Bukhara, one of the most ancient cities of Central Asia, has a 2500-year-old history. Bumichkat “New Castle”, Al Madina as-sufriyya “Copper City”, Madinat at-tujjor “City of Traders”, Foxira “Honorable City” are some the names given to this unique city.
History has preserved many legends and stories about the foundation of the city. According to the Persian epic Shahnama (“The Book of Kings” epic poem written by Persian poet Ferdowsi between 977-1010), the hero Siyavush (prince from the Pishdadian Dynasty) founded the city.
Prince Siyavush accused by his wicked stepmother of reducing her, was forced to undergo a trial by fire but emerged from the flames unscathed and crossed the river Amu Darya (Greeks named it Oxus and Arabs Sayxun) in search of new lands and fortune. He married the princess Farangis, daughter of King Afrosiab, and her dowry included the vassal state of Bukhara.
The information of political history of Bukhara till Islam was limited with VII-VIII centuries. At the beginning of VIII century the capital of Bukhar Khudats (“The Lord of Bukhara” Sogdian dynasty, which ruled Bukhara till the end of IX century) Bukhara was conquered by Arabs.
When Arab Caliphate weakened in Movarounnakhr (land beyond the River—meant Amu Darya River), to the power came Samanids Dynasty (also known as the Samanian Empire or Samanid Dynasty, 875-999). Bukhara became the capital of the Samanid state in the IX century.
In 999 the city was conquered by the Karakhanid Turks and in 1220 by Mongols. In 1370 Bukhara became one of the trade and cultural centre of Amir Timur (known in the West as Tamerlane) and Timurid dynasty.
Bukhara’s revival came in the 16th century when it became the Shaybanid capital. Abdulla Khan united the Uzbek clans to resist the Shi’ite Safavids (Bukhara’s rulers were Sunni), and artisans captured from the Safavid city of Herat (now in western Afghanistan) were instructed to rebuild Bukhara.
Known as Bukhoro-I Sharif “Noble Bukhara” and “Pillar of Islam” the city was also the capital Bukhara Emirate during the reign of the Mangit dynasty (Uzbeks had 92 tribes and Mangits were one of them). To this city not only students from Central Asia but also from all over the Muslim world came to seek the knowledge.
In 1920 Bukhara Emirate came to the end and the Bukhara People’s Soviet Republic was born. According to border division in Central Asia in 1920s Bukhara People’s Soviet Republic came to the end and most part of Bukhara became part of newly formed Uzbekistan Soviet Socialist Republic. Bukhara was the first capital of Uzbekistan Soviet Socialist Republic.