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Khwarazm is located in West and Central Asia
Location of the Khwarazm heartland in Western Asia.
Map of Khwarazm during the early Islamic period
Today part ofUzbekistan

Khwarazm /kwəˈræzəm/, or Chorasmia /kəˈræzmiə/ (Old Persian: Uvârazmiya, Persian: خوارزم‎, Xwârazm or Xârazm), is a large oasis region on the Amu Darya river delta in western Central Asia, bordered on the north by the (former) Aral Sea, on the east by the Kyzylkum Desert, on the south by the Karakum Desert, and on the west by the Ustyurt Plateau. It was the center of the Iranian[1]Khwarazmian civilization, and a series of kingdoms such as the Khwarazmian dynasty and the Afrighid dynasty, whose capitals were (among others) Kath, Gurganj (the modern Konye-Urgench) and – from the 16th century on – Khiva. Today Khwarazm belongs partly to Uzbekistan and partly to Turkmenistan.

Names and etymology


Khwarazm has been known also as Chorasmia, Khaurism,[2]Khwarezm, Khwarezmia, Khwarizm, Khwarazm, Khorezm,[3]Khoresm, Khorasam, Kharazm, Harezm, Horezm, and Chorezm.[4]

In Avestan the name is Xvairizem; in Old Persian 𐎢𐎺𐎠𐎼𐏀𐎷𐎡𐏁 u-v-a-r-z-mi-i-š or 𐎢𐎺𐎠𐎼𐏀𐎷𐎡𐎹 u-v-a-r-z-mi-i-y (/hUvārazmī-/); in Modern Persian: خوارزمXārazm; in Arabic: خُـوَارِزْمXuwārizm; in Old Chinese *qʰaljɯʔmriɡ (呼似密); in Modern Chinese Huālázǐmó (花剌子模 / Xiao'erjing: خُوَلاذِمُوْ); in Tajik: Хоразм, Xorazm, خوارَزم; in Kazakh: Хорезм (Xorezm), حورەزم; in Uzbek: Xorazm, Хоразм, خورەزم; in Turkmen: Horezm, Хорезм, خوْرِزم; in Turkish: Harezm; in Greek language Χορασμία (Chorasmía) and Χορασίμα (Chorasíma) by Herodotus.


Mawara'nnahr, Khwarazm and Greater Khorasan

The Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi in his Muʿǧam al-buldan wrote that the name was a Persian compound of khwar (خوار), and razm (رزم), referring to the abundance of cooked fish as a main diet of the peoples of this area.[5]

C.E. Bosworth, however, believed the Persian name to be made up of xor (خور 'the sun') and zam (زم 'earth, land'), designating 'the land from which the sun rises',[6] although a similar etymology is also given for Khurasan. Another view is that the Iranian compound stands for 'lowland' from kh(w)ar 'low' and zam 'land'.[4] Khwarazm is indeed the lowest region in Central Asia (except for the Caspian Sea to the far west), located on the delta of the Amu Darya on the southern shores of the Aral Sea. Various forms of khwar/khar/khor/hor are commonly used also in the Persian Gulf to stand for tidal flats, marshland, or tidal bays (e.g., Khor Musa, Khor Abdallah, Hor al-Azim, Hor al-Himar, etc.)

The name also appears in Achaemenid inscriptions as Huvarazmish, which is declared to be part of the Persian Empire.

Some of the early scholars believed Khwarazm to be what ancient Avestic texts refer to as Airyanem Vaejah (Ariyaneh Waeje; later Middle Persian Iran vij).[7] These sources claim that Old Urgench, which was the capital of ancient Khwarazm for many years, was actually Ourva, the eighth land of Ahura Mazda mentioned in the Pahlavi text of Vendidad.[8] However, Michael Witzel, a researcher in early Indo-European history, believes that Airyanem Vaejah was in what is now Afghanistan, the northern areas of which were a part of ancient Khwarazm and Greater Khorasan.[9] Others, however, disagree. University of Hawaii historian Elton L. Daniel believes Khwarazm to be the "most likely locale" corresponding to the original home of the Avestan people, and Dehkhoda calls Khwarazm "the cradle of the Aryan tribe" (مهد قوم آریا).[10]

