Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of love, sexual desire, knowledge, wisdom and combat. She was the goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk. She was one of the most widely venerated deities in the ancient Sumerian pantheon and her Akkadian and Babylonian equivalent was the goddess Ishtar. Several of her most important myths involve the story of her descent into and return from Kur, Inanna was the most prominent female deity in ancient Mesopotamia. As early as the Uruk period, Inanna was associated with the city of Uruk. The famous Uruk Vase depicts a row of naked men carrying various objects, bowls and baskets of farm products and this figure was ornately dressed for a divine marriage, and attended by a servant. Especially in the Uruk period, the symbol of a ring-headed doorpost is associated with Inanna, seal impressions from the Jemdet Nasr period show a fixed sequence of city symbols including those of Ur, Zabalam, Urum and probably Kesh. It is likely that this list reflects the report of contributions to Inanna at Uruk from cities supporting her cult and they had been used to lock storerooms to preserve materials set aside for her cult.
Inannas primary temple of worship was the Eanna, located in Uruk and her temple, the Eanna would seem to have been taken from Anu, the head of the Sumerian pantheon, prior to the rise of Enlil of Nippur. Inannas name derives from Lady of Heaven, the cuneiform sign of Inanna, however, is not a ligature of the signs lady and sky. The view that there was a Proto-Euphratean substrate language in Southern Iraq before Sumerian is not widely accepted by modern Assyriologists, Inanna was one of the most widely venerated deities in the Sumerian pantheon. Many shrines and temples dedicated to Inanna were built along the Tigris, the deity of this fourth-millennium city was probably originally An. After its dedication to Inanna the temple seems to have housed priestesses of the goddess, a Sacred Marriage to Inanna may have conferred legitimacy on a number of rulers of Uruk. Gilgamesh is reputed to have refused marriage to Inanna, on the grounds of her misalliance with such kings as Lugalbanda, Inannas symbol is an eight-pointed star or a rosette.
She was associated with lions – even a symbol of power – and was depicted standing on the backs of two lionesses. Her cuneiform ideogram was a twisted knot of reeds, representing the doorpost of the storehouse. Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, which at time was regarded as two stars, the morning star and the evening star. There are hymns to Inanna as her astral manifestation and it is believed that in many myths about Inanna, including Inannas Descent to the Underworld and Inanna and Shukaletuda, her movements correspond with the movements of Venus in the sky
Arachosia /ærəˈkoʊsiə/ is the Hellenized name of an ancient satrapy in the eastern part of the Achaemenid, Parthian, Greco-Bactrian, and Indo-Scythian empires. Arachosia was centred on the Arghandab valley in modern-day southern Afghanistan, the main river of Arachosia was called Arachōtós, now known as the Arghandab River, a tributary of the Helmand River. The Greek term Arachosia corresponds to the Aryan land of Harauti which was around modern-day Helmand, the Arachosian capital or metropolis was called Alexandria Arachosia or Alexandropolis and lay in what is today Kandahar in Afghanistan. Arachosia was a part of the region of ancient Ariana, Arachosia is the Latinized form of Greek Ἀραχωσία - Arachōsíā. The same region appears in the Avestan Vidēvdāt under the indigenous dialect form Haraxvaitī-, in Old Persian inscriptions, the region is referred to as
Babylonian religion is the religious practice of Babylonia. Babylonian mythology was influenced by their Sumerian counterparts, and was written on clay tablets inscribed with the cuneiform script derived from Sumerian cuneiform. The myths were usually written in Sumerian or Akkadian. Some Babylonian texts were translations into Akkadian from the Sumerian language of earlier texts, some of the stories of the Tanakh are believed to have been based on, influenced by, or inspired by the legendary mythological past of the Near East. Babylonian mythology is a set of stories depicting the activities of Babylonian deities and these stories served many social, ceremonial purposes, and at times tried to explain natural phenomena. Babylonian myths were greatly influenced by their Sumerian counterparts, and were written on clay tablets inscribed with the script derived from Sumerian cuneiform. The myths were usually written in Sumerian or Akkadian. Some Babylonian texts were translations into Akkadian from the Sumerian language of earlier texts.
