Umm-al-belad, The Mother of Cities......the city of Balkh, near modern Mazar-e Sharif, is known as "the mother of cities" (Umm al Bilad) .....The city, which is identical with the ancient Bactra or Zainaspa, is now for the most part a mass of ruins, situated on the right bank of the Balkh river...it might just possibly have two names, one from Persian and one from Sanskrit......Anyway, it certainly has a fascinating history......
Umm al-Bilad (Mother of Cities - Balkh).....Balkh, among the oldest cities of Afghanistan. See Umm Al-Belaad.
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"Some scholars believe that a number of mythological rulers of ancient Iran, especially some kings of Kavi Dynasty (Kayanian in Persian) were historically local rulers of an area centered around Balkh. .....Kavi (from a root kū "to cry out") is a Sanskrit term for thinker, intelligent man, man of understanding, leader; a wise man, sage, seer, prophet; a singer, bard, poet. Also related root is Avestan kavi (or kauui) "king" and also "poet-sacrificer" or "poet-priest". Some applications: the primeval poet-seers (rishis) who composed the mantras (Vedas)....... an epithet of various gods, including Varuna, Indra, the Ashvins, the Maruts, the Adityas, Soma, the Rbhus Pushan, the Hindu god of meeting..... collectively, the Kayanian kings as the heroes of the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, and of the Shahnameh, Iran's national epic.......In Zoroastrianism and Iranian mythology:-....Kavi, meaning "king", is the general title of the kings (chiefs) in Avesta. The Kavi entered Iranian mythology as Kayanian dynasty."......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umm_Al-Belaad
"Umm Al-Belaad is the Arabic name given by the native population of Afghanistan's Balkh province to the city of Balkh (Bactra). Umm Al-Belaad means Mother of All Cities. In Vedic literature, it is known as Bhakri, and it became Bactra as the area was Hellenized after the conquests of Alexander the Great. It was from then on the capital city of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom....Also, the city is the birthplace of Zoroaster, and many also believe that he is buried there. Its foundation is mythically ascribed to Keyumar and it was the rival of Ecbatana, Nineveh and Babylon. There is a long-standing tradition that an ancient shrine of Anahita was here, a temple so rich it invited plunder......For a long time, the city and country was the seat of the Zoroastrian religion, the founder of which, Zoroaster, died within the walls, according to the Persian poet Firdousi. Armenian sources state that the Parthian Arsac established his capital here. Some scholars believe that a number of mythological rulers of ancient Iran, especially some kings of Kavi Dynasty (Kayanian in Persian) were historically local rulers of an area centered around Balkh. From the Memoirs of Xuanzang, we learn that, at the time of his visit in the 7th century, there were in the city at least a hundred Buddhist monasteries, with 30,000 monks, and that there was a large number of stupas, and other religious monuments. The most remarkable was the Nava Vihara, which possessed a very grand statue of Buddha. The temple was led by Kashmiri Brahmins called Pramukh (who, through the Arabized form of the name, Barmak, came to be known as the Barmakids). Shortly before the Arabic conquest, the monastery became a Zoroastrian fire-temple. A curious notice of this building is found in the writings of Arabian geographer Ibn Hawqal, an Arabian traveler of the 10th century, who describes Balkh as built of clay, with ramparts and six gates, and extending half a parasang. He also mentions a castle and a mosque......The renowned philosopher and theologian Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (Rumi) was born here."....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umm_Al-Belaad
