclers and historians to designate Artsakh and Outik provinces.
Among the other Armenian nobles, the Princes of Artsakh participated in the Anti-Persian uprising in 451 known as Vardanank. That was the first known war for freedom of worship in the history of the world.

Vachagan the Good.
In the late 5th - early 6th centuries, Aghuank (i.e. the Armenian provinces Artsakh and Outik) was reinforced to the point that some of the rulers proclaimed themselves kings. The heads of Aguank Diocese, initially appointed by the Armenian Catholicoi, began to call themselves Catholicos of Aghuank. Aghvuank especially prospered under Vachagan the Good, descendant of Aran dynasty. The representatives of Aran family (or its brunches) conserved their leading role in the 7th and 8th centuries, when Aghuank with the rest of Armenia were under the Arab occupation. Artsakh was famous for its inaccessibility, so the region enjoyed relative peace as compared with other parts of Armenia.
The Arab invasions.
However, the situation changed in the 9th century, when consecutive uprisings compelled the Arab rulers to take drastic measures in all parts of Armenia. In 852-854 Bugha, a cruel commander, appointed by Caliph, invaded Armenia sowing death and destruction. He captured many of the Armenian grandees and then invaded Artsakh, where he met fierce resistance. Isaiah, the brave Prince of Artsakh was Bugha's most uncompromising opponent. According to Thomas Ardzrouni, Bugha made 28 assaults in an attempt to take the fortress of Gtich, Isaiah's residence. Finally, the Arabs subdued the country for a short period of time, but the Caliphate was forced to revise its policy towards Armenia. Following the next decades, both Armenia and the eastern provinces gradually gained de facto independence. In 885, Ashot Bagradouni was proclaimed King of Armenia. At the same time, Gregory the Good was recognized King of Aghuank.


Gandzasar and Dadivank.
Owing to its advantageous geographical location, Artsakh partly avoided the large-scale Seljuk invasion in the 11-12th centuries, as well as the Tatar-Mongolian invasions in the 13th century. The Armenian architecture reached its heights in Artsakh in the early 13th century. A number of outstanding monuments were built, of which the most sumptuous were the monasteries of Gandzasar and Dadivank. However, some of the churches were destroyed in the 14th century, when a number of Turkish nomadic tribes invaded Artsakh.
In the 15th century, the territory of Armenia became the scene of confrontation between the Ottoman Empire and Persia. Following the truce concluded in 1639, Artsakh with the rest of the Eastern Armenia became part of Persia.

The Meliks.
From the late 16th century, the Armenian Princes of Artsakh, called now Meliks of Karabakh began to unite into the military unions. The five of the most influential Meliks forming the so-called Country of Five were Melik of Gulistan, Melik of Dgeraberd, Melik of Khachen, Melik of Dizak and Melik of Varanda. The Meliks of Karabakh headed the Armenian liberation movement until the late 18th century. At the same time, the spiritual leaders of Artsakh spared no efforts in order to establish diplomatic contacts with the most influential Russian and European leaders. A number of outstanding patriots, such as Israel Ori, spent many years of their life traveling throughout the Europe in attempt to find support of Christian powers. Unfortunately, their activities brought little results.

Khanate of Karabakh.

With the Turkish advance eastward in the 20s of the 18th century, the Armenians of Karabakh and Siunik united under the leadership of David-Bek. Supported by Mkhitar Sparapet, David-Bek organized the successful defense. As a result, Karabakh and Siunik remained under the Armenian control.
As the Meliks of Karabakh fought against different Turkish tribes, some Persian rulers, such as Nadir Shah (1732-1747) often encouraged them. The Persian policy changed, however, in the middle of the 18th century. The Shahs of Zand dynasty began to support the leaders of nomadic Saridjalli tribe, in their systematic incursions to Artsakh. First, a certain Panah-Ali was able to capture the fortress of Shushi and proclaim him-self Khan. Then his son Ibrahim took advantage of the continuous strife between the Meliks and captured the Monastery of Gandzasar. Ibrahim gradually subdued the whole of Artsakh, founding the so-called Khanate of Karabakh.
The Russian expansion.
The Persian-Turkish yoke lasted until the beginning of the 19th century. Following the Russian expansion, Persia gradually ceded to Russia most of the Caucasus including Karabakh. The Treaty of Gulistan signed in 1813, asserted the Russian annexation. Evolving the expansion, Russian czar Nicholas I began the new war with Persia in 1826. During the Persian counterattack, the Persian army besieged Shushi in the summer of 1826. Armenian peasants and volunteers, supported by a small Russian garrison offered a fearless resistance. After 48 days of fighting, the Persians fell back. The war ended in 1828 with the Russian acquisition of Yerevan and Nakhichevan Khanates. Thus, the Eastern Armenia was definitely attached to the Russian Empire.

