The Oxus River was the name that the classical Greek geographers (such as Herodotus) used for the Amu Darya (Darya is Persian for "sea"), the river which runs along the southern border of Uzbekistan, separating it from Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. The other major river in the area, the Syr Darya, which roughly follows the border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, was called the Jaxartes by the Greeks. The area beyond the Oxus (from a European or Middle Eastern viewpoint) used to be called Transoxiana (meaning "beyond the Oxus") by the Greeks. Later on, it was referred to as Mawara-unnahr (meaning "beyond the river") by the Arabs.

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