See also:Asia, under the
See also:protection of Russia . It lies on the right
See also:bank of the
See also:Oxus, between 370 and 410 N., and between 62° and 72° E., and is bounded by the
See also:Russian governments of Syr-darya,
See also:Samarkand and
See also:Ferghana on the N., the
See also:Pamirs on the E.,
See also:Afghanistan on the S., and the Transcaspian territory and
See also:Khiva on the W . Its south-eastern frontier on the Pamirs is undetermined except where it touches the Russian dominions . Including the khanates of
See also:Karateghin and Darvaz the
See also:area is about 85,000 sq. m . The western portion of the state is a plain watered by the Zarafshan and by countless irrigation canals
See also:drawn from it . It has in the east the Karnap-chul steppe, covered with grass in early summer, and in the
See also:north an intrusion of the Kara-
See also:kum sand
See also:desert .
See also:Land suitable for cultivation is found only in oases, where it is watered by irrigation canals, but these oases are very fertile . The middle portion of the state is occupied by high plateaus, about 4000 ft. in altitude, sloping from the Tian-shan, and intersected by numerous
See also:rivers, flowing towards the Oxus . This region, very fertile in the valleys and enjoying a cooler and damper
See also:climate than the
See also:lower plains, is densely populated, and
See also:agriculture and
See also:cattle-breeding are carried on extensively . Here are the towns of
See also:Karshi, Kitab, Shaar, Chirakchi and Guzar or Huzar . The
See also:Hissar range, a westward continuation of the Alai Mountains, separates the Zarafshan from the tributaries of the Oxus—the Surkhan, Kafirnihan and Vakhsh . Its length is about 200 m., and its passes, r000 to 3000 ft. below the surrounding peaks, reach altitudes of 12,000 to 14,000 ft. and are extremely difficult .
Numbers of rivers
See also:pierce or flow in
See also:wild gorges between its spurs . Its
See also:foot-hills, covered with
See also:loess, make the fertile valleys of Hissar and the Vakhsh . The climate is so dry, and the rains are so scarce, that an
See also:absence of forests and Alpinemeadows is characteristic of the
See also:ridge; but when heavy
See also:rain falls simultaneously with the melting of the snows in the mountains, the watercourses become filled with furious torrents, which create
See also:great havoc . The
See also:main glaciers (12) are on the north slope, but none creeps below ro,000 to 12,000 ft . The
See also:Peter the Great range, or Periokh-tau, in Karateghin, south of the valley, of the Vakhsh, runs west-south-west to east-north-east for about 130 m., and is higher than the Hissar range . From the meridian of Garm or Harm it rises above the snowline, attaining at least 18,000 ft. in the Sary-kaudal
See also:peak, and 20,000 ft. farther east where it joins the
See also:snow-clad Darvaz range, and where the
See also:Sandal, adorned with several glaciers, rises to 24,000 or 25,000 ft . Only three passes, very difficult, are known across it . Darvaz, a small vassal state of
See also:Bokhara, is situated on the Panj, where it makes its
See also:bend westwards, and is emphatic-ally a mountainous region, agriculture being possible only in the lower parts of the valleys . The population, about 35,000, consists chiefly of Moslem Tajiks, and the closely-related
See also:Galchas, and its chief
See also:town is Kala-i-khumb on the Panj, at an altitude of 4370 ft . The chief
See also:river of Bokhara is the Oxus or Amu-darya, which separates it from Afghanistan on the south, and then flows along its south-west border . It is navigated from the mouth of the Surkhan, and steamboats ply on it up to Karki near the Afghan frontier . The next largest river, the Zarafshan, 66o m. long, the
See also:water of which is largely utilized for irrigation, is lost in the sands 20 M. before reaching the Oxus .
The Kashka-darya, which flows westwards out of the glaciers of Hazret-sultan (west of the Hissar range), supplies the Shahri-sabs (properly Shaarsabiz)
See also:oasis with water, but is lost in the desert to the west of Karshi . The climate of Bokhara is extreme . In the lowlands a very hot summer is followed by a
See also:short but
See also:cold winter, during which a
See also:frost of -20° Fahr. may set in, and the Oxus may freeze for a fortnight . In the
See also:highlands this hot and dry summer is followed by four months of winter; and, finally, in the regions above 8000 ft. there is a great development of snowfields and glaciers, the passes are buried under know, and the short summer is
See also:rainy . The lowlands are sometimes visited by terrible sand-storms from the west, which exhaust men and kill the
See also:cotton trees .
