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Choara/Thara (Ahuan)

Choara or Thara: place along the Silk Road where Darius III Codomannus was killed.

Dasht-e Kavir
Dasht-e Kavir
Choara, a place in western Parthia somewhere between modern Ahuan and Qosheh, is the place where the last Achaemenid king of ancient Persia, Darius III Codomannus, was murdered by his own courtiers (July 330). He had been pursued by the Macedonian invader Alexander the Great and had already been taken prisoner by his own men near the Caspian Gate.

Eburz near Ahuan
Eburz near Ahuan
Choara is situated along the Silk Road, which is in this part of Iran a narrow line of fertile ground between the Elburz Mountains in the north and the desert in the south. Its fertility is caused by artesic wells which find their water in the mountains, where the rains coming from the Caspian Sea empty themselves.

From the place now known as Semnan, Alexander made a detour through the southern desert, the Dasht-e Kavir. Because he did not have to go through the mountains, his cavalry could be faster than the Persians convoy.

Karwansaray near Ahuan
Karwansaray near Ahuan
Early in the morning, the Persians saw a large dust cloud and knew what was going to happen. They murdered their own king, who was, according to our sources, found by one of Alexander's men, who gave him some water. There are several wells between Ahuan and Qosheh; the caravanserai on the photo to the right is built near one of them. It may or may not have been the place of Darius' death.

Choara is called Thara by Justin, which must be a corruption of Choara. This town is mentioned by Ptolemy of Alexandria, Pliny the Elder, Strabo of Amasia, and Isidore of Charax.

This page was created in 2005; last modified on 22 July 2014.