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Principality of Farghana

Principality of Farghana
Autonomous principality, at times client of the Umayyads and the Turgesh
before 712–819
Capital Akhsikath
Languages Sogdian
Government Monarchy
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Established before 712
 •  Samanid conquest 819

The Principality of Farghana (also spelled Ferghana, Fergana, and Fargana), was a local Iranian dynasty of Sogdian origin, which ruled the Farghana region from an unknown date to 819. The rulers of the region were known by their titles of “ikhshid” and “dehqan”. The capital of the principality was Akhsikath.


The principality of Farghana is first mentioned in 712, when it, along with the principality of Chach (known in Arabic sources as Shash), was called upon aid by the Sogdian ruler Gurak, whose kingdom was invaded by the Umayyad Arab general Qutayba ibn Muslim during the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana. Farghana, along with Khujand, was shortly raided after Qutayba's victory over Gurak. In 715, Qutayba completely subdued Farghana, and made it a vassal state of the Umayyad Caliphate.

During the reign of the Umayyad caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, the ikhshid of Farghana revolted against Umayyad authority, but was shortly defeated and killed. He was buried in Andijan. After the death of Qutayba, Ferghana, along with many other Iranian principalities, declared independence and allied with the Turkic Turgesh against the Arabs. In cities such as Panjikant and Pai, the Sogdians revolted; the most dangerous being the rebellion of 720-722 under Divashtich and Karzanj, who gained the support of the ikhshid of Ferghana, known as at-Tar (also spelled Alutar). At-tar promised to give them protection in case their rebellion turned into a failure. While the army of Karzanj was staying at Khujand, at-Tar betrayed him, and told the Umayyad general Sa'id ibn Amr al-Harashi where Karzanj and his army was stationing. Al-Harashi quickly marched towards Khujand, where he defeated the army of Karzanj, brutally massacring over 3,000 Sogdian inhabitants in the city.[1] He then marched towards Zarafshan, where he defeated and captured Divashtich, who was later executed. Sa'id thus managed to restore Umayyad control over Transoxiana, except Ferghana.[2][3]

In 723, a Umayyad army under Muslim ibn Sa'id al-Kilabi invaded Ferghana, and devastated the countryside. However, an army under the Turgesh khagan Suluk came to the rescue for their Ferghanian allies, and won a crushing victory over the Arabs in the so-called "Day of Thirst". In 726, Farghana became divided between two ikhshids, one ruling in the north and as a vassal of the Turgesh, while the other one in the south, whose principality was at times a vassal of the Umayyads. In 729, an ikhshid of Farghana aided the Turgesh during the Siege of Kamarja, and two years later the Turgesh was aided by Ferghana during the Battle of the Defile. In 739, a Turk named Arslan Tarkhan, conquered Ferghana. However, at the same time Ferghana was invaded by the Umayyad general Muhammad ibn Khalid Azdi.[4] Nevertheless, the ikhshids of Ferghana are still mentioned in sources. Ferghana was in 740 ravaged by another Umayyad general named Nasr ibn Sayyar. In 750, the Umayyad Caliphate fell, and was replaced by the Abbasid Caliphate. During the reign of the second Abbasid caliph al-Mansur, he was forced to send an army

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