The most famous Arsaces was the chief of the Parni, one of the nomadic Scythian or Dahan tribes in the desert east of the Caspian Sea.
Its geographical range was formerly very extensive, and included Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, Transylvania, Galicia, the Caucasus as far as the Caspian, southern Russia, Italy, Spain, Greece, Rumania, Bulgaria, Servia, and portions of central and northern Asia.
It was an exciting chase of king by king, in which each covered the ground by incredible exertions, shedding their slower-going followers as they went, past Rhagae (Rai) and the Caspian gates, till early one morning Alexander came in sight of the broken train which still clung to the fallen king.
The pursuit had brought Alexander into that region of mountains to the south of the Caspian which connects western Iran with the provinces to the east of the great central desert.
Finally, at Jorjan, near the Caspian, he met with a friend, who bought near his own house a dwelling in which Avicenna lectured on logic and astronomy.
It rises in the northern slopes of the Koh-i-Baba to the west of Kabul, and finally loses itself in the Tejend oasis north of the Trans-Caspian railway and west of Merv.
LENKORAN, a town in Russian Transcaucasia, in the government of Baku, stands on the Caspian Sea, at the mouth of a small stream of its own name, and close to a large lagoon.
His armies crossed the plains beyond the Caspian, penetrated the wild mountain passes northwest of India, and did not turn back until they had entered on the Indo-Gangetic plain.
A few years afterwards, a Fleming named Rubruquis was sent on a similar mission, and had the merit of being the first traveller of this era who gave a correct account of the Caspian Sea.
The Caspian and Volga.
In 1579 Christopher Burroughs built a ship at Nizhniy Novgorod and traded across the Caspian to Baku; and in 1598 Sir Anthony and Robert Shirley arrived in Persia, and Robert was afterwards sent by the shah to Europe as his ambassador.
In 1738 John Elton traded between Astrakhan and the Persian port of Enzeli on the Caspian, and undertook to build a fleet for Nadir Shah.
This is the case, for instance, in the Caspian sea, the Aral and Balkhash lakes, the Tarim basin, the Sahara, inner Australia, the great basin of the United States and the Titicaca basin.
With the opening of the Russian railway from the Caspian to Merv, Bokhara and Samarkand in 1886-1887, Russian manufacturers were enabled to compete in Central Asia with their western rivals, and the value of European manufactures passing Meshed in transit was much reduced.
Side of the same sea it zigzags from the Black Sea to the Caspian, utilizing the river Aras (Araxes) for part of the distance.
As the Caspian is virtually a Russian sea, Persia may be said to form the next link in the S.
The flat lands which extend from the base of the Alpine foothills to the shores of the Arctic Ocean, assume the character either of dry deserts, as in the Aral-Caspian depression, or of low tablelands, as in central Russia and E.
A broad depression - the Aral-Caspian desert - has arisen where the plateau formation reaches its greatest altitude, and at the same time suddenly changes its direction from N.W.
This desert is now filled to only a small extent by the salt waters of the Caspian, Aral and Balkash inland seas; but it bears unmistakable traces of having been during Post-Pliocene times an immense inland basin.
All the older subdivisions are represented, the deposits having the characters of a deep-sea formation in the Aral-Caspian region and on the Caucasus.
The Pliocene appears only in the coast region of the Black and Azov Seas, but it is widely developed in the Aral-Caspian region, where, however, the Ust-Urt and the Obshchiy Syrt rose above the sea.
A deep gulf of the Arctic Sea advanced up the valley of the Dvina; and the Caspian, connected by the Manych with the Black Sea, and by the Uzboy valley with Lake Aral, penetrated N.
It has the Asiatic dominions of the empire, Siberia and the Kirghiz steppes, from both of which it is separated by the Ural Mountains, the Ural river and the Caspian - the administrative boundary, however, partly extending into Asia on the Siberian slope of the Urals.