Many Babylonian deities and religious writings are singular to that culture, for example, the Enûma Eliš, a creation myth epic was an original Babylonian work. Tablet fragments from the Neo-Babylonian period describe a series of festival celebrating the New Year. The Festival began on the first day of the first Babylonian month and this festival celebrated the re-creation of the Earth, drawing from the Marduk-centered creation story described in the Enûma Eliš. An elaborate ceremony of washing the mouths of the statues appeared sometime in the Old Babylonian period
Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with an estimated 8 million people in 2013, and an area of 143,100 km2. It is bordered by Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the south, the Republic of Uzbekistan to the west, the Kyrgyz Republic to the north, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan lies to the south, separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Traditional homelands of Tajik people included present-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, a civil war was fought almost immediately after independence, lasting from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability, Tajikistan is a presidential republic consisting of four provinces. Most of Tajikistans 8 million people belong to the Tajik ethnic group, many Tajiks speak Russian as their second language. Mountains cover more than 90% of the country and it has a transition economy that is highly dependent on remittances and cotton production. Tajikistan means the Land of the Tajiks, the suffix -stan is Persian for place of or country and Tajik is, most likely, the name of a pre-Islamic tribe.
Tajikistan appeared as Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan in English prior to 1991 and this is due to a transliteration from the Russian, Таджикистан. In Russian, there is no single letter j to represent the phoneme /ʤ/ and дж, Tadzhikistan is the most common alternate spelling and is widely used in English literature derived from Russian sources. Tadjikistan is the spelling in French and can occasionally be found in English language texts, the way of writing Tajikistan in the Perso-Arabic script is. The earliest recorded history of the dates back to about 500 BCE when much, if not all. After the regions conquest by Alexander the Great it became part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, northern Tajikistan was part of Sogdia, a collection of city-states which was overrun by Scythians and Yuezhi nomadic tribes around 150 BCE. The Silk Road passed through the region and following the expedition of Chinese explorer Zhang Qian during the reign of Wudi commercial relations between Han China and Sogdiana flourished.
Sogdians played a role in facilitating trade and worked in other capacities, as farmers, glassmakers. Later the Hephthalite Empire, a collection of tribes, moved into the region. Central Asia continued in its role as a crossroads, linking China, the steppes to the north. It was temporarily under the control of the Tibetan empire and Chinese from 650–680, the Samanid Empire,819 to 999, restored Persian control of the region and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara which became the cultural centres of Iran and the region was known as Khorasan. The Kara-Khanid Khanate conquered Transoxania and ruled between 999–1211, during Genghis Khans invasion of Khwarezmia in the early 13th century the Mongol Empire took control over nearly all of Central Asia
Sogdiana was a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great. In the Avesta, Sogdiana is listed as the second best land that the supreme deity Ahura Mazda had created and it comes second, after Airyanem Vaejah, homeland of the Aryans, in the Zoroastrian book of Vendidad, indicating the importance of this region from ancient times. Sogdiana was conquered by the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great in 328 BC and formed part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, the Sogdian states, although never politically united, were centred on the main city of Samarkand. Sogdiana lay north of Bactria, east of Khwarezm, and southeast of Kangju between the Oxus and the Jaxartes, embracing the valley of the Zeravshan. Sogdian territory corresponds to the provinces of Samarkand and Bokhara in modern Uzbekistan as well as the Sughd province of modern Tajikistan. During the High Middle Ages, Sogdian cities included sites stretching towards Issyk Kul such as that at the site of Suyab.
Sogdian, an Eastern Iranian language, is no longer a spoken language and it was widely spoken in Central Asia as a lingua franca and even served as one of the Turkic Khaganates court languages for writing documents. Sogdians lived in Imperial China and rose to prominence in the military. Sogdian merchants and diplomats traveled as far west as the Byzantine Empire and they played an important part as middlemen in the trade route of the Silk Road. The Sogdian conversion to Islam was virtually complete by the end of the Samanid Empire in 999, coinciding with the decline of the Sogdian language, as it was largely supplanted by Persian. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda, which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, according to Szemerényi, Sogdiana was named from the Skuda form. This large-scale migration included Eastern Iranian speaking peoples such as the Sogdians, Achaemenid ruler Cyrus the Great conquered Sogdiana while campaigning in Central Asia in 546–539 BC, a fact mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his Histories.
