Azerbaijan is an ancient country. Historically Azerbaijan is located in the territory from the Caucasian ridge in the north till Hamadan (central Iran) in the south, from the Goyche (Sevan) and Uremia rivers in the west till the Caspian Sea in the east. Pursuant to the Gulistan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828) peace treaties concluded between Russia and Iran as a result of the wars between them, the territory of Azerbaijan was divided into two parts. The geographic ideas North Azerbaijan (currently the Azerbaijan Republic) and South Azerbaijan (Western and Eastern districts of the Iranian Azerbaijan) appeared since that time. People of Azerbaijan formed due to merge of the peoples living in this wide territory since ancient times (Mannanians, Mediyanians, Scythians, Albanians) and Turkish tribes periodically moving here (the Huns, Sabirs, Khazars, Kangls, Kypchags (Polovtsians), Oghuzs). Turks-Oghuzs make the core of Azerbaijan ethnogeny. Mannanians, Mediyanians, Albanians, Arabs and Turks-Oghuzs took the most direct part in formation of Azerbaijan nation (its culture, music, language, traditions).


Manna (Manai, Mana)

One of the most ancient states of the East (X-IX c. BC). The name of Manna was first mentioned in 843 BC in cuneiforms by the Assyrian czar Salmanasar III, when the state of Manna was created in the territory to southeast from the Uremia river uniting the districts Zamua, Gilzan, Alatte, Surikash, Uishdish, Zikirtu and Andia. The VIII c. BC was the prosperous period of Manna, when it was headed by the czar Iranzu (740-719 BC) and his sons Azea (718-716 BC) and Ulusun (715-680 BC). The territory of the Manna kingdom covered the current Nakhichevan (North Azerbaijan), eastern lands of the Van river (Turkey) and the entire current Iranian Azerbaijan. The capital was the Izirtu city. Manna was making wars with varied success against Assyria, Urartu and Media. The statehood collapsed in approximately 590 BC due to the capture by the neighboring Media.

Media (Mada, Madai, Midia)

First references of Media as a state were made in Assyrian cuneiform sources of VIII BC. The Median leader Dayok united the Median tribes and created a single government with the capital of Ekbatana city (current Hamadan in South Azerbaijan). Media flourished at the time of the czar Kiaksar (625-585 BC). Medianians occupied Manna, Assyria, Urartu and Lidia through wars. The territory of the Median Empire ranged from the Little Asia (current Turkey) in the west till the modern Afghanistan in the east, from the Kura river (North Azerbaijan) till the Persian gulf in the south. Media weakened at the time of the czar Astiagh (585-550 BC), his son Kiaksar and fell down as a state in 550 BC due to the rush of Persian troops headed by the czar Kier II.


Atropatena (Aderbatgan)

Following the collapse of Alexander Macedons empire (323 BC), the state of Atropatena appeared in the southern part of modern Azerbaijan, and the state of Albania in the northern part. The first czar of Atropatena was Atropat (Aderbatag), who was appointed vicegerent (satrap) of Media in 328 BC by Alexander Macedon. Initially the country was named the same way - Atropats Media. Atropatena became independent after Alexanders death. The capital was the city of Ghazaka. Modern name of Azerbaijan springs namely from Atropatena: Aderbatgan-Aderbaygan-Azerbaijan. The territory of Atropatena stretched from the Araz river in the north till the Bagistan province in the south, from the Uremia lake in the west till the Caspian Sea in the east. Atropatena was considered one of the elite and rather developed states in regard of trade. In the collision between the Rome Empire and Parthian kingdom, Atropatena was directly an ally of Parthia. In 20 BC Atropatena became fully dependent on Parthia as one of its provinces and lost its statehood.

