Herat', capital of the most westerly of the three divisions of Afghanistan, stands on the Hari-Rud, 2500 feet above sea-level, and 390 miles W. of Kabul, in 34° 50' N. lat., 62° 30' E. long. Situated near the boundaries of Afghanistan, Persia, and Russian Turkestan, Herat is one of the principal marts of Central Asia, and has manufactures in wool and leather. The vicinity, naturally fertile, is rendered much more so by irrigation. Long the royal seat of the descendants of Timur, Herat is fortified by a ditch and wall, and is commanded on its north side by a strong citadel built about 1837 under British direction. In modern times the place has acquired European importance, being, towards Persia and Russia, the key of Afghanistan, and so of western India. In 1856 the Shah captured Herat; but he was within a few months constrained to relinquish his prey by a British expedition. Since Russia, after having annexed Merv (1884), pushed her frontiers to within 40 miles of the city, Herat is the pivot of the Central Asian question. Indigo, dried fruits, dyes, asafœtida, rice, wool, carpets, raw hides, silk, and leather wares are the chief items of export, whilst chintzes, cloth, sugar, ironwares, and European arms are imported-recently from Russia. The town, once famous for its splendid buildings, is to-day a heap of ruins, amid which the citadel, the Charsu, the Tuma Musjid, and parts of the Musallah are prominent as remnants of a bygone glory. The population, chiefly Persians, Tajiks, and Chihar Aimaks- Afghans constitute only the garrison-has fluctuated within the century from 100,000 to 10,000; the average pop. now being about 40,000. See Malleson's Herat (1880), and Yate's Northern Afghanistan (1888).