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"Syunik" redirects here. For the veelage o the same name, see Syunik (veelage).

Syunik (Armenie: Սյունիք, transliteratit as Siunik, or Siwnik an aw, pronooncit "Sew-Nick) is the soothmaist province (marz) o Armenie. It borders the Vayots Dzor Province tae the north, Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan exclave tae the wast, Karabakh tae the east, an Iran tae the sooth. Its caipital is Kapan. Ither important ceeties an touns include Goris, Sisian, Meghri, Agarak, an Dastakert. The Naitional Statistical Service o the Republic o Armenie (ARMSTAT) reportit its population wis 152,900 in 2010,[1] up frae 152,684 at the 2001 census.[2]

Syunik Province
Location o Syunik athin Armenie
Location o Syunik athin Armenie
Coordinates: 39°15′N 46°15′E / 39.250°N 46.250°E / 39.250; 46.250
Kintra  Armenie
Caipital Kapan
 • Govrenor [Hunan Poghosyan]]
 • Total 4,506 km2 (1,740 sq mi)
Aurie rank 2nt
Population (2010)
 • Tot 152,900
 • Rank 8t
 • Density 34/km2 (88/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+04
 • Simmer (DST) UTC+05 (UTC)
Postal code 3201-3519
ISO 3166 code AM-SU
FIPS 10-4 AM08

Historically, Syunik wis ane o the 15 provinces o the Kinrick o Armenie. At various times, the region o present-day Syunik haes been kent bi ither names sic as Syunia, Sisakan, an Zangezur an aw. The aurie's mony Armenie cultural steids (sic as the Tatev monastery) testify tae its rich history.

Table o contents


Syunik is a green but muntainous aurie. The heich-watter major rivers are the Meghri, Voghdji, an Vorotan. Simmertime temperaturs can reach mair nor 40 °C, awtho the average temperatur is aroound 22 °C. Its border wi Nakhchivan tae the wast is definit bi the Zangezur Muntains.


Syunik is hame tae mony o Armenie's lairgest minin operations (at Kajaran, Kapan, Agarak) as well as the lairgest tailin dams (at Artzvanik, Voghtchi, Darazami, Geghanoush).[3] The prospect o a uranium mine bein exploitit bi the Roushie State Nuclear Energy Corporation (Rosatom) in the veelage o Lernadzor haes environmentalists an locals concerned.[3]


Inscriptions foond in the region aroond Lake Sevan attributit tae Keeng Artaxias I confirm that in the 2nt century BC the Destrict o Syunik constitutit pairt o the Auncient Armenie.[4][5][6]

Early rulersEedit

The first dynasty tae rule Syunik wis the Siunia Dynasty, beginnin in the 1st century. The first kent Naxarar ruler wis Valinak Siak (c.330) an his successor wis his brither Andok or Andovk (Antiochus, c.340). In 379 Babik (Bagben) the son o Andok, wis re-established as a Naxarar bi the Mamikonian faimily. Babik haed a sister cried Pharantzem who haed marriet the Arsacid Prince Gnel, nephew o the Armenie Keeng Arsaces II (Arshak II) an later marriet Arsaces II as her seicont husband. Babik’s rule lastit for less nor ten years an bi aboot 386 or 387, Dara wis deposed bi the Sassanid Empire.

Valinak (c.400-409) wis follaeed bi Vasak (409-452). Vasak haed twa sons: Babik (Bagben), Bakur an a dochter who marriet Vasak’s successor, Varazvahan (452-472). Varazvahan’s son Gelehon ruled frae 470-477, who dee'd in 483. Babik (Bagben) the brither o Varazvahan became the new Naxarar in 477. Hadz the brither o Gelehon dee'd on September 25 482. The Syunik Province wis later govrened bi Vahan (c.570), Philip (Philipo, c.580), Stephen (Stephanos, c.590-597), Sahak (Isaac, c.597) an Grigor (Gregory, till 640).

Late first millenniumEedit

A dynasty wis formit, govrened bi a branch o the Bagratuni, wi minor vassal princes frae ane or mair previous dynasties, perhaps o Persie oreegin. Vasak III (c. 800) suffered an assault frae the emir o Manazkert, Sevada. He established a garrison in Chalat, in the destrict o Dzoluk. He then cried for help frae the Persie revolutionary chief Babak Khorramdin, who marriet a dochter o the keeng.

Efter Vasak III (821) dee'd, Babak inheritit the kintra, which revoltit against him. Babak suppressed the revolt, but wis harassed bi baith Muslims an Armenies. Feenally, he abdicatit an the childer o Vasak, Philipo, an Sahak regained pouer. Philipo govrened Eastren Syunik, wi the destricts o Vayots Dzor an Balq (Goucha). Sahak govrened in Wastren Syunik, kent as Gelarquniq an aw, wi caipital in Khoth. Thir local dynasties disappeared durin the ephemeral domination frae Babak.

