Aria (satrapy)

Aria (satrapy)

Aria ( _el. Polytonic|Ἀρ(ε)ὶα, Latin "Aria", representing Old Persian. "Haraiva", Avestan "Haraeuua"), name of a region in the eastern part of the Persian empire, several times confused with Ariane in the classical sources.


Aria was an Old Persian satrapy, which enclosed chiefly the valley of the Hari River (Greek Polytonic|Ἄρ(ε)ιος, this being eponymous to the whole land according to Arrian [Arrian, Anabasis 4.6.6] ) and which in antiquity was considered as particularly fertile and, above all, rich in wine. The region of Aria was separated by mountain ranges from the Paropamisadae in the east, Parthia in the west and Margiana and Hyrcania in the north, while a desert separated it from Carmania and Drangiana in the south. It is described in a very detailed manner by Ptolemy and [{Strabo] [Prolemy, 6.17; Strabo, 11.10.1] and corresponds, according to that, almost to the Herat Province of today's Afghanistan. In this sense the term is used correctly by some writers, e.g. Herodotus (3.93.3, where the "Areioi" are mentioned together with the Parthians, Chorasmians, and Sogdians); Diodorus (17.105.7; 18.39.6); Strabo (2.1.14; 11.10.1, cf. also 11.8.1 and 8; 15.2.8 and 9); Arrian (Anabasis 3.25.1); Pomponius Mela (1.12, where we read that “nearest to India is Ariane, then Aria”).

Its original capital was Artacoana (Polytonic|Ἀρτακόανα) [Arrian, Anabasis 3.25] or Articaudna (Polytonic|Ἀρτικαύδνα) according to Ptolemy. In its vicinity, a new capital was built, either by Alexander the Great himself or by his successors, Alexandria Ariana (Polytonic|Ἀλεξάνδρεια ἡ ἐν Ἀρίοις), modern Herat in northwest Afghanistan. Ptolemy lists several other cities, an indication of the province's wealth and fertility. The most important, according to Ptolemy and Arrian, were Aria, Susia, Candace, Bitaxa, Sotera, Nisibis and Sarmatina.


The Persian Achaemenid district of Aria is mentioned in the provincial lists that are included in various royal inscriptions, for instance, in the Behistun inscription of Darius I (ca. 520 BC). Representatives from the district are depicted in reliefs, e.g., at the royal Achaemenid tombs of Naqsh-e Rustam and Persepolis. They are wearing Scythian-style dress (with a tunic and trousers tucked into high boots) and a twisted turban around the head.

At the time of Alexander the Great, Aria was obviously an important district. It was administered by a satrap, called Satibarzanes, who was one of the three main Persian officials in the East of the Empire, together with the satrap Bessus of Bactria and Barsaentes of Arachosia. In late 330 BC Alexander the Great, captured the Arian capital Artacoana. The province was part of the Seleucid Empire but was captured by others on various occasions and became part of the Parthian Empire in 167 BC. Aria later on became a province of the Sassanid Empire.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aria (disambiguation) — An aria is a self contained expressive melody for one voice usually with orchestral accompaniment.Aria may also refer to:* Aria, Navarre, a municipality in the autonomous community of Navarre, Spain * A settlement in the List of settlements in… …   Wikipedia

  • Maka (satrapy) — Maka was a satrapy (province) of the Achaemenid Empire and later a satrapy of the Parthian and Sassanian empires (known as Mazun), corresponding to modern day Bahrain, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates, plus the northern half of Oman and also… …   Wikipedia

  • Chorasmia (satrapy) — Chorasmia (Old Persian Uvârazmiya) was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. Chorasmia had become part of the Achaemenid Empire before 522, and it seems to have been ruled by the satrap of Parthia. By the time of Darius III, it had become an… …   Wikipedia

  • District XVII (satrapy) — District XVII was, according to Herodotus, the 17th satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. It comprised the Paricanians and Asiatic Ethiopians.[1] References ^ Satrap …   Wikipedia

  • Albania (satrapy) — Albania, or Ardhan in Parthian or Arran in Middle Persian as it was known in Persian, was a Caucasian satrapy [ [ Gignoux. Aneran . Encyclopaedia Iranica . Text: The high priest Kirder,… …   Wikipedia

  • Carmania (satrapy) — Carmania was a satrapy (province) of the Achaemenid Empire as well as, later on, the Sassanid Empire. The region is equivalent to modern day Kermān Province in Iran. Nothing specific is known about the boundaries of Carmania, which may have… …   Wikipedia

  • Parthia (satrapy) — Parthia (Old Persian Parthava), before it became the Parthian Empire, was a satrapy (province) of the Achaemenid Empire. The borders of Parthia were the Kopet Dag mountain range in the north (today the border between Iran and Turkmenistan) and… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Afghanistan-related topics — This is a list of Afghanistan related articles. See also the .Afghanistan* Afghanistan * SalajeetBuildings and structures in Afghanistan* Buddhas of Bamyan * Chakhil i Ghoundi Stupa * Darul Aman Palace * Kajakai Dam * Tajbeg PalaceArchaeological… …   Wikipedia

  • Herat — Infobox City in Afghanistan official name = Herat native name = هرات province name = Herat image size = 250px image caption = The Friday Mosque in Herāt latd = 34.342 longd = 62.203 districts = population total = 349000 population as of = 2006… …   Wikipedia

  • Haraiva — is the ancient Old Persian name (Greek Areia/Aria, Latin Aria) for the area around Herat, in northwest Afghanistan. ee also*Aria (satrapy) *Herat …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.