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Azerbaijan: Table A. Chronology of Important Events
Country Study > Table A. Chronology of Important Events


Early History

95-55 B.C. - Armenian Empire reaches greatest size and influence under Tigran the Great.

66 B.C. - Romans complete conquest of Caucasus Mountains region, including Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Iberia.

30 B.C. - Romans conquer Armenian Empire.

A.D. 100-300 - Romans annex Azerbaijan and name it Albania.

ca. 310 - Tiridates III accepts Christianity for the Armenian people.

330 - King Marian III of Kartli-Iberia accepts Christianity for the Georgian people.

FIFTH-SEVENTH CENTURIES - First golden age of Armenian culture.

ca. 600 - Four centuries of Arab control of Azerbaijan begin, introducing Islam in seventh century.

645 - Arabs capture Tbilisi.

653 - Byzantine Empire cedes Armenia to Arabs.


806 - Arabs install Bagratid family to govern Armenia.

813 - Armenian prince Ashot I begins 1,000 years of rule in Georgia by Bagratid Dynasty.

862-977 - Second golden age of Armenian culture, under Ashot I and Ashot III.

ELEVENTH-FOURTEENTH CENTURIES - Byzantine Greeks invade Armenia from west, Seljuk Turks from east; Turkish groups wrest political control of Azerbaijan from Arabs, introducing Turkish language and culture.

1099-1125 - David IV the Builder establishes expanded Georgian Empire and begins golden age of Georgia.

1000-late 1200s - Golden age of Azerbaijani literature and architecture.

1100s-1300s - Cilician Armenian and Georgian armies aid European armies in Crusades to limit Muslim control of Holy Land.

1200-1400 - Mongols twice invade Azerbaijan, establishing temporary dynasties.

1375 - Cilician Armenia conquered by Mamluk Turks.

1386 - Timur (Tamerlane) sacks Tbilisi, ending Georgian Empire

Fifteenth Century - Most of modern Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia become part of Ottoman Empire.

Sixteenth Century

1501 - Azerbaijani Safavid Dynasty begins rule by Persian Empire.

1553 - Ottoman Turks and Persians divide Georgia between them.

Eighteenth Century

ca. 1700 - Russia begins moving into northern Azerbaijan as Persian Empire weakens.

1762 - Herekle II reunites eastern Georgian regions in kingdom of Kartli-Kakhetia.

Nineteenth Century

1801 - After Herekle II's appeal for aid, Russian Empire abolishes Bagratid Dynasty and begins annexation of Georgia.

1811 - Georgian Orthodox Church loses autocephalous status in Russification process.

1813 - Treaty of Gulistan officially divides Azerbaijan into Russian (northern) and Persian (southern) spheres.

1828 - Treaty of Turkmanchay awards Nakhichevan and area around Erevan to Russia, strengthening Russian control of Transcaucasus and beginning period of modernization and security.

1872 - Oil industry established around Baku, beginning rapid expansion.

1878 - "Armenian question" emerges at Congress of Berlin; disposition of Armenia becomes ongoing European issue.

1891 - First Armenian revolutionary party formed.

1895 - Massacre of 300,000 Armenian subjects by Ottoman Turks.

Twentieth Century

ca. 1900 - Radical political organizations begin to form in Azerbaijan.

1908 - Young Turks take over government of Ottoman Empire with reform agenda, supported by Armenian population.

1915 - Young Turks massacre 600,000 to 2 million Armenians; most survivors leave eastern Anatolia.

1917 - Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia form independent Transcaucasian federation. Tsar Nicholas II abdicates Russian throne; Bolsheviks take power in Russia.

1918 - Independent Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian states emerge from defeat of Ottoman Empire in World War I.

1920 - Red Army invades Azerbaijan and forces Armenia to accept communist-dominated government.

1921 - Red Army invades Georgia and drives out Zhordania government.

1922 - Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic combines Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia as single republic within Soviet Union.

1936 - Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia become separate republics within Soviet Union.

