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(38,204 words)

i. In pre-Islamic times. ii. From the Arab invasions to the Mongols. iii. After the Mongol invasion. iv. The khanate of Bukhara and Khorasan. v. Archeology and monuments. vi. The Bukharan school of miniature painting. vii. Bukharan Jews.

i. In pre-Islamic times. ii. From the Arab invasions to the Mongols. iii. After the Mongol invasion. iv. The khanate of Bukhara and Khorasan. v. Archeology and monuments. vi. The Bukharan school of miniature painting. vii. Bukharan Jews.

A version of this article is available in print

Volume IV, Fascicle 5, pp. 511

BUKHARA i. In Pre-Islamic Times

The site or town of Bukhara was one of many settlements in the large oasis formed by the mouths of the Zarafshan (Zarafšān) river in ancient Sogdiana. Since there is no evidence that the river reached the Oxus in historic times, it is a reasonable assumption that in the first millennium B.C. irrigation, using the water of the river, enabled an ever-growing population to expand the arable land of the oasis. At the time of Alexander the Great no city is reported to have existed in this area, and the history of Bukhara cannot be traced before the 4th or 5th century of our era, which is the probable date of the first coins with indigenous Bukharan Sogdian writing on them. The alphabet used is one derived from Aramaic.

The name Bukhara may be derived either from a Sogdian word *βuxārak, whence Old Turkish Buqaraq, meaning “fortunate place” (cf. Christian So. fwxʾr) or, less likely, from a local form of vihāra, a Buddhist monastery (see buddhism ii). Naršaḵī seems to favor the former, citing an Arabic word fāḵera with the same meaning, whereas Jovaynī (I, p. 76; tr. p. 98) supports the derivation from vihāra. The name is spelled pwxʾr in a Sogdian manuscript in Sogdian script of uncertain date (Henning, 1940, pp. 8-9).

On the obverse of the coins from Bukhara appears the bust of a ruler facing right and wearing a crown copied from the crown of the Sasanian Bahrām V (r. 420-38). This gives the earliest date for the coinage, but it is unknown how much later than the time of Bahrām that the coinage actually began (see Frye, 1949, p. 26). The earliest coins have the legend βwγʾr γwβ ʾšδʾδʾ “King Ašδāδ of Bukhara”? (Smirnova, 1970, p. 56). Later kings have a legend reading βwγʾr γwβ kʾwʾ (or kʾn ʾ) “king of Bukhara, the hero” (or: “Kā¦nā¦,” a personal name). On still later coins the third word of the legend is shortened to kʾw (So. “giant”) or kʾy, which Henning (apud Frye, 1949, p. 28) suggested was a Sogdian calque on the Middle Persian Kay (written kdy), a title first found on legends of the coins of Pērōz (r. 459-84). After the Arab conquest Arabic words were added to the coins, and gradually the Bukharan legend, no longer understood, degenerated to illegibility. Finally only Arabic legends appear, which for the most part are only pious formulae. The data of the coins with Arabic legends is from early ʿAbbasid times, for standard Islamic coins with only Arabic legends ousted the Bukharan coins by the time of the Samanids, although local issues of the Bukharan coins continued for several centuries. The long series of coins, however, reveals the conservatism of the people of the Bukharan oasis, and perhaps a longer usage of a local written form of Sogdian than hitherto assumed.

Although the coins reveal the existence of a pre-Islamic government in the oasis, undoubtedly the area was settled before the beginning of the coinage. Naršaḵī’s assertion (pp. 7-8; tr. p. 6) that the site of Bukhara had been a swamp in ancient times but that the river brought silt that filled the lowlands and enabled people to live there probably is correct. There may even have been an Oxian lake there in very early times according to Ptolemy (4.12.3).

The Tārīḵ-e Boḵārā mentions several pre-Islamic rulers, but their names are uncertain, and we know nothing about them. The first ruler of Bukhara mentioned by Naršaḵī (p. 8; tr. p. 7) is Abrūʾī or Abarzī. He became tyrannical and was overthrown by a Turkish ruler called Qarā Jūrjīn. Unfortunately neither person can be identified from other sources. Another ruler mentioned by Naršaḵī (p. 49; tr. p. 35) is Kānā, who is credited with introducing coinage into Bukhara of the time of Abū Bakr, the first caliph. This is hardly acceptable, but whether this is a misreading of the word kʾwʾ on the coins (see above) is uncertain. Another ruler is called Māḵ (p. 29; tr. p. 19), who is said to have built the bāzār in Bukhara called after his name, and still another king of Bukhara called Dīzoʾī is mentioned on a silver vessel (see Frye, 1950, p. 110). Again nothing is known about these rulers.

It would seem that there were several local lords in the oasis of Bukhara, especially in the towns of Paykand, Vardana, and Varaḵša. Both Paykand and Varaḵša are mentioned as residences of the rulers by Naršaḵī, but it is unknown whether they were local rulers or rulers of the entire oasis. Some kind of unity in the oasis is implied by the coinage, by the extensive irrigation system, and by the long walls around the settled and cultivated areas. The wall, called kampīrak or kampīr dovāl “old lady’s wall,” probably existed in pre-Islamic times although it may not have been completed (or extended) until the early ʿAbbasid period. In spite of an apparent unity of the oasis the success of the Arab conquest suggests there was little more unity in the oasis than between oases.

With a ruler of Bukhara called Bīdūn (or Bandūn) we reach the time just before the Arab conquest, for he is mentioned by a number of Arabic sources, although with several variant readings of his name. It is uncertain whether he was killed in battle with Salm b. Zīād, the first Arab commander to cross the Oxus in 681, or whether he was already dead and his widow, called Ḵātūn in the sources, was regent for their son Ṭoḡšāda. Under Ṭoḡšāda the Arab conquest of Bukhara was accomplished. It should be noted that in the Arabic sources the rulers of Bukhara were called Boḵār-ḵodāt, where the last word is Sogdian γwtʾw, used for the nobility or aristocracy of the Sogdian oases.

The boundaries of the oasis of Bukhara on the whole have remained constant during the last millennium, but from pre-Islamic times mounds or remains of buildings are found in the desert to the west, outside the present-day oasis, attesting a larger area of settlement in more ancient times (see Shishkin, p. 22). There were many canals in the oasis that utilized the water of the Zarafshan river, and three of the major canals mentioned in Arabic or Persian sources can be identified today: Šāpūrkām (today Shafrikan/Šāfrekān), Ḵarḡ/qānrūd (Kalkan), and Ḵetfar or ʿĀv/Ḡāw-Ḵetfar (Babkent Darya/Bābkand Daryā), which divided into the Andāna and the Rāmīṯan-Sāmjan canals (Naršaḵī, pp. 44-45, tr. Frye, p. 32; Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 310-11; Ebn Ḥawqal, pp. 486-87, tr. Kramers, II, pp. 466-67; Barthold, Turkestan, pp. 113-16).

The only extensive historical pre-Islamic excavations in the oasis were those of a palace complex in Varaḵša in 1938-39 and 1949-54, revealing traces of wall paintings as well as clay statuettes. In the city of Bukhara the site of the mosque of Magoki Attar was investigated by V. A. Shishkin in the 1950s, and pottery and other small objects from the earliest layer suggested a date as early as the beginning of our era. Other sites, such as that of Paykand, have only been surveyed (Shishkin, p. 16).


  • R. N. Frye, Notes on the Early Coinage of Transoxania, New York, 1949.
  • Idem, “Additional Notes on the Coinage of Transoxiana,” American Numismatic Society. Museum Notes (New York) 4, 1950, pp. 105-14.
  • W. B. Henning, Sogdica, James O. Forlong Fund 21, London, 1940.
  • Jovaynī, Tārīḵ-e jahāngošā, ed. Qazvīnī; tr. Boyle. Naršaḵī, Tārīḵ-e Boḵārā, ed. Rażawī; tr. Frye. O. I. Smirnova, Ocherki iz istorii Sogda, Moscow, 1970.
  • V. A. Shishkin, Varakhsha, Moscow, 1963.
  • O. A. Sukhareva, K istorii gorodov Bukharskogo khanstva, Tashkent, 1958.

BUKHARA ii. From the Arab Invasions to the Mongols

At the time of the Arab conquests in Transoxania, Bukhara was ruled by the indigenous Sogdian dynasty of the Boḵār-ḵodāts (see i, above). The first appearance of Arab armies there is traditionally placed in Moʿāwīa’s caliphate when, according to Naršaḵī (pp. 52-53, tr. Frye, pp. 37ff.), ʿObayd-Allāh b. Zīād b. Abīhe (q.v.) crossed the Oxus and appeared at Bukhara (end of 53/673-beginning of 54/673-74). Bukhara was at this time being ruled by a woman, Ḵātūn, as regent for her infant son the Boḵār-ḵodāt Ṭoḡšāda, but, despite an appeal to the nearby Turks (the Western Tiu-kiu or Türgeš), she had to submit and pay the Arabs a tribute of a million dirhams and 4,000 slaves. This was renewed two years later to the new governor Saʿīd b. ʿOṯmān, but it is quite clear that no permanent Arab control was established in the city (H. A. R. Gibb, The Arab Conquests in Central Asia, London, 1923, pp. 17-20).

The achievement of this was to be the task of Qotayba b. Moslem Bāhelī (q.v.), governor of Khorasan from 85/704 or 86/705 to 96/715. During arduous campaigns in Sogdia (87-90/706-9), Qotayba in the end overcame the resistance of the Bukharans and their Turkish allies, imposed a tribute of 200,000 dirhams to the caliph and 10,000 to the governor of Khorasan, and placed an Arab garrison in the city, forcing every home owner to share his residence with Arabs. In 94/712-13 he erected within the citadel the first mosque in Bukhara, on the site of a former (Buddhist, Zoroastrian?) temple (bot-ḵāna), but had at the outset actually to pay the local people two dirhams a time to attend the Muslim worship there on Fridays (Naršaḵī, pp. 67-68, tr. p. 49; Gibb, op. cit., pp. 33-41). The Boḵār-ḵodāt Ṭoḡšāda remained as co-ruler with the Arabs until his murder in 121/73, and was latterly on terms of friendship with the Omayyad governor Naṣr b. Sayyār, but the city nevertheless continued to be a focus for local Sogdian and Turkish discontent against the Arabs (Naršaḵī, pp. 83-85, tr. pp. 60-62); thus in 110/728-29, the city had been lost to the Arabs after a local revolt for a whole year (Ṭabarī, II, pp. 1514, 1529; Gibb, pp. 69-70). During these years, both the Qaghan of the Eastern Tiu-kiu, Mo-č’o, and the Qaghan of the Türgeš, Su-lu (called by the Arabs Abū Mozāḥem “the one who charges [like a bull or elephant],” d. 738; cf. Gibb, p. 85), remained ever-prepared to support Sogdian discontent against the Arabs; as late as 166/782, the governor of Khorasan Fażl b. Solaymān Ṭūsī built walls to protect Bukhara and Sogdia from Turkish incursions (Gardīzī, ed. Ḥabībī, p. 127; Naršaḵī, pp. 47-48, tr. pp. 33-34).

Although the ʿAbbasid daʿwa had begun in Khorasan, the Arab colony in Bukhara speedily showed its disillusionment with the new regime. In 133/750-51 the revolt of Šarīk or Šorayk b. Shaikh Mahrī had to be suppressed by the governor of Bukhara and Samarqand Zīād b. ṣāleḥ, but two years later Zīād himself adopted a rebellious attitude—perhaps with the connivance of the caliph al-Saffāḥ—towards Abū Moslem, probably with the backing of the same discontented elements who had supported Šarīk, and had to be killed by Abū Moslem (Barthold, Turkesta n 2, pp. 194-96; E. L. Daniel, The Political and Social History of Khurasan under Abbasid Rule 747-820, Minneapolis and Chicago, 1979, pp. 87-88, 111-12). Together with the nearby town of Naršaḵ and the rest of Sogdia, the villages of the Bukhara oasis came out strongly for Hāšem b. Ḥakīm known as al-Moqannaʿ and his “wearers of white” (mobayyeż a, sapīd-jāmagān). Prolonged fighting took place in the region around Bukhara from 159/776 onwards until Moqannaʿ was killed in 163/779-80 by the Arab generals Moʿāḏ b. Moslem and Saʿīd Ḥarašī (Barthold, pp. 198-200; Daniel, pp. 139-43). During these same years, Bukhara had also participated in the revolt in 160/776-77 of the local Iranian mawlā of Ṯaqīf, Yūsof Barm (Barthold, p. 198; Daniel, p. 166). In Hārūn al-Rašīd’s caliphate, a reform of the local Bukharan coinage was made by the governor of Khorasan Ḡeṭrīf b. ʿAṭāʾ Jorašī (governor 175-77/791-93), with alloy coins, the so-called “black” or “Ḡeṭrīfī” dirhams, replacing the old, largely disappeared silver coinage of the Boḵār-ḵodāts (Barthold, pp. 204-6; C. E. Bosworth, “Ghiṭrīf b. ʿAṭāʾ,” in E I 2, Suppl.). Bukhara now rose again against the caliphal governor ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā b. Māhān, whose tyrannies and exactions had made him universally execrated in Khorasan, as part of the prolonged rebellion led by Rāfeʿ b. Layṯ b. Naṣr b. Sayyār; Hārūn’s general Harṯama b. Aʿyan had to march against Bukhara in 193/808-9 and reoccupy it, at the same time capturing Rāfeʿ’s brother Bašīr, whom Hārūn had killed (Barthold, pp. 200-201; Daniel, pp. 174-75).

Meanwhile, the line of Boḵār-ḵodāts continued in the city (by the middle of the 2nd/8th century, at least nominally Muslim, though prone to apostatizing), at times giving help to the Arabs (as did Qotayba b. Ṭoḡšāda initially against Šarīk), but in general adopting an ambiguous attitude towards the Arabs, so that Qotayba b. Ṭoḡšāda and also his brothers S.kān and Bonyāt were all killed by the Arab commanders, the last-named for complicity in Moqannaʿ’s revolt (Naršaḵī, pp. 11, 13-16, 24, tr. pp. 8-11, 17, 110 n. 36). Although the political importance of the Boḵār-ḵodāts was reduced by the Arabs, their social influence must have been still significant, for they continued to hold their estates up to the time of the Samanid Amir Esmāʿīl b. Aḥmad (279-95/892-907), when these lands were confiscated to the state but the equivalent income paid out in cash to Bonyāt’s descendant Abū Esḥāq Ebrāhīm (d. 301/913-14). Naršaḵī adds, moreover, that the latter’s family was still to be found in the villages of Safna and Sīavonj in the Bukhara oasis (pp. 15-16, tr. pp. 11-12).

In the 3rd/9th century, Bukhara had closer connections with the capital of the governors of Khorasan, Marv, and then with the capital of the Taherid governors, Nīšāpūr, than with the more easterly parts of Sogdia and what was initially the capital of the Samanids at Samarqand. After the fall of Nīšāpūr to Yaʿqūb b. Layṯ in 259/873, the authority of the Saffarids was briefly recognized in the ḵoṭba of Bukhara, but a certain Ḥosayn b. Ṭāher Ṭāʾī (it is uncertain whether he was in fact a scion of the dispossessed Taherids, cf. R. Vasmer, in Numismatische Zeitschrift 23, 1930, p. 148) tried to seize control of the city but had to leave Bukhara in defeat; in the midst of the chaos and strife following the fall of the Taherids in Khorasan, the notables and ʿolamāʾ sent to the Samanid ruler in Samarqand and Farḡāna, Naṣr b. Aḥmad, who in Ramażān, 260/June-July, 874 sent his younger brother Esmāʿīl, the future amir, as governor of Bukhara, and order was eventually restored in the city (Naršaḵī, pp. 106-9, tr. pp. 77-82). Bukhara now began a period of nearly a century-and-a-half’s prosperity, and functioned as a cultural center both for Arabic learning and for the efflorescence of New Persian literature under the patronage of the Samanid amirs, who soon made the city their administrative capital. A famous passage by the scholar of Nīšāpūr Ṯaʿālebī, prefixed to the section of his literary anthology the Yatīmat al-dahr on the literary luminaries of Bukhara, praises the city in the era of the Samanids as “the focus of splendour, the Kaʿba of empire, the meeting-place of the unique figures of the age, the rising-place of the stars of the literary men of the world, and the forum for the outstanding personages of the time” (ed. Cairo, 1375-77/1956-58, IV, p. 101, tr. in Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia I, pp. 365-66).

It is from the Samanid period also that we possess detailed information on the topography and urban structure of the city in early medieval times, and one notes from this, when comparing it with the information of later times, that, unlike other eastern Iranian cities where displacements of urban sites have occurred, Bukhara has remained essentially on the same spot since the Arab conquest. The 4th/10th-century geographers mention the usual tripartite division of a citadel (kohandez); town proper (šahrestān); and a suburb (rabaż) between the original town and the wall of early Islamic times, the latter having seven gates of iron. The citadel contained the Boḵār-ḵodāts’ palace and the original mosque of Qotayba b. Moslem. To its east, and dividing it from the completely separate šahrestān, was an open, sandy space called the Rīgestān, where in Samanid times the Amir Naṣr b. Aḥmad (301-33/914-43) built a palace and where the dīvāns of the administration was situated (detailed in Naršaḵī, pp. 36-38, tr. pp. 25-26). In this same century, too, a further, outer wall was built, having eleven gates; the city had clearly expanded, though geographers and travelers still condemned it as an unsanitary and crowded place (the “anus of the world,” in the words of one poet of the period; see Ṯaʿālebī, Laṭāʾef al-maʿāref, ed. E. Abyārī and Ḥ. K. ṣayrafī, Cairo, 1960, p. 216, tr. Bosworth, The Book of Curious and Entertaining Information, Edinburgh, 1968, pp. 139-40). See for descriptions of the city, with references to the geographers, Barthold, pp. 100-17; Le Strange, Lands, pp. 460-62; and also Naršaḵī, pp. 16-42, tr. pp. 12-29; Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, tr. Minorsky, pp. 112-13, comm. p. 352.

With the fall of the Samanids at the end of the 4th/10th century, the Qarakhanids took over Transoxania; Bukhara was temporarily occupied by Hārūn or Ḥasan Boḡrā Khan in 382/992, and then in 389/999 it was definitively occupied by the Īlak (Ilig) Naṣr b. ʿAlī of Uzgand. For the next century-and-a-half, it was part of the western Qarakhanid khanate, ruled by descendants of the Īlak Naṣr, but under the loose, decentralized rule of the Turkish tribesmen from the steppes, Bukhara inevitably lost much of its political importance. The city was affected by an extremist Shiʿite, pro-Fatimid propaganda movement in 436/1044-45, until Boḡrā Khan Ebrāhīm b. Naṣr (the later Ṭamḡāč Khan) ordered a general massacre of Ismaʿili sympathizers there (Ebn al-Aṯīr, IX, p. 524; cf. Barthold, pp. 304-5, who here wrongly identifies this Boḡrā Khan). In the second half of the century, Ebrāhīm’s son Šams-al-Molk Naṣr built a new Friday mosque in the city, and laid out adjacent to it a new palace and an enclosure of gardens and hunting grounds (ḡūroq) called Šamsābād ([continuator of] Naršaḵī, pp. 40-41, 73, tr. pp. 29, 53; Barthold, pp. 109-10, 315-16, 318). We also know of disturbances in Bukhara arising from hostility between the khans and the ambitious local ʿolamāʾ, beginning with Šams-al-Molk’s execution of the Imam Abū Ebrāhīm Esmāʿīl ṣaffār in 461/1069 (Samʿānī, Ansāb, ed. Hyderabad, VIII, p. 318). However, the long reign of Arslān Khan Moḥammad b. Solaymān (495-524/1102-30) brought peace to the city and enabled the khan to embark on an extensive building program there; he rebuilt the citadel and city walls, and erected a new Friday mosque and two new palaces.

These years also saw the rise to prominence in Bukhara of the influential family of Hanafite scholars of the house of Borhān, holding the spiritual title of ṣadr (see aúl-e borhaún), and in the century or so from the decline of Qarakhanid power in Bukhara till after the first appearance of the Mongols, the Āl-e Borhān were frequently able to exercise political power in Bukhara, either on their own behalf or else as representatives in the city of outside, conquering powers. Thus, when the pagan Qara Khitay defeated the Saljuq sultan Sanjar at the battle of the Qaṭvān steppe in 536/1141, the victors used them as their governors in Bukhara for some seventy years, and the Āl-e Borhān collected tribute for them from the city. An expedition by the Ḵᵛārazmšāh Tekeš b. Īl Arslān against Bukhara took place in 578/1182, and a further one in 594/1198 is mentioned by Ebn al-Aṯīr (XII, pp. 137-38) alone, however, of the sources (hence the historicity of this last attack was doubted by Barthold, pp. 344-46, cf. ibid., p. 342, and Bosworth, in Camb. Hist. of Iran V, pp. 191-92). But in 604/1207, ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moḥammad b. Tekeš Ḵᵛārazmšāh certainly came to Bukhara after negotiations with the last Qarakhanid ruler of Samarqand ʿOṯmān Khan and other Muslim elements discontented with the rule of the Qara Khitay; he rebuilt the citadel there before returning to Ḵᵛārazm, ([continuator of] Naršaḵī pp. 34-35, tr. p. 25; Barthold, pp. 359-60). Khwarazmian authority continued in some form in Bukhara, for in 614/1217-18 ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moḥammad commanded that the ʿAbbasid caliph Nāṣer’s name be omitted from the ḵoṭba there, and he deposed the ṣadr Borhān-al-Dīn Moḥammad b. Aḥmad (Barthold, pp. 375, 379); but then in Ḏuʾl-ḥejja 616/February 1220, the city fell to the army of the Mongols of Jengiz Khan,


  • The local history of Naršaḵī is a prime source for this period, but the early 9th/15th century history of Moʿīn-al-Foqarāʾ Aḥmad b. Moḥammad, the Ketāb-e Mollā-zāda, also contains much information on the pre-Mongol Islamic history of Bukhara; see on this, Barthold, p. 58, and R. N. Frye, “City Chronicles of Central Asia and Khurasan: the Kitāb-e Mullāzāde,” in Avicenna Commemoration Volume, Calcutta, 1956, pp. 89-92; also in his Islamic Iran and Central Asia (7th-12th centuries), London, 1979, no. XXXIII.
  • See also R. N. Frye, Bukhara, the Medieval Achievement, Norman, Oklahoma, 1965. Idem, “Bukhara,” in E I2.

BUKHARA iii. After the Mongol Invasion

The Mongol period. The city of Bukhara was conquered by Chingiz Khan on 4 Ḏuʾl-ḥejja 616/10 February 1220 (according to Ebn al-Aṯīr, XII, pp. 365-67), and the citadel fell twelve days later. All the inhabitants were driven out, their property pillaged, and the city burned; the defenders of the citadel were slaughtered. According to Jovaynī (I, pp. 83-84), rebuilding began under the first Mongol governor, Tawša (or Tamša) Bāsqāq, who was appointed by Chingiz Khan, and by the time of Ögedey Qaʾan (Pers. UÚktāy Qāʾān; 626-39/1229-41) the city was once again populous and prosperous. Affairs remained in the hands of powerful ṣadr (Hanafite) families, first the Āl-e Borhān and after 636/1238-39 the house of Maḥbūbī, which retained control at least until the 740s/1340s (Pritsak). The nature of relations between these traditional religious leaders and the local secular rulers is not clear; only one of the latter is mentioned in historical sources, a certain Sayin (ṣāyen) Malekšāh, in the reign of Ögedey (Jovaynī II, p. 232; Barthold, Turkestan 3, p. 503, where it is suggested that he may have been a descendant of Sanjar Malek, cf. ibid., pp. 355, 360). The Mongol governors of Bukhara or of Bukhara and Samarkand jointly also remained as late as the 660s/1260s. Waṣṣāf (pp. 25, 129) mentions two men who were governors or garrison commanders of both cities in the time of Ögedey: Būqā-Būšā (probably identical with the Tawša Bāsqāq mentioned above) and Ching-sang Tai-fu (Ùūnksān Ṭāyfū); the last reference to both is in 666/1268 (Barthold, Turkesta n 3, pp. 469, 488; Bartol’d, 1966, p. 345). Ögedey placed the civil administration of all the settled regions of Central Asia in the hands of Maḥmūd Yalavāč Ḵᵛārazmī, a Muslim merchant trusted by the Mongols (according to Barthold, Turkesta n 3, p. 396, probably identical with one of the leaders of Chingiz Khan’s embassy to Ḵᵛārazmšāh ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moḥammad; see Eqbāl on him), who resided in Ḵojand (at least in 636/1238-39; Jovaynī, I, p. 86) and reported directly to the supreme khan. The revival of prosperity of Bukhara may have been owing to his efforts (Jovaynī, I, pp. 75, 84). Shortly after 636/1239 he was removed and appointed governor of Ḵānbalïq, (Ḵānbālīq, Ḵānbāleg, i.e., Peking), but he was succeeded at Bukhara by his son Masʿūd Beg, who remained in authority until his death in 688/1289, despite feuding among the Mongol successor states and repeated shifts in their borders within Central Asia. Masʿūd Beg was succeeded by his three sons, who ruled in turn until the early 8th/14th century (Barthold, “Ùaghatāi-Khān,” in E I 1 I, p. 813; idem, Turkesta n 3, pp. 473, 504 n. 70). Masʿūd Beg may have had his residence at Bukhara, for he was buried in the madrasa that he had built there (Bartol’d, 1963, pp. 148, 262), but his third son, Süyünč, resided in Kashgar (Kāšḡar). The skilled craftsmen inhabiting Bukhara were apportioned among the four Mongol ūlūses (divisions of the Mongol empire), each belonging to one of Chingiz Khan’s sons and his descendants; each ūlūs was entitled to revenues from the portion of the population assigned to it (see Petrushevskiĭ, 1949, pp. 114-15; Barthold, Turkesta n 3, pp. 515-17 n. 198; cf. Jackson, p. 191).

