Drangiana or Zarangiana (Greek: Δραγγιανή, also attested in Old Persian as Zranka) was a historical region of the Achaemenid Empire. This region comprises territory around lake Hâmûn, wetlands in endorheic Sīstān basin on the Irano-Afghan-Pakistan border, and its primary watershed Helmand river in nowadays southwestern Afghanistan and the "Nok Kondi" ("blunt point") of western Pakistan.
In ancient times it was inhabited by an Iranian tribe which ancient Greeks were referring to as Sarangians or Drangians. The Drangians were first subdued by another Iranian people, the Medes, and later, by Cyrus the Great. According to Herodotus, during the reign of Darius I, the Drangians were placed in the same district as the Utians, Thamanaeans, Mycians, Drangians, and those deported to the Persian Gulf. In 330 BC, the region was conquered by Alexander the Great.
- ^ Schmitt, Rüdiger (15 December 1995). "DRANGIANA or Zarangiana; territory around Lake Hāmūn and the Helmand river in modern Sīstān". Encyclopædia Iranica. "The name of the country and its inhabitants is first attested as Old Persian z-r-k (i.e., Zranka)in the great Bīsotūn (q.v. iii) inscription of Darius I (q.v.; col. I l. 16), apparently the original name. This form is reflected in the Elamite (Sir-ra-an-qa and variants), Babylonian (Za-ra-an-ga), and Egyptian (srng or srnḳ) versions of the Achaemenid royal inscriptions, as well as in Greek Zarángai, Zarangaîoi, Zarangianḗ (Arrian; Isidore of Charax), and Sarángai (Herodotus) and in Latin Zarangae (Pliny). Instead of this original form, characterized by non-Persian z (perhaps from proto-IE. palatal *γ or *γh), in some Greek sources (chiefly those dependent upon the historians of Alexander the Great, q.v.) the perhaps hypercorrect Persianized variant (cf. Belardi,p. 183) with initial d-, *Dranka (or even *Dranga?), reflected in Greek Drángai, Drangḗ, Drangēnḗ, Drangi(a)nḗ (Ctesias; Polybius; Strabo; Diodorus; Ptolemy; Arrian; Stephanus Byzantius) and Latin Drangae, Drangiana, Drangiani (Curtius Rufus; Pliny; Ammianus Marcellinus; Justin) or Drancaeus (Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 6.106, 6.507) occurs."