SYUNIK

Syunik (Armenian: Սյունիք, also transliterated as Siunik, or Siwnik, Armenian pronunciation: [sjuˈnikʰ]) is the southernmost province (marz) ofArmenia. It borders the Vayots Dzor marz to the north, Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic exclave to the west, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to the east, and Iran to the south. Its capital is Kapan. Other important cities and towns include GorisSisianMeghriAgarak, andDastakert. The National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (ARMSTAT) reported its population was 152,900 in 2010, up from 152,684 at the 2001 census.

Historically, Syunik was one of the 15 provinces of the Kingdom of Armenia. At various times, the region of present-day Syunik has also been known by other names such as SyuniaSisakan, and Zangezur. The area's many Armenian cultural sites (such as the Tatev monastery) testify to its rich history.

Inscriptions found in the region around Lake Sevan attributed to King Artaxias I confirm that in the 2nd century BC the District of Syunik constituted part of the Ancient Armenia.

The first dynasty to rule Syunik was the Siunia Dynasty, beginning in the 1st century. The first known Naxarar ruler was Valinak Siak (c. 330) and his successor was his brother Andok or Andovk (Antiochus, c. 340). In 379 Babik (Bagben) the son of Andok, was re-established as a Naxarar by theMamikonian family. Babik had a sister called Pharantzem who had married the Arsacid Prince Gnel, nephew of the Armenian King Arsaces II (Arshak II) and later married Arsaces II as her second husband. Babik’s rule lasted for less than ten years and by about 386 or 387, Dara was deposed by the Sassanid Empire.

Valinak (c. 400–409) was followed by Vasak (409–452). Vasak had two sons: Babik (Bagben), Bakur and a daughter who married Vasak’s successor, Varazvahan (452–472). Varazvahan’s son Gelehon ruled from 470–477, who died in 483. Babik (Bagben) the brother of Varazvahan became the new Naxarar in 477. Hadz the brother of Gelehon died on September 25 482. The Syunik Province was later governed by Vahan (c. 570), Philip (Philipo, c. 580), Stephen (Stephanos, c. 590–597), Sahak (Isaac, c. 597) and Grigor (Gregory, until 640).

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The town Kajaran

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Thatev monastery complex XIII-XIVss

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Bgheno-Noravank church X-XIss