For almost a century after the Mongol conquest efforts to restore the economy and normal city life of Bukhara were repeatedly interrupted and even entirely undone by internal feuding, wars, and rebellions. The first of these events was a popular uprising led by Maḥmūd Tārābī, a sieve maker, in 636/1238-39 (Jovaynī, I, pp. 84-90; Yakubovskiĭ, pp. 120-35). In suppressing the rebellion the Mongols are supposed to have killed 20,000 people, but a general massacre was prevented by Maḥmūd Yalavāč. In 662/1263, during the wars between Qubilay (Qūbīlāy) and Arïq Böke (Arīq/Arīḡ Būkā), the Mongols at the order of either Hülegü (Hūlāgū) or Alḡu (Alḡū), massacred 5,000 men of Bukhara belonging to the ūlūs of Joči (Jūjī); their property was plundered and their families slaughtered or taken captive (Waṣṣāf, p. 98; Barthold, Turkesta n 3, pp. 490, 515-17; Petrushevskiĭ, loc. cit.). In 671/1273 Bukhara was captured by the army of Abāqā Khan under Nīkpey Bahādor, whose troops sacked the city for seven days and destroyed most of it. Chaghatayid princes, who had originally come to defend Bukhara, continued the pillaging and destruction. In 674/1276 the Mongols of Iran and the Chaghatayids joined forces in sacking what was left, so that, according to Waṣṣāf, the city remained uninhabited for the next seven years (Rašīd-al-Dīn, Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ [Baku], pp. 140-42; Waṣṣāf, p. 148; Barthold, “Bukhārā,” in E I 1 I, p. 781; Petrushevskiĭ, 1949, pp. 116-17). In 716/1316 Bukhara was again sacked by the Il-khanids of Iran together with the Chaghatayid prince Yasāvūr.

Despite all this devastation, during the 7th/13th century Bukhara and Transoxiana in general were gradually recovering from the Mongol conquest, though not as quickly as Jovaynī claims (I, pp. 83-84): according to numismatic material studied by E. A. Davidovich, the first half of the century was a period of continued economic decline, and improvement took place only in the second half (1972, pp. 134-35). Apparently the normalization of economic life should be credited to reforms promulgated by Khan Möngke (Mangū Qāʾān) in 649/1251 and especially to the activity of Masʿūd Beg, which culminated in a monetary reform in 670/1271 (ibid., pp. 140-51). After each destruction the city was rebuilt promptly, but in the sources only two prominent buildings are mentioned as having been constructed during this period: the Madrasa-ye Ḵānī, built by Sorqo(q)tani (d. 649/1252; Jovaynī, I, p. 84, III, pp. 8-9), the wife of Toluy (Tūlī), and the Masʿūdīya madrasa, built by Masʿūd Beg himself (Jovaynī, I, p. 85). The city wall was restored during the Mongol period, probably more than once; Ebn Baṭṭūṭa (Paris, III, p. 27) saw it intact in 733/1333, though he found most of the mosques, madrasas, and bāzārs of the city in ruins, possibly owing to Yasāvūr’s pillaging in 716/1316. Documents containing data on rural areas of the Bukhara oasis in the 620s-30s/1320s-30s also show a mixed picture: ruined buildings, devastated orchards, and abandoned fields everywhere but at the same time new canals, newly planted orchards and vineyards, and newly cultivated lands (Chekhovich, 1965, pp. 14-15).

It was during the Mongol period that Bukhara became the most important center of Sufism in Central Asia. The mystic and poet Sayf-al-Dīn Bāḵarzī, a disciple of Shaikh Najm-al-Dīn Kobrā, returned to his native city, where he was appointed administrator of waqfs (pious endowments) for the Madrasa-ye Ḵānī and a Sufi ḵānaqāh attached to it (Jovaynī, III, p. 9), a position he held until his death in 659/1261 (for this date see ʿAlīšāh b. Šams-al-Dīn Moḥammad Boḵārī, Ašjār wa aṯmār, an astrological work written around 686/1287 (see DeWeese, pp. 26-27, and Moʿīn-al-Foqarāʾ, p. 42; for the most recent discussion of Sayf-al-Dīn’s life, see DeWeese, pp. 25-34). His influence reached far beyond Bukhara, and he is often credited with the conversion of Berke (Berkāy), khan of the Golden Horde, to Islam; according to another version (probably more reliable, as it comes from Abuʾl-Fażl Jamāl-al-Dīn Moḥammad Qaršī, an author closer to these events), Berke was already a Muslim when he came to Bukhara to visit the shaikh and receive his blessing (Bartol’d, 1898, p. 136). The descendants of Sayf-al-Dīn remained in Bukhara, and his mausoleum and ḵānaqāh, which were located in the northern suburb of Fatḥābād, were among the most revered and frequently visited holy sites there. Ebn Baṭṭūṭa was entertained by Sayf-al-Dīn’s grandson in this ḵānaqāh in 733/1333; he describes it as having large waqfs and being very prosperous (Ebn Baṭṭūṭa, III, pp. 27-28; see also Chekhovich, 1965, p. 14).

Although there were Kobrawī shaikhs at Fatḥābād until the 13th/19th century (see DeWeese, pp. 37, 101), already in the 8th/14th century they had been far surpassed in spiritual and especially political importance by the Naqšbandīya. Bahāʾ-al-Dīn Naqšband spent most of his life in or near Bukhara, and after his death (791/1389) his tomb in his native village, Qaṣr-e ʿĀrefān, renamed Bahāʾ-al-Dīn (now Bahovaddin), became a major pilgrimage center.

The Timurid and Uzbek periods. Bukhara played a relatively unimportant role in the political life of Transoxiana under the Timurids (771-906/1370-1500), whose capital was at Samarkand. In this period Bukhara never matched its pre-Mongol size and remained within the limits of the city wall rebuilt after the Mongol conquest (Sukhareva, 1976, p. 296). Large areas of formerly irrigated lands in the oasis of Bukhara were reclaimed, however, especially in the second half of the 9th/15th century (Mukhamedzhanov, pp. 108-9).

Among the many disciples of Bahāʾ-al-Dīn Naqšband, Moḥammad b. Moḥammad Ḥāfezáī Boḵārī, known as Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad Pārsā (d. 822/1419), was especially influential at Bukhara, and it was probably under his leadership that the Naqšbandīya began to play the political role that distinguished it in the later history of Central Asia. After the death of Tīmūr (807/1405) the shaikhs of Bukhara under Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad supported Šāhroḵ (807-50/1405-47) in his struggle with Ḵalīl (807-12/1405-9; Bartol’d, 1964b, p. 87), and in 853/1449 they probably played some part in the coup that put an end to Oloḡ Beg’s reign in favor of his son ʿAbd-al-Laṭīf Mīrzā (853-54/1449-50; ibid., pp. 157-58). In the second half of the 9th/15th century, however, Samarkand became the center of Naqšbandī activity, under the leadership of Ḵᵛāja ʿObayd-Allāh Aḥrār.

At the end of the century Šāhbaḵt, or Šaybak, later known as Šaybānī Khan, escaped from his enemies in Dašt-e Qepčāq and found refuge in Bukhara under the Timurid governor ʿAbd-al-ʿAlī Tarḵān. He spent two years in the service of the latter, studying Islamic matters under the guidance of one of the best qāreʾs (Koran reciters) of that time and two Naqšbandī shaikhs, Jamāl-al-Dīn ʿAzīzān and Manṣūr (the exact dates are not clear; see Doḡlāt, p. 166; Semenov, 1956, p. 53; idem, 1954b, p. 43). It was probably at this time that the close connection between the Uzbek Shaibanid dynasty and the Naqšbandīs of Bukhara had its beginning. Subsequently, as leader of the Uzbeks, Šaybānī Khan captured Bukhara after a three-day siege in 905/1500 (see Bābor-nāma, facs. ed., fols. 78b-79b; Moḥammad ṣāleḥ, pp. 44-48; Semenov, 1954b, p. 49). Slightly later, when a conspiracy against him was discovered, he came again to Bukhara, punished the conspirators, imposed a heavy indemnity on the city, and ordered the city walls destroyed (see Semenov, 1954b, p. 50). The sons of Ḵᵛāja Aḥrār at Samarkand, led by Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad Yaḥyā, had supported the Timurids against the Uzbeks; Ḵᵛāja Yaḥyā was killed after the capture of Samarkand in 905/1500, and from that time on the leadership of the Naqšbandī order belonged to the shaikhs of Bukhara. Its ties with the ruling house, already established, were further strengthened under Šaybānī Khan’s successors.

About a year after Šaybānī Khan’s defeat and death at Marv in 916/1510 Bukhara was taken from the Uzbeks by Bābor, but in 918/1512 it was reconquered by ʿObayd-Allāh, Šaybānī Khan’s nephew (see Semenov, 1954b, pp. 122-28, with references). In that year the Shaibanid state was divided into several appanages: Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, and Balḵ with their respective provinces, each ruled by the descendants of one of the four sons of Abuʾl-Ḵayr Khan, Šaybānī Khan’s grandfather. At Bukhara the first such ruler was ʿObayd-Allāh, of the line of Shah Bodāḡ. In 940-46/1533-39, he became supreme khan of the Uzbeks and Bukhara the Shaibanid capital. ʿObayd-Allāh’s son ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz succeeded him and ruled the province of Bukhara until his death in 957/1550. According to most sources, he was succeeded in turn by Šaybānī Khan’s grandson, Yār-Moḥammad (so apparently on his coins, as well as in some historical sources; see Davidovich, 1979, pp. 61, 69-80; Maḥmūd b. Walī in Materialy po istorii kazakhskikh khanstv, p. 356; cf., however, one of the earliest mss. of Ḥāfezá Tanīš Boḵārī, fols. 29a, 57a, 59b, 69b, 72a, where the name is consistently given as Moḥammad-Yār). Soon afterward Bukhara was captured by Pīr Moḥammad b. Jānī Beg, the ruler of Balḵ, who abandoned it in 958/1551. In 958-61/1551-54 Yār-Moḥammad and Sayyed Borhān Solṭān, a grandson of ʿObayd-Allāh, ruled the province jointly; then Borhān killed Yār-Moḥammad and disputed the province with ʿAbd-Allāh Khan b. Eskandar, until he too was killed in 964/1557. ʿAbd-Allāh then made Bukhara the Shaibanid capital.

During these struggles among the Shaibanids the influence of the Naqšbandī shaikhs of Bukhara seems to have increased greatly. Aḥmad Ḵᵛājagī Kāsānī “Maḵdūm-e Aʿzáam”, the second successor to Ḵᵛāja Aḥrār, founded a ḵānaqāh in Bukhara with the help of ʿObayd-Allāh Khan. Among his disciples were Jānī Beg (d. 935/1528-29) and his son Eskandar, respectively grandfather and father of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan and Ḵᵛāja Eslām, a shaikh from Jūybār, a suburb of Bukhara. The Jūybāri shaikhs were custodians of the tomb of the imam Abū Bakr Aḥmad b. Saʿd (d. 360/970-71; Moʿīn-al-Foqarāʾ, p. 28), considered their progenitor. After the death of Maḵdūm-e Aʿzáam (949/1542-43) Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad Eslām succeeded him at Bukhara and gave his full support to ʿAbd-Allāh Khan during his campaign to capture Bukhara. From that time until the 13th/19th century the Jūybāri shaikhs played a major role in the political affairs of the khanate.

During the long reign of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan (964-1006/1557-98, as supreme khan after 991/1583) the system of princely appanages was effectively eliminated. Bukhara reached the peak of its military might and achieved the greatest expansion of its territory. This period was also one of great economic and cultural flowering, during which many fine buildings were constructed. The area within the walls was enlarged to 1.54 square miles, at the expense of neighboring villages, which gradually became incorporated as city quarters (Sukhareva, 1958, pp. 59-61; idem, 1976, pp. 302-3). Extensive building activity was sponsored not only by ʿAbd-Allāh Khan himself but also by his amirs, and especially the Jūybāri shaikh Ḵᵛāja Saʿd (McChesney, 1987). Nor was it limited to Bukhara, though other cities of the khanate, notably rival Samarkand, received much less attention. In the countryside the irrigation system was expanded, both in the Zarafshan (Zarafšān) basin and elsewhere throughout the khanate, and large areas of land were reclaimed for cultivation (Mukhamedzhanov, pp. 110-11).

In 1007/1599, one year after the death of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan, the khanate of Bukhara passed into the hands of the Janid dynasty (q.v.), descendants of another line of the Jochids; although some territory was lost, the political stability and economic well-being of the state were not immediately affected. The system of princely appanages was apparently not fully restored under the new dynasty, and Bukhara remained the uncontested capital of the khanate to the end, although Balḵ acquired special prominence as the seat of the heir apparent, who controlled all provinces south of the Amu Darya and sometimes even claimed power equal to that of the khan of Bukhara himself. The reign of Emāmqolī Khan (1020-51/1611-42) is usually described in contemporary sources as a period of prosperity. The irrigation system was further expanded (Abduraimov, I, pp. 267-68), and Bukhara remained the focus of building activity.

In the mid-10th/17th century the khanate entered a period of political and economic decline, which, especially from the reign of Sobḥānqolī Khan (1093-1114/1682-1702), was manifest in the growing strength of the Uzbek tribal chieftains at the expense of the central authority, frequent internal feuds, and the reduction of state revenues. The khans of Ḵīva, beginning with Abuʾl-Ḡāzī (1054-74/1644-64), took advantage of Janid difficulties and repeatedly raided Transoxiana, often penetrating to its central regions. In 1092/1681 Anūša Khan, Abuʾl-Ḡāzī’s son, even captured and sacked the city of Bukhara, and the ḵoṭba (Friday sermon) was read there in his name (according to Kīrāk-Yarāqčī and Termeḏī, see Salakhetdinova, pp. 77-78; cf. Moḥammad-Yūsof Monšī, p. 104, where Anūša is said to have captured only the suburb of Jūybār). During the reign of Sobḥānqolī Khan, Anūša Khan invaded the central regions of Transoxiana three times and twice captured Samarkand (Salakhetdinova).

ʿObayd-Allāh Khan (1114-23/1702-11) attempted to curb tribal separatism and strengthen the central government, but, in order to finance his measures, he pushed the traditional Janid policy of debasing the currency to such an extreme that it triggered a riot in Bukhara in 1120/1708. Three years later ʿObayd-Allāh Khan was assassinated, and the khanate disintegrated into a number of tribal principalities, often at war with one another. The authority of Abuʾl-Fayż Khan, ʿObayd-Allāh’s successor, was limited to the city of Bukhara and its immediate district, while real power was increasingly concentrated in the hands of the khan’s atalïq (ā¦tālīq), Moḥammad Ḥakīm Biy, chieftain of the Uzbek tribe of Manḡït (see, e.g., “Mangéts,” in E I 2 VI). The collapse of central authority and the economic crisis were exacerbated by the invasion of a great mass of nomadic Kazakhs, who fled from across the Syr Darya into the Zarafshan valley in 1135/1723 after a defeat at the hands of the Junghars. Together with rebellious Uzbek tribes they ravaged Transoxiana, particularly the environs of Bukhara, for seven years. Famine struck Bukhara, and instances of cannibalism were recorded; a great many people fled to other parts of the country, and Moḥammad Yaʿqūb in his Golšan al-molūk, written a hundred years later, claims (probably with some exaggeration) that only two quarters remained inhabited and that many houses collapsed (see Sukhareva, 1958, p. 76). Before the country could fully recover after the departure of the Kazakhs (1142/1730), it was invaded by Nāder Shah Afšār in 1153/1740. Abuʾl-Fayż Khan was defeated and offered his submission, and Nāder Shah’s army did not enter the city. During the next several years the influence of Moḥammad Ḥakīm (d. 1156/1743) and his son, Moḥammad Raḥīm Atalïq, who enjoyed the patronage of Nāder Shah, grew rapidly. After the assassination of Nāder Shah in 1160/1747, Abuʾl-Fayż Khan was also killed, and Moḥammad Raḥīm became effective ruler of Bukhara, in the name of a puppet khan of the Janid house. Moḥammad Raḥīm should be considered the actual founder of the Manḡït dynasty, which reigned in Bukhara until the abolition of the khanate in 1920; the Janids continued as nominal khans until 1200/1785 or, according to some numismatic data, 1203/1788-89 (Davidovich, 1964, pp. 51-52).

During the reign of the first Manḡïts, the khanate of Bukhara recovered from the devastation of the preceding decades. The city itself is supposed to have been restored by the third Manḡït ruler, Shah Morād “Amīr-e Maʿṣūm,” (1199-1215/1785-1800), who resettled there a group of Iranian Shiʿites whom he had deported from Marv in 1204/1789-90, as well as some groups of Uzbeks and Turkmens who emigrated from Ḵᵛārazm; apparently the majority of the previous inhabitants, who had scattered throughout the country during the disturbances and famine, also returned to their homes (Sukhareva, 1958, pp. 76-77). Bukhara again became the major center of traditional handicrafts in Central Asia (in one modern ethnographic study ninety-nine separate crafts are listed for 13th/19th-century Bukhara; Sukhareva, 1962, pp. 16-20), as well as of both internal and international trade, especially of that rapidly developing with Russia. The relative political and military power of the khanate of Bukhara in Central Asia diminished, however, owing to the increased strength of rivals: the khanates of Ḵīva and Ḵoqand. Substantial portions of the territory of Bukhara were lost to Ḵoqand in the east and Afghanistan in the south. The city of Bukhara, however, retained its prestige as a stronghold of orthodoxy and the major center of Islamic learning in Central Asia. It had a very high concentration of madrasas (between 100 and 200, according to different counts; see Sukhareva, 1962, pp. 70-74), with a total of about 10,000 students (mollābača) from all parts of Central Asia. The Islamic establishment, many of the leading members of which were traditionally recruited from among the Jūybāri shaikhs, exercised great influence in the political affairs of Bukhara. The Manḡït rulers, especially Shah Morād and Ḥaydar (1215-42/1800-26), took care to demonstrate their piety by patronizing Islamic institutions. Shah Morād was the first of the line to adopt as his main title amīr, meaning amīr al-moʾmenīn (Vel’yaminov-Zernov, p. 412, Bartol’d, 1963, p. 279), in place of khan. He also issued a decree granting Bukhara the status of tarḵān, exempting the inhabitants of the city from taxes; it remained in force until the end of Manḡït rule.

Although the area of the city did not increase after the 10th/16th century, its population did, necessitating greater density of construction (for which Bukhara had already been notorious as early as the 4th/10th century). According to modern ethnographic data, the total population of the city at the end of the Manḡït period was about 90,000, living in 220 goḏars (quarters). The majority spoke Tajik, including some originally Turkic groups that had been assimilated by the local Tajiks (Sukhareva, 1962, pp. 117-43). There was also a large Jewish community (see v, below). Under the Manḡïts building activity was particularly intense, including construction of more than sixty madrasas, as well as mosques, caravansaries, baths, and reservoirs. The quality of construction was generally very poor, however.

The period of Russian domination (see, in general, Becker, 1968). In 1285/1868, under Mozáaffar-al-Dīn (1277-1302/1860-85), the khanate of Bukhara was conquered by the Russians, and the Manḡïts became vassals of the Russian empire. The sovereignty of the khans was not formally limited, and at first the Russians did not interfere in the internal affairs of Bukhara. Their influence began to be felt only after construction of the Central Asian railway across the territory of the khanate (1887) and the redrawing of the Russian customs frontier to include the khanate (1895). Russian settlements, with extraterritorial rights, were established along the railroad and on the Amu Darya; the most important of them, New Bukhara (Novaya Bukhara), where the Russian political agent lived, was located at the Bukhara railroad station 8 miles south of the city. These settlements grew rapidly, and by 1914 at least 50,000 Russians were living in the khanate. The political agency at New Bukhara was connected by telephone and telegraph lines to the citadel in the old city, and the power plant in New Bukhara supplied electricity to the capital, though very little was used there. Russian and other Western manufactured goods were sold in the bāzārs in increasing quantities. Nevertheless, daily life, especially in the capital, and public administration remained almost unaffected by modernization. In the 1940s and 1950s Bukhara under the Manḡïts became the subject of a comprehensive study by a group of Soviet ethnographers and historians. The results of this study have been published mainly by O. A. Sukhareva (1958, 1962, 1966, 1976) and have made the life of the city during this period better known than that of any other city in Central Asia.

After 1905 a liberal reform movement developed in Bukhara, but it encountered strong opposition from the conservative Islamic clergy and was suppressed by the amir. Following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 Russian troops from the Tashkent Soviet, led by F. I. Kolesov, attempted to take Bukhara in March, 1918, but they had to retreat after having shelled the city for a day and a half. At the end of August, 1920, the last amir, ʿĀlem Khan, was overthrown, as the result of an invasion by the Red Army, and on 6 October 1920 the khanate was abolished and proclaimed the Bukharan People’s Soviet Republic. ʿĀlem Khan fled to the eastern parts of the country and from there to Kabul (1921). Armed resistance to the Soviets (the Basmačī movement) continued until 1926, but after 1923 it was limited to mountainous areas in the east. At the end of that year, as a result of political purges organized by the representatives of Moscow, the government of Bukhara was brought totally under Russian control. In October, 1924, the republic was dismembered under the Soviet plan for “national delimitation of Central Asia”; most of its territory was included in the newly formed Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbekistan). The loss of its status as capital city had a serious effect on Bukhara. According to the census of 1926, the population had declined to only 41,839 inhabitants, half the pre-revolutionary figure (Sukhareva, 1962, p. 101); a great many people had fled during the civil war, mainly to Afghanistan, and others scattered throughout the countryside and to other cities of Uzbekistan. Another wave of emigration followed in the early 1930s, during forced collectivization in the Soviet Union; even in the late 1940s entire quarters of the city, once so densely populated, remained in ruins after having been abandoned (author’s observations). Bukhara also lost to Tashkent and Samarkand its former importance as the cultural capital of Central Asia, partly as a result of the suppression of Islam and its institutions in the region in the 1920s and 1930s.