Legendary history

Al-Biruni (973–1048), a native Khwarezmian,[11][12][13] says that the land belonging to the mythical king Afrasiab was first colonised 980 years before Alexander the Great (thus c. 1292 BC, well before the Seleucid era) when the hero of the Iranian epic Siyavash came to Khwarazm; his son Kay Khusraw came to the throne 92 years later, in 1200 BC[citation needed] Al-Biruni starts giving names only with the Afrighid line of Khwarazmshahs, having placed the ascension of Afrighids in 616 of the Seleucid era, i.e. in 305 AD[citation needed]

Early people

Chorasmian frescoe from Kazakly-Yatkan (fortress of Akcha-Khan Kala), 1st century BC-2nd century AD.[14][15]

Like Soghdiana, Khwarazm was an expansion of the BMAC culture during the Bronze Age which later fused with Indo-Iranians during their migrations around 1000 BC. Early Iron Age states arose from this cultural exchange. List of successive cultures in Khwarazm region 3000–500 BC:[16]

  • Keltiminar Culture c. 3000 BC
  • Suyargan Culture c 2000 BC
  • Tazabag’yab Culture c. 1500 BC
  • Amirabad Culture c 1000 BC
  • Saka c. 500 BC

During the final Saka phase, there were about 400 settlements in Khwarezm.[17] Ruled by the native Afrighid Dynasty. It was at this point that Khwarezm entered the historical record with the Achamenid expansion.[citation needed]

Khwarezmian language and culture

An East Iranian language, Khwarezmian, was spoken in Khwarezm proper (i.e., the lower Amu Darya region) until soon after the Mongol invasion, when it was replaced by Turkic languages.[18][19][20][21] It was closely related to Sogdian. Other than the astronomical terms used by the native Iranian Khwarezmian speaker Al-Biruni,[13] our other sources of Khwarezmian include Zamakhshari's Arabic-Persian–Khwarezmian dictionary and several legal texts that use Khwarezmian terms to explain certain legal concepts.

Chilpyk Zoroastrian Tower of Silence (Dakhma), 1st century BC – 1st century AD

For most of its history, up until the Mongol conquest, the inhabitants of the area were from Iranian[22][23] stock and they spoke an Eastern Iranian language called Khwarezmian. The famous scientist Al-Biruni, a Khwarezm native, in his Athar ul-Baqiyah,[24] specifically verifies the Iranian origins of Khwarezmians when he wrote (in Arabic):

أهل خوارزم [...] کانوا غصناً من دوحة الفرس
("The people of the Khwarezm were a branch from Persian tree.")

The area of Khwarezm was under Afrighid and then Samanid control until the 10th century before it was conquered by the Ghaznavids. The Iranian Khwarezmian language and culture felt the pressure of Turkic infiltration from northern Khwarezm southwards, leading to the disappearance of the original Iranian character[13] of the province and its complete Turkicisation today, but Khwarezmian speech[13] probably lasted in upper Khwarezm, the region round Hazarasp, till the end of the 8th/14th century.[13]

The Khwarezmian language survived for several centuries after Islam until the Turkification of the region, and so must some at least of the culture and lore of ancient Khwarezm, for it is hard to see the commanding figure of Al-Biruni, a repository of so much knowledge, appearing in a cultural vacuum.[13]

Achaemenid period

Xerxes I tomb, Choresmian soldier circa 470 BC.

The Achaemenid Empire took control of Chorasmia possibly during the reign of Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, and certainly by the time of King Darius I (ruled 550–486 BC).[15] The son of Cyrus Smerdis/Bardiya became the governor of the region, along with Bactriana, Carmania, and the other eastern provinces of the empire.[25] And the Persian poet Ferdowsi mentions Persian cities like Afrasiab and Chach in abundance in his epic Shahnama. The contact with the Achaemenid Empire had a great influence on the material culture of Chorasmia, starting a period of rich economic and cultural development.[15]

Chorasmian troops participated in the Second Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes in the 480 BC, under the command of Achaemenid general and later satrap Artabazos I of Phrygia.[26][27][28] By the time of the Persian king Darius III, Khwarazm had already become an independent kingdom.[29]

Hellenistic period

Artav (Artabanos), ruler of Khwarezm. Blundered Greek legend "ΙΥΙΥΕΩΙΕ ΜΕΛΥΙ ΕΙΛΥΙΛΥ". Nike crowning the bust of the ruler. Chorasmian tamgha. Circa 1st–2nd century AD.

