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Alexandria in Margiana


Alexander bust from Delos. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.
Alexander, bust from Delos (Louvre)
Alexandria in Margiana: town founded by Alexander the Great.

Alexandria in Margiana is mentioned by Pliny the Elder (Natural history, 6.67-67) and is probably one of the towns that was founded in 328 or 327 by Alexander the Great or his right-hand-man Craterus as an instrument against the horsemen of the Sogdian leader Spitamenes. By settling a Macedonian garrison in the oasis of Margiana (modern Mary), the Sogdians were unable to use it as a base.

Alexandria was refounded by the Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter (281-261), who called it Antiochia. Again, it was a military settlement, intended to guard Iran against incursions from nomad tribes, such as the Parni, who were to overrun this region and to found the Parthian Empire in what is now Iran and Iraq.

 
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The acropolis of Alexandria in Margiana is now known as Erk Kala; the city itself is called Gyaur Kala.

Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision: 26 July 2006
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