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ARIA CIVITAS (Ἀρεία, Ptol. 6.17.7; Aris, Tab. Peutinger.). There seems no reason to doubt that the ancient Aria is represented by the modern Herát, which is situated on a small stream now called the Heri-Rud; while at the same time there are grounds for supposing that the three principal names of cities in Aria are really but different titles for one and the same town. Different modifications of the same name occur in different authors; thus in Arrian (Arr. Anab. 3.25), Artacoana (Ἀρτακόανα); in Strab. xi. p.516, Ἀρτακάνα; in Ptol.6.5. 4, Ἀρτακάνα, or Ἀρτικάυδνα, placed by him in Parthia,--where also Amm. Marc., 23.6, places Artacana; in Isid. Char. Ἀρτικάναν; and in Plin. Nat. 6.23. 25, Articabene. All these are names of the chief town, which was situated on the river Arius. Strabo (xi. p.516) mentions also Alexandreia Ariana (Ἀλεξάνδρεια ἐν Ἀρίοις), Pliny (6.17. 23) Alexandria Arion (i. e. Ἀρείων), said to have been built by Alexander on the banks of the same river. Now, according to a memorial verse still current among the people of Herát, that town is believed to unite the claims of the ancient capital built by Alexander, or more probably repaired by him,--for he was but a short time in Aria. (Mohun Lall. Journ. As. Soc. Beng. Jan. 1834.) Again, the distance from the Caspian Gates to Alexandreia favours its identification with Herát. Artacoana (proved by M. Court to be a word of Persian origin,--Arde koun) was, if not the same place, at no great distance from it. It has been supposed by M. Barbié de Bocage to have occupied the site of Fushing, a town on the Heri river, one stage from Herát, and by M. Court to have been at Obeh, ten farsakhs from Herát. Ptolemy placed it on the Arian lake, and D'Anville at Farrah; but both of these spots are beyond the limits of the small province of Aria. Iteeren has considered Artacoana and Alexandreia as identical. On the Persian cuneiform inse. Hariva represents the Greek Ἀρία. (Rawl. Journ. As. Soc. xi. pt. 1.) Many ancient cities received new names from their Macedonian conquerors. (Wilson, Ariana, pp. 150--153; Barbié de Bocage, Historiens d'Alexandre, App. p. 193; M. Jacquet, Journ. Asiatique, Oct. 1832; Heeren, Researches, vol. i.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.23
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.17
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 3.25
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