Chorasmia was involved in the conquests of Alexander the Great in Central Asia. When the king of Khwarezm offered friendship to Alexander in 328 BC, Alexander's Greek and Roman biographers imagined the nomad king of a desert waste, but 20th-century Russian archeologists revealed the region as a stable and centralized kingdom, a land of agriculture to the east of the Aral Sea, surrounded by the nomads of Central Asia, protected by its army of mailed horsemen, in the most powerful kingdom northwest of the Amu Darya (the Oxus River of antiquity). The king's emissary offered to lead Alexander's armies against his own enemies, west over the Caspian towards the Black Sea (e.g. Kingdom of Iberia and Colchis). Alexander politely refused.[citation needed]

Khwarezm was largely independent during the Seleucid, Greco-Bactrian and Arsacid dynasties. Numerous fortresses were built, and the Khwarazm oasis has been dubbed the "Fifty fortresses oasis".[30] Chorasmia remained relatively sheltered from the interests of the Seleucid Empire or Greco-Bactria, but various elements of Hellenistic art appear in the ruins of Chorasmian cities, particularly at Akchakhan-Kala, and the influence of the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, reflecting the rise of Kushan Empire, appears at Toprak-Kala.[15] The early rulers of Chorasmia first imitated the coinage of the Greco-Bactrian ruler Eucratides I.[31]Parthian artistic influences have also been described.[32]

From the 1st century BC, Chorasmia developed original coins inspired from Greco-Bactrian, Parthian, and Indo-Scythian types. Artav (Artabanus), a Chorasmian ruler of the 1st–2nd century AD, whose coins were discovered in the capital city of Toprak-Kala, imitated the type of the Kushan Heraios and were found together with coins of the Kushan rulers Vima Kadphises and Kanishka.[33]

From the 2nd century AD, Chorasmia became part of the vast cultural sphere corresponding to the rise of the Kushan Empire in the east.[15]

Sassanid period

Location of the main fortresses of the Chorasmian oasis, 4th century BC-6th century AD

Later, Khwarezm and neighboring Bactriana were part of the Sassanid empire during the time of Bahram II (274–293 AD). Yaqut al-Hamawi verifies that Khwarezm was a regional capital of the Sassanid empire. When speaking of the pre-Islamic "khosrau of Khwarezm" (خسرو خوارزم), the Islamic "amir of Khwarezm" (امیر خوارزم), or even the Khwarezmid Empire, sources such as Al-Biruni and Ibn Khordadbeh and others clearly refer to Khwarezm as being part of the Iranian (Persian) empire.[34] The fact that Pahlavi script which was used by the Persian bureaucracy alongside Old Persian, passed into use in Khwarezmia where it served as the first local alphabet about the AD 2nd century, as well as evidence that Khwarezm-Shahs such as ʿAlā al-Dīn Tekish (1172–1200) issued all their orders (both administrative and public) in Persian language,[35] corroborates Al-Biruni's claims. It was also a vassal kingdom during periods of Kushans, Hephthalites and Gokturks power before the coming of the Arabs.[citation needed]


Silver bowl from Khwarezm depicting a four-armed goddess seated on a lion, possibly Nana. Dated 658 AD, British Museum.[36] The bowl is similar to that of the Sassanians, who were ruling the region since early 200's. It displays a fusion of Roman-Hellenistic, Indian and Persian cultural influencies.[37]

Per Al-Biruni, the Afrighids of Kath (آفریغیان-آل آفریغ) were a native Khwarezmian Iranian dynasty[11][38] which ruled as the Shahs of Khwarezm from 305 to 995 AD. At times they were under Sassanian suzerainty.[citation needed]

