Bukhara (Uzbek. Buxoro) – one of the oldest cities in Central Asia, the administrative center of the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan; a real architectural and historical-cultural reserve, which has preserved the unique architectural monuments of all historical eras, starting from […]
Bukhara (Uzbek. Buxoro) – one of the oldest cities in Central Asia, the administrative center of the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan; a real architectural and historical-cultural reserve, which has preserved the unique architectural monuments of all historical eras, starting from the 9th century. In the developed Middle Ages, it was the focus of culture, science and Muslim theology of the entire Middle and Near East.
Bukhara is the only city in Central Asia whose pre- and early Islamic history was described in detail in the famous work of Narshakhi, a historian who lived in the 10th century.
For centuries, the city did not change its location and was the center of the possessions of the Bukharkhudats, the capital of the states of the Samanids, Sheibanids, Ashtarkhanids, Mangyts and BNSR.
For many centuries Bukhara played the role of a large administrative, trade, craft and cultural center of Central Asia. One of the routes of the Great Silk Road, connecting the Mediterranean countries with the Far East, passed through the city.
Bukhara, as well as throughout the centuries, remained a kind of Mecca for Central Asian Muslims. Numerous mazars – places of worship attracted a huge number of pilgrims. Famous scientists – theologians lived in the city, strengthening its glory as a center of Muslim theology.
The toponym Bukhara (Buxara) was first mentioned on the early copper coins of Bukhara with Sogdian inscriptions (IV-V centuries)
In written sources, the word “Bukhoro” was first noted by the Chinese scholar and translator Xuanzan (602-664).
According to one of the assumptions, the whole oasis was called Bukhara in ancient times, and, probably, only in the 10th century its name was finally transferred to the city.
There are various versions of the origin of the name of the city. According to a number of scholars relying on Juvaini’s information, this name goes back to the Sanskrit vihara (“Buddhist monastery”). This word is very close to the word in the language of the Uyghur and Chinese Buddhists, who called their places of worship in the same way. However, no artifacts related to Buddhism and Manichaeism have yet been found on the territory of the city and the oasis.
In the ancient Uigur language, the word “Bukhar” meant exactly “temple”, “prayer room”
The historian and philologist of the 11th century Mahmud Kashgari notes that the name of the city of Bukhara comes from the name of the temple of idolaters.
There are other assumptions according to which the toponym “Buhara” reflects the Sogdian word buharak (“happy place”) and according to which the word “Bukhar” in the language of the Persian priests-magicians means “the concentration of learning” or “the abode of knowledge.”
Other names of the city – Numi, Naumi, Numidjkat – are recorded in Chinese and Arabic written sources and, according to V. A. Livshits, go back to the Sogdian word Namich (“famous”, “glorious”).
The 10th century historian Narshakhi, originally from Bukhara, writes that no city had as many names as Bukhara.
In Chinese sources of the 5th century, the city was first mentioned as Nyumi, in which the residence of the ruler of the property of the same name was located.
In the 7th century, in the chronicles of the Tang Empire, its name is mentioned in the following forms: An (Ango) (Chinese 安 國), Anxi, Buho, Buhe, Bukhala, and Fuho. Later, in old books and manuscripts in Arabic, the city was mentioned under different names: Bumiskat, Madinat as-sufriyya (Copper city), Madinat at-tujjar, Numijkent; in one of the hadiths from the Prophet Muhammad – Fakhir and others. Among these names, the most popular was the name Bukhara.
From 1888 to the 1940s, Bukhara was listed in the documents as Old Bukhara after the founding of New Bukhara.
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