Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Van was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia. In the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion. In between the late 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became "the first Christian nation." The official date of state adoption of Christianity was 301 AD. The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanid empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Armenian Kingdom was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks. An Armenian principality and later a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.
Armenia was a merchant vessel launched at Calcutta in 1796. Captain Thomas Meek (or Meik), was her only captain. In 1799 the East India Company (EIC) took her up. She made one trip to Britain for the EIC. On that trip she left St Helena on 6 July in the company of the East IndiamenTellicherry, Triton, and Barwell, and under escort by the 18-gun Cornwallis.Armenia arrived in Britain on 27 September.
Capture and postscript
The French privateer Clarisse captured Armenia on 5 July 1800 and sent her into Mauritius.Clarisse was armed with 16 guns and had a crew of 180 men under the command of Captain La Meme. Armenia encountered Clarisse at 7°30′S79°30′E / 7.500°S 79.500°E / -7.500; 79.500, and after a five-hour chase she caught up with Armenia and combat ensued. Captain Meik resisted, but after about 40 minutes of exchanging fire he stuck. Armenia had lost her Third Officer killed and six men wounded, one of whom died later; Clarisse appeared to have had three men killed. Another report has Clarisse's casualties as seven killed and 20 wounded.
The name Armenia enters English via Latin, from Ancient Greek Ἀρμενία.
The Armenian endonym for the Armenian people and country is hayer and hayk’, respectively. The exact etymology of the name is unknown, and there are various speculative attempts to connect it to older toponyms or ethnonyms.
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