from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to an ancient Iranian people whose homeland was in the area around Samarqand and who had established settlements throughout Chinese Turkistan before the advent of Islam.
  • n. A member of this people.
  • n. The extinct Middle Iranian language of this people, known chiefly from texts and inscriptions dating from the second to the ninth centuries A.D.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or relating to Sogdiana
  • proper n. An extinct Middle Iranian language spoken around Sogdiana.
  • n. A native of Sogdiana


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin Sogdiānus, from Greek Sogdoi, Sogdians, from Old Persian Sug(u)da-.


  • The first and most heavily fortified was a stronghold known as the Sogdian Rock on top of a mountain hundreds of feet high surrounded on all sides by precipitous cliffs.

    Alexander the Great

  • With the troops under his own command he marched against the fortress called the Sogdian Rock, seated on an isolated hill, so precipitous as to be deemed inaccessible, and so well supplied with provisions as to defy a blockade.

    A Smaller history of Greece From the earliest times to the Roman conquest

  • Some, including Avestan, the language of the Zoroastrians and their sacred religious texts, and Sogdian, which gained wide use as a lingua franca among merchants and traders along the ancient Silk Route, are extinct.

    The English Is Coming!

  • He speculates that communities of Sogdian traders might have adapted rituals and costumes to caravan life.

    A Mysterious Stranger in China

  • By this point the Sogdian leader and his officers had fled, so the Macedonian captain left most of his troops encircling the area and entered the town with only a handful of men.

    Alexander the Great

  • This immoderate love took the form of dragging her through the steppes and over mountains with him on his raids, whereas most Sogdian commanders would have left their wives at home.

    Alexander the Great

  • Once again he was no closer to a solution of the Sogdian situation than he had been the previous autumn.

    Alexander the Great

  • The Sogdian lord ambushed them outside the city and slew almost everyone, including Aristonicus.

    Alexander the Great

  • Among the captives from the Sogdian Rock was the family of Oxyartes, a Bactrian nobleman who had fought against Alexander.

    Alexander the Great

  • He had chosen a strategic retreat across the Oxus River into Sogdiana accompanied by Spitamenes, a Sogdian lord who had served the Persians for years.

    Alexander the Great


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  • historical note in comment on picul and on Turco-Sogdian. Also, following:

    "The eight Sogdian-language letters found by Stein are largely intact. ... the workmen showed him what they had discovered: some colored silks, a wooden case, Chinese documents dating to the early first century CE, a piece of silk with Kharoshthi script on it from before 400 CE, and 'one small roll after another of neatly folded paper containing what was manifestly some Western writing.' The script resembled Aramaic ... Only later was the unfamiliar script identified as Sogdian...."
    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 116-117

    "Named one of the top ten archaeological discoveries of 2001, the tomb of An Jia is the only tomb of a Sogdian that had not been previously disturbed when archaeologists uncovered it. ... An Jia, as his epitaph reports, was descended from a Sogdian family from Bukhara (in modern Uzbekistan) who had migrated to Liangzhou, what is now Wuwei ... An Jia was born in 537 to a Sogdian father and probably a Chinese mother from a local Wuwei family. ..."
    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 143-144

    December 30, 2016