Aria (region)

Aria (satrapy)Eastern territories of the Achaemenid Empire, including Aria (around the city of Areia).Arian soldier, on a relief of the tomb of Artaxerxes III (circa 338 BCE).

Aria (Greek: Ἀρ(ε)ία Ar(e)ía, آريا; Latin Aria, representing Old Persian. 𐏃𐎼𐎡𐎺 Haraiva, Avestan 𐬵𐬀𐬭𐬋𐬌𐬬𐬀‎ Harōiva) is an Achaemenid region centered on the city of Herat in present-day western Afghanistan. In classical sources, Aria has been several times confused with the greater region of ancient Ariana, of which Aria formed a part.



Aria was an Old Persian satrapy, which enclosed chiefly the valley of the Hari River (Greek Ἄρ(ε)ιος, this being eponymous to the whole land according to Arrian) 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 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”).

Reconstruction of Ptolemy's map (2nd century AD) of Aria and neighbouring states by the 15th century German cartographer Nicolaus Germanus

Its original capital was Artacoana (Ἀρτακόανα) or Articaudna (Ἀρτ... more

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