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The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The Republic of Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment.
Archaeological surveys in 20 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe, Several Bronze Age states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittites (at the height of their power), Mitanni (southwestern historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1500–1200 BC).
The Nairi people (12th to 9th centuries BC) and Urartu (1000–600 BC) successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highlands.
In the next centuries, Armenia was in the Persian Empire's sphere of influence during the reign of Tiridates I, the founder of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia, which itself was a branch of the Parthian Empire.
Throughout its history, the kingdom of Armenia enjoyed both periods of independence and periods of autonomy subject to contemporary empires.
The Republic of Armenia constitutes only one-tenth of historical Armenia.
Between the 16th century and 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires, repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries.