A report on Tajikistan, Achaemenid Empire, Zoroastrianism and Bactria
More broadly, Bactria was the area which was located north of the Hindu Kush, west of the Pamirs and south of the Tian Shan, covering modern-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well, with the Amu Darya flowing west through the centre.- Bactria
One of the early centres of Zoroastrianism and capital of the legendary Kayanian kings of Iran, Bactria is mentioned in the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great as one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire; it was a special satrapy and was ruled by a crown prince or an intended heir.- Bactria
The territory that now constitutes Tajikistan was previously home to several ancient cultures, including the city of Sarazm of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including the Oxus Valley Civilisation, Andronovo Culture, Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and Islam.- Tajikistan
The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Achaemenid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Samanid Empire and the Mongol Empire.- Tajikistan
Even though the Library of Congress's 1997 Country Study of Tajikistan found it difficult to definitively state the origins of the word "Tajik" because the term is "embroiled in twentieth-century political disputes about whether Turkic or Iranian peoples were the original inhabitants of Central Asia," most scholars concluded that contemporary Tajiks are the descendants of ancient Eastern Iranian inhabitants of Central Asia, in particular, the Sogdians and the Bactrians, and possibly other groups, with an admixture of Western Iranian Persians and non-Iranian peoples.- Tajikistan
This forced Cyrus to fight wars against Bactria and the nomadic Saka in Central Asia.- Achaemenid Empire
The Histories is a primary source of information on the early period of the Achaemenid era (648–330 BCE), in particular with respect to the role of the Magi.- Zoroastrianism
By the 5th century BC, the Kings of Persia were either ruling over or had subordinated territories encompassing not just all of the Persian Plateau and all of the territories formerly held by the Assyrian Empire (Mesopotamia, the Levant, Cyprus and Egypt), but beyond this all of Anatolia and Armenia, as well as the Southern Caucasus and parts of the North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Bulgaria, Paeonia, Thrace and Macedonia to the north and west, most of the Black Sea coastal regions, parts of Central Asia as far as the Aral Sea, the Oxus and Jaxartes to the north and north-east, the Hindu Kush and the western Indus basin (corresponding to modern Afghanistan and Pakistan) to the far east, parts of northern Arabia to the south, and parts of eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) to the south-west, and parts of Oman, China, and the UAE.- Achaemenid Empire
Under Artaxerxes I, Zoroastrianism became the de facto religion of state.- Achaemenid Empire
At the request of the government of Tajikistan, UNESCO declared 2003 a year to celebrate the "3000th anniversary of Zoroastrian culture", with special events throughout the world.- Zoroastrianism
Some 10,000 adherents remain in the Central Asian regions that were once considered the traditional stronghold of Zoroastrianism, i.e., Bactria (see also Balkh), which is in Northern Afghanistan; Sogdiana; Margiana; and other areas close to Zoroaster's homeland.- Zoroastrianism
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Sogdia (Sogdian: soɣd) or Sogdiana was an ancient Iranian civilization between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, and in present-day Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Sogdiana was also a province of the Achaemenid Empire, and listed on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great.
While originally following the faiths of Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Buddhism and, to a lesser extent, Nestorian Christianity from West Asia, the gradual conversion to Islam among the Sogdians and their descendants began with the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana in the 8th century.
Sogdiana lay north of Bactria, east of Khwarezm, and southeast of Kangju between the Oxus (Amu Darya) and the Jaxartes (Syr Darya), including the fertile valley of the Zeravshan (called the Polytimetus by the ancient Greeks).
Alexander the Great1 links
King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.
King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.
In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Persian Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted for 10 years.
The Persian king no longer controlled his own destiny, and was taken prisoner by Bessus, his Bactrian satrap and kinsman.
Alexander founded a series of new cities, all called Alexandria, including modern Kandahar in Afghanistan, and Alexandria Eschate ("The Furthest") in modern Tajikistan.
In pre-Islamic Middle Persian (Zoroastrian) literature, Alexander is referred to by the epithet gujastak, meaning "accursed", and is accused of destroying temples and burning the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism.