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ARIANA, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek Ἀρ(ε)ιανή _Ar(e)ianē_ (inhabitants: _Ariani_; Ἀρ(ε)ιανοί _Ar(e)ianoi_), was a general geographical term used by some Greek and Roman authors of the ancient period for a district of wide extent between Central Asia and the Indus River
Indus River
, comprehending the eastern provinces of the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
that covered the whole country of modern day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
, and a few parts of India
India
, Pakistan
Pakistan
, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
, Iran
Iran
, Turkmenistan , and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
.

At various times, various parts of the region were governed by the Persians (the Achaemenids from 550 to 330 BC, the Sasanians from 275 to 650 AD and the Indo-Sasanians from 345 to 450 AD), the Macedonians (the Seleucids from 330 to 250 BC, the Greco- Bactrians from 250 to 110 BC and the Indo- Greeks
Greeks
from 155 to 90 BC), Iranian peoples from Persia and Central Asia (the Parthians from 160 BC to 225 AD, the Indo-Scythians from 90 BC to 20 AD, the Indo- Parthians from 20 to 225 AD and the Kushans from 110 BC to 225 AD), the Xionites (the Kidarites from 360 to 465 AD and the Hephthalites from 450 to 565 AD) and Indian empires (the Mauryans from 275 to 185 BC).

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 Extent of Ariana
Ariana

* 2.1 Inhabitants of Ariana
Ariana

* 3 See also * 4 References * 5 Further reading * 6 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The Greek term _Arianē_ (Latin: _Ariana_) is based upon an Iranian word found in Avestan _Airiiana-_ (especially in Airyanem Vaejah , the name of the Iranian peoples ' mother country). The modern name _Iran _ represents a different form of the ancient name _Ariana_ which derived from Airyanem Vaejah and implies that Iran
Iran
is “the” Ariana itself – a word of Old Iranian origin – a view supported by the traditions of the country preserved in the Muslim writers of the ninth and tenth centuries. The Greeks
Greeks
also referred to Haroyum/Haraiva ( Herat
Herat
) as 'Aria', which is one of the many provinces found in Ariana.

The names _Ariana_ and _Aria_, and many other ancient titles of which _Aria_ is a component element, are connected with the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term _Arya- _, the Avestan term _Airya-_, and the Old Persian term _Ariya-_, a self designation of the peoples of Ancient India
India
and Ancient Iran
Iran
, meaning "noble", "excellent" and "honourable".

EXTENT OF ARIANA

The exact limits of Ariana
Ariana
are laid down with little accuracy in classical sources. It seems to have been often confused (as in Pliny , _ Naturalis Historia _, book vi, chapter 23) with the small province of Aria .

As a geographical term, Ariana
Ariana
was introduced by the Greek geographer, Eratosthenes (c. 276 BC – c. 195 BC), and was fully described by the Greek geographer Strabo (64/63 BC – ca. AD 24).

Per Eratosthenes' definition, the borders of Ariana
Ariana
were defined by the Indus River
Indus River
in the east, the sea in the south, a line from Carmania to the Caspian Gates in the west, and the so-called Taurus Mountains in the north. This large region included almost all of the countries east of Media and ancient Persia
Persia
, including south of the great mountain ranges up to the deserts of Gedrosia and Carmania, i.e. the provinces of Carmania, Gedrosia, Drangiana , Arachosia , Aria , the Paropamisadae ; also Bactria was reckoned to Ariana
Ariana
and was called "the ornament of Ariana
Ariana
as a whole" by Apollodorus of Artemita .

After having described the boundaries of Ariana, Strabo writes that the name Αρειανή could also be extended to part of the Persians and the Medes and also to the northwards Bactrians and the Sogdians . A detailed description of that region is to be found in Strabo's _ Geographica _, Book XV – "Persia, Ariana, the Indian subcontinent", chapter 2, sections 1–9.

By Herodotus Ariana
Ariana
is not mentioned, nor is it included in the geographical description of Stephanus of Byzantium and Ptolemy
Ptolemy
, or in the narrative of Arrian .

Having considered these various sources, Ariana
Ariana
includes modern-day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
- Pakistan
Pakistan
regions( Bactria , Arachosia , Aria , Drangiana and the Paropamisadae ), east and southeast Iran
Iran
(Carmania and Gedrosia ), most of Tajikistan
Tajikistan
( Sogdiana
Sogdiana
), most of Turkmenistan ( Margiana ), south Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
(parts of Sogdiana
Sogdiana
) and extending to the Indus River
Indus River
in India
India
and Pakistan
Pakistan
.

INHABITANTS OF ARIANA

The tribes by whom Ariana
Ariana
was inhabited, as enumerated by Strabo were:

* Arachoti ; * Arii ; * Bactrians ; * Drangae ; * Gedrosii ; * Paropamisadae ; * Parthians ; * Persians * Sogdians .

Pliny (vi. 25) specifies the following tribes:

* Angutturi; * Arii ; * the inhabitants of Daritis; * Dorisci; * Drangae; * Evergetae; * Gedrussi ; * Ichthyophagi ; * Methorici; * Pasires; * Urbi; * Zarangae .

Pliny (vi. 23) says that some add to India
India
four satrapies to the west of the river, – the Gedrosii, Arachosii, Arii, and Paropamisadae, as far as the river Cophes (the river Kabul ). Pliny therefore agrees on the whole with Strabo. Dionysius Periegetes (1097) agrees with Strabo in extending the northern boundary of the Ariani to the Paropamisus , and (714) speaks of them as inhabiting the shores of the Erythraean Sea . It is probable, from Strabo (xv. p.724), that the term was extended to include the east Persians, Bactrians, and Sogdians, with the people of Ariana
Ariana
below the mountains, because they were for the most part of one speech.

Rüdiger Schmitt, the German scholar of Iranian Studies, also believes that Ariana
Ariana
should have included other Iranian people . He writes in the _ Encyclopædia Iranica _:

_Eratosthenes’ use of this term (followed by Diodorus 2.37.6) is obviously due to a mistake, since, firstly, not all inhabitants of these lands belonged to the same tribe and, secondly, the term "Aryan " originally was an ethnical one and only later a political one as the name of the Iranian empire (for all North Indians and Iranians designated themselves as "Aryan"; See Aryan ), thus comprising still other Iranian tribes outside of Ariana
Ariana
proper, like Medes, Persians or Sogdians (so possibly in Diodorus 1.94.2, where Zarathushtra is said to have preached Ahura Mazdā 's laws "among the Arianoi")._ — R. Schmitt, 1986

SEE ALSO

* Arianus * Avestan geography * Āryāvarta * Greater Khorasan * Arya (Buddhism)

REFERENCES

* ^ Pliny , Naturalis Historia , book vi, page 23 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Smith, William (1980). "Ariana". _Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography_. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. pp. 210–211. Retrieved 2013-05-10. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Schmitt, R. (1986). "Aria". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2013-05-10. * ^ Lewis, Charlton T.; Short, Charles. "Ărĭāna". _A Latin Dictionary_. Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 2013-05-10.