Merv, an oasis of Turkestan, lying between Bokhara and the north-eastern corner of Persia, 512 miles by rail (18S6) from the Caspian and 118 from the Oxus. The oasis consists of a district 60 miles long by 40 broad, watered by the river Murghab, and is inhabited by from 150,000 to 200,000 Tekke Turkomans. There is an old citadel, and adjoining it a new Russian fort garrisoned by nearly 3000 men; on the opposite bank of the Murghab a new Russian town is growing up. The oasis, in which Alexander the Great built a town, was held successively by the Parthians and the Arabs, who made Merv capital of Khorassan. It was the seat of a Nestorian archbishop in the 5th century, and of a Greek archbishop in the 14th. Under the Seljuk Turks Merv enjoyed its greatest splendour, and it decayed after being sacked by the Mongols in 1221. In 1856 the Turkomans made themselves masters of the oasis ; but they in turn submitted to the Russians in 1883. Merv occupies an important strategic position at the intersection of the routes Bokhara-Meshhed and Khiva-Herat. See works by Marvin (1880), O'Donovan (1882), and Lansdell (1883-85).