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(sŏgdēā`nə), part of the ancient Persian Empire in central Asia between the Oxus (Amu Darya) and Jaxartes (Syr Darya) rivers. Corresponding to the later emirate of Bukhara and region of Samarkand, it was also known as Transoxiana. Sogdiana, though often a possession of other countries, had its own language, culture, and trading centers. Ancient Sogdian was a Persian language written in an Aramaic script. Sogdiana was a satrapy under Darius I. Conquered 329 B.C. by Alexander the Great, it fell (7th cent. A.D.) to the Arabs and was a center of Islamic culture until 9th cent. Controlled (13th–15th cent.) by the Mongols, the region was later ruled by the Uzbeks and the emirs of Bukhara (see Bukhara, emirate ofBukhara, emirate of,
former state, central Asia, in Turkistan, in the Amu Darya River basin. Part of ancient Sogdiana, it was ruled (A.D. 709–874) by the Umayyad Arabs and played an important role under the Samanid dynasties (875–1000).
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an ancient region in the basin of the Zeravshan and Kashkadar’ia rivers, and now within the Uzbek SSR and Tadzhik SSR. The cities of Maracanda (Samarkand) and Kiropol’ were situated in the region.

Sogdiana was part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire from the sixth to the fourth century B.C. and was united with Parthia, Khwarizm, and Areia into the empire’s 11th satrapy. The Sogdians paid heavy taxes in silver and supplied precious stones and large military contingents to the Persian kings. In 329 and 328 B.C., the Sogdians fought resolutely against Alexander the Great under the leadership of Spitamenes (killed 328 B.C.). After Alexander’s death (323 B.C.), Sogdiana became part of the Seleucid kingdom. It was part of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom in the third century B.C. and of the Kushana kingdom in the first few centuries of the Common Era. Sogdiana was subjugated by the Ephthalite Huns in the late fourth and fifth centuries AD]. and by the Turkic Kaganate in the sixth and seventh centuries. In the late seventh and early eighth centuries it was conquered by the Arabs.

Many autonomous principalities, of which the Samarkand Principality was the most important, flourished in Sogdiana from the fourth to the eighth century. Sogdiana played a prominent role in the economy and culture of the Orient. Sogdian merchants dominated the silk trade, and there were Sogdian trade and agricultural colonies on all the major caravan routes from Mongolia and China to Merv. Many findings of Soviet archaeologists in Sogdiana, for example, in Afrasiab, Pendzhikent, Va-rakhsha, and Kalai-Mug, attest to the high level of Sogdian culture and art.

The art of ancient Sogdiana has been insufficiently studied. Some idea of the architecture may be gained from the mud-brick structures and fortifications at the site of the city of Afrasiab (second half of the first millennium B.C. to the first few centuries of the Commonn Era) and at Kyzyl-Kyr and Tali-Barzu (both from the first few centuries of the Common Era). The best examples of the representational arts are terra-cotta figurines (third to the first century B.C.), some of which attest to Hellenistic influence. Others are in a schematized, religiously oriented indigenous style that rendered local ethnic features with exactitude.

From the fifth to the eighth century Sogdian cities grew rapidly. They had heavily fortified citadels and were surrounded by shakhristan (feudal city) walls, by suburbs, and by outlying necropolises containing individual family burial vaults. The cities’ palaces and temples and the large dwellings of the urban aristocracy, often two or three stories high, were decorated with genre paintings and with carvings on clay, wood, and alabaster. The paintings, in glue colors on dry plaster, are abstract and have patches of local colors and a refined linearity of composition; horizontal lines generally contrast with a neutral background. In sculpture, monumental decorative relief predominates. The major artifacts of Sogdian decorative and applied arts of this period are unglazed pottery with stamped or applied representations and ornaments, silver articles, and decorative fabrics. These artifacts, as well as the monumental decorative works of art, reflect the influence of the art of the ancient Turkic tribes and of Persia, India, China, and Byzantium.


Istoriia tadzhikskogo naroda, vols. 1–2 (book 1). Moscow, 1963–64.
Istoriia UzbekskoiSSR, vol. 1 (book 1). Tashkent, 1955.
Stavisskii, B. la. Mezhdu Pamirom i Kaspiem. Moscow, 1966.
Stavisskii, B. la. iskusstvo Srednei Azii: Drevnii period. Moscow, 1974.
Istoriia Samarkanda, vol. 1. Tashkent, 1969.
Marshak, B. I. Sogdiiskoe serebro. Moscow, 1971.



a region of ancient central Asia. Its chief city was Samarkand
References in periodicals archive ?
The textile section of the auction has a rare pair of silk lampas trousers from the ancient Iranian civilisation called Sogdiana. The decorative ornamentation of the trousers (estimated value $314,000 to $471,000) is linked to early Sasanian archetypes.
An extremely rare pair of silk lampas trousers, Sogdiana, central Asia, bear eloquent witness to the quality and splendour of Sogdian silk cloth production of the 7th and 8th centuries.
Alvey rightly sees "Petra" as not the most apparent referent, the city of red rocks in present-day Jordan, but the Rock of Sogdiana in what is now eastern Iran; Aryan in other words, not Arab.
For this purpose there were used magnetic laser apparatus "Milta" and "Sogdiana" (Russia), generating laser irradiation in the impulse regimen in the infrared spectrum with wave length 0.89 [micro]m in the constant magnate field with voltage 35 mT.
The highest price paid in the Arts of the Islamic World Day sale was for A Rare and Important Silk Tunic with Arab Inscription, Sogdiana, Central Asia, 8th Century, which sold for [pounds sterling]481,250/$743,14 (est.
Stoddard, on the other hand, argues that the practice of sky burial is rooted in Zoroastrian beliefs and practices, transmitted to Tibet through neighboring Sogdiana during the Spu rgyal Empire.
The tournament was held at the Sports Palace in Bishkek.The third place in the tournament took team from the United States "Athletes in Action", who beat FSK "Sogdiana" from Uzbekistan.The traditional international tournament "Nowruz" was held the 17 consecutive year.It was attended by 7 teams: Team of Azerbaijan, BC "Caspian" (Aktau, Kazakhstan), "Athletes in Action" (USA), Transit Center USA "Manas", Turkmenistan national team, FSK "Sogdiana" (Navoi, Uzbekistan), and the Kyrgyzstan national team.
(2) Elle etoit connue, du tems D'Alexandre le Grand, sous le nom de Sogdiana, D'autres l'appellent aujour d'hui Mauranneher, comme qui diroit, selon la langue du pays, Au dela des eaux, ou vers le coulant des eaux, Mais dans la plus part des cartes Geographiques elle est appellee Terra Usbekorum, le pays des Usbeks, parce que les Usbeks avoient une fois subjugue les Bouchars, en s'emparant de leur Capitale, nommee Bouchara & en se rendant presque tout le reste du pays tributaire.
Alexander spent almost two years (from 329 to 327 BC) in the Persian provinces of Bactria and Sogdiana (now eastern Afghanistan and Uzbekistan), coping with a native insurrection that he had provoked by occupying and colonizing the area.
Two thousand miles to their west, the Zoroastrian city-states of Samarkand and Bukhara in the region then known as Sogdiana emerged as the great merchant cities of the Silk Road.