Samarkand (Uzbek. Samarqand / Samargand) is the third largest and second most populous city in Uzbekistan, the administrative center of the Samarkand region (vilyat). The total area of the city is 120 km². The population as of January 1, 2018 […]
Samarkand (Uzbek. Samarqand / Samargand) is the third largest and second most populous city in Uzbekistan, the administrative center of the Samarkand region (vilyat).
The total area of the city is 120 km². The population as of January 1, 2018 was 529,900 inhabitants.
The city is located at an altitude of about 720 meters above sea level. The historical center of the city is the Registan square and ensemble.
In 2001, the city and its historical, architectural and archaeological monuments were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List under the name “Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures”.
Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded, according to archaeological data, in the 8th century BC. e; the center of the historical region and the state of Sogdiana.
For more than 2000 years, the city was a key point on the Great Silk Road between China and Europe, as well as one of the main centers of science in the medieval East.
In the XIV century it was the capital of the empire of Tamerlane and the Timurid dynasty. The vast majority of the city’s architectural masterpieces were built during this era. This was the period of the highest development of Samarkand.
In 1925-1930 Samarkand was the capital of the Uzbek SSR.
According to one version, the name Samarkand goes back to the Sogdian Smʼrknδh and comes from the words asmara (stone or rock) and kand (fort or city).
The city is also known in ancient literature as Maracanda (ancient Greek Μαράκανδα). According to written sources, Samarkand comes from the Turkic Semiz kent, which means “rich / fat settlement” (seven is rich / fat, kent is a city).
This is reported by medieval Chinese sources, calling Samarkand Si-mi-se-kan and explaining that this means “fat city”.
The same version was supported by the encyclopedic scientist Abu Raikhan Al-Biruni. The 13th century Armenian chronicler Sumbat reported that “Samarkand” means “fat city” or “fat city”.
The Spanish ambassador to the court of Tamerlane, Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, known for describing his journey, writes about Samarkand, but stipulates that his real name is “Simeskint”, which means “rich village”.
Versions of Abu Tahirkhoja Samarkandi
The famous Samarkand historian, ethnographer and scientist Abu Takhirkhodja Samarkandi, who lived in the 19th century, in his famous book “Samaria” in Persian, dedicated to Samarkand, gives 5 versions of the origin and etymology of the name of the city.
In the first version of the origin of the name of the city of Abu Tahirkhoja Samarkandi refers to a certain historical book “Burkhani kate”, which says that in ancient times a man named Samar settled in the present territory of the city and created a settlement where people from the surrounding area began to move.
Subsequently, the city was called Samarkand in his honor, and after a long time the name gradually takes the form of Samarkand (especially after the Arab conquest of Central Asia). This variant of the name is finally assigned to the city.
In the second version of the origin of the name of the city of Abu Takhirkhoja, Samarkandi refers to a certain historical book “Masalik-ul-Mamalik”, which says that a certain khan named Samar Bakir “from the edges of Fergana and Kashgar” attacks the city by digging under the outer defensive walls and thus captures the city and destroys its walls.
After that, the city becomes known as Samar kozdi (the word kozdi is translated from the Turkic language as podkop / dig), that is, it can literally be translated as Podkop Samara or Kopal Samar.
The third version is close to the second: Abu Tahirkhoja Samarkandi this time refers to a certain book “Tarikhi Tabari”, which says that a khan named Samar with his army comes to the present territory of the city and creates a settlement.
A certain Turkic tribe of Kands moved to a new settlement, and after the Arab conquest the city received the name Samarkand.
The fourth version is also close to the second and third: this time Abu Tahirkhoja Samarkandi refers to a certain book “Haft iklim”, which says that one of the Maliks from Yaman Tubbai named Samar destroys the walls of the city, and after the arrival of the Arabs, the city began to be called Samarkand.
The last, fifth version of Abu Tahirkhoja Samarkandi looks a little differently. On the site of the city, there was a spring called Samar.
Subsequently, people settled around this spring, and a city appeared, which is called Samarkand, that is, the City with a spring.
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