CHAARENE (Gk. Khaarēnḗ), in Achaemenid times one of the easternmost Iranian provinces and the one closest to India (Strabo, 15.2.11). It must have been part of Ariana (see aria 2). Arachosia and the mountain ranges of eastern Afghanistan separated it from Aria (not Ariana, as in Strabo, 15.2.11). It may thus have been located in what is now the Pakistani province of Baluchistan (q.v. for map), near modern Quetta, Sibi, or Loralai. In the summer of 325 b.c. Alexander the Great sent Craterus with parts of the army from the river Hydaspes to Carmania via Arachosia and Drangiana (Strabo, 15.2.5; Arrian, Anabasis 6.17.3); they crossed Chaarene by the “quickest route,” subduing on the way all the peoples who resisted (Strabo, 15.2.11). As nothing further is known about the route taken by Craterus, it is not possible to pinpoint the location of Chaarene. In later times the province was subject to the Parthians (Strabo, 15.2.11).
Chaarene should not be confused with Choarene, the district around the Parthian town of Choara (q.v.). The name has no obvious etymology.
For the Classical authors any current edition (Teubner, Oxford, Loeb, etc.) may be consulted. [W.] Tomaschek, “Chaarene,” in Pauly-Wissowa III/2, 1899, cols. 2015-16.
Originally Published: December 15, 1991
Last Updated: October 13, 2011
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Vol. V, Fasc. 4, p. 339