Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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, an ancient city of Transoxania, the Arabic Māʾ warāʾ al-Nahr [q.v.], situated on the southern bank of the Zarafs̲h̲ān river or Nahr Ṣug̲h̲d. In early Islamic times it was the first city of the region in extent and populousness, even when, as under the Sāmānids (3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries [q.v.]), Buk̲h̲ārā [q.v.] was the administrative capital. Samarḳand’s eminence arose from its position at the intersection of trade routes from India and Afg̲h̲ānistān via Balk̲h̲ and Tirmid̲h̲ [q.vv.] and from Persia via Marw [see marw al-s̲h̲āhid̲j̲ān ] which then led northwards and eastwar…

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Schaeder, H.H., Bosworth, C.E. and Crowe, Yolande, “Samarḳand”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 01 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0996>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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