Armenian Colonies

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Armenian Colonies


settlements of Armenians in many countries of the world. They occurred as the result of mass migrations and expulsions of Armenians from Armenia in connection with continual wars in Armenian territory and severe economic, national, and religious oppression by foreign invaders. Until the beginning of the fifth century, Armenian colonies grew up in countries of the Near East. Subsequently, as a result of Arab rule (seventh to ninth centuries) and invasions by the Seljuks (11th century), the emigrations became more massive, spreading to Europe, the cities of the Golden Horde, the Crimea, Poland, and the Ukraine. In the 11th to 14th centuries the number of Armenians increased in Byzantium, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, and large Armenian colonies were formed in Galicia, Moldavia, Hungary, and other areas. In the 14th century the emigration of Armenians increased abroad to Georgia, Asia Minor, Russia, and the Crimea. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Armenians founded the city of New Julfa in Iran. Trading companies of this large Armenian colony were linked with many countries of the world. At the beginning of the 18th century, many Armenians emigrated from Iran to India, China, Burma, the Philippines, and Java. In Russia, Armenian colonies existed in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Astrakhan, and the Northern Caucasus. In 1778–79, Armenians founded the town of New Nakhichevan and some villages at the mouth of the Don. The social and political life of the Armenian colonies was active, and schools, printing houses, and theaters were established in them. The colonies played an important role in the development of Armenian culture and literature. In 1512, Armenian books began to be printed in Venice. The Armenian colonies played a large role in the liberation movement of the Armenian people.

During World War I (1914–18), the Turkish government carried out a massive slaughter in western Armenia and deported 600,000 Armenians to Syria and Iraq. Some of the survivors settled in Egypt and countries of the Near East, and the rest went to Europe and America. At the same time, more than 350,000 Armenians fled to Russia—most of them to the Caucasus. The toiling masses in the Armenian colonies abroad welcomed the establishment of the Soviet government in Armenia, and through the Armenia Relief Committee they helped to rehabilitate the republic’s economy. During World War II (1939–45), progressive Armenians from colonies in France, Rumania, Bulgaria, and other countries took up arms against fascism and organized the collection of resources for building up the armored columns of the Soviet Army. From 1924 to 1936 and from 1946 to 1967 about 200,000 Armenians have been repatriated to the Armenian SSR. At present large Armenian colonies exist in the United States, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, France, Syria, Argentina, the United Arab Republic, Jordan, Bulgaria, Iraq, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and other countries. All Armenian colonies have their own Armenian schools and social organizations and publish their own books, magazines, and newspapers.


Ter-Mkrtichian, L. Kh. Armiane ν stranakh arabskogo Vostoka nasovremennom etape. Moscow, 1965.
Abrahamian, A. G. Hamarod urvagidz hay gaghtakanutiyan batmutian, vols. 1–2. Yerevan, 1964–67.
Alboyadjian, A. Batmutiyun hay gaghtakanutiyan. Gahire, 1941.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
the Kipchak Turkie texts in Armenian script from the Podolian Armenian colonies of Eastern Poland in the sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries.

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