Jaxartes

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Map of Jaxartes or Syr Darya

Jaxartes or Syr Darya (Hindi:(जगजार्टिस), Persian: سيردريا‎; Tajik: Сирдарё; Kazakh: Сырдария ; Arabic: سيحون‎; Uzbek: Sirdaryo), also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo, is a river in Central Asia, sometimes known as the Jaxartes or Yaxartes from its Ancient Greek name Ἰαξάρτης.

Variants

Jat clans

Origin

Map of area around the Aral Sea. Aral Sea boundaries are circa 1960. Countries at least partially in the Aral Sea watershed are in yellow.

The Greek name is derived from Old Persian, Yakhsha Arta ("Great Pearly"), a reference to the color of the river's water. In medieval Arabic writings, the river is uniformly known as Sayhoun (سيحون) - and is considered one of the four rivers whose common source lies in Paradise (the other three being Amu Darya/Jayhoun, the Nile, and the Euphrates).[1]

History

The name, which comes from Persian and has long been used in the East, is a relatively recent one in western writings; prior to the early 20th century, the river was known by various versions of its ancient Greek name. Following the Battle of Jaxartes the river marked the northernmost limit of Alexander the Great's conquests. Greek historians have claimed that here in 329 BC he founded the city Alexandria Eschate (literally, "Alexandria the Furthest") as a permanent garrison. The city is now known as Khujand. In reality, he had just renamed (and possibly, expanded) the city of Cyropolis founded by king Cyrus the Great of Persia, more than two centuries earlier.

Jat History

  • Tadeusz Sulimirski wrote: "The evidence of both the ancient authors and the archaeological remains point to a massive migration of Sacian (Sakas)/Massagetan ("great" Jat) tribes from the Syr Daria Delta (Central Asia) by the middle of the second century B.C. Some of the Syr Darian tribes; they also invaded North India." [2]
  • Arnold Joseph Toynbee, also wrote: "It had been carried from the Oxus-Jaxartes Basin into the Indus Basin by the Massagetae themselves, together with their tribal name (the Jats), in their Volkerwander- ung in the second century BC."[3]
  • Sir John Marshall, (Former Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India) wrote: "These Scythian invaders came principally from the three great tribes of Massagetae (great Jats), Sacaraucae, and Dahae (still exists as a Jat clan of Punjab)[4], whose home at the beginning of the second century B.C. was in the country between the Caspian sea (sea) and the Jaxartes river (Central Asia)."[5]

Ram Sarup Joon[6] writes that.... Uchis got divided into two groups. One of these settled down On the borders of Tibet. The other settled on the banks of Sihun River and was known as Scythians. They defeated the Saka tribe and passed through Afghanistan. When exactly they did so is not known. They advanced through the Bolan Pass, crossed the River Indus and occupied the area upto the river Ganga. They got integrated with the local population to such an extent that they ceased to be called Scythians. This event has given rise to the historical ambiguity that Jats, Ahirs and Gujars are of Scythian descent. No Jat, however claims this honour bestowed on him by some historians who have looked only that for and no further.

On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence to prove that these Scythians themselves were Jats and so easily amalgamated with their kith and kin. These very Scythians had named their territory in Turkistan as Jug Jats and a province in Iran as Jatali. The Khisans of Khamrian were known as Jat i-Iran. [7]

Hukum Singh Panwar

Hukum Singh Panwar writes: [8] The Saka Tigarkhauda (Sakas with pointed helmets) lived beyond Sugud (Sogdiana, modern Bukhara region) as neighbours of the Bactrians and pitched their Tepes (tents) in a settled way along and across Jaxartes ( Jakhar or Jakshar or Yakshus) around which is today the country of Turkistan.

Hukum Singh Panwar[9] writes: The Soviet Scientists found to their surprise that Yakutian nationality, living in remote Siberia, have in their blood the "HLA - B 70" antigen, which is possessed only by the Hindus of north India (The Indian Express, Chandigarh, dt. Oct. 24,1988). We surmise that, as the name suggests, the Yakuts must be Yakhus = Jakhus or in Sanskrit Yakshus and in Prakrit Jakhus (Jakhar Jats), who lived in the Drishad and Sarasvati Doab in the Rigvedic period and who were expelled to northern countries after their defeat in the last battle of the Dasharajna wars


The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations: End of Section four - page ii


by the Bharatas and who, according to M.L. Bhargava, (who made an elaborate ethno-geographical study of the Sapta-Saindhava country of the Rigvedic period), gave their name as Yakhu (Oxus in Greek) and Yakshar (Jaxartes in Greek) to two rivers between the Aral sea and lake Balkhas (infra, ch. IX on migrations of Jats).

Ram Sarup Joon

Ram Sarup Joon[10] writes - In or about 200 BC serious internal strife occurred in Turkistan. Various tribes fought among themselves. Neung Nu, the Chinese historian writes that during these battles, a tribe known as Uti (Uchi) was winked out of the country

During its westward withdrawal this, tribe was intercepted by another tribe called Daushan. The


History of the Jats, End of Page-36


Uchis got divided into two groups. One of these settled, down. On the borders, of Tibet. The other settled on the banks of Sihun River and was known as Scythians. They defeated the Saka tribe and passed through Afghanistan. When exactly they did so is not known. They advanced through the Bolan Pass, crossed the River Indus and occupied the area upto the river Ganga. They got integrated with the local population to such an extent that they ceased to be called Scythians. This event has given rise to the historical ambiguity that Jats, Ahirs and Gujars are of Scythian descent. No Jat, however claims this honour bestowed on him by some historians who have looked only that for and no further.

On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence to prove that these Scythians themselves were Jats and so easily amalgamated with their kith and kin. These very Scythians had named their territory in Turkistan as Jug Jats and a province in Iran as Jatali. The Khisans of Khamrian were known as Jat i-Iran. [11]

General Cunningham writes that the inhabitants of Jatali province in Iran are of Jat community of Yayati Dynasty. He also writes that people of the Shavi sub caste are the descendants, of the daughter of Daksha, and Raja Daksha was a Surya Vanshi.

External links

References

  1. The introductory chapters of Yāqūt's Muʿjam al-buldān, by Yāqūt ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-Ḥamawī, Page 30
  2. Sulimirski, Tadeusz (1970). The Sarmatians. Volume 73 of Ancient peoples and places. New York: Praeger. pp. 113–114.
  3. Royal Institute of International Affairs; Toynbee, Arnold Joseph (1962). A Study of History (2 ed.). Volume 10. Oxford University Press. p. 54.
  4. Dahiya, B. S., Jats, the ancient rulers: a clan study, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India, 1980, p. 23.
  5. Sir John Marshall, (Sir, Hon. Fellow of King's College, Cambridge University, and formerly Director-General of Archaeology in India), A Guide to Taxila, Cambridge University Press, London, 1960, p. 24.
  6. History of the Jats/Chapter III,p.37
  7. Todd's Rajasthan - Urdu edition
  8. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/The identification of the Jats, p.316
  9. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/Addenda,pp.ii-iii
  10. History of the Jats/Chapter III,pp. 36-37
  11. Todd's Rajasthan - Urdu edition