Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental
The Tura River known as Dolgaya River is a important Siberian river which flows eastward from the central Ural Mountains into the Tobol River, a part of the Ob River basin. The main town on it is Tyumen. From about 1600 to 1750 the Tura River was the main entry point into Siberia. Most people and goods entering or leaving passed through the customs house at Verkhoturye. There are a number of mining towns in the upper Tura basin, it is located in the Sverdlovsk Tyumen Oblast in Russia. It is 1,030 kilometres long with a drainage basin of 80,400 square kilometres; the Tura River is navigable within 753 kilometres of its mouth. It freezes up in late October through November and stays under the ice until April or the first half of May; the Tura basin is bounded on the west by the Ural Mountains with the city of Perm, on the north by the Tavda River basin, on the east by the Tobol River with the city of Tobolsk and on the south by the Iset River basin with the city of Yekaterinburg. The Tura flows north through Verkhnyaya Tura and Nizhnyaya Tura, receives an east-flowing river from the mining town of Kachkanar, flows east past Verkhoturye, turns east-southeast, receives the Tagil River from the west, passes Turinsk, receives the east-flowing Nitsa River, passes Tyumen, turns directly east, receives the east-flowing Pyshma River from the south and joins the Tobol River southwest of Tobolsk.
The Tura basin is fan-shaped with the Tura on the Pyshma River on the south. It is the birthplace of the Russian peasant and mystic Grigori Rasputin
Öz Beg Khan
Sultan Mohammed Öz Beg, better known as Uzbeg or Ozbeg, was the longest-reigning khan of the Golden Horde, under whose rule the state reached its zenith. He was succeeded by his son Jani Beg, he was the son of Toghrilcha and grandson of Mengu-Timur, khan of the Golden Horde from 1267–1280. Öz Beg's father Togrilcha was one of the Genghisid princes. He was executed by Tokhta. Tokhta took Togrilcha's wife and sent his son Öz Beg to exile in a distant region of the Golden Horde: either Khorazm or the country of Circassians. Converted to Islam by Ibn Abdul Hamid, a Sufi Bukharan sayyid and sheikh of the Yasavi order, Öz Beg assumed the throne upon the death of his uncle Tokhta in January 1313 with the help of the former Khans' vizier Temur Qutlugh and of Bulaghan khatun. At first, many Mongol nobles organized a plot to kill the new khan. Öz Beg crushed the rebels. His adoption of Islam as a state religion led to a conspiracy of Shamanist and Buddhist princes, whom he subdued severely. Öz Beg determinedly spread Islam among the Golden Horde and allowed missionary activities to expand in the surrounding regions.
Öz Beg found out that his competitor was backed by the envoys of the Great Khan Ayurbarwada Buyantu and this fact helped deteriorate his relationship with the Yuan Dynasty. The last of his rebellious relatives was shamanist Ilbasan of the eastern half of the Golden Horde, murdered in 1320. Öz Beg installed the Muslim Mubarak Khwaja as a replacement to the throne of the White Horde, but he discouraged their independence. In the long run, Islam enabled the Khan to eliminate inter-factional struggles in the Horde and to stabilize state institutions. Russian scholar Lev Gumilev wrote that in this manner was Öz Beg able to turn the khanate into a sultanate. Khan Öz Beg urged the Mongol elite to convert to Islam, but at the same time, he preserved the lives of Christians and pagans such as Russians, Alans, Finno-Ugric people, Crimean Greeks as long as they continued to pay the jizyah in subjection to Islamic rule. From Öz Beg onwards, the khans of the Golden Horde were all Muslim. Öz Beg was tolerant of Christians as exemplified by a letter of thanks he received from Pope John XXII in which the Christian leader thanked Öz Beg for his kind treatment of Christians.
Öz Beg had sent a letter to the Metropolitan Peter which stated:By the will and power, the greatness and most high! Let no man insult the metropolitan church of which Peter is head, or his service or his churchman, their laws, their churches and monasteries and chapels shall be respected. Öz Beg maintained one of the largest armies in the world. He employed his military clout to conduct campaigns against the Ilkhanate in Azerbaijan in 1319, 1325 and 1335. Ilkhanid commander Chupan repulsed one Öz Beg's first two attempts and invaded deep into the Jochid Ulus in 1325. Öz Beg found an ally against the Ilkhanids in Mamluk Egypt. The Khan had the daughter of previous Khan's sister, Princess Tulunbuya, married to a Mamluk sultan, but she died soon after and Öz Beg was disappointed. In 1323, a peace treaty was signed between the Ilkhanate; this situation nullified the alliance and the Mamluks refused to invade the Ilkhanate. Öz Beg's next incursion coincided with Abu Said's death. However, the weather turned bad and the new Ilkhan Arpa Ke'un came with a large force.