Caucasian Albania (Arran)

In late IV - early III centuries BC, the state of Albania emerged in the territory of current north Azerbaijan due to the collapse of the Ahamani Empire of Daria the III and union of 26 Albanian tribes (own name Lpina). The territory of Albania stretched from the Caucasian ridge in the north till the Araz river in the south, from the Goyche (Sevan) lake in the west till the Caspian Sea in the east. Capitals of the state were cities of Gabala (Gabalaka), and later (since V AD) Barda (Partav). Strabon described Albania as a laical state with high culture, advanced trade and skilful artisans. Ptolemy noted around 30 big cities and settlements in Albania. Following the military march of Romans (late I AD) commanded by Pompeii that reached Gobustan (shore of the Caspian Sea), Albania entered into the reach of Rome. In the IV c. czar Urnayr officially adopted Christianity. In the meantime, Albanian literature arose. Albanians were in constant wars since IV BC - first against Alexander Macedon supporting Persia, later (since I BC) against Rome, and at the beginning of the years of grace - against nomadic Huns. In 461 Albania became dependent on the Sasani Iran. However, in 487 at the time of Vachagan the III, the countrys political independence was restored. Albania was considered the most developed country in the Caucasus up to the Arabian invasions (IX century).


Azerbaijan History in dates and events

1st millennium before Christmas - the state of Manna (capital - Izirtu) formed in the territory to south from Araz.

8th century BC - the state of Mana significantly expanded own borders to the north covering a big part of modern Azerbaijan.

7th century BC - the state of Media (capital - Ekbatana) formed in southwest from the Caspian Sea (southeast of South Azerbaijan) and defeated Manna, broke down the Assyrian state in alliance with Babel and occupied Urartu.

6th century BC - Midiya was occupied by the Ahamani Persia.

4th century BC - during the Persian governor Atrapats reign, the country was called the Median Atropatena or simply Atropatena, which, in accordance with one version, is the source of the current name of the Azerbaijan state. Ancient Persians called this country Ader-Badagan, Arabians - Aderbayjan, i.e. the country of fires.

In 1-4th centuries AD, the territory of modern Azerbaijan was within the tribal union of the Caucasian Albania, which was under influence of the Rome Empire.

in the 3-4th centuries AD, the Caucasian Albania adopted Christianity. The oldest Christian church in the Caucasus - the Albanian church Kish founded by the apostle Yelisey in Sheki, as well as Handzasar and Amaras  temples in Garabagh have reached our times in the place, where descendants of Huns, Gels, Alps, Legs and Udins live up to date.

From 387 BC till the mid 7th century, the Caucasian Albania was under power of the Sasani Iran, and later - Arabian caliphate.

Since the 5th century, i.e. in the period of the Great Movement of Nations, Turkish tribes entered into the South Caucasus and North Iran for the first time from Altai, ancient homeland of Turks, through the Central Asia.

In the 6-7th centuries, in the period of progress of the Turkish khanate, Turkish tribes continued penetrating into the South Caucasus.

In the 9th century, Turks-Oghuzs finally settled in the territory of South Caucasus and North Iran. In the meantime
, they adopted Islam.

In the 9-10th centuries, Turkish Oghuzs gradually merged with the local ethnic groups, which led to formation of a new ethnic group - Turks of Azerbaijan (Azeris).

In late 11th century, Turks-Oghuzs created the Seljuk Empire.

In 1136-1225, the Turkish state of Atabeyler-Eldegizler reigned in Azerbaijan.

In the 13th century, following the invasion of Mongolians, Azerbaijan became a vassal of the Khulaguids state and remained dependent on it till the 2nd half of the 14th century/

In late 14-15th centuries, the state of Shirvan formed in north of Azerbaijan.

In the 15th century, following Tamerlans attack, Turks of Azerbaijan founded two states - Garagoyunlu and Aghgoyunlu.

1501, the state of Sefevis (named after the ruling Turkish dynasty) was established. Its capital was the city of Tebriz and this state united all the Azerbaijan territories for the first time at the beginning of the 16th century in one state of Sefevis, which included the territories of modern Northern and Southern Azerbaijan, as well as the lands from Amu-Darya till Euphrates and from Derbend till the coast of the Persian Gulf.