See also:Malaria is widely prevalent, and in some years, after a wet
See also:spring, assumes a malignant character . The population is estimated at 1,250,000 . The dominant
See also:race is the Uzbegs, who are fanatical Moslem
See also:Sunnites, scorn
See also:work, despise their Iranian subjects, and maintain their old division into tribes or clans . The nomad Turkomans and the nomad
See also:Kirghiz are also of
See also:Turkish origin; while the Sarts, who constitute the bulk of the population in the towns, are a mixture of
See also:Turks with Iranians . The great bulk of the population in the
See also:country is composed of Iranian Tajiks, who differ but very little from Sarts . Besides these there are Afghans, Persians, Jews,
See also:Arabs and Armenians . Much of the
See also:trade is in the hands of a colony of
See also:Hindus from
See also:Shikarpur .
Nearly 20 % of the population are nomads and about 15 % semi-nomads . On the irrigated lowlands
See also:rice, wheat and other cereals are cultivated, and exported to the highlands . Cotton is widely grown and exported .
See also:Silk is largely produced, and
See also:hemp and fruits are cultivated . Cattle-breeding is vigorously prosecuted in Hissar and the highlands generally . Cotton, silks, woollen
See also:cloth, and
See also:felt are manufactured, also boots, saddles, cutlery and weapons, pottery and various oils .
See also:Salt, as also some iron and copper, and small quantities of gold are extracted . Trade has been greatly promoted by the
See also:building of the Transcaspian railway across the country (from Charjui on the Oxus to Kati-
See also:kurgan) in 1886-1888 . The exports to Russia consist of raw cotton and silk, lamb-skins, fruits and carpets, and the imports of manufactured goods and
See also:sugar . The imports from India are cottons,
See also:tea, shawls and
See also:indigo . There are very few roads; goods are transported on camels, or on horses and donkeys in the hilly tracts . Bokhara has for ages been looked upon as the centre of Mussulman erudition in central Asia .
See also:fourth of the population is said to be able to read and write . The
See also:schools are numerous in the capital, as well as in the other cities, and even exist in villages, and madrasas or theological seminaries for higher courses of study are comparatively plentiful . The mullahs or priests enjoy very great influence, but the
See also:people are very superstitious, believing in
See also:witchcraft, omens,
See also:spirits and the evil
See also:eye .
See also:Women occupy a low position in the social scale, though
See also:slavery has been abolished at the instance of Russia . The emir of Bokhara is an autocratic ruler, his power being limited only by the traditional
See also:custom (sheriat) of the Mussulmans . He maintains an army of some 11,000 men, but is subject to Russian
See also:control, being in fact a vassal of that
See also:empire .
See also:History.—Bokhara was known to the ancients under the name of Sogdiana . It was too far removed to the east ever to be brought under the dominion of Rome, but it has shared deeply in all the various and bloody revolutions of Asia . The foundation of the capital is ascribed to Efrasiab, the great Persian hero . After the conquests of
See also:Alexander the Great Sogdiana formed
See also:part of the empire of the Seleucidae, and shared the fortunes of the rather better-known
See also:Bactria . Somewhat later the nomad Yue-chi began to move into the valley of the Oxus from the east, and gradually became a settled territorial power in Bactria and Sogdiana, and the dominions of their
See also:king, Kadphises I . (who is believed to have come to the
See also:throne about A.D .
45), extended from Bokhara to the
See also:Indus . The
See also:district, however, was re-conquered by
See also:Persia under the
See also:dynasty, and we hear of Nestorian Christians at Samarkand, at any
See also:rate in the 6th century .
See also:Islam was introduced shortly after the Arab
See also:conquest of Persia (640-642) and speedily became the dominant faith . In the early centuries of
See also:rule Sogdiana was one of the most celebrated and flourishing districts of central Asia . It was called Sughd, and contained the two great cities of Samarkand and Bokhara, of which the former was generally the seat of
See also:government, while the latter had a high reputation as a seat of religion and learning . During the early middle ages this region was also known as Ma wara '1 Nahr or Ma-
See also:vera-un-nahr, the meaning of which is given in the alternative classical title of Transoxiana . Malik Shah, third of the Seljuk dynasty of Persia, passed the Oxus about the end of the rrth century, and subdued the whole country watered by that river and the Jaxartes . In 1216 Bokhara was again subdued by Mahommed Shah Khwarizm, but his conquest was wrested from him by Jenghiz Khan in 1220 . The country was wasted by the fury of this savage conqueror, but recovered something of its former prosperity under Ogdai Khan, his son, whose disposition was humane and benevolent . His posterity kept possession till 1369, when Timur or Tamerlane
See also:bore down everything before him, and established his capital at Samarkand, which with Bokhara regained for a
See also:time its former splendour . Babar, the fifth in descent from Timur, was originally
See also:prince of Ferghana, but conquered Samarkand and
See also:northern India, where he founded the
See also:Mogul (Mughal) empire, His descendants ruled in the country until about 1500, when it was overrun by the Uzbeg Tatars, under Abulkhair or Ebulkheir Khan, the founder of the Shaibani dynasty, with which the history of Bokhara properly commences . The most remarkable representative of this
See also:family was Abdullah Khan (1556-1598), who greatly extended the limits of his
See also:kingdom by the conquest of Badakshan_
See also:Herat and Meshhed, and increased its prosperity by the public
See also:works which he authorized .
