Daghestm, a province of Russia, comprising most of the E. slope of the Caucasus toward the Caspian sea, from the Sulak or Koisu river on the north to Mount Bazardynsi on the south, between lat. 41° and 43° 30' N. and lon. 45° 30' and 48° 30' E.; area, about 11,000 sq. m.; pop. in 1867,449,096. Three principal branches of the Caucasus advance into Daghestan, terminating respectively about lat. 41°, 42°, and 43°. The second of these divides the country into northern and southern Daghestan, and forms the famous Derbent pass. Parts of the country are very mountainous, with deep valleys, numerous lakes, streams, and glaciers. The highest peaks rise to an elevation of about 14,000 ft. The rivers are for the greater part mountain torrents flowing into the Caspian, whose shores have few harbors. The mountains of original formation are extremely rugged, and the climate in the higher regions severe; the narrow valleys are fertile, producing grains, rice, millet, saffron, fruit, nuts, wine, and fine timber; the iron, lead, and sulphur mines are only developed to supply the necessities of war, and the weapons manufactured here are justly celebrated. Cattle are raised in large numbers, as well as excellent horses, asses, camels, and a species of fat-tailed sheep.

Western Daghestan is the chief abode of the powerful tribe of the Lesghians (the Albani of antiquity), chiefly Mohammedans of the Sufi sect. The Lesghians are still virtually independent of Russia, to which their country nominally belongs. Further north in the hilly region live Tartar tribes of Mongol descent, all of them Mohammedans, and more or less nomadic, living principally by the raising of cattle and horses. Most of them are peaceable Russian subjects. A few towns of some commercial importance, among them Derbent, the capital, and Tarku, are situated along the Caspian coast, which is flat, marshy, or sandy, and in many portions not well watered. The great rising against Russia in 1823 commenced in Daghestan. (See Caucasus.) - The name Daghestan is also used in a wider sense, in which it embraces the adjoining territories W. to the vicinity of the Kasbek and S. to the peninsula of Apsheron.