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{{pp|small=yes}}{{short description|Turco-Mongol ruler}}{{Redirect-multi|9|Tamerlane|Tamerlan|Tamerlaine|Taimur|Timurlane|Timurlaine|Timur Lang|Temirlan|Timurleng|the poem|Tamerlane (poem)|the play|Tamburlaine|people named Tamerlan|Tamerlan (given name)|other uses|Timur (disambiguation)}}

name Timur|title= Amir|full name = Shuja-ud-din TimurW. M. Thackston, A Century of Princes: Sources on Timurid History and Art, (1989), p.239|image=Timur reconstruction03.jpg|caption=Timur facial reconstruction from skull|reign= 9 April 1370 – 14 February 1405|coronation= 9 April 1370, BalkhMuntakhab-ul-Lubab, Khafi Khan Nizam-ul-Mulk, Vol I, p. 49. Printed in Lahore, 1985|predecessor=Amir Hussain|successor=Khalil Sultan|spouse= Saray Mulk Khanum|spouse-type= Consort

    |spouses-type= Wives
    Timurid dynasty>Timurid|father=Amir Taraghai|mother=Tekina Khatun|birth_date= 9 April 1336Shahrisabz>Kesh, Chagatai Khanate1405194df=yes}}|death_place=Otrar, Farab, near Shymkent, Syr Darya|place of burial=Gur-e-Amir, Samarkand|religion=Islam}}{{Timur's conquests}}Timur{{IPAc-en|t|ɪ|ˈ|m|ʊər}} ( Temūr, Chagatai: '; 9 April 1336 – 18 February 1405), sometimes spelled Taimur and historically best known as Amir Timur or Tamerlane'{{IPAc-en|ˈ|t|æ|m|ər|l|eɪ|n}} ( Temūr(-i) Lang, "Timur the Lame"), was a Turco-Mongol PersianateBOOK,weblink Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran, Subtelny, Maria, 2007, BRILL, 978-9004160316, 40–41, en, Nevertheless, in the complex process of transition, members of the Timurid dynasty and their Turko-Mongolian supporters became acculturated by the surrounding Persianate millieu adopting Persian cultural models and tastes and acting as patrons of Persian culture, painting, architecture and music. [...] The last members of the dynasty, notably Sultan-Abu Sa'id and Sultan-Husain, in fact came to be regarded as ideal Perso-Islamic rulers who develoted as much attention to agricultural development as they did to fostering Persianate court culture., B.F. Manz, "Tīmūr Lang"'', in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition, 2006 conqueror. As the founder of the Timurid Empire in and around modern-day Iran and Central Asia, he became the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty, and he is widely regarded to be one of the greatest military leaders in history.BOOK, Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, conqueror of the world, HarperCollins, Marozzi, Justin, 2004, BOOK, Josef W. Meri, Medieval Islamic Civilization, Routledge, 2005, 812,weblink 9780415966900, Timur is considered as a great patron of art and architecture, as he interacted with intellectuals such as Ibn Khaldun and Hafiz-i Abru.{{rp|341–2}}According to John Joseph Saunders, Timur was "the product of an Islamized and Iranized society", and not steppe nomadic.BOOK, J. J. Saunders, The History of the Mongol Conquests,weblink March 2001, University of Pennsylvania Press, 978-0-8122-1766-7, 173–, Born into the Barlas confederation in Transoxiana (in modern-day Uzbekistan) on 9 April 1336, Timur gained control of the western Chagatai Khanate by 1370. From that base, he led military campaigns across Western, South and Central Asia, the Caucasus and southern Russia, and emerged as the most powerful ruler in the Muslim world after defeating the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria, the emerging Ottoman Empire, and the declining Delhi Sultanate.WEB,weblink Counterview: Taimur's actions were uniquely horrific in Indian history, From these conquests, he founded the Timurid Empire, but this empire fragmented shortly after his death.Timur was the last of the great nomadic conquerors of the Eurasian Steppe, and his empire set the stage for the rise of the more structured and lasting Islamic Gunpowder Empires in the 16th and 17th centuries.BOOK, After Tamerlane: the rise and fall of global empires, 1400–2000, Darwin, John, Bloomsbury Press, 2008, 978-1-59691-760-6, 29, 92, John Darwin (historian), {{Rp|1}} Timur envisioned the restoration of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan (died 1227) and according to Gérard Chaliand, saw himself as Genghis Khan's heir.Gérard Chaliand, Nomadic Empires: From Mongolia to the Danube translated by A.M. Berrett, Transaction Publishers, 2004. translated by A.M. Berrett. Transaction Publishers, p.75. {{ISBN|0-7658-0204-X}}. {{google books|xKVAbb6Tc4wC|Limited preview}}. p. 75., {{ISBN|0-7658-0204-X}}, p.75., "Timur Leng (Tamerlane) Timur, known as the lame (1336–1405) was a Muslim Turk. He aspired to recreate the empire of his ancestors. He was a military genius who loved to play chess in his spare time to improve his military tactics and skill. And although he wielded absolute power, he never called himself more than an emir.", "Timur Leng (Tamerlane) Timur, known as the lame (1336–1405) was a Muslim Turk from the Umus of Chagatai who saw himself as Genghis Khan's heir." Though not a Borjigid or a descendant of Genghis Khan,BOOK, Justin Marozzi, Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World,weblink 2006, Da Capo Press, 978-0-306-81465-5, 342, he clearly sought to invoke the legacy of the latter's conquests during his lifetime.Richard C. Martin, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World A-L, Macmillan Reference USA, 2004, {{ISBN|978-0-02-865604-5}}, p. 134. According to Beatrice Forbes Manz, "in his formal correspondence Temur continued throughout his life to portray himself as the restorer of Chinggisid rights. He justified his Iranian, Mamluk, and Ottoman campaigns as a re-imposition of legitimate Mongol control over lands taken by usurpers."JOURNAL, Forbes Manz, Beatrice, Temür and the Problem of a Conqueror's Legacy, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, April 1998, 8, 1, 21–41, 25183464, Third, To legitimize his conquests, Timur relied on Islamic symbols and language, referred to himself as the "Sword of Islam", and patronized educational and religious institutions. He converted nearly all the Borjigin leaders to Islam during his lifetime. Timur decisively defeated the Christian Knights Hospitaller at the Siege of Smyrna, styling himself a ghazi.BOOK, Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, conqueror of the world, HarperCollins, Marozzi, Justin91}} By the end of his reign, Timur had gained complete control over all the remnants of the Chagatai Khanate, the Ilkhanate, and the Golden Horde, and even attempted to restore the Yuan dynasty in China.Timur's armies were inclusively multi-ethnic and were feared throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe, sizable parts of which his campaigns laid to waste.Matthew White: Atrocitology: Humanity's 100 Deadliest Achievements, Canongate Books, 2011, {{ISBN|9780857861252}}, section "Timur" Scholars estimate that his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population at the time.NEWS,weblink Chicago Tribune, The Rehabilitation Of Tamerlane, 17 January 1999, J.J. Saunders, The history of the Mongol conquests (page 174), Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1971, {{ISBN|0812217667}}He was the grandfather of the Timurid sultan, astronomer and mathematician Ulugh Beg, who ruled Central Asia from 1411 to 1449, and the great-great-great-grandfather of Babur (1483–1530), founder of the Mughal Empire, which ruled parts of South Asia for over three centuries, from 1526 until 1857.WEB,weblinkpublisher= Encyclopædia Britannica, Online Academic Editionurl-access=subscription, TīMūR LANG > ENCYCLOPEDIA= ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ISLAMBRILL PUBLISHERS>BRILL, 24 April 2014 editor=, 2000 edition= 2nd,weblink


