CHOARA and CHOARENE (Latin forms of Gk. Khóara, Khoarēnḗ, possibly from Ir. *huṷăra- or *xṷăra-, for which numerous etymologies might be constructed). Choara was a town or village in Parthia mentioned by Ptolemy (6.5.3) and called “the most attractive place of Parthia” by Pliny (Natural History 6.44). It was appar­ently the center of the district of Choarene, mentioned by both Ptolemy (6.5.1) and Isidore of Charax (Parthian Stations 8). It is identical with the Khōrēnḗ referred to by Strabo (11.9.1) but must not be confused with Chaarene.

According to Isidore, Choarene extended 19 schoeni (ca. 100 km) east of the Caspian Gates along the route from Rhaga(i)/Ray to Hyrcania/Gorgān via Comisene (perhaps in the vicinity of modern Semnān); the Greek city of Apameia was located there (Isidore, Parthian Stations 8; Strabo, 11.9.1, 11.13.6). The name is probably to be connected with Ḵowār, a region east of Ray mentioned by Arab geographers (Schwarz, Iran VI, pp. 783-85), and the modern district of Ḵāvar, with its principal center at Arādān, halfway between Ray and Semnān. It had been part of Media (Strabo, 11.9.1) and was taken by the first Arsacids at the beginning of the 2nd century b.c.e.



[W.] Tomaschek, “Choara,” in Pauly-Wissowa, III/2, cols. 2353-54.

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

Originally Published: December 15, 1991

Last Updated: October 18, 2011

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Fasc. V, Vol. 5, pp. 495-496