Armenia, country of Transcaucasia, lying just south of the great mountain range of the Caucasus and fronting the northwestern extremity of Asia. To the north and east Armenia is bounded by Georgia and Azerbaijan, while its neighbours to the southeast and west are, respectively, Iran and Turkey. Naxçıvan, an exclave of Azerbaijan, borders Armenia to the southwest. The capital is Yerevan (Erevan).
Modern Armenia comprises only a small portion of ancient Armenia, one of the world’s oldest centres of civilization. At its height, Armenia extended from the south-central Black Sea coast to the Caspian Sea and from the Mediterranean Sea to Lake Urmia in present-day Iran. Ancient Armenia was subjected to constant foreign incursions, finally losing its autonomy in the 14th century CE. The centuries-long rule of Ottoman and Persian conquerors imperiled the very existence of the Armenian people. Eastern Armenia was annexed by Russia during the 19th century, while western Armenia remained under Ottoman rule, and in 1894–96 and 1915 the Ottoman government perpetrated systematic massacres and forced deportations of Armenians.