    (File:Genealogical Relationship between Timur and Genghis Khan.png|thumb|right|180px|Genealogical relationship between Timur and Genghis Khan)Through his father, Timur claimed to be a descendant of Tumanay Khan, a male-line ancestor he shared with Genghis Khan.Harry N. Abrams, Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600 (2005), p. 196 Tumanay's great-great grandson Karachar Noyan (1165–1242/54) was a minister for the emperor who later assisted the latter's son Chagatai in the governorship of Transoxiana.Martin Bernard Dickson, Michel M. Mazzaoui, Vera Basch Moreen, Intellectual studies on Islam: essays written in honor of Martin B. Dickson (1993), p. 97Franklin Mackenzie, The Ocean and the Steppe: The Life and Times of the Mongol Conqueror Genghis Khan, 1155-1227 (1963), p. 322 Though there are not many mentions of Karachar in 13th and 14th century records, later Timurid sources greatly emphasised his role in the early history of the Mongol Empire.Michael Biran, Chinggis Khan: Selected Readings (2012), ch. 5 These histories also state that Genghis Khan later "established the bond of fatherhood and sonship" by marrying Chagatai's daughter to Karachar.Mansura Haidar, Indo-Central Asian relations: from early times to medieval period (2004), p. 126 Through his alleged descent from this marriage, Timur claimed kinship with the Chagatai Khans.BOOK, Henry George, Keene, Henry George Keene (1826–1915), The Turks in India, 1879, 20,weblink harv, The origins of Timur's mother, Tekina Khatun, are less clear. The Zafarnama merely states her name without giving any information regarding her background. Writing in 1403, Jean, Archbishop of Sultaniyya claimed that she was of lowly origins.Martin Bernard Dickson, Michel M. Mazzaoui, Vera Basch Moreen, Intellectual studies on Islam: essays written in honor of Martin B. Dickson (1990), p. 97 The Mu'izz al-Ansab, written decades later, say that she was related to the Yasa'uri tribe, whose lands bordered that of the Barlas.Mu'izz al-Ansab, Folio. 97a Ibn Khaldun recounted that Timur himself described to him his mother's descent from the legendary Persian hero Manuchehr.W.J Fischel, Ibn Khaldun and Tamerlane (1952), p. 37 Ibn Arabshah suggested that she was a descendant of Genghis Khan.Ahmed ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane: The Life of the Great Amir, p. 4 The 18th century Books of Timur identify her as the daughter of 'Sadr al-Sharia', which is believed to be referring to the Hanafi scholar Ubayd Allah al-Mahbubi of Bukhara.Ron Sela, The Legendary Biographies of Tamerlane: Islam and Heroic Apocrypha in Central Asia (2011), p. 27

    Early life

    File:Teymur.jpg|thumb|upright|Emir Timur feasts in the gardens of SamarkandSamarkandTimur was born in Transoxiana near the city of Kesh (modern Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan), some {{convert|80|km}} south of Samarkand, part of what was then the Chagatai Khanate.WEB, Tamerlane,weblink AsianHistory, 1 November 2013, His name Temur means "Iron" in the Chagatai language, his mother-tongue (cf. Uzbek Temir, Turkish Demir).Richard Peters, The Story of the Turks: From Empire to Democracy (1959), p. 24He was a member of the Barlas, a Mongolian tribe"Central Asia, history of Timur", in Encyclopædia Britannica, Online Edition, 2007. (Quotation:"Under his leadership, Timur united the Mongol tribes located in the basins of the two rivers.")"Islamic world", in Encyclopædia Britannica, Online Edition, 2007. Quotation: "Timur (Tamerlane) was of Mongol descent and he aimed to restore Mongol power." that had been turkified in many aspects.Carter V. Findley, The Turks in World History, Oxford University Press, 2005, Oxford University Press, 2005, {{ISBN|978-0-19-517726-8}}, p. 101.G. R. Garthwaite, The Persians, Malden, {{ISBN|978-1-55786-860-2}}, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2007. (p.148) Quotation: "Timur's tribe, the Barlas, had Mongol origins but had become Turkic-speaking ... However, the Barlus tribe is considered one of the original Mongol tribes and there are "Barlus Ovogton" people who belong to Barlus tribe in modern Mongolia."M.S. Asimov & Clifford Edmund Bosworth, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, UNESCO Regional Office, 1998, {{ISBN|92-3-103467-7}}, p. 320: "One of his followers was [...] Timur of the Barlas tribe. This Mongol tribe had settled [...] in the valley of Kashka Darya, intermingling with the Turkish population, adopting their religion (Islam) and gradually giving up its own nomadic ways, like a number of other Mongol tribes in Transoxania ..." His father, Taraghai was described as a minor noble of this tribe. However, historian Beatrice Forbes Manz believes that Timur may have later understated the social position of his father, so as to make his own successes appear more remarkable. She states that though he is not believed to have been especially powerful, Taraghai was reasonably wealthy and influential.Beatrice Forbes Manz, Tamerlane and the Symbolism of Sovereignty (1988), p. 116 This is shown by Timur returning to his birthplace following the death of his father in 1360, suggesting concern over his estate.Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi, Zafarnama (1424-1428), p. 35 Taraghai's social significance is further hinted at by Arabshah, who described him as a magnate in the court of Amir Husayn Qara'unas. In addition to this, the father of the great Amir Hamid Kereyid of Moghulistan is stated as a friend of Taraghai's.Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi, Zafarnama (1424-1428), p. 75Later Timurid dynastic histories claim that Timur was born on 8 April 1336, but most sources from his lifetime give ages that are consistent with a birthdate in the late 1320s. Manz suspects the 1336 date was designed to tie Timur to the legacy of Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan, the last ruler of the Ilkhanate descended from Hulagu Khan, who died in that year.JOURNAL, 4310596, Tamerlane and the symbolism of sovereignty, Manz, Beatrice Forbes, 1988
    Iranian Studies (journal)>Iranian Studies, 10.1080/00210868808701711, 21, 1–2, 105–122, In his childhood, Timur and a small band of followers raided travelers for goods, especially animals such as sheep, horses, and cattle.{{Rp|116}} Around 1363, it is believed that Timur tried to steal a sheep from a shepherd but was shot by two arrows, one in his right leg and another in his right hand, where he lost two fingers. Both injuries crippled him for life. Some believe that Timur suffered his crippling injuries while serving as a mercenary to the khan of Sistan in Khorasan in what is today the Dashti Margo in southwest Afghanistan. Timur's injuries have given him the names of Timur the Lame and Tamerlane by Europeans.{{rp|31}}

    Military leader

    About 1360, Timur gained prominence as a military leader whose troops were mostly Turkic tribesmen of the region. He took part in campaigns in Transoxiana with the Khan of the Chagatai Khanate. Allying himself both in cause and by family connection with Qazaghan, the dethroner and destroyer of Volga Bulgaria, he invaded KhorasanBOOK, A brief history of eastern Asia, Ian C. Hannah, T.F. Unwin, 1900,weblink 30 December 2015, 92, at the head of a thousand horsemen. This was the second military expedition that he led, and its success led to further operations, among them the subjugation of Khwarezm and Urgench.Following Qazaghan's murder, disputes arose among the many claimants to sovereign power. Tughlugh Timur of Kashgar, the Khan of the Eastern Chagatai Khanate, another descendant of Genghis Khan, invaded, interrupting this infighting. Timur was sent to negotiate with the invader but joined with him instead and was rewarded with Transoxania. At about this time, his father died and Timur also became chief of the Berlas. Tughlugh then attempted to set his son Ilyas Khoja over Transoxania, but Timur repelled this invasion with a smaller force.

