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Cruel Ruler Timur: Torturous Power Hungry Ruler who Considered Himself God


Cruel Ruler Timur: Torturous Power Hungry Ruler who Considered Himself God

“In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet: My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell, Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends, And yet I live untouched by Mahomet. There is a God, full of avenging wrath, From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks, Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey.”

These are the words of Timur, a Turkic conqueror who had the blood of millions of Turkish slaves on his hands. Timur continues to be remembered for his barbaric attitudes, and his long conquests in India, Russian, and even parts of the Mediterranean sea.


The Early Life of Timur

Timur, known as Timur Lenk or Tamerlane, was born into the Turkicized Barlas tribe in 1336, in Kesh, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. After the sudden demise of the then-ruler Amir Kazgan, Timur declared his loyalty to the Khanate of Tughluq Temür.

Thus the ruler Amir Kazgan selected his son Ilyas Khoja as the governor and promoted Timur as his minister. Timur, however, not wanting to be just a minister, abandoned his post and reconciled with the grandson of Amir Kazgan. With Amir Husayn's help, Timur set out to conquer the territory under Ilyas Khoja and defeated the ruler in 1364. By 1366, Timur and Amir Husayn had established their supremacy over the region of Transoxania.

Soon after 1370, Timur rebelled against Amir Husayn and surrounded him in the Balkh Region. Amir Husayn was assassinated after this betrayal, and Timur announced himself as the new Ruler of Samarkand and restarted the long-dying legacy of the Mongols.

During the next decade, Timur engaged in various battles across Turkistan against the Khans of Jatah and even Khwarezm, finally gaining control over Kashgar in 1380. The trail of blood followed Timur in every territory he set foot into. Timur then also took over the authority over the areas of Moscow and vanquished the Lithuanians near Poltava.


Further Annexations and Bloodshed

Timur continued the dance of death and destruction around Persia. In 1383, “Herat” was acquired by Timur, and under his rule, bloodshed, violence, and growing power were apparent. Timur viciously continued his conquests and battles, capturing territories like Khorasan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and numerous other territories under his rule. Timur further pursued the territory of Emperor Tokhtamysh and thwarted him till the Russian steps. But Tokhtamysh managed to raise another army and succeeded in capturing the Caucasus.

However, Timur defeated Tokhtamysh on the Kur River with ruthless ruling and guidance. After this, the humiliated and beaten emperor gave his territory to Timur. Moscow was under the control of Timur for almost an entire year. But soon, revolts broke out in various areas.

Timur, however, very ruthlessly suppressed these rebels, and as a warning, their cities were completely upturned, and people were carnage. Timur also ordered the display of the stack of skulls of the dead as a warning against future rebellions.


Bloodbath in India

In 1398, Timur decided to invade India after being aware that the Muslim rulers were too lenient on the Hindu population. Timur barged into the country by crossing the Indus River, leaving a bloody mess behind himself. Timur battled the current sultan at Delhi and managed to defeat him. Mahmud Tughluq was destroyed and defeated in the battle of Panipat on December 17. Timur acquired many of the bounties from the defeated Sultan and ordered the construction of a mosque in Samarkand. In 1399 Timur decided to return to his earlier capital.



The Last Great Expedition

In 1399, Timur went on his Last Great Expedition to “teach a lesson” to Mamluk Sultan from Egypt. Timur also attacked the Sultan of Ottoman, Bayezid I, because both he and Mamluk had taken over a few territories under the rule of Timur. After succeeding, Timur gained control over the areas like Azerbaijan, and Syria. Damascus and Aleppo were forcefully entered and conquered. The once prosperous country soon lost its glory and skillful artisans to Samarkand. Baghdad was also captured in 1401, and twenty thousand inhabitants were brutally butchered, and its beautiful architecture was also destroyed.

Fired by his continuous victories, Timur also captured power in Anatolia. Timur defeated Bayezid I and took over Smyrna under the Knights of Rhodes. Timur had very humble beginnings as a ruler of a small tribe. Using his vicious nature, well-trained army, and deceit, Timur rose to the topmost position. Timur managed to conquer the varied territories with the slightest of ease, adding immense power and wealth to his treasury. In the wake of the destruction, the bloody bodies of the fallen soldiers were cruelly abandoned.

The tales of his cruel nature and bloodthirsty inclinations brought forth various write-ups that were penned down during and after Timur’s rule. With his cunning nature and trained soldiers, Timur managed to add to his territory areas from Mongolia to the Mediterranean. Timur’s cruelty inspired one of Marlowe’s greatest works of literature called “Tamburlaine The Great.”


Timur The Lame

Timur The Lenk was symbolic of the name Timur The Lame that the Persians used to mock Timur, tired and frustrated with all the vile bloodshed and violence. Though Timur was responsible for a lot of violence, he was still considered the representative of the heritage deeply rooted in the economy, polity, and tribal traditions of his Turkicized Barlas Tribe. Timur inherited Ghengis Khan’s military proficiency, discipline, and thirst for establishing and expanding his territory. All the wars Timur engaged in left him like a nomad, traveling from territory to territory. But in Timur’s case, it wasn’t just migration but assimilating them into his growing Empire.

Timur held onto the military legacy of Ghengis Khan and was very witty in using people’s drawbacks against them to gain power and territory. Timur attacked with various complicated weapons that surprised his enemies and ensured his victory.


Architectural Monuments by Timur

Timur might have been a vicious, power-hungry, and cruel ruler, but various monuments flourished under his patronage in Samarkand. Made out of quality products like gold, and alabaster patterns. One of the most majestic buildings built for Timur was called the Gur-e-Amir. This majestic wonder turned into the final resting place for Timur. In this Burial Chamber, Timur rests under a broken chunk of Jade.


Parting Note

Timur’s trail of blood and carnage was finally wrapped up in 1404 while he was preparing to take over China. Timur was believed to be constantly on the go in search of more territories to acquire. All the wealth and treasure Timur seized contributed to making Samarkand one of his most glorious cities. Samarkand became an important center for the development of sponsorship and science, and power. The architectural masterpieces built under Timur's patronage still carry his empire's legacy. Thus Timur is regarded as one of the most famous leaders among the tribal warriors. Aeons may pass and go, but Timur will always be remembered as a barbaric ruler capable of monstrosities that left nothing but destruction and death in their wake.

“If the rulers of Hindustan come before me with tribute, I will not interfere with their lives, property, or kingdoms; but if they are negligent in proffering obedience and submission, I will put forth my strength for the conquest of the kingdoms of India”{timur’s quote}. This is the policy by which Timur usually conquered territories, especially in India. These show the true wicked side of Timur, who considered himself above the human populace.


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