By the Oxus and on the S.
In the spring of 328 Alexander crossed the Hindu Kush into Bactria and followed the retreat of Bessus across the Oxus and into Sogdiana (Bokhara).
The north-eastern portion of this range is of great altitude, and separates the headwaters of the Oxus, which run off to the Aral Sea, from those of the Indus and its Kabul tributary, which, uniting below Peshawar, are thence discharged southward into the Arabian Sea.
The western part of the range, which received the name of Paropamisus Mons from the ancients, diminishes in height west of the 65th meridian and constitutes the northern face of the Afghan and Persian plateau, rising abruptly from the plains of the Turkoman desert, which lies between the Oxus and the Caspian.
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.
From it the Oxus, or Amu, flows off to the west, and the Jaxartes, or Syr, to the north, through the Turki state of Khokand, while to the east the waters run down past Kashgar to the central desert of the Gobi, uniting with the streams from the northern slope of the Tibetan plateau that traverse the principalities of Yarkand and Khotan, which are also Turki.
The next great accession to our knowledge of central Asiatic geography was gained with the Russo-Afghan Boundary Commission of 1884-1886, when Afghan Turkestan and the Oxus regions were mapped by Colonel Sir T.
The Afghan war of 1878-80; the Russo-Afghan Boundary Commission of 1884-1885; the occupation of Gilgit and Chitral; the extension of boundaries east and north of Afghanistan, and again, between Baluchistan and Persia - these, added to the opportunities afforded by the systematic survey of Baluchistan which has been steadily progressing since 1880 - combined to produce a series of geographical maps which extend from the Oxus to the Indus, and from the Indus to the Euphrates.
The depression westward of the Caspian and Aral basins, and the original connexion of these seas, have also come under the close investigation of Russian scientists, with the result that the theory of an ancient connexion between the Oxus and the Caspian has been displaced by the more recent hypothesis of an extension of the Caspian Sea eastwards into Trans-Caspian territory within the postPleiocene age.
Further matter of interest in connexion with the Oxus basin was elucidated by the researches of L.
The advance of Russia to the Turkoman deserts and the Oxus demanded a definite boundary between her trans-Caspian conquests and the kingdom of Afghanistan.
Between the Hari Rud (the river of Herat) and the Oxus, in which is almost entirely artificial in its construction.
From the junction of the boundary with the Oxus at Khamiab about 150 m.
Above the crossing-point of the Russian Trans-Caspian railway at Charjui, the main channel of the Oxus river becomes the northern boundary of Afghanistan, separating that country from Russia, and so continues to its source in Victoria Lake of the Great Pamir.
Where the Oxus river takes its great bend to the north from Ishkashim, the breadth of the Afghan territory intervening between that river and the main water-divide of the Hindu Kush is not more than 10 or 12 m.; and east of the Pamir extension of Afghanistan, where the Beyik Pass crosses the Sarikol range and drops into the Taghdumbash Pamir, there is but the narrow width of the Karachukar valley between the Sarikol and the Murtagh.
The Turks are Mahommedans; their tribes extend up the Oxus to the borders of Afghanistan and Persia, and to the Caspian, and under the name of Kirghiz into Russia, and their language is spoken over a large part of western Asia.
The power of the Achaemenidae, when at its maximum, extended from the Oxus and Indus in the east to Thrace in the west and Egypt in the south, but fell before Greece, after lasting for rather more than 200 years.
R.G.S., 1898; Ten Thousand Miles in Persia (1902); Kronshin, " Old Beds of the Oxus," Jour.
5), or on the Oxus (Plin.
He succeeded his father Da'ud as ruler of Khorasan in 1059, and his uncle Togrul Bey as sultan of Oran in 1063, and thus became sole monarch of Persia from the river Oxus to the Tigris.
The trade from India which went down the Oxus and then to the Caspian does not seem to have been considerable (Tarn, Journ.
Of the Pata Kesar ferry on the Oxus river.