In 712, Khwarezm was conquered by the Arab Caliphate (Umayyads and Abbasids). It thus came vaguely under Muslim control, but it was not till the end of the 8th century and the beginning of the 9th century that an Afrighid Shah first converted to Islam appearing with the popular convert's name of ʿAbdullah ('slave of God'). In the course of the 10th century—when some geographers such as Istakhri in his Al-Masalik wa-l-mamalik mention Khwarezm as part of Khorasan and Transoxiania—the local Ma'munids, who were based in Gurganj, on the left bank of the Amu Darya grew in economic and political importance due to trade caravans. In 995, they violently overthrew the Afrighids and themselves assumed the traditional title of Khwarazm-Shah.[39]

Briefly, the area was under Samanid suzerainty, before it passed to Mahmud of Ghazni in 1017. From then on, Turko-Mongolian invasions and long rule by Turko-Mongol dynasties supplanted the Iranian character of the region[38] although the title of Khwarezm-Shah was maintained well up to the 13th century.[38]

Khwarezmid Empire

Khwarezmian Empire
Takash mausoleum in Kunya Urgench, Turkmenistan

The date of the founding of the Khwarazmian dynasty remains debatable. During a revolt in 1017, Khwarezmian rebels murdered Abu'l-Abbas Ma'mun and his wife, Hurra-ji, sister of the Ghaznavid sultan Mahmud.[40] In response, Mahmud invaded and occupied the region of Khwarezm, which included Nasa and the ribat of Farawa.[41] As a result, Khwarezm became a province of the Ghaznavid Empire from 1017 to 1034. In 1077, the governorship of the province, which since 1042/1043 belonged to the Seljuqs, fell into the hands of Anush Tigin Gharchai, a former Turkic slave of the Seljuq sultan. In 1141, the Seljuq Sultan Ahmed Sanjar was defeated by the Qara Khitai at the battle of Qatwan, and Anush Tigin's grandson Ala ad-Din Atsiz became a vassal to Yelü Dashi of the Qara Khitan.[42]

Sultan Ahmed Sanjar died in 1156. As the Seljuk state fell into chaos, the Khwarezm-Shahs expanded their territories southward. In 1194, the last Sultan of the Great Seljuq Empire, Toghrul III, was defeated and killed by the Khwarezm ruler Ala ad-Din Tekish, who conquered parts of Khorasan and western Iran. In 1200, Tekish died and was succeeded by his son, Ala ad-Din Muhammad, who initiated a conflict with the Ghurids and was defeated by them at Amu Darya (1204).[43] Following the sack of Khwarizm, Muhammad appealed for aid from his suzerain, the Qara Khitai who sent him an army.[44] With this reinforcement, Muhammad won a victory over the Ghorids at Hezarasp (1204) and forced them out of Khwarizm.[citation needed]

Destruction by Genghis Khan

The Khwarezmid Empire ruled over all of Persia in the early 13th century under Shah ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muhammad II (1200–1220). From 1218 to 1220, Genghis Khan conquered Central Asia including the Kara-Khitai Khanate, thus ending the Khwarezmid Empire. Sultan Muhammad died after retreating from the Mongols near the Caspian Sea, while his son Jalal ad-Din, after being defeated by Genghis Khan at the Battle of Indus, sought refuge with the Delhi Sultanate, and was later assassinated after various attempts to defeat the Mongols and the Seljuks.[citation needed]

Khwarezm during the rule of Qunghrat dynasty (1360–1388)

In 1360 there arose in Ḵwarazm an independent minor dynasty of Qunghrat Turks, the Ṣūfīs, but Solaymān Ṣūfī was crushed by Tīmūr in 1388.[45]

Turabek khanum mausoleum in Kunya Urgench, Qunghrat dynasty, 1330, Turkmenistan

The Islamization of Khwarazm was reflected in the creation of literary, scientific and religious works and in the translation of Arabic works into the Turkic language. In Istanbul, the Suleymaniye library, the Koran is kept with an interlinear translation into Turkic, made in Khwarazm and is dated (January – February 1363).[citation needed]

The region of Khwarezm was split between the White Horde and Jagatai Khanate, and its rebuilt capital Gurganj (modern Kunya Urgench, "Old Gorganj" as against the modern city of Urgench some distance away ) again became one of the largest and most important trading centers in Central Asia. In the mid-14th century Khwarezm gained independence from the Golden Horde under the Sufid dynasty. However, Timur regarded Khwarezm as a rival to Samarkand, and over the course of 5 campaigns, he destroyed Urganch in 1388.[citation needed]

