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Transoxiana
Transoxiana
(also spelled Transoxania), known in Arabic sources as Mā warāʼ an-Nahr (Arabic: ما وراء النهر‎ Arabic pronunciation: [ˈmaː waˈraːʔ anˈnahr] – 'what [is] beyond the [Oxus] river') and in Persian as Farārūd (Persian: فرارود‬‎, Persian pronunciation: [fæɾɒːɾuːd]—'beyond the [Amudarya] river'), is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya
Amu Darya
(Ancient Greek: Ώξος Ốxos) and Syr Darya
Syr Darya
rivers.[1] The area had been known to the Romans as Transoxania (Land beyond the Oxus), to the Arabs as Mā warāʼ an-Nahr (Land Beyond the River), and to the Iranians as Turan, a term used in the Persian national epic Shahnameh.[2] The region was one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid dynasty
Achaemenid dynasty
of Persia under the name Sogdiana. Early Arab
Arab
geographers named it "Bilād al-Turk" or "Turkestan", both of which mean 'the lands of the Turks'.[3] History[edit]

A Chinese sancai ceramic statuette depicting a Sogdian stableman, dated to the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
(AD 618–907)

The name Transoxiana
Transoxiana
stuck in Western consciousness because of the exploits of Alexander the Great, who extended Greek culture into the region with his invasion in the 4th century BC; Transoxiana
Transoxiana
was the most north-eastern point of the Hellenistic culture until the Arab invasion. During the Sassanid
Sassanid
Empire, it was often called Sogdiana, a provincial name taken from the Achaemenid Empire, and used to distinguish it from nearby Bactria. The Chinese explorer Zhang Qian, who visited the neighbouring countries of Bactria
Bactria
and Parthia
Parthia
along with Transoxiana
Transoxiana
in 126 BC, made the first known Chinese report on this region. Zhang Qian
Zhang Qian
clearly identifies Parthia
Parthia
as an advanced urban civilisation that farmed grain and grapes, made silver coins and leather goods.[4] It was ruled successively by Seleucids, the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, the Parthian Empire and the Kushan Empire
Kushan Empire
before Sassanid
Sassanid
rule. In Sassanid
Sassanid
times, the region became a major cultural and scientific centre due to the wealth derived from the Northern Silk Road. Sassanid rule was interrupted by the Hephthalite
Hephthalite
invasion at the end of the 5th century and didn't return to the Sassanids until 565. Many Persian nobles and landlords escaped to this region after the Muslim invasion. Before the Muslim invasion it was also ruled by Göktürks. After that it was ruled by Tang China until the Arab
Arab
conquest between 705 and 715, the area became known as Mā warāʼ al-Nahr (Arabic, 'what is beyond the river'), sometimes rendered as "Mavarannahr". Transoxiana's major cities and cultural centres are Samarkand
Samarkand
and Bukhara. Both are in the southern portion of Transoxiana
Transoxiana
(though still to the north of the Amu Darya
Amu Darya
itself, on the river Zeravshan), and the majority of the region was dry but fertile plains. Both cities remained centres of Persian culture and civilisation after the Islamic conquest of Iran, and played a crucial role in the revival of Persian culture with establishment of the Samanid dynasty. Part of this region was conquered by Qutayba ibn Muslim
Qutayba ibn Muslim
between 706 and 715 and loosely held by the Umayyads
Umayyads
from 715 to 738. The conquest was consolidated by Nasr ibn Sayyar
Nasr ibn Sayyar
between 738 and 740, and continued under the control of the Umayyads
Umayyads
until 750, when it was replaced by the Abbasids. The Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
also controlled the eastern part of the region until about the same time, when a civil war known as the An Lushan Rebellion occurred. Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire, invaded Transoxiana
Transoxiana
in 1219 during his conquest of Khwarezm. Before his death in 1227, he assigned the lands of Western Central Asia
Central Asia
to his second son Chagatai, and this region became known as the Chagatai Khanate. In 1369, Timur, of the Barlas
Barlas
tribe, became the effective ruler and made Samarkand
Samarkand
the capital of his future empire. Transoxiana
Transoxiana
was known to be flourishing in the mid-14th century.[5] See also[edit]

Greater Khorasan Khwarezm Turan Hisar-i Shadman

References and notes[edit]

^ "Transoxania (historical region, Asia)". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-11-10.  ^ Sabloff, Paula L.W. (2011). Mapping Mongolia: Situating Mongolia in the World from Geologic Time to the Present. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. p. 62. ISBN 1934536180. OCLC 794700604.  ^ Soucek, Svat (2000). A History of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 25. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511991523. ISBN 9780521657044.  ^ Silk Road, North China, C. Michael Hogan, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A. Burnham (2007) ^

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