Prior to and during the Esen Buqa–Ayurbarwada war, Chagatai Khan Esen Buqa I attempted to gain the support of Öz Beg Khan against Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire and the Emperor of the Yuan dynasty, in 1313 and 1316. Esen Buqa warned Öz Beg that the Great Khan would overthrow him from the throne of the Horde and install another Khan from the Jochids instead, but Öz Beg's vizier convinced him not to believe this and the Khan refused to help Esen Buqa. Remembering their support for the rival claimant to his throne, Öz Beg tried his best to eliminate every influence and inspiration of the Yuan dynasty on the Golden Horde in the early part of his reign; the Khan's diplomatic relationship with the Yuan, improved in 1324. Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan granted him the de jure rights to rule the Golden Horde. By the 1330s, Öz Beg had begun sending tribute to the Mongol Yuan Emperors and received his share from Jochid possessions in China and Mongolia in exchange.Öz Beg was engaged in wars with Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire from 1320 to 1332.
He raided Thrace in service of Bulgaria's war against both Byzantium and Serbia that began in 1319. His armies pillaged Thrace for 15 days in 1337, taking 300,000 captives. After Öz Beg's death in 1341, his successors did not continue his aggressive policy and contact with Bulgaria lapsed, his attempt to reassert Mongol control over Serbia was unsuccessful in 1330. Byzantine Emperor Andronikos III purportedly gave his illegitimate daughter in marriage to Öz Beg but relations turned sour at the end of Andonikos's reign, the Mongols mounted raids on Thrace between 1320 and 1324 until the Byzantine port of Vicina Macaria was occupied by the Mongols. Andonikos's daughter, who adopted the name Bayalun, managed to escape back to the Byzantine Empire fearing her forced conversion to Islam. In the south-east of the Kingdom of Hungary and its ruler Ba
Tyumen is the largest city and the administrative center of Tyumen Oblast, located on the Tura River 2,500 kilometers east of Moscow. Tyumen was the first Russian settlement in Siberia. Founded in 1586 to support Russia's eastward expansion, the city has remained one of the most important industrial and economic centers east of the Ural Mountains. Located at the junction of several important trade routes and with easy access to navigable waterways, Tyumen developed from a small military settlement to a large commercial and industrial city; the central part of Old Tyumen retains many historic buildings from throughout the city's history. Today Tyumen is an important business center, it is the transport hub and industrial center of Tyumen Oblast— an oil-rich region bordering Kazakhstan —as well as the home of many companies active in Russia's oil and gas industry. Tyumen covers an area of 235 square kilometers, its primary geographical feature is the Tura River, which crosses the city from northwest to southeast.
The river is navigable downstream of the city. The left bank of the Tura is a floodplain surrounded by rolling hills; the Tura is a shallow river with extensive marshlands. The river floods during the snow melting season in the spring; the spring flood peaks in the second half of May, when the river becomes 8–10 times wider than during the late-summer low water season. The city is protected from flooding by a dike; the highest flood water level in Tyumen was 9.15 meters, recorded in 1979. More in 2007, a water level of 7.76 was recorded. In spring 2005, a flood did not appear. Tyumen has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters; the weather in the region is changeable, the temperature in town is always higher than in the surrounding area by a few degrees. The town area attracts more precipitation; the average temperature in January is −16.7 °C, with a record low of −50 °C measured in February 1951. The average temperature in July is +18.6 °C, with a record high of +38 °C. The average annual precipitation is 457 millimeters.
The wettest year on record was 1943, with 581 millimeters, the driest was 1917, with only 231 millimeters. The Cossack ataman Yermak Timofeyevich annexed the Tyumen area part of the Siberia Khanate, to the Tsardom of Russia in 1585. Both capitals of Siberia Khanate, Sibir/Qashliq and Tyumen/Chimgi-Tura, were destroyed. Sibir was never restored, while it gave its name to all concurrent and future lands, annexed in the Northern Asia by Moscow state, but Tyumen was founded again. On July 29, 1586, Tsar Feodor I ordered two regional commanders, Vasily Borisov-Sukin and Ivan Myasnoy, to construct a fortress on the site of the former Siberian Tatar town of Chingi-Tura known as Tyumen, from the Turkish and Mongol word for "ten thousand" – tumen. Tyumen stood on the "Tyumen Portage", part of the historical trade route between Central Asia and the Volga region. Various South Siberian nomads had continuously contested control of the portage in the preceding centuries; as a result, Siberian Tatar and Kalmyk raiders attacked early Russian settlers.