  • Sources. Most indigenous sources for the history of Bukhara in the 7th-13th/13th-19th centuries are in Persian. For the Mongol period see especially Jovaynī, ed. Qazvīnī; Rašīd-al-Dīn, Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ (Moscow; Baku); ʿAbd-Allāh Waṣṣāf Šīrāzī, ed. and tr. Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte Wassaf’s I, Vienna, 1856. For manuscripts, editions, and translations of all these sources, see Storey-Bregel, pp. 759-67, 301-20, 769-75, respectively. On Timurid historiography, none of it written in Transoxiana, see Storey-Bregel, pp. 339-58, 361-93, 787-843. Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Moḥammad Bābor, Bābor-nāma, ed. A. S. Beveridge, The Ba,bar-nāma …, GMS I, Leiden and London, 1905. Historical writing of Bukhara proper, with the exception of the earlier work by Naršaḵī begins with the Shaibanids and continues without interruption into the 20th century (Storey-Bregel, pp. 1115-82). Among the most important Persian historical works for the Shaibanid period are Kamāl-al-Dīn Šīr-ʿAlī Benāʾī, Šaybānī-nāma and Fotūḥāt-e ḵān ī; Ḥāfezá Tanīš Boḵārī, Šaraf-nāma-ye šāhī (or ʿAbd-Allāh-nām a; facsimile ed. and tr. M. A. Salakhetdinova, I, Moscow, 1983); Fażl-Allāh b. Rūzbehān Konjī, Mehmān-nāma-ye Boḵarā, ed. M. Sotūda, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962; Moḥammad Ḥaydar Doḡlāt (Duḡlat), Tārīḵ-e Rašīdī (tr. E. D. Ross, London, 1895-98); Masʿūd b. ʿOṯmān Kūhestānī, Tārīḵ-e Abuʾl-Ḵayrḵān ī; Šādī, Fatḥ-nām a; and Zayn-al-Dīn Maḥmūd Wāṣefī, Badāʾeʿ al-waqāʾeʿ. The Janid period is represented, among others, by Mīr Moḥammad Amīn Boḵārī, ʿObayd-Allāh-nām a; Moḥammad Amīn Kīrāk-Yarāqčī, Moḥīṭ al-tawārīḵ; Maḥmūd b. Walī, Baḥr al-asrār fī manāqeb al-aḵyār (tr. by K. A. Pishchulina from a Tashkent ms. in Materialy po istorii kazakhskikh khanstv XV-XVIII vekov, Alma-Ata, 1969, pp. 320-68); Āḵūnd Mollā Šaraf-al-Dīn Aʿlam, Tārīḵ-e Rāqem ī; Moḥammad Yūsof Mongī, Taḏkera-ye Moqī-ḵānī (tr. A. A. Semenov, Tashkent, 1956); and ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Ṭāleʿ, Tārīḵ-e Abuʾl-Fayż Ḵān (tr. A. A. Semenov, Tashkent, 1959); Ḵᵛāja Samandar Termeḏī, Dastūr al-molūk (ed. M. A. Salakhetdinova, Moscow, 1971). For the Manḡït period there are ʿAbd-al-Karīm Boḵārī’s untitled work; Mīr ʿĀlem Boḵārī, Fatḥ-nāma-ye solṭān ī; Moḥammad Wafā Karmīnagī, Toḥfat al-ḵān ī; Moḥammad Šarīf, Tāj al-tawārīḵ; Tārīḵ-e Amīr Ḥayda r; Moḥammad Yaʿqūb, Golšan al-molū k; Moḥammad Salīm Bek Salīmī, Tārīḵ-e salīm ī; and ʿAbd-al-ʿAzáīm Sāmī, Toḥfa-ye šāhī and Tārīḵ-e salāṭīn-e Manḡītīya. Most of these works have not yet been published. During the first half of the 10th/16th century several important works on the history of the Shaibanids were written in Chaghatay: Tawārīḵ-e gozīda-ye Noṣrat-nāma (probably by Šaybānī Khan himself, facsimile ed. A. M. Akramov, Tashkent, 1967); ʿAbd-Allāh Naṣr-Allāhī, Zobdat al-āṯār (unpublished mss. in Tashkent and Leningrad); Moḥammad ṣāleḥ, Šaybānī-nāma (ed. H. Vámbéry, Stuttgart, 1872; ed. P. Melioranskiĭ and A. Samoĭlovich, St. Petersburg, 1908). Biographical, and especially hagiographical, literature related to these periods, though substantial, has been even less well studied and published than the historical works (see Storey, I, pt. 2). Among the most important are Aḥmad Moʿīn-al-Foqarāʾ, Tārīḵ-e Mollā-zāda (or Ketāb-e Mollā-zād a; middle or late 9th/15th century; ed. A. Golčīn-e Maʿānī, Tehran, 1339 Š./1960); Nāṣer-al-Dīn Tūrā (Töre; a son of Amir Mozáaffar), Toḥfat al-zāʾerīn (1324/1906; lith. ed., Bukhara, 1328/1910). Only a few Arabic and Persian geographical works contain useful information on Bukhara and Transoxiana in the 7th-13th/13th-19th centuries. See especially Ebn Baṭṭūṭa; the geographical portion of Maḥmūd b. Walī, Baḥr al-asrār (facsimile ed. and tr., B. A. Akhmedov, More taĭn otnositel’no doblesteĭ blagorodnykh (geografiya), Tashkent, 1977).
  • Persian documentary sources related to the history of Bukhara and preserved mainly in Tashkent are numerous and very little studied. Main publications: A. K. Arends, A. B. Khalidov, and O. D. Chekhovich, eds. and trs., Bukharskiĭ vakf XIII v., Pamyatniki pis’mennosti Vostoka 52, Moscow, 1979. O. D. Chekhovich, Dokumenty k istorii agrarnykh otnosheniĭ v Bukharskom khanstve, I. Akty feodal’noĭ sobstvennosti na zemlyu XVII-XIX vv., Tashkent, 1954. Idem, Bukharskie dokumenty XIV veka, Tashkent, 1965. Iz arkhiva sheĭkhov Dzhuĭbari. Materialy po zemel’nym i torgovym otnosheniyam Sredneĭ Azii XVI v., Moscow and Leningrad, 1939. Materialy po istorii Uzbekskoĭ, Tadzhikskoĭ i Turkmenskoĭ SSR, Leningrad, 1932. R. G. Mukminova, K istorii agrarnykh otnosheniĭ v Uzbekistane XVI v.: Po materialam “Vakf-name,” Tashkent, 1966. The first European to visit Bukhara was Anthony Jenkinson in 1558 (E. D. Morgan and C. H. Coote, eds., Early Voyages and Travels to Russia and Persia by Anthony Jenkinson and Other Englishmen I, Hakluyt Society 72, London, 1886). After that Bukhara was visited mainly by Russian travelers and envoys until the 19th century. The most important account was written by B. and S. Pazukhin, Nakaz Borisu i Semenu Pazukhinym poslannym v Bukharu, Balkh i Yurgench, 1669, St. Petersburg, 1894.
  • Both Russian and other Western travelers have left valuable descriptions of 19th-century Bukhara. See especially G. de Meyendorff, Voyage d’Orenbourg aà Boukhara, fait en 1820, Paris, 1826; A. Burnes, Travels into Bokhara, 3 vols., London, 1834; Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve (Otchety P. I. Demezona i I. V. Vitkevicha), Moscow, 1983 (publication of travel reports written in 1833 and 1836); N. V. Khanykov, Opisanie Bukharskogo khanstva, St. Petersburg, 1843; tr. Bokhara. Its Amir and Its People, London, 1845.
  • A. Vámbéry, Travels in Central Asia, London, 1864. Idem, Sketches of Central Asia, London, 1868.
  • Among the many Western descriptions of Bukhara after the Russian conquest, the following should be noted: E. Schuyler, Turkistan. Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara and Kuldja, 2 vols., London, 1876.
  • H. Lansdell, Russian Central Asia, Including Kuldzha, Bokhara, Khiva and Merv, 2 vols., London and New York, 1885.
  • O. Olufsen, The Emir of Bokhara and His Country. Journeys and Studies in Bokhara, Copenhagen, 1911.
  • Russian descriptions after 1868 are too numerous to be mentioned here. The most extensive, though still incomplete, listing of published Western and Russian travel accounts is R. A. Pierce, Soviet Central Asia. A Bibliography, Berkeley, 1966 (pt. 1. 1558-1866, pp. 26-48; pt. 2. 1867-1917, pp. 43-56).
  • Studies. M. A. Abduraimov, Ocherki agrarnykh otnosheniĭ v Bukharskom khanstve v XVI-pervoĭ polovine XIX veka I-II, Tashkent, 1966-70.
  • S. Aĭni, Vospominaniya, tr. from Tajik A. Rozenfel’d, Moscow and Leningrad, 1960 (including A. A. Semenov, “K proshlomu Bukhary,” pp. 980-1015).
  • B. A. Akhmedov, Istoriya Balkha (XVI-pervaya polovina XVIII v.), Tashkent, 1982.
  • M. S. Andreev and O. A. Chekhovich, Ark (kreml’) Bukhary v kontse XIX-nachale XX vv., Dushanbe, 1972.
  • W. B[acher], “Bokhara,” in The Jewish Encyclopaedia III, 1902, pp. 292-95.
  • V. V. Bartol’d, “Istoriya kol’turnoĭ zhizni Turkestana,” in his Sochineniya II/1, Moscow, 1963, pp. 257-433.
  • Idem, “Tseremonial pri dvore uzbekskikh khanov v XVII veke,” ibid., II/2, 1964a, pp. 388-99.
  • Idem, “Ulugbek i ego vremya,” ibid., II/2, 1964b, pp. 25-196.
  • Idem, “K istorii orosheniya Turkestana,” ibid., III, 1965, pp. 157-62, 185-209.
  • Idem, “Iz mints-kabineta pri SPb. Universitete I,” ibid., IV, 1966, pp. 343-45.
  • Idem (W. Barthold), Turkesta n 3, pp. 381-519.
  • S. Becker, Russia’s Protectorates in Central Asia, Bukhara and Khiva, 1865-1924, Cambridge, Mass., 1968 (with a valuable bibliography).
  • A. N. Boldyrev, Zaĭnaddin Vasifi. Tadzhikskiĭ pisatel’ XVI v. (Opyt tvorcheskoĭ biografii), Stalinabad, 1957.
  • R. Burnasheva, “Monety Bukharskogo khanstva pri Mangytakh (seredina XVIII-nachalo XX v.),” Epigrafika Vostoka 18, 1967, pp. 112-28; 21, 1972, pp. 67-80.
  • H. Carrère d’Encausse, Re,forme et re,volution chez les musulmans de l’Empire Russe. Bukhara 1867-1924, Paris, 1966.
  • E. A. Davidovich, “Materialy dlya kharakteristiki e,konomiki i sotsial’nykh otnosheniĭ v Sredneĭ Azii XVI v.,” Izvestiya Akademii Nauk Tadzhikskoĭ SSR. Otdelenie obshchestvennykh nauk 1, 1961, pp. 25-44.
  • Idem, Istoriya monetnogo dela Sredneĭ Azii XVII-XVIII vv. (Zolotye i serebryanye monety Dzhanidov), Dushanbe, 1964.
  • Idem, “O vremeni maksimal’nogo razvitiya tovarno-denezhnykh otnosheniĭ v srednevekovoĭ Sredneĭ Azii,” Narody Azii i Afriki 6, 1965, pp. 83-91.
  • Idem, Denezhnoe khozyaĭstvo Sredneĭ Azii posle mongol’skogo zavoevaniya i reforma Masʿud-beka (XIII v.), Moscow, 1972.
  • Idem, “Feodal’nyĭ zemel’nyĭ milk v Sredneĭ Azii XV-XVIII vv. Sushchnost’ i transformatsiya,” in Formy feodal’noĭ zemel’noĭ sobstvennosti i vladeniya na Blizhnem i Srednem Vostoke. Bartol’dovskie chteniya 1975 g., Moscow, 1979a, pp. 39-62.
  • Idem, Klady drevnikh i srednevekovykh monet Tadzhikistana, Moscow, 1979b.
  • Idem, Istoriya denezhnogo obrashcheniya srednevekovoĭ Sredneĭ Azii (mednye monety XV-pervoĭ chetverti XVI v. v Maverannakhre), Moscow, 1983.
  • D. DeWeese, The Kashf al-Hudā of Kamāl al-Dīn Ḥusayn Khorezmī, Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1985.
  • ʿA. Eqbāl, “Maḥmūd Yalavāj Ḵᵛārazmī,” MDAT 2/2, 1333 Š./1954, pp. 66-70.
  • B. G. Gafurov, Tadzhiki. Drevneĭshaya, drevnyaya i srednevekovaya istoriya, Moscow, 1972, pp. 447-578.
  • H. H. Howorth, History of the Mongols II/2, London, 1880, pp. 686-816 (still useful for political history).
  • Istoriya Bukhary s drevneĭshikh vremën do nashikh dneĭ, Tashkent, 1976, pp. 80-194 (with bibliography).
  • Istoriya narodov Uzbekistana II, Tashkent, 1947 (later editions, entitled Istoriya Uzbekskoĭ SSR, are often unreliable).
  • P. P. Ivanov, Vosstanie kitaĭ-kipchakov v Bukharskom khanstve 1821-25gg. Istochniki i opyt ikh issledovaniya, Moscow and Leningrad, 1937.
  • Idem, Khozyaĭstvo dzhuĭbarskikh sheĭkhov. K istorii feodal’nogo zemlevladeniya v Sredneĭ Azii v XVI-XVII vv., Moscow and Leningrad, 1954.
  • P. Jackson, “The Dissolution of the Mongol Empire,” Central Asiatic Journal 22/3-4, 1978, pp. 186-244.
  • N. A. Khalfin, Rossiya i khanstva Sredneĭ Azii (pervaya polovina XIX veka), Moscow, 1974.
  • N. A. Kislyakov, Patriarkhal’no-feodal’nye otnosheniya sredi osedlogo sel’skogo naseleniya Bukharskogo khanstva v kontse XIX-nachale XX veka, Moscow, 1962.
  • D. N. Logofet, Bukharskoe khanstvo pod russkim protektoratom I-II, St. Petersburg, 1911.
  • N. M. Lowick, “Shaybanid Silver Coins,” Numismatic Chronicle, ser. 7, 6, 1966, pp. 251-330.
  • R. D. McChesney, “The Amirs of Muslim Central Asia in the XVIIth Century,” JESHO 26/I, 1983, pp. 33-70.
  • Idem, “Economic and Social Aspects of the Public Architecture of Bukhara in the 1560’s and 1570’s,” Islamic Art 2, 1987, pp. 217-42.
  • K. M. Mirzaev, Amlyakovaya forma feodal’noĭ zemel’noĭ sobstvennosti v Bukharskom khanstve, Tashkent, 1954.
  • A. R. Mukhamedzhanov, Istoriya orosheniya Bukharskogo oazisa (s drevneĭshikh vremën do nachala XX v.), Tashkent, 1978.
  • R. G. Mukminova, Ocherki po istorii remesla v Samarkande i Bukhare v XVI veke, Tashkent, 1976.
  • I. P. Petrushevskiĭ, “Iz istorii Bukhary v XIII v.,” Uchënye zapiski Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta XCVIII, Seriya Vostokovedcheskikh Nauk 1, 1949, pp. 103-18.
  • L. I. Rempel’, Dalekoe i blizkoe. Stranitsy zhizni, byta, stroitel’nogo dela, i iskusstva Staroĭ Bukhary. Bukharskie zapisi, Tashkent, 1981.
  • O. Pritsak, “Āl-i Burhān,” Der Islam 30, 1952, pp. 81-96.
  • M. A. Salakhetdinova, “Pokhody Anusha-khana na zemli Bukharskogo khanstva,” in Blizhniĭ i Sredniĭ Vostok (Istoriya, kul’tura, istochnikovedenie), Moscow, 1968, pp. 123-33.
  • A. A. Semenov, Ocherk pozemel’no-podatnogo i nalogovogo ustroĭstva b. Bukharskogo khanstva, Tashkent, 1929.
  • Idem, “Kul’turnyĭ uroven’ pervykh Sheĭbanidov,” Sovetskoe vostokovedenie 3, 1956, pp. 51-59.
  • Idem, “Bukharskiĭ traktat o chinakh i zvaniyakh i ob obyazannostyakh nositeleĭ ikh v srednevekovoĭ Bukhare,” in Sovetskoe vostokovedenie V, Moscow and Leningrad, 1948, pp. 137-53.
  • Idem, Ocherk ustroĭstva tsentral’nogo administrativnogo upravleniya Bukharskogo khanstva pozdneĭshego vremeni, Stalinabad, 1954a.
  • Idem, “Pervye Sheĭbanidy i bor’ba za Maverannakhr,” Materialy po istorii tadzkkov i uzbekov Sredneĭ Azii 1, Trudy Akademii Nauk Tadzhikskoĭ SSR 12, Stalinabad, 1954b, pp. 109-150.
  • Idem, “Sheĭbani-khan i zavoevanie im imperii Timuridov,” Materialy po istorii tadzhikov i uzbekov Sredneĭ Azii 1, Trudy Akademii Nauk Tadzhikskoĭ SSR 12, Stalinabad, 1954c, pp. 39-83.
  • O. A. Sukhareva, K istorii gorodov Bukharskogo khanstva (Istoriko-ètnograficheskie ocherki), Tashkent, 1958.
  • Idem, Pozdnefeodal’nyĭ gorod Bukhara kontsa XIX-nachala XX veka. Remeslennaya promyshlennost’, Tashkent, 1962.
  • Idem, Bukhara, XIX-nachalo XX v. (Pozdnefeodal’nyĭ gorod i ego naselenie), Moscow, 1966.
  • Idem, Kvartal’naya obschchina pozdnefeodal’nogo goroda Bukhary (v svyazi s istorieĭ kvartalov), Moscow, 1976.
  • V. V. Vel’yaminov-Zernov, “Monety bukharskie i khivinskie,” Trudy Vostochnogo otdeleniya Imp. Russkogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva 4, 1858, pp. 328-456.
  • V. L. Vyatkin, “Sheĭkhi Dzhuĭbari I. Khodzha Islam,” V. V. Bartol’du turkestanskie druz’ya, ucheniki i pochitateli, Tashkent, 1927, pp. 3-19.
  • A. Yakubovskiĭ, “Vosstanie Tarabi v 1238 g. (K istorii krest’yanskikh i remeslennykh dvizheniĭ v Sredneĭ Azii),” Doklady gruppy vostokovedov na sessii Akademii nauk SSSR 20 marta 1935 g., Trudy Instituta vostokovedeniya 17, Moscow and Leningrad, 1936, pp. 101-35.

BUKHARA iv. Khanate of Bukhara and Khorasan

The first distinctive political separation of Transoxania from Persia took place in 873/1469 when the Timurid empire was finally divided into two independent states, Transoxania and Khorasan, ruled by the descendants of Abū Saʿd and ʿOmar Shaikh, respectively. But it was only with the Sunnite Uzbek conquest of Central Asia and the unification of all of Persia under Shiʿite Safavid rule by Shah Esmāʿīl I (r. 907-30/1501-24) that the Khanate of Bukhara and Khorasan became politically foreign to each other. From the very beginning, the central problem in political relations between the Safavid state and the Shaibanids of Transoxania was the control of Khorasan. This problem often dominated the relations between the Khanate of Bukhara and Persia also later, almost until the 13th/19th century.

The Shaibanids had gained hold of Khorasan during 911-14/1506-8, only to lose it gradually during 916-19/1510-13 to Shah Esmāʿīl (Ḥabīb al-sīar, Tehran, IV, pp. 506-14; Ḥasan Rūmlū, ed. Navāʾī, II, pp. 156-61), and for the following twenty-five years the Uzbeks repeatedly tried to recover this loss. The leading figure in these attempts was ʿObayd-Allāh Khan, who resided in Bukhara, first as the ruler of the Bukhara appanage, and then as the supreme khan of the Uzbeks (see iii, above). The Uzbeks led by ʿObayd-Allāh Khan invaded Khorasan five times (930-31/1524-25, 933-35/1526-28, 935-37/1529-31, 938-40/1532-33, 941-44/1535-38; Eskandar Beg, pp. 50-66; tr. Savory, I, pp. 84-109) and were sometimes able to occupy the entire province up to Astarābād in the west (see Dickson, pp. 101-8, with further refs. to sources). Herat was captured by ʿObayd-Allāh Khan twice, in 936/1529 and 942/1536. But the only decisive battle, which took place at Ḵosrowjerd near Jām (10 Moḥarram 935/24 September 1528), was won by the Qezelbāš under Shah Ṭahmāsb (Eskandar Beg, pp. 52-57; tr. Savory, I, pp. 87-93), and after that the Uzbeks had to retreat before Ṭahmāsb every time he came with the royal army to liberate the province (for a detailed analysis of these wars see Dickson, with references to the sources). The only major city of Khorasan that the Uzbeks were able to retain was Balḵ, which had been ruled by Bābor’s governor Moḥammad Zamān Mīrzā and was captured in 932/1526 by Kesken-Qarā-Solṭān (second son of the Shaibanid Jānībeg-Solṭān; Ḥasan Rūmlū, ed. Navāʾī, II, p. 257; Akhmedov, p. 79); since then the province of Balḵ was an important area of Uzbek settlement and a springboard for further Uzbek invasions and raids on Khorasan.

The next fifty years were a relatively peaceful period in the relations between the Shaibanids and Safavids, mainly because of the internal troubles in Transoxania, where a unified Shaibanid khanate continued to exist in name only. The peace was interrupted only twice: in 957/1550, by an unsuccessful attempt of the new Shaibanid supreme khan Nowrūz Aḥmad (Barāq Khan), to conquer Herat (see Ḥasan Rūmlū, ed. Navāʾī, II, pp. 443-45), and in 974/1567 by an equally unsuccessful raid on Khorasan by ʿAbd-Allāh-Solṭān (future khan: ibid., pp. 552-53). After ʿAbd-Allāh Khan II (q.v.) effectively unified the state he immediately renewed the campaigns in Khorasan. In 997/1589 his army conquered Herat, and the Qezelbāš, as well as many civilians there, were slaughtered (Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 386-89; tr. Savory, II, pp. 557-59). The next year ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen, son of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan, who held Balḵ as his appanage, took advantage or the fact that Shah ʿAbbās had to face the Ottoman offensive in the west and conquered a great portion of Khorasan. Mašhad was captured after a four-months siege and sacked for three days. The Uzbeks slaughtered a great number of the city inhabitants and plundered the shrine of Imam ʿAlī al-Reżā (Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 411-14, tr. Savory, II, pp. 589-90). According to some accounts, ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen even ordered the remains of Shah Ṭahmāsb, who had been buried near the shrine, to be exhumed and burnt and the ashes dispersed in the wind. (This story is told in Taḏkera-ye moqīm-ḵānī, tr. Semenov, pp. 62-68, which gives also the text of a long letter by ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen to the Ottoman sultan Morād III, describing this event; Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 526-28, tr. Savory, II, pp, 702-7, also mentions this account, but seems to give preference to a different story, according to which the remains of Shah Ṭahmāsb were saved from desecration.) During the several subsequent years all of Khorasan was captured by the Uzbeks, who also raided other regions as far as Yazd and Kāšān (Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 525-26, 532-33, tr. Savory, II, pp. 701-2, 711-12). Attempts at pushing them out of Khorasan remained inconclusive until the death of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan in 1006/1598 and ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen Khan in 1007/1598. In 1006-7/1598 Shah ʿAbbās reconquered Khorasan (Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 564-73; tr. Savory, II, pp. 748-60). The shah’s attempt to capture Balḵ (1010-11/1602), however, ended in failure (Eskandar Beg, II, pp. 619-628, tr. Savory, II, pp. 809-19).

The Shaibanids exchanged letters with the Ottoman sultans, some of which have been preserved in Monšaʾāt al-salāṭīn by Ferīdūn Beg (comp. 982/1574-75), but the assumption often made that there existed an active alliance against the Safavids has yet to be confirmed. It seems that the diplomatic correspondence between these two Sunnite powers contained mutual encouragements to fight the common enemy but made no effort to effectively coordinate their efforts (cf. Dickson, pp. 255-59).

During the Janid rule in Bukhara (see iii, above) hostilities alternated with periods of peaceful and sometimes even friendly relations. A reconciliation between Walī-Moḥammad Khan (1014-20/1605-11) and Shah ʿAbbās I took place in 1018/1609 (Eskandar Beg, II, pp. 815-16, tr. Savory, II, p. 1020), and after Walī-Moḥammad Khan’s flight from Bukhara in 1020/1611, Shah ʿAbbās received him in very friendly terms and tried to help him to regain his throne (Eskandar Beg, II, pp. 832-42, tr. Savory, II, pp. 1037-48). However, after the accession of Emāmqolī Khan (1020-51/1611-42) Uzbek raids on Khorasan, both from Bukhara and Balḵ, were renewed. Eskandar Beg (II, pp. 884, 893-94, 927-28, 961-62, tr. Savory, II, pp. 1100, 1109-10, 1145-46, 1183) mentions raids that occurred in 1223/1614, 1024/1615, 1027/1617, and 1030/1620-21. Embassies from Nāder-Moḥammad Khan (Emāmqolī’s brother, ruler of Balḵ) arrived in Persia in 1030/1620-21 (Eskandar Beg, II, pp. 962-64, 983, tr. Savory, II, pp. 1185-86, 1204-5), and negotiations resulted in a decade of peaceful relations (see Eskandar Beg, Ḏayl, p. 25), but after the death of Shah ʿAbbās, in the 1040s/1630s ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz-Solṭān (whom the Safavid historians call khan although he did not bear this title at that time), son of Nāder-Moḥammad Khan, conducted several large-scale raids on Khorasan (see Rettelbach, pp. 96, 107, 117, 118-20, 158, 164, 174; Eskandar Beg, Ḏayl, pp. 102, 104; Moḥammad-Yūsof, pp. 150-52, 205-6); in the words of Moḥammad-Yūsof (p. 150), ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Khan would go on raid against Khorasan more often than he would go to the bath. However, later, when be became khan in Bukhara (1055-91/1645-80), he apparently maintained good relations with Persia: regular exchange of embassies between him and Shah ʿAbbās II (1052-77/1642-66) is mentioned by Waḥīd Qazvīnī (pp. 148, 161, 209, 229, 263, 318).

In all military conflicts between the Uzbeks and the Safavids after the death of Shah Esmāʿīl I, during the 10th/16th and the 11th/17th centuries, the Safavids were clearly on the defensive, only trying to repel the Uzbek raids on Khorasan; the Safavids never attempted, in turn, to invade Transoxania. On the other hand, with the exception of the campaigns of ʿObayd-Allāh Khan and ʿAbd-Allāh Khan, the Uzbeks did not try to occupy any part of Khorasan permanently (beside the province of Balḵ), and their campaigns were only marauding raids, even though sometimes on a rather large scale (the figures “20,000” and “30,000” soldiers often given in such Persian sources as Eskandar Beg, II, p. 927; tr. Savory, II, p. 1145; Moḥammad-Yūsof, pp. 150-51, 205; Rettelbach, p. 119, for the Uzbek raiding parties should perhaps not always be taken literally). The first and only conquest of Bukhara (as well as of Ḵᵛārazm) undertaken by a Persian ruler was that of Nāder Shah in 1153/1740 (see iii, above). The conquest, however, did not result in the establishment of any effective Persian rule, and the vassal relations of Bukhara to Persia came to an end with the death of Nāder Shah. The third ruler of the Manḡït dynasty, Mīr Maʿṣūm Shah Morād (see iii, above), renewed the raids against Khorasan. He defeated Bayrām-ʿAlī Khan ʿEzz-al-Dīnlū Qājār, the independent Qajar ruler of Marv, and annexed the oasis of Marv to the Khanate of Bukhara, having first devastated it (ʿAbd-al-Karīm Boḵārī, text, pp. 58-63; tr. pp. 131-44; Hedāyat, IX, p. 402). It is told that he hoped to be able to conquer Mašhad and to divide the treasures of the shrine of Imam ʿAlī al-Reżā among his troops (Bartol’d, p. 281), but he never came close to it. In the 13th/19th century the Khanate of Bukhara maintained peaceful relations with Khorasan—both on account of its relative weakness and because it ceased to be its immediate neighbor, being cut off by the territory of independent Turkmen tribes in the west and Afghanistan in the south.

It is often assumed that the nature of relations between the khans of Bukhara and the Persian court since the beginning of the 10th/16th century was determined by the “sectarian rift” between the two after Shiʿism became the state religion under Shah Esmāʿīl. This is, however, an oversimplification. The religious hostility was, indeed, sometimes rather intense. Šaybānī (Šaybak) Khan and his successors, almost all of whom were followers of Naqšbandī shaikhs of Transoxania, saw and portrayed themselves as the defenders of the orthodox Sunnite Islam from the Shiʿite Qezelbāš threat, and it is possible that the ḵoṭba read in the cities of Khorasan conquered by Šaybānī Khan, in which he was proclaimed emām-e zamān wa ḵalīfat al-Raḥmān (first in Herat, see Ḥabīb al-sīar, Tehran, IV, p. 379; cf. Semenov, 1954, pp. 67-70), symbolized his claim to the status of caliph as a head of all Muslims. The slaughter of the entire Sunnite population of the city of Qaršī by order of Najm-e Ṯānī Amir Yār-Aḥmad Eṣfahānī in 918/1512 must have created a general hatred towards the Shiʿites (Ḥabīb al-sīar, Tehran, IV, pp. 526-30; Ḥasan Rūmlū, ed. Navāʾī, II, pp. 170-72), and stories of atrocities against the Sunnites committed by the Qezelbāš in Persia and especially Khorasan during the conquests of Shah Esmāʿīl I were brought to Transoxania by numerous refugees who flocked to the Shaibanid territory during the first two decades of the 10th/16th century. Many of these refugees, especially such influential religious figures as the author Fażl-Allāh b. Rūzbehān Ḵonjī Eṣfahānī, actively agitated for a Sunnite “reconquista” (see Fażl-Allāh, introd., pp. 25, 28-29). Similarly, stories of plunder and acts of violence against the Shiʿites committed by the Uzbeks in Khorasan increased the hostility toward them among the local population. Still, all this did not necessarily affect the actual policy of both sides towards each other, which had to be determined by more practical considerations, and very often the sectarian hatred was used only as a poorly disguised pretext for plunder and settling personal relations (cf. Dickson, pp. 42-43, 185-86, where the fact is noted that in the Qezelbāš-Uzbek political relations “Realpolitik” usually prevailed over the ideology). As mentioned above, periods of peaceful relations were probably not less common phenomenon than wars and raids, they simply were not paid as much attention by the contemporary chroniclers.