" In the famous fire-temple of Balkh in Afghanistan ( Vedic name Bhakri) later on converted to Buddhist temple and given the name of Nava Vihara (Navbahar) in Persian histories, the Kashmiri Brahmins called Pramukh kept the candles burning.....Navbahar (also known as Nava Vihara) was a Buddhist stupa or monastery near the ancient city of Balkh in northern Afghanistan. The temple may have been an old Zoroastrian fire-temple, or it may have been converted to a Zoroastrian temple...Navbahar, the main monastery at Balkh became the center of higher Buddhist study for all of Central Asia. The Tokharian monk Ghoshaka was one of the compilers of the Vaibhashaka (a sub-division of the Sarvastivada School of Hinayana) commentaries on abhidharma and established the Western Vaibhashika (Balhika) School. Navbahar emphasized the study of primarily of the Vaibhashika (Tibetan: bye-brag smra-ba) abhidharma, admitting only monks who had already composed texts of the topic. Navbahar also housed a tooth relic of the Buddha, making it one of the main centers of Buddhist pilgrimage along the Silk Route from China to India.".....http://www.kashmir-information.com/Miscellaneous/sages.html
"Balkh is now a small town in the Province of Balkh, Afghanistan, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital. Mazar-i- Sharif, and some 46 miles (74 km) south of the Amu Darya, the Oxus River of antiquity, which formerly flowed past Balkh. The ancient city, the oldest in Afghanistan, is associated with the Vedic name Bhakri, which as Bactra gave its name to Bactria, and was known as Zainaspa. Balkh is now for the most part a mass of ruins, situated some 12 km from the right bank of the Balkh River, at an elevation of about 1,200 ft (366 m).......The changing climate has led to desertification since antiquity, when the region was very fertile. The antiquity and greatness of the place are recognized by the native populations, who speak of it as the Mother of Cities and claim that Zoroaster preached at Balkh and is buried there. Its foundation is mythically ascribed to Kaiomurs, the Persian Romulus; and it is at least certain that, at a very early date, it was the rival of Ecbatana, Nineveh and Babylon.......http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/hinduism-forum/747829-fwd-balkh-mother-cities.html
"From the Memoirs of Hsuan Tsang, we learn that, at the time of his visit in the 7th century, there were in the city, or its vicinity, about a hundred Buddhist convents and that there was a large number of stupas, and other religious monuments. The most remarkable was the Nau Behar, (avci Bihara or New Convent), which possessed a very costly statue of Buddha. A curious notice of this building is found in the Arabian geographer Yaqtit Ibn-Haukal, an Arabian traveler of the 10th century, who describes Balkh as built of clay, with ramparts and six gates, and extending half a parasang. He also mentions a castle and a mosque......http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/hinduism-forum/747829-fwd-balkh-mother-cities.html
"At the time of the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century, however, Balkh had provided an outpost of resistance and a safe haven for the Persian emperor Yedzgird who fled there from the armies of Umar......http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/hinduism-forum/747829-fwd-balkh-mother-cities.html
"Ibn Sina ( " Avicenna " ), a Tajik born in Balkh in 980 CE, was the most celebrated philosopher-scientist of his time. He is particularly known for his contributions in the field of Aristotelian philosophy and medicine. His works found their way to Toledo, Spain, where they were copied and translated and influenced the rise of Aristotelian philosophy in 12th-century Europe.".........http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/hinduism-forum/747829-fwd-balkh-mother-cities.html
"In 1220 Jenghiz Khan sacked Balkh, butchered its inhabitants and levelled all the buildings capable of defense — treatment to which it was again subjected in the 14th century by Timur. Notwithstanding this, however, Marco Polo could still, in the following century, describe it as " a noble city and a great. " .........http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/hinduism-forum/747829-fwd-balkh-mother-cities.html
"Kaiomurs......Kings 0f Persia, Teixeira says that Kayu- marras ( Kaiomurs) .....Kaiomurs was surnamed Paishdad, or the 'Just Judge,'.....Seventeen successive kings of the Medes and Persians are reckoned by the ... the same number of seventeen reigns from Kaiomurs to Darab II.....Kaiomurs became the first monarch of Persia. He is said to have been the son of Yessan-Ajum.....the History of Persia from Kaiomurs to the death of Alexander the Great.
