ARMENIA, in Transcaucasia. Historically its boundaries embraced a much wider area in different periods. The Armenian diaspora is scattered in many countries of the world and still identifies its past history and future aspirations with the wider connotations of the term Armenia. Jewish historical, exegetical, and descriptive sources reveal knowledge of the variations in geographical area and history of this remarkable people. The fate and modes of existence of the Armenians have been compared in some essential features to those of the Jews.
Much of the original Armenia is now the area of Kurdistan in Turkey. However, from the seventh to ninth centuries the Arab conquerors called by the name Armenia a province which included entire Transcaucasia, with the cities Bardhaʿa, now Barda in the present Azerbaijan, where the governors mostly resided, and *Tiflis (now Tbilisi, capital of Georgia). The province is also sometimes called Armenia in eastern sources. The *Khazars were sometimes credited with Armenian origin: this is stated by the seventh-century Armenian bishop and historian Sebeos, and the Arab geographer Dimashqī (d. 1327). In the 13th to 14th centuries the Crimea and the area to the east were known as Gazaria (Khazaria) to western authors, and as Maritime Armenia to Armenian authors. The term Armenia often included much of Anatolia, or otherwise referred to cities on the Syrian-Mesopotamian route (now Turkey, near the Syrian frontier) such as Haran (Ḥarrān), Edessa (Urfa), and Nisibis (Naṣībīn).
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