In addition to the frequent hostilities two problems connected with them plagued the relations between the khans of Bukhara and the Persian court throughout the period under discussion: the Central Asian Muslim’s use of the pilgrimage route to Mecca via the Khorasan road, and the Persian captives in Bukhara. Opening the Khorasan road for the ḥajj had a great importance for the people of Bukhara because in its absence the Central Asian pilgrims had to go across the Caspian Sea, over the Caucasus, and via Istanbul, which was far more expensive and often much more hazardous. However, the Khorasan road was not automatically closed because of the sectarian rift between Transoxania (and Ḵᵛārazm) and Khorasan. At least, several Bukharan and Khwarazmian rulers, actual and deposed, were able to make the pilgrimage through Persian territory, sometimes with a large escort—evidently with the consent of Persian authorities (see Taḏkera-ye moqīm-ḵānī, tr. Semenov, p. 101, on the ḥajj of Nāder-Moḥammad Khan in 1061/1650-51; p. 107, on the ḥajj of ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Khan in 1091/1680; Šēr-Moḥammad Moʾnes, pp. 150-51, on the ḥajj of Yādgār Khan of Ḵīva). The arrival in 1007/1598-99 of Mīrzā Beg with his household ( č), an important naqīb and a ḵúāja of the Naqšbandī order, from Transoxania on the way to Mecca is mentioned by Eskandar Beg (I, p. 547, tr. Savory, II, p. 727). It is well attested that in the 13th/19th century common Central Asian pilgrims could take the Persian route despite its dangers (see Vámbéry, pp. 9-12); this had probably been the case also earlier, at least in times of peace.

The problem of the captives in Central Asia was more difficult. Eskandar Beg (II, pp. 629, tr. Savory, II, pp. 819-20) claims that the Uzbeks adopted their practice of taking Persian civilians into captivity and selling them as slaves in Central Asia and beyond after the invasions of Khorasan by ʿAbd-Allāh Khan and ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen Khan. This practice was legally justified by the Sunnite lawyers, who proclaimed that the Shiʿites were infidels (and Khorasan, accordingly, dār al-ḥar b; the terms kāfer and rāfeż were both widely used in the literature as pejorative designations of Shiʿites). Persian slaves were found in Bukhara in large numbers down to the Russian conquest (and even later), where they were employed mainly as household servants and the khan’s bodyguards (cf. Mannanov, pp. 34-37). No serious attempts to release these captives were made by Persian governments; the only known mission which had this specific purpose—that of Reżāqolī Khan in 1267/1851—was sent to Ḵᵛārazm (the main slave market of Central Asia), not to Bukhara (see Ādamīyat, pp. 599-610). All that the Persian authorities could do was to retaliate in kind by capturing and selling Central Asian Sunnites as slaves; however, because the Qezelbāš never raided Transoxania itself, the main victims were the Turkmen living along the Khorasan border (see Eskandar Beg, loc. cit.). On the other hand, the Turkmen, especially since the 12th/18th century, became the main suppliers of Persian slaves to both Bukhara and Ḵᵛārazm, raiding Khorasan constantly.

The frequent hostilities between the khans of Bukhara and the Persian court must have contributed to the gradual economical decline of Khorasan, but it is difficult to assess how much of the decline that was evident in the 13th/19th century should be attributed to these hostilities and how much to the resurgence of tribalism and the political turmoil of the 12th/18th century in Persia. It is even more difficult to assess the results of the sectarian rift between Bukhara and Khorasan for the economy of Transoxania. Trade between the two countries certainly continued, although probably on a smaller scale and frequently interrupted by wars. The main impediment for trade was not the religious differences, but the insecurity of trade routes.

It was in the field of cultural exchange that relations between the two were most deeply affected by the sectarian antagonism. Anti-Shiʿite propaganda in Bukhara and anti-Sunnite propaganda in Khorasan remained strong. Even though it only seldom directly influenced the “Realpolitik” of the two governments, it had serious consequences on individual and emotional level (cf. Dickson, pp. 147-51, 155-58, 241-42). Exchanges of polemical letters between the theologians of Transoxania and Persia proper, quoted in some historical works (e.g., Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 390-98, tr. Savory, II, pp. 561-75; Taḏkera-ye moqīm-ḵānī, tr. Semenov, pp. 206-21), were popular reading to judge from the number of manuscripts of the various enšāʾ-works in which they are preserved. The mutual perception of Central Asian Sunnites and Persian Shiʿites was tinted by such negative literary cliche,s as “Uzbekān bī-īmān” (the faithless Uzbeks) and “Qezelbāš bad-maʿāš” (the villainous Qezelbāš). The circulation of literary works of all genres on each side tended to exclude more and more the works written on the other side of the “confrontation line”: an examination of the existing catalogs of Persian manuscript collections shows that, whereas before the 10th/16th century works written in Persia proper would also commonly reach Transoxania and vice versa, only few such works would come to Transoxania after that, and even fewer works written in Bukhara (and Central Asia in general) could be found in Persia proper. The question of possible mutual influences in visual arts since the 10th/16th century has not been sufficiently studied, but it seems that they also substantially decreased. It has been suggested that this cultural isolation from Khorasan was detrimental for Central Asia (The Cambridge History of Islam I, 1970, p. 468), and it may also be argued that it was not beneficial for Khorasan either (see, further, Bregel, pp. 10-11).


  • F. Ādamīyat, Amīr(-e) Kabīr o Īrān, 4th ed., 1354 Š./1975.
  • B. A. Akhmedov, Istoriya Balḵa (XVI-pervaya polovina XVIII v.), Tashkent, 1982.
  • V. V. Bartol’d, Sochineniya II/1, Moscow, 1963.
  • Yu. Bregel, The Role of Central Asia in the History of the Muslim East, Afghanistan Council, Occasional Paper (New York) 20, 1980.
  • M. Dickson, Sha,h Tahma,sb and the Uzbeks. The Duel for Khura,sa,n with ʿUbayd Kha,n: 930-946/1524-1540, Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton, 1958.
  • Eskandar Beg, Ḏayl-e Tārīḵ-e ʿālamārā-ye ʿabbāsī, ed. A. Sohaylī Ḵᵛansārī, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, pp. 1-146.
  • Fażl-Allāh b. Rūzbehān, Mehmān-nāma-ye Boḵārā, ed. R. P. Dzhalilova, Moscow, 1976.
  • Ferīdūn Beg Aḥmad, Monšaʾāt al-salāṭīn, 2nd ed., Istanbul, 1274/1858.
  • B. Mannanov, Iz istorii russko-iranskikh otnosheniĭ v kontse XIX-nachale XX veka, Tashkent, 1964. Reżāqolī Khan Hedāyat, Tārīḵ-e rawż at al-ṣafā-ye nāṣerī, Qom, 1339 Š./1960.
  • G. Rettelbach, Óulāṣat as-siyar. Der Iran unter Schah ṣafī (1629-1642) nach der Chronik des Muḥammad Maʿṣūm b. Óuāg!agī Iṣfahānī, Munich, 1978.
  • A. A. Semenov, “Sheĭbani-khan i zavoevanie im imperii timuridov,” in Materialy po istorii tadzhikov i uzbekov Sredneĭ Azii I, Stalinabad, 1954, pp. 39-83.
  • Šēr-Moḥammad Moʾnes, Ferdaws al-eqbāl, ed. Yu. Bregel, Leiden, 1988.
  • Taḏkera-ye moqīm-ḵānī, tr. A. A. Semenov, Tashkent, 1956.
  • A. Vámbéry, Travels in Central Asia, London, 1864.
  • ʿEmād-al-Dīn Moḥammad-Ṭāher Waḥīd Qazvīnī, ʿAbbās-nāma, ed. E. Dehgān, Arak, 1329 Š./1951.
  • Moḥammad-Yūsof Wāleh, Ḵold-e barīn, pub. in Eskandar Beg, Ḏayl, pp. 146ff.

BUKHARA v. Archeology and Monuments

According to new archeological data, the earliest settlement levels at Bukhara can be dated to the 5th-2nd centuries B.C. (Askarov and Usmanova, p. 10; Mukhamedzhanov, p. 39). During this period Bukhara consisted of a citadel (ar g; ca. 2ha) on a hill and a large, sprawling settlement across a wide ditch to the east. In about the 3rd century B.C. the citadel was reinforced with walls up to 6-7 m thick. At the end of the 1st millennium B.C. and in the immediately succeeding centuries Bukhara was an autonomous territory within the domain of the K’ang-chü dynasty; its rulers bore the Aramaic title MRʾY “sovereign” and minted coins on the model of the tetradrachms of the Bactrian king Euthydemos (d. ca. 189 B.C.; Tarn, pp. 82-83), with gradual evolution of both image and inscription (Rtveladze and Musakaeva, pp. 35-38).

Probably at the time of the Boḵārḵodāt Bīdūn (d. ca. 61/680; Balāḏorī, Fotūḥ, p. 413) the citadel, which had long been in ruins, was enlarged to cover an area of about a hectare; new outer walls were constructed, and the earlier walls were incorporated into a platform 16-18 m high; a new, inner wall was built on this platform, with only a narrow ledge around its base. There were two gates connected by a street: the Ḡūrīān and Rīgestān gates, on the eastern and western sides respectively. The latter took its name from the large open square in front of it. Bīdūn’s palace, which was among the most important constructions in the citadel, was built on seven stone piers arranged in the same pattern as the stars in the constellation of the Great Bear (Naršaḵī, pp. 33-34; Naršaḵī, tr. Frye, p. 24; Barthold, Turkesta n 3, p. 100); there was also a pagan temple. The Boḵārḵodāts had another palace on the Rīgestān, apparently still in their possession in the 2nd/8th century (Naršaḵī, pp. 36, 89; tr. Frye, pp. 25, 65).

The city (šahrestān) had grown up east of the citadel. In the 5th-6th centuries it had consisted of two independent walled sections, separated by a dried-up riverbed, which served as a defensive ditch; the northern section covered an area 8-11 ha, the southern 7-8 ha (Mukhamedzhanov and Mirzaakhmedov, pp. 101-2). At the beginning of the 8th century the two parts were gradually merged and the ditch replaced by a main street. The result was a rectangular walled town (30-35 ha), which was divided into quarters by two main cross streets (ibid., pp. 101-2, fig. 1). There were seven gates in the fortified wall (see Naršaḵī, pp. 73-91, who names only six; Naršaḵī, tr. Frye, pp. 54-58; Eṣṭaḵrī, p. 306; cf. Barthold, Turkesta n 3, p. 101; Belenitskiĭ et al., pp. 233-34 and 237 plan): ʿAṭṭārān (Bāzār; Eṣṭaḵrī: Madīna “city”), Banū Saʿd, Banū Asad (Mohra), Kandīz (Esáṭaḵrī: Qohandez; in some Naršaḵī manuscripts: Gabrīya “Magians,” tr. Frye, p. 55 n.), Ḥadīd “iron” (Eṣṭaḵrī, omitted in Naršaḵī), Ḥaqra (Ḥofra), Now (Nūn, Nūr). Within the town stood the fire temple, the Māḵ bāzār, where idols were sold (Naršaḵī, p. 29; Naršaḵī, tr. Frye, pp. 20-21), and the residences of the nobility. Under an agreement with Qotayba b. Moslem (49-96/669-715) the inhabitants of Bukhara were forced to cede half the houses in the walled city to the Arab conquerors (Naršaḵī, p. 73; Naršaḵī, tr. Frye, p. 53). To the northeast of the city, at a place called Kūšk-e Moḡān rich merchants erected 700 castles with living quarters for servants (Barthold, 1965, p. 384). There were fire temples there also, and at the beginning of the 9th century the Ḵarqān bāzār was constructed (Naršaḵī, pp. 43, 79).

During the reign of the Samanids (263-395/875-1005), Bukhara developed into a large town, consisting of the citadel, the walled city, and an inner and an outer suburb (rabaż; Belenitskiĭ et al., pp. 240-53; Barthold, 1965, pp. 380-81). The area of the citadel was 3.5 ha (not 9.2 ha, as in E I 1, s.v. Bukhārā, pp. 809-16, and E I 2, pp. 1293-96). Inside it there were a castle (qalʿa) containing the governor’s palace, a prison, administrative offices, and the treasury (Moqaddasī, p. 280; Barthold, 1965, p. 381). In this period most commercial and administrative functions were transferred from the walled city to the rabażes. The southern part of the inner rabaż was entirely occupied by bāzārs. The great mosque, the Samanid palace, and all the court dīvāns were located between the walled city and the Rīgestān. In the outer rabaż there were many castles, villas, and gardens. According to Eṣṭaḵrī, the area of the outer rabaż of Bukhara was approximately one square farsaḵ (p. 305). Scholars disagree about the dating of the walls of the rabażes. Some consider the inner wall to be from the time of Abū Moslem (fl. between 128/745-46 and 136/753-54) and the outer wall from the reign of the Taherids (235/849-50), but others date the inner wall to the Taherids and believe the outer wall to have been built over a long period of time and completed under the Samanids. The wall of the outer rabaż had eleven gates: Maydān, Ebrāhīm, Rīū (Rīv), Mardaqaša (Mardḵān), Kallābāḏ, Nowbahār, Samarqand, Faḡāskūn, Rāmīṯanīya (Rāmīṯān), Ḥadšarūn, and Ḡošaj (Ḡošendis). The inner wall had twelve gates: the Iron gate, Ḥossān bridge gate, two gates at the Māḵ mosque, Roḵna gate, a gate by the Kenānī castle, Fārjek gate, Darvāzja gate, a gate at the street of the Magians, the inner Samarkand gate, Maʿābed (sanctuaries) gate, and the gate at the Sowayqa bridge (Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 306-7; Moqaddasī, p. 280; Ebn Ḥawqal, pp. 483-84, tr. Kramers, pp. 464-65).

Qotayba built the first great mosque in the citadel in 95/713, on the site of the old pagan temple. The wooden doors, which were taken from castles of local feudal lords, bore traces of sculptural decoration that had been destroyed. In 154/770 a new congregational mosque with a minaret was erected outside the citadel; it was repeatedly rebuilt and enlarged after destruction by fire and earthquake up to the 5th/11th century. In the Samanid period two more mosques were built (in 290/902 and 340/951), and in the 4th/10th century madrasas are known to have existed at Bukhara (one, the Fārjek madrasa, was mentioned in connection with a fire in 325/937). Memorial structures were also built near the graves of eminent shaikhs, for example, beside the hill where Abū Ḥafṣ was buried, “where many mosques and cells stood” (Naršaḵī, p. 80; tr. Frye, p. 58). One of the earliest known secular mausoleums, the dynastic tomb of the Samanids, was built near Bukhara at about the turn of the 4th/10th century and is still preserved. Its structure is austere but expressive, a simple cube with a hemispherical dome and four identical facades, each with a central arched entrance and engaged columns at the corners. Both exterior and interior are dominated by brick patterns. In this monument the structural and decorative potential of baked brick was fully exploited for the first time in central Asian architecture (Pugachenkova and Rempel’, pp. 65-67; Pugachenkova, pp. 120-23).

After the Qarakhanids captured Samarkand and Bukhara (389/999; Bartold, Turkesta n 3, p. 268), Bukhara seems to have undergone a period of stagnation, but a revival is discernible toward the end of the 5th/11th century. In the first half of the 6th/12th century Bukhara was for a time the center of the semi-independent, quasi-theocratic state founded by the ṣadrs (Hanafite legal scholars) Āl-e Borhān. In 535/1141 the city was captured by the Qarā Ḵetāy, but the ṣadrs continued to play an important role. During this century the walls of the inner rabaż and the citadel were repaired, and in 560/1164-65 the wall of the outer rabaż and portions of the citadel walls and towers were riveted with baked brick. In 515/1121-22 a new great mosque was built, incorporating some of the woodwork from the old mosque (Naršaḵī, pp. 70-71; tr. Frye, p. 51). The adjacent minaret very soon collapsed, however, destroying two-thirds of this mosque. The sanctuary was rebuilt, and in 521/1127 a new minaret, Menār-e Kalān (Kalyan), was erected. Its sharply tapering circular shaft (48 m) is patterned with bands of ornamental brick and topped by a lantern; it still dominates the skyline of Bukhara (Nil’sen, pp. 183-91; Pugachenkova and Rempel’, pp. 67-70). In 513/1129 a small open prayer hall (namāzgāh) was built on the site of the old Šamsābād garden. The surface of its long brick qebla wall was patterned with geometric designs highlighted with carved terracotta; the central meḥrāb was redecorated with glazed tiles in the 8th/15th century; in the 10th/16th century a facade with arched entrances was added (Nil’sen, pp. 61-70). Aside from the Kalyan minaret the only preserved element of the 6th/12th-century mosques in Bukhara is the facade of the small Maḡak-e ʿAṭṭārī mosque. Its arched portal, flanked by engaged quarter-columns, is faced with ornamental brickwork; the inscription was carved from blue-glazed terracotta (Nil’sen, pp. 70-83). The interior of this mosque was completely rebuilt in the 10th/16th century under the Shaibanid ruler ʿAbd-Allāh I (see below).

New palaces are mentioned in various sources; for example, at Šamsābād near the Ebrāhīm gate “there were many splendid buildings,” including a walled park containing a palace, a pigeon house, and a zoological garden (Naršaḵī, pp. 40-41; tr. Frye, p. 29). The governor’s palace was near Jūybār, and two others were located in the (A)bū Layṯ district and beside the Saʿdābād gate respectively. Splendid royal baths and madrasas are also mentioned (Naršaḵī, pp. 40-42; tr. Frye, pp. 29-30).

In 604/1207 Bukhara fell to the Ḵᵛārazmšāh Moḥammad b. Takaš, who repaired the citadel and erected new buildings there. In 616/1220 the city was destroyed by the Mongols. It began to revive only in the second half of the 7th/13th century, when, for example, two large madrasas were built, the Masʿūdīya and the Ḵānīya. The former was destroyed in 671/1273 but was apparently later rebuilt; neither building has survived.

Two monuments survive from the Chaghatayid period (624-771/1227-1370): the mausoleum complex of Boyānqolī Khan (one of the last Chaghatayid khans of Transoxania; d. after 760/1358) and Sayf-al-Dīn Bāḵarzī (second half of the 8th/14th century, facade rebuilt in the 9-10th/15-16th centuries), on the outskirts of the city. It is a variant of the two-chamber mausoleum with portal; in the earlier tomb chamber panels of richly carved glazed terracotta decoration have been preserved (Pugachenkova and Rempel’, pp. 72-75).

In 781/1380 Tīmūr built the Čašma-ye Ayyūb mausoleum, a complex structure dominated by a tall, conical dome (ibid., p. 75). The only known building of the later Timurids at Bukhara is the madrasa of Oloḡ Beg (built 819/1417), the first of three such buildings that he commissioned and the oldest preserved in Central Asia. The madrasa, which was built by the architect Esmāʿīl b. Ṭāher Eṣfahānī, is of the traditional courtyard type with two facing ayvāns on the longitudinal axis. The sides of the courtyard consist of two stories of domed chambers (ḥojras), with a classroom (dars-ḵāna) and a mosque in the corners. The facade is characterized by a tall framed portal (pīštāq) and small corner towers. This madrasa was restored in 993/1585, and there is also glazed-tile decoration from the 11th/17th century (ibid., pp. 76-78).

Under the Shaibanids (905-1007/1500-98) and the Janids (1007-1199/1599-1785) there was an expansion of trade between Bukhara and Russia. It was a period of active building, in which especially bāzārs, caravansaries, and underground reservoirs (sardābas) proliferated. There was a čārsū in the center of Bukhara already in the 10th/16th century (Boldyrev, p. 134). Sayyed Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh, the Sufi shaikh known as Mīr-e ʿArab, had come to Bukhara from Esfijāb (Sayram) sometime after 921/1515. In 942/1535-36 he constructed the madrasa that bears his name across from the Masjed-e Kalān, the main congregational mosque of Bukhara (see above); by 947/1539 the mosque itself had been completely rebuilt, with six piers, stone columns, and 289 vaulted bays. The two buildings and the Menār-e Kalān thus formed a unified group, known as Pā-ye Kalān (Pugachenkova and Rempel’s, pp. 79-82). Under ʿAbd-Allāh Khan (r. 991-1006/1583-98) the western wall of Bukhara was extended to bring within the city boundary lands owned by the influential Jūybāri shaikhs; the main avenue (ḵīābān) of the city started from there. Among the other public building erected in Bukhara under the Shaibanids, the most prominent were the Qūš Madrasa, a complex including Mādar-e Ḵān madrasa, built by ʿAbd-Allāh Khan’s mother in 974/1566-67, and facing it the madrasa of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan himself, built in 998/1589-90; the madrasa built by Qol Bābā Kūkeldāš, an amir of ʿAbd-Allāh Khan, in 986/1578-79, three domed structures (ṭāq, or čārsū) at the intersections of the main commercial streets, as well as Tīm-e ʿAbd-Allāh Khan, a domed caravansary for textile merchants (all four usually dated 995/1586-87; cf. McChesney, who argues that the caravansary and one of the ṭāqs were probably built ten years earlier); Čār Bakr (q.v.; 966-76/1559-69), a complex including a madrasa, mosque, and ḵānaqāh about four miles west of Bukhara, in the Sumītan district, that belonged to the Jūybāri shaikhs; and the ḵānaqāh of Fayżabād (1007/1598-99) outside the eastern city wall (Pugachenkova and Rempel’s, pp. 91-93). Several mosques (e.g., in Baland) and kānaqāhs (Sufi monasteries), like those of Zayn-al-Dīn and Bahāʾ-al-Dīn, also survive from this period.

The Janid ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Khan (q.v.; r. 1057-91/1647-80) rebuilt the walls of the rabaż. Many monumental structures survive from this period (ibid., pp. 78-79, 93-95). They are characterized by a consistent typology of plan and spatial composition, a rich array of domes and vaults, and colorful tile decoration. Public buildings, domed bāzārs, and baths are particularly noteworthy, as are such large religious and memorial complexes as Lab-e Ḥawż, which includes a ḵānaqāh, a madrasa, and a reservoir (ḥawż), built by Nadr (or Naḏr) Dīvānbegī Arlāt in 1029-32/1619-23; and the madrasa of ʿAbd-alʿAzīz Khan himself, built in 1062/1651-52 opposite the madrasa of Oloḡ Beg (see above).

After the city came under the control of the Manḡït dynasty (1170-1338/1757-1920) a fortified wall 12 km long with twenty-six towers was built around Bukhara, but its line did not take account of existing building rights and privately owned lands. There were eleven gates flanked by towers: Tāl-e Pač, Og!lān, Ḥażrat-e Emām, and Samarkand in the north; Mazār and Kavola in the east; Salla-ḵāna-ye Ebrāhīm (Namāzgāh), and Shaikh Jalāl in the south; and Karakol and Šīrgarān in the west (see Sukhareva, 1958).

Modern Bukhara is one of the most attractive foci of international tourism. The historic center of the city has been declared a state reserve; its architectural monuments are under government protection and are being restored. Traditional handicrafts—stucco and wood carving, repousse, work in metal, gold embroidery and other needlework, and modeling of terracotta figurines—are also practiced there.


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BUKHARA vi. Bukharan School of Miniature Painting

As far as is known, illustrated manuscripts were produced in Bukhara only under the Shaibanid (905-1007/1500-98) and Janid (also known as Tughay-Timurid; 1007-1199/1599-1785) dynasties.

The Shaibanids. Partly as a result of frequent raids on Herat by ʿObayd-Allāh Khan (918-46/1512-39) Persian manuscripts, artists, and calligraphers were brought to Bukhara, and the influence of Herat painting remained paramount there until the second quarter of the 11th/17th century. Contemporary chroniclers like Wāṣefī, Ḥasan Neṯārī, and Mīrzā Ḥaydar Dūḡlāt wrote glowingly of the flowering of the arts at Bukhara under ʿObayd-Allāh Khan (Ashrafi-Aini, pp. 262-64), but no illustrated manuscript dedicated to this monarch is known. Although early 10th/16th-century miniatures emulating the mid-15th-century Timurid court style of Herat have been documented from Samarkand and Tashkent (Ashrafi-Aini, pp. 250, 260-62), no such paintings seem to have been produced at Bukhara. Instead, two successive waves of later influence from Herat can be discerned. The first originated in the Timurid style characteristic of the court of Sultan Ḥosayn Bāyqarā (875-912/1470-1506). In one well-known manuscript of ʿAṣṣār Tabrīzī’s Mehr o Moštarī of 929/1523 copied in Bukhara (The Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., ms. no. 32) the architecture, the landscapes, and even the costumes and headgear are indistinguishable from those in Herat painting in the latter part of Ḥosayn Bāyqarā’s reign (Ashrafi-Aini, pls. LXXI-LXXII, figs. 151-52). This archaistic style continued to exert a strong influence on Bukhara work until the mid-10th/16th century. Perhaps the most remarkable manuscript from the period is a copy of Saʿdī’s Golestān in the M. Bodmer Foundation, Geneva (Ashrafi-Aini, pls. LXXVI-LXXVII); according to the colophon it was copied by Solṭān-ʿAlī in Herat in 906/1500 but illustrated for ʿObayd-Allāh Khan’s successor, ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz-Solṭān (946-57/1539-50) in Bukhara in 954/1547. Both the composition and style of the paintings are derived from those in a Golestān made for Sultan Ḥosayn Bāyqarā in 891/1486 (now in the A. Soudavar collection; Robinson, 1963; Grube, pls. 36.1-3). Some illustrated manuscripts from these years were copied by calligraphers like Solṭān-ʿAlī of Mašhad, who never lived in Bukhara; several others with paintings in the Bukhara style were copied by Mīr-Alī of Herat before his arrival in the city in 935/1528-29 (Qāżī Aḥmad, tr. Minorsky, p. 130; Robinson, 1963, p. 231). The illustrations of these texts were thus often added later, and the retardataire style of the painting makes them even more difficult to date correctly.

