Derbend, a fortified Russian town, on the western shore of the Caspian, and capital of the Russian Government of Daghestan. The chief industries are the manufacture of woollen stuffs, copper and iron ware, and rose-water, and there is a considerable trade in saffron, which is grown in the neighbourhood. The town, which was Persian, is said to have been founded by Alexander the Great and fortified by Chosroes. The Arabs took it in the seventh century, and the Caliph Harun Al-Raschid is said to have lived there. Among the many ancient ruins of the neighbourhood is an ancient wall said to have been built as a protection against barbarian incursions. The town became Russian in 1722, and again finally in 1795.