The military situation meant that streltsy and Cossack garrisons stationed in the town predominated in the population of Tyumen until the mid-17th century. As the area became less restive, the town began to take on a less military character. By the beginning of the 18th century Tyumen had developed into an important center of trade between Siberia and China in the east and Central Russia in the west. Tyumen had become an important industrial center, known for leather-goods makers and other craftsmen. In 1763, 7,000 people were recorded as living in the town. In the 19th century the town's development continued. In 1836, the first steam boat in Siberia was built in Tyumen. In 1862, the telegraph came to the town, in 1864 the first water mains were laid. Further prosperity came to Tyumen after the construction, in 1885, of the Trans-Siberian Railway. For some years, Tyumen was Russia's easternmost railhead, the site of transhipment of cargoes between the railway and the cargo boats plying the Tura, Irtysh, Ob Rivers.
By the end of the 19th century Tyumen's population exceeded 30,000, surpassing that of its northern rival Tobolsk, beginning a process whereby Tyumen eclipsed the former regional capital. The growth of Tyumen culminated on August 14, 1944 when the city became the administrative center of the extensive Tyumen Oblast. At the outbreak of the Russian Civil War in 1917, forces loyal to Admiral Alexander Kolchak and his Siberian White Army controlled Tyumen. However, the city fell to the Red Army on January 5, 1918. During the 1930s, Tyumen became a major industrial center of the Soviet Union. By the onset of World War II, the city had several well-established industries, including shipbuilding, furniture manufacture, the manufacture of fur and leather goods. World War II saw rapid development in the city. In the winter of 1941, twenty-two major industrial enterprises evacuated to Tyumen from the European part of the Soviet Union; these enterprises went into operation the following spring. Additionally, war-time Tyumen became a "hospital city", where thousands of wounded soldiers were treated.
During Operation Barbarossa, when it seemed possible that Moscow would fall to the advancing German Army, Tyumen became a refuge for the body of the Soviet leader
Balkh is a town in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, about 20 km northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, some 74 km south of the Amu Darya river and the Uzbekistan border. It was an ancient centre of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and one of the major cities of Khorasan, since the latter's earliest history; the ancient city of Balkh was known to the Ancient Greeks as Bactra. It was known as the centre and capital of Bactria or Tokharistan. Marco Polo described Balkh as a "noble and great city". Balkh is now for the most part a mass of ruins, situated some 12 km from the right bank of the seasonally flowing Balkh River, at an elevation of about 365 m. French Buddhist Alexandra David-Néel associated Shambhala with Balkh offering the Persian Sham-i-Bala as an etymology of its name. In a similar vein, the Gurdjieffian J. G. Bennett published speculation that Shambalha was Shams-i-Balkh, a Bactrian sun temple; the Bactrian language name of the city was βαχλο. In Middle Persian texts was named Baxl.
The name of the province or country appears in the Old Persian inscriptions as Bāxtri, i.e. Bakhtri, it is written in the Avesta as Bāxδi. From this came the intermediate form Bāxli, Sanskrit Bahlīka for "Bactrian", by transposition the modern Persian Balx, i.e. Balkh, Armenian Bahl. Balkh is considered to be the first city to which the Indo-Iranian tribes moved from north of the Amu Darya, between 2000 and 1500 BC; the Arabs called it Umm Mother of Cities on account of its antiquity. The city was traditionally a center of Zoroastrianism; the name Zariaspa, either an alternate name for Balkh or a term for part of the city, may derive from the important Zoroastrian fire temple Azar-i-Asp. Balkh was regarded as the place where Zoroaster first preached his religion, as well as the place where he died. Since the Indo-Iranians built their first kingdom in Balkh some scholars believe that it was from this area that different waves of Indo-Iranians spread to north-east Iran and Seistan region, where they, in part, became today's Persians, Tajiks and Baluch people of the region.