Darius I introduced the Aramaic writing system and coin currency to Central Asia, in addition to incorporating Sogdians into his army as regular soldiers. A contingent of Sogdian soldiers fought in the army of Xerxes I during his ultimately failed invasion of Greece in 480 BC. A Persian inscription from Susa claims that the palace there was adorned with lapis lazuli, given the absence of any named satraps for Sogdiana in historical records, modern scholarship has concluded that Sogdiana was governed from the satrapy of nearby Bactria. The satraps were often relatives of the ruling Persian kings, especially sons who were not designated as the heir apparent, Sogdiana likely remained under Persian control until roughly 400 BC, during the reign of Artaxerxes II. Rebellious states of the Persian Empire took advantage of the weak Artaxerxes II, persias massive loss of Central Asian territory is widely attributed to the rulers lack of control. However, unlike Egypt, which was recaptured by the Persian Empire
The Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. Emperor Kanishka was a patron of Buddhism, however, as Kushans expanded southward. The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, the Kushans possibly used the Greek language initially for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram, the Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, Aksumite Empire and Han China. The Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, in the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty pressed from the east. The last of the Kushan and Sasanian kingdoms were overwhelmed by invaders from the north.
Historian H. G. Rawlinson states that the Kushana Period is a prelude to the age of Guptas. Chinese sources describe the Guishuang, i. e, as the historian John E. Hill has put it, For well over a century. There have been arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Da Yuezhi and the Tochari. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì, Guìshuāng, Shuāngmǐ, Xìdùn, the Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu Kush, some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans in the area of Bactria and Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal, and in the palace of Khalchayan, various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers, and significantly men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan prince of Khalchayan. The Chinese first referred to people as the Yuezhi and said they established the Kushan Empire.
On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans are known to have built fortresses, the earliest documented ruler, and the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a tyrant on his coins, and exhibits skull deformation and he may have been an ally of the Greeks, and he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan emperor Kujula Kadphises, Ban Gus Book of Han tells us the Kushans divided up Bactria in 128 BC. He invaded Anxi, and took the Gaofu region and he defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin
Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, and about 75 km west of Andijan. It used to be called ferghana, during the Kushan empire, the ancient kingdom referred to as Dayuan in the Chinese chronicles is now generally accepted as being in the Ferghana Valley. It is sometimes, though less commonly, written as Dawan and it has been suggested that the name Yuan was simply a transliteration of the words “Yona”, or “Yavana”, used throughout antiquity in Asia to designate Greeks. The earliest Chinese visitor was the ambassador Zhang Qian, who passed through on his way to secure an alliance with the Da Yuezhi or Great Yuezhi against the Xiongnu. 123 says, Dayuan lies southwest of the territory of the Xiongnu, the people are settled on the land, plowing the fields and growing rice and wheat. They make out of grapes. The region has many fine horses which sweat blood, their forebears are supposed to have been foaled from heavenly horses, the people live in houses in fortified cities, there being some seventy or more cities of various sizes in the region.
The population numbers several hundred thousand, the people fight with bows and spears and can shoot from horseback. Dayuan is bordered on the north by Kangju, on the west by the kingdom of the Great Yuezhi, on the southwest by Daxia, on the northeast by the land of the Wusun, Da Yuan appears as a powerful state in both the Shiji and the Hanshu. However, after Xian, king of Yarkand, conquered it about the middle of the 1st century CE, the Hou Hanshu adds that Da Yuan sent tribute and offerings to the Chinese court in 130 CE along with Kashgar and Yarkand. After that, it is referred to as Liyi 栗弋, and is stated to be a dependency of Kangju. By the time of the Weilüe, the old capital, Alexandria Eschate, had become a kingdom called Northern Wuyi. Zoroastrian literature identifies the area as the Zoroastrian homeland and it was known as Özkent during Karakhanid rule. At Mirzas death in 1498, Babur became chief, although he was still a minor, during the expansion of Russia in the nineteenth century the Russians invaded Turkistan, gradually taking it over between 1855 and 1884.