    Rise to power

    File:Timur during attack on Balkh 1370.jpg|thumb|Timur commanding the Siege of Balkh ]]It was in this period that Timur reduced the Chagatai khans to the position of figureheads while he ruled in their name. Also during this period, Timur and his brother-in-law Amir Husayn, who were at first fellow fugitives and wanderers in joint adventures, became rivals and antagonists. The relationship between them began to become strained after Husayn abandoned efforts to carry out Timur's orders to finish off Ilya Khoja (former governor of Mawarannah) close to Tishnet.{{rp|40}}Timur began to gain a following of people in Balkh, consisting of merchants, fellow tribesmen, Muslim clergy, aristocracy and agricultural workers, because of his kindness in sharing his belongings with them. This contrasted Timur's behavior with that of Husayn, who alienated these people, took many possessions from them via his heavy tax laws and selfishly spent the tax money building elaborate structures.{{rp|41–2}} Around 1370, Husayn surrendered to Timur and was later assassinated, which allowed Timur to be formally proclaimed sovereign at Balkh. He married Husayn's wife Saray Mulk Khanum, a descendant of Genghis Khan, allowing him to become imperial ruler of the Chaghatay tribe.

    Legitimization of Timur's rule

    File:TimuridEmpire1400.png|thumb|300px|The extent of the Timurid EmpireTimurid EmpireTimur's Turco-Mongolian heritage provided opportunities and challenges as he sought to rule the Mongol Empire and the Muslim world. According to the Mongol traditions, Timur could not claim the title of khan or rule the Mongol Empire because he was not a descendant of Genghis Khan. Therefore, Timur set up a puppet Chaghatay Khan, Suyurghatmish, as the nominal ruler of Balkh as he pretended to act as a "protector of the member of a Chinggisid line, that of Genghis Khan's eldest son, Jochi".JOURNAL,weblink Manz, Beatrice Forbes, Tamerlane's Career and Its Uses, Journal of World History, 2002, 13, 3, 10.1353/jwh.2002.0017, As a result, Timur never used the title of Khan because the name Khan could only be used by those who come from the same lineage as Genghis Khan himself. Timur instead used the title of Amir meaning general, and acting in the name of the Chagatai ruler of Transoxania.{{Rp|106}} To reinforce this position, Timur claimed the title Guregen (royal son-in-law) when he married Saray Mulk Khanum, a princess of Chinggisid descent.{{Rp|14}}As with the title of Khan, Timur similarly could not claim the supreme title of the Islamic world, Caliph, because the "office was limited to the Quraysh, the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad". Therefore, Timur reacted to the challenge by creating a myth and image of himself as a "supernatural personal power" ordained by God. Otherwise he was described as a spiritual descendant of Ali, thus taken lineage of both to Genghis Khan and the Quraysh.Denise Aigle The Mongol Empire between Myth and Reality: Studies in Anthropological History BRILL, 28.10.2014 p. 132 Since Timur had a successful career as a conqueror, it was easy to justify his rule as ordained and favored by God since no ordinary man could be a possessor of such good fortune that resistance would be seen as opposing the will of God. Moreover, the Islamic notion that military and political success was the result of God's favor had long been successfully exploited by earlier rulers. Therefore, Timur's assertions would not have seemed unbelievable to fellow Islamic people.{{Citation needed|date=March 2019}}

    Period of expansion

    Timur spent the next 35 years in various wars and expeditions. He not only consolidated his rule at home by the subjugation of his foes, but sought extension of territory by encroachments upon the lands of foreign potentates. His conquests to the west and northwest led him to the lands near the Caspian Sea and to the banks of the Ural and the Volga. Conquests in the south and south-West encompassed almost every province in Persia, including Baghdad, Karbala and Northern Iraq.One of the most formidable of Timur's opponents was another Mongol ruler, a descendant of Genghis Khan named Tokhtamysh. After having been a refugee in Timur's court, Tokhtamysh became ruler both of the eastern Kipchak and the Golden Horde. After his accession, he quarreled with Timur over the possession of Khwarizm and Azerbaijan. However, Timur still supported him against the Russians and in 1382 Tokhtamysh invaded the Muscovite dominion and burned Moscow.Nicholas V. Raisanovsky; Mark D. Steinberg: A History of Russia Seventh Edition, pg 93Orthodox tradition states that later, in 1395 Timur, having reached the frontier of Principality of Ryazan, had taken Elets and started advancing towards Moscow. Great Prince Vasily I of Moscow went with an army to Kolomna and halted at the banks of the Oka River. The clergy brought the famed Theotokos of Vladimir icon from Vladimir to Moscow. Along the way people prayed kneeling: “O Mother of God, save the land of Russia!” Suddenly, Timur's armies retreated. In memory of this miraculous deliverance of the Russian land from Timur on August 26, the all-Russian celebration in honor of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God was established.WEB,weblink Commemoration of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God and the deliverance of Moscow from the Invasion of Tamerlane,, 5 February 2019,

    Conquest of Persia

    {{more citations needed|section|date=March 2019}}File:Tamerlane Besieging Urganj.JPG|thumb|Timur besieges the historic city of UrganjUrganjFile:Timur orders campaign against Georgia.jpg|thumb|Timur orders campaign against Georgia.]](File:Timur's army attacks Nerges, Georgia.jpg|thumb|Emir Timur's army attacks the survivors of the town of Nerges, in Georgia, in the spring of 1396.)After the death of Abu Sa'id, ruler of the Ilkhanate, in 1335, there was a power vacuum in Persia. In the end, Persia was split amongst the Muzaffarids, Kartids, Eretnids, Chobanids, Injuids, Jalayirids, and Sarbadars. In 1383, Timur started his lengthy military conquest of Persia, though he already ruled over much of Persian Khorasan by 1381, after Khwaja Mas'ud, of the Sarbadar dynasty surrendered. Timur began his Persian campaign with Herat, capital of the Kartid dynasty. When Herat did not surrender he reduced the city to rubble and massacred most of its citizens; it remained in ruins until Shah Rukh ordered its reconstruction.BOOK,weblink Mughal Gardens,, 9780884022350, Wescoat, James L., Wolschke-Bulmahn, Joachim, 1996, Timur then sent a General to capture rebellious Kandahar. With the capture of Herat the Kartid kingdom surrendered and became vassals of Timur; it would later be annexed outright less than a decade later in 1389 by Timur's son Miran Shah.Timur then headed west to capture the Zagros Mountains, passing through Mazandaran. During his travel through the north of Persia, he captured the then town of Tehran, which surrendered and was thus treated mercifully. He laid siege to Soltaniyeh in 1384. Khorasan revolted one year later, so Timur destroyed Isfizar, and the prisoners were cemented into the walls alive. The next year the kingdom of Sistan, under the Mihrabanid dynasty, was ravaged, and its capital at Zaranj was destroyed. Timur then returned to his capital of Samarkand, where he began planning for his Georgian campaign and Golden Horde invasion. In 1386, Timur passed through Mazandaran as he had when trying to capture the Zagros. He went near the city of Soltaniyeh, which he had previously captured but instead turned north and captured Tabriz with little resistance, along with Maragha. He ordered heavy taxation of the people, which was collected by Adil Aqa, who was also given control over Soltaniyeh. Adil was later executed because Timur suspected him of corruption.Timur then went north to begin his Georgian and Golden Horde campaigns, pausing his full-scale invasion of Persia. When he returned, he found his generals had done well in protecting the cities and lands he had conquered in Persia. Though many rebelled, and his son Miran Shah, who may have been regent, was forced to annex rebellious vassal dynasties, his holdings remained. So he proceeded to capture the rest of Persia, specifically the two major southern cities of Isfahan and Shiraz. When he arrived with his army at Isfahan in 1387, the city immediately surrendered; he treated it with relative mercy as he normally did with cities that surrendered (unlike Herat). However, after Isfahan revolted against Timur's taxes by killing the tax collectors and some of Timur's soldiers, he ordered the massacre of the city's citizens; the death toll is reckoned at between 100,000 and 200,000.BOOK, Chaliand, Gerard, The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda, 2007, University of California Press, 978-0-520-24709-3,weblink Arnaud Blin, 87, An eye-witness counted more than 28 towers constructed of about 1,500 heads each.Fisher, W.B.; Jackson, P.; Lockhart, L.; Boyle, J.A. : The Cambridge History of Iran, p55. This has been described as a "systematic use of terror against integral element of Tamerlane's strategic element", which he viewed as preventing bloodshed by discouraging resistance. His massacres were selective and he spared the artistic and educated. This would later influence the next great Persian conqueror: Nader Shah.Timur then began a five-year campaign to the west in 1392, attacking Persian Kurdistan. In 1393, Shiraz was captured after surrendering, and the Muzaffarids became vassals of Timur, though prince Shah Mansur rebelled but was defeated, and the Muzafarids were annexed. Shortly after Georgia was devastated so that the Golden Horde could not use it to threaten northern Iran. In the same year, Timur caught Baghdad by surprise in August by marching there in only eight days from Shiraz. Sultan Ahmad Jalayir fled to Syria, where the Mamluk Sultan Barquq protected him and killed Timur’s envoys. Timur left the Sarbadar prince Khwaja Mas'ud to govern Baghdad, but he was driven out when Ahmad Jalayir returned. Ahmad was unpopular but got some dangerous help from Qara Yusuf of the Kara Koyunlu; he fled again in 1399, this time to the Ottomans.