In 826, Sahak allee'd wi his auncient enemy - Sevada, the Qaisite emir o Manazkert - against the govrenor o Caliph, but he wis defeatit an dee'd in Kavakert. His son Grigor-Sufan succeedit him as prince o Wastren Syunik. In the Eastren region, Philipo dee'd on 10 August 848. He wis succeedit bi three sons (Babgen, Vasak-Ichkhanik an Achot) that ruled jointly. Babgen focht wi Grigor-Sufan an killed him (sometime in 849-851) but Babgen dee'd shortly efter (851) an Vasak-Ichkhanik (Vasak IV) follaeed him. Vasak-Ichkhanik haed peaceful relations wi Vasak-Gabor, who haed ascendit tae the throne o Wastren Syunik, replacin his faither Grigor-Sufan. Nerseh, brither o Babgen, directit (851?) an expedeetion tae Aghuanie defeatin an killin the prince Varaz-Terdat (o the Persie dynasty Mihrakane o Aghuanie) in Morgog. A general sent bi the Caliph, Bogha al-Kabir, destroyed Armenie an Aghuanie in thir years, an sent a detachment tae Eastren Syunik whare wis govrenin Vasak IV wi his brither Achot. The fowk o Syunik wur sheltered in the fortress o Balq, but Vasak fled tae Kotaiq, an wis pursued tae the region o Gardman on the eastren border o Lake Sevan. Gardman's prince (ichkhan) Ketridj or Ketritchn betrayed him an delivered him tae Bogha (859). Achot wis seisit (859) an aw. But Bogha invadit Gardman an impreesoned Kertridj. He then went tae Outi whare he captured the prince o Sevordiq, Stephannos Kun.

Syunik an Artsakh till the 9t century.

The Caliphate tree'd tae control aw thir regions, an for this reason Bogha decidit tae repopulate the ceety o Chamkor in the Kura river wi Muslims. Chamkor, bein near Barda an Ganja, wis intendit tae act as a regional monitorin post. Bi order o the new Caliph in 862, the impreesoned princes wur tae be released an alloued tae return tae thair umwhile domains on the condeetion o becomin Muslim. (Housomeivver, thay aw abandoned Islam efter thair return.)

The prince o Wastren Syunik, Vasak-Gabor, wis marriet tae a dochter o the Bagratid prince Ashot the Great namit Miriam, an receivit the title o Ichkhan frae the Syunik fowk - delivered tae him bi Ashot in name o the Caliph. His successor wis his son, Grigor-Sufan II (887-909). The prince o Eastren Syunik, Vasak IV, dee'd aroond 887, an wis follaeed bi his brither Achot who dee'd c. 906.

The son o Vasak IV, Sembat, that receivit the fiefdom frae Vayots Dzor. Chahaponk (Jahuk) govrened frae 887 till sometime efter 920. He revoltit in 903 against the Bagratid Sembat I, refusin tae pay him taxes. Acause o this, he wis assaultit bi the prince o Vaspurakan, Sargis-Ashot. Sembat submittit, wis forgiven an marriet tae the sister o the prince o Vaspurakan, receivin the ceety an destrict o Nakhchivan, which in 902 wis upset wi the Kaysites or Qaisids.

A few years later, the prince allee'd wi the emir o Sadjid, Yusuf, against Eastren Syunik, which thay invadit thegither. Sembat wis sheltered in the fortress o Erendchak (the day Alindja, northeast o Nakhchivan) an Yusuf remained awner o Eastren Syunik. Sembat requestit refuge frae his brither-in-law Khatchik-Gagik, which wis grantit. In the same year (909), the prince o Wastren Syunik, Grigor Sufan II, submittit ae the emir Yusuf in Dvin. Anerlie Byzantine muivements an the athdrawal o the Sadjids permittit him tae recover the throne some time later. Sembat, wi his three brithers Sahak, Babgen, an Vasak, govrened again. An aw in Wastren Syunik, Sahak, Ashot an Vasak, brithers o Grigor-Sufan II, wur govrenin the kintra. Efter them the dynasty o Wastren Syunik became extinct an the territory wis subsumit bi the Muslims.

