|Born||April 9, 1336|
|Died||February 17, 1405 (aged 68)|
Otrar, Syr Darya
Timur or Tamerlane (9 April 1336 – 17 February 1405) was a Turkic conqueror in the 14th century who is regarded as one of history's greatest military leaders and strategists. He founded the Timurid Empire in 1370. The empire was large and included Transoxiana, parts of Turkestan, Afghanistan, Persia, Syria, Qurdistan, Baghdad, Georgia and Asia Minor. He successfully conquered southern Russia and parts of India. He invaded Delhi in 1398. He called himself "Sword of Islam". He is also known to have invented the Tamerlane Chess.
Not related to Genghis Khan but claiming to be his successor, he caused the death of thousands of people. Timur is considered the last of the great nomadic conquerors of the Eurasian Steppe. His empire led to the Gunpowder Empires in the 1500s and 1600s, most notably the Mughal Empire of India.
Name[change | change source]
His real name is Tīmūr bin Taraghay Barlas. He is also known by these names: Temur, Taimur, Timur Lenk, Timur-i Leng, Temur-e Lang, Amir Timur, Aqsaq Timur, and Tamburlaine.
Conquests[change | change source]
He began his military career after conquering Movarounnahr (now Uzbekistan) through various political betrayals and military campaigns. In allegiance with other rulers in the area, he spent the next ten years fighting to gain territory, supporting the Khan empire against the Russians and defeating many large, imposing armies.
But this was only the beginning. In 1383, Tamerlane began conquering Persia, challenging several rival dynasties in an effort to preserve his empire and expand his territory.
After securing the majority of eastern Persia and defeating a major Mongol king, Tokhtamysh, Tamerlane and his army occupied Moscow for a year. During his time of absence from Persia, major revolts broke out. So he repressed them. Knowing his home territory of Samarkand was being handled by his military forces, Tamerlane then attacked India. He crossed the Indus River in 1398 and marched his army into Delhi where he reduced much of the city, an event that would cause a great setback for the region. As a result of this conquest, he left the territory with an immense quantity of spoil, using 90 captured elephants to carry treasure and stones from quarries to erect a mosque in his homeland.
In 1399, Tamerlane organized a new military expedition to attack the sultan of Egypt for territory infringement and marching on Syria, he stormed and sacked the city of Aleppo. In 1401, his army occupied the city of Damascus. He then moved on to storm Baghdad that same year and massacred 20,000 of its citizens, destroying all of its buildings and significant monuments in the process.
Timur and his army of 200,000 soldiers traveled through deep snow and frozen rivers toward China, eventually stopping in what is now Kazakhstan for a rest. Timur caught a cold and died on the journey. The trip to China stopped, and his body was taken home to Samarkand where it was buried beneath the dome of the Gur Amir mausoleum in a steel coffin under a slab of black jade six feet long. On the stone was inscribed, “This is the resting place of the illustrious and merciful monarch, the most great sultan, the most mighty warrior, Lord Timur, Conqueror of the World.”