• How did Armenia get its name?


  • The native Armenian name for the country is Hayk. The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Hayastan, by addition of the Iranian suffix -stan (land). The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk (Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, who according to Moses of Chorene defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC, and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun inscription (515 BC) as Armina ( ). Ancient Greek Αρμένιοι Armenians is mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus (476 BC). Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, 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 Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamich, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendent of Hayk.

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