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Dagestan Republic: History Of Derbent
October 5, 2014 11:28


The first settlements appeared on the place of the modern Derbent in the Early Bronze Age - at the end of IV millennium BC. Then this place was called the “Caspian Gate”. The first record of the existence of the Caspian Gate refers to VI century BC, it can be found in the records of the famous Greek geographer Hecataeus of Miletus. The city known as Cholas from ancient and medieval sources was built on the place of the man site in about II century BC.

The city was a part of Caucasian Albania until IV century AD. It was converted to Christianity in the year 313, and became dependent on Sasanian Iran in IV century. The Derbent fortress, which is now surrounded by the city, was founded in 438 by the Persian Sassanid dynasty. In V-VI centuries Derbent became a real stone stronghold with a port covering the narrow passage between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus  Mountains. Any expansion of the neighboring countries began with attempts to conquer this city.

In VII century Derbent was conquered by the Turks and the Khazars, and then by the Arabs. In 735 it became a military and administrative centre of the Arab Caliphate in Dagestan, the largest shopping centre in the Caspian Sea, as well as a hostpot of Islam in Dagestan. After the collapse of the Arab Caliphate the Derbent Emirate was formed in around X century.

The emir and the elite of Derbent were of Arab descent and Muslim faith, the Arabic language and culture was dominating in the emirate. In 1239 the emirate became a part of the Golden Horde. In 1387, after the conquest of the territory of Azerbaijan by Timur, the Derbent shirvanshah Ibrahim I Derbendi sent a lot of gifts to Timur and expressed his complete obedience - thus the city was saved from ruining.

In 1606 Derbent was annexed to Persia. According to the St Petersburg agreement of 1723, recording the outcome of the I Persian campaign of the troops of Peter I, Derbent went to Russia. But according to Ganja peace treaty of 1735, the city became Persian once again. In 1747 the Derbent Khanate was formed in Southern Dagestan with its centre in Derbent. According to the Gyulistan peace treaty of 1813, the lands of the Derbent Khanate were finally annexed to Russia. 

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Derbent Naryn-Kala Dagestan Republic North Caucasus  

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