Turan (Sasanian province)

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Map of the southeastern provinces of the Sasanian Empire.

Turgistan (also spelled Turan) was a province of the Sasanian Empire located in present-day Pakistan.[1] The province was mainly populated by Indians,[2] and bordered Paradan in the west, Hind in the east, Sakastan in the north, and Makuran in the south.[3] The main city and bastion of the province was Bauterna (Khuzdar/Quzdar).[2] The province was originally a kingdom, before submitting to the first Sasanian monarch Ardashir I (r. 224–242).[4] It was governed by the Sakanshah, the first notable one being Ardashir I's grandson, Narseh.[5][6] The province is mentioned in Shapur I's inscription at the Ka'ba-ye Zartosht.[7]

The 19th-century historian Wilhelm Tomaschek suggested that the name of Turan possibly derived from the Iranian word tura(n), meaning "hostile, non-Iranian land".[4] The name was also used in the Iranian national epic Shahnameh ("The Book of Kings") to denote the lands above Khorasan and the Oxus River, later viewed as the land of the Turks and other non-Iranians.[4]


  1. ^ Brunner 1983, pp. 748–750, 775.
  2. ^ a b Brunner 1983, p. 776.
  3. ^ Brunner 1983, pp. 748–749.
  4. ^ a b c Bosworth 2011.
  5. ^ Brunner 1983, p. 775.
  6. ^ Weber 2016.
  7. ^ Gardner 2014, p. 57.


  • Bosworth, C. E. (2011). "Ṭurān". Encyclopaedia Iranica.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Brunner, Christopher (1983). "Geographical and Administrative divisions: Settlements and Economy". The Cambridge History of Iran: The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods (2). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 747–778. ISBN 978-0-521-24693-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Gardner, Iain (2014). Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings: Studies on the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex. BRILL. pp. 1–332. ISBN 9789004282629.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Sauer, Eberhard (2017). Sasanian Persia: Between Rome and the Steppes of Eurasia. London and New York: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 1–336. ISBN 9781474401029.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)