The Greeks (endoethnonym: ELLINES). A nation of the Indo-European origin, carrier of a very ancient culture called the Hellenic, which has deeply influenced the world civilization. The majority of the Greeks, both in the Greek Republic, the parent state, and in the Diaspora, confess Orthodoxy. The Greek Orthodox Church has traditionally good and close relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Greek population of Transcaucasia emerged as a result of several waves of migrations having started mainly in 2nd to 1st centuries B.C. and continued on until 13th century, i.e. the period of the Seljuk and Mongol invasions. Nonetheless, the core of the Hellenic ethnic element in Georgia and Armenia are descendants of the mining workers invited in late 18th century to Armenia and partially relocated to Central Georgia in the 1820s, as well as migrants from Asia Minor and the inner Turkey. Armenia’s Greeks, as in the whole of Transcaucasia, speak the Pontic dialect, an extension of the Ionic dialect of the Old Greek language. A certain layer is occupied by the migrants from Trabzon city and Kars region in the 19th – 20th cc. (endoethnonym: ROMEYUS). All Armenia’s Greeks are fluent in both Armenian and Russian. The Greek population in Armenia today is about 6 000, with 300 in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. The main areas of Greek residence in Armenia are the canyon of Alaverdi and the Lori Highland, as well as Yerevan, the capital, the cities Noyemberian and Giumri. In Karabakh the Greeks mostly inhabited the village of Mehmana of Mardakert Region, which was burnt to the ground by the Azerbaijans during the war. Today, part of that community, over 200 persons, have been relocated to Stepanakert, Mardakert, Shooshi, Mataghis and other locations in Karabakh. The chief domain of Greeks’ activities in Armenia are agriculture, horticulture and handicrafts, in the cities they make part of the skilled labour, particularly in copper mining industry. A significant percentage of the city dwellers belong to the science and engineering community. Participation in the power structure, the governmental entities as well as in the public and political sphere is also quite appreciable.
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