A second group of Bukharan manuscripts, copied in the 940s/1530s and 950s/1540s, can be firmly connected with the patronage of ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz-Solṭān, who was one of the great post-Timurid bibliophiles of Central Asia. Martin Dickson and Stuart Cary Welch have convincingly argued (pp. 36-39) that the style of painting in these manuscripts was derived from the Safavid court style of about 931/1525, which was apparently transported to Bukhara by Šayḵzāda, who had been a pupil of Behzād. They propose that the Herat style of Behzād and his pupils went out of fashion at the Safavid court after the accession of Shah Ṭahmāsb (r. 930-84/1524-76), superseded by the “Tabrīz style” of the painter Solṭān-Moḥammad and his followers. Šayḵzāda then sought a new source of patronage among the Shaibanids. A flattening of architectural space and elaborate ornamental patterning characterize a mosque scene signed by him in a Dīvān of Ḥāfezá produced for Shah Ṭahmāsb’s brother Sām Mīrzā in ca. 933/1527 (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; S. C. Welch, pl. 16). A second Safavid miniature attributable to him, “Shaikh ṣanʿān before the balcony of a Christian woman,” which illustrates a poem by Mīr ʿAlī-Šīr Navāʾī in a manuscript copied at Herat in 933/1526-27, reveals a distinctive flat, broad rendering of women’s faces (S. C. Welch, pl. 11). Both traits appear in the illustrations in a manuscript of ʿAbd-Allāh Hātefī’s Haft manzáar of 944/1538 copied in Bukhara (Freer Gallery, ms. no. 56.14; Ashrafi-Aini, pl. LXXIII); a dedication in Šayḵzāda’s name appears next to one of the miniatures (Dickson and Welch, p. 40, fig. 41). The same stylistic features can be observed in later Bukharan work produced for ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz-Solṭān. Perhaps the finest manuscript made for this patron is a copy of three maṯnawīs, usually called Rawż at al-moḥebbīn after one of its sections, in the Sālār Jung Museum, Hyderabad (ms. no. A1611), illustrated in 956/1549. It contains paintings signed by ʿAbd-Allāh Boḵārī, Maḥmūd Moḏahheb, and Šayḵam b. Mollā Yūsof Heravī, who belonged to a second generation of Bukhara painters (Ashraf, pp. 7-23; Randhawa). ʿAbd-Allāh and Maḥmūd were mentioned by the contemporary Turkish chronicler ʿAlī Effendi, the first as a student of Šayḵzāda and the second as a pupil of the calligrapher Mīr-ʿAlī Heravī, “but [Maḥmūd] was a better illuminator than calligrapher” (Binyon et al., pp. 106-7). In addition to compositions derivative from Šayḵzāda’s work there are miniatures containing only one or two large figures, possibly an innovation by these younger painters. One of ʿAbd-Allāh’s miniatures (Ashrafi, p. 20, no. 10) is stylistically similar to a painting of two lovers in the Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. (S.86.0301; Lowry, p. 190, no. 63), includes a dedication to ʿAbd-Allāh and was probably executed at this time.

ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz’s successor, Yār-Moḥammad Khan (957-963/1550-56), continued to sponsor court production of fine illustrated books. Several volumes of the poetry of Navāʾī in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, are the chief works surviving from his reign (Suleiman, ed., pls. 12-20, 26-32). They contain series of paintings, probably executed by ʿAbd-Allāh, of Bahrām V Gōr and the seven princesses, as well as work attributable to Maḥmūd Moḏahheb and other painters.

A copy of Ferdowsī’s Šāh-nāma made in 972/1564 for the last Shaibanid ruler of Bukhara, ʿAbd-Allāh Khan (964-1007/1557-99), contains the largest cycle of illustrations known in a royal Bukharan manuscript (Topkapé Sarayé Library, Hazine 1488; Inal), but a marked decline in quality is noticeable in many of these paintings. Often a stereotyped background, usually of low hills, divides the page horizontally, and the composition includes only one, two, or three large figures. Pigments are more thinly applied. Other manuscripts of the third quarter of the 10th/16th century contain only one or two illustrations. Jāmī’s Toḥfat al-aḥrār was an especially popular text; in addition to a copy made in ʿAbd-Allāh Khan’s library in 971/1563-64 (A. Welch, pp. 63-71) five others are known (Robinson, 1958, pp. 134-35). Usually identical episodes are illustrated with similar compositions, suggesting routine production and an absence of originality. A number of Bukharan miniatures from this period bear attributions to or “signatures” of Maḥmūd Moḏahheb, but many are copies of the master’s work by less gifted members of his atelier (Schmitz, 1989, mss. II. 13-14).

It was also in this period that several artists trained in the royal ketāb-ḵāna (library) left the Shaibanid capital—possibly because of a decline in royal patronage—and went to India. The painter Šayḵam (in some modern transcriptions Šaḥm), whose work for Sultan ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz has been noted above, was employed at the Mughal court: Four miniatures signed by him appear in a copy of Saʿdī’s Golestān dated 947/1567 (British Library, London, ms. no. Or. 5302). The name of the Mughal ruler Akbar I (r. 963-1014/1556-1605) appears in a building inscription on one of the folios (fol. 30a, Titley, p. 147, no. 349, pl. 38), and it has sometimes been argued that the volume was presented to him by ʿAbd-Allāh Khan (Robinson, 1967, no. 165, pp. 108-9; idem, 1958, p. 127; A. Welch, p. 64). As all the costumes are Mughal and the cycle of illustrations was completed only after Akbar’s death, however, it probably was not a gift to him. A less accomplished anonymous Bukhara painter produced a copy of Hātefī’s Ḵosrow o Šīrīn for Ebrāhīm Qoṭbšāh of Golconda in 948/1568 (Khuda Bakhsh Library, Patna); in its illustrations the Bukhara figure style is combined with Deccani landscapes (Khandalavala and Doshi, p. 44, pl. 6; Skelton, 1973, pp. 182-95).

The last quarter of the 10th/16th century was a period of transition in Bukhara painting. On one hand, the final disintegration of the mid-century style is apparent. Illustrations were added to manuscripts with little or no relationship to the accompanying text; for example, more than 300 miniatures with single figures appear in a copy of Ḥosayn Wāʿezá Kāšefī’s Aḵlāq-e moḥsenī in the India Office Library (ms. no. 1097; Robinson, 1976, pp. 153-72, nos. 551-880). On the other hand, as a result of the Uzbeks’ conquest of Khorasan from the Safavids in 994/1586 Bukhara was host to a new wave of artistic influences from Mašhad and Herat (Schmitz, 1981, pp. 110-40). Furthermore, between this date and the Safavids’ reconquest of the province in 1007/1599 miniatures painted in Khorasan show youths wearing Uzbek turbans wrapped around distinctive cone-shaped kolāhs (lit. “hats”), and it can only be assumed that local artists were working for new Uzbek patrons (Robinson et al., p. 52, no. 27; Robinson, 1976, p. 187, nos. 919-21).

The Janids. Clear evidence for the impact of the new Khorasan style in Bukhara can be found in a copy of Saʿdī’s Būstān in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (Arberry et al., pp. 66-67, no. 297). A dedication above a doorway in one of the miniatures (Pugachenkova and Galerkina, pl. 57) includes the name Ḥażrat-e Hedāyat b. Mīr Moʿīn-al-Dīn-e Ḵᵛāja ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm-e Ḵᵛāja Saʿd, referring to the scion of a powerful Bukhara family of Jūybāri Naqšbandī shaikhs. The miniature was signed by Moḥammad-Šarīf in 1025/1616. His style blends landscapes and male figure types from late 10th/16th century Khorasan painting (Schmitz, 1981, pp. 110-40) with the rich architectural decoration and female types characteristic of earlier Bukharan art, the whole infused with a new, rude energy (see Plate xxix). Two other painters, Moḥammad-Darvīš and Morād, also signed paintings in the Dublin Būstān. The latter is to be identified with Moḥammad-Morād Samarqandī, whose name is inscribed in the paintings in the border around a picture of a seated princess now in the Sackler Collection (S86.0304; Lowry, pp. 198-99, no. 67). His blunt and sometimes grotesque drawing, enhanced by unusual color combinations, is typical of this school. Moḥammad-Morād frequently added illustrations to earlier dated manuscripts, which has led to confusion among scholars in the past. The work of Moḥammad-Darvīš, on the other hand, is distinguished by figures painted in a style derivative from that of an unknown master who worked with the Herat calligrapher Shah Qāsem (active ca. 998-1034/1590-1625; Schmitz, 1981, pp. 54-67); both had been employed by the eponymous ancestor of the Janids, who was killed in the defense of Herat in 1006/1598. Other miniatures that can be attributed to Moḥammad-Darvīš are found in a copy of Majāles al-ʿoššāq of 1015/1606 (Ismailova, pls. 32-34). A thesis by Moḥammad-Amīn b. Mīrzā Moḥammad-Zamān Boḵārī Sofyānī, entitled Moḥīṭ al-tawārīḵ and completed in 1109/1697-98, includes the names of calligraphers and artists active at the courts of ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Khan (1057-91/1647-80) and Sobḥānqolī Khan (1093-1114/1682-1702; Akimushkin and Ivanov). Four court painters are recorded: Moqīm (or Moḥammad-Moqīm), who was active ca. 1034-69/1625-70; his contemporary Mollā Behzād (b. Manṣūr); ʿAważ-Moḥammad; and Gedā-ye Naqqāš. Three other painters, though not listed, are known from signed miniatures to have worked for royal patrons: Moḥammad-Amīn, Moḥammad-Salīm, and Gol-Moḥammad. The names of Pīr-e Ḡolām Manowhar Hendī Ḵānazād, who worked with Behzād, and Farhād have been noted on works of art not associated with court patronage (Skelton, forthcoming). A copy of Nezáāmī’s Ḵamsa completed in Bukhara in 1081/1671 (Chester Beatty Library; Arberry et al., p. 48, no. 276, pls. 35-37) is the masterpiece of this later painting style. The most advanced of its four painters produced landscapes of Indian type containing figures in both Indian and Central Asian dress; the models may have been works produced in Kashmir by Moḥammad-Nāder Samarqandī (Skelton, forthcoming), a painter whose movements are unclear.

Plate XXIX. “Żaḥḥāk enthroned with Jamšīd's sisters.” Folio detached from a manuscript of the Šāh-nāma dateable ca. 1018-30/1610-20, attributable to Moḥammad-Šarīf. Los Angeles County Museum.Plate XXIX. “Żaḥḥāk enthroned with Jamšīd's sisters.” Folio detached from a manuscript of the Šāh-nāma dateable ca. 1018-30/1610-20, attributable to Moḥammad-Šarīf. Los Angeles County Museum.View full image in a new tab

William Moorcroft, a representative of the British government who made a survey of Kashmiri arts and crafts in 1819-23, noted a large export trade in Kashmir manuscripts to Central Asia during the period of Dorrānī suzerainty (1165-1234/1752-1819), and the large number of Kashmiri books in Soviet collections attest to the accuracy of his report (Adamova and Greck). In the 13th/19th century some Kashmir artists migrated to Central Asian cities but continued to work in their native style. From the material now in hand, however, there is no evidence of the production of illustrated books in Bukhara itself after the end of the 11th/17th century.


  • A. Adamova and T. Greck, Miniatures from Kashmirian Manuscripts, Leningrad, 1976.
  • O. F. Akimushkin and A. A. Ivanov, “Une e,cole artistique me,connue. Boxara au XVIIe siècle,” in Art et socie,te, dans le monde iranien, ed. C. Adle, Paris, 1982, pp. 127-39.
  • A. J. Arberry et al., The Chester Beatty Library. A Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts and Miniatures III, Dublin, 1962.
  • M. Ashraf, A Concise Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Sālār Jung Museum and Library VI, Hyderabad, 1975.
  • M. M. Ashrafi-Aini, “The School of Bukhara to c. 1550,” in The Arts of the Book in Central Asia, ed. B. Gray, Boulder, Col., 1979, pp. 249-72.
  • L. Binyon, J. V. S. Wilkinson, and B. Gray, Persian Miniature Painting, Oxford, 1933; repr. New York, 1971.
  • M. B. Dickson and S. C. Welch, The Houghton Shahnamah I, Cambridge, Mass., 1981.
  • E. Grube, The Classical Style in Islamic Painting. The Early School of Herat and Its Impact on Islamic Painting of the Later 15th, the 16th and 17th Centuries. Some Examples in American Collections, Venice, 1968.
  • G. Inal, “Topkapé Sarayé koleksiyonundaki Sultané Bir Özbek †ehnamesi ve Özbek resim sanaté içindeki yeri,” Sanat tarihi yéllég!é 6, 1974-75, pp. 303-20 (Eng. summary “A royal Uzbeck Shahnameh in the Topkapé Palace Museum and Its Significance for Uzbeck Painting,” pp. 321-32).
  • A. M. Ismailova, Oriental Miniatures of Abu Raihon Beruni Institute of Orientology of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Tashkent, 1980.
  • K. Khandalavala and S. Doshi, eds., An Age of Splendour. Islamic Art in India, Bombay, 1983.
  • G. D. Lowry, A Jeweler’s Eye. Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection, Washington, D.C., 1988.
  • G. Pugachenkova and O. Galerkina, Miniatures of Central Asia in Selected Examples from Soviet and Foreign Collections, Moscow, 1979.
  • M. S. Randhawa, “Rare Bukhara Manuscript, "Raudat-ul-Muhibbin",” Arts and the Islamic World 1/4, 1983-84, pp. 7-10.
  • B. W. Robinson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Painting in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1958.
  • Idem, “An Unpublished Manuscript of the Gulistan of Saʿdi,” in Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte Asiens in Memoriam Ernst Diez, ed. O. Aslanapa, Istanbul, 1963, pp. 223-36.
  • Idem, Persian Miniature Painting from Collections in the British Isles, London, 1967.
  • Idem, Persian Painting in the India Office Library. A Descriptive Catalogue, London, 1976.
  • Idem et al., Persian and Mughal Art, London, 1976.
  • B. Schmitz, “Miniature Painting in Harāt, 1570-1640,” unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1981.
  • Idem, Islamic Manuscripts in the New York Public Library, New York, 1989.
  • R. Skelton, “Early Golconda Painting,” in Indologen-Tagung 1971. Verhandlungen der Indologischen Arbeitstagung im Museum für Indische Kunst Berlin, 7.-9. Oktober 1971, ed. H. Härtel and V. Moeller, Wiesbaden, 1973, pp. 182-95.
  • Idem, “The Relation between Mughal and Central Asian Painting in the Seventeenth Century,” in Proceedings of the Second European Seminar of Central Asian Studies, University of London, 7-10 April 1987 (forthcoming).
  • P. Soucek, “ʿAbdallāh Boḵārī,” in EIr. I, pp. 193-95.
  • H. Suleiman, ed., Miniatures to Poems of Alisher Navoi, Tashkent, 1970.
  • N. Titley, Miniatures from Persian Manuscripts … in the British Library and the British Museum, London, 1977.
  • A. Welch, Collection of Islamic Art, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan IV, Geneva, 1978.
  • S. C. Welch, Persian Painting. Five Royal Safavid Manuscripts of the Sixteenth Century, New York, 1976.

BUKHARA vii. Bukharan Jews

“Bukharan Jews” is the common appellation for the Jews of Central Asia whose native language is the Jewish dialect of Tajik. It was first adopted by Russian travelers to Central Asia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, then, apparently independently, by early 19th-century British and Indian travelers. Members of the group call themselves [Y]Isroʾel (refined style) or Yahūdī (official/neutral style); the latter term was also applied to them in official Persian (Tajik) and Chaghatay (Č;aḡatāy, Uzbek) terminology before the Russian conquest of Central Asia. Despite a ban since the mid-1920s, a pejorative derivative ju[h]ud/jut (from johū d) is current and has become so common that Jews themselves use it. In the official and semiofficial Russian ethnographic nomenclature of the late 1920s and 1930s the term tuzemnye Evrei “indigenous Jews” (of Central Asia) was used. In the same period Uzbek and Tajik had the euphemistic mayda-millat (member of a national [ethnic] minority).

1. Demography.

There are no reliable statistics on Jews in Central Asia before the 19th century. In 1832 an Anglican missionary of Jewish origin, J. Wolff (1795-1862), who seems to have undertaken a kind of census of Jews “in Toorkestaun,” stated their number to be “13,600 souls” (p. 195). The first census of the Russian empire (1897) counted 11,463 adherents of Judaism in Central Asian territory under Russian sovereignty (Troĭnitskiĭ, p. 258, table XII). It can be estimated that at least 9,500-10,000 of them were Central Asian Jews. Data from various independent sources suggest that there were 6,000-6,500 Jews in the amirate of Bukhara, 4,000-4,500 of them in the city itself (Neymark, pp. 100-107; Olufsen, p. 297; Sukhareva, 1966, pp. 168-69, 1976, pp. 76, 93; Agerov, pp. 103, 111, 115, 119, 124). The total of all Central Asian Jews at the end of the 19th century was probably between 16,000 and 17,000. In 1926, according to the Soviet census, the number of Central Asian Jews in the USSR was 18,698 (Lorimer, p. 55, table 23), of whom 18,172 were dwelling in the Uzbek SSR (including Tajikistan; Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, pp. 11, 14). They were already outnumbered even there, however, by Ashkenazis (Jews of European origin, 19,611; ibid., p. 11), who have continued to gain proportionally. Samarkand, with 7,740 Central Asian Jews, was the largest center of concentration (ibid., p. 15) and has remained so (Zubin, p. 177). The first Soviet census after World War II, conducted in 1959, listed 25,990 Central Asian Jews who were native speakers of Tajik (Itogi … 1959, p. 188, table 53, notes 9, 10). At a cautious estimate, about 10 percent of Central Asian Jews who abandoned the Jewish dialect of Tajik in favor of Russian (or Uzbek in a very few instances) must be added to this figure, bringing the estimate of all Central Asian Jews within the borders of the USSR to between 28,000 and 29,000. The low natural increase between 1925 and 1959 is to be explained by emigration beginning in the late 1920s and by a long-term lowering of the birthrate caused by the Great Terror and World War II (see below), when males of procreative age were separated from women and many of them were killed. In 1970, according to data from the Soviet census (Itogi … 1970, pp. 202, table 11; 223, table 13; 284, table 22; 295, table 24; 306, table 27; with somewhat misleading distribution among language groups), there were an estimated 40,000 Central Asian Jews in the USSR (corrected by about 15 percent for Central Asian Jewish native speakers of Russian). This natural increase, about 40 percent in eleven years, is to be explained by normalization in the composition of the procreative age group and a general improvement in socioeconomic conditions. By the end of the 1960s there were also about 8,000 Central Asian Jews living in Israel (Tājer, pt. 1, p. 105) and perhaps 1,000 (primarily emigrants from Palestine/Israel and their descendants) in other countries, mainly the United States and to a much lesser extent Canada, France, Venezuela, Argentina, and South Africa (in descending order). A major demographic event of the 1970s was large-scale Bukharan Jewish emigration from the USSR (see below). Calculations based on the Soviet census of 1979 (Chislennost’, pp. 110-11, table 12; 132-33, table 32), with linguistic distribution corrected by 20 percent for Central Asian Jews who were native speakers of Russian, yield an estimate of about 40,000 Central Asian Jews in the USSR. Taking into consideration different natural rates of increase in different countries and including descendants of Bukharan Jews to the third generation in Israel and Western countries, the estimated total population of Bukharan Jews at the end of 1987 was 85,000, of whom about 45,000 were in the USSR, about 32,000 in Israel, and about 3,000 in all other countries combined.

2. History.

Pre-Islamic Period. Jews are known to have settled in Georgian area undoubtedly under Achaemenid domination sometime after 539 B.C. (Ben-Ōren and Moskovich, p. 99), when Babylon, with its large Jewish population, was absorbed into the empire, and it can be suggested that at the same period they reached parts of Central Asia that also belonged to the empire. It is stated repeatedly in the Book of Esther (composed in the early Parthian period, at least several decades before 78-77 B.C.; see, e.g., Bickerman, pp. 202, 207; Eissfeldt, pp. 691, 802) that Jews dwelled “in all the provinces” (3:6, 8; 8:5, 12; 9:20) of the kingdom of Persia, Parthia (covering approximately the territory of the southwestern part of the Turkmen Soviet republic and the northern part of the modern Iranian province of Khorasan), the hereditary domain of the Arsacid dynasty, would certainly have been included among them. The Acts of the Apostles (probably composed ca. A.D. 85) contains an apparently reliable list of Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem on Pentecost in the year 33 in sequence according to their native tongues (2:9-11), beginning with the group from farthest east, the “Parthians.” The Medes and the Elamites are clearly distinguished, though both groups also came from the Arsacid empire. It is probable therefore that the pilgrims called Parthians were those who spoke the Parthian language as their native tongue, which means that they had to have been settled in a Parthian-speaking area for several generations. Gamlīʾēl the Elder, an early 1st-century president of the Sanhedrin (the supreme religious Jewish legislative body, based in Jerusalem), is said to have addressed a letter “to our brethren, sons of the exile in Babylon and our brethren that [dwell] in Media, and to the rest of the exile of Israel” (Babylonian Talmud, “Sanhedrīn,” 11b). As the sequence of the exiles mentioned is from Jerusalem eastward, “the rest of the exile” must include the Jews dwelling east of Media, that is, in the eastern part of greater Iran.

The first explicit evidence for the presence of Jews in Transoxania is a story about the sojourn at MRGWʾN (Marv) of an early 4th-century Babylonian āmōrā (authority on Jewish religious law), a member of the religious academy in Pūmbědīṯā (Pērōz-Šāpūr, Anbār, in Mesopotamia), Šemūʾēl bar Bīsěnā (Babylonian Talmud, “ʿǍḇōdā Zārā,” 30b). A number of Babylonian Jewish religious authorities were engaged in the silk trade, and Marv stood on the Silk Road. Bar Bīsěnā’s journey may also have been undertaken in connection with the silk trade. While he was in Marv he refused to drink alcoholic beverages, doubting their ritual cleanliness. Such doubts may indicate that Jews had already been dwelling in Marv for several generations, long enough for a Babylonian āmōrā to suspect that they lacked knowledge or rigor in fulfilling the relevant ritual requirements. The end of the 6th century is usually accepted as the time when the authority of the Babylonian academies began to be recognized beyond the limits of Mesopotamia, and, according to the early 10th-century chronicler Nāṯān “the Babylonian,” the Pūmbědīṯā academy was “in olden times” the supreme authority on religious law for the Jews of Khorasan (i.e., the entire eastern portion of greater Iran; Friedlaender, p. 753). During 1954-56 excavations near Bayrām-ʿAlī (in the immediate vicinity of the ruins of ancient Marv) ossuaries datable to the 5th-7th centuries were found with inscriptions in square Hebrew script (Klevan’, pp. 91-92). That there were Jews in Kāṯ (the capital of Ḵᵛārazm) in the 6th century can be assumed on the basis of a remark in the Šahrestānīhā ī EÚrānšahr that Narseh, the founder of the city, was the son of a Jew (Narseh ī Yahūdagā n; Markwart, Provincial Capitals, pp. 11, 43-44; Nyberg, Manual I, p. 114.3). This statement is apparently traceable to an earlier legend aimed at explaining the presence of Jews there. Further proof of Jewish presence in the city before the Arab invasion of Ḵᵛārazm (93/712) is a reference by Ṭabarī to aḥbār among those consulted by the Ḵᵛārazmšāh (II, p. 1237); this term refers to non-Muslim religious authorities, particularly Jewish rabbis (Barthold, I, p. 239, III, p. 545, has offered no support for his doubts on this point). The Tang-e Āzāo inscriptions, in Persian in Hebrew script dating from the beginning of the Islamic period (1064 Seleucid era/135/753-54; Henning) in the Ḡūr (Ḡōr) region of Afghanistan, suggest that Jews may also have been present in that area somewhat earlier (Henning). There may have been a Jewish population in the Kabul region as well: The grandfather of Abū Ḥanīfa Noʿmān (founder of the Hanafite maḏhab, d. 150/767) was a slave (afterward a mawlā) from Kabul named Zūṭā (Aramaic “little”; Schacht, p. 123), who must have been either a Jew or a Christian. An 8th-century Jewish merchant’s private letter in Judeo-Persian from Dandan Uiliq (Margoliouth; Utas) can be interpreted as proof that Persian-speaking Jews were engaged in barter of clothing or cloth for sheep, apparently with local Turks, in eastern Turkestan. It is unlikely that this trade was new in that turbulent period; it must have continued a tradition. No matter where the author of this document and other traders came from, they may have made sabbath stops in Jewish communities along the way.

Early Islamic period (to the Mongol invasion). The absorption of part of Central Asia into the caliphate (completed ca. 130/747) introduced two elements that fundamentally affected Jews of the region throughout subsequent history. The first was the status of ahl al-ḏemma (the ḏemmīs, or “protected people”) and the concomitant šorūṭ ʿOmar (“conditions” of ʿOmar II, r. 99-101/717-20), which defined the rights of and restrictions on them. The second was conversion to Islam. ʿOmar had forbidden both destruction of synagogues existing in Khorasan since pre-Islamic times and construction of new ones (Fischel, p. 34). A report by Ṭabarī (II, p. 1688) is to be interpreted as proof that no later than ca. 130/747 the Jews (as well as the Zoroastrians and Christians) of Marv had been recognized as ahl al-ḏemma, an autonomous fiscal entity with an administrative head responsible to the Muslim administration for payment of relevant taxes by the community. About 400 years later an apparently identical structure was attested in Samarkand: The late 12th-century Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela (Hebrew text, p. 54; cf. Eng. tr., p. 59) reported that a certain ʿOḇadyā “is appointed upon” the Jews there and called him nāšīʾ (lay head of the community). This title also appears in the inscription on a tombstone in the 11th-13th-century Jewish cemetery near the village of Jām, close to the site of Fīrūzkūh in Ḡūr (Rapp, 1971, p. 21 no. 21; Shaked, p. 80). Two other inscriptions from there contain the honorific rōš haq-qāhāl (head of the community; Rapp, 1971, p. 38 no. 34; p. 40 no. 37; Shaked, loc. cit.), which may have had the same social meaning. During this period Jewish communities all over Central Asia were clearly structured on the pattern that had emerged in the 8th century. As for the taxes to be paid by ahl al-ḏemma, two were mentioned by Ṭabarī (loc. cit.): the jezya, the special poll tax, and the ḵarāj, the land tax. Neither is mentioned in connection with the Jews again until the 19th century, when the former was still being collected (see below). Apparently some other taxes, not covered by regulations on ḏemmīs, could also be imposed upon a Jewish community: According to Abuʾl-Fażl Bayhaqī, sometime after 396/1006 a tax destined for the maintenance of a garden in Balḵ was shifted from the Muslim population of the city to the Jews (Barthold, I, pp. 350-51). There is evidence that the Jews of Central Asia wore yellow garments in compliance with a requirement in the šorūṭ ʿOmar as early as the late 4th/10th century (Lazard, Premiers poètes II, pp. 164-65, bayts 204, 206) and in the late 5th/11th-early 6th/12th centuries (de Fouche,couf, p. 224).