    Tokhtamysh–Timur war

    In the meantime, Tokhtamysh, now khan of the Golden Horde, turned against his patron and in 1385 invaded Azerbaijan. The inevitable response by Timur resulted in the Tokhtamysh–Timur war. In the initial stage of the war, Timur won a victory at the Battle of the Kondurcha River. After the battle Tokhtamysh and some of his army were allowed to escape. After Tokhtamysh's initial defeat, Timur invaded Muscovy to the north of Tokhtamysh's holdings. Timur's army burned Ryazan and advanced on Moscow. He was pulled away before reaching the Oka River by Tokhtamysh's renewed campaign in the south.Nicholas V. Raisanovsky; Mark D. Steinberg: A History of Russia Seventh Edition, pg 94In the first phase of the conflict with Tokhtamysh, Timur led an army of over 100,000 men north for more than 700 miles into the steppe. He then rode west about 1,000 miles advancing in a front more than 10 miles wide. During this advance, Timur's army got far enough north to be in a region of very long summer days causing complaints by his Muslim soldiers about keeping a long schedule of prayers. It was then that Tokhtamysh's army was boxed in against the east bank of the Volga River in the Orenburg region and destroyed at the Battle of the Kondurcha River, in 1391.In the second phase of the conflict, Timur took a different route against the enemy by invading the realm of Tokhtamysh via the Caucasus region. In 1395, Timur defeated Tokhtamysh in the Battle of the Terek River, concluding the struggle between the two monarchs. Tokhtamysh was unable to restore his power or prestige, and he was killed about a decade later in the area of present-day Tyumen. During the course of Timur's campaigns, his army destroyed Sarai, the capital of the Golden Horde, and Astrakhan, subsequently disrupting the Golden Horde's Silk Road. The Golden Horde no longer held power after their losses to Timur.


    In May 1393, Timur's army invaded the Anjudan, crippling the Ismaili village only a year after his assault on the Ismailis in Mazandaran. The village was prepared for the attack, evidenced by its fortress and system of underground tunnels. Undeterred, Timur's soldiers flooded the tunnels by cutting into a channel overhead. Timur's reasons for attacking this village are not yet well understood. However, it has been suggested that his religious persuasions and view of himself as an executor of divine will may have contributed to his motivations.Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p. 116. The Persian historian Khwandamir explains that an Ismaili presence was growing more politically powerful in Persian Iraq. A group of locals in the region was dissatisfied with this and, Khwandamir writes, these locals assembled and brought up their complaint with Timur, possibly provoking his attack on the Ismailis there.

    Campaign against the Tughlaq dynasty

    File:Timur defeats the sultan of Delhi.jpg|thumb|Timur defeats the Sultan of DelhiSultan of DelhiIn 1398, Timur invaded northern India, attacking the Delhi Sultanate ruled by Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq of the Tughlaq dynasty. He was opposed by Ahirs and faced some reversals from the Jats, but the Sultanate at Delhi did nothing to stop him.BOOK,weblink Rise of the Jat power, Raj Pal, Singh, 2012-05-22, 9788185151052, 1988-01-01, BOOK,weblink Jāṭa balavāna: Jāṭa itihāsa, Kumāra, Mahendra, Śarmā, Parameśa, Siṃha, Rājapāla, 1991, Madhura-Prakāśana, hi, After crossing the Indus River on 30 September 1398, he sacked Tulamba and massacred its inhabitants.weblink{{dead link|date=May 2012}} Then he advanced and captured Multan by October.BOOK, Hunter, Sir William Wilson, William Wilson Hunter, The Imperial Gazetteer of India,weblink 2, 1909, 366, The Indian Empire: Timur's invasion 1398, Timur crossed the Indus River at Attock (now in Pakistan) on 24 September 1398. His invasion did not go unopposed and he encountered resistance from the Governor of Meerut during the march to Delhi. Timur was still able to continue his approach to Delhi, arriving in 1398, to fight the armies of Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq, which had already been weakened by a succession struggle within the royal family.

    Capture of Delhi (1398)

    (File:Delhi after sack of Timur Lang, 1398.jpg|thumb|Delhi after sack of Timur Lang, 1398)The battle took place on 17 December 1398. Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq and the army of Mallu IqbalMallu, who later received the title of Iqbal Khan, was a noble in Siri and an ally of Muqarrab Khan, but later on betrayed him and Nusrat Khan, and allied with Nasir-ud-din Mahmud Shah. History Of Medieval India; V. D. Mahajan p.205 had war elephants armored with chain mail and poison on their tusks.{{rp|267}} As his Tatar forces were afraid of the elephants, Timur ordered his men to dig a trench in front of their positions. Timur then loaded his camels with as much wood and hay as they could carry. When the war elephants charged, Timur set the hay on fire and prodded the camels with iron sticks, causing them to charge at the elephants howling in pain: Timur had understood that elephants were easily panicked. Faced with the strange spectacle of camels flying straight at them with flames leaping from their backs, the elephants turned around and stampeded back toward their own lines. Timur capitalized on the subsequent disruption in the forces of Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq, securing an easy victory. Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughluq fled with remnants of his forces. Delhi was sacked and left in ruins. Before the battle for Delhi, Timur executed 100,000 captives.The capture of the Delhi Sultanate was one of Timur's greatest victories, as at that time, Delhi was one of the richest cities in the world. After Delhi fell to Timur's army, uprisings by its citizens against the Turkic-Mongols began to occur, causing a retaliatory bloody massacre within the city walls. After three days of citizens uprising within Delhi, it was said that the city reeked of the decomposing bodies of its citizens with their heads being erected like structures and the bodies left as food for the birds by Timur's soldiers. Timur's invasion and destruction of Delhi continued the chaos that was still consuming India, and the city would not be able to recover from the great loss it suffered for almost a century.{{rp|269–274}}