But even this sheet of water is an inland sea, the only outlet of which, the Bosphorus, is in foreign hands, while the Caspian, an immense shallow lake, mostly bordered by deserts, possesses more importance as a link between Russia and her Asiatic settlements than as a channel for intercourse with other countries.
Of the Caspian, comprising the lower Volga and the Ural and Emba rivers, and establishing a link between Russia and the Aral-Caspian region.
By their means the plains of the central plateau - the very heart of Russia, whose natural outlet was the Caspian - were brought into water-communication with the Baltic, and the Volga basin was connected with the Gulf of Finland.
By canal with the Caspian and the Baltic. The Vychegda, which flows W.S.W.
Finally, in the S.E., towards the Caspian, on the slopes of the southern Urals and the plateau of Obshchiy Syrt, as also in the interior of the Crimea, and in several parts of Bessarabia, there are large tracts of real desert, buried under coarse sand and devoid of vegetation.
Everywhere the rainfall is small: if Finland and Poland on the one hand and Caucasia with the Caspian depression on the other be excluded, the average yearly rainfall varies between 16 and 28 in.
The rivers freeze rapidly; towards November 10th all the streams of the White Sea basin are ice-bound, and so remain for an average of 167 days; those of the Baltic, Black Sea and Caspian basins freeze later, but about December the 10th nearly all the rivers of the country are highways for sledges.
For days together the traveller sees no other vegetation; even this, however, disappears as he approaches the regions recently left dry by the Caspian, where saline clays, bearing a few Salsolaceae, or mere sand, take the place of the black earth.
A great circle, drawn through East Cape and the southern point of Arabia, passes nearly along the coast-line of the Arctic Ocean, over the Ural Mountains, through the western part of the Caspian, and nearly along the boundary between Persia and Asiatic Turkey.
Above sea, where all the main rivers flow northward to the Mediterranean, the Arctic Sea, or the Caspian; a central section of depression, where the drainage is lost in swamps or hamuns, and of which the average level probably does not exceed 2000 ft.
From the Caspian to Karachi it is possible to pass without encountering any orographic obstacle greater than the divide which separates the valley of the Hari Rud from the Helmund hamun basin, which may be represented by an altitude of about 4000 ft.
To the southern shore of the Caspian, and thence to the Black Sea and Sea of Marmora.
Along the south coast of the Caspian this line of elevation is prolonged as the Elburz range(not to be confused with the Elburz of the Caucasus), and has its culminating point in Demavend, which rises to 19,400 ft.
Below the north-east declivity of this range lies Georgia, on the other side of which province rises the Caucasus, the boundary of Asia and Europe between the Caspian and Black Seas, the highest points of which reach an elevation of nearly 19,000 ft.
The area between the northern border of the Persian high lands and the Caspian and Aral Seas is a nearly desert low-lying plain, extending to the foot of the north - western extremity of the great Tibeto-Himalayan mountains, and prolonged east- Trans- ward up the valleys of the Oxus (Amu-Darya) and Caspian Jaxartes (Syr-Darya), and northward across the country re ior, and of the Kirghiz to the south-western border of Siberia.
But beyond the eastern shores of the Caspian no system of direct geodetic measurements by first-class triangulation has been possible, and the surveys of Asiatic Russia are separated from those of Europe by the width of that inland sea.
The arid nature of the trans-Caspian deserts has proved an insuperable obstacle to those rigorous methods of geodetic survey which distinguish Russian methods in Europe, so that Russian geography in central Asia is dependent on other means than that of direct measurement for the co-ordinate values in latitude and longitude for any given point.
The astronomical observatory at Tashkent is adopted for the initial starting-point of the trans-Caspian triangulation of Russia; the triangulation ranks as second-class only, and now extends to the Pamir frontier beyond Osh.
Among other distinguished Russian explorers in Asia, the names of Lessar, Annentkov (who bridged the Trans-Caspian deserts by a railway), P. K.