7th century AD: The Arabs, the latest non-Iranian (Persian) invaders of the area, conquered and converted to Islam the peoples of the great ‘Silk Road’ cities (notably Samarkand and Bukhara), anciently the provinces of Sogdiana and Bactria.
8th century: The Persic, islamicized urban dwellers began to be identifiable as a distinct Tajik people, distinguished from their Turkic neighbours.
16th century: The Turkic Uzbek people were established as the rulers of the previously Tajik cities and were overlords of the Tajik clans of modern Tajikistan; a variety of khanates, notably those based in the cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Kokand, struggled for control in the following centuries.
1868: The Emirate of Bukhara became a Russian protectorate and ceded some of what is northern Tajikistan to the Russian Empire, but retained the central and southern regions.
1876: The Khanate of Kokand, conquered by the Russians in 1866, was abolished and parts of northern Tajikistan and the Eastern Pamir were incorporated into the Russian Empire.
1895: Russia acquired the Western Pamir, after it and the United Kingdom defined their spheres of influence in Afghanistan.
November 1917: Khujand (Khodzhent—later renamed Leninabad until 1991) fell to the Bolsheviks, mainly helped by soviets of Slavs, but there were also Tajik groups such as the Union of Muslim Workers; most of the rest of north and east Tajikistan was under Bolshevik control by the end of the next year.
September 1920: The Emir of Bukhara was driven from his city by the Bolsheviks, but his supporters retained control of much of the south and centre of modern Tajikistan for another two years, with the help of fierce basmachi resistance, some of which lasted until the 1930s.
15 March 1925: A Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) was formed, with its capital at Dushanbe (called Stalinabad 1929-61), by uniting parts of the old Turkestan ASSR and eastern territories of the Bukharan People’s Soviet Republic.
1927: It was decided to replace the Arabic script with a Latin alphabet for the Tajik language.