Azerbaijan is the largest and most populous of the countries of the Caucasus. Of the other two, georgia is to the north and armenia to the south. The other southern neighbour is iran, which now includes much of the larger Azerbaijan of former times.
Like Armenia, Azerbaijan underwent—and still bears the marks of—a succession of invasions, including Romans, Persians, Arabs, Mongols, and Turks, the last of whom dominated the country from the 11th century. In recent times, Azerbaijan was a republic in the Soviet Union. Around 70 per cent of the present population are of Tatar stock, speak a language related to Turkish, and are Muslims.