    Campaigns in the Levant

    File:Behzad timur egyptian.jpg|thumb|Timur defeating the Mamluk Sultan Nasir-ad-Din Faraj of EgyptEgyptFile:Chlebowski-Bajazyt w niewoli.jpg|thumb|Bayezid IBayezid IBefore the end of 1399, Timur started a war with Bayezid I, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and the Mamluk sultan of Egypt Nasir-ad-Din Faraj. Bayezid began annexing the territory of Turkmen and Muslim rulers in Anatolia. As Timur claimed sovereignty over the Turkmen rulers, they took refuge behind him.In 1400, Timur invaded Christian Armenia and Georgia. Of the surviving population, more than 60,000 of the local people were captured as slaves, and many districts were depopulated.WEB,weblink The Turco-Mongol Invasions,, 2012-05-22, Then Timur turned his attention to Syria, sacking AleppoAleppo:the Ottoman Empire's caravan city, Bruce Masters, The Ottoman City Between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir, and Istanbul, ed. Edhem Eldem, Daniel Goffman, Bruce Master, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 20.WEB,weblink Shlama – Aleppo – BELIEVING IN ALEPPO, and Damascus.Margaret Meserve, Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought, (Harvard University Press, 2008), 207.WEB,weblink Tamerlane in Damascus, WEB,weblink The Sack of Damascus – History Today, WEB,weblink تيمور لنك..بشار الأسد..لافرق! – نور سورية, The city's inhabitants were massacred, except for the artisans, who were deported to Samarkand. Timur cited the killing of Hasan ibn Ali by the Umayyad caliph Muawiyah I and the killing of Husayn ibn Ali by Yazid I as the reason for his massacre of the inhabitants of Damascus.Timur invaded Baghdad in June 1401. After the capture of the city, 20,000 of its citizens were massacred. Timur ordered that every soldier should return with at least two severed human heads to show him. When they ran out of men to kill, many warriors killed prisoners captured earlier in the campaign, and when they ran out of prisoners to kill, many resorted to beheading their own wives.Ibn Arabshah, Timur the Great Amir, p. 168In the meantime, years of insulting letters had passed between Timur and Bayezid. Finally, Timur invaded Anatolia and defeated Bayezid in the Battle of Ankara on 20 July 1402. Bayezid was captured in battle and subsequently died in captivity, initiating the twelve-year Ottoman Interregnum period. Timur's stated motivation for attacking Bayezid and the Ottoman Empire was the restoration of Seljuq authority. Timur saw the Seljuks as the rightful rulers of Anatolia as they had been granted rule by Mongol conquerors, illustrating again Timur's interest with Genghizid legitimacy.After the Ankara victory, Timur's army ravaged Western Anatolia, with Muslim writers complaining that the Timurid army acted more like a horde of savages than that of a civilized conqueror.{{citation needed|date=November 2012}} But Timur did besiege and take the city of Smyrna, a stronghold of the Christian Knights Hospitalers, thus he referred to himself as ghazi or "Warrior of Islam". A mass beheading was carried out in Smyrna by Timur's soldiers.BOOK, Kevin Reilly, The Human Journey: A Concise Introduction to World History,weblink 2012, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-1-4422-1384-5, 164–, BOOK, Henry Cabot Lodge, The History of Nations,weblink 1913, P.F.Collier, 51–, BOOK, Marina Belozerskaya, Medusas Gaze: The Extraordinary Journey of the Tazza Farnese,weblink 4 September 2012, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-987642-6, 88–, BOOK, Vertot (abbé de), The History of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem: Styled Afterwards, the Knights of Rhodes, and at Present, the Knights of Malta,weblink 1856, J.W. Leonard & Company, 104–, Timur was furious with the Genoese and Venetians, as their ships ferried the Ottoman army to safety in Thrace. As Lord Kinross reported in The Ottoman Centuries, the Italians preferred the enemy they could handle to the one they could not.(File:Gorskii 03978u.jpg|thumb|left|Shakh-i Zindeh mosque, Samarkand)While Timur invaded Anatolia, Qara Yusuf assaulted Baghdad and captured it in 1402. Timur returned to Persia from Anatolia and sent his grandson Abu Bakr ibn Miran Shah to reconquer Baghdad, which he proceeded to do. Timur then spent some time in Ardabil, where he gave Ali Safavi, leader of the Safaviyya, a number of captives. Subsequently, he marched to Khorasan and then to Samarkhand, where he spent nine months celebrating and preparing to invade Mongolia and China.Stevens, John. The history of Persia. Containing, the lives and memorable actions of its kings from the first erecting of that monarchy to this time; an exact Description of all its Dominions; a curious Account of India, China, Tartary, Kermon, Arabia, Nixabur, and the Islands of Ceylon and Timor; as also of all Cities occasionally mention'd, as Schiras, Samarkand, Bokara, &c. Manners and Customs of those People, Persian Worshippers of Fire; Plants, Beasts, Product, and Trade. With many instructive and pleasant digressions, being remarkable Stories or Passages, occasionally occurring, as Strange Burials; Burning of the Dead; Liquors of several Countries; Hunting; Fishing; Practice of Physick; famous Physicians in the East; Actions of Tamerlan, &c. To which is added, an abridgment of the lives of the kings of Harmuz, or Ormuz. The Persian history written in Arabick, by Mirkond, a famous Eastern Author that of Ormuz, by Torunxa, King of that Island, both of them translated into Spanish, by Antony Teixeira, who liv'd several Years in Persia and India; and now render'd into English.

    Attempts to attack the Ming dynasty

    File:Mongolia in the early 15th century.jpg|thumb|Timur had aligned himself with the remnants of the Yuan dynasty in his attempts to conquer Ming China.]]File:Wanli Changcheng-Jiayu guan.jpg|thumb|The fortress at Jiayu Pass was strengthened due to fear of an invasion by Timur.BOOK, The Great Wall of China 221 BC-1644 AD, Turnbull, Stephen, Stephen_Turnbull_(historian), 30 January 2007, Osprey PublishingOsprey PublishingBy 1368, Han Chinese forces had driven the Mongols out of China. The first of the new Ming dynasty's emperors, the Hongwu Emperor, and his son, the Yongle Emperor, produced tributary states of many Central Asian countries. The suzerain-vassal relationship between Ming empire and Timurid existed for a long time. In 1394, Hongwu's ambassadors eventually presented Timur with a letter addressing him as a subject. He had the ambassadors Fu An, Guo Ji, and Liu Wei detained.{{citation
    last=Tsaiyear=2002|isbn=978-0-295-98124-6|title=Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle|edition= 2weblink > pages=188–189}} Neither Hongwu's next ambassador, Chen Dewen (1397), nor the delegation announcing the accession of the Yongle Emperor fared any better.Timur eventually planned to invade China. To this end Timur made an alliance with surviving Mongol tribes based in Mongolia and prepared all the way to Bukhara. Engke Khan sent his grandson Öljei Temür Khan, also known as "Buyanshir Khan" after he converted to Islam while at the court of Timur in Samarkand.C. P. Atwood-Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, see: Northern Yuan Dynasty


    File:ShrineofAmirTimur.jpg|thumb|Timur's mausoleum is located in Samarkand, UzbekistanUzbekistanTimur preferred to fight his battles in the spring. However, he died en route during an uncharacteristic winter campaign. In December 1404, Timur began military campaigns against Ming China and detained a Ming envoy. He suffered illness while encamped on the farther side of the Syr Daria and died at Farab on February 17, 1405,WEB, Adela C.Y. Lee,weblink Tamerlane (1336–1405) – The Last Great Nomad Power, Silkroad Foundation, 2012-05-22, before ever reaching the Chinese border.{{harvnb|Tsia|2002|p=161}} After his death the Ming envoys such as Fu An and the remaining entourage were released by his grandson Khalil Sultan.Geographer Clements Markham, in his introduction to the narrative of Clavijo's embassy, states that, after Timur died, his body "was embalmed with musk and rose water, wrapped in linen, laid in an ebony coffin and sent to Samarkand, where it was buried".James Louis Garvin, Franklin Henry Hooper, Warren E. Cox, The Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 22 (1929), p. 233 His tomb, the Gur-e Amir, still stands in Samarkand, though it has been heavily restored in recent years.Abdulla Vakhabov, Muslims in the USSR (1980), p. 63-4