They took the capital of the Kokand Khanate in 1873 and included it within what was named the Fergana Province of the Russian empire, modern Fergana city was founded in 1876 as a garrison town and colonial appendage to Margelan by the Russians. It was initially named New Margelan, renamed Skobelev in 1907 after the first Russian military governor of Fergana Valley. In 1924, after the Bolshevik reconquest of the region from basmachi rebels, the Fergana canal was constructed in the 1930s. Annual precipitation is less than 200mm, and is higher in winter, the population of Fergana is approximately 187,100
Aredvi Sura Anahita is Ardwisur Anahid or Nahid in Middle- and Modern Persian, Anahit or Anaheed in Armenian. The Greek and Roman historians of classical antiquity refer to her either as Anaïtis or identified her with one of the divinities from their own pantheons,270 Anahita, a silicaceous S-type asteroid is named after her. Only Arədevī is specific to the divinity and it might have been derived from Arya devi The words sūra and anāhīta are generic Avestan language adjectives, and respectively mean mighty and pure. Both adjectives appear as epithets of other divinities or divine concepts such as Haoma, both adjectives are attested in Vedic Sanskrit. In its old Iranian form *Harahvatī, her name was given to the region, rich in rivers and it might have been derived from the Goddess Sarasvati. In the Persian texts of the Sassanid and eras, Arədvī Sūra Anāhīta appears as Ardwisur Anāhīd, the evidence suggest a western Iranian origin of Anāhīta. She shares characteristics with Mat Zemlya in Slavic mythology and it was moreover the association with the planet Venus, it seems, which led Herodotus to record that the learnt to sacrifice to the heavenly goddess from the Assyrians and Arabians.
Ishtar apparently gave Aredvi Sura Anahita the epithet Banu, the Lady and it is completely unknown in the texts of the Avesta, but evident in Sassanid-era middle Persian inscriptions and in a middle Persian Zend translation of Yasna 68.13. Also in Zoroastrian texts from the post-conquest epoch, the divinity is referred to as Anahid the Lady, Ardwisur the Lady, according to Boyce, it is probable that there was once a Perso–Elamite divinity by the name of *Anahiti. It is likely that it was this divinity that was an analogue of Ishtar, and that it is this divinity with which Aredvi Sura Anahita was conflated. The cosmological qualities of the river are alluded to in Yasht 5, but properly developed only in the Bundahishn. In both texts, Aredvi Sura Anahita is not only a divinity, but the source of the world river and the world river itself. This source is at the top of the world mountain Hara Berezaiti, High Hara, around which the sky revolves and that is at the center of Airyanem Vaejah, the first of the lands created by Mazda.
The water and clear, flows through a hundred thousand golden channels towards Mount Hugar, on the summit of that mountain is Lake Urvis, the Turmoil, into which the waters flow, becoming quite purified and exiting through another golden channel. Another portion runs down to Vourukasha, the sea upon which the earth rests. In yet other chapters, the text equates the two, as in Ardwisur who is Anahid, the father and mother of the Waters and this legend of the river that descends from Mount Hara appears to have remained a part of living observance for many generations. A Greek inscription from Roman times found in Asia Minor reads the great goddess Anaïtis of high Hara, on Greek coins of the imperial epoch, she is spoken of as Anaïtis of the sacred water. Aredvi Sura Anahita is principally addressed in Yasht 5, known as the Aban Yasht, Yasna 65 is the third of the hymns recited at the Ab-Zohr, the offering to the waters that accompanies the culminating rites of the Yasna service
The Rabatak inscription is an inscription written on a rock in the Bactrian language and the Greek script, which was found in 1993 at the site of Rabatak, near Surkh Kotal in Afghanistan. The inscription relates to the rule of the Kushan emperor Kanishka and it was found by Afghan mujahideen digging a trench at the top of the site, along with several other stone sculptural elements such as the paws of a giant stone lion, which have disappeared since. An English relief worker of the Halo Trust demining organization working in this province reported the discovery and this photograph was sent to the British Museum, where its significance as an official document of the Kushan kings, naming four of these kings, was recognised by Joe Cribb. He determined it was a probably a similar to the famous one found at Surkh Kotal by the Delegation Archeologique Francaise en Afghanistan in the 1950s. He shared the photograph with one of the few able to read the Bactrian language, Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams from the School of Oriental.