16th century, Shah Ismayil Khatai - ethnic Turks-Azeri (reigned in 1502-1524) declared Shitism the state religion.

In the 16th century and till the mid 18th century, beylerbeyships existed in the territory of Azerbaijan -Shirvanshah, Garabagh (or Ganja), Chukhur-saad (or Yerevan), Tebriz beylerbeyships. The lands of the Yerevan and Nakhchivan beylerbeyships belonged to the Gizilbash generation of Ustajlu.

In 1723, Russian troops occupied Baku and Caspian lands to south from it up to Rasht. The Ottoman Empire invaded the biggest part of Azerbaijan.

In 1724, pursuant to the Istanbul treaty, Caspian littoral districts, including Baku, Salyan and Lenkeran were annexed to Russia and the rest part of Azerbaijan - to Turkey.

In 734, general Nadirgulu (later Shah Nadir) occupied Ganja from under the Turkish authority.

In 1735, Nadir signed an agreement with Russia on transfer of Caspian territories to Persia.

In 1736, Nadir became the shah of Persia.

In 1747, after Nadir Shahs murder, 15 independent khanates, including the Garabagh, Sheki, Shirvan, Baku, Ganja, Guba, Nakhchivan, Derbend and Talish khanates formed to north from the Araz river (territory of North Azerbaijan), as well as small political-administrative units - sultanates, including Gazakh and Shemshedil.

1804-1813 - in this period, Talish, Baku, Ganja, Derbend khanates were invaded due to furious fights (attacks of Ciciyanov, Gudovich, Kotlyarovskiy). The first Russian-Persian war finished with the Gulistan peace treaty (1813), under which Russia gained as well the Sheki, Shirvan, Guba khanates, as well as Western Georgia (Imeretia and Abkhazia) and Dagestan.

1805 - Ibrahim khan Garabaghskiy signed the treaty on volunteer transfer of the Garabagh khanates under the Russian power.

1826-1828 - during this period, Russian troops occupied Yerevan and Nakhchivan khanates. The second Russian-Persian war finished with the Turkmenchay treaty (1828).

In 1828 - Azerbaijan was finally divided between Persia and Russian. The border was the Araz river

March 28-31, 1918 - Armenian militarized groups (Dashnaks) and Bolsheviks committed bloody slaughters of Azerbaijani population in the cities of Baku, Shamakhi, Guba etc.

May 28, 1918 - the first democratic republic in the Moslem East was announced in the territory of eastern part of Southern Caucasus - Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) with the capital of Ganja. Mardan bey Topchubashov was elected head of the ADR parliament. Fatali khan Khoyski was appointed the prime Minister. Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh, chairman of the Central Committee of the Musavat Party was elected the President of the ADR.

April 27-28, 1920 after entry of troops of the Red Army (11th Army) into Azerbaijan, Soviet government headed by Nariman Narimanov as formed.

In December 1922 - Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia established temporary state union - Caucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (CSFSR), which entered into the USSR on December 30, 1922.

In 1936 - CSFSR was appealed, and the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic was included in the USSR as an independent republic. Then, Azerbaijan alphabet was transferred from Latin to Cyrillic by decision of the Soviet government.

In August 30, 1991 - after the failure of the attempt of coup detat, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic adopted the Declaration On restoration of the state independence of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Since 1989, occupation of Azerbaijan territories - Nagorno-Karabakh and neighboring regions - by the neighboring Armenia began. 20% of territories of the Azerbaijan Republic is occupied, around 1 million Azeris have been driven out from the occupied lands.

On October 18, 1991 - the Constitutional act On the state independence of Azerbaijan Republic was adopted. It instituted the bases of the state, political and economic structure of the independent Azerbaijan.

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