As for conversion to Islam, it undoubtedly took place, though the relevant data are scarce. The example of Zūṭā, Abū Ḥanīfa’s grandfather, has been mentioned (see above). A certain Khorasani Jew, Abū Ḥafṣa, was a mawlā of the caliph Marwān I (r. 64-65/684-85), hence a convert (Brockelmann, GAL I, p. 74 n. 4; Barthold, VI, p. 553; his son Marwān has a reputation as a poet in Arabic). An episode mentioned in the biography of the Sufi Fożayl b. Īāż Tamīmī (d. 187/803) involves conversion of a Jew from Bāvard (Abīvard; ʿAṭṭār, I, p. 80). According to Yāqūt (III, p. 184), about the middle of the 3rd/9th century Šahīd Balḵī’s father, Ḥosayn, left his native Jahūḏānak (lit. “little Jewish place”), in all probability a Jewish suburb of Balḵ (see below), for Balḵ itself—a change of residence probably reflecting a convert’s choice to live among those whose religion he had embraced. The head of the Karrāmīya in late 4th/10th century Khorasan, Abū Yaʿqūb Esḥāq b. Maḥmašāḏ (d. 383/993), is said to have converted to Islam more than 5,000 Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians (Barthold, II/1, p. 233). It may be assumed that the proselytizing activities of the Karramites were carried on throughout the eastern part of greater Iran. However, Jews are the only pre-Islamic religious group in Central Asia to have survived in that region to the present.

The only available data on the number of Jews in the region immediately after the conquest are some unreliable 12th-century figures (see below). Nevertheless, according to Nāṯān “the Babylonian” a bitter controversy took place in 296-305/909-16 between the exilarch ʿUÚqěḇā and the head of the Pūmbědīṯā academy over revenues from Khorasan (Friedlaender, loc. cit.). The Jewish population there at the beginning of the 4th/10th century must have been sizable for such a controversy to have arisen. According to Maqdesī (Moqaddasī, 2nd ed., p. 323), there were “many Jews and few Christians” in the region in the 370s/980s. In the early 6th/12th century Mōšē Ebn ʿEḏrā quoted a conveyance that “[there are] in … Ḡazna about 40,000 Jews and in other inhabited places of Khorasan approximately the same number” (ed. Kokovtsov, p. 219). Later in that century Benjamin of Tudela (loc. cit.) gave the number of Jews in Ḡazna as 80,000 and in Samarkand as 50,000. These figures, fantastic as they are, attest to a contemporary belief that the Jewish population was quite numerous.

Cisoxania. As far as is known the majority of Jewish population centers in the region were situated south of the Oxus, extending as far as Ḡazna. The poet ʿOnṣorī reported that Jews were one of four religious communities addressing praises to Sultan Maḥmūd Ḡaznavī (p. 318, bayt 3034, and n. 4), which suggests that they formed a noticeable segment of the population in the early 5th/11th-century Ghaznavid state. The Ghaznavid court poet Manūčehrī likened the singing of birds to utterances in Syriac and Hebrew (p. 90 qaṣīda 42, bayt 2, and n. 4), which means that he must have heard these languages uttered, and Gardīzī mentioned “the Jews of this time” in Zayn al-aḵbār (ed. Ḥabībī, p. 222), which was probably composed in Ḡazna. According to a legend retold by Jūzjānī (I, pp. 383-85; cf. tr. Raverty, I, pp. 314-16), Banjī b. Nahārān Šansabānī obtained from Hārūn al-Rašīd (170-93/786-809) the governorship of Ḡūr after having learned adab from a Jewish merchant; as a condition for this instruction, Banjī promised that he and his heirs and vassals would allow Jews to dwell in Ḡūr and would protect them. The Jewish element in this legend was undoubtedly aimed at explaining the presence of Jews in the Mandēš area of Ḡūr, where the Šansabānīs were chieftains. Attribution of the role of he,ros civilisateur to a Jewish merchant may reflect the functioning of Jews as transmitters of the “larger” culture that they knew from trade contacts to the remote, still pagan population of mountainous Mandēš. The remains of the Jewish cemetery near the village of Jām in the vicinity of Fīrūzkūh, the main town of the Varšād[a] (Varsād) area of Ḡūr, are evidence that there had been Jewish inhabitants in that area for at least 150 years before the Ghurid Qoṭb-al-Dīn Moḥammad Šansabānī founded Fīrūzkūh ca. 540/1145-46: The earliest burial date read so far is 1424 Seleucid era/1012-13 (Rapp, 1973, p. 57). It is not certain whether the settlement of Jews in Varšād/Fīrūzkūh resulted from mass migration from Mandēš to Varšād or whether a Jewish community also continued in the former area. The Jewish presence in Varšād probably ended soon after the destruction of the city by the Mongols in 619/1222: The last known burial inscription is dated in the year 1557 of the Seleucid era (A.D. 1246; Shaked, p. 73). At Balḵ there were Jewish settlers from at least as early as the 3rd/9th century, when Yāqūt mentioned Jahūḏānak (see above) as “[one] of Balḵ’s settlements.” It must have been a settlement within the limits of “the big wall,” which, according to Yaʿqūbī (Boldān, p. 228), surrounded “the environs of Balḵ.” Probably it was located near Bāb al-Yahūd (the Jews’ gate), mentioned by Eṣṭaḵrī (2nd ed., p. 278). In addition to Bayhaqī’s story of a special tax on the Jews of Balḵ (see above), Nāṣer-e Ḵosrow also mentioned the Jews of the city in the 5th/11th century (p. 128, bayts 6-8). Jahūḏānak was evidently so called in order to be distinguished from the nearby settlement of Jahūḏān (Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, tr. Minorsky, p. 107), also known as Yahūdīya (Eṣṭaḵrī, p. 270; Moqaddasī, pp. 298, 347, 348; Yāqūt, III, p. 167) and Jahūḏān al-Kobrā (Yāqūt, loc. cit.). Although no known source mentions a Jewish presence in Jahūḏān in the Middle Ages, the name itself indicates that Jews had founded it or had constituted a substantial part of its population at some point. The middle of the 9th century is the terminus ante quem for the emergence of this toponym. Sometimes between 378/988 (the year of the 2nd version of Moqaddasī’s work, in which the form Yahūḏīya is found) the name of the town was changed to Maymana, which is already found in Bīrūnī’s Qānūn (II, p. 571) from 421/1030.

Transoxania. There is no information on Marv aside from Ṭabarī’s report (see above) of a Jewish presence there at the beginning of the Islamic period. Abīvard, too, must have had Jewish inhabitants, but the only reference to them is the story of Fożayl’s conversion of a Jew from the town (see above). As for Ḵᵛārazm, aside from Ṭabarī’s mention of aḥbār in Kāṯ at the time of the Arab invasion (see above), there is some circumstantial evidence for the 4th/10th century. Bīrūnī provided an exceptionally detailed systematic description of the Jewish calendar in his al-Āṯār al-bāqīa (pp. 275-87; cf. Krause, p. 9), which was undoubtedly based to a great extent on information from Jewish informants (Bīrūnī, Āṯār, introd. p. XXXIII; Schreiner, p. 258). One of them was a resident of Jorjān (Gorgān) Yaʿqūb b. Mūsā Neqresī (Āṯār, pp. 276f.), but there were others whose names Bīrūnī did not give. It is likely, however, that he relied on one or more Jews from Kāṯ in one of the suburbs of which he was born. Furthermore, his report about the writings of his teacher Abuʾl-ʿAbbās Īrānšahrī, who must have been a resident of Kāṯ, suggests that the latter had there good informants on Christianity, Manicheism, and Judaism, but bad ones on Indian beliefs (India, pp. 4-5, 206, 276). For Samarkand, aside from information from Benjamin of Tudela (see above), there is preserved in the Qandīya the legend of a Jewish sage who showed its residents how to work wood, to build big buildings, to tile their walls, and to build a leaden aqueduct (Vyatkin, p. 226; Barthold, III, p. 276 n. 9, cf. p. 275 n. 4). This legend predates the Mongol conquest of Samarkand in 614/1220, after which the section of the city where the aqueduct was situated was abandoned. Again, as in the Ghurid legend mentioned above, a Jew plays the role of he,ros civilisateur. Jews also lived in the border area between the Iranian world and that of the Turks. Rašīd-e Vaṭvāṭ dedicated to Kamāl-al-Dīn Maḥmūd, the ruler of Jand, a qaṣīda in which he declared that, because of him, “ … the name of the Jews did not remain” (p. 151 bayt 1915). The poet must have been referring to some kind of destruction of the Jand Jewish community around the middle of the 6th/12th century. In the 4th/10th century a settlement named Yahūḏleq (Yahulïq), on the frontier between Farḡāna and Īlāq, is mentioned without further details (Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, tr. Minorsky, p. 117). This Turkic name means something like “place of abundant Jews.”

East Turkestan. Finally, in the 4th/10th century Abū Dolaf mentioned a settlement named Bahī in what is today Xinjiang (Sinkiang): It was inhabited by Muslims, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and idolaters (listed in that order; Yāqūt, V, p. 413). This Jewish settlement in a territory inhabited mainly by Turks appears to have been unique.

Central Asian Jews undoubtedly participated in the activities of the Jewish Rādhānīya (Rāhdānīya) traders: One of their routes crossed Central Asia (Gil, p. 307), and two documents from the Cairo Geniza contain evidence of cooperation between Khorasani, North African, and Spanish Jewish merchants in the international trade (Goitein, p. 60). Nezáāmī ʿArūżī’s reference to a certain “Esḥāq the Jew” in connection with a lead mine in Varšād (Čahār maqāla, p. 86) and the legendary role of the Jew in constructing the aqueduct at Samarkand show that Jews were considered experts in mining and processing this metal. No other explicit data on the occupations of Central Asian Jews in the early Islamic period are available. Already as early as in the 10th century a specific Central Asian Judaic rite (Minhag Khorasan), was mentioned in Jewish sources (Fischel, p. 45). In the Khazar correspondence (mid-4th/10th century) Khorasanians are named among those who had propagated Judaism among the Khazars (Golb and Pritsak, p. 111). Ḥiwwī Balḵī who wrote in the late 3rd/9th century, formulated at least 200 critical comments on the text of the Jewish Bible; they are known only through quotation by his opponents. Recent scholarship has revealed that, taken together, they may have constituted a long poem in Hebrew (Fleischer). In the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries there were also Karaites among the Jews of the region (Qerqesānī, ed. Harkavy, p. 319), but nothing is heard about them after that time.

Later Islamic period (to the Russian conques t). References to Jews in Central Asia in the 7th-9th/13th-15th centuries are rather sparse. In the early 7th/13th century a Jewish presence in Bukhara is first mentioned (Fischel, p. 43). In the early 8th/14th century the number of Jews and Christians permitted to settle in “Ḵᵛārazm,” that is its capital Gorgānj (Organj, Urgenč), was restricted to 100 “houses of each community (Tiesenhausen, p. 221). In 1651 Selcucid era/739-40/1339, Šelōmō b. Šemūʾēl compiled in Gorgānj an exegetical dictionary on the Bible in Judeo-Persian, Sep̄er ham-mělīṣā (the book of eloquence; Bacher, 1900; Netzer, pp. 45-46). An anonymous Arabic work dated in 1336 (1917-18) describes a religious disputation between two Christian monks and the head of the Jewish community that took place in Marv (Steinschneider, p. 158 no. 137) not much earlier. Family legends of Central Asian Jews suggest that by the end of the 8th/14th century or the beginning of the 9th/15th a number of Jewish silk weavers had been transferred by Tīmūr from Sabzavar (Yūsofov, p. 1), Shiraz, and Baghdad (Sukhareva, 1958, p. 88; 1966, pp. 166-67) to Central Asia, where they gradually became integrated with local Jewish communities.

When Iran became a Shiʿite state under the Safavids the links of Central Asian Jews with their coreligionists in Iran were almost entirely severed. In the 10th/16th century Bukhara became their main center, apparently absorbing many Jews from territory disputed between the Safavids and the Shaibanids. By the turn of the 11th/17th century a Jewish quarter, Maḥalla-ye Kohna (old quarter), was established in the city (Amitin-Shapiro, 1928, p. 7; cf. Sukhareva, 1966, p. 167; 1976, p. 269 and n. 589), and Jews were forbidden to dwell outside its boundaries. At mid-century Central Asian Jews were joined by Jews who had fled forced conversion in Iran (Bacher, 1906, p. 84). From the mid-12th/18th century on hostility between the Dorrānī rulers of Afghanistan (1160-1258/1747-1842) and the Manḡït rulers of the Bukharan amirate (1160-1339/1747-1920) put an almost total end to ties between the Jewish communities ruled by the two houses. Thus virtually isolated, the Bukharan Jewish community experienced a sharp decline in religious observance as the century wore on, a decline that was accelerated by a policy of forcible conversion to Islam, which persisted up to the Russian conquest and stimulated gradual formation of a crypto-Jewish, or čala (lit. “half-finished,” “incomplete”), community (Babakhanov; Sukhareva, 1966, pp. 173-78; Reshetov; Poujol, p. 184). The Bukharan Jewish community was unable any longer to maintain its own religious leadership. In 1793 Rabbi Yōsēf Mamān Maḡrebī (1752-1823), a native of Tetua,n, Morocco, arrived in Bukhara to raise funds for the community of Safad in Palestine, where he had settled a few years previously. In a fragment of his account of this journey he described with sadness the serious deviations from religious observances that he found in Bukhara (Yūsofov, pp. 17-21; see also Meyendorff, pp. 174-75, for the Rabbi’s account of the disastrous religious situation of the local Jewish community prior to his arrival). He decided to remain there and succeeded in bringing about a religious revival. Among his most important reforms were replacement of the Khorasani rite with the so-called “Spanish rite” (nōsaḥ sěfāraḏ), establishment of a sort of religious academy to ordain rabbis and ritual slaughterers (šōḥǎṭīm), and introduction of regular study of the Zōhar, the main work on the cabala. It appears that by the beginning of the 19th century a second Jewish quarter, Maḥalla-ye Now (new quarter), had been established in Bukhara, followed by a third, Amīrābād, administratively a subsidiary of Maḥalla-ye Now some time before 1820 (Meyendorff, p. 173; Amitin-Shapiro, 1928, pp. 7-8; cf. Sukhareva, 1966, p. 168). In the 1830s about 13 percent (300 families of about 1,500 persons, see Arandarenko, p. 458 n. 1) of the Jewish population of Bukhara were čala (Wolff, 1835, p. 198), living mainly in quarters bordering Maḥalla-ye Kohna and Maḥalla-ye Now (Sukhareva, 1976, pp. 79-82, 92). By the eve of the Russian conquest the Jewish community of Bukhara had developed a rather sophisticated dual structure. It was headed by the kalāntar, chief administrator, and mollā-ye kalān, chief rabbi. At times both positions were held by the same person. The administrative and religious substructures, though related, functioned autonomously.

The kalāntar was supposed to be formally elected by all adult male members of the Bukharan Jewish community, though in fact it was the upper social stratum that determined the outcome (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 13; Ya. Kalontarov, p. 613). The election had to be ratified by the qūšbēgī and then formally confirmed by the amir’s yarlīḡ (rescript; Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, pp. 12-13; Ya. Kalontarov, p. 613). The kalāntar represented the community vis-aà-vis the authorities and was responsible to them especially for payment of the jezya. He also functioned as mediator between the government and the community and as a kind of arbitrator in litigation within the community when judgment could be based on common sense and Minhag of the land (hamměḏīna), rather than on Jewish religious law (hǎlǎḵā). He was assisted by two āssāqāls (from Uzbek āqsāqāl “white-bearded”), the chiefs of Maḥalla-ye Kohna and Maḥalla-ye Now (including Amīrābād). Each āssāqāl was to be elected by the adult male inhabitants of his quarter, and the election had to be ratified by the authorities. The kalāntar and the āssāqāls served for life unless removed at the request of the authorities. The āssāqā l’s main responsibility was to oversee the routine life of his quarter. He too could act as arbitrator of disputes within his jurisdiction. No salary was paid to the kalāntar or the āssāqāls, but it was customary for litigants to pay an honorarium. The women of each quarter elected a kayvānī (from Pers. kadbānū), whose main tasks were to settle disputes, to organize the women’s part in weddings, to instruct brides on nuptial behavior, and to organize the performance of mourners. In the mid-19th century the Jewish community of Bukhara was obliged to evaluate its members’ properties for the jezy a; a special body of twelve kalāntarān-e jezya, subordinate to the kalāntar, was established for this purpose (Neymark, p. 105; Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 12; Ešel, pp. 33-35; Sukhareva, 1966, p. 170). Jews were taxed in three categories: aʿlā (high), 48 tanqa a year; awṣat (medium), 24 tanq a; and adnā (low), 12 tanqa (Eversmann, p. 82; Spasskiĭ, 1825, p. 306 [erroneously 3 instead of 4 razryads]; Meyendorff, p. 173; Radloff, p. 36; Semënov, pp. 53-54; Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 12; Sukhareva, 1966, p. 173 [the awṣat category erroneously called adno]). In the city of Bukhara the jezya was collected four times each year, and the Muslim collector was required to slap the taxpayer twice on the cheek (at least for respected Jews, this gesture was merely symbolic; Charnyĭ, p. 319; Estampe, pp. 9-10; Aḇrēq, p. 2). In the early 1860s the annual total jezya in the city of Bukhara was 2,000 tillo (ṭellā; Vámbéry, p. 423), the whole sum being regarded as earmarked for the personal needs of the amir (see Boḵārī, I, text p. 66).

Mollā-ye kalān was the supreme authority in the sphere of religion, including religious law and education. He heard all suits involving religious law. He could deliver judgment alone, as president (aḇ, lit. “father”) of the religious court (bēṯ dīn), or jointly with the kalāntar (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 13). He was also headmaster of the religious academy and ordained rabbis and ritual slaughterers. His responsibilities included overseeing preparation of ritually clean (kāšēr) food, serving as rabbi at the main synagogue in Maḥalla-ye Kohna, and supervising the rabbis of seven other Bukharan synagogues (one in Maḥalla-ye Kohna, five in Maḥalla-ye Now, and one in Amīrābād; Sukhareva, 1976, pp. 76, 93). Every synagogue also had an elected administrator (gabbāy) whose specific duties included collecting money for needy members of the congregation twice a year, before Passover (qimḥā dě-fisḥā) and before the cold season (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 14). Affiliated with every synagogue there was a ḵāmā (from Pers. ḵāna-ye mollā), an elementary religious school for boys under the age of thirteen; the headmaster was the rabbi, who was assisted by a ḵalfa (from ḵalīf a; Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, p. 63; Ya. Kalontarov, p. 614). The kalāntar and mollā-ye kalān of Bukhara were considered chiefs of all the Jews in the amirate).

Less is known about the structure and taxation of other Jewish communities in Central Asia, but what data there are suggest a similar pattern. At the beginning of the 19th century the second largest concentrations of Central Asian Jews were at Šahr-e Sabz and Balḵ (Meyendorff, p. 173). Some Jews were also living under the protection of Turkmen in Marv (Wolff, 1835, pp. 176-77). In ṣafar 1259/March 1843 a piece of ground was sold to the Jewish community in Samarkand (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, pp. 41-43), and a maḥalla was founded. There was also a considerable number of čala in that city; they even had a rasta (trading row) of their own in the town market (Ešel, pp. 74, 75; see also Radloff, pp. 38-39, on his visit to a secret [i.e., čala] synagogue in Samarkand after the Russian conquest of the city). After 1840 the Jewish population in several Central Asian towns, especially Marv and Samarkand, was augmented by Jews who had left Mašhad when the community there was forcibly converted to Islam in 1839 (for Marv see Abbot, p. 40, and Wolff, 1846, p. 201, cf. p. 205; for Samarkand see Ešel, pp. 64, 109, 113, 126, and Pīněhāsī, 1978, p. 15; see also Deylamīyān, pp. 35-37). On the eve of the Russian conquest Jews also lived in Seraḵs (Serakhs; Wolff, 1846, p. 205), Čahārjūy (Chardzhou; ibid., p. 222), Qaršī (Karshi; Khanykov, p. 72, Vámbéry, pp. 265, 423; Olufsen, p. 300), Ḵetāb (Kitab; Kun, p. 218 n. 1), Katta-Qūrḡān (Kattakurgan; Khanykov, p. 71; Radloff, p. 41), UÚrā Teppa (Ura-Tyube; Kushakevich, pp. 50, 52), Ḵojand (Leninabad; ibid., p. 50), Dushanbe (Ya. Kalontarov, p. 612 and n. 1), Khiva (Wolff, 1846, pp. 380-81; Estampe, p. 7), Tashkent (Wolff, 1846, pp. 381, 404; Dobrosmyslov, 1912b, p. 81; Ešel, pp. 70-72, 99), Ḵoqand (Kokand; Wolff, 1846, pp. 11, 381, 404; Estampe, p. 7; Nalivkin, p. 8; Neymark, p. 208; Āšērov, p. 75), Čīmkand (Chimkent; Dobrosmyslov, 1912a, p. 191), Ḥażrat-Solṭān (Turkestan; Wolff, 1846, p. 404; Dobrosmyslov, 1912a, p. 126), Āq-Masjed (Perovsk, Kzyl-Orda; Dobrosmyslov, 1912a, p. 77), and Kazalinsk (founded in 1853; Dobrosmyslov, 1912a, p. 18), the last two situated in the Kazakh steppe, which came under Russian control in 1853.

The chief occupation of the Jews of Central Asia on the eve of the Russian conquest was dyeing yarn and cloth (Meyendorff, p. 173; Eversmann, p. 83; Burns, p. 275; Wolff, 1846, p. 260; Arandarenko, p. 349 n. 1; Nalivkin, 1910, p. 13), particularly cotton, with indigo (Lehmann, p. 162; Kirpichnikov, p. 158; Kalontarov, pp. 614-15; Sukhareva, 1966, pp. 170-71) and weaving and dyeing silk (Burnashev, p. 66; Meyendorff, p. 173; Eversmann, p. 83; Khanykov, p. 89; Lehmann, p. 162; Savel’yev, pp. 12-13; Gens, pp. 33-34; “Die Juden in der Bucharei,” p. 8; I. Krause, p. 210; Arandarenko, p. 349 n. 1; Ešel, p. 69; Sukhareva, 1966, p. 171). Craftsmen sold their own products, and until the 1820s-30s the number of Jews engaged in wholesale trade was small (according to Meyendorff, p. 173, there were only two rich capitalists—probably big merchants—among the Jews of Bukhara; see Eversmann, p. 83, on rich Jews as wholesalers; Spasskiĭ, 1825, p. 308, and 1826, p. 175, on the participation of Jews in the Central Asian barter trade; Spasskiĭ, 1826, p. 178, and Gens, p. 102, on wholesale purchase of raw silk; Spasskiĭ, 1825, pp. 307-8, and Gens, p. 99, on their participation in trade with Kāšḡar). However, by the turn of the century some Bukharan Jews did finance the commercial activities of Muslim fellow townsmen engaged in wholesale trade with Russia (Beylin, Hebrew text p. 277). Apparently about 1825 Bukharan Jews also entered the wholesale trade with neighboring areas of the Russian empire, importing Russian goods in exchange (Spasskiĭ, 1825, p. 307). The Russian authorities encouraged this commerce by permitting Jewish traders to become members of merchant guilds in Russian guberniyas (provinces) where Jewish settlement was forbidden (1833; Levanda, p. 331) and to participate in the fairs in the Orenburg guberniya (1842; ibid., pp. 541-42), and at Nizhni Novgorod (1843 or 1844; Gessen, col. 206). In 1866, when Russian forces were already fighting troops of the Bukharan amirate, the governor of Orenburg was authorized to grant Russian citizenship to “Asian” Jews accepted into the merchant guilds of the guberniya, thus exempting them from the law denying Russian citizenship to alien Jews (Levanda, pp. 1056-57).