    (File:Timur Empire.jpg|thumb|The Timurid Empire at Timur's death in 1405)Timur had twice previously appointed an heir apparent to succeed him, both of whom he had outlived. The first, his son Jahangir, died of illness in 1376.Roya Marefat, Beyond the Architecture of Death: Shrine of the Shah-i Zinda in Samarqand (1991), p. 238Vasilii Vladimirovitch Barthold, Four Studies on the History of Central Asia, Vol. 2 (1959), p. 51 The second, his grandson Muhammad Sultan, had succumbed to battle wounds in 1403.Marthe Bernus-Taylor, Tombs of Paradise: The Shah-e Zende in Samarkand and Architectural Ceramics of Central Asia (2003), p. 27 After the latter's death, Timur did nothing to replace him. It was only when he was on his own death-bed that he appointed Muhammad Sultan's younger brother, Pir Muhammad as his successor.Beatrice Forbes Manz, Power, Politics and Religion in Timurid Iran (2007), p. 16Pir Muhammad was unable to gain sufficient support from his relatives and a bitter civil war erupted amongst Timur's descendants, with multiple princes pursuing their claims. It was not until 1409 that Timur's youngest son, Shah Rukh was able to overcome his rivals and take the throne as Timur's successor.William Bayne Fisher, Peter Jackson, Peter Avery, Lawrence Lockhart, John Andrew Boyle, Ilya Gershevitch, Richard Nelson Frye, Charles Melville, Gavin Hambly, The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume VI (1986), p. 99-101

    Religious views

    Timur was a Muslim, possibly belonging to the Naqshbandi school of Sufism, which was influential in Transoxiana.BOOK, Beatrice Forbes Manz, The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane,weblink 25 March 1999, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-63384-0, 17–, His chief official religious counsellor and adviser was the Hanafi scholar 'Abdu 'l-Jabbar Khwarazmi. In Tirmidh, he had come under the influence of his spiritual mentor Sayyid Baraka, a leader from Balkh who is buried alongside Timur in Gur-e-Amir."The Descendants of Sayyid Ata and the Rank of Naqīb in Central Asia" by Devin DeWeese Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 115, No. 4 (Oct. – Dec., 1995), pp. 612–634Four studies on the history of Central Asia, Volume 1 By Vasilij Vladimirovič Bartold p.19Islamic art By Barbara Brend p.130Timur was known to hold Ali and the Ahl al-Bayt in high regard and has been noted by various scholars for his "pro-Alid" stance. Otherwise, he punished Shias for desecrating the memories of the Sahaba.Michael Shterenshis Tamerlane and the Jews Routledge {{ISBN|9781136873669}} p. 38Timur was also noted for attacking the Shia with Sunni apologism, while at other times he attacked Sunnis on religious ground as well.Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p. 114. In contrast, Timur held the Seljuk Sultan Ahmad Sanjar in high regard for attacking the Ismailis at Alamut, while Timur's own attack on Ismailis at Anjudan was equally brutal.


    File:Tamerlan.jpg|thumb|A Timurid-era illustration of Timur]]Timur is regarded as a military genius and as a brilliant tactician with an uncanny ability to work within a highly fluid political structure to win and maintain a loyal following of nomads during his rule in Central Asia. He was also considered extraordinarily intelligent â€“ not only intuitively but also intellectually.BOOK, Manz, Beatrice Forbes, The rise and rule of Tamerlane, 1989, Cambridge University Press, Beatrice Forbes Manz, {{Rp|16}} In Samarkand and his many travels, Timur, under the guidance of distinguished scholars, was able to learn the Persian, Mongolian, and Turkish languages{{rp|9}} (according to Ahmad ibn Arabshah, Timur could not speak Arabic).Walter Joseph Fischel, Ibn KhaldÅ«n in Egypt: His Public Functions and His Historical Research, 1382–1406; a Study in Islamic Historiography, University of California Press, 1967, page 51, footnote More importantly, Timur was characterized as an opportunist. Taking advantage of his Turco-Mongolian heritage, Timur frequently used either the Islamic religion or the law and traditions of the Mongol Empire to achieve his military goals or domestic political aims. Timur was a learned king, and enjoyed the company of scholars; he was tolerant and generous to them. He was a contemporary of the Persian poet Hafez, and a story of their meeting explains that Timur summoned Hafiz, who had written a ghazal with the following verse:For the black mole on thy cheekI would give the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara.Timur upbraided him for this verse and said, "By the blows of my well tempered sword I have conquered the greater part of the world to enlarge Samarkand and Bukhara, my capitals and residences; and you, pitiful creature, would exchange these two cities for a mole." Hafez, undaunted, replied, "It is by similar generosity that I have been reduced, as you see, to my present state of poverty." It is reported that the King was pleased by the witty answer and the poet departed with magnificent gifts.BOOK, The Mogul Emperors of Hindustan (1398–1707 A.D), Holden, Edward S., Westminster, Archibald Constable and Co., 1895, 2004, 978-81-206-1883-1, New Delhi, India, 47–48, Cowell, Professor (first name not given). MacMillan's Magazine, vol. XXX (via Google Books). London: MacMillan & Co., 1874, p. 252.Timur used Persian expressions in his conversations often, and his motto was the Persian phrase rāstÄ« rustÄ« (, meaning "truth is safety" or "veritas salus").

    Exchanges with Europe

    File:Letter of Tamerlane to Charles VI 1402.jpg|thumb|upright|Letter of Timur to Charles VI of France, 1402, a witness to Timurid relations with Europe. Archives NationalesArchives NationalesTimur had numerous and diplomatic exchanges with various European states, especially Spain and France. Relations between the court of Henry III of Castile and that of Timur played an important part in medieval Castilian diplomacy. In 1402, the time of the Battle of Ankara, two Spanish ambassadors were already with Timur: Pelayo de Sotomayor and Fernando de Palazuelos. Later, Timur sent to the court of the Kingdom of León and Castile a Chagatai ambassador named Hajji Muhammad al-Qazi with letters and gifts.In return, Henry III of Castile sent a famous embassy to Timur's court in Samarkand in 1403–06, led by Ruy González de Clavijo, with two other ambassadors, Alfonso Paez and Gomez de Salazar. On their return, Timur affirmed that he regarded the king of Castile "as his very own son".According to Clavijo, Timur's good treatment of the Spanish delegation contrasted with the disdain shown by his host toward the envoys of the "lord of Cathay" (i.e., the Yongle Emperor), the Chinese ruler. Clavijo's visit to Samarkand allowed him to report to the European audience on the news from Cathay (China), which few Europeans had been able to visit directly in the century that had passed since the travels of Marco Polo.The French archives preserve:
    • A 30 July 1402 letter from Timur to Charles VI of France, suggesting that he send traders to Asia. It is written in Persian.Document preserved at Le Musée de l'Histoire de France, code AE III 204. Mentioned Dossier II, 7, J936
    • A May 1403 letter. This is a Latin transcription of a letter from Timur to Charles VI, and another from Miran Shah, his son, to the Christian princes, announcing their victory over Bayezid I at Smyrna.Mentioned Dossier II, 7 bis
    A copy has been kept of the answer of Charles VI to Timur, dated 15 June 1403.Mentioned Dossier II, 7 ter