Khwarazm during the reign Shibanids – Arabshahids

Control of the region was disputed by the Timurids and the Golden Horde, but in 1511 it passed to a new, local Uzbek dynasty, the ʿArabshahids.[45]

Khwarezm (Karasm), on a 1734 French map. The Khanate on the map surrounds the Aral Sea (depicted as much smaller than it actually was in those days) and includes much of the today's Kazakhstan's and Turkmenistan's Caspian coast

This together with a shift in the course of the Amu-Darya caused the center of Khwarezm to shift to Khiva, which became in the 16th century the capital of the Khanate of Khiva, ruled over by the dynasty of the Arabshahids.[citation needed]

Khiva Khanate is the name of Khwarazm adopted in the Russian historical tradition during the period of its existence (1512–1920). The Khiva Khanate was one of the Uzbek khanates. The term "Khiva Khanate" was used for the state in Khwarazm that existed from the beginning of the 16th century until 1920. The term "Khiva Khanate" was not used by the locals, who used the name Khvarazm. In Russian sources the term Khiva Khanate began to be used from the 18th century.[46]

The rumors of gold on the banks of the Amu Darya during the reign of Russia's Peter the Great, together with the desire of the Russian Empire to open a trade route to the Indus (modern day Pakistan), prompted an armed trade expedition to the region, led by Prince Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky, which was repelled by Khiva.[citation needed]

Khwarazm during the reign Uzbek dynasty of Qungrats

During the reign of the Uzbek Khan Said Muhammad Khan (1856–1864) in the 1850s, for the first time in the history of Khwarazm, a general population census of Khwarazm was carried out.[citation needed]

Khwarazm in 1873–1920

It was under Tsars Alexander II and Alexander III that serious efforts to annex the region started. One of the main pretexts to Russian military expeditions to Khiva was to free Russian slaves in the khanate and to prevent future slave capture and trade.[citation needed]

Early in The Great Game, Russian interests in the region collided with those of the British Empire in the First Anglo-Afghan War in 1839.[citation needed]

The Khanate of Khiva was gradually reduced in size from Russian expansion in Turkestan (including Khwarezm) and, in 1873, a peace treaty was signed that established Khiva as a quasi-independent Russian protectorate.[citation needed]

In 1912, the Khiva Khanate numbered up to 440 schools and up to 65 madrasahs with 22,500 students. More than half of the madrasahs were in the city of Khiva (38).[citation needed]

Soviet period

After the Bolshevik seizure of power in the October Revolution, a short-lived Khorezm People's Soviet Republic (later the Khorezm SSR) was created out of the territory of the old Khanate of Khiva, before in 1924 it was finally incorporated into the Soviet Union, with the former Khanate divided between the new Turkmen SSR, Uzbek SSR and Karakalpakstan ASSR (initially part of Kazakh ASSR as Karakalpak Oblast).[citation needed]

The larger historical area of Khwarezm is further divided. Northern Khwarezm became the Uzbek SSR, and in 1925 the western part became the Turkmen SSR. Also, in 1936 northwestern part became Kazakh SSR. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, these became Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan respectively. Many of the ancient Khwarezmian towns are situated currently in Xorazm Province, Uzbekistan.[citation needed]

Today, the area that was Khwarezm has a mixed population of Uzbeks, Karakalpaks, Turkmens, Tajiks, Tatars, and Kazakhs.[citation needed]

In Persian literature

Emir Timur and his maiden from Khwarezm.

Khwarezm and her cities appear in Persian literature in abundance, in both prose and poetry. Dehkhoda for example defines the name Bukhara itself as "full of knowledge", referring to the fact that in antiquity, Bukhara was a scientific and scholarship powerhouse. Rumi verifies this when he praises the city as such.[citation needed]

Other examples illustrate the eminent status of Khwarezmid and Transoxianian cities in Persian literature in the past 1500 years:

عالم جانها بر او هست مقرر چنانک

The world of hearts is under his power in the same manner that
دولت خوارزمشاه داد جهان را قرار
The Khwarazmshahs have brought peace to the world.

