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Sogdiana (Sugdiane, O. Pers. Sughuda) was a province of the Achaemenian Empire[?], the eighteenth in the list in the Behistun Inscription of Darius (i. 16), corresponding to the modern districts of Samarkand and Bokhara.

It lay north of Bactria between the Oxus and the Jaxartes, and embraced the fertile valley of the Zerafshan[?] (anc. Polytimetus). Under the Greeks Sogdiana was united in one satrapy with Bactria, and subsequently it formed part of the Bactrian Greek kingdom till the Scythians occupied it in the middle of the the century BC.

The valley of the Zerafshan about Samarkand retained even in the Middle Ages the name of the Soghd O Samarkand. Arabic geographers reckon it as one of the four fairest districts in the world.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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