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, 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 Khan.
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(also Timur; Timur-i-leng, Timur the Lame). Born 1336, in the village of Hodja-Il’gar; died Feb. 18, 1405, in Otrar. Middle Asian state figure and military leader; emir. Son of Taragai of the Barulas tribe, Turkic Mongols.
In 1361, Tamerlane entered the service of Toklug-Timur and was given control of Kashkadar’ia Vilayet. After concluding an alliance with the ruler of Balkh and Samarkand, Amir Hussayn, he embarked on a lengthy struggle against Toklug-Timur and his son Ilyas Khoja. In 1366, Tamerlane and Hussayn quelled an uprising of Sarbedars in Samarkand. The ensuing struggle for power between Tamerlane and Hussayn ended in victory for Tamerlane in 1370. He took the title of emir and began to rule Mavera-un-Nahr (Transoxania) on behalf of the descendants of Genghis Khan, supported by the nomadic nobility, the settled feudal lords, and especially the Islamic clergy. The capital of his empire was Samarkand.
In 1373 and 1374, Tamerlane subordinated southern Khwar-azm and in 1388 all of Khwarazm, destroying its capital Urgench. In the 1380’s and 1390’s he combined the unification of Middle Asia with predatory campaigns in Iran, Transcaucasia, and other regions; these campaigns were characterized by Tamerlane’s extraordinary cruelty to the inhabitants. As a result of three campaigns against Toktamysh (1389, 1391, and 1394–95), Tamerlane routed the Golden Horde and pillaged its capital, Sarai-Berke, as well as other cities. In 1398 he invaded India and seized Delhi. He defeated and captured the Turkish sultan Bayazid I in a battle at Ankara in 1402. Tamerlane embarked on a campaign in China in 1404, which was cut short by his death. At the end of his reign, Tamerlane’s empire included Mavera-un-Nahr, Khwarazm, Khorasan, Transcaucasia, Iran, and Punjab.