    File:SamarkandGuriAmir.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Inside the mausoleum â€“ deep niches and diverse muqarnas decorate the inside of the Gur-e AmirGur-e AmirTimur's legacy is a mixed one. While Central Asia blossomed under his reign, other places, such as Baghdad, Damascus, Delhi and other Arab, Georgian, Persian, and Indian cities were sacked and destroyed and their populations massacred. He was responsible for the effective destruction of the Nestorian Christian Church of the East in much of Asia. Thus, while Timur still retains a positive image in Muslim Central Asia, he is vilified by many in Arabia, Iraq, Persia, and India, where some of his greatest atrocities were carried out. However, Ibn Khaldun praises Timur for having unified much of the Muslim world when other conquerors of the time could not.JOURNAL, Frances Carney Gies, The Man Who Met Tamerlane,weblink Saudi Aramco World, 29, 5, September–October 1978, 2011-07-26,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-07-08, yes, The next great conqueror of the Middle East, Nader Shah, was greatly influenced by Timur and almost re-enacted Timur's conquests and battle strategies in his own campaigns. Like Timur, Nader Shah conquered most of Caucasia, Persia, and Central Asia along with also sacking Delhi.Timur's short-lived empire also melded the Turko-Persian tradition in Transoxiana, and in most of the territories that he incorporated into his fiefdom, Persian became the primary language of administration and literary culture (diwan), regardless of ethnicity.Manz, Beatrice Forbes (1999). The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane. Cambridge University Press, p. 109. {{ISBN|0-521-63384-2}}. {{google books|2xDm2DCPRKMC|Limited preview}}. p. 109. "In Temür's government, as in those of most nomad dynasties, it is impossible to find a clear distinction between civil and military affairs, or to identify the Persian bureaucracy as solely civil or the Turko-Mongolian solely with military government. In fact, it is difficult to define the sphere of either side of the administration and we find Persians and Chaghatays sharing many tasks. (In discussing the settled bureaucracy and the people who worked within it I use the word Persian in a cultural rather than ethnological sense. In almost all the territories which Temür incorporated into his realm Persian was the primary language of administration and literary culture. Thus the language of the settled 'diwan' was Persian and its scribes had to be thoroughly adept in Persian culture, whatever their ethnic origin.) Temür's Chaghatay emirs were often involved in civil and provincial administration and even in financial affairs, traditionally the province of Persian bureaucracy." In addition, during his reign, some contributions to Turkic literature were penned, with Turkic cultural influence expanding and flourishing as a result. A literary form of Chagatai Turkic came into use alongside Persian as both a cultural and an official language.BOOK, The new Central Asia, Roy, Olivier, 2007, I. B. Tauris, 978-1-84511-552-4, 7, File:Timur.jpeg|thumb|Emir Timur and his forces advance against the Golden Horde, Khan TokhtamyshTokhtamyshTamerlane virtually exterminated the Church of the East, which had previously been a major branch of Christianity but afterwards became largely confined to a small area now known as the Assyrian Triangle.WEB,weblink History of the Nestorians, Timur became a relatively popular figure in Europe for centuries after his death, mainly because of his victory over the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid. The Ottoman armies were at the time invading Eastern Europe and Timur was ironically seen as an ally.Timur has now been officially recognized as a national hero in Uzbekistan. His monument in Tashkent now occupies the place where Karl Marx's statue once stood.Muhammad Iqbal, a philosopher, poet and politician in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement,NEWS,weblink Calcutta, India, The Telegraph, Iqbal'S Hindu Relations, 30 June 2007, composed a notable poem entitled Dream of Timur, the poem itself was inspired by a prayer of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II:{{citation needed|date=April 2013}}In 1794, Sake Dean Mahomed published his travel book, The Travels of Dean Mahomet. The book begins with the praise of Genghis Khan, Timur, and particularly the first Mughal emperor, Babur. He also gives important details on the then incumbent Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II.

    Historical sources

    File:Autograph of Ahmad ibn Arabshah.png|right|thumb|Ahmad ibn ArabshahAhmad ibn ArabshahThe earliest known history of his reign was Nizam ad-Din Shami's Zafarnama, which was written during Timur's lifetime. Between 1424 and 1428, Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi wrote a second Zafarnama drawing heavily on Shami's earlier work. Ahmad ibn Arabshah wrote a much less favorable history in Arabic. Arabshah's history was translated into Latin by the Dutch Orientalist Jacobus Golius in 1636.As Timurid-sponsored histories, the two Zafarnamas present a dramatically different picture from Arabshah's chronicle. William Jones remarked that the former presented Timur as a "liberal, benevolent and illustrious prince" while the latter painted him as "deformed and impious, of a low birth and detestable principles".{{citation needed|date=September 2014}}

    Malfuzat-i Timuri

    The Malfuzat-i Timurī and the appended Tuzūk-i Tīmūrī, supposedly Timur's own autobiography, are almost certainly 17th-century fabrications.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Abū Ṭāleb Ḥosaynī, Encyclopædia Iranica, 17 September 2014, Hameed ud-Din, 2011,weblink The scholar Abu Taleb Hosayni presented the texts to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, a distant descendant of Timur, in 1637–38, supposedly after discovering the Chagatai language originals in the library of a Yemeni ruler. Due to the distance between Yemen and Timur's base in Transoxiana and the lack of any other evidence of the originals, most historians consider the story highly implausible, and suspect Hosayni of inventing both the text and its origin story.

    European views

    Timur arguably had a significant impact on the Renaissance culture and early modern Europe.JOURNAL, Milwright, Marcus, So Despicable a Vessel: Representations of Tamerlane in Printed Books of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Muqarnas, 2006, 23, 317, 10.1163/22118993-90000105, His achievements both fascinated and horrified Europeans from the fifteenth century to the early nineteenth century.European views of Timur were mixed throughout the fifteenth century, with some European countries calling him an ally and others seeing him as a threat to Europe because of his rapid expansion and brutality.JOURNAL, Knobler, Adam, The Rise of Timur and Western Diplomatic Response, 1390–1405, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, November 1995, 5, Third Series, 3, 341–349, 10.1017/s135618630000660x, {{rp|341}}When Timur captured the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid at Ankara, he was often praised and seen as a trusted ally by European rulers, such as Charles VI of France and Henry IV of England, because they believed he was saving Christianity from the Turkish Empire in the Middle East. Those two kings also praised him because his victory at Ankara allowed Christian merchants to remain in the Middle East and allowed for their safe return home to both France and England. Timur was also praised because it was believed that he helped restore the right of passage for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land.{{rp|341–44}}Other Europeans viewed Timur as a barbaric enemy who presented a threat to both European culture and the religion of Christianity. His rise to power moved many leaders, such as Henry III of Castile, to send embassies to Samarkand to scout out Timur, learn about his people, make alliances with him, and try to convince him to convert to Christianity in order to avoid war.{{rp|348–49}}In the introduction to a 1723 translation of Yazdi's Zafarnama, the translator wrote:BOOK, The History of Timur-Bec, 1723, xii–ix,weblink 1, ad-DīnʿAlī Yazdī, Sharaf, Punctuation and spelling modernized.{{Blockquote|text = M. Petis de la Croix] tells us, that there are calumnies and impostures, which have been published by authors of romances, and Turkish writers who were his enemies, and envious at his glory: among whom is Ahmed Bin Arabschah ... As Timur-Bec had conquered the Turks and Arabians of Syria, and had even taken the Sultan Bajazet prisoner, it is no wonder that he has been misrepresented by the historians of those nations, who, in despite of truth, and against the dignity of history, have fallen into great excesses on this subject.|source = }}

