The southern border of Greater Historic Armenia, which covered an area of about 350,000 square km, shared a border with Assyrians. Both the Armenians and Assyrian were among the first peoples to convert to Christianity. Today, a few thousand Armenians live in the Assyrian homeland, and about three thousand Assyrians live in Armenia.
The Assyrian-Armenian interrelations and interactions history numbers many centuries, both in pre-Christian and post-Christian era. According to the legend, the Armenian patriarch Hayk defeated the evil Assyrian ruler Bel in an epic battle, in order to win his people's freedom. He named this territory Hayastan, and the Armenians are still using this name. This legend is a part of Armenia’s rich and storied history, where Armenian heroes fought against evil invaders and conquerors for their freedom. There is also the story of the Armenian king Ara the Beautiful who refused Assyrian Queen Semiramis’s offer to a marriage and become king of the world. Semiramis outraged by Ara’s refusal, wages a war against Armenia and demands Ara’s capture alive.
Today, several thousands of Armenians live in villages in Syria, Iraq, Iran that have Assyrian population as well, however their number have been decreased significantly after the Iraqi war in 2003 and the Syrian Crisis/revolution that has started in 2011 as most of them migrated back to Armenia after Armenian government granted them Armenian citizenship, some Assyrians of Syria and Iraq have also migrated to Sweden and Australia legally to run away from Iraqi war and Syrian Crisis. There are also three thousand Assyrians that live in Republic of Armenia. After Armenians obtained their independence in 1991 and started to lead their country towards joining European Union, and after most of secular, 'Christian-friendly' regimes in the Arab countries have started to collapse and are becoming replaced with Islamic, Shari'ah based governments, Assyrians have started to migrate to Armenia. Though low in numbers, Assyrians living in Armenia have complete and full rights with citizenship compared to in the Islamic nations.
The Armenians and Assyrians both suffered a genocide within the Ottoman empire. The genocides were committed against mostly the Christian populations of the Ottoman Empire, which also included the Greek Pontic population.
- Assyrians and Armenians: The history of interrelations and interactions for centuries.
- Burning Tigris, The: The Armenian Genocide and America's Awakening to International Human Rights By Peter Balakian