Artsakh in Armenian Արցախ was a ancient Armenian province in the region of present day Karabakh.

Artsakh is the native Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh.

Artsakh province of Greater Armenia Edit

Artsakh as a part of the Kingdom of Ararat (Urartu) is mentioned in the 8th century BC in cuneiform inscriptions of the King Sardur. Two centuries later, the Kingdom of Ararat was conquered by the Medes. Then the Kingdom of Ararat, which became Armenia, remained under the Persian dominion until regaining independence in the middle of the 2nd century BC. In 149 BC, King Vagharshak came to the Armenian throne beginning the period of the dynasty of Arshakids. According to tradition, King Vagharshak carried out social reforms, reorganized the royal court and instituted a new feudal order. He appointed the Prince Aran, one of his vassals and descendant of the Armenian forefather Hayk, as governor of the Armenian eastern provinces. Because of his kind and good-hearted character, Aran was nicknamed Aghu (Armenian for kind, gentle). Since then the Armenian sources designate the vast domain of Aran as Aghuank (Albania of Greek-Roman primary sources), while the Persian texts rather used Aran. The Aghu's domain also included the Artsakh Principality. As a province of the Greater Armenia, Artsakh is mentioned in several ancient authors' works, particularly in Strabo's Geography. In the 1st century BC, when Armenia became a powerful state, Tigranes the Great built the city of Tigranakert, one of the four cities of that name, near the present city of Aghdam.

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