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Sogdiana (Sugdiane, O. Pers. Sughuda) was a province of the Achaemenian Empire, the eighteenth in the list in the Behistun Inscription of Darius (i. 16), corresponding to the modern districts of Samarkand and Bokhara (in modern day Uzbekistan).

It lay north of Bactria between the Oxus (Amu Darya) and the Jaxartes (Syr Darya), and embraced the fertile valley of the Zerafshan (anc. Polytimetus). By Alexander the Great, Sogdiana was united in one satrapy with Bactria, and subsequently it formed part of the Bactrian Greek kingdom, founded by Diodotus, until the Scythians occupied it in the middle of the third century BCE.

The valley of the Zerafshan about Samarkand retained even in the Middle Ages the name of the Soghd O Samarkand. Arabic geographers reckon it as one of the four fairest districts in the world.

Initial text from the 1911 Encyclopedia. Please update as needed.