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Updated on May 9, 2021

Tamerlane's Conquests

A Legend?

Timur the Lame (Tamerlane )

Throughout history there have been a number of invaders, conquerors, who swarmed across the Eastern Hemisphere.

Some are held up as heroes, some as evil, and Tamerlane is in that second category.

He was born in 1336 in what is today called Uzbekistan. He was a Mongol of the Barlas tribe, one of those who followed Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan was one of the most famous conquerors. Many of his followers remained in the areas of conquest.

The name 'Tamerlane' is a blur of Timur the Lame. "The Lame" as due to an accident to his hip, he walked with a limp.

He began the conquest of Persia In 1383 when he was quite old for the time. For in those days, living past fifty was not common.

It took him four years to capture all of Persia.

Why he is not considered a 'Great' is due to the extreme savagery of his methods.

For he was quite vicious.

The Violence

In 1386 Tamerlane's hordes moved to India. They entered Delhi. When they left, the city was left in ruins. And over 100,000 people, mostly Hindus were executed.

In 1399, Timur came against the Ottoman Empire and Egypt.

He invaded Syria, and captured Damascus, then killed everyone except the artists. They were captured and carried to Samarkand.

In 1400 Timur invaded Armenia and Georgia. He enslaved the populations.

Timur reached Baghdad in June 1401 and killed many of its citizens, ordering that every soldier should return with at least two severed human heads to show him.

He ruled over an empire that extended from southeastern Turkey, through Syria, Iraq, Kuwait and Iran, part of Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and North-Western India.

He died in 1405 nearly 70 years old.

Many people thought he was just a legend until his body was exhumed in 1941 by anthropologist Mikhail M. Gerasimov.

Interesting Aside

Legends had Tamerlane as a cripped dwarf.

This is untrue.

His remains prove he was tall ( 5′ 8" was tall in those days) and broad chested.

His lameness was not that pronounced as examinations of the hip injury suggest it would have made his gait uneven but did not hamper his ability to walk or ride.

It is said that when Timur's body was exhumed the body, an inscription in his casket stated:

"Whosoever opens my tomb shall unleash
an invader more terrible than I."

Two days after the exhumation, Nazi Germany invaded.


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