"Balkh (bälkh), town, N Afghanistan, on a dried-up tributary of the Amu Darya River. One of the world's oldest cities, it is the legendary birthplace of the prophet Zoroaster. Because it was located on natural travel routes at a source of water, the town was important as early as the 3d millennium B.C., when the lapis lazuli trade to Mesopotamia began. Alexander the Great reputedly founded a Greek colony at the site c.328 B.C. The city later attained great wealth and importance as Bactra, capital of the independent kingdom of Bactria.".....http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Zainaspa
"Balkh.....also called Zainaspa.....( - Balḫ), also known as Bactra, was once a major world city but was destroyed entirely by the Mongols....Today it is a small town in the province of Balkh, northern Afghanistan, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some 74 km (46 miles) south of the Amu Darya, the Oxus River of antiquity....one of the major cities of Khorasan.....associated with the Vedic name Bhakri, which the Greeks later named Bactra, giving its name to Bactria.....
In Hindi, बल्ख has been used for "Bactria". ......Province of. Bactria, a Greek version of the Vedic name Bhakri. It was mostly known as the political centre and capital of Bactria or Takharistan....
Kayanian dynasty.....The Kayanian, also Kays or Kayanids or Kaianids or kiani, are a dynasty of Greater Iranian tradition and folklore. Considered collectively, the Kayanian kings are the heroes of the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, and of the Shahnameh, Iran's national epic......As an epithet of kings and the reason why the dynasty is so called, Middle- and New Persian "Kay(an)" is a continuation of Avestan kavi (or kauui) "king" and also "poet-sacrificer" or "poet-priest." The word is also etymologically related to the Avestan notion of kavaēm kharēno, the "divine royal glory" that the Kayanian kings were said to hold. The Kiani Crown is a physical manifestation of that belief......The earliest known foreshadowing of the major legends of the Kayanian kings appears in the Yashts of the Avesta, where the dynasts offer sacrifices to the gods in order to earn their support and to gain strength in the perpetual struggle against their enemies, the Anaryas (sometimes identified as the Turanians).....In Yasht 5, 9.25, 17.45-46, Haosravah, a Kayanian king later known as Kay Khosrow, together with Zoroaster and Jamasp (a premier of Zoroaster's patron Vishtaspa, another Kayanian king) worship in Airyanem Vaejah. The account tells that King Haosravah united the various Aryan tribes into one nation (Yasht 5.49, 9.21, 15.32, 17.41)..... the Denkard, book 7.1 of which is also a historiography of Kayanians. The best known work of the genre is however Firdowsi's Shahnameh "Book of Kings (Firdusi)", which - though drawing on earlier works - is entirely in verse.".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayanian
"There were disastrous global climate changes of 535-536 and the Plague of Justinian to contend with....The extreme weather events of 535–536 were the most severe and protracted short-term episodes of cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2,000 years. The event is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics, or debris from space impacting the Earth. Its effects were widespread, causing unseasonal weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide.....The Plague of Justinian (AD 541–542) was a pandemic..... In the views of some 6th-century Western historians, the plague epidemic was nearly worldwide in scope, striking central and south Asia; North Africa and Arabia; and Europe all the way to Denmark and Ireland. Genetic studies point to China as having been the primary source of the contagion".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayanian
"Another story had it that Bahman was identical with Kureš (Cyrus), the Persian, residing at Balḵ at the time....Homāy. According to Ṭabari, Bahman’s mother was, allegedly, Asturyā, that is, Esther.....According to Ḥamza (pp. 37-38; tr., p. 26), “Homā” was just a title (laqab). She lived in Balḵ, sent an army against Rum, and brought back numerous artisans, among them the architects who built three palaces at Eṣṭaḵr (Hazārsotūn), which turned in three directions: toward Eṣṭaḵr, Dārābjerd, and the road to Khorasan....According to Masʿudi (sec. 543), “Balḵ” lost its status of capital when Ḥomāya, daughter of Bahman, became queen and moved to ʿErāq to the area of Madāʾen. the Kor river, alternatively, the river of Balḵ.....the Kayanians, who reigned “there where lake Kąsaoiia is formed by the river Helmand, there where the mountain Ušiδā is located” (Yašt 19.65-72),....."....https://www.iranica.com/articles/kayanian-x
John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….June 2013