Shushi.

According to the Russian administrative division of 1840, Karabakh was part of the Caspian Guberniya. Following the new Ukase of 1867, it was attached to the Elizavetopol Guberniya. Shushi, which became city in 1847, grew into the one of important centers of Caucasus, in which trade and commerce flourished rapidly. Shushi also became the center of the Armenian enlightenment and culture. Of 22 newspapers and periodicals published in Shushi before the 1917 Russian Revolution, 20 were published in Armenian language and 2 were published in Russian.
 
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Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
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Old 02 Feb 07, 22:39   #2 (permalink)
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HISTORY OF ARTSAKH
(PART 2: FROM 1918 TO 1989)


Claims to the Armenian lands.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 put an end to czarist administrative division of Caucasus. In March of 1918, the Armenian, Georgian and Moslem leaders of Caucasus united to form an independent multiethnic Transcaucasian Confederation. The Confederation was, however, shortly dissolved, due to strong divergences between the tree peoples. The complete evacuation of Russian armies left the entire region defenseless in the face of the Turkish aggression.
On May 27, the Moslem deputies of the Confederation proclaimed a Musavatist Republic of Azerbaijan. The new Turkish state immediately laid claims to the entire territory of the former Elizavetopol Guberniya. Nun Pasha, commander of Ottoman forces, made an ultimatum to the Armenians of Karabakh to submit to Azerbaijan. In August, the Congress of Armenians of Karabakh unanimously rejected the ultimatum.

 
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Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
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Old 02 Feb 07, 22:40   #3 (permalink)
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The Turkish invasion in Baku and Shushi.

In September 1918, the Turkish forces invaded Baku, unleashing ruthless massacres of the peaceful Armenian population. Afterwards, the Turkish army entered Shushi. The war was impending, as the army of Armenian volunteers led by General Andranik approached Karabakh for help. However, General Thompson, British Commander of Caucasus stopped Andranik, promising to solve the problem during the Paris Peace Conference. In the summer of 1919, leaning on the British guaranty and trying to gain time and prevent the massacres, the 7th Congress of Armenians of Karabakh temporarily recognized the authority of Azerbaijan pending the final decision of the Paris Peace Conference.

Shushi destroyed.
However, shortly thereafter Britain began the withdrawal of its forces from Caucasus. The Paris Conference gave no result. Getting carte blanche for a definitive capture of Karabakh, the General Sultanov appointed governor of Karabakh presented a new ultimatum, demanding immediate attachment of Karabakh to Azerbaijan. Armenians rejected the ultimatum again.
In March 1920, after fierce fighting the Turkish forces invaded Shushi. Some 20,000 Armenians were killed and the city was burned to the ground. The arriving of the Armenian forces rescued the rest of population from the total annihilation.
On April 23, 1920 the 9th Congress of Armenians of Karabakh proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh an integral part of Armenia.
 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
Амиго is offline  
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Old 02 Feb 07, 22:41   #4 (permalink)
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Bolsheviks in Armenia.

The situation changed again after the Russian Red Army annexed Azerbaijan. On April 28, 1920 Azerbaijan became a Soviet Republic. Now the Republic of Armenia began receiving ultimatums from both Soviet Azerbaijan and Russia to withdraw Armenian troops from Karabakh and Zanguezour. In May 1920, Karabakh was Sovietized by the 11th Red Army. However, the region remained independent de facto, for the Soviet Government declared it a "contestable" territory.
Meanwhile, the Republic of Armenia, facing both Turkish and Bolshevik aggressions was next to the total destruction. Despite numerous resolutions and agreements, such as the Treaty of Sèvres, bounding Turkey to return the Armenian lands, the Armenian government could not expect physical help from anywhere. On November 29, 1920 the power in Armenia was transferred to the Bolsheviks, and the country became a Soviet Republic. Surprisingly, on the next day a telegram was sent from the government of the Soviet Azerbaijan to the new Armenian government, declaring Karabakh, Nakhichevan and Zanguezour integral parts of the newborn Armenian Soviet Republic. This telegram was signed by Azerbaijan's Bolshevik leaders Narimanov and Guseinov, who urged to "communicate the decision of Azerbaijan to the fraternal Armenian people".
 
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Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
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Old 02 Feb 07, 22:42   #5 (permalink)
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Karabakh and Nakhichevan annexed.

Soon afterwards, however, the Turkish and Russian leaders were able to reach understanding upon carve-up Armenia. The year 1921 brought tragic territorial losses for Armenia. The Treaty of Moscow (March 1921), the Treaty of Kars (October 1921), and plenary sessions of the Caucasian Office of Russian Communist Party (June-July 1921) tore away historical lands from Armenia, reducing its territories thrice. With the stroke of a pen, Nakhichevan and Nagorno-Karabakh were forcibly attached to the Soviet Azerbaijan.