Tsarist period. Because of tsarist policies toward Central Asian Jews on the eve of the conquest the latter were Russian sympathizers; the Jews of Samarkand even sided with tsarist troops when local insurgents and a task force from Shahrisabzan sought to recapture the town in May, 1868 (Neymark, pp. 107-8; Simonova, 1900, pp. 138, 140-42, 144, 146, 149, 151; 1904, pp. 963-65; Sāmī, 84b; Weissenberg, p. 395; Levinskiĭ, p. 327; Ešel, p. 65; Āšērov, pp. 10-11). The Bukharan-Russian treaties of 1868 and 1873 included paragraphs that gave “all the subjects of the amir of Bukhara” equal rights to live and to trade freely in the Russian empire and to purchase real estate within its borders (see pars. 2, 3, 5 of the treaty of 1868 and pars. 11, 12 of the treaty of 1873 in Zhukovskiĭ, pp. 175, 176, 186). In territories annexed and incorporated into Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ the only indigenous ethnic group considered loyal to Russia was the Jews (Radloff, p. 35; Kostenko, p. 52; Yakubovskiĭ, col. 890). Tsarist authorities did not interfere with Jewish autonomy, except to impose the office of kazonnyĭ ravvin (official rabbi), with functions identical to those in other areas of the empire (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 30; Kalontarov, p. 613). In 1872 the 1866 decree granting Russian citizenship was renewed (with slight differences; Levanda, pp. 1140-41). This liberal policy encouraged sharp growth of Central Asian Jews’ share in trade among the Bukharan amirate, Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ, the rest of Central Asia, and Russia proper. Because of their familiarity with local conditions, Bukharan Jewish traders had the advantage over their Russian competitors, who were new to the area, and a number of them established prosperous trading companies, as well as factories for primary processing of local products, especially cotton. The Vaʿadiyaev, the Pātīlaḥov, and the Dāvidov were among the largest cotton manufacturers not only in Central Asia but also in the Russian empire as a whole (Dmitriev-Mamonov, pp. 361, 383, 386, 393; Masal’skiĭ, p. 701; Kokandskiĭ Birzhevoĭ Komitet, pp. 2, 3, 180, 181; Aminov, p. 161; Istoriya Bukhary, p. 170; Istoriya Uzbekskoĭ SSR II, pp. 204-5, 207; Ginzburg and Deeva, p. 132; Khotamov, p. 16; Ben-Dāviḏ, pp. 103-15). The lower strata of the Jewish population of Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ were, however, becoming poorer (Galynkin, col. 1414; Dobrosmyslov, 1912b, p. 434 n. 179; Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, pp. 93-94), for they depended on dyeing, a craft threatened by a glut of Russian textiles factory-dyed to suit Central Asian tastes. Meanwhile, the authorities of the Bukharan amirate exacted from the Jews of the city of Bukhara three quarters of the city’s share (40,000 tillo) of the total war indemnity (125,000 till o; Zhukovskiĭ, pp. 162, 177) imposed on the amirate by the Russians (Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, p. 131; see also Radloff, p. 3 6). Whereas in Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ the jezya and šorūṭ ʿOmar had been de facto abolished and the čala were permitted to return to Judaism (Ešel, pp. 78-79), in the amirate nothing had changed in these respects (Krestovskiĭ; Neymark, pp. 102-3; Aḇrēq, p. 2; Zaks, col. 279; F. Schwarz, pp. 442-43; Markov, pp. 402-3; Landsdell, cols. 626-28; Olufsen, pp. 298, 300; Weissenberg, pp. 402-3). The result was mass emigration of Jews from the amirate to Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ (Rivlin, col. 34; Zaks, col. 280; Levinskiĭ, p. 327, Pokrovskiĭ, p. 34). The number of Jews in Samarkand increased greatly (according to Levinskiĭ, p. 324, there were 168 “house owners” in the Jewish maḥalla in 1873, i.e., ca. 840 Jews; and according to Virskiĭ, p. 249, there were 3,792 “indigenous” Jews in 1888-89), and a significant Jewish population emerged in Ḵoqand (Kokand), capital of the former khanate of Ḵoqand, annexed by Russia in 1876 (in 1876 only 6 Jews according to Levinskiĭ, p. 322, but 20 according to Neymark, p. 108; in 1888 ca. 200 families [ca. 1,000 persons] according to Rivlin, col. 34), as well as in Tashkent (at the Russian conquest of the town in 1865 there were according to Dobrosmyslov, 1912b, p. 81, 27 Jewish families [ca. 135 persons], and in 1897 [p. 80] 1,719 persons of Judaic faith, of whom ca. 80% were Central Asian Jews). Central Asian Jews also began to settle in neighboring Stepnoĭ Kraĭ. Most of the immigrants clearly came with little or no money, for they had to pay heavy bribes to leave the amirate; as they too had mastered no craft except dyeing, they helped to swell the poorest segment of the Jewish population in the kraĭs. Most poor Jews became small peddlers, shoe repairmen, and hairdressers; the last two occupations were almost Jewish monopolies by the end of the century. It was apparently this rapid growth of the Jewish population that led, from the late 1880s on, to the imposition of discriminatory measures against Jews in Central Asian territories under direct Russian rule. In 1887-89 Central Asian Jews living in Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ were divided into two categories: “indigenous Jews,” those who had lived there before the conquest and their direct descendants, on one hand, and those who could not prove such a connection, on the other (Gimpel’son, pp. 186-88; Mysh, pp. 264-55, fols. 241, 242 and note to fol. 242). Only the former were to enjoy rights equal to those of local Muslims; the latter, excluding those who had been granted Russian citizenship in accordance with the regulations of 1866 and 1872, were defined as resident aliens with no legal status. In 1892 the governor-general of Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ issued a secret circular severely restricting the entry into the kraĭ of Jews from the amirate of Bukhara (Pokrovskiĭ, pp. 34-35). This restriction was also applied to the čala of the amirate, despite the fact that they were officially Muslims (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, pp. 21, 44). Tsar Nicholas II (1894-1917) demanded that his government take steps “to bar them [the Jews] from Turkestan and the Steppe regions before it was too late” (note to the protocol of the session of the Cabinet of Ministers on 19 August 1898; see Z. Radzhabov, p. 400). In 1900 “the Central Asian Jews-foreign citizens” were permitted to live in only three small towns, where there was no industry and poor facilities for trading: Osh, Katta-Qūrḡān, and Petroaleksandrovsk (Turtkul; Gimpel’son, p. 833 n. 4; Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 21; Yaroshevskiĭ, p. 91), and it was stipulated that they were “to return to their place of residence” (i.e., to the amirate of Bukhara) no later than 1 January 1906. By 1906, however, it had become obvious that there was no possibility of enforcing the regulation of 1900, primarily because a number of high-ranking administrators who favored Jewish industry and trade, opposed it (Levinskiĭ, pp. 325, 331; Yaroshevskiĭ, pp. 90-91), and the lower echelons of officialdom were often bribed to turn a blind eye to the presence of “aliens” (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 22; 1933, p. 134; see also the hints at corruption of officials in the documents published by Levinskiĭ, pp. 323-25). The deadline for the implementation of the regulations was postponed until 1909 (Rogovin, p. 479 n. 4.2; Yaroshevskiĭ, p. 91), then until 1910 (Rogovin, p. 479 n. 5). In the meantime, after a long and intricate legal struggle, Ḵoqand, Marḡīlān, and Samarkand, where most of the “alien” Jews were already living, were added to the list of towns where they were permitted (Rogovin, p. 480 “interpretation” 3; Gimpel’son, p. 844 fol. 25). Also in 1910, however, the von Pahlen commission, appointed to investigate the situation in Turkestanskiĭ Kraĭ, recommended additional restrictions on Jews there (Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, p. 134). The same year Governor-General A. Samsonov publicly accused the Jews of being “robbers of the people” and “counterfeiters of documents” (Levinskiĭ, p. 318). The next year a high official of the kraĭ declared in classified memoranda that “the natives [i.e., the Muslims] have demanded the banishment of Jews” (ibid., pp. 321, 328) and requested “permission to kill them off” (ibid., p. 321). Depictions of the Jewish (and Armenian) traders and industrialists as major threats to local Muslim business became commonplace in the jadīd (modernist) press and literature of the early teens (Z. Radzhabov, pp. 399, 401-2; Allworth, pp. 74 [Turki text], 85 [Eng. tr.]; this notion continued at the beginning of the Soviet period in the writings of the jadīds, who allied themselves with the Soviets, see ʿAynī, p. 38). It was against this background that the first substantial wave of Central Asian Jewish emigration abroad took place. Between 1889 and the beginning of World War I, about 1,500 Jews left Central Asia for Palestine (Ben-Zvi, p. 179; Fozaylov, pp. 122-25), where they settled almost exclusively in Jerusalem, establishing a quarter of their own in the early 1890s (Sefer taqannōt ¯; Graevskiĭ, pp. 3-9; Yaʿǎrī, pp. 17-18; Ben-Yaʿǎqōb, pp. 106-7; Fozaylov, pp. 126-30). The problems faced by the tsarist administration in Central Asia during World War I, particularly the Muslim revolt of 1916, forced nearly total abandonment of anti-Jewish measures, but anti-Jewish documents continued to be circulated secretly during this period (Levinskiĭ, p. 335; Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, pp. 24, 45-46).

Between 1910 and 1914 a newspaper in Bukharan Jewish dialect, Raḥamīm (mercy), was published in Skobelev (modem Fergana) from 18 Iyyār 5670 Hebrew calendar/14 May 1910 Julian calendar to 22 Tammūz 5674 Hebrew calendar/3 July 1914 Julian calendar (last issue known). But, owing to the first wave of emigration, it was Jerusalem that became the center of book publishing in the dialect: About 120 books in Judeo-Tajik appeared there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Yaʿǎrī, pp. 21, 25-67).

Soviet period. Military tensions in Central Asia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 were regarded by most Central Asian Jews as a further stage of the conflict between Russians and Muslims, in which the Muslims were not once hostile to the Jews and the Russians came to their rescue (Āšērov, pp. 104-8; Bačaev, pp. 12-17). So despite anti-Jewish measures under the tsarist regime, Central Asian Jews still sided mainly with the Russians, hence with the Bolsheviks. Some members of the intelligentsia were, however, sympathetic to the demands and aspirations of the jadīds. Several members of the Yūnosov family were among the victims of the massacre of jadīds in Bukhara in March, 1918 (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 34). Rěfāʾēl Pātīlaḥov served as minister in the Muslim modernist government of the short-lived autonomous republic of Turkestan (late 1917-early 1918; Istoriya grazhdanskoĭ voĭny, p. 140; Tājer, pt. 2, p. 10; Pobeda, pp. 150-53, no. 203), which had its capital in Ḵoqand. With the establishment of the Turkestan Soviet Republic in 1918, the control over Central Asian Jews there was handed over to the Jewish section (Evsektsiya) of the Communist Party, which consisted almost entirely of Ashkenazis who had little knowledge of the local Jews (Gēršunnī, p. 266; Pīněhāsī, 1973, pp. 16-17). By the beginning of 1919 the “Native Jewish National Central Bureau” of the People’s Commissariat of Education of the Soviet Republic of Turkestan was set up with Communist Party functionaries to head it (Urazaev, p. 125; Kul’turnoe stroitel’stvo, p. 386 n. *). The Bureau’s main task was to establish a network of schools by which the new ideology was to be disseminated. Although the Evsektsiya was bitterly opposed to the use of Hebrew it was at first the language of instruction in Soviet Central Asian Jewish schools (Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, pp. 68-69; Gēršunnī, p. 266) as the only language Ashkenazi teachers and their pupils had in common. Only in late 1921 did the Turkestani People’s Commissariat of Education finally order that Judeo-Tajik should be substituted for Hebrew as the language of instruction in these schools (Amitin-Shapiro 1933, p. 69). The first graduates of the Tashkent teachers’ seminary (founded in 1920; Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, pp. 74-75) apparently began teaching in Judeo-Tajik during 1922-23 (see Pīněhāsī, 1973, p. 17). When the Bukharan Soviet Popular Republic was established in 1920, the last kalāntar, Pīněḥās Rabbīn (1868-1920) was shot by a firing squad, buried while still alive, and, though he was able to escape, died of his wounds (Ṭellāev, pp. 79-80). The traditional communal structure was dissolved, and the Jewish Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was put in charge (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, pp. 52-53). Local Jewish committees were also established in several towns of the Bukharan republic (Amitin-Shapiro, 1931, p. 52). In the so-called “national-territorial delimitation” of Central Asia in 1924 (see bukhara iii) almost all Jewish population centers became part of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Tadzhikistan remained an autonomous republic within the Uzbek Soviet Republic until 1929). The Jewish committees were dissolved. All activities led by the Evsektsiya were suspended (the Evsektsiya itself was dissolved in January, 1930; Slutsky, col. 781). The only bodies that retained some specific organizational prerogatives regarding Jews were the closely interrelated Uzbekistan branches of KomZET (Komitet Zemleustroĭstva Evreev Trudyashchikhsya, committee for the agriculturization of Jewish workers) and OZET (Obshchestvo Zemleustroĭstva Evreev Trudyashchikhsya, society for agriculturization of Jewish workers) established in 1926 (“Meropriyatiya”; “Uzbekistan”; Itkin, p. 16), which were engaged in setting up Jewish kolkhozes (collective farms; see “V tsentral’nom pravlenii”; Kalendarov; Yagudaev, 1928a; Itkin; Yagudaev, 1928b; Saidov; Nakheĭman; “Kul’tobsluzhivanie”; “V KomZETe”; “Khozyaĭstvennoe ustroĭstvo”; “Evreĭskoe zemleustroenie”; “Uzbekistan (Mitl-Azie)”; Miral). The consolidation of the Soviet regime effectively put an end to the class of Central Asian Jewish businessmen and industrialists. All of them, along with smaller tradesmen, became lishentsy (without legal rights). Petty peddlers were “made productive” by being forced by means of heavy taxation to work in factories and on collective farms. In the late 1920s and early 1930s Central Asian Jews formed the overwhelming majority of workers in the silk mill and soap factory in Samarkand and the cotton gin in Ḵoqand. In 1930 there were 1,379 Central Asian Jewish factory workers; in 1933 their number had increased to 2,500 (“Uzbekistan (Mitl-Azie),” p. 232). In 1928 there were 28 Jewish kolkhozes in Uzbekistan with the membership of 418 families (1,729 persons; Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, p. 23, table; slightly different data for the same year in “Soveshchanie”: 29 kolkhozes, two of the Ashkenazi; Kalendarov, p. 12: 27 kolkhozes; Kantor, p. 21: 29 kolkhozes, one in Tajikistan). In 1936 there were 15 Jewish kolkhozes there, with a membership of 600 families (3,000 persons; Miral, p. 27). Only two Jewish kolkhozes survived into the early 1950s, when they were closed. After the mid-1920s heavy taxes were imposed on craftsmen in order to force them to become either factory workers and collective farmers or members of craft cooperatives (“Uzbekistan (Mitl-Azie),” p. 232). Cooperatives of cotton and silk weavers, shoe repairmen, hairdressers, dyers, soap makers, and tailors, all with exclusively Central Asian Jewish membership, were formed in several towns of Uzbekistan in the late 1920s. In 1928 there were in Uzbekistan 37 cooperatives of this kind, with a membership of 796 families (Kantor, pp. 27-28, table). Usually the head of the family could be helped by other members of the family belonging to the cooperative (Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, p. 59). In this way many cooperatives were merely registered as such and were actually enterprises run by extended families or jointly by two or three families. In 1933 about 3,000 Central Asian Jews were officially registered as members of cooperatives. Most cooperatives did not survive after the mid-1930s. In 1928 a massive attack on religion had been launched, and by the mid-1930s most of the synagogues were closed. In January 1930, the authorities undertook massive expropriation of property from those who refused to give up the—officially still permitted—private small trade (Bačaev, pp. 187-201) and in autumn 1932 massive confiscation of valuables (known among Central Asian Jews as ṭelāgīrī, taking gold; ibid., pp. 248-57). Blood libels, unknown in Central Asia before the Russian conquest, occurred in 1928 in Čahārjūy and in 1930 in the village of Āḡālīq near Samarkand (Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, pp. 137-40). All these events provided stimuli for the second large wave of Central Asian Jewish emigration abroad. The overwhelming majority of emigrants crossed illegally into Iran or Afghanistan, then went to Palestine (see Y. Kalāntarov, nos. 5-9, pp. 3-6; Āšērov, pp. 135-57; H. Mahvašev, nos. 27-29 (147-49), 31 (151), 33-35 (153-55), pp. 6-8; Ṭellāev, pp. 34-47; Nīāzov, pp. 114-20; on illegal emigrants and the Iranian Jewish community see Levī, p. 969; illegal emigrants and the Afghani Jewish community see Mīšāʾēl, pp. 68-72; the Central Asian feedback of the illegal emigration see Bačaev, pp. 222-34, 291-92, 301-4). A few left the USSR with foreign passports (Ben-Zvi, p. 176; Mīšāʾēl, p. 113; apparently also Sūfīev, p.1; Tājer, pt. 2, p. 91) and went to Palestine or stayed in Europe, mainly in France. Between 1924 and 1935, when the Soviets succeeded in halting this emigration, about 4,000 Central Asian Jews left the USSR (Immānūʾēlī, p. 207).

In the 1920s and early 1930s the Soviet authorities invested much energy and funds in Central Asian Jewish education, cultural institutions, and mass media. On 16 November 1925 the Judeo-Tajik weekly (from 1933 daily) newspaper Rōšnāʾī (light; later Bayrāq-e meḥnat, flag of labor) was launched (Gazety, p. 196; see also Saidov, 1935) and in 1931 the Judeo-Tajik bimonthly literary and political magazine Ḥayāt-e meḥnat (working life; later Adabīyāt-e sovet ī) was founded (Saidov, 1935, p. 23; Bačaev, pp. 245-46, dates the foundation from early 1932). In 1929-32 the so-called “Latinized alphabet” gradually replaced the Hebrew alphabet in written and printed Judeo-Tajik. Possession of books published in Hebrew language or characters before the advent of the Soviet regime was considered seditious, and most of them were destroyed or buried (the only public mention of this practice is Gēršunnī, p. 267, who dates it to 1937-40). In the late 1920s to early 1930s the number of books published in Judeo-Tajik continued to rise steadily, though the overwhelming majority of them were textbooks and political brochures translated from Russian. However, from the mid-1930s their number began to decrease, and in 1925-26 only one book in Judeo-Tajik was published, in 1928-29 six books, in 1931 76 books, in 1932 177 books (Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, p. 82), and in 1935 62 books (from data given in Knizhnaya letopis’, 1935, 1936). The same decrease occurred in the number of schools: In Uzbekistan in 1930 there were thirty schools in which the language of instruction was Judeo-Tajik, with 3,000 pupils and 120 teachers; by 1934 the number of pupils had increased to 4,000 and the number of teachers to 170 (“Uzbekistan (Mitl-Azie),” p. 232; cf. the much higher numbers for 1931 and 1932 in Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, pp. 71, 73, which apparently refer to all Jewish pupils, including Central Asians studying outside Jewish schools, as well as Ashkenazis). However, in 1938 the number of these schools decreased to 15 with 2,420 pupils (half the total number of “local Jewish school children”; S. Radzhabov, p. 60 and table 7). In 1932 a state theater, where performances were in Judeo-Tajik, and in 1931 a Jewish historical and ethnographic museum were established in Samarkand, expanded from a basic collection founded in 1922 (on the theater see “Uzbekistan (Mitl-Azie),” p. 232; Bačaev, pp. 286-89; on the museum see Amitin-Shapiro, 1933, pp. 123-26; Bačaev, pp. 151-52). In 1933 there were fifteen clubs and twenty-eight “red” teahouses (čāy-ḵānas) for Central Asian Jews in Uzbekistan (“Uzbekistan (Mitl-Azie),” p. 232).

The Stalinist Great Terror also affected Central Asia, and in 1937-38 about 1,000 Central Asian Jews were arrested, among them the people’s commissar (minister) of Justice for the Uzbek SSR, Aḇrāhām ʿAbdarraḥmānov (on whom see Bačaev, pp. 428-29; on his arrest, ibid., p. 467), as well as many of the new Central Asian Jewish cultural e,lite and almost all the members of the pre-Soviet upper class of Central Asian Jews who were still alive and almost all actively involved in religious life (on the course of arrests and partial lists of arrested see Bačaev, pp. 463-68; on arrests of persons actively involved in religious life see Gēršunnnī, p. 276; Nīāzov, p. 79; on the arrest of “almost all rabbis” in Bukhara see Margulis). The number of those arrested perished in prisons and forced labor camps can be estimated at about 700. In 1938 the authorities apparently decided to phase out all cultural activities in Bukharan Jewish. Publication of Bayrāq-e meḥnat (last registered issue 27 May 1938; Gazety, p. 197; cf. Bačaev, pp. 469-72) and Adabīyāt-e sovetī was discontinued, and the Jewish theater and museum in Samarkand were closed (the museum closed in April 1938; Bačaev, pp. 476-77). In 1938-39 the clubs were also closed, and in 1940 instruction and publication of books in Judeo-Tajik were halted. By the end of the 1930s as a rule only one synagogue was allowed to operate in each large town, and this is the situation still today (Tayar, pp. 19-21, 26, 34-35; Poujol, pp. 180-81, 185-86, 190-93, 195), the only exception being Tashkent with three Bukharan Jewish (Poujol, pp. 196-97) and one Ashkenazi synagogue (Yodfat, p. 20; Tayar, p. 39). Religious activities, though very limited in scope, did continue underground; congregational prayers and study of religious texts were conducted in private houses, and an unofficial “parallel Judaism” thus developed (Aleksandrov; Yodfat, p. 20; Gēršunnī, pp. 266-67; Nīāzov, pp. 56, 59, 61, 127-30, 138-39, 161-62). During World War II (1941-45) about 4,000 Central Asian Jews served in the Soviet army, both in the field and in the so-called Labor Army; about 3,000 of them died (on the Jewish participation see Ben’yaminov, pp. 90-92, 96-97; “Šāʿer-e nāmaʿlūm”; “Yūsef Abramov”; for partial publications of the names of the dead see Ben’yaminov, pp. 91, 92; “Ḵāṭera-ye nīk-e ānhā”). The campaign against the Jewish religion, which had been suspended briefly during the war, was resumed during the “black years of Soviet Jewry” (1948-53). In 1950 thirteen men active in the Central Asian Jewish religious community in Samarkand were arrested and sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment (Gēršunnī, pp. 194-95, who gives their number erroneously as 15; Nīāzov, pp. 92-105). Similar arrests took place in Katta-Qūrgān and Bukhara (Gēršunnī, p. 267). The press of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, both in local languages (e.g., Ḵārpošt and Moštom) and in Russian, printed “satirical feuilletons” in which the villains were Jews. Since the late 1940s Central Asian Jews have been excluded from quotas favoring indigenous Central Asians seeking admission to regional universities and institutions of higher learning in the major academic centers of the USSR (the situation became known to this author in 1951). Nevertheless, though the most widespread Central Asian Jewish occupations have remained shoe repairing, hairdressing, and selling in government stores (replacing petty trade; see, e.g., Tayar, p. 27; Poujol, pp. 183, 185, 192, 195), there has been a great increase in the numbers of physicians, lawyers, school and university teachers, and engineers (see, e.g., Ben’yaminov, pp. 57-58, 61, 63, 66-67). Most Central Asian Jews, regardless of education and social status, have continued to follow traditional religious observances related to the life cycle: circumcision, marriage, and burial practices; on the other hand, observance of kašrūt and events in the calendar (daily prayers, the sabbath, festivals, and fasting) is more common among those of lower education and social status (see, e.g., Tayar, pp. 19, 21, 24, 26, 33, 35, 39; Šěrāgay; Poujol, pp. 180-86, 194-96).

Since the late 1950s the Uzbek and Tajik press has frequently published vehement articles, sometimes signed by Jews, against Israel and its alleged propaganda among the Central Jewish population (see, e.g., Tankhel’son; “Ruki proch”; Medvedko; Kozanchuk, 23 June 1967, 29 June 1967, 12 July 1968; Varfolomeev; Egorov; Shapiro; Samenkov; Suchkov; Grigor’ev; Gerasimov; Mavashev; Mordukhaev et al.; Khaimov; Borisov; Galkin; on this kind of publications see Danielov, pp. 7-9, 28-30, 43-44). In an atmosphere of increasingly anti-Jewish public sentiment new blood libels occurred. In 1961 an elderly Jewish woman in Marḡīlān was accused by an Uzbek of kidnapping his two-year-old son and killing him for ritual purposes (the boy was found shortly afterward in perfect health), and a similar event occurred in Tashkent in 1962 (S. Schwarz, pp. 355-57). Anti-Jewish sentiments ran high also in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s and reportedly also in the 1980s (Ḡāzīṯ, p. 61; Tayar, pp. 28-31; Poujol, p. 192). In 1971 the third large-scale emigration of Jews from Central Asia began as part of a massive exodus of Jews from the USSR. By 1987 about 17,000 Bukharan Jews had left the Soviet Union; approximately 15,500 settled in Israel, the rest in the United States, Canada, and Austria (in that order; for the period 1971-80, containing the overwhelming majority of emigrants, calculated from ṣ. Neṣer, table 3; for the second half of 1980-87 from statistical information from various sources).



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  • Idem, al-Qānūn al-masʿūdī fiʾl-hayʾa waʾl-nojūm, ed. S. H. Baranī, 3 vols., Hyderabad, 1954-56.
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  • A. Dobrosmyslov, Goroda Syr-Dar’inskoĭ oblasti, Tashkent, 1912a. Idem, Tashkent v proshlom i nastoyashchem. Istoricheskiĭ ocherk, Tashkent, 1912b. P. Egorov, “Beschinstva izrail’skikh okkupantov,” Pravda Vostoka, 25 June 1967. O. Eissfeldt, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 3rd rev. ed., Tübingen, 1964. M. Ešel, Galleryā. Děmūyyōṯ; šel rāšē yahǎḏūt Būḵārā (gallery; images of heads of Bukharan Jewry), Jaffa, n.d. [early 1960s]. Y. Estampe, Di aseres ḥvotin (the ten tribes), Vilna, [5626 Heb.]/1866. E. Eversmann, Reise von Orenburg nach Buchara, Berlin, 1823. W. Fischel, “The Jews of Central Asia (Khorasan) in Medieval Hebrew and Islamic Literature,” in Historia Judaica VII, 1945, pp. 29-50. “Evreĭskoe zemleustronie v Uzbekistane,” Tribuna evreĭskoĭ sovetskoĭ obshchestvennosti, 1931, nos. 22-23, p. 8.
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  • A. Gēršunnī, Yěhūḏīm vě-yahǎḏūt bi-Brīṯ ham-Moʿāṣōṯ. Yahǎḏūt Rūsyā mit-těqūp̄aṯ Setālīn vě-ʿaḏ haz-zěman hā-ahǎrōn (Jews and Judaism in the Soviet Union; Russian Jewry from the period of Stalin to the present time), Jerusalem, 5730 Heb./1970.
  • Yu. I. [Gessen], “Inostrannye evrei po russkomu zakonodatel’stvu, Sredneaziatskie evrei,” in Evreĭskaya entsiklopediya VIII, St. Petersburg, n.d. [the 1910s], cols. 205-7 (the permission to participate in the fair at Nizhni Novgorod is established by Gessen on the basis of archives he was the authority on—as it was an administrative and not a legislative decision it does not appear in legislative collections—but he does not give the date, which must be between 1842 and 1844).
  • M. Gil, “The Rādhānite Merchants and the Land of Rādhān,” JESHO 17/3, 1974, pp. 299-328.
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  • Istoriya Bukhary s drevneĭshikh vremën do nashikh dneĭ, Tashkent, 1976. Istoriya grazhdanskoĭ voĭny v Uzbekistane I, Tashkent, 1964.
  • Istoriya Uzbekskoĭ SSR II, Tashkent, 1968.
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  • Itogi Vsesoyuznoĭ perepisi naseleniya 1959 goda. Svodnyĭ tom, Moscow, 1963.
  • Itogi Vsesoyuznoĭ perepisi naseleniya 1970 goda IV: Natsional’nyĭ sostav naseleniya SSSR, soyuznykh i avtonomnykh respublik, krayov i natsional’nykh okrugov, Moscow, 1973.
  • “Die Juden in der Bucharei,” Der Orient. Berichte, Studien und Kritiken für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur 2/1, 1841, p. 8.
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BUKHARA viii. Historiography of the Khanate, 1500-1920

There are about 70 extant works of Persian historiography which focus on the politics of the Shïbanid–Abulkhayrid (Shaybanid) dynasty (r. 1500-99), the Janids (also known as Toqay-Timurids or Ashtarkhanids, r. 1599-1747), and the Manḡïts (r. 1747-1920). Their manuscripts are preserved in collections in Tashkent, Dushanbe, and St. Petersburg (Storey-Bregel, II, pp. 1115-81), and as of 2008, only a few works are available as imprints.