The eastren pairt remained dividit: Sembat, which haed the main title, govrened the wastren pairt o the Eastren Syunik wi the Vayots Dzor, bordered bi Vaspurakan. Sahak govrened the eastren pairt till the river Hakar. Babgen govrened the destrict o the Balq, an Vasak (who dee'd in 922) an indeterminate territory. Nasr, the emir o Azerbaijan, captured territory throu perfidy against Babgen an Sahak in Dwin. Efter the invasion, Sembat unseated Nasr an obtained the freedom o his brithers. Sembat wis follaeed bi his son Vasak, an Sahak in turn bi his son Sembat. Vasak receivit the ryal title frae the Muslims at the end o his reign, which lastit till 963.

The throne wis inheritit bi his nephew Sembat (963-998) who wis recognisit as keeng bi the emirs o Tauris an o Arran. He wis marriet tae the princess o Aghuanie, Chahandoukht. At his daith, he wis follaeed bi Vasak (c. 998-1019). Vasak wis succeedit bi twa nephews (the childer o his sister an a Prince Achot) cried Sembat an Grigor (1019–1084). Durin his periods Syunik wis a vassal o Great Seljuk Empire. Grigor wis marriet wi the princess Chahandoukht, dochter o Sevada o Aghuanie. The anerlie successor tae the twa princes, wis a dochter o Grigor's cried Chahandoukht. Rule passed tae the prince o Aghuanie, Seneqerim Ioan who govrened baith territories frae 1084 till his daith in 1105. Seneqerim Ioan wis follaeed bi his son Grigor o Syunik an Aghuanie, who govrened till 1166, whan the kintra wis conquered bi the Seljuq Turks. It wis ruled bi Seljuks o Hamadan, Atabegs o Azerbaijan, Kinrick o Georgie, Khwarezmshahs, Ilkhanate, Chupanids, Jalayirids, Karakoyunlu Turcomans, Timurid Empire an Akkoyunlu Turcomans successively afore Safavid rule. It wis ruled bi Ottomans atween 1578-1606 an again atween 1722-1736 an aw.

Later, the Orbelian Dynasty, ane o whose memmers wrote an important history o the kintra, govrened Syunik in times o Timur (Tamerlan) as vassals. Atween mid-17t c an early 19t c, the region wis pairt o theKarabakh khanate o the Safavid Empire. It wis durin this period in the region's history that David Bek heidit an airmit struggled against the Safavids an the Ottoman Empire, baith o which wur fechtin for control o the aurie.

Imperial Roushie ruleEedit

Follaein the Russo-Persie War o 1804-1813, Syunik passed intae Imperial Roushie possession bi the Treaty o Gulistan in 1813 thegither wi the rest o the Karabakh khanate. The khanate wis abolished bi the Roushie govrenment in 1822. The region wis first dividit unner the Erivan Govrenorate an the Shemakha Govrenorate, efter 1859 the Erivan Govrenorate an the Baku Govrenorate. When the Elisabethpol Govrenorate wis established in 1868, the region became the Zangezur uyezd, wi its seat o admeenistration in Geryusy.[7]

Accordin tae imperial census in 1897 tot population o Zangezur uyezd constitutit 137 971 fowk. 51.6% o them wur Azerbaijanis an 46,1% wur Armenies.[8]

The beginnin o 20t century saw an ootbreak in ethnic tensions atween the Armenie an Azerbaijani populations in the Caucasus, culminatin in the Armenie-Tatar massacres. Clashes occurred in Nakhichevan an Sharur-Daralgez uyezdy o the Erevan gubernia an in Zangezur, Shusha an Javanshir uezdy o Elizavetpol gubernia in 1905. Accordin tae Armenie soorces 128 Armenie an 158 Azerbaijanian veelages wur "pillagit or destroyed"[8] while the oweraw estimates o lifes lost vary widely, rangin frae 3,000 tae 10,000, wi Muslims sufferin heicher losses.[9] Durin thir events, the Armenies o Syunik wur massacred "athoot distinction o sex or age" bi Azeri forces.[10][need quotation tae verify]

Tensions wur acceleratit wi the collapse o the Roushie Empire. The region fell unner the authority o the Special Transcaucasie Committee o the Roushie Proveesional Govrenment an subsequently the short-livit Transcaucasie Democratic Federative Republic. When the TDFR wis dissolvit in Mey 1918, Zangezur, Nakhchivan, an Nagorno-Karabakh became hivily contestit atween the newly formit an short-livit states o the Democratic Republic o Armenie (DRA) an the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). At the time, Syunik haed an Armenie majority o 350,000 an a Muslim population o 180,000.[11] Accordin tae Thomas de Waal, the dispute ower Syunik resultit in the ethnic cleansin o region's local Azeri minority throu direct militar action bi Armenie guerilla commanders Andranik Ozanian,[12] Rouben Ter Minassian[13] an later Garegin Nzhdeh.[14]