Autonomy formed.
The autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh was formed on July 7, 1923. The map of the historical Artsakh was then systematically redrawn and some of its parts were cut off and included in the neighboring regions of the Azerbaijan Republic. For example, Gulistan became Shahumian region, Guetashen and Martunashen went to Khanlar region, and even Dadivank monastery found itself beyond the formal borders of Artsakh. Moreover, the Soviet power intentionally annexed and attached to Azerbaijan what are now Kaelbajar and Lachin regions, and so Karabakh was entirely cut off from Armenia and became an enclave.
 
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Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
Амиго is offline  
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Old 02 Feb 07, 22:43   #6 (permalink)
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"History of Azerbaijan" created.
During the decades of Soviet rule, the Armenians of Artsakh repeatedly protested against the policy of barefaced discrimination and persecutions. Planning to change the ethnic structure of population, the government of Azerbaijan tried all ways to impede economic development of the region, and also pursued severe discrimination in cultural realm. Many Armenian schools and establishments ceased to exist, and the Armenian newspapers and periodicals were shut down. Out of more than 200 active Armenian churches no one was allowed to function. At the same, time both of the two mosques built in Shushi in the late 19th century functioned freely.
From 1936, a new concept of "Azerbaijanis" or "Azeris" was brought into general use in the Soviet Union. Before that, what is now Azeri was simply called Turk or Caucasian Tatar. Stalin ordered the Soviet historians to create the "history of Azerbaijan". As a result, many of the Armenian cultural-historical monuments in Karabakh were then destroyed or shamelessly declared belonging to the Azerbaijani heritage.


Armenian protests.

Aghasi Khanjian, leader of Communist Party of Armenia tried to raise the Armenian grievances before Stalin. He was later shot dead by the odious Beria. Then a campaign of purges launched by Stalin swept hundreds of local leaders and activists in Artsakh. In 1945, Arutiunov, Secretary of Communist Party of Armenia wrote a letter to Stalin, asking for reunification of Artsakh with Armenia, but without result.
The next wave of mass protestations in 1965-1967 was suppressed by Azerbaijani government. Hundreds of Armenian activists were arrested on charges of nationalism and some of them were murdered in prisons. Despite the promises, the Soviet government shelved the issue for an indefinite time. In 1975, Kochynian, leader of Soviet Armenia was made scapegoat and removed from his post. The protest demonstrations continued under the next Armenian leader Karin Demirchyan.
 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
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Old 02 Feb 07, 22:44   #7 (permalink)
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Perestroika.

By 1986-1987, the economic and cultural oppression against the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh culminated, making their life conditions intolerable. The declarations made by Gorbachev about the democratization of Soviet society, inspired the Armenians. During the entire year of 1987, mass demonstrations and public rallies took place throughout Artsakh. Over 80 000 inhabitants of Artsakh signed a petition demanding the reunification with Armenia. In February 1988, the deputies of Nagorno-Karabakh adopted a document to the parliaments of Azerbaijan and Armenia. At the same time, an unprecedented movement of support began in Armenia. The general strikes, marches and meetings paralyzed the life in both Armenia and Artsakh. The Armenian Diaspora throughout the world enthusiastically supported the people of Artsakh as well.

Beginning of violence.
However, both Soviet and Azerbaijani governments firmly opposed to the idea of reunification of Armenia and Artsakh. The Soviet functionaries openly blackmailed the Armenian officials and community leaders, making it clear that the large Armenian population in Azerbaijan might become target of future irregularities.
On February 22, 1988 Azeri mobs marched from Aghdam to Stepanakert to punish the Armenians. The bloodshed was prevented. Yet 6 days later, the unparalleled bloody riots took place in the city of Sumgayit, near Baku. During the 3 days of bloodthirsty pogroms, dozens of innocent Armenians were killed, injured and raped while their apartments were ransacked and set to fire. The Soviet Army intervened on the forth day.


Special Administrations in Artsakh.

On June 18, 1988 a session of Supreme Council of USSR convened in Moscow to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Following the decision of Gorbachev, a special administration directly subordinate to Moscow was set in Stepanakert. However, the situation even worsened, as Azerbaijan established a severe blockade of Armenia and Artsakh. The region was isolated from the rest of the world, and the Armenian population was on the verge of starvation.
In November of 1989, Gorbachev abolished the special administration and formed the Organizational Committee of Nagorno-Karabakh. In fact, the new ukase returned the region under the Azeri jurisdiction. In response to that, a joint session of deputies of Armenia and Artsakh adopted a document proclaiming the reunification of Armenia and Artsakh.
 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
Амиго is offline  
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