University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Introduction to the Timeline


The Timeline coordinates events in Armenia with those in other regions of the world beginning with advent of cultivation of grain and stock raising. This accomplishment is referred to as the Neolithic (new stone age). The events noted in the Timeline are drawn from historical, traditional and mythical sources.


Memories, Massacres and Memories Genocide

A Retrospect of Foreign Rule Over Armenia and the Massacres

Historical Armenia was located in the eastern portion of Asia Minor. Most of the land is .mountainous fertile valleys. The strategic location of the Armenian plateau between East and West, with its rich agricu land, rendered the territory prey to hostile tribes throughout history.

The classical theory of the origin of the Armenians describes how the Proto-Armenian Indo-Europeai Century BCE emigrants (Armenes) from Thrace (Jason) conquered the native Urartian and Nairi populations and gradually the process of acculturation united them into one culture and one people. The Urartian c Erebuni was founded in 782 BCE, the present day capital city of Armenia. The height of power was reached during the reign of Tigran II in 95¥55 BCE, when the boundaries of Armenia extended from the Mediterra to the Black and Caspian Seas. Since that time, the Armenians have been ruled by Medes, Persian Achaemenids, Romans, Greek Seleucids, Mongols, Ottoman Turks and the Soviet Union. The last c reigning kings, Levon VI, survived until 1375 CE. Three and a half decades before World War I, powerful upheavals, destroyed the foundations of Armenian society in the Ottoman Empire, specifically the Russo- Turkish War of 1877-1878, the Cholera Epidemics and the Famine of the 1880s.

The period after 1860 was characterized by political. movements. The Armenian population in the Russian Empire had experienced a social, educational, artistic and literary rebirth, which resulted in a desire to their oppressed brothers in the Ottoman Empire. Frustrated by the Ottomans' lack of reform, the Russiar Turkish Armenians established political parties to promote demands for security and liberty. The parties is publications and organized fighting units to promote revolutionary ideals and to defend against corrupt oft and Kurdish brigands in the interior. They also demonstrated in Ottoman cities, seeking reform.

On September 28, 1895, the Hunchag party staged a demonstration in Constantinople. Sultan Abdul Hamid II, angered at the European pressures for long-promised reforms in the Armenian provinces, launch merciless series of pogroms, ordering the extermination of the Armenians to settle the Armenian question.

The massacres began in Trebizond late in October 1895, and then proceeded methodically to Erzinga, Bayburt, Bitlis, Erzerum, Arapgir, Diyarbekir, Malatya, Kharpert, Sivas, Marsovan, Aintab, Marash, Kayseri. The Hamidiye cavalry would, without provocation, sweep down and slaughter the inhabitant commerce came to a standstill. Almost 200,000 Armenians died outright or of wounds, disease, expose starvation. Survivors were left destitute without food, water and shelter.

After the massacres of 1895 the Hunchag party was in disarray, and the initiative shifted to the rival Army Revolutionary Federation (Dashnak party). The Dashnaks used similar methods, but they aspired for political autonomy and security "within" the Ottoman Empire, rather than independence." Their first major demonstration was in Constantinople. On August 26, 1896, young Dashnak militants led by 17-year-old Papken Siumi, seized the Ottoman Imperial Bank in Constantinople in order to dramatize the Armenian l: In the next 36 hours, enraged mobs of Turks and Kurds killed 8,000-10,000 Armenians.

Hamidean Massacres of the mid 1890s, and the ensuing prolonged economic and political crisis spelle end of the populous Armenian towns and villages of Eastern Anatolia. The systematic massacres deportation of one million Armenians during World War I completed that devastation. During that p Armenian refugees found new homes in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Greece. By 1920, more 100,000 immigrants had established an important community in the United States.