These historical works cover a wide range of form and contents. Hagiography, however, is not included in this survey, but it must be noted that extant hagiographical texts by far outnumber political writings (see the bibliography in Paul). The majority of these historical works were composed upon a ruler’s request, and so they extol the patron’s genealogy and political deeds in a highly ornate language, replete with metaphors and other rhetorical adornments. Only a few extant works were composed for a patron other than a ruler, or originated completely independent of any patronage. They often cover a much larger variety of subjects, and their style is less elevated so that in the 19th and 20th centuries their language is sometimes even close to spoken Tajik. Up to the end of the 17th century the historical works range from the local historiography of Transoxania to the universal historiography of the Islamic world. But only in the 1830s did authors return to the writing of local historiography that does not focus on the regional ruler, and which extends to works such as biography-based anthologies of poetry and shrine catalogs. Historical works with a focus on the outside world, such as the history of the Ottoman or Russian empires, were occasionally authored after 1868, when the Khanate of Bukhara had become a Russian protectorate.


Two Shïbanid rulers were particularly interested in preserving the achievements of their rule for posteriority: Moḥammad Šïbāni Khan (r. 1500-10) and ʿAbdallāh Khan b. Eskandar (r. 1583-98). Most chronicles about their reigns establish their genealogy and describe their military campaigns.

Three works are particularly well known: the prose Šaybāni-nāma by Kamāl-al-Din Šir-ʿAli Harawi (b. ca. 1453, d. 1512), known as Malek-al-šoʿarā Benāʾi (Bannāʾi); the epic Šaybāni-nāma in Turki, composed by Mir Moḥammad-Ṣāleḥ Ḵᵛārazmi (d. 1534), who served as a temporary governor of Khwarazm; and the Šaraf-nāma-ye šāhi (also known as ʿAbdallāh-nāma) by Ḥāfeẓ-e Taniš b. Mir Moḥammad Boḵāri (b. ca. 1549), who was called Naḵli. The last two works are available in published editions (Storey-Bregel, II, pp. 1116-22; Hofman, pp. 294, 299-300).

Other authors have a wider concept of historiography. Fażl-Allāh b. Ruzbehān Ḵonji-Širāzi-Eṣfahāni (b. ca. 1455, d. between 1521 and 1533) was a renowned Iranian scholar who served the first Shïbanid khans. His Mehmān-nāma-ye Boḵārā, which he completed in 1509, combined the biographies of the Shïbanid rulers and their military exploits with the descriptions of numerous buildings, cities, and landscapes. But the work also comprises the author’s accounts of his many conversations with Moḥammad Šaybāni Khan and religious dignitaries about theological and legal matters. It seems that the Sunnite refugee tried to convince his patron to liberate Iran from the Shiʿite Ṣafavids (tr. Ott, esp. pp. 41, 47).

Badr-al-Din b. ʿAbd-al-Salām b. Sayyed Ebrāhim Ḥosayni-Kašmiri was a prolific 16th-century author (Storey-Bregel, II, pp. 1133-34). In 1553-54 he entered the service of the influential Juybāri family, and dedicated his Rawżat al-reżwān va ḥadiqat al-ḡelmān to a group of Juybāri ḵᵛājas. The Rawżat al-reżwān preserves especially important information about the khanate’s economic history.

The Badāʾeʿ al-waqāʾeʿ of Zayn-al-Din b. ʿAbd-al-Jalil Wāṣefi (b. 1485 in Herat, d. between 1551 and 1566) was the most popular of the Shïbanid historical works, if judged by the number of extant manuscript copies. Wāṣefi served several Chinghisid rulers and princes in Khorasan and Transoxania, and composed a remarkably personal account about the politics and culture of his time and his own experiences.


Bukhara and Balḵ were the centers of the Janid dynasty, and several Janid rulers commissioned a “world history.” The most extensive general history of Janids was written by Maḥmud b. Amir Wali (17th century; cf. Storey-Bregel, II, 1136-38), known as Amir Ḵālat Kāsāni, who had spent several years in India. Only parts of his Baḥr al-asrār fi manāqeb al-aḵyār are still extant, but they indicate that the work followed the model of traditional cosmography. Maḥmud b. Amir Wali presented a history of the prophets and the Islamic dynasties with a clear focus on Iran and Central Asia, but he also included a detailed description of Balkh and a memoir of his travels in India.

Chronicles dedicated to a specific ruler’s reign concentrate almost exclusively on politics and military actions. Most of the authors are completely unknown, but they must have lived around 1700. In the 1950s three of these otherwise unpublished works appeared in Russian translation: the ʿObayd-Allāh-nāma of Mir Moḥammad-Amin Boḵāri, the Tāriḵ-e Moqim-ḵāni of Moḥammad-Yusof Monši, and the Tāriḵ-e Abu’l-Fayż Ḵān of the astrologer ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Ṭāleʿ.

The most popular Janid work is an anthology of chronograms (see MĀDDA-ye TĀRIḴ) with the dates of important events, which is ascribed to Āḵund Mollā Šaraf-al-Din (Storey-Bregel, II, pp. 1139-43). Though not an historiographical work, it is a work related to history, and the chronograms are accompanied with short biographical accounts, mainly of Central Asian rulers, scholars, and writers. The Tāriḵ-e Rāqemi circulated in different versions, and under various titles. In some versions, the historical events mentioned occurred between the 8th and the second half of 17th century, while other versions only draw on events between the 15th and the 17th century. The work’s continued popularity is suggested by the early 20th century imprint under the title Tāriḵ-e kaṯira.


About 40 historical works from the Manḡït era have been preserved, and 15 works, which comprise both dynastic chronicles composed for patrons and historical works independent of patronage, were particularly influential (Epifanova, 1965; von Kügelgen, 2002a, 2002b).

Chronicles for Manḡït patrons. The Toḥfa-ye ḵāni is the earliest court history, and its author Qāżi Moḥammad-Wafā b. Ẓāher Karminagi (1685-1769-70) worked probably as a librarian at the Manḡït court. The chronicle focuses on Moḥammad-Raḥim (r. 1756-59) and Moḥammad Dāniāl Beg (r. 1759-85), and the author first follows how Moḥammad-Raḥim gained independence from Nāder Shah Afšār (r. 1736-47) to establish himself as Khan of Bukhara, and then describes in rare detail the enthronement ceremony and the ranks and duties of the Transoxanian elites and tribes (von Kügelgen, 2002a, esp. pp. 106-11, cf. Bregel, 2000; Sela). The work was continued up to 1782 by the otherwise unknown Dāmollā ʿĀlem Bik, but the continuation is only preserved in the work’s Dushanbe manuscript (Storey-Bregel, II, pp. 1150-52).

Mirzā Ṣādeq Monši (b. between 1753 and 1758, d. 1819-20; see Karimov) served as the secretary of Amir Šāh Morād (r. 1785-1800) and Amir Ḥaydar (r. 1800-26), and several of his works are cited by later writers. His historical works are the Fotuḥāt-e Amir-e maʿṣum va Amir Ḥaydar and the Tāriḵ-e manẓum. Each work is a maṯnawi, strung together from short chronograms which highlight important events between 1781-82 and 1819. Only two events are described in longer sections (von Kügelgen, 2002a, esp. pp. 120-27): Šāh Morād’s religious campaigns against the Shiʿites in Khorasan, especially in Marv, and his conflict with the Sunnite Afghan ruler Timur Shah Dorrāni (r. 1772-93; see AFGHANISTAN X. POLITICAL HISTORY).

Nāṣer-al-Din Tura al-Ḥanafi al-Ḥosayni al-Boḵāri, who was a son of the Manḡït ruler Sayyed Moẓaffar-al-Din Khan (r. 1860-85), became the most renowned of the court historians of the second half of the 19th century. In the Toḥfat al-zāʾerin Nāṣer-al-Din listed all shrines of Bukhara, and collected biographical details about the Sufis, learned men, and rulers buried there. Upon request of Bukhara’s newly founded Historical Society (Anjoman-e tāriḵ) Nāṣer-al-Din compiled between 1921 and 1922 the Taḥqiqāt-e arg-e Boḵārā, which contains valuable information about the city’s citadel since the Shïbanid era. The Āṯār al-salāṭin was planned as a compilation of the most dispersed historical accounts about the Shïbanids, Janids, and Manḡïts, but the work remained unfinished and ends with a list of the ten Manḡït rulers.

The court historians showed great loyalty to their Manḡït patrons. The first critical voice among them was that of Mirza ʿAbd-al-ʿAẓim Sāmi (d. 1907-8 or after 1914). Sāmi had served the Manḡïts since his youth, but he was dismissed at the age of 60. He wrote two dynastic chronicles: the official Toḥfa-ye šāhi and the private Tāriḵ-e salāṭin-e Manḡitiya. The Toḥfa-ye šāhi provides a positive and extensive account of the political history of Bukhara from the reign of the Janid ruler Sobḥānqoli Khan (r. 1682-1702) til 1899. In contrast, the Tāriḵ-e salāṭin-e Manḡitiya is a much less detailed work, which begins with the reign of the last Janid ruler Abu’l-Fayż Khan (r. 1711-47) and ends in 1906. This private version offers a harsh critique of Amir Naṣr-Allāh Khan (r. 1827-60) and his successors, and only this version was edited and translated into Russian during the Soviet era. Sāmi (fol. 116b, tr. pp. 121, 128) condemns the khans for their killing of innocent people, and accuses them of military and economic incompetence, while he describes the Ottoman sultan ʿAbd-al-Ḥamid II (r. 1876-1909) as the epitome of a modern Muslim ruler who continues to defend the borders of the Muslim world against non-Muslims.

Chronicles for non-Manḡït patrons. Authors who wrote about the Manḡït dynasty for non-Manḡït patrons enjoyed of course more liberty toward their subject, and their works include some criticism of the Manḡït khans. ʿĀref Beg Efendi, who was an official at the Ottoman court (the French orientalist Ch. Schefer describes him as master of ceremonies, p. II), commissioned Mir ʿAbd-al-Karim b. Mir Esmāʿil Boḵāri (d. 1830-31) to compile a chronicle of the rulers of Khorasan and northern India after 1747. Boḵāri had served in the Manḡït chancellery of Amir Ḥaydar in Bukhara before he traveled in Khorasan and northern India. In 1804-5, he went on a diplomatic mission to Russia and the Ottoman empire, and afterwards he probably remained in Istanbul, where he got married, until his death. His chronicle covers many political events in Transoxania, Khwarazm (see CHORASMIA ii. IN ISLAMIC TIMES), and Khorasan, though the dates are often erroneous, and Boḵāri singles out rulers for their cruel and immoral behavior. But the work also includes descriptions of the regions’ inhabitants, the market goods of towns and whole regions, such as Kashmir and Tibet, as well as information about the distance between the various locations.

The Bayān-e baʿż-i ḥawādeṯāt-e Boḵārā wa Ḵᵛāqand wa Kāšḡar is the published excerpt of a Manḡït chronicle that Mirzā Šams Boḵāri (b. 1804, d. after 1860) wrote at the request of the Russian Orientalist Vasiliĭ V. Grigor’ev (1816-81). Mirzā Šams Boḵāri had served several Manḡït rulers, and was therefore well acquainted with the Manḡït court and its internal conflicts over power. The account begins with Nāder Shah Afšār’s campaign against Bukhara and Khiva in 1740, but the published excerpt starts with the detailed description of Amir Ḥaydar’s accession to the throne in 1800. Although Mirzā Šams Boḵāri omits many political events, his chronicle provides some interesting glimpses of the ruling elites of Kāšḡar and Yārkand and of the power struggle among the Manḡïts, when he condemns, for example, Amir Naṣr-Allāh’s brutality.

Independent historiography. It seems that already before the emergence of a Central Asian Islamic reform movement (jadid, tajdid, see JADIDISM), in the second half of the 19th century, some authors wrote historical works whose composition was not supported by patronage or the like. Among these independent authors Moḥammad-Yaʿqub (d. after 1831), the twelfth son of the Manḡït ruler Dāniāl Beg (r. 1758-85), was particularly influential. His chronicle is written in a straightforward and unadorned prose, and abounds with details about the Manḡït tribe. The work is preserved in three versions that vary in length and focus, and circulated under two different titles (Miklukho-Maklaĭ, III, pp. 313-19; von Kügelgen, 2002a, esp. pp. 150-57): Golšan al-moluk is the title of the two versions which extol the genealogies of the Turkic and Mongol rulers of Iran and Transoxania, combined with short notices about each reign, while the third version Resāla focuses on Manḡït genealogy.

Another independent historian is Ḵomuli (b. 1776-77, d. after 1847) who served as the judge (qāżi) of Urgut near Samarqand. He left an untitled work which today is known as Tāriḵ-e Ḵomuli (von Kügelgen, 2002a, esp. pp. 157-67), but the work was not much cited during Ḵomuli’s lifetime. The text begins with a lengthy account of how he, the son of a herdsman, overcame many obstacles to obtain a comprehensive education in the esoteric and exoteric sciences ( al-ʿolum al-ẓāhira wa’l-ʿolum al-bāṭina). Ḵomuli’s intellectual autobiography is followed by the biographies of his teachers and of other Sufi sheikhs who belonged to the Naqšbandiya-Mojaddediya branch of Dahbed near Samarqand. The work includes a section dedicated to the Manḡïts, with many rare details about Šāh Morād whom Ḵomuli greatly admired. But Ḵomuli is an exception among Transoxanian historians because he discusses how in 1743 Nāder Shah Afšār attempted to end the Shiʿite-Sunnite hostilities in Najaf. Ḵomuli idealistically judged Nāder Shah’s political move as an effort to implement an agreement, according to which Shiʿites and Sunnites would cease to consider each other infidels and which would thus end sectarian violence, warfare, and bloodshed (Ḵomuli, fols. 187a-188b).

Aḥmad Dāneš (1827-97) is nowadays the most famous pre-Jadid author of Transoxania (von Kügelgen, 2002a, pp. 413-34). He was a man of many talents who in 1850 began his 30 years career at the Manḡït court as calligrapher, book illustrator, and astronomer. Between 1857 and 1874 the Manḡït rulers sent him three times to St. Petersburg as secretary of Bukharan embassies. His Resāla (the work is also known under other titles) was written between 1895 and 1897, and has more in common with a political pamphlet than with an account of political history. The work begins with Šāh Morād, and Daneš, occasionally drawing on dreams as his source of information (see DREAMS AND DREAM INTERPRETATION) describes Amir Šāh Morād and his son Amir Ḥaydar as angelic rulers who are the absolute opposites of Sayyed Moẓaffar-al-Din and his son Sayyed ʿAbd-al-Aḥad Khan (r. 1885-1910). As in his other works, Dāneš propagates a Sunnite Islam which follows the teachings of the Naqšbandiya-Mojaddediya, and harshly condemns Shiʿism. Yet in the Resāla’s introduction he took the unconventional stand to consider unbelief (kofr) the reason that the non-Muslim societies are prospering. Believers are indifferent to the demands of this world because of their complete devotion to God, while unbelievers (sing. kāfer) are free to concentrate their efforts on improving their lives in this world because of their indifference (ḡafla) to God’s Last Judgment (Dāneš, 1960, p. 7). It is less unusual that Dāneš adhered to a cyclical concept of history. On the one hand, events are interpreted according to their position within a society’s cycle of rise and decline, which is completed every 50 and 500 years. On the other hand, the right faith is restored within 100 and 1000 year cycles. It was therefore important for Daneš to identify those who will foster renewal (tajdid) and development, and he counts among the reformers (sing. mojadded) not only ulema and rulers but also professionals. The group of professionals also comprised Christians and Jews, whom Dāneš considered unbelievers.

The historical writings of Mirzā Moḥammad Šarif Ṣadr, also known under his penname Ṣadr-e Żiāʾ or as Šarifjān Maḵdum (1867-1932), indicate that at the turn of the 20th century the perspective of Transoxanian historiography had widened (Epifanova, pp. 51-55). Moḥammad Šarif served as the judge in several provinces before eventually becoming in 1917 the supreme judge (qāżi-kalān) of the entire khanate. He supported the Jadid movement to some extent, and compiled a number of historical works: a chronicle of the dynasties that ruled Transoxiana since Čengiz Khan (d. 1227); a short history of Iran and the Ottoman empire; and a concise history of the Islamic world, which begins with the pre-Islamic prophets and Iranian kings and covers the Islamic dynasties outside Central Asia before the Mongol conquest.

Only with Ṣadr-al-Din ʿAyni (1878-1954) were ideas of the European Enlightenment introduced into Transoxanian historiography. The orphaned ʿAyni had been a ward of Mirzā Moḥammad Šarif Ṣadr, and was later to become the leading figure of Soviet Tajik literature. ʿAyni wrote his most important historical works during the khanate’s collapse in Uzbek and Persian, respectively. In Buḵārā inqilābi taʾriḵi učun mātiriyāllār, a study of the Bukhara Revolution of 1920, ʿAyni focused on the resistance against school reform and on the oppression of the Jadid movement activists who fought against tyranny, corruption, ignorance, and fanaticism. His Taʾriḵ-e silsila-ye Manḡitiya is a study of the Manḡït dynasty that reflects both his socialist convictions and the profound impact of the Jadid movement, and which offers the model of an ideal Muslim ruler. ʿAyni accuses the ruling elites of ruining the society’s economy because they are living of the labor of others, thus causing poverty and famine. But he also criticizes the ruling elites for wreaking havoc on the foundations of Islam because they are relying on pseudoscience which in turn fosters bigotry, one of the reasons for the sectarian conflicts between Sunnites and Shiʿites.


  • Sources.
  • Āḵund Mollā Šaraf-al-Din, Tāriḵ-e kaṯira, on the margins of Toḥfat al-aḥbāb, Tashkent, 1332/1913-14.
  • Ṣadr-al-Din ʿAyni, “Taʾriḵ-e selsela-ye Manḡitiya ke dar Bokārā ḥokm rānda-and,” Šoʿla-ye enqelāb, pub. in installments: no. 50 (20 Sept. 1920), no. 51 (27 Sept. 1920), no. 52 (4 Oct. 1920), no. 53 (14 Oct. 1920), no. 56 (15 Nov. 1920), no. 57 (18 Nov. 1920), no. 58 (25 Nov. 1920), no. 59 (2 Dec. 1920), no. 60 (23 Dec. 1920), no. 62 (1 Jan. 1921), no. 63 (17 Jan. 1921), no. 66 (10 Feb. 1921), no. 68 (24 Feb. 1921), no. 70 (4 April 1921), no. 72 (18 April 1921), no. 74 (2 May 1921), no 76 (19 May 1921), no. 77 (23 June 1921), no. 79 (7 July 1921), no. 82 (11 Aug. 1921), no. 83 (22 Aug. 1921), no. 84 (1 Sept. 1921), no. 85 (12 Sept. 1921), no. 87 (30 Oct. 1921), no. 88 (7 Nov. 1921), no. 89 (17 Nov. 1921), no. 90 (28 Nov. 1921), no. 90 (28 Nov. 1921); rev. and enlarged ed. as Tariḵi amironi manḡitiyai Buḵoro, Tashkent, 1923; repr. in Sadriddin Ayni, Kulliyot, vol. 1-, Dushanbe, 1958-, X, 1966, pp. 5-191.
  • Idem, Buḵārā inqilābi taʾriḵi učun mātiriyāllār, Moscow, 1926; in Uzbek, written in the reformed Arabic script; for a severely censored and shortened version, see the complete Uzbek edition of Sadriddin Ayni, Asarlar, 8 vols., Tashkent, 1963-, I, pp. 181-349.
  • ʿAbd-al-Karim b. Esmāʿil Boḵāri, Histoire de l’Asie Centrale (Afghanistan, Boukhara, Khiva, Khokand) depuis les dernières années du règne de Nadir Chah, 1153 jusqu'en 1233 de l’hégire (1740-1818), ed. and tr. by Ch. Schefer, 2 vols., Paris, 1876, Persian text with French tr.; repr., Amsterdam, 1970.
  • Ḥāfeẓ-e Taniš b. Mir Moḥammad Boḵāri, Šaraf-nāma-ye šāhi, ed. and tr. by M. A. Salakhetdinova, 2 vols., Moscow, 1983-89, fascim. ed. of MS per. D 88 with Russian tr.
  • Mir Moḥammad-Amin Boḵāri, ʿObayd-Allāh-nāma, tr. A. A. Semenov, Tashkent, 1957, in Russian.
  • Nāṣer-al-Din al-Ḥanafi al-Ḥosayni al-Boḵāri, Toḥfat al-zāʾerin, Bukhara, 1910.
  • Šams Boḵāri, Bayān-e baʿż-i ḥawādeṯāt-e Boḵārā va Ḵᵛāqand o Ḵāšḡar, ed. and tr. by V. V. Grigor’ev, Kazan, 1861, Persian text with Russian tr.
  • Aḥmad Maḵdum Dāneš (Ahmadi Donesh), Resāla: Yā moḵtaṣari az tāriḵ-e salṭanat-e ḵāndān-e Manḡetiya, ed. A. Mirzoev, Stalinabad (Dushanbe), 1960, Tajik in Arabic script; repr., Dushanbe, 1992, Tajik in Cyrillic script.
  • Fażl-Allāh b. Ruzbehān Eṣfahāni-Ḵonji, Mehmān-nāma-ye Boḵārā, ed. M. Sotuda, Tehran, 1976; facsim. ed. of MS pers. 1414 with partial Russian tr. and an English summary by R. P. Dzhalilova and A. K. Arends, Moscow, 1976; German tr. as Transoxanien und Turkestan zu Beginn des 16. Jahrhunderts, by Ursula Ott, Freiburg/Breisgau, 1974.
  • Al-Ḵomuli b. al-Ṣufi Moḥammad Noḡāy al-Torki al-Samarqandi al-Šawdāri al-Urguti, Tāriḵ, Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Academy of Sciences, Beruni-Institute of Oriental Studies, MS pers. 37/VI, 212 fols.
  • Moḥammad-Yusof Monši b. Kᵛāja Baqā Balḵi, Tāriḵ-e Moqim-ḵāni, tr. A. A. Semenov, Tashkent, 1956, in Russian.
  • ʿAbd-al-ʿAẓim Sāmi, Tāriḵ-e salāṭin-e Manḡitiya, ed. and tr. L. M. Epifanova, Moscow, 1962, Persian text with Russian tr.
  • ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān (Dawlat) Ṭāleʿ, Tāriḵ-e Abu’l-Fayż Ḵān, tr. A. A. Semenov, Tashkent, 1959, in Russian.
  • Maḥmud Zayn-al-Din Wāṣefi, Badāʾeʿ al-waqāʾeʿ, ed. A. N. Boldyrev, 2 vols., Moscow, 1961; emended repr., 2 vols., Tehran, 1970-72, in Persian.
  • Studies and reference works.
  • Y. Bregel, “ʿAbdallāh Khan b. Eskandar,” EIr I/2, 1982, pp. 198-99.
  • Idem, “Abu’l-Ḵayr Khan,” EIr I/3, 1983, pp. 331-32.
  • Idem, The Administration of Bukhara under the Manghïts and some Tashkent Manuscripts, Bloomington, Ind., 2000.
  • Idem, “Historiography xii. Central Asia,” EIr XII/4, 2004, pp. 395-402.
  • L. M. Epifanova, Rukopisnye istochniki po istorii Sredneĭ Azii perioda prisoedineniya ee k Rossii (Manuscript sources on the history of Central Asia in the period of its annexation to Russia), Tashkent, 1965.
  • H. F. Hofman, Turkish Literature: A Biobibliographical Survey – Section III: Moslim Central Asian Turkish Literature Being in the Main a List of ‘Chaghatayan’ Authors and Works in ‘Chaghatay’ as Registered in Professor M. F. Köprülü’s article ‘Çagatay edebiyati’ (IA, III, pp. 270-323), with Some Additional (Navaiana, however excepted) Authors, Utrecht, 1969.
  • U. Karimov, Mirzo Sodiqi Munši: Avvol va osori šoir, Dushanbe, 1972, in Tajik.
  • A. von Kügelgen, Die Legitimierung der mittelasiatischen Mangitendynastie in den Werken ihrer Historiker (18.-19. Jahrhundert), Istanbul, 2002a; tr. as Legitimatsiya sredneaziatskoĭ dinastii mangytov v proizvedeniyakh ikh istorikov (18-19 vv.), Almaty, 2004.
  • Idem, “Kontinuität und Wandel in der Geschichtsschreibung Bucharas (Mitte des 18. bis Anfang der zwanziger Jahre des 20. Jahrhunderts),” in Studies in Arabic and Islam: Proceedings of the 19th Congress of the Union Européen des Arabisants et Islamisants, Halle 1998, ed. S. Leder et al., Leuven, 2002b, pp. 89-105.
  • N. D. Miklukho-Maklaĭ, Istoricheskie sochineniya (Historical works), Opisanie persidskikh i tadzhikskikh rukopiseĭ Instituta vostokovedeniya (Description of Persian and Tajik manuscripts of the Institute of Oriental Studies) 3, Moscow, 1975; the catalog’s 8 vols. were first published 1955-68, and the main title varies.
  • J. Paul et al., Handlist of Sufi Manuscripts (18th-20th centuries) in the Holdings of the Oriental Institute, Academy of Sciences, Republic of Uzbekistan, Berlin, 2000; in Russian.
  • R. Sela, Ritual and Authority in Central Asia: The Khan’s Inauguration Ceremony, Bloomington, Ind., 2003.
  • E. M. Subtelny, ed., Husayn Vaʿiz-i Kashifi; published as special issue in Ir. Stud. 36/4, 2003.
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