ÖZGÄND (or Özkänd; Persian and Arabic: Uzkand), in the Middle Ages, a thriving city on the eastern edge of the Ferghana basin, and administrative center of that region in the Qarluq period. Özgänd lay on the “river of Özgänd” (now the Qara Ṣu), one of the tributaries of the Jaxartes; two arms of the river flowed through the suburbs of Özgänd. At times the whole of Transoxiana was ruled from here. After the dismemberment of the Qarluq Empire at the beginning of the 11th century the town belonged to the “western” Ilig-khans. In 1089/90 they repulsed the onslaught of the Seljuqs and thereby preserved the province’s independence. In 1141, Özgänd, along with the whole Ferghana basin, came under the sovereignty of the Qaraḵetai. They retained a small amount of territory around the city even under the Mongols: their authority in the area was confirmed by the Great Khan Möngke (1251-59). Thereafter the city declined in importance. In the Timurid and Shaibanid periods, Andijān became the capital of the Ferghana basin. Around 1470, the Uzbeks occupied the northern bank of the Jaxartes (Sir-Daryā) between Siḡnaq and Özgänd without meeting any resistance from their allies, the Timurids. The town then dwindled into insignificance. Together with the Ferghana basin, it came under Russian sovereignty in 1876 and became known as Uzgen.



Ebn Ḵordāḏbeh, Kitāb al-masālek wa’l-mamālek, ed. M. J. de Goeje, BGA, Leiden, 1889; 2nd ed., Leiden, 1967.

Ḥudūd al-ʿālam, tr.Vladimir Minorsky as The Regions of the World, 2nd ed., GMS, London, 1970, p. 72, no. 17; p. 116, no. 58 (see also p. 211, no. 17), p. 280, 355.

W. W. Barthold, Turkestan Down to the Mongol Invasion, 2nd ed., London, 1958, Index.

Idem, Zwölf vorlesungen über die geschichte der Türken Mittelasiens, Berlin, 1935, pp. 84, 190.

B. Spuler, Mittelasien in türkischer Zeit, Handbuch der Orientalistik I/V/5, Leiden, 1966, Index. Brockhaus-Efron, Èntsiklopedicheskiĭ Slovar', St. Petersburg, 1900.

(Bertold Spuler)

Originally Published: July 20, 2002

Last Updated: July 20, 2002