—Khaqani Shirvani

یکی پر طمع پیش خوارزمشاه

A greedy one went to Khwarezm-shah
شنیدم که شد بامدادی پگاه
early one morning, so I have heard


Yaqut al-Hamawi, who visited Khwarezm and its capital in 1219, wrote: "I have never seen a city more wealthy and beautiful than Gurganj". The city, however, was destroyed during several invasions, in particular when the Mongol army broke the dams of the Amu Darya which flooded the city. He reports that for every Mongol soldier, four inhabitants of Gurganj were killed. Najmeddin Kubra, the great Sufi master, was among the casualties. The Mongol army that devastated Gurganj was estimated to have been near 80,000 soldiers. The verse below refers to an early previous calamity that fell upon the region:

آخر ای خاک خراسان داد یزدانت نجات
Oh land of Khorasan! God has saved you,
از بلای غیرت خاک ره گرگانج و کات
from the disaster that befell the land of Gurganj and Kath

—Divan of Anvari

Notable people

The borders of the Russian imperial territories of Khiva, Bukhara and Kokand in the time period of 1902–1903.

The following either hail from Khwarezm, or lived and are buried there:

  • Al-Biruni, outstanding scholar
  • Ma'mun II, Khwarezm Shah and founder of an academy
  • Najm al-Din Kubra, Sufi mystic
  • Rashid al-Din Vatvat, panegyrist and epistolographer
  • Fakhr al-Din Razi
  • Ala al-Din Atsiz, Khwarezm Shah
  • Ala al-Din Muhammad, Khwarezm Shah
  • Jalal ad-Din Menguberdi, Khwarezm Shah
  • Abu l-Hasan Sa'eedeh ibn Sa'deh, commentary writer on the writings of Sibawayh.
  • Abaaq al-Khwarazmi
  • Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, mathematician (for whom the term algorithm is named.)
  • Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi, 10th century encyclopedist who wrote Mafatih al-'Ulum ("Key to the Sciences").
  • Zamakhshari, scholar
  • Qutb al-zaman Muhammad ibn Abu-Tahir Marvazi, philosopher
  • Al-Marwazi, astronomer
  • Mahmud Yalavach, ambassador and governor of Mavaraunnahr (1224–1238)
  • Abu l-Ghazi Bahadur, Khan and historian

See also

  • Karakalpakstan, autonomous republic within Uzbekistan
  • Keraites, 12th-century Turco-Mongol tribal confederation
  • Khorezm People's Soviet Republic (1920–1923/25)
  • Khwarezmian language, extinct East Iranian language
  • Koi Krylgan Kala, archaeological site; Khwarezmian settlement (c. 400 BCE – c. 400 AD)
  • Mount Imeon, Hellenistic name for Hindu Kush, Pamir and Tian Shan mountains
  • Eurasian Avars, alliance of Eurasian nomads (6th–9th century AD)
  • Uar, tribal confederation linked to the Huns (5th–8th century AD)
  • Zoroaster (c. 1500–1000 BC), ancient Iranian prophet
  • Zoroastrianism, ancient Iranian religion, still practiced
  • Battle of La Forbie (1244), with decisive Khwarezmian participation; ends Crusader power in Levant
  • Siege of Jerusalem (1244) by Khwarezmian tribes


