The Armenian civilization had its beginnings nearly 5,000 years ago. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat. The name Armenia was given to the country by the surrounding states, and it is traditionally derived from Armenak or Aram (the great-grandson of Haik s great-grandson, and another leader who is, according to Armenian tradition, the ancestor of all Armenians).
The Iron Age kingdom of Ararat was replaced by the Orontid dynasty. Following Persian and Macedonian rule, the Artaxiad dynasty from 190 BC gave rise to the Kingdom of Armenia which rose to the peak of its influence under Tigranes II before falling under Roman rule.