(811 words)

1. Historical overview

The ancient city of Balkh was one of the most important centers of the eastern Islamic world. Situated in a region noted for orchards, horse-breeding, and minerals, and located on the main international trade routes to China and India, it was a crossroads for Persians, Indians, Arabs, and Chinese, and throughout its history attracted conquerors and migrants, Jews among them.

According to the Arab chronicler al-Maqrizī (d. 1442), Jews first settled in Balkh during the reign of the Assyr…

Cite this page
Ben Zion Yehoshua-Raz, “Balkh”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 15 January 2019
First published online: 2010

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