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Type Region & Political Subdivision
Scripts Χορασμία(Greek)
Other Forms FormsAncient Greek variant transcription: Khorasmia. Ancient Greek variant: Χορασίμα (Chorasima or Khorasima). Modern Greek variant: Χωρεσμία (Choresmia)

Meaning & History

Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman name for the region of Khwarazm in Central Asia. It was named after the Chorasmians, a local Iranian tribe who were known as Χωράσμιοι (Chorasmioi) to the Greeks and as Chorasmii to the Romans.

The name of the tribe and its namesake region is of Iranian origin. The meaning is uncertain, however, as there are at least three possibilities. Some believe that the name is derived from Persian خوار (khwar) meaning "eating" combined with Persian رزم (razm) meaning "fish", in reference to the staple in the diet of the Chorasmians. Others derive the name from Persian خور (xor) meaning "the sun" combined with Persian زم (zam) meaning "earth, land". The third possibility is that the name means "lowland", derived from Persian کویر (kh(w)ar) meaning "low" combined with Persian زم (zam) meaning "earth, land".

In modern times, the name Chorasmia (and direct derivations of it in other languages) continues to be used for the region, although that is slowly decreasing in favour of its native name. The name was also often used to refer to the Khorezm People's Soviet Republic (1920-1925), which still continues to be the case in some languages.
Added 5/17/2020 by Lucille