Historycal information of The Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan.
Excursion to the Caspian Sea from Aktau.
The first mentions of the Caspian Sea are found on ancient clay tablets (IX century BC), found during excavations of the capital of Assyria, the city of Nineveh. There it is called the "Great Eastern Sea". Several centuries later, information about the Caspian Sea was given in the works of geographers and writers of the ancient world. The author of "Land Description" - the "father of geography" Hecateus of Miletus (546-480 BC) described it as the Hyrcanian Sea. Herodotus in the 5th century BC first suggested that it was not associated with any sea, although many scientists of that time considered the Caspian to be the northern bay of the World Ocean, which, in their opinion, surrounded all the land known then. Aristotle (384-322 BC) was convinced that the Hyrcanian Sea was connected by underground currents with Pontus Euxine (Black Sea). Alexander the Great studied the connection of the Caspian with other seas during his campaigns. Back in 323 BC. he sent the navigator Patroclus to explore the shores of the Caspian Sea. Patroclus reached the Gulf of Kara-Bogaz-Gol and mistook it for the mouth of the river connecting the Caspian with the ocean. The famous geographer of antiquity Strabon, in his book "Geography", depicted the Caspian Sea elongated in parallel from west to east. Pliny the Elder (27-29), the author of the multivolume "Natural History", noted the peculiarity of the sea - to have many names, of which the most famous are the Caspian and Hyrkan.
The Caspian Sea – history.
Familiar with the works of ancient authors, Arab scholars expanded their knowledge of the Caspian Sea. In the writings of al-Khorezmi (IX century), al-Istakhri, al-Masudi (X century), Hamid al-Garnati (XII century), Yagut Hamavi, Zakariya al-Ghazvini and others there is information about coastal cities and countries flowing into sea rivers, islands, oil produced in Baku. The revival of trade relations significantly developed the European perceptions of the Middle East and Central Asia. In the Middle Ages, information about the Caspian Sea is found among Persian, Turkish, European travelers. For example, the famous traveler Marco Polo (XIII century) has a description of the Caspian. The "Catalan Card" (1378) of the sailor Abraham Krex was sent at one time to the French king Charles VI (Mad) and exhibited in the Louvre. During his trip to India, Afanasy Nikitin (15th century), who described this journey in his "Journey across the Three Seas", visited the Caspian along with merchants from Tver. A detailed, although not entirely correct, map of the Caspian Sea was compiled by the German scientist and traveler Adam Olearius (1674). In connection with the Caspian campaigns of Peter I, Russian hydrographers compiled detailed nautical charts. Since the beginning of the 18th century, studies of the Caspian Sea have acquired a systematic and comprehensive character.
During its thousand-year history, the Caspian Sea had about 70 names. Numerous peoples who inhabited its shores each named it in their own way. Thus, the ancient authors called the Caspian Sea Girkan - after the name of the coastal country of Hyrcania (the country of Wolves), the Arabs - Khazar - after the Khazars, a Turkic people professing Judaism and living on the northwestern coast. By the way, this name is still used in modern Azerbaijani, Turkish and Persian languages. Fire-worshipers of Absheron called the Caspian Sea of Vargan and Cheket-De-ti, Arabs - Djurdjan, Chinese - Sihai (i.e. Western Sea), Iranians - Kolzum, Indians - Vorukash, Turkmens - Kukkuz, Kazakhs - Atyrau, Turks - Kuchuk-Deniz , Tatars - Ak-Deniz. In Turkic sources "Ak-Deniz" is understood as both the White Sea and the Great Sea. The Mongols called the Caspian Chagan-nor, which also means the White Sea, a lake. The Russians called it "Blue Sea", and then Khvalynskiy or Khvalisskiy. In the ancient Russian language, Khvari (Khorezm) was pronounced as Praise. The Caspian Sea was called the "Khvalynskoe Sea", i.e. Khorezm. According to the name of the adjacent countries and cities, the sea was called Sarai (capital of the Golden Horde), Tabasaran, Albanian, Derbent, Shemakha, Apsheron, Shirvan, Salyan, Mugan, Abeskun, Khorasan, Gilan, Mazandaran, Turkmen, Avar, Persian. In other sources, it is called the Sea of Foreigners, Baku, Kungar, Torm, Sirsap, Eren, Vrakan, Guzgun, Pekhlevinsky, Sareysky, Dortsa, Kemrutsky, Kizylbash (Persians were called Kizylbash for their custom of dyeing their hair with henna), the Sea of Etila ) Is the Volga, which flows into the Caspian Sea; in Persian sources there are also Gurgan, Shizir, Gyurzum, the Bab Sea and others.
After the capture of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmet II, European merchants began to look for new ways of trade with the East, bypassing the Ottoman Empire. Since that time, the Volga-Caspian route through Russia has become the main route from Europe to Azerbaijan. The significance of Baku as a port on this path is evident from the fact that since the 15th century, various medieval authors have encountered the name Baku Sea, which they used to designate the Caspian Sea.
The Caspian got its modern name from the name of the ancient tribes - the Caspians, who inhabited the right bank of the Kura, near the sea in the II millennium BC.