More photographs arrived from the charity workers of the Halo Trust, and he *issued a Greek *edict he put it into Aryan. In the year one it has been proclaimed unto India, unto the *whole of the realm of the *kshatriyas, that them - both the. And the Saketa, and the Kausambi, and the Pataliputra, as far as the Sri-Campa - whatever rulers and other *important persons he had submitted to will, Then King Kanishka gave orders to Shafar the karalrang *at this. To make the sanctuary which is called B. ab, in the *plain of Ka. for these gods, *glorious Umma leads the *service here, the *lady Nana and the lady Umma, the gracious one, Narasa, Mihr. Then, as the king of kings, the devaputra, had given orders to do, Shafar the karalrang made this sanctuary. The karalrang, and Shafar the karalrang, and Nukunzuk the worship the command, *these gods who are written here - may they the king of kings, Kanishka the Kushan, for ever healthy, *secure, victorious. And the devaputra, the *ruler of all India from the one to the year *one *thousand, had *founded the sanctuary in the year one.
It was given to the and it was given to the. The king gave an *endowment to the gods, because of the civil war in Afghanistan years passed before further examination could be accomplished. In April 2000 the English historian Dr and it was eventually found in a store at the Department of Mines and Industry. In July 2000 Robert Kluijver travelled with a delegation of the Kabul Museum to Pul-i Khumri to retrieve the stone inscription and it was brought by car to Mazar-i Sharif and flown from there to Kabul. At the time the Taliban had a policy toward the preservation of Afghan cultural heritage. Today the Rabatak inscription is again on display in the reopened Afghan National Museum or Kabul Museum, the Rabatak site, again visited by Robert Kluijver in March 2002, has been looted and destroyed, reportedly by the local commander at Rabatak
Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan, is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world. Located in Central Asia, it is a unitary, presidential republic, comprising twelve provinces, one autonomous republic and a capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five landlocked countries, Kazakhstan to the north, Tajikistan to the southeast, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Once part of the Turkic Khaganate and Timurid Empires, the region that includes the Republic of Uzbekistan was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991, Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The countrys official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population, Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks and others.
A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims, Uzbekistan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, UN, and the SCO. While officially a republic, non-governmental human rights organizations define Uzbekistan as an authoritarian state with limited civil rights. Uzbekistans economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, uranium, despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which imports in favour of domestic import substitution. Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres and it is the 56th largest country in the world by area and the 42nd by population. Among the CIS countries, it is the 4th largest by area, Uzbekistan lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N, and longitudes 56° and 74° E. It stretches 1,425 kilometres from west to east and 930 kilometres from north to south, Uzbekistan shares a short border with Afghanistan to the south.
Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country and it is one of two doubly landlocked countries in the world, the other being Liechtenstein. In addition, due to its location within a series of endorheic basins, less than 10% of its territory is intensively cultivated irrigated land in river valleys and oases. The rest is vast desert and mountains, the climate in the Republic of Uzbekistan is continental, with little precipitation expected annually. The average summer high temperature tends to be 40 °C, while the winter low temperature is around −23 °C. Uzbekistan has a rich and diverse natural environment, the Aral Sea used to be the fourth-largest inland sea on Earth, acting as an influencing factor in the air moisture and arid land use. Since the 1960s, the decade when the misuse of the Aral Sea water began, it has shrunk to less than 50% of its former area, reliable, or even approximate data, have not been collected, stored or provided by any organization or official agency
Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its Supreme Being. Zoroastrianism was suppressed from the 7th century onwards following the Muslim conquest of Persia of 633-654, recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians at around 2.6 million, with most living in India and in Iran. Besides the Zoroastrian diaspora, the older Mithraic faith Yazdânism is still practised amongst Kurds, the religious philosophy of Zoroaster divided the early Iranian gods of Proto-Indo-Iranian tradition. The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, in Zoroastrianism, the creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu is an all-good father of Asha, in opposition to Druj and no evil originates from him. He and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas, Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto truth oppose the Spirits opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah. In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to be among those who renew the world. to make the progress towards perfection.
