Cities of the Orient
that have become famous in history acquire permanent names, rather like titles. These titles were either bestowed on them by a poet, and then spread world-wide by word of mouth, or else the poets themselves borrowed a popular term-it is now difficult
to determine which. From time immemorial Samarkand has been called The Beautiful Face of the Earth, or the Splendid Image of the Earth, or more laconically, but more to the point The Face of the Earth. It is well known that the city honoured
with the title "The Face of the Earth" is one of the most ancient in the world. In 1970, a noteworthy date was widely and solemnly celebrated throughout the USSR-the 2,500th anniversary of its founding. Samarkand played an important role in the history
not only of the peoples of the region but of the entire ancient and medieval Orient. Today this is a city of magnificent architectural monuments, a city museum, and one of the centers of the Soviet and international...