Before theclose of the century, however, the dynasty was
See also:extinct, and Bokhara was at once desolated by a Kirghiz invasion and distracted by a disputed succession . At length, in 1598, Bald Mehemet Khan, of the
See also:Astrakhan branch of the Timur family, mounted the throne, and thus introduced the dynasty of the Ashtarkhanides . The
See also:principal event of his reign was the defeat he inflicted on Shah Abbas of Persia in the neighbourhood of
See also:Balkh . His
See also:brother Vali Mehemet, who succeeded in 1605: soon alienated his subjects, and was supplanted by his
See also:nephew Imamkuli . After a highly prosperous reign this prince resigned in favour of his brother, Nazr Mehemet, under whom the country was greatly troubled by the
See also:rebellion of his sons, who continued to
See also:quarrel with eachother after their
See also:death . Meanwhile the district of Khiva, previously subject to Bokhara, was made an
See also:independent khanate by Abdul-Gazi Bahadur Khan; and in the reign of Subhankuli, who ascended the throne in 1680, the
See also:political power of Bokhara was still further lessened, though it continued to enjoy the unbounded respect of the Sunnite Mahommedans . Subhankuli died in 1702, and a war of succession broke out between his two sons, who were supported by the rivalry of two Uzbeg tribes . After five years the contest terminated in favour of Obeidullah, who was little better than a puppet in the hands of Rehim Bi Atalik, his
See also:vizier . The invasion of
See also:Nadir Shah of Persia came to
See also:complete the degradation of the land; and in 1740 the feeble king,
See also:Abu 'l-Faiz, paid homage to the conqueror, and was soon after murdered and supplanted by his vizier . The time of the Ashtarkhanides had been for the most part a time of dissolution and decay; fanaticism and imbecility went
See also:hand in hand . On its fall (1785) the throne was seized by the Manghit family in the
See also:person of Mir Ma'sum, who pretended to the most extravagant sanctity, and proved by his military career that he had no small amount of ability . He turned his
See also:attention to the encroachments of the Afghans, and in 1781 reconquered the greater part of what had been lost to the south of the Oxus .
Dying in 1802 he was succeeded by Said, who in bigotry and fanaticism was a true son of his father . In 1826 Nasrullah mounted the throne, and began with the
See also:murder of his brother a reign of continued oppression and cruelty . Meanwhile Bokhara became an
See also:object of rivalry to Russia and England, and envoys were sent by both nations to cultivate the favour of the emir, who treated the Russians with arrogance and the
See also:English with contempt . Two emissaries of the
See also:British government, Colonel C . Stoddart and Captain A .
See also:Conolly, were thrown by Nasrullah into prison, where they were put to death in 1842 . In 1862-1864 Arminius
See also:Vambery made in the disguise of a
See also:dervish a memorable
See also:journey through this fanatical state . At this time the Russian armies weie gradually advancing, and at last they appeared in
See also:Khokand; but the new emir, Mozaffer-eddin, instead of attempting to expiate the insults of his predecessor, sent a
See also:letter to General M . G . Chernayev summoning him to evacuate the country, and threatening to raise all the faithful against him . In 1866 the Russians invaded the territory of Bokhara proper, and a decisive
See also:battle was fought on the loth of May at Irdjar on the
See also:left bank of the Jaxartes . The Bokharians were defeated; but after a
See also:period of reluctant peace they forced the emir to renew the war .
In 1868 the Russians entered Samarkand (May 14), and the emir was constrained to submit to the terms of the conqueror, becoming henceforward only a Russian puppet . See Khanikov's Bokhara, translated by De
See also:Bode (1845) ; Vambery, Travels in Central Asia (1864), Sketches of Central Asia (1868), and History of Bukhara (1873) ; Fedchenko's "
See also:Sketch of the Zarafshan Valley " in Journ . R . Geogr .
See also:Soc . (1870) ; Hellwald, Die Russen in Central Asien (1873); Lipsky, Upper Bukhara, in Russian (1902); Skrine and
See also:Ross, The Heart of Asia (1899) ;
See also:Lord Ronaldshay, utskirts of Empire in Asia (1904) ; and Le
See also:Strange, The Lands of the Eastern
See also:Caliphate (1905) . (P . A . K.; C .
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