The changing climate has led to desertification since antiquity, when the region was fertile. Its foundation is mythically ascribed to the first king of the world in Persian legend. For a long time the city and country was the central seat of the dualistic Zoroastrian religion, the founder of which, died within the walls according to the Persian poet Firdowsi. Armenian sources state that the Arsacid Dynasty of the Parthian Empire established its capital in Balkh. There is a long-standing tradition that an ancient shrine of Anahita was to be found here, a temple so rich it invited plunder. Alexander the Great married Roxana of Bactria after killing the king of Balkh; the city was the capital of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and was besieged for three years by the Seleucid Empire. After the demise of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, it was ruled by Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians, Kushan Empire, Indo-Sassanids, Hephthalite Empire and Sassanid Persians before the arrival of the Arabs. Bactrian documents - in the Bactrian language, written from the fourth to eighth centuries - evoke the name of local deities, such as Kamird and Wakhsh, for example, as witnesses to contracts.
The documents come from an area between Balkh and Bamiyan, part of Bactria. Balkh town is well-known to Buddhist countries because of two great Buddhist monks of Afghanistan – Trapusa and Bahalika. There are two stupas over their relics. According to a popular legend, Buddhism was introduced in Balkh by Bhallika, disciple of Buddha, the city derives its name from him, he had come from Bodhgaya. In literature, Balkh has been described as Valhika or Bahlika. First Vihara at Balkh was built for Bhallika. Xuanzang visited Balkh in 630. According to the Memoirs of Xuanzang, there were about a hundred Buddhist convents in the city or its vicinity at the time of his visit there in the 7th century. There were a large number of stupas and other religious monuments; the most remarkable stupa was the Navbahara. Shortly before the Arab conquest, the monastery became a Zoroastrian fire-temple. A curious reference to this building is found in the writings of the geographer Ibn Hawqal, an Arab traveller of the 10th century, who describes Balkh as built of clay, with ramparts and six gates, extending for half a parasang.
He mentions a castle and a mosque. A Chinese pilgrim, Fa-Hein, found Hinayana practice prevalent in Shan Shan, Kashgar, Osh and Gandhara. Xuanzang remarked that Buddhism was practised by the Hunnish rulers of Balkh, who descended from Indian royal stock. A Korean monk, noted as late as the Eighth century after the Arab invasion that the residents of Balkh practiced Buddhism and followed a Buddhist king, he that the king of Balkh at the time had fled to nearby Badakshan. Furthermore, we know; the most important was the Nawbahar near the town of Balkh, which evidently served as a pilgri
Transoxiana, known in Arabic sources as Mā Warāʾ an-Nahr and in Persian as Farārūd, is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding with modern-day Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Syr Darya rivers; the area had been known to the ancient Iranians as Turan, a term used in the Persian national epic Shahnameh, to the Romans as Transoxania. The Arabic term Mā warāʼ an-Nahr passed into Persian literary usage and stayed on until post-Mongol times; the region was one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia under the name Sogdiana. It was defined within the classical world of Iran to distinguish it from Iran proper its northeastern province of Khorasan—a term originating with the Sasanians,—although early Arab historians and geographers tended to subsume the region within the loosely defined term "Khorasan" designating a much larger territory; the name 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.
During the Sassanid Empire, it was called Sogdiana, a provincial name taken from the Achaemenid Empire, used to distinguish it from nearby Bactria. The Chinese explorer Zhang Qian, who visited the neighbouring countries of Bactria and Parthia along with Transoxiana in 126 BC, made the first known Chinese report on this region. Zhang Qian identifies Parthia as an advanced urban civilisation that farmed grain and grapes, made silver coins and leather goods, it was ruled successively by Seleucids, the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, the Parthian Empire and the Kushan Empire before Sassanid rule. In Sassanid times, the region became a major cultural center due to the wealth derived from the Northern Silk Road. Sassanid rule was interrupted by the 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 ruled by Göktürks. After that it was ruled by Tang China until the Arab conquest between 705 and 715, the area became known as Mā warāʼ al-Nahr, sometimes rendered as "Mavarannahr".
Transoxiana's major cities and cultural centers are Bukhara. Both are in the southern portion of Transoxiana, 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, 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 between 706 and 715 and loosely held by the Umayyads from 715 to 738; the conquest was consolidated by Nasr ibn Sayyar between 738 and 740, continued under the control of the Umayyads until 750, when it was replaced by the Abbasids. The Tang dynasty 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 in 1219 during his conquest of Khwarezm. Before his death in 1227, he assigned the lands of Western Central Asia to his second son Chagatai, this region became known as the Chagatai Khanate.
In 1369, Timur, of the Barlas tribe, became the effective ruler and made Samarkand the capital of his future empire. Transoxiana was known to be flourishing in the mid-14th century. Sogdiana Greater Khorasan Khwarezm Turan Hisar-i Shadman