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The Orontid Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Armenia




Armenia is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating back to the ancient times, when the region was part of the kingdom of Urartu. Armenia became a satrapy of the Persian Empire under the Orontid Dynasty, which ruled from 585 to 190 BC. The modern capital of Armenia, Yerevan, was founded in 782 BC by King Argishti I, making it the world’s oldest city with a documented date of foundation.

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Armenia was the first nation in the world to make Christianity its official religion in the 4th century AD. The Orontid Dynasty was a hereditary dynasty that ruled the Armenian satrapy, the successor state to the Iron Age kingdom of Urartu. The Orontids established their supremacy over Armenia around the time of the Scythian and Median invasions in the 6th century BC. The Orontids ruled first as client kings or satraps of the Achaemenid Empire and after the collapse of the Achaemenid Empire established an independent kingdom. The Orontids were known for their cultural achievements, such as building temples, fortresses, irrigation systems, and roads. They also minted their own coins and adopted the Armenian alphabet.