Its basic maxims include, Hukhta, which mean, Good Thoughts, Good Words, there is only one path and that is the path of Truth. Do the right thing because it is the thing to do. The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is, The Lord Creator and he proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe. He stated that human beings are given a right of choice, Zoroasters teachings focused on responsibility, and did not introduce a devil per se. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called Angra Mainyu, or angry spirit, post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, which was effectively a personification of Angra Mainyu. The name Zoroaster is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra and he is known as Zartosht and Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati. The Zoroastrian name of the religion is Mazdayasna, which combines Mazda- with the Avestan language word yasna, meaning worship, in English, an adherent of the faith is commonly called a Zoroastrian or a Zarathustrian.
An older expression still used today is Behdin, meaning The best Religion | Beh < Middle Persian Weh + Din < Middle Persian dēn < Avestan Daēnā. In Zoroastrian liturgy the term is used as a title for an individual who has formally inducted into the religion in a Navjote ceremony. The term Mazdaism /ˈmæzdə. ɪzəm/ is a typical 19th century construct, taking Mazda- from the name Ahura Mazda, the March 2001 draft edition of the Oxford English Dictionary records an alternate form, perhaps derived from the French Mazdéisme, which first appeared in 1871. In older English sources, the terms Gheber and Gueber were used to refer to Zoroastrians, Zoroastrian philosophy is identified as having been known to Italian Renaissance Europe through an image of Zoroaster in Raphaels School of Athens by Giorgio Vasari in 1550. The Oxford English Dictionary records use of the term Zoroastrianism in 1874 in Archibald Sayces Principles of Comparative Philology, Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, supreme god, Ahura Mazda, or the Wise Lord
Bactria or Bactriana was the name of a historical region in Central Asia. Bactria was located between the Hindu Kush mountain range and the Amu Darya river, covering the region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The English name Bactria is derived from the Ancient Greek, Βακτριανή, analogous names include the Pashto and Persian, باختر, translit. Bākhtar, Uzbek, Балх, Tajik, Бохтар, Chinese, 大夏, pinyin, Dàxià and this region played a major role in Central Asian history. At certain times the political limits of Bactria stretched far beyond the frame of the Bactrian plain. The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia. 2200–1700 BC, located in present-day eastern Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya and its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. The early Greek historian Ctesias, c.400 BC, alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in ca.2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War.
Since the decipherment of cuneiform in the 19th century, according to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-Iranian tribes who moved south-west into Iran and into north-western India around 2500–2000 BC. Later, it became the province of the Persian Empire in Central Asia. It was in these regions, where the soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turanian desert. After Darius III had been defeated by Alexander the Great, the satrap of Bactria, Bessus attempted to organise a resistance but was captured by other warlords. He was tortured and killed, however, in the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war and an insurgency campaign, Alexander managed to establish little control over Bactria. After Alexanders death, Diodorus Siculus tells us that Philip received dominion over Bactria, at the Treaty of Triparadisus, both Diodorus Siculus and Arrian agree that the satrap Stasanor gained control over Bactria. Eventually, Alexanders empire was divided up among the generals in Alexanders army, Bactria became a part of the Seleucid Empire, named after its founder, Seleucus I.
The Macedonians, especially Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I, established the Seleucid Empire, the Greek language became dominant for some time there. The paradox that Greek presence was more prominent in Bactria than in areas far closer to Greece can possibly be explained by past deportations of Greeks to Bactria