History of Kabul

The history of Kabul stretches back across several centuries.

Horsemen assembled outside the city walls at Kabul

Pre Islamic Period

The actual origins of Kabul; who and when built it is unknown.[1] In the Hindu book Rigveda, composed between 1700–1100 BCE, Kabul is referred to as Kubha.[1] The book calls it an "ideal city" and is full of poems in praise of the city.[2] The area in which the city sits was ruled by Medes though much information is not available about it.[3] In the 6th century BCE, the city fell to the Achaemenid Empire.[4] During that period, Kabul became a centre of learning for Zoroastrianism which was followed by Buddhism and Hinduism.[5] When Alexander annexed the Achaemenid Empire, the city came under his control. However whether he visited the region or not is unknown.[6] After his death, his empire was seized by his general Seleucus. In 305 BCE, he extended his empire till the Indus river and here he had a conflict with the Mauryan empire. He went for a peace treaty and the region south of the Hindu Kush Mountains, which included present day Afghanistan and Kabul went into Mauryan control.[7]

Under the Mauryan Dynasty, trade flourished because of uniform weights and measures. Irrigation facilities for public were developed leading to an increased harvest of crops. People were also employed as artisans, jewelers, carpenters.[8] After the collapse of the Mauryan empire, the Greco-Bactrians conquered their territory, which meant that Kabul went under Greco-Bactrian rule. Buddhism was greatly patronized by the rulers and majority of people of the city were adherents of the religion.[9] In around 45 CE, the Greco-Bactrians were defeated by the Kushans and the city came to their control.[10]

See also


  1. 1 2 Adamec, p.231
  2. "Kabul: City of lost glories". BBC. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  3. Graciana del Castillo. Guilty Party: The International Community in Afghanistan. Xlibris Corporation. p. 28. ISBN 9781493185702.
  4. Hafizullah Emadi. Culture and Customs of Afghanistan. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 26. ISBN 9780313330896.
  5. Peter Marsden. The Taliban: War, Religion and the New Order in Afghanistan. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 12. ISBN 9781856495226.
  6. Trudy Ring. International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781884964046.
  7. Meredith L. Runion. The History of Afghanistan. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 41. ISBN 9780313337987.
  8. Romano, p.12
  9. John Snelling (31 August 2011). The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice. Random House. ISBN 9781446489581.
  10. Louis Dupree. Afghanistan. Princeton University Press. p. 299. ISBN 9781400858910.


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