The 10th province of Greater Armenia Artsakh (Արցախ), Tsavdeits province, Minor Syunik, included the eastern part of the reservoir of Lake Sevan (Tsavdek or Sodk) before the 4th century.
The lands of Artsakh mainly belonged to the Kur river’s reservoir while its south was a part of the Araks’ (Eraskh) reservoir, except for the eastern and southern regions, which were a part of the Mili field.
The territory of the province was mostly mountainous (with the Artsakh or Karabakh mountain chain and the mountain range of Mravi). It bordered Utik from the north and east, Paytakaran from the south, and Syunik from the west.
According to the ancient Armenian map Ashkharatsuyts, Artsakh had 12 districts – Myus Khaband, Vaykunik, Berdzor or Lachin, Metsirank, Metskuank (Mets Kvenk), Kharchlank (Khardzhlank), Mukhanq, Piank, Patskank (Partskanc), Kusti Parnes, Sisikani Kotak, and Koght.
Artsakh was one of the oldest cultural centers of Armenia. Having joined the Kingdom of Van in the first half of the 8th century BC, the region remained a part of the subsequent Armenian states under the Orontid (Eruandid), Artashesian, and Arshacid dynasties.
After the collapse of Greater Armenia in 387, Artsakh was a part of the Eastern Armenian Kingdom until 428. Subsequently, it was a part of the Armenian province.
In 451, in an effort to weaken Armenia, Artsakh and some other regions were withdrawn from the Armenian province and connected to the Caucasian Albania (Աղվանք) by the Persian royal court.
Despite this, Artsakh continued to be Armenian land, representing an important part of Eastern Armenia, the population of which actively participated in its national life and resisted the raids of foreign conquerors under the princely clan of the Aranshaghik (Eranshaghik),
In the 10th century, when the political center of the region was moved to the Khachenaget (Խաչենագետ) valley, the name Artsakh was replaced by Khachen. In the 13th-14th centuries, it was more known under the name Karabakh (Ղարաբաղ). The “Artsakh” toponym was brought back to use in 1988.
by G. Badalyan