Timour
Tamerlane Ta*mer*lane" (t[a^]*m[~e]r*l[=a]n"), prop. n. A Tatar conquerer, also called {Timur} or {Timour} (t[=e]*m[^o]r") or {Timur Bey}, also {Timur-Leng} ('Timur the Lame'), which was corrupted to Tamerlane. He was born in Central Asia, 1333: died 1405. Though he claimed descent from Jenghiz Khan, it is believed that he was in fact descended from a follower of the Khan. He became a ruler about 1370 of a realm whose capital was Samarkand; conquered Persia, Central Asia, and in 1398 a great part of India, including Delhi; waged war with the Turkish Sultan Bajazet I. (Beyazid), whom he defeated at Ancyra in 1402 and took prisoner; and died while preparing to invade China. He is the {Tamerlaine} of the plays. [Century Dict. 1906]

Just at the moment when the Sultan (Bajazet) seemed to have attained the pinnacle of his ambition, when his authority was unquestioningly obeyed over the greater part of the Byzantine Empire in Europe and Asia, when the Christian states were regarding him with terror as the scourge of the world, another and greater scourge came to quell him, and at one stroke all the vast fabric of empire which B[=a]yez[imac]d had so triumphantly erected was shattered to the ground. This terrible conquerer was Tim[=u]r the Tatar, or as we call him, ``Tamerlane''. Tim[=u]r was of Turkish race, and was born near Samarkand in 1333. He was consequently an old man of 70 when he came to encounter B[=a]yez[imac]d in 1402. It had taken him many years to establish his authority over a portion of the numerous divisions into which the immense empire of Chingiz Khan had fallen after the death of that stupendous conqueror. Tim[=u]r was but a petty chief among many others: but at last he won his way and became ruler of Samarkand and the whole province of Transoxiana, or 'Beyond the River' (M[=a]-war[=a]-n-nahr) as the Arabs called the country north of the Oxus. Once fairly established in this province, Tim[=u]r began to overrun the surrounding lands, and during thirty years his ruthless armies spread over the provinces of Asia, from Dehli to Damascus, and from the Sea of Aral to the Persian Gulf. The subdivision of the Mohammedan Empire into numerous petty kingdoms rendered it powerless to meet the overwhelming hordes which Tim[=u]r brought down from Central Asia. One and all, the kings and princes of Persia and Syria succumbed, and Tim[=u]r carried his banners triumphantly as far as the frontier of Egypt, where the brave Mamluk Sultans still dared to defy him. He had so far left B[=a]yez[imac]d unmolested; partly because he was too powerful to be rashly provoked, and partly because Tim[=u]r respected the Sultan's valorous deeds against the Christians: for Tim[=u]r, though a wholesale butcher, was very conscientious in matters of religion, and held that B[=a]yez[imac]d's fighting for the Faith rightly covered a multitude of sins. --Poole, Story of Turkey, p. 63 [Century Dict. 1906]

Note: Timour (t[imac]*m[=oo]r"), Timur, or TAMERLANE, was the second of the great conquerers whom central Asia sent forth in the middle ages, and was born at Kesh, about 40 miles southeast of Samarkand, April 9, 1336. His father was a Turkish chieftain and his mother claimed descent from the great Genghis-Khan. When he became tribal chieftain, Timour helped the Amir Hussein to drive out the Kalmucks. Turkestan was thereupon divided between them, but soon war broke out between the two chiefs, and the death of Hussein in battle made Timour master of all Turkestan. He now began his career of conquest, overcoming the Getes, Khiva and Khorassin, after storming Herat. His ever-widening circle of possessions soon embraced Persia, Mesopotamia, Georgia, and the Mongol state, Kiptchak. He threatened Moscow, burned Azoo, captured Delhi, overran Syria, and stormed Bagdad, which had revolted. At last, July 20,1402, Timour met the Sultan Bajazet of the Ottoman Turks, on the plains of Angora, captured him and routed his army, thus becoming master of the Turkish empire. He took but a short rest at his capital, Samarkand, and in his eagerness to conquer China, led his army of 200,000 across the Jaxartes on the ice, and pushed rapidly on for 300 miles, when his death, Feb. 18, 1405, saved the independence of China. Though notorious for his acts of cruelty -- he may have slaughtered 80,000 in Delhi -- he was a patron of the arts. In his reign of 35 years, this chief of a small tribe, dependent on the Kalmucks, became the ruler of the vast territory stretching from Moscow to the Ganges. A number of writings said to have been written by Timour have been preserved in Persian, one of which, the Institutions, has been translated into English. --The Student's Cyclopedia, 1897. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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