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Is it accurate to describe Charles Marvin as a Russophobe? I realize he described himself as "both a Russophile and Russophobe" (intro by Louis Dupree to his book "The Russian Advance Towards India", but in the book itself it appears he is an almost credulous believer in Russian good intentions. Kd5mdk 06:04, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
- The present inhabitants of the oasis are Turkomans of the Tekke tribe.
"Some say...: "Some say that Merv is the origin of Hindu belief in Mount Meru, which Hinduism declares to be the center of the world. Others suggest, however, that Mount Meru is another name for Mount Kailas in Tibet." This is babble unless we can be told who said... and when they said it... and even why this is relevant to Merv at all. Is there actually anything more than a very general confluence of phonemes in this? --Wetman 15:55, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Zend-Avesta vs Avesta
I just ran across the sentence "Merv is mentioned with 'Bakhdi' (Balkh) in the geography of the Zend-Avesta, which probably dates from the 7th century BCE though traditionally given extravagantly earlier dates."
I'm not sure what exactly that means: Is the reference in the Avesta or in the Zend? (the commentaries on the Avesta).
The texts of the Avesta is significantly older than its commentaries, but the commentaries linguistically date to our side of the BCE/CE line.
I hope thats an acceptable solution (unless of course, the mention isn't in the commentaries but in the Avesta proper). -- Fullstop 09:48, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Largest city in the world?
I've removed the following reference from the main article space:
In the twelfth century Merv was briefly the largest city in the world .
- Yes but....Ive put it back in in a weakened form. They are of course guesstimates (based on figures for food imports, etc, I believe) but historical population estimates almost by definition lack any solid numbers, so a lesser standard of proof can be accepted than for current figures. They are at any rate the best we have and if the source is respectable academically as this seems to be I see no reason to omit it. At the very least it conveys Merv's importance at that time. Jameswilson 22:48, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Article Brahui people mentions that Dravidian people Brahui's live in this area but doesnt however mentions numbers. Does anybody know about Brahui presence in this area today? Luka Jačov 23:07, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Proposal for Disambiguation page and subsequent renaming of this article
MERV is also a unit used for filter performance —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mkbnett (talk • contribs) 23:00, 9 March 2007 (UTC). Yes brauhi people live in balochistan province.They are actually balochs and we have seen the existence of baloch in merv. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 11:01, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm a new Wikipedia member but I happen to know a lot about Merv -- I'm a grad student and I've just written a small overview paper on the archaeology which has been done at Merv. I was wondering if you would be receptive to a major edit/embellishment on most of the sections, especially the "Remains" section. I guarantee it will be well-sourced and from a neutral point of view; most of my sources were Preliminary Reports by the International Merv Project and the Ancient Merv Project. If it's bad do not hesitate to revert to a previous version. I have already written the new version, I am waiting for some feedback before I post it. Xaphoo 03:06, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I went ahead and changed it. I hope it's ok. Xaphoo 19:31, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Did Ban Chao ever reach Merv?
User:22.214.171.124 added a claim previously in this article that the Chinese general Ban Chao reached Merv in 97 CE. Today he or she repeated this claim on the Ban Chao page and gave the same reference - a link to a tourist website:  which makes the romantic claim that: "Accompanied by horsemen arrayed in bright red leather,he himself went as far west as Merv and made contacts with Parthia,Babylonia and Syria." There is no reference or even date for this amazing account given on the website. There is absolutely no such reference in any of the Chinese historical texts, or any other ancient source. This appears to be pure fantasy. All that we really know about these contacts with the West is included in the 'Chapter on the Western Regions' in the Hou Hanshu which says:
- "In the ninth Yongyuan year [97 CE], during the reign of Emperor He, the Protector General Ban Chao sent Gan Ying to Da Qin [the Roman Empire]. He reached Tiaozhi [Characene and Susiana] next to a large sea [the Persian Gulf]. He wanted to cross it, but the sailors of the western frontier of Anxi [Parthia] said to him: "The ocean is huge. Those making the round trip can do it in three months if the winds are favourable. However, if you encounter winds that delay you, it can take two years. That is why all the men who go by sea take stores for three years. The vast ocean urges men to think of their country, and get homesick, and some of them die." When [Gan] Ying heard this, he discontinued (his trip)."
You can check this out in my draft translation at:  or wait until my new book - a much revised and enlarged version - which is due to be published soon: Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An annotated translation of the Chronicle on the ‘Western Regions’ from the Hou Hanshu. Booksurge. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1. It contains detailed discussions of the movements of Ban Chao as well as Gan Ying. In any case, there is no evidence whatsoever that Ban Chao ever got farther than the Tarim Basin except for one brief reference in his bibliography that he once went as far (south) as the "Hanging Passages," which were probably in northern Hunza. Sincerely, John Hill (talk) 04:10, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
"Largest city in the world"
Based on modern estimates, Merv was not the largest city in the world at any point in the 12th century; nor was it really that close. To my knowledge, though perhaps there was another, even larger, city that I don't know about, Constantinople consistently held that title. Back in the 80's, it was assumed that the 11th and 12th centuries were periods of economic and demographic decline across the board in the Byzantine empire, including Constantinople, but since the 90's archaeological and literary evidence has consistently shown that there was, in fact, widespread economic and population *growth* in that period. Recent estimates of Constantinople's 12th century population by historians like Paul Magdalino and Angeliki Laiou give a minimum estimate of 300,000, but likely closer to 400,000, for the mid-late 12th century. Considering this, I'm going to remove the portions of the article that claim Merv was the largest city in the world.