In 1040 the Seljuk Turks crossed the Oxus from the north, and having defeated Masud, sultan of Ghazni, raised Toghrul Beg, grandson of Seljuk, to the throne of Persia, founding the Seljukian dynasty, with its capital at Nishapur.
On the west, Badakshan is bounded by a line which crosses the Turkestan plains southwards from the junction of the Kunduz and Oxus rivers till it touches the eastern waterdivide of the Tashkurghan river (here called the Koh-i-Chungar), and then runs south-east, crossing the Sarkhab affluent of the Khanabad (Kunduz), till it strikes the Hindu Kush.
The Dorah connects Zebak and Ishkashim at the elbow, or bend, of the Oxus with the Lutku valley leading to Chitral.
Skirting round the head of the Tagdumbash Pamir, it finally merges into the Pamir boundary, and turns westwards, following the course of the Oxus, to the junction of that river and the Khanabad (Kunduz).
So far as the northern boundary follows the Oxus stream, under the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush, it is only separated by the length of these slopes (some 8 or 10 m.) from the southern boundary along the crest.
Before the boundary settlement of 1873 the small states of Roshan and Shignan extended to the left bank of the Oxus, and the province of Darwaz, on the other hand, extended to the right bank.
To the north the plateau gradually slopes away towards the Oxus,, falling from an average altitude of 15,000 ft.
Some of its sources are near Zebak, close to the great bend of the Oxus northwards, so that it cuts off all the mountainous area included within that bend from the rest of Badakshan.
From the Oxus (loon ft.) to Faizabad (4000 ft.) and Zebak (850o ft.) the course of the Kokcha offers a high road across Badakshan;, between Zebak and Ishkashim, at the Oxus bend, there is but an insignificant pass of 9500 ft.; and from Ishkashim by the Panja, through the Pamirs, is the continuation of what must once have been a much-traversed trade route connecting Afghan Turkestan with Kashgar and China.
Within the Oxus bend, is the mountainous district of Darwaz,.
Northwards from the Hindu Kush (it is across this range that the route from Zebak to Ishkashim lies), which determines the great bend of the Oxus river northwards from Ishkashim, and narrows the valley of that river into the formation of a trough as far as the next bend westwards at Kala Wamar.
The western slopes of this range drain to the Oxus either north-westwards, by the Kokcha and the Ragh, or else they twist their streams into the Shiwa, which runs due north across Darwaz.
Of its length, from its roots in the Pamir regions till it fades into the Koh-i-Baba to the west of Kabul, this great range forms the water-divide between the Kabul and the Oxus basins, and, for the first 200 m.
As the Hindu Kush strikes westwards, after first rounding the head of an Oxus tributary (the Ab-i-Panja, which Curzon considers to be the true source of the Oxus), it closely overlooks the trough of that glacier-fed stream under its northern spurs, its crest at the nearest point being separated from the river by a distance which cannot much exceed io m.
Of this south-westerly bend, bearing away from the Oxus, where the Hindu Kush overlooks the mountain wilderness of Badakshan to the west, the crest is intersected by many passes, of which the most important is the Dorah group (including the Minjan.
And the Mandal), which rise to about 15,000 ft., and which are, under favourable conditions, practicable links between the Oxus and Chitral basins.
From the Khawak to the head of the Ghorband (a river of the Hindu Kush which, rising to the north-west of Kabul, flows north-east to meet the Panjshir near Charikar, whence they run united into the plains of Kohistan) the Hindu Kush is intersected by passes at intervals, all of which were surveyed, and several utilized, during the return of the Russo-Afghan boundary commission from the Oxus to Kabul in 1886.
The Mandal pass, a few miles south of the Dorah, is the connecting link between the Oxus and the Bashgol valley of Kafiristan; and the Bashgol valley leads directly to the Chitral valley at Arnawai, about 50 m.
Chosroes united with them and conquered Bactria, while he left the country north of the Oxus to the Turks.
