Amir Timur

Amir Timur (1802-1847)

Timur, Temur, Tarmashirin Khan, Emir Timur, or Amir Timur (9 April 1336 – 18 February 1405), widely known as Tamerlane was a Turkic ruler and conqueror. He founded the huge Timurid empire in today’s day it was the territory of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran. Timur was known as an undefeated commander and one of the greatest military leaders and planners in history.

Amir Timur was the grandfather of Ulugh Beg, who ruled Central Asia from 1411 to 1449, and the great-great-great-grandfather of Babur Beg, founder of the Mughal Empire, which ruled parts of South Asia for around two centuries, from 1526 until 1707.

During his lifetime Timur 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 Sultanate of Delhi. Timur had also decisively defeated the Christian Knights Hospitaller at Smyrna, styling himself a Ghazi. By the end of his reign Timur had also gained complete control over all the remnants of the Chagatai Khanate, Ilkhanate, Golden Horde and even attempted to restore the Yuan dynasty.

Timur's Childhood

Timur was born 9 April 1336 in Transoxiana, near the City of Kesh (modern Shahrisabz) south of Samarkand.  His father, Taraqai, was a minor noble belonging to the Barlas tribe. The Barlas, a Mongol tribe that originally were Mongolian tribes that became Turkified. According to Ge’rard Chaliand (French expert in geopolitics who has published widely on irregular warfare and military strategy), Timur was a Muslim Turk but he saw himself as Genghis Khan’s heir. Though not a Chinggisid, he desired to invoke the legacy of Genghis Khan’s conquests during his lifetime.

From childhood, he had been interested in politics and the military. He was believed to be a military genius and a tactician, with the passion to work within a highly fluid political structure to win and possess a loyal following of nomads during his rule in Central Asia. He was also considered extraordinarily intelligent- not only intuitively but also intellectually. 

In Samarkand and his many travels, Timur, under the guidance of distinguished scholars learned Persian, Mongolian, and Turkic languages. Significantly, Timur was characterized as an opportunist. Taking advantage of his Turco-Mongolia 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.

While the centre of the empire was Central Asia. Tamerlane wanted to designate his hometown, Shakhrisabz, as his capital, but particular political concerns forced him to leave with Samarkand the loving name of “Shining Star of the Orient”.

Great leader

Becoming the ruler of Samarkand he built a splendid army and brought on many annexationist campaigns. Hence, he developed his empire that extended from the Volga River and the Caucasian ridges in the west to India in the Southwest. 

Tamerlane composed an exceptional contribution to the national state system, education and culture, and general development of his state. He facilitated the structure of enormous historic buildings, particularly in Samarkand which one can still visit today.

Timur’s body was excavated from his tomb in 1941 by the Soviet anthropologist Mikhail M. Gerasimov. Gerasimov reconstructed the likeness of Timur, he was tall for his era, at least 1.73 meters. A broad-chested man with strong cheekbones. Today Timur is officially recognized as a national hero of independent Uzbekistan. His monument in Tashkent now occupies the place where Marx’s statue once stood.

Page updated 20.1.2022

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