Edited by the leading historian of the Republic of Armenia, this is the definitive history of an extraordinary country - from its earliest foundations, through the Crusades, the resistance to Ottoman and Tsarist rule, the collapse of the independent state, its brief re-emergence after World War I, its subjugation by the Bolsheviks, and the establishment of the new Republic in 1991. Written by the foremost experts on each period in Armenia's history, this book is a major contribution to understanding the complexities of Transcaucasia. Armenia is a cradle of civilization situated on one of the world's most turbulent crossroads. This volume examines the question of Armenian origins and traces domestic and international relations, society and culture through the five dynastic periods, spanning nearly two thousand years. The challenge facing the Armenian people was to maintain as much freedom as possible under the shadow of powerful neighbouring empires. The adoption of Christianity had a permanent impact on the course of Armenian history and culture. These were the heroic, colourful and harsh feudal centuries of Armenia.