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(tĭmo͝or`) or


(tăm`ərlān), c.1336–1405, Mongol conqueror, b. Kesh, near Samarkand. He is also called Timur Leng [Timur the lame]. He was the son of a tribal leader, and he claimed (apparently for the first time in 1370) to be a descendant of Jenghiz KhanJenghiz Khan
or Genghis Khan
, Mongolian Chinggis Khaan, 1167?–1227, Mongol conqueror, originally named Temujin. He succeeded his father, Yekusai, as chieftain of a Mongol tribe and then fought to become ruler of a Mongol confederacy.
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. With an army composed of Turks and Turkic-speaking Mongols, remnants of the empire of the MongolsMongols
, Asian people, numbering about 6 million and distributed mainly in the Republic of Mongolia, the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China, and Kalmykia and the Buryat Republic of Russia.
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, Timur spent his early military career in subduing his rivals in what is now TurkistanTurkistan
or Turkestan
, historic region of central Asia. Western, or Russian, Turkistan extended from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Chinese frontier in the east and from the Aral-Irtysh watershed in the north to the borders of Iran and Afghanistan in the south.
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; by 1369 he firmly controlled the entire area from his capital at SamarkandSamarkand
, city (1991 pop. 395,000), capital of Samarkand region, in Uzbekistan, on the Trans-Caspian RR. It is one of the oldest existing cities in the world and the oldest of Central Asia.
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Campaigns he waged against Persia occupied him until 1387. By that time he had in his possession the lands stretching E from the Euphrates River. He advanced (1392) across the Euphrates, conquered the territory between the Caspian and Black seas, and invaded several of the Russian states. By weakening the Crimean Tatars he helped clear the way for the conquests of the grand duchy of Moscow. Timur abandoned some of his Russian conquests to return to Samarkand and invade (1398) India along the route of the Indus River. He took Delhi and brought the Delhi SultanateDelhi Sultanate,
refers to the various Muslim dynasties that ruled in India (1210–1526). It was founded after Muhammad of Ghor defeated Prithvi Raj and captured Delhi in 1192.
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 to an end, but he withdrew with little addition to his domain.

In 1400, Timur ravaged Georgia and proceeded to the Levant, where he took Aleppo and Baghdad. His next war was fought in Asia Minor against the Ottoman Turks, and in 1402, at Angora, he captured their sultan, Beyazid I, who, contrary to popular belief, was well treated. Timur died while planning an invasion of China. His tomb at Samarkand was long known to archaeologists, but it is only recently that his skeleton, buried in a deep crypt, was found.

Timur's reputation is that of a cruel conqueror. After capturing certain cities he slaughtered thousands of the defenders (perhaps 80,000 at Delhi) and built pyramids of their skulls. Although a Muslim, he was scarcely more merciful to those of his own faith than to those he considered infidels. His positive achievements were the encouragement of art, literature, and science and the construction of vast public works. He had little hope that his vast conquests would remain intact, and before his death he arranged for them to be divided among his sons. The TimuridsTimurids
, dynasty founded by Timur (or Tamerlane). After the death of Timur (1405) there was a struggle for power over his empire, which then extended from the Euphrates River to the Jaxartes (Syr Darya) and Indus rivers.
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 are the line of rulers descended from him. Christopher Marlowe's play Tamburlaine luridly recounts his conquests.


See biographies by H. Hookham (1962) and B. F. Manz (1989); J. H. Sanders, tr., Tamerlane (tr. of late 14th-century Arabic work by A. Ibn Arabshah, 1936).

References in periodicals archive ?
Para el Tamerlan del loco, habitante del siglo XIV, Tamburlaine The Great se proyecta alrededor de unos doscientos anos en el futuro.
1964) Christopher Marlowe: Tamburlaine the Great, parts I & II.
2) All quotations from the Tamburlaine plays are from Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great, ed.
Part A is markedly nearer to Tamburlaine the Great than B, sandwiched as it is between Macbeth, 1 Henry VI, 2 Henry VI, King John, and Richard II.
43 See, for example, Una Ellis-Fermor's introduction to The Works and Life of Christopher Marlowe: Tamburlaine the Great, gen.
There is a quantum leap in ability and expression from Marlowe's first major play, Tamburlaine the Great in 1587, to Doctor Faustus, written the following year.
Bajazet is also a character (the strongest of Tamburlaine's foes) in Christopher Marlowe's play Tamburlaine the Great.
He appeared on Broadway in A Shot in the Dark, The World of Suzie Wong, and Tamburlaine the Great.
What god soever holds thee in his arms, Giving thee nectar and ambrosia, Behold me here, divine Zenocrate, Raving, impatient, desperate, and mad, Breaking my steeled lance with which I burst The rusty beams of Janus' temple doors, Letting out death and tyrannizing war To march with me under this bloody flag; And if thou pitiest Tamburlaine the Great, Come down from heaven and live with me again
Quotations from Tamburlaine the Great, Part 1 and Part 2 are from The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed.
Finally, if from there he had strolled to the vicinity of St Andrew's Church in Holborn, he might have entered Richard Jones's printing house and bookshop at the Rose and Crown, where he could have thumbed the freshly printed octavo leaves of Tamburlaine the Great, who, from the state of a shepherd in Scythia, by his rare and wonderful conquests, became a most puissant and mighty monarch.
Other theatre work includes In Blood - The Bacchae, Small Craft Warnings, An Enemy of the People (Arcola), Don Quixote (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Angels in America (Headlong/Lyric Hammersmith), The Lady Of Leisure (Liverpool Playhouse), Missing Persons (Trafalgar Studios), Tamburlaine the Great (Bristol Old Vic/ Barbican - TMA Award for Best Performance in a Play), Messiah, King Lear, Waiting For Godot, The Seagull, Waste (Old Vic), The Bacchae, The Oedipus Plays (and Greece), Absolute Hell, The Cherry Orchard, The Duchess of Malfi, Coriolanus, Animal Farm, You Can't Take It With You, Lorenzaccio, Oresteia, The Spanish Tragedy (NT).