Armenia officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun, [hɑjɑstɑˈni hɑnɾɑpɛtuˈtʰjun]), is a landlocked, mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.
Armenia is a unitary, multiparty, democratic nation-state with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its religion, in the early years of the 4th century (the traditional date is 301 AD). The modern Republic of Armenia recognizes the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment. Armenians have their own unique alphabet invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD.
A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is an emerging democracy and as of 2011 was negotiating with the European Union to become an associate member. It has the right to be an EU member provided it meets necessary standards and criteria. The Government of Armenia holds European integration as a key priority in its foreign policy as it is considered a European country by the European Union.
The native Armenian name for the country is Hayk’. The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Hayastan, by addition of the Iranian suffix -stan (place). The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk (Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, who according to the 5th century author Moses of Chorene defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC, and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain.
The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun inscription (515 BC) as Armina (Old Persian a.png Old Persian ra.png Old Persian mi.png Old Persian i.png Old Persian na.png). Ancient Greek Armenia, Αρμενια Αρμένιοι "Armenians" is first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus (476 BC). Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality. He relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendent of Hayk.