The silk road city of Samarkand


2002 Visit of / Visite de / Besuch von / Visita de / Chiamata di de Samarkande (ouzbekistan) / Samarkand (uzbekistan) Samarkandの訪問 / زياره سمرقند / 访问萨马尔罕 / Samarkand의 방문 Samarkand (Greek: Marakanda) is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, prospering from its location on the (Silk Road) trade route between China and Europe. At times Samarkand has been the greatest city of Central Asia, and for much of its history it has been under Persian rule. Founded circa 700 BCE it was already the capital of the Sogdian satrapy under the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia when Alexander the Great conquered it in 329 BCE (see Afrasiab, Sogdiana). Under Sassanid Empire of Persia, Samarkand flourished and became one of the most important cities of the Persian empire. Under Abbasid rule, the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners from the Battle of Talas in 751, which led to the first paper mill in the Islamic world to be founded in Samarkand. The invention then spread to the rest of the Islamic world, and from there to Europe (either through Spain or through crusaders). From the 6th to 13th centuries it grew larger and more populous than modern Samarkand and was controlled by the Western Turks, Arabs (who converted the area to Islam), Persian Samanids, Karakhan Turks, Seljuk Turks, Karakitay, and Khorezmshah before being sacked by the Mongols in 1220. A small part of the population survived, but Samarkand suffered at least another Mongol sack by