    Exhumation and alleged curse

    (File:Tamerlane statue.jpg|thumb|upright|A wax statue of Timur made in Turkey)Timur's body was exhumed from his tomb on 19 June 1941 and his remains examined by the Soviet anthropologist Mikhail M. Gerasimov, Lev V. Oshanin and V. Ia. Zezenkova. It was determined that Timur was a tall and broad-chested man with strong cheek bones. At {{convert|5|ft|8|in|cm|abbr=off|sp=us}}, Timur was tall for his era. The examinations confirmed that Timur was lame and had a withered right arm due to his injuries. His right thighbone had knitted together with his kneecap, and the configuration of the knee joint suggests that he had kept his leg bent at all times and therefore would have had a pronounced limp.BOOK, The face finder, Mikhail MikhaÄ­lovich Gerasimov, 135, Hutchinson, 1971, 978-0-09-105510-3, Gerasimov reconstructed the likeness of Timur from his skull and found that Timur's facial characteristics displayed Mongoloid features with some Caucasoid admixture. Oshanin also concluded that Timur's cranium showed predominately the characteristics of a South Siberian Mongoloid type.BOOK,weblink Anthropological composition of the population of Central Asia: and the ethnogenesis of its peoples, 2, Lev Vasilʹevich Oshanin, 39, Peabody Museum, 1964, It is alleged that Timur's tomb was inscribed with the words, "When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble." It is also said that when Gerasimov exhumed the body, an additional inscription inside the casket was found, which read, "Whomsoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I."NEWS,weblink The Independent, London, Uzbekistan: On the bloody trail of Tamerlane, 9 July 2006, 17 April 2016, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink December 20, 2013, In any case, three days after Gerasimov began the exhumation, Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the largest military invasion of all time, upon the Soviet Union.WEB, Mark & Ruth Dickens,weblink Timurid Architecture in Samarkand,, 2012-05-22, Timur was re-buried with full Islamic ritual in November 1942 just before the Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad.Marozzi 2004

    In the arts


    File:Gur Emir 2006-2.png|Geometric courtyard surrounding the tomb showing the Iwan, and dome.File:Registan - Samarkand - 15-10-2005.jpg|View of the Registan.File:Friday Mosque in Herat, Afghanistan.jpg|Timurid Mosque in Herat.File:Goharshad2.jpg|Goharshad Mosque, Timurid architectureFile:15c green mosque.jpg|Green Mosque (Balkh) is a Timurid mosque that inspired Shah Jahan.File:SamarkandBibiKhanym.jpg|Bibi-Khanym MosqueFile:Turk22.jpg|Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a prime example of Timurid architecture.


    Timur had forty-three consorts:
    • Turmish Agha, mother of Jahangir Mirza, Jahanshah Mirza and Aka Begi;
    • Oljay Turkhan Agha (m. 1357/58), daughter of Amir Mashlah and granddaughter of Amir Qazaghan;
    • Saray Mulk Khanum (m. 1367), widow of Amir Husain, and daughter of Qazan Khan;
    • Islam Agha (m. 1367), widow of Amir Husain, and daughter of Amir Bayan Salduz;
    • Ulus Agha (m. 1367), widow of Amir Husain, and daughter of Amir Khizr Yasuri;
    • Dilshad Agha (m. 1374), daughter of Shams ed-Din and his wife Bujan Agha;
    • Touman Agha (m. 1377), daughter of Amir Musa and his wife Arzu Mulk Agha, daughter of Amir Bayezid Jalayir;
    • Chulpan Mulk Agha, daughter of Haji Beg of Jetah;
    • Tukal Khanum (m. 1397), daughter of Mongol Khan Khizr Khawaja Oglan;{{harvtxt|Barthold|1959|pp=24–5}}
    • Tolun Agha, concubine, and mother of Umar Shaikh Mirza I;
    • Mengli Agha, concubine, and mother of Miran Shah;
    • Toghay Turkhan Agha, lady from the Kara Khitai, widow of Amir Husain, and mother of Shah Rukh;
    • Tughdi Bey Agha, daughter of Aq Sufi Qongirat;
    • Sultan Aray Agha, a Nukuz lady;
    • Malikanshah Agha, a Filuni lady;
    • Khand Malik Agha, mother of Ibrahim Mirza;
    • Sultan Agha, mother of a son who died in infancy;
    His other wives and concubines included:Dawlat Tarkan Agha, Burhan Agha, Jani Beg Agha, Tini Beg Agha, Durr Sultan Agha, Munduz Agha, Bakht Sultan Agha, Nowruz Agha, Jahan Bakht Agha, Nigar Agha, Ruhparwar Agha, Dil Beg Agha, Dilshad Agha, Murad Beg Agha, Piruzbakht Agha, Khoshkeldi Agha, Dilkhosh Agha, Barat Bey Agha, Sevinch Malik Agha, Arzu Bey Agha, Yadgar Sultan Agha, Khudadad Agha, Bakht Nigar Agha, Qutlu Bey Agha, and another Nigar Agha.


    Sons of Timur

    Daughters of Timur

    • Aka Begi (d.1382)– by Turmish Agha. Married to Muhammad Beg, son of Amir Musa Tayichiud;
    • Sultan Bakht Begum (d.1429/30)– by Oljay Turkhan Agha. Married first Muhammad Mirke Apardi, married second, 1389/90, Sulayman Shah Dughlat;
    • Sa'adat Sultan – by Dilshad Agha;
    • Bikijan – by Mengli Agha;
    • Qutlugh Sultan Agha – by Toghay Turkhan Agha;
    John E Woods, The Timurid Dynasty (1990), p. 17-9Vasilii Vladimirovitch Barthold, Four Studies on the History of Central Asia, Vol. 2 (1963), p. 31

    Sons of Umar Shaikh Mirza I

    Badi' al-Zaman*Muhammed Mu'min*Muhammad Zaman MirzaMuzaffar HusseinIbrahim Hussein

    Sons of Jahangir

    Sons of Miran Shah

    Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur*the MughalsJahangir Mirza II

    Sons of Shah Rukh Mirza

    See also




    • JOURNAL, Knobler, Adam, The Rise of TÄ«mÅ«r and Western Diplomatic Response, 1390–1405, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, 5, 3, 1995, 341–349,
    • JOURNAL, Knobler, Adam, Timur the (Terrible/Tartar) Trope: a Case of Repositioning in Popular Literature and History, Medieval Encounters, 7, 1, 2001, 101–112,
    • JOURNAL, May, Timothy, Timur ("the Lame")(1336–1405), The Encyclopedia of War,
    • Marozzi, Justin, Tamerlane: sword of Islam, conqueror of the world, London: HarperCollins, 2004
    • Marozzi, Justin, "Tamerlane", in: The Art of War: great commanders of the ancient and medieval world, Andrew Roberts (editor), London: Quercus Military History, 2008. {{ISBN|978-1-84724-259-4}}
    • Beatrice Forbes Manz, "Temür and the Problem of a Conqueror's Legacy," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Apr., 1998)
    • Abazov, Rafis. "Timur (Tamerlane) and the Timurid Empire in Central Asia." The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Central Asia. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2008. 56–57.
    • YÃœKSEL, Musa Åžamil. "Timur’un YükseliÅŸi ve Batı’nın Diplomatik Cevabı, 1390–1405." Selçuk Ãœniversitesi Türkiyat AraÅŸtırmaları Dergisi 1.18 (2005): 231–243.
    • Shterenshis, Michael V. "Approach to Tamerlane: Tradition and Innovation." Central Asia and the Caucasus 2 (2000).
    • Marlowe, Christopher: Tamburlaine the Great. Ed. J. S. Cunningham. Manchester University Press, Manchester 1981.
    • Novosel'tsev, A. P. "On the Historical Evaluation of Tamerlane." Soviet studies in history 12.3 (1973): 37–70.
    • Sykes, P. M. "Tamerlane." Journal of the Central Asian Society 2.1 (1915): 17–33.
    • {{EB1911 |wstitle=TimÅ«r |volume=26}}

    External links

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