Bactria, Or Bactriana, an ancient country of Asia, bounded S. and S. E. by the Paropami-sus (Hindoo Koosh) and N. by the Oxus, and corresponding to the modern territories of S. Bokhara, Balkh, and Khoondooz. It was inhabited by a warlike people, akin to the Medes and Persians, and generally regarded as belonging to the original stock of the Aryan or Indo-European races. Zend was the language of the country. Bactra, or Zaria'spe, its capital, which occupied the site of the modern Balkh, was the headquarters of the Magi and a centre for the ancient Persian worship. Bactria was in very early times a powerful kingdom, but became a province of Persia about the time of Cyrus. It was conquered by Alexander, who left a colony of 14,000
Greeks there, and after his death it formed a part of the dominions of the Seleucidce. About 255 B. C. its governor, Diodotus or Theodotus, revolted, and it was an independent Greek kingdom, with some dependencies of affiliated realms toward India, from that tim till about 126 B. C., when it was conquered by the Parthians. It was overrun by Genghi Khan and Tamerlane in the 13th and 14th centuries. A good deal of light was thrown upon the history of Bactria by the discover in 1824 by Col. Tod of a large number of am cient coins in the topes or burial places of Af-ghanistan. The names of kings and inscrip tions in Greek or Zend are found on these which have been closely studied by Prinsep H. H. Wilson, Lassen, and other scholars They are in the London and Paris museums.