Soviet SyunikEedit

Armenie forces eventually secured the region but thair efforts wur in vain whan the Bolsheviks, successfu in the Roushie Ceevil War, pushed deep intae the Caucasus. Syunik wis ane o the last major hauldoots o the DRA whose leaders wur eventually expelled bi incomin Soviet authorities tae Iran. Durin Sovietization, Syunik became pairt o Soviet Armenie, while the twa ither disputit territories, Nakhchivan an Nagorno-Karabakh became pairt o Soviet Azerbaijan. It then became pairt o Armenia unner the Transcaucasie SFSR an pairt o the Armenie SSR in 1936. Unner Soviet rule, Syunik suffered a devastatin yirdquauk in Aprile 1931, leavin 80% o its veelages destroyed.[15] A subsequent yirdquauk hit the region in Mey durin the same year, destroyin 27 o 38 veelages in the Sisian destrict.[16]

Despite the region's troubled early years in the Soviet Union, it gradually began tae recover wi much o the aurie's infrastructure rebuilt an improved. During the Soviet era, Syunik wis noted as a soorce o metal an ore production.[17] Housomeivver, the region wis shaken bi the renewal o the conflict ower Nagorno-Karabakh wi neebourin Azerbaijan. In 1987-1989, the remainin Azeri indwallers fled the region as a result o interethnic violence.[18][19] This exodus o Azeri population made Syunik an Armenia in general mair homogeneous.

Recent historyEedit

Syne the collapse o the Soviet Union in 1991, Syunik haes been a constituent pairt o the Republic o Armenie. The republic's southernmost province, it haes acome strategically an ecomically important for Armenia, sharin a border wi Iran frae which vital energy resoorces are exportit. Recently, a new 140-kilometer-lang Armenia-Iran pipeline haes been opened that is "projected to supply Armenia with up to 1.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year until 2019, when that supply target is expected to rise to 2.3 bcm annually."[20] The new pipeline haes attracted Armenia's northren neighbor, Georgia which seeks tae lessen its dependence on energy frae Roushie. An aa, 2 tombs an a cemetery war foond atween villages o Kornidzor an Khndzoresk in Goris region. Thir war biggit bi Armenian architects during Kara Koyunlu rule an war foond bi researchers o the Preservation Committee for Historical an Cultural Monuments o the Armenian Republic in 2000.[21]




  1. 1.0 1.1 "Marzes of the Republic of Armenia and Yerevan City in Figures, 2010" (PDF). Naitional Statistical Service o the Republic o Armenie (ARMSTAT). 
  2. Report of the results of the 2001 Armenian Census, Naitional Statistical Service o the Republic o Armenie
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Specter of Uranium Once Again Hangs Over Syunik, Hetq Online, November 10, 2008.
  4. Borisov ""nscriptions of Artaxia (Artashes), King of Armenia, 1946, No 2"
  5. Historical-Philological Magazine, 1965, No 4
  6. A.G. Perikhanyan, "Aramian Inscription from Zangezur"
  7. 1906 Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, "Зангезурский уезд" article.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Audrey L. Altstadt. The Azerbaijani Turks: power and identity under Russian rule. Hoover Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8179-9182-4, ISBN 978-0-8179-9182-1
  9. Tadeusz Swietochowski. Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition. Columbia University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-231-07068-3, ISBN 978-0-231-07068-3
  10. "Dispatch from St. Petersberg, Wednesday, Sept. 13". The New York Times. 1905-09-13. p. 4. 
  11. "Georgians Hold Up Tartar's Advance". The New York Times. 1920-05-15. p. 14. 
  12. Thomas de Waal. Black Garden: Armenia And Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. New York: New York University Press, pp. 129. ISBN 0-8147-1945-7
  13. The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction by Donald Bloxham. Oxford University Press: 2005, pp.103-105
  14. "Garegin Nzhdeh and the KGB: Report of Interrogation of Ohannes Hakopovich Devedjian". August 28, 1947. Archived frae the oreeginal on October 30, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2012. (in Roushie)
  15. "392 Dead in Quake on Soviet Frontier". The New York Times. 1931-04-30. p. 10. 
  16. "Armenian Quake a Major Disaster". The New York Times. 1931-05-06. p. 9. 
  17. "Soviet is Raising Output of Key Ore". The New York Times. 1963-05-23. p. 68. 
  18. Situation of refugees and displaced persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
  19. Thomas de Waal. Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War. NYU Press; 2004.
  20. "Georgia Shows Interest In Iran-Armenia Pipeline". EurasiaNet. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  21. "The Historical Heritage Of Gara Goyunly Dynasty In Armenia". ASIMED. 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 

External linksEedit