They beat down all opposition, wrested even Bosporus in the Crimea from the empire, and by the annihilation of the Ephthalites completed the ruin of the White Race of the plains from the Oxus to the Don.
The rivers rising in the southern mountains, which no longer reach the Oxus, terminate in vast swamps near Akcha, and into these the debris of such vegetation as yearly springs up on the slopes of the southern hills is washed down in time of flood.
Situated at the junction of routes from the valley of the Oxus, from Khokand and Samarkand, Almati, Aksu, and Khotan, the last two leading from China and India, Kashgar has been noted from very early times as a political and commercial centre.
But after a few months Afzul Khan raised an insurrection in the northern province, between the Hindu Kush mountains and the Oxus, where he had been governing when his father died; and then began a fierce contest for power among the sons of Dost Mahomed, which lasted for nearly five years.
Although his father, Afzul Khan, who had none of these qualities, came to terms with the Amir Shere Ali, the son's behaviour in the northern province soon excited the amir's suspicion, and Abdur Rahman, when he was summoned to Kabul, fled across the Oxus into Bokhara.
From the end of 1888 the amir passed eighteen months in his northern provinces bordering upon the Oxus, where he was engaged in pacifying the country that had been disturbed by revolts, and in punishing with a heavy hand all who were known or suspected to have taken any part in rebellion.
It lies on the right bank of the middle Oxus, between 37° and 41° N., and between 62° and 72° E., and is bounded by the Russian governments of Syr-darya, Samarkand and Ferghana on the N., the Pamirs on the E., Afghanistan on the S., and the Transcaspian territory and Khiva on the W.
The Hissar range, a westward continuation of the Alai Mountains, separates the Zarafshan from the tributaries of the Oxus - the Surkhan, Kafirnihan and Vakhsh.
The chief river of Bokhara is the Oxus or Amu-darya, which separates it from Afghanistan on the south, and then flows along its south-west border.
May set in, and the Oxus may freeze for a fortnight.
Trade has been greatly promoted by the building of the Transcaspian railway across the country (from Charjui on the Oxus to Kati-kurgan) in 1886-1888.
Somewhat later the nomad Yue-chi began to move into the valley of the Oxus from the east, and gradually became a settled territorial power in Bactria and Sogdiana, and the dominions of their king, Kadphises I.
Malik Shah, third of the Seljuk dynasty of Persia, passed the Oxus about the end of the 11th century, and subdued the whole country watered by that river and the Jaxartes.
The Ilek Khan, having retreated across the Oxus, returned with reinforcements, and took up a position a few miles from Balkh, where he was signally defeated by Mahmud.
It may suffice to mention that, under the leadership of Pigu Arslan Israil, they crossed the Oxus and spread over the eastern provinces of Persia, everywhere plundering and destroying.
The imprisonment of this chieftain by Masud, the son and successor of Malhmud, was of no avail: it only furnished his nephews with a ready pretext to cross the Oxus likewise in arms against the Ghaznavids.
By the invasion of these hordes several Turkish tribes, the Ghuzz and others, were driven beyond the Oxus, where they killed the Seljuk governor of Balkh, though they professed to be loyal to Sinjar.
By the river Oxus, called Virkana, or "Wolf's Land," in Old Persian.
326-375), one of the greatest of Indian kings, who conquered nearly the whole of India, and whose alliances extended from the Oxus to Ceylon; but his name was at one time entirely lost to history, and has only been recovered of recent years from coins and inscriptions.
How far they reach up the present courses of the Oxus (Amu-darya) and Jaxartes (Syr-darya) is not known.
Eastwards it penetrated up the Uzboi depression between the Great and Little Balkhan ranges, so that that depression, which is strewn (as mentioned above) with Post-Tertiary marine deposits, was not (as is sometimes supposed) an old bed of the Oxus, but a gulf of the Caspian.
The southern coast is occupied by the delta of the Oxus (Phan, Amu-darya), one of the arms of which, the Laudan, forms a swamp, 80 m.