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  2. ^ Kinnear, N. B. (1920). "The past and present distribution of the lion in south eastern Asia". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 27: 33–39.
  3. ^ Sharipov, Zhumaniëz (1976). Khorezm, novel. Sovietskiy pisatel'.
  4. ^ a b Khwarazm at Encyclopædia Iranica
  5. ^ Yaqut al-Hamawi, Mu'jam al-buldān, Vol2, p395
  6. ^ C. E. Bosworth, The Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol IV, 1978. p. 1061
  7. ^ Bahram Farahvoshi. Iranovich, Tehran University Press. 1991. p. 8
  8. ^ Musa Javan. Tarikh-i Ijtima'i Iran-i Bastan (The social history of ancient Iran), 1961. p. 24
  9. ^ Michael Witzel. "The Home of the Aryans." (.pdf)
  10. ^ Elton L. Daniel, The History of Iran. 2001. ISBN 0-313-30731-8. p.28
  11. ^ a b ” ĀL-E AFRĪḠ” IN Encyclopedia Iranica by C. E. Bosworth
  12. ^ L. Massignon, "Al-Biruni et la valuer internationale de la science arabe" in Al-Biruni Commemoration Volume (Calcutta, 1951), pp. 217–219. excerpt: In a celebrated preface to the Book of Drugs, Biruni says: "It is through the Arabic language that the sciences have been transmitted by means of translations from all parts of the world. They have been enhanced by the translation into the Arabic language and have as a result insinuated themselves into men's hearts, and the beauty of this language has commingled with these sciences in our veins and arteries. And if it is true that in all nations one likes to adorn oneself by using the language to which one has remained loyal, having become accustomed to using it with friends and companions according to need, I must judge for myself that in my native Chorasmian, science has as much as chance of becoming perpetuated as a camel has of facing Kaaba."
  13. ^ a b c d e f Bosworth, C.E. "Ḵh̲ W Ārazm." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. Accessed at 10 November 2007 <>
  14. ^ KIDD, F.; CLEARY, M. NEGUS; YAGODIN, V. N.; BETTS, A.; BRITE, E. BAKER (2004). "Ancient Chorasmian Mural Art". Bulletin of the Asia Institute. 18: 83. ISSN 0890-4464. JSTOR 24049142.
  15. ^ a b c d e Minardi, Michele. "The Ancient Chorasmian Unbaked-clay Modelled Sculptures: Hellenistic Cultural 'Impacts' on an Eastern Iranian Polity". Religion, Society, Trade and Kingship. Art and Archaeology in South Asia Along the Silk Road 5500 BCE-5th Century CE (South Asian Archaeology and Art 2016, Volume 1): 195–205.
  16. ^ MacKenzie, D.N. (1996). "Encyclopædia Iranica". CHORASMIA. Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  17. ^ MacKenzie, 1996
  18. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica, "The Chorasmian Language", D.N.Mackenzie Archived 14 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Andrew Dalby, Dictionary of Languages: The definitive reference to more than 400 languages, Columbia University Press, 2004, pg 278
  20. ^ MacKenzie, D. N. "Khwarazmian Language and Literature," in E. Yarshater ed. Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. III, Part 2, Cambridge 1983, pp. 1244–1249
  21. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, "Iranian languages" (Retrieved 29 December 2008)
  22. ^ Encyclopædia Iranica, "CENTRAL ASIA: The Islamic period up to the mongols", C. Edmund Bosworth: "In early Islamic times Persians tended to identify all the lands to the northeast of Khorasan and lying beyond the Oxus with the region of Turan, which in the Shahnama of Ferdowsi is regarded as the land allotted to Fereydun's son Tur. The denizens of Turan were held to include the Turks, in the first four centuries of Islam essentially those nomadizing beyond the Jaxartes, and behind them the Chinese (see Kowalski; Minorsky, "Turan"). Turan thus became both an ethnic and a geographical term, but always containing ambiguities and contradictions, arising from the fact that all through Islamic times the lands immediately beyond the Oxus and along its lower reaches were the homes not of Turks but of Iranian peoples, such as the Sogdians and Khwarezmians."
  23. ^ C.E. Bosworth, "The Appearance of the Arabs in Central Asia under the Umayyads and the establishment of Islam", in History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol. IV: The Age of Achievement: AD 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century, Part One: The Historical, Social and Economic Setting, edited by M. S. Asimov and C. E. Bosworth. Multiple History Series. Paris: UNESCO Publishing, 1998. excerpt from page 23: "Central Asia in the early seventh century, was ethnically, still largely an Iranian land whose people used various Middle Iranian languages.
