Timur


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Timur

(tĭmo͝or`) or

Tamerlane

(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.

Bibliography

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 ?
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1405: The Mongol leader Tamerlane the Great - also known as Timur the Lame or Tamburlaine - died during an expedition to conquer China.
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From there, we decided to walk towards the Bibi-Khanym mosque, one of the many monuments constructed in Samarkand by Timur (also know as Tamerlaine) who ruled the area during the 14th century.
The information was announced Tuesday by the Bulgarian "Dnevnik", citing Russian media reports and the corporation's Vice President Timur Bavlakov speaking at a business forum of the nuclear sector suppliers.
Chapter 2, by Rubies, explores diverse 13th- to 15th-century ambassadorial accounts from the cultural capitals of Persia and central and southern Asia, including the Persian 'Abd al-Razzaq's narrative of his travels in south India; the Castilian Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo's ambassadorial report from the court of Timur in Samarquand; and complementary travel narratives moving in the opposite direction by the Nestorian monk Rabban Sauma, as he journeyed as both a pilgrim and an envoy from Tabriz to various European destinations; and Ch'en Ch'eng's voyage from China westward through central Asia.
Timur Kuanyshev, chairman of Danabank shareholder BATT Investment Company, has said that the amount of the transaction was 'not large,' but declined to disclose figures for the deal.
Timur Supataev, head of investment at Deripaska's Basic Element holding company, said last week that they see renewed interest towards some of their assets, including stakes in our businesses, from a growing number of investors from Russia, China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Western Europe.
During his conquests, Timur himself had left most of the regional dynasties of Iran and Transoxiana in place as long as they had recognized his overlordship.