1936-37 - Purges under political commissar Lavrenti Beria reach their peak in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

1943 - Autonomy restored to Georgian Orthodox Church.

1946 - Western powers force Soviet Union to abandon Autonomous Government of Azerbaijan, formed in 1945 after Soviet occupation of northern Iran.

1959 - Nikita S. Khrushchev purges Azerbaijani Communist Party.

1969 Heydar Aliyev named head of Azerbaijani Communist Party.

ca. 1970 - Zviad Gamsakhurdia begins organizing dissident Georgian nationalists.

1972 - Eduard Shevardnadze named first secretary of Georgian Communist Party.

1974 - Moscow installs regime of Karen Demirchian in Armenia to end party corruption; regime later removed for corruption.

1978 - Mass demonstrations prevent Moscow from making Russian an official language of Georgia.

1982 - Aliyev of Azerbaijan named full member of Politburo of Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1985 - Shevardnadze named minister of foreign affairs of Soviet Union and leaves post as first secretary of Georgian Communist Party.

Late 1980s - Mikhail S. Gorbachev initiates policies of glasnost and perestroika throughout Soviet Union.

1988 - Armenian nationalist movement revived by Karabakh and corruption concerns.

February - Nagorno-Karabakh government votes to unify that autonomous region of Azerbaijan with Armenia.

December - Disastrous earthquake in northern Armenia heavily damages Leninakan (now Gyumri).


April - Soviet troops kill Georgian civilian demonstrators in Tbilisi, radicalizing Georgian public opinion.

Spring - Mass demonstrations in Armenia achieve release of Karabakh Committee arrested by Soviets to quell nationalist movement.

September - Azerbaijan begins blockade of Armenian fuel and supply lines over Karabakh issue.

Fall - Azerbaijani opposition parties lead mass protests against Soviet rule; national sovereignty officially proclaimed.

November - Nagorno-Karabakh National Council declares unification of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.


January - Moscow sends troops to Azerbaijan, nominally to stem violence against Armenians over Karabakh.

Spring - Levon Ter-Petrosian of Armenian Pannational Movement chosen chairman of Armenian Supreme Soviet.

October - In first multiparty election held in Georgia, Gamsakhurdia's oppositionist party crushes communists; Gamsakhurdia named president.


January - Georgian forces invade South Ossetia in response to independence movement there; fighting continues all year; Soviet troops invade Azerbaijan, ostensibly to halt anti-Armenian pogroms.

April - After referendum approval, Georgian parliament declares Georgia independent of Soviet Union.

May - Gamsakhurdia becomes first president of Georgia, elected directly in multiparty election.

August - Attempted coup against Gorbachev in Moscow fails.

September - Armenian voters approve national independence.

October - Azerbaijani referendum declares Azerbaijan independent of Soviet Union; Ter-Petrosian elected president of Armenia.

December - Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh declare independent state as fighting there continues; Soviet Union officially dissolved.


January - Gamsakhurdia driven from Georgia into exile by opposition forces.

March - Shevardnadze returns to Tbilisi and forms new government.

Spring - Armenian forces occupy Lachin corridor linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

June - Abulfaz Elchibey elected president of Azerbaijan and forms first postcommunist government there.

July - Cease-fire mediated by Russia's President Yeltsin in South Ossetia.

October - Parliamentary election held in Georgia; Shevardnazde receives overwhelming support.

Fall - Fighting begins between Abkhazian independence forces and Georgian forces; large-scale refugee displacement continues through next two years.

June - Military coup deposes Elchibey in Azerbaijan; Aliyev returns to power.

Fall - Multilateral negotiations seek settlement of Karabakh conflict, without result; fighting, blockade, and international negotiation continue into 1994.

October - Shevardnadze responds to deterioration of Georgian military position by having Georgia join Commonwealth of Independent States, thus gaining Russian military support; Aliyev elected president of Azerbaijan.

Data as of March 1994

Last Updated: March 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Azerbaijan was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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