  24. ^ الآثار الباقية عن القرون الخالية (p. 47)
  25. ^ Huart, Clement. Ancient Persia and Iranian Civilization. 1972. ISBN 0-7100-7242-2. p. 46
  26. ^ "An Artabazus ( Artabazos ), son of Pharnaces, commanded the Parthian and Chorasmian units in Xerxes' expedition of 480, and led the Persian army back to Asia after Mardonius' death at Plataea." Bowder, Diana (1982). Who was who in the Greek World, 776 BC-30 BC. Phaidon. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7148-2207-5.
  27. ^ Kuhrt, Amélie (15 April 2013). The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period. Routledge. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-136-01694-3.
  28. ^ "The Parthians and Chorasmians had for their commander Artabazus son of Pharnaces, the Sogdians Azanes son of Artaeus, the Gandarians and Dadicae Artyphius son of Artabanus." in Herodotus VII 64-66
  29. ^
  30. ^ Adrianov, Boris V.; Mantellini, Simone (31 December 2013). Ancient Irrigation Systems of the Aral Sea Area: Ancient Irrigation Systems of the Aral Sea Area. Oxbow Books, Limited. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-78297-167-2.
  31. ^ "CHORASMIA i. Archeology and pre-Islamic hist. – Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  32. ^ Kidd, Fiona J. (2011). "Complex Connections : Figurative Art from Akchakhan-Kala and the Problematic Question of Relations between Khorezm and Parthia". Topoi. Orient-Occident. 17 (1): 229–276. doi:10.3406/topoi.2011.2406.
  33. ^ "Apart from purely archaeological and artistic evidence , the date has been determined from coins of the Kushan kings Vima Kadphises and Kanishka, and of the Khwarazmian king Artav , that were found on the lower floors of some structures . Some economic documents found in the Palace were dated to between 188 and 252 of the Khwarazmian era, i.e., to within the third century AD It should be borne in mind that only an insignificant portion of the archive has survived." in Bulletin of the Asia Institute. Wayne State University Press: 183. 1996 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ Nasser Takmil Homayoun. Kharazm: What do I know about Iran?. 2004. ISBN 964-379-023-1. p.35
  35. ^ A. A. Simonov
  36. ^ British Museum Collection
  37. ^ Minardi, Michele (2013). "A Four-Armed Goddess from Ancient Chorasmia: History, Iconography and Style of an Ancient Chorasmian Icon". Iran. 51 (1): 111–143. doi:10.1080/05786967.2013.11834726. ISSN 0578-6967. S2CID 192245224.
  38. ^ a b c Clifford Edmund Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual, Columbia University, 1996.
  39. ^ C.E. Bosworth, "The Ghaznavids" in History of Civilization: Central Asia in History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Volume IV: The Age of Achievement : A.D. 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century : Part One : The Historical Social and Economic Setting/edited by M.S. Asimov and C.E. Bosworth. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1999, 485 pages. (Vol. IV, Pt. I). ISBN 81-208-1595-5. Excerpt from page 101: "The ancient Iranian kingdom of Khwarazm had been ruled until 995 by the old established line of Afrighids of Kath, but control subsequently passed to the new line of Khwarazm Shahs, the Ma'munids of Gurganj"
  40. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids:994-1040, (Edinburgh University Press, 1963), 237.
  41. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids:994-1040, 237.
  42. ^ Biran, Michel, The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History, (Cambridge University Press, 2005), 44.
  43. ^ Rene, Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes:A History of Central Asia, (Rutgers University Press, 1991), 168.
  44. ^ Rene, Grousset, 168.
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  46. ^


  • Yuri Bregel. "The Sarts in the Khanate of Khiva", Journal of Asian History, Vol. 12, 1978, pp. 121–151
  • Robin Lane Fox. Alexander the Great, pp. 308ff etc.
  • Shir Muhammad Mirab Munis & Muhammad Reza Mirab Agahi. Firdaws al-Iqbal. History of Khorezm (Leiden: Brill) 1999, trans & ed. Yuri Bregel
  • Minardi, M. (2015). Ancient Chorasmia. A Polity between the Semi-Nomadic and Sedentary Cultural Areas of Central Asia. Cultural Interactions and Local Developments from the Sixth Century BC to the First Century AD. Peeters. ISBN 978-90-429-3138-1.
  • West, Barbara A. (1 January 2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4381-1913-7. Retrieved 13 March 2015.

External links

Coordinates: 42°11′22.59″N 59°19′34.22″E / 42.1896083°N 59.3261722°E / 42.1896083